While most garage bands are out making thrash music about alienation, hairstyles, drugs, vampires and a lack of sex, The French garage produces, The Limiñanas who are making cool, chic, perfect pop, that sounds like a cross between Francoise Hardy, The Velvet Underground and Nico via Serge Gainsbourg. The band consists of Lionel and Marie Limiñana, with guest vocalists, Mu and Nadege, and here is The Limiñanas’ fabulous first promo Je ne suis pas très drogue, from their self-titled debut album, which can be found at Trouble in Mind Records.
Musical tastes are important when it comes to relationships, something I realized the night Alex Harvey died, in 1982. The radio was playing a loop of tracks in memory of the great man, when my then girlfriend asked why I liked The Sensational Alex Harvey Band? I explained, and she replied, ‘But he looked so dirty, like a bad workman that would come to your house and drink Dad’s booze and fuck Mom.’ She had a point, and some imagination, but that was the moment I knew we wouldn’t last.
If you lived in Glasgow in the 1970s, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were bigger than Jesus. Well, Alex was at least, for he was one of the city’s three religions - the other two being soccer and alcohol. While soccer could disappoint, and drink left you hungover, SAHB never let you down.
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band were one of the craziest, most honest, most creative and most courageous bands of their time, and also the most public and best-known phase of the career of Alex Harvey, the man who won a Tommy Steele rock-alike contest in Glasgow in the mid-fifties and thereafter dubbed himself The Last Of The Teenage Idols.
Alex Harvey was a genuine working-class hero, born in Plantation, the harbor district of Glasgow in 1935, he grew up with a love of Billie Holliday, Big Bill Broozny, Charlie Parker, Elvis Presley and Little Richard. In 1959, he formed his first band, Alex Harvey’s Soul Band, which established his great, cigarette and alcohol voice that didn’t mimic American inflection, but delivered songs in his native Glaswegian. The band toured the U.K. and Europe, and for one gig had the embryonic Beatles as support.
But Harvey was more than just a Blues singer and he moved on to performing in the musical Hair, which inspired the theatrical style he used with his most successful group, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
SAHB were unique as they mixed genres and styles - Weimar cabaret, film, Blues, rock and torch song, with which, as Murray writes, “they achieved their impact simply because Alex Harvey had the insight to locate the central core of the song and the passion to get him to that core.”
What showed most about Alex Harvey the performer was his very real devotion to his audiences. He would go to any length to enlighten and to entertain, and - as his notion of theatrical presentation developed from a few simple costume changes and bits of business to complex arrangements of props and gadgets - his work was never bombastic and never attempted to substitute extravagance for genuine communication. Time after time, he would exhort his audiences to avoid both private and institutionalized violence - “don’t make any bullets, don’t buy any bullets and don’t shoot any fucken bullets” - and to behave responsibly towards each other and their environment - “don’t pish in the water supply.”
During the period of Alex’s greatest popularity, he did not just provide an escape from everyday existence through dem ol’ rock and roll fantasies, but he depicted and celebrated that existence and the process of that escape, and the relationship of one to the other.
Vambo still rules.
Bonus clips of SAHB plus an interview with Alex Harvey after the jump…
Dispatches, Channel 4’s flagship current affairs strand, exposes the full and unreported horror of the Iraqi conflict and its aftermath, revealing the true scale of civilian casualties and allegations that even after the scandal of Abu Ghraib, American soldiers continued to abuse prisoners; and that US forces did not systematically intervene in the torture and murder of detainees by the Iraqi security services. The programme also features previously unreported material of insurgents being killed while trying to surrender.
While hippies enjoyed “three days of peace and love” in Woodstock, another equally important music festival was staged in Harlem. What’s become known as Black Woodstock was a series of concerts, held at 3pm on Sundays, at Mount Morris Park, between 29 June and the 24 August, 1969. The Festival was headlined by B.B. King, The Staples Singers, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone and attended by over 100,000 concert-goers.
The concerts came soon after the Watts Riots, and the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. At the time, the local NAACP chairman likened Harlem at the time to the vigilante Old West. The NYPD refused to provide security for the Festival, which was provided instead by the Black Panthers, some of whom had been indicted of a bombing campaign across Manhattan.
Black Woodstock was a mix of religious gathering, rock concert and civil rights rally, as the black community was encouraged to take power into its own hands, most notably when Reverend Roebuck Staples, of the Staple Singers, injected a sermon into his performance:
“You’d go for a job and you wouldn’t get it. And you know the reason why. But now you’ve got an education. We can demand what we want. Isn’t that right? So go to school, children, and learn all you can. And who knows? There’s been a change and you may be President of the United States one day.”
The Harlem Festival was filmed by television producer, Hal Tulchin, who hoped to sell the footage to the networks. None of the networks were interested, which says much about the politics of the time, and the fifty hours of filmed material has since been kept under lock and key. The odd snippet has been sneaked on to You Tube, and Nina Simone licensed film of her performance for a DVD release, but why the whole concert has never been released or even shown on TV is a damning indictment on America’s media. As Alan McGee asked last year
Why is Black Woodstock still sitting in the vaults? For me, this is not just a concert, but a valid historical document capturing the height of the black power movement, positivism and the tension within their community. I remember a poignant Simone quote from 1997 when asked why she left the US: “I left because I didn’t feel that black people were going to get their due, and I still don’t.” It’s hard to disagree with her when a cultural event as significant as Black Woodstock has been gathering dust in a vault for over forty years.
Comrade Vladimir Putin has proven himself to be more than just Ruler of All Russia (surely Prime Minster? - Ed.) - a dab hand at judo, a master of swimming, an ace shot, a singer, and excellent at going topless in public. It is, therefore, no surprise that some wag (surely Right Wing Capitalist Lackey? - Ed.) has a comic strip, poking fun at VP and his idiosyncratic ways. The strip comes at an interesting time, as Putin, who has had the highest approval rating of any world leader, may stand for re-election as President in Russia’s 2012 elections.
Want your foreskin back? Check out RestoringForeskin.org, a social networking site for men who wish to participate in a community devoted to foreskin restoration.
There are different methods of restoring your foreskin. One method is tugging. You can tug manually or you can use tape or a strap.
Tugging is not dangerous. But, tuggers can often be their own worst enemy. I have heard of guys hurting themselves. Usually, if there is an injury it is either because the person is tugging too hard (too much tension or tugging for too many hours at a time) or fell asleep while tugging and either slept through the pain or had a nocturnal erection. Fortunately, most injuries are only skin tears that will heal in a short time. But, there is no reason to ever injure yourself. Just tug in moderation and avoid sleeping while tugging until you have the experience to do it properly, if you do it at all. If you tug properly and have normal skin, you will not get stretch marks! My first concern when I started was that I would get stretch marks. Never happened. In fact, it rarely happens to anyone. Stretch marks occur when there is too much tension for a long period of time. If you are tugging that hard, you will see other signs before you get to the point of having stretch marks. If you see your skin getting red, raw, or you are getting sore or feeling pain, STOP! You are tugging too hard.
Here’s a clip on tugging from three tugging experts, James Haughey, Roland Clark and Ron Low.
Since guitarist/vocalist Nick Zammuto and cellist Paul de Jong came together to make music in New York City as The Books in 1999, they’ve put together four albums worth of some of the most unique and emotive music you’ll ever hear.
These two work in the poetic collage/sample music realm inhabited by artists like People Like Us and Negativland. But they distinguish themselves via their live instrumentation and Zammuto’s vocals, which often follow and repeat the various voices sampled from advertising, self-help media and other sources, transforming them into modern-day chants.
Zammuto’s also a pro at accompanying The Books’ music with amazing video collage, like this one that he put together for “I Didn’t Know That” from their latest album, The Way Out.