Monday, November 19, 2007

Kerry's A Hit! Quentin smiles onstage!

Poland just qualified for the European Soccer Championship, so no wonder there was a brawl between some triumphant drunks and the doormen in front of Greenpoint club Europa when we got there. We seeked shelter at the bar near the stage where everybody gathered to witness a phenomenally beautiful and inspiring show by Kerry Kennedy and her new band. After merely two rehearsals, these guys sound like a veteran outfit, bridging folk and alternative rock in a nicely understated new way, building fitting layers around Kerry's soft but intense voice. There's just six or seven songs yet, but after years of waiting, a long player seems not out of reach anymore. Lets hope and see what Santa Claus brings... Melomane brought two more guests along, according to Quentin "the german Nick Cave (Klaus Keller?) and his partner, who played hauntingly melodies of melancholy and pain. Then Melomane dished up their abundant bouquet of musical gems, in great playing mood and lots of msiles all around. Not so much the "rosy lounge pop" anymore that TimeOut makes the 'manes to be, but first class Blue Oyster Cult style savoir faire, aye! Somehow, everybody ended up partying way to late into the night, where ever they were, with thanks to Mariana Davenport and Pierre the big de G.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Import-Export bring Balkan Beats to New York!

Swiss-Balkan Collaboration sweeps New York

News from the Fa front: Import-Export create a crazy maelstrom of Gypsy music, mixed with Electronica. Their freestyle Balkan jazz blurs the line between eastern European Folk and modern music. Serving their beats with pure enthusiasm for gypsy tunes, they incite audiences everywhere to raving dances.

“We sweep over the Balkan carpet, and also underneath it,” says Accordion player Goran Kovacevic. He is joined by New York based “CD manipulator” Fa Ventilato and Patrick Kessler (Double Bass). The veteran Swiss-Italian drummer Carlo Lorenzi completes the combo. Special star guest with this unique Swiss “import” is the Bulgarian trumpet player Sachko Wladigeroff: A fiendish on the brass, a “rumpelstilt” who plays flugelhorn and trumpet at the same time, and “most possibly could also play with his ears.”

28.11.2007 live @ MEHANATA BULGARIAN BAR, 9pm
29.11.2007 live @ ZEBULON. nyc-williamsburg, 12pm
02.12.2007 live @ NUBLU. nyc-brooklyn

Learn more about the wide Import-Export musical network:

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Walk Down Memory Lane... Paul Fox R.I.P

The Ruts with Henry Rollins perform Shine On Me

Another punk legend has left the building: Paul Fox, true guitar hero with ur-punks The Ruts, succumbed to cancer on October 21st. While most people have never heard of the London band, those who have rank at least three of their songs among their most favorites: "Babylon's Bruning", "Shine On Me" and the pre-Clash Dub "Jah Wars," which effectively introduced Reagge to New Wave, a feat is mostly attributed to The Clash or Police. Nah, it was Fox with his mates, fronted by Malcolm Owen who died on a Heroin overdose in 1980. The band continued for an album as Ruts DC, then most members went on to play in differenty rather obscure projects.

Following Fox's diagnose, the band reformed for a research benefit gig and were joined by Henry Rollins for some powerful renditions of the Ruts hits (as can see above, despite a bit of a questionable solo... but check out other Ruts stuff on You tube to hear Fox's great playing). The London times called him "on of the most important guitarist of the punk generation".

So where are they now, the first wave punk generation? Well, The Damned, The Advert's TV Smith and the U.K. Subs all joined The Ruts at their May benefit gig. TV Smith has a great new album and a funny book about his low budget European travels. The album seems to indicate a split in his friendship with the Tote Hosen - he does not mention them at all anymore. Anybody know more about that?

The Biggies? Firstly, the Fall never ceased to be around (and vital). Certain Fall offspring, like The Blue Orchids, are rumored to be back, too. Mick Jones of the Clash just released a new record with Tony James of Generation X, the project is called "Carbon/". Paul Simonon landed a huge hit at Damon Albarn's side with The Good, the Bad and the Queen". Paul Weller is working on his new found love for punkrock, while his former mates have reformed as "...from the Jam". Despite Weller's absence, they are enjoying quite some success and are currently recording. The remaining Sex Pistols just finished a couple of live gigs in England to make some money, since they forgot to cash in in the Eighties, claims Johnny Rotten, scuseme Lydon. No new record there, though.

The Police reunited and nobody was impressed (that might change with an new album, but nobody is talking about that). Wire reformed and just released the third "Read and Burn" EP, but we are honestly more impressed with Colin Newman's other project "Git-Head". The Buzzcocks were the first to reunite, needed a couple of years to find back to true form, their lastest three CDs testifying to that. And then there's the strange and bewildering case of the Stranglers and Hugh Cornwell, both regularly putting out new records, at times just as good as the old times, but they somehow always miss the public spotlight and we still feel they'd be better of getting Hugh back into the fold. The Undertones reformed. Sham 69 reformed with and without Jimmy Pursey. They all reformed. They are all on MySpace.

One reunion I was truly hoping for, never happened so far: One hit wonder The Vapors, whose two long players I still count among my most valued possessions. Plus, I'd go to see Hüsker Dü again. And that weirdo from behind Liverpool, of course, Julian Cope. If he would only ever come to the States! Man, that's were your wife's from, drude!

Fox is joining a growingly illustre Club of Dead Punk Rockers: Almost all of the Ramones died. Joe Strummer died, Ian Curtis, Sid Vicious, Ian Dury, Nikki Sudden, Epic Soundtracks, all dead, all gone. Johnny Thunders, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Stiv Bator, Wendy O'Williams, R.I.P, Rob Heaton, Pete De Freitas, Grant McLennan, we can still hear you.