Archive for December, 2010


Baal is an EP by David Bowie, comprising recordings of songs written for Bertolt Brecht’s play Baal. It is also referred to as David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht’s Baal, as credited on the sleeve.

In August 1981, Bowie had begun rehearsals to appear in the BBC version of Baal. The lyrics to the songs were all translated by Ralph Manheim and John Willett. Dominic Muldowney provided all new musical settings, except for “The Drowned Girl”, which was a setting by Kurt Weill done originally for Das Berliner Requiem.
In September 1981, Bowie and Tony Viscontireturned to the Hansa studios in Berlin to re-record the five songs Baal performed in the play.

“Baal’s Hymn” is a combination of the vignettes spread throughout the play, and establishes Baal’s amoral character. “Remembering Marie A” concerns Baal’s reminiscences of a past conquest, where he can remember a cloud drifting overhead, but not the face of the girl he was with. “Ballad of the Adventurers” is Baal’s aggressive lament to the death of his mother. “The Drowned Girl” relates the suicide of one of Baal’s conquests – a video clip for this song was shot by David Mallet at the same time as the one for “Wild is the Wind”. “The Dirty Song” is a short number, with Baal humiliating his lover Sophie.

His performance as Baal was transmitted on February 2, 1982, and RCA issued the EP to coincide with this. Both the play and EP were well received, with the latter reaching #29 in the UK chart, commendable considering the unconventional tracks. As well as the 7″ edition (which came packaged in a double gatefold sleeve containing extensive notes pertaining to the musical content and a short biography of Bertolt Brecht) the EP was released as a 12″ which gained it some play in clubs as well as radio airplay.

Tracks:

A1) Baal’s Hymn
A2) Remembering Marie A
B1) Ballad Of The Adventurers
B2) The Drowned Girl
B3) Dirty Song

No link.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

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“Busch didn´t languish, like the tenors did in the older days; Busch was aggressive, conscious and bright … he learnt this from Brecht. More people should learn from Brecht.” – Stuttgarter Nachrichten

On this album Ernst Busch (1900 – 1980) performs lyrics by Villon, Lenz and Goethe.
The theatre critic Herbert Ihering wrote in the year 1965 about the actor Busch: “Ernst Busch is a new type of actor: a radical popular actor, both in an artistic and political sense.”

The ballads by Villon are the heart of these recordings. They are accompanied by some works of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz and Johann Wolfang von Goethe. Classic music by Jean Philipp Rameau supports the impression of Buschs performance.

Tracks:
Premier et deuxième air vif 3:41
Die Ballade von den Vogelfreien 2:16
Eine kleine Räuberballade von den drei Coquillards 2:40
Air gai 2:51
Die Ballade von den schönen Frauen von Paris 2:15
Eine nette Ballade, die Villon dem König aus der Verbannung sandte 2:40
Premier et deuxième tambourin 2:36
Eine kleine Ballade von der Mäusefrau die in Villons Zelle Junge bekam 3:10
Eine Ballade vom Apell Villons an den Reichstag 2:15
Eine Ballade, mit der Meister Villon seine lieben Mitmenschen um Verzeihung bittet 3:15
Premier et deuxième gavotte 2:31
Ballade in der Villon jedermann Abbitte leistet 1:45
Notwendige Nachschrift mein Begräbnis betreffend 2:35
Pantomime très gaye 3:41
Die Liebe auf dem Lande 4:30
Baccanales 2:22
Paktszene (“Faust I”) 4:44
Monolog im Kerker (“Egmont”) 6:01

Ernst Busch – Verehrt und angespien
(192 kbps, ca. 76 MB)

Happy X-Mas to you all!
We want it!
R.I.P, John!

Happy X-Mas to you all!
We want it!
R.I.P, John!

Photobucket “Confiteor

Die bunten Bilder, die das Leben malt Seh’ ich umdüstert nur von Dämmerungen,
Wie kraus verzerrte Schatten, trüb und kalt,
Die kaum geboren schon der Tod bezwungen.

Und da von jedem Ding die Maske fiel,
Seh’ ich nur Angst, Verzweiflung, Schmach und Seuchen,
Der Menschheit heldenloses Trauerspiel,
Ein schlechtes Stück, gespielt auf Gräbern, Leichen.

Mich ekelt dieses wüste Traumgesicht.
Doch will ein Machtgebot, daß ich verweile,
Ein Komödiant, der seine Rolle spricht,
Gezwungen, voll Verzweiflung – Langeweile!”
– Georg Trakl


He played the role of Hauptmann (Captain) Gerd Wiesler in the Oscar-winning film “Das Leben der Anderen” (“The Lives of Others”, 2006), for which he received the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Gold, at Germany’s most prestigious film awards, the “Deutscher Filmpreis” (“German Film Awards)”; and the Best Actor Award at the 2006 European Film Awards.

After leaving school, Mühe was employed as a construction worker and a border guard at the Berlin Wall. He then turned to acting, and from the late 1970s into the 1980s appeared in numerous plays, becoming a star of the Deutsches Theater in East Berlin. He was active in politics and denounced “Communist” rule in East Germany in a memorable address at Alexanderplatz on 4 November 1989 shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. After German reunification he continued to appear in a large number of films, television programmes and theatre productions. In Germany he was particularly known for playing the lead role of Dr. Robert Kolmaar in the long-running forensic crime series “Der letzte Zeuge”.
Ulrich Mühe, who sadly died this July, 2007, was a German film, television and theatre actor.

In the last years he also became a popular reader of audio books, for example “”Der kleine Prinz” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and “Ich bin eine Welt” by Georg Trakl.

The poet and writer Georg Trakl was born as the son of the ironmonger Tobias Trakl and his wife Maria Catharina, nee Halik, on February 3, 1887 in Salzburg. At the age of 13, Georg Trakl began writing poetry. He studied pharmacy in Vienna and simultaneously began to publish his first poems.

Trakl was also interested in literature, music, painting and architecture. Between 1910 and 1914 Georg Trakl wrote his most important works. In 1912 Trakl temporarily worked as a military pharmacist in Innsbruck. His search for stability in life was fruitless, and following excessive drug use, Trakl fell into deep depression. In 1912 Georg Trakl’s poem “Vorstadt im Föhn” was published in the Innsbruck cultural and political journal “Der Brenner”, whose editor was his friend and benefactor Ludwig von Ficker. All subsequent poetic work by Trakl appeared in the monthly issues of this journal.

Karl Kraus also published poems by Georg Trakl in the journal “Die Fackel”. During this time, Trakl met Oskar Kokoschka and Else Lasker-Schüler. In 1913, the publisher Kurt Wolff published Georg Trakl’s book of poetry “Der jüngste Tag”.

Georg Trakl volunteered for World War I, where he served on the Eastern Front in the Galician town of Grodek as a medical officer. As a consequence of his traumatic experiences of the war, Georg Trakl suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a military hospital in Krakow. During his convalescence in the Krakow hospital, Trakl wrote his poems “Grodek”, “Im Osten” and “Klage”. Georg Trakl committed suicide on November 3, 1914 in Krakow. Today, Georg Trakl is considered one of the most extraordinary poets and most important exponents of Austrian Expressionism.

“Trakl creates pure compositions of autonomous metaphors. Each metaphor has a more-or-less definite emotional tonality and combines with the other metaphors…in a incoherent sequence of images. Yet each poem has an inner coherence, not the coherence of logical thought, but of a musical composition. The metaphoric image acts somewhat like a note in a musical score indicating that a cerain tone or chord is to be played.” (Sokel)
The tone and progression of Trakls poetry is often dreamlike, but the imagery is more likely found in a nightmare: decay, death, twilight, nature (in decay), religious symbolism. The verses are bleak but with a certain warmth, somber with a hint of transcendence.
Georg Trakl – “Ich bin eine Welt” (Ulrich Mühe)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

For more informations about Georg Trakls and english translations of his poetry, please check out http://www.literaturnische.de/Trakl/english/index-trakl-e.htm.

Photobucket Obviously onto a good thing, the Trojan label continued the “Tighten Up” series of budget compilations rounding up recent hits continued, with Volume 3 and 4 arriving in 1970 and 1971 respectively.

The Maytals “Monkey Man” kicked off the former set, which once again is notable for its eclectic nature. There’s another trio of instrumentals, with “Shocks of Mighty” boasting the exuberant DJ skills of Dave Barker, while veteran toaster King Stitt indulges the “Herbsman”. Jimmy Cliff was “Suffering”, but not for long, by the time this album hit the streets he’d already hit the big time. Ken Boothe was still a few years away from that, but his “Freedom Street” was a popular number, and in Jamaica the riddim would be versioned for years to come. Jamaican born, but British based Dandy Livingston would also eventually crack the UK charts, and here delivers a sublime cover of “Raining in My Heart”. Former Gaylad Delano Stewart’s offering is just as sweet and emotive.

With the dawn of a new decade, culture began taking hold in Jamaica, a phenomenon reflected across a clutch of Volume 4’s cuts. Niney Holness’s apocalyptic “Blood and Fire”, The Ethiopians’s plea for repatriation “The Selah”, The Pioneers’s harmonic cry of “Starvation” and Merlene Webber’s toasting “Hard Life” all spoke of serious matters, as did The Slickers’s sublime rude boy warning “Johnny Too Bad”. But amongst these heavy hitters were an equal number of lighter songs. Hopeton Lewis, for one, was “Grooving Out on Life”, Jean & the Gaytones found comfort in music, and adamantly declaring “I Shall Sing”, while Webber found the solution for her difficulties, advising all women to “Stand by Your Man”. The Ethiopians also return for a second helping with the love-laced “Good Ambition”. Reissuing these two excellent compilation albums together on one CD emphasizes the stylistic shift underway, one from which roots would emerge.

Tighten Up – Volume 3 & 4 (192 kbps)

Tighten Up – Volume 5 & 6

PhotobucketTrojan’s Tighten Up series had always gone for variety, but Volume 5, released in 1971, hot on the heels of its predecessor, was positively anarchic.

From the sublime, “In Paradise”, to the surreal, “Hello Mother”, the sweet, “It’s You”, to the savage, “Rod of Correction”, this compilation careened madly through the reggae landscape.

For the uninitiated, reggae may appear a monolithic musical style, defined merely by its emphasis on the offbeat, but like any other generic label, the term sheltered myriad sub-styles under its umbrella. And all of them feature on this set.

Jamaicans always had a penchant for reggae-fied pop covers, and a pair appear hear. Instrumental versions of chart hits were equally popular, and once again three were included, although this time only one, “Ripe Cherry”, boasts a DJ on top. Medleys were also all the rage, normally melding three of an artist’s hits together, thus the proliferation of singles simply titled “Three in One”.
Here it’s a hat trick of sweet hits from young singing star Errol Dunkley. There’s also a trio of cultural numbers, including Delroy Wilson’s masterful “Better Must Come”.
And in a broad hint of what was to come, The Wailers’s make their sole appearance in the series with their classic “Duppy Conqueror”.
Volume 6 was to be the final album in the series, with vocal groups once again coming to the fore, alongside solo singers and DJs. The Maytals’s “Redemption Song” bears no relationship to Bob Marley’s own similarly titled masterpiece, bar Toots Hibbert’s equally heartfelt delivery. The Chosen Few showcase their soulful side, while The Maytones are all sweet ache.

Elsewhere Ernie Smith herded reggae out on the range, Clancy Eccles was submerged under strings, Mikey Chung took his guitar surfing, The Cimarons’s (sic) organist headed for outer space, while Dandy Livingstone shot up the UK chart with his hit “Suzanne Beware of the Devil”. Representing the DJs, Shortie suavely mashed up The Uniques’s sublime “My Conversation”, and I-Roy exploded across The Jumpers’s “The Bomb”. They were the future, as toasters ran rampart across the Jamaican scene. But Jackie Edwards’s offered an escape, at least for Britain, with his fabulous performance on “Who Told You So”, which tells one everything they need to know about lover’s rock.

It was a wild ride, and across it this seminal series defined the reggae age, bringing hits and misses to the masses, and leaving its mark on a host of future British artists and bands.

Tighten Up – Volume 5 & 6

 .

Tracks:
A Up Against the Wall
B I’m All Right Jack
“Up Against The Wall” was the great third single from the Tom Robinson Band, released in 1978. This storming stuff from a wonderful band is still actual more than 30 years after it´s release. Tom Robinson jettisonned his band Cafe Society after he attended a Sex Pistols gig and got to work on a band that what would become the overtly political T.R.B.
Tom Robinson began gigging in London in 1976. By the end of the year, he had decided to put together a permanent band. Robinson’s old friend, guitarist Danny Kustow, was the first in the permanent lineup. They ran small ads in the music papers looking for a bass player and drummer. Robinson found drummer Brian “Dolphin” Taylor. The search for a bass player continued, until Mark Ambler auditioned. Some days later, Ambler mentioned he also played keyboards; he had spent many years studying piano with veteran jazz musician, Stan Tracey. After listening to Ambler playing his Hammond organ Robinson realised he would have to be the bass player himself.
The band hit the club scene right in the middle of London’s punk explosion. Their live shows got favourable reviews, and soon A&R men were attending many of their gigs.
EMI Records signed TRB. Robinson later described this period, saying “Within nine months we’d made the transition from signing on at Medina Road dole office to Top Of The Pops, Radio One, EMI Records and the giddy heights of the front cover of the New Musical Express”.
TRB made leaflets and fliers about their political views and sent them to everyone who attended their gigs, they gave away badges and made up T shirts emblazoned with the band’s logo and they appeared regularly at Rock Against Racism concerts.

“2-4-6-8 Motorway” was their first single, released in late 1977. It got into the top five of the UK singles charts, staying there for over a month. It was followed almost immediately by their next record, a four song EP called “Rising Free” which was recorded live at London’s Lyceum Theatre in November 1977. It contained the songs “Glad to Be Gay”, “Right On Sister”, “Don’t Take No for an Answer”, and “Martin”. The EP reached #18 in the UK singles charts.
In early 1978, TRB recorded their debut album, “Power in the Darkness”. The UK version of the LP contained all new songs, but in the US (on the Harvest label), the “2-4-6-8 Motorway” single and “Rising Free” record were combined for a six-track bonus EP that made the album almost a double.
“Power in the Darkness” reached number 4 in the UK album charts and won the band a gold record, and TRB were voted “Best New Band” and “Best London Band” for the year 1977 by listeners at the Capital Radio Music Awards. Mark Ambler left the band after recording the album. Session pianist Nick Plytas was drafted in as a temporary replacement, and played with TRB at a major Anti Nazi League rally in London’s Victoria Park early that year.
Ian Parker joined as a permanent replacement for Ambler. TRB then went to Rockfield Studios in Wales to record their next album, “TRB Two”. Chris Thomas who had produced their first album, was also at the control deck for their second album, to start off with. Dolphin Taylor suggested Todd Rundgren should replace Thomas. After not being able to decide which tracks should appear on the LP, the band eventually agreed to let Rundgren choose. However, he picked two of the songs Dolphin particularly disliked, and Taylor decided that he would leave rather than play on the tracks. A day later he had calmed down somewhat and offered to return, but Robinson refused, and Preston Heyman was recruited as an emergency stand-in. His picture was included on the album cover, but there was never any intention for him to join the band permanently. Taylor’s eventual replacement was Charlie Morgan who had played for Kate Bush, and went on to drum for Elton John for a further fifteen years.
To support the album’s release, the band went on tour, but by this point the TRB’s infighting had taken its toll. When Kustow decided to quit in 1979 that was the end of TRB.
In 1989, Robinson, Kustow and Ambler put together a reunion tour and played sold out shows at the Marquee in London and went on for the best part of a year before splitting one final time.

Tom Robinson Band – Up Against The Wall (Single, 1978)


In post-Sex Pistols England, the Tom Robinson Band bridged the gap between punk and new wave, challenging the ennui of the former and the apathy of the latter with songs about politics and social justice as their rallying cry.

Robinson – who was open about his orientation for the entirety of his career (although he now classifies himself as bisexual) – wrote the song “Glad To Be Gay” for a London pride parade. The EP reached #18 in the UK, despite the song being banned by the BBC. This is a great song, as it attacks both anti-gay bigotry and the complacency of those who allow it to happen. It’s amazing (and a little depressing) how many of the lyrics are still relevant today.

The “Rising Free” EP, the bands second 7”, was recorded live at London’s Lyceum in November 1977 & released in 1978. Tom Robinson was accompanied by Danny Kustow, Mark Ambler and Dolphin Taylor.

Tracklist:

A1 Don’t Take No for an Answer
A2 Martin
B1 Glad to be Gay
C1 Right On Sister

Lyrics of the “Glad To Be Gay” version released on this EP:

This song is dedicated to the World Health Organization, it’s a medical song and it concerns a disease whose classification according to the International Classification of Diseases is 302.0

The British police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people, knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses, calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There’s no nudes in Gay News our one magazine
But they still found excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
The Telegraph, People and Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper it must be the truth

Try and sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Don’t try to kid us that if you’re discreet
You’re perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don’t have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
He was lonely one evening, he went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him, kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week
And he still bears the scars

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

And sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens, tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’
Tell them!

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy this way”

Tom Robinson Band – Rising Free EP (1978)
(256 kbps, cover art included)


The composer and director Heiner Goebbels (*1952) belongs to the most important exponents of the contemporary music and theatre scene.
Alfred Harth is a German multimedia artist, band leader, musician, and composer who mixes genres in a polystylistic manner.

The duo Goebbels/Harth (1975–1988) , combining German composer, music-theatre director and keyboardist Heiner Goebbels and German composer, multi-media artist and saxophonist Alfred Harth became famous for its adaptation of and departure from European composers, especially Hanns Eisler, implemented in a provocatively fresh manner into structured free improvisations and deploying content from areas beyond music. The duo was nicknamed the “Eisler brothers” by music critic W.Liefland. They later also experimented with different genres and sound collages, including electronic devices. The duo played in many international festivals and concerts in cities as diverse as Tel Aviv, Zagreb, West and East Berlin and South America.

In 1981, Berendt together with the duo produced the LP, “Zeit wird knapp” by including love poems and ballads from Bertold Brecht, for which they recruited vocalists Dagmar Krause and Ernst Stötzner. The duo then artistically shaped the German New Wave music/Neue Deutsche Welle in their style with their LPs “Indianer Fuer Morgen”

The first time I heard the track “Berlin, Q-Damm 12.4.812” with it references to the Berlin squatter movement and the heavy repression I was deeply impressed and moved.

The whole album is a magnificent combination of jazzy and experimental tunes combined with plingity-plong electronics in the Residents style and all blended by the more intellectual fraction of the NDW sounds of Germany at the time of this release. Imagine Residents jamming with Sun Ra while Frieder Butzmann and Pascal Comelade are furiously joining them!

This album was recorded with Alfred Harth, Heiner Goebbels, Annemarie Roelofs, Andreas Boje and Dagmar Krause in August, 1981 in Stuttgart and Kirchberg, produced by Wolfgang Ham. It was released on the “Riskant” label in 1981.

Tracks:
1. Der Stürzende Mensch – 2. Der Lachende Und Der Weinende Mensch – 3. Der Durchdrungene Mensch – 4. Der Reibungslose Mensch – 5. Der Kommunistische Mensch – 6. Der Redende Und Der Schweigende Mensch – 7. Berlin, Q-damm 12.4.81 – 8. Indianer Für Morgen – 9. Dunkle Wolk – 10. Kein Kriegsspielzeug Für Jonathan – 11. Uber Den Selbstmord

Heiner Goebbels & Alfred Harth – Der durchdrungene Mensch /Indianer für morgen (1981)
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)