Sorry, everyone, not to have blogged for a long time and to have neglected to let you know that I'm on (unintended) hiatus. I kept hoping I would get back to blogging at any moment, but I just have not been up to it. I will return when I feel like I can blog without it taking too much out of me. I also want to take some time to rethink/redesign/relaunch the blog just as I'd like it.
Apologies also to my Last.fm friends and group members. I'll catch up when I can, but need to continue having a total break for now. Socialising online with everyone has been really fun, but it snowballed into something I couldn't keep up with.
You may also have noticed my Youtube account is once again gone, and I won't be setting up another, as it's too much of a gamble that hours of work will be wiped out at their whim. Instead, I'm migrating to
Imeem, where many videos are allowed, since Imeem has deals with labels and pay royalties. And if a copyright holder wants to exercise their right to keep everyone from ever seeing obscure videos, as they are wont to do on Youtube, the video gets cut but I get to keep my account. Hooray! So far I've uploaded one of my faves and my most popular video on Youtube, Marianne Faithfull singing 'Hier ou demain ' in Anna:
The clip above is a fab girls-with-guitars sequence from the 1967 Greek musical comedy Oi thalassies oi hadres (Οι θαλασσιές οι χάντρες, "The Blue Beads"). A group of men have been lured to the modern club Crazy Girls, hearing rock refrains drifting into their own club, situated nearby in the Plaka, where they play traditional bazouki music. Sitting in on the rehearsal of the house band, the men appreciatively gawk at lead singer Mary, played by Zoe Laskari (Ζωή Λάσκαρη), who cuts a stunning figure in her red sweater and gorgeous knee-high red boots. Toward the end of the clip, we see the band perform to a packed, groovy dancefloor that night. Mary will soon fall for one of the bazouki players, setting up a theme of modern versus traditional values and how a traditional place handles the influence of modernity.
The entire movie can be watched here. Though it has no English subtitles, you may still find it enjoyable, as I did. It can be vaguely followed, particularly at the beginning when the American character says quite a few basic pieces of dialogue in English. The musical numbers alone, especially the gloriously choreographed fantasy sequences, are worth watching it for. 'Crazy Girl' is the only rock song, but the more traditional music is beautiful.
That said, I do hope to see a subtitled version one day, because the film has more to offer than being a light romp with optional dialogue. Greek blog Zalmoxis discusses viewing the film with a fresh perspective after reading an academic article by Michael Kokkoni which credits Oi thalassies oi hadres as representing an important turning point in Greek cinema. It was an unusually high quality production for the time, no easy feat considering the film industry faced "indifference from the state [and] heavy taxation".
Until I watched the video above and the Zoe Kouroukli clips posted in the last entry (all originally posted by balubashake), I thought Zoe Kouroukli and Zoe Laskari were the same person and was about to print Laskari's life story as Kouroukli's. You see, Laskari was also born Zoe Kouroukli, and between attempting to read poorly translated Greek and coming across sites understandably confusing the two women, I came to the wrong conclusion. The excellent Vangelis Movements site, for example, has a page on Zoe Kouroukli which states singer Kouroukli competed for Greece in Miss Universe in 1959, which was actually Laskari. Another article mentions Laskari in a blurb on Zoe & The Stormies, and with auto-translators not providing any clarity, I guessed the name was mentioned as an alias or stage name.
I'm sure if Emily Post had foreseen to write etiquette guidelines for music bloggers, having a Christmas post as one's latest entry as we begin, *gulp*, May would be considered a dreadful faux pas. Once again, I've found myself on an unintended hiatus from blogging, and I'm hoping to get back to posting regularly. For now at least, it's time for my blog to cease to be the virtual equivalent of a home strewn with tattered decorations and a sad Christmas tree wilting away months after 'twas the season.
Recently, I picked up an excellent CD compilation called Greek Beat Greats, released by Gyro Records. This is definitely not a CD to judge by its cover: the artwork alone, with a polite-looking combo hovering in the sky over a generic picture of the Acropolis, would make me fear I'm in for something supremely dodgy, akin to what I'd find in my parents' vast collection of 70s Greek "easy"-listening records. Thankfully, that's not the case. Instead, it's packed with 29 fun, melodic, upbeat tracks from the 60s Greek garage scene. Greek Beat Greats is Vol. 4 in a Gyro's Wildworld series (Vols 1, 2 and 3 featured 60s garage from around the world, Japan and Italy respectively).
The entire CD is worth getting your hands on, but I was particularly excited by a surprising find in the form of the very last track. 'Let's Shake, Baby'* by Zoe & The Stormies is an English-language cover of France Gall's 'Laisse tomber les filles'. A Greek 60s cover of 'Laisse tomber les filles' in English! Who knew?! (Just the one mention of it online is at Garage Hangover - one that, likely due to the misspelling, escaped even my prided Google super-skills at first).
Thanks to Berat for tipping me off about this fantastic Turkish cover of Marie Laforêt's 'Mon amour, mon ami'. Turkish to English online translators are useless, so I'm afraid I can't find out anything about Ms Yazar. But judging by her musical longevity and her extensive 60s filmography, she was well-loved as both a singer and an actress.
If I have this right (feel free to correct me!), the lyrics to this version are a warning to a flirtatious woman to stay away from her man. In the original, the slightly sinister melody tempers the sweetness of the sentiment ('my love, my friend, when I dream, I dream of you') with a dash of potentially worrying obsessiveness. Here, Gönül's coolly-delivered threat to the other woman works well with the music's ominous quality.
*Update* - OK, so this is why I probably shouldn't have trusted my interpretation of a couple of words in the chorus translated via an online Turkish dictionary and then have run with that. Berat has corrected me that the flirtatious woman in the song is the singer herself. So my comments above don't exactly apply, but my point about the tune suiting the theme still stands, as the sense of both detachment and warning I imagined are still present lyrically. But I'll substitute "cooly-delivered threat to the other woman" for "cooly-delivered assertion that love is not for a woman like her". Here's the translation as Berat provided it to me:
100,000 hits celebration time!
From the 1968 TV Special, The Brigitte Bardot Show. The entire hour-long show can be found on the Divine B.B. DVD, with many other rare Bardot music videos.
This is definitely a cover of 'La Madrague', right? I couldn't find a reference online to this being a cover, nor are the original songwriters credited. The lyrics are reworked and the melody is a bit different, but I think it's too close to the original to simply be a song that borrows heavily from it. Anyway, all that matters is it's very lovely and quite rare (only available on the Election soundtrack).
out of print
- February 19 2017
- February 2 2017
- December 24 2016
- December 23 2016
- November 25 2016
- November 19 2016
- November 11 2016
- October 29 2016
- October 7 2016
- September 1 2016
- August 29 2016
- July 30 2016
- July 19 2016
- July 14 2016
- Wed, Mar 01 2006
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