gently down the stream…

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

ani difranco – your next bold move (2001)

coming of age during the plague
of reagan and bush
watching capitalism gun down democracy
it had this funny effect on me
i guess

i am cancer
i am HIV
and i’m down at the blue jesus
blue cross hospital
just lookin’ up from my pillow
feeling blessed

and the mighty multinationals
have monopolized the oxygen
so it’s as easy as breathing
for us all to participate

yes they’re buying and selling
off shares of air
and you know it’s all around you
but it’s hard to point and say “there”
so you just sit on your hands
and quietly contemplate

your next bold move
the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

what a waste of thumbs that are opposable
to make machines that are disposable
and sell them to seagulls flying in circles
around one big right wing

yes, the left wing was broken long ago
by the slingshot of cointelpro
and now it’s so hard to have faith in
anything

especially your next bold move
or the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

you want to track each trickle
back to its source
and then scream up the faucet
’til your face is hoarse
cuz you’re surrounded by a world’s worth
of things you just can’t excuse

but you’ve got the hard cough of a chain smoker
and you’re at the arctic circle playing strip poker
and it’s getting colder and colder
everytime you lose

so go ahead
make your next bold move
tell us
what’s the next thing you’re gonna need to prove
to yourself

mccarthy – red sleeping beauty (1986)

McCarthy were a British indie pop band, formed in Barking, Essex, England in 1984 by schoolmates Malcolm Eden (voice and guitar) and Tim Gane (lead guitar) with John Williamson (bass guitar) and Gary Baker (drums). Lætitia Sadier would later join the band on vocals on their third studio album Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today.

They mixed a sweetly melodic style, dominated by Gane’s 12-string guitar playing, with Eden’s overtly political lyrics, often satirical in tone, which reflected the band’s far left leanings.

Eden, Gane and Williamson met at Barking Abbey Comprehensive School. Gane was originally a drummer, but was initially taught to play guitar by Eden, who also taught Williamson the basics of bass. Eden and Gane were fans of punk groups such as the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Buzzcocks, and they covered their songs in small gigs as teenagers. Baker joined in 1984, and with the new line-up deciding on the name McCarthy (a tongue-in-cheek reference to American politician Joe McCarthy), they released a self-financed first single, “In Purgatory” in 1985. The band were signed by the Pink Label, releasing two further singles “Red Sleeping Beauty” and “Frans Hals”. The band had a track included on the NME C86 album (“Celestial City”).

Their debut album I Am a Wallet was released in 1987. The album was virtually ignored by UK radio programmers, except for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel. Because of Eden’s Marxist political views, the band were, to their dismay, often lumped in with other left-wing acts like Billy Bragg and The Redskins. I Am a Wallet has since been described by Nicky Wire as “the most perfect record, a Communist manifesto with tunes”, and was rated by James Dean Bradfield as his top British album of all time.

Two further singles appeared in early 1988 and were followed by a second album, The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth, which was considerably less well received.

A year later, they released a third album Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today, on which they were joined by Gane’s girlfriend Lætitia Sadier on vocals. The album suggested a new willingness to experiment musically, and was seen by critics as something of a return to form, but it in fact proved to be their swansong and they split soon afterwards. Eden felt there was no need to continue with the band, believing that their creativity peaked with that LP. The band’s final gig was at the London School of Economics in 1990.

The band twice had songs in John Peel’s Festive Fifty: “Frans Hals” in 1987 (#35), and “Should the Bible Be Banned” in 1988 (#38).

Gane and Sadier went on to form Stereolab, while Eden formed the short-lived Herzfeld.  Baker went on to a career in radiography, before going on to work for The Guardian.  Williamson went on to work for music publisher BMG and Domino Records.

http://cherryred.co.uk/

erica jong – becoming a nun

(For Jennifer Josephy)

On cold days
it is easy to be reasonable,
to button the mouth against kisses,
dust the breasts
with talcum powder
& forget
the red pulp meat
of the heart.

On those days
it beats
like a digital clock-
not a beat at all
but a steady whirring
chilly as green neon,
luminous as numerals in the dark,
cool as electricity.

& I think:
I can live without it all-
love with its blood pump,
sex with its messy hungers,
men with their peacock strutting,
their silly sexual baggage,
their wet tongues in my ear
& their words like little sugar suckers
with sour centers.

On such days
I am zipped in my body suit,
I am wearing seven league red suede boots,
I am marching over the cobblestones
as if they were the heads of men,

& I am happy
as a seven-year-old virgin
holding Daddy’s hand.

Don’t touch.
Don’t try to tempt me with your ripe persimmons.
Don’t threaten me with your volcano.
The sky is clearer when I’m not in heat,
& the poems
are colder.

broadcast and the focus group investigate witch cults of the radio age (2009)

“The entire album is an exorcism of an dead universe. Nothing can stay together here. It’s hauntology as a pasture of incidental tones and half-ripped photographs. The video footage is unable to focus. The lens’s view is eternally obstructed. The wild blurs of compounded biographies come off like a fever dream of a memory play.”  – Timothy Gabriele (12 November 2009). Broadcast and the Focus Group: Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age – PopMatters.

“i’m inspired: i cannot understand hate”: ray chikapa phiri 1947-2017

sisgwenjazz

“Songs as truthful as a dream/flow as steady as a stream/A stream of knowledge and of pain…”

Ray oldIf any words summed up the work of Raymond Chikapa Enoch Phiri, who died of lung cancer on Wednesday, aged 70, in his birthplace, Nelspruit, it was those. They come from the 1986 song he co-wrote with the Ashley Subel: Whispers in the Deep (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9QPjUkvvM) – a song that became one of the decade’s anthems of liberation, and lives still.

Phiri’s Malawi-born father, “Just Now” Phiri, was a guitarist, and that family history gives the lie to all the xenophobic myths that cringe before colonialist borders. Migrant workers just like ‘Just Now’ built the economy, and fattened capitalist profits with their sweat. But they also built South African culture and music through the sharing, swapping and inventing of ideas that took place in hostels, shebeens and backyards. The king of instruments…

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mondo grosso – ラビリンス (labyrinth) (2017)

In my daydreams I am sometimes this girl.

Starring:Hikari Mitsushima

Creative Director:Nozomu Hayashi (HAKUHODO DY MEDIA PARTNERS)
Director:Takeshi Maruyama
Producer:Yuki Miyamoto (HAKUHODO PRODUCT’S)
Director of photography:Chigi Kanbe
Assistant Director : Yuzuru Tatebe
Planner:Motoki Uno (HAKUHODO)
Hair & Make-up:Sayuri Yamashita (3rd)
Stylist:Babymix
Stylist assistant:Mana Iwanami
Choreography, Dance Inspired by Jillian Mayers

(English Subtitles by Junko Otsubo)

NEW ALBUM「何度でも新しく生まれる」
2017.6.7 Release
2017.6.6 Digital Release

http://www.mondogrosso.com/

Behind the scenes:

john o’donohue – for one who is exhausted (2008)

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
___
from ‘To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings’ (Doubleday, 2008).

Thank you, Michelle, for sending this to me.

姚莉 – 春天不見了 (c. 1940)

Yao Lee – Spring is Gone… The deterioration of the film stock here is poetry.

From Wikipedia:

Born Yáo Xiùyún (姚秀雲) and raised in Shanghai, Yao began performing on the radio in 1935 at the age of 13. When she was 14, she recorded her first single with Yan Hua (嚴華) called “New Little Cowherd” (新小放牛, Xin xiao fang niu). After being introduced by singers Zhou Xuan and Yan Hua, she was signed to Pathé Records when she was 16 in 1937, and the first record she released with the label was “Yearning for Sale” (賣相思, Mai Xiang Si).[1]

She married Huang Baoluo (黃保羅) in 1947 and ceased performing on stage to devote time to her family. Following the Communist seizure of power in China in 1949, popular music was considered ideologically suspect and Yao fled to Hong Kong in 1950 to continue her singing career there. In addition to releasing hit records, beginning in 1955 with the film 桃花江 (Peach Blossom River), she often acted as a playback singer for movie superstars. Many of the featured songs would also become popular. She stopped singing in 1967 upon the death of her brother but took an executive position with EMI Music Hong Kong in 1969. In 1970, she returned to performing and travelled to Taiwan to perform there for the first time and sought unsuccessfully to sign Teresa Teng to EMI for the Hong Kong market. She retired officially in 1975 but remained supportive of singers such as Wakin Chau.