Tuesday, July 26, 2005

return to proven education values

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
"The Catholic Education Office is investigating claims a group of Wollongong primary school children were told to tape their mouths shut during a musical rehearsal.
The 11-year-olds, from St Francis Xavier's Catholic Primary School, were rehearsing for regional heats of the Wakakirri performing arts festival yesterday when their noisiness allegedly got out of hand, Wollongong Police Chief Inspector Mark Lavers said.
"Basically yesterday a number of children were inside a hall practising for a concert, they were making a lot of noise, [someone] at the school got upset about that, asked them to quieten down, they didn't. As a result he's cut up a number of strips of masking tape and said 'stick them on your mouth'," Chief Inspector Lavers said.

Meanwhile, Mr Whitby said, rehearsals would continue and Friday's performance would go ahead as planned."

As readers will be aware I have a
network of schools all over Australia, and worldwide, named after me and administered by my various holding companies. I wish to ensure investors that the brand continues to go from strength to strength and should increase in value after we re-introduce washing children's mouths out with Solvol late next month.

Monday, July 18, 2005

a quick whip around the blogs

Possibly emboldened by getting hold of some family heirlooms on e-bay it looks like Gummo has returned to rantwittering. Grab his unique and wholesome fare before he nicks off again.

I was going to mention
Andrew Ford's new series Music and Fashion on RN but Nic Gruen on Troppo has beaten me to it.

Don't forget
Ford's Music Show on Saturday mornings and his recent book on Van Morrison, Speaking In Tongues which focuses on the artist and the music, not the gossip or the personality. The book even manages to open up this old Van tragic to some new angles and thoughts on the Van canon.

I'm looking forward to the next installment on
Australian Plastic, a site by More Australian Ramblings that promises ".... to review and rate every Single or EP that made it to the top position on the Australian Charts since their inception in 1956. In addition, I will review any song that was the highest selling single in it's year of release if it didn't make it to number one on the weekly chart."

Currency Lad has written an enticing introduction to seminal guitarist Davy Graham who pioneered the DADGAD tuning.

Gary Sauer-Thompson over at
Junk For Code continues his Grateful Dead series with a bit on authenticity and some pictures of their light show, amongst other things, and a bit on Pete Townsend's Lifehouse.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

french kiss pattie smith

Horses: a post-Beat poet "dancing around to the simple rock & roll song."

US punk rock star Patti Smith has received one of France's top cultural honours in recognition of her influence on rock music.

Smith, 58, was presented with the Commander of the
Order of the Arts and Letters by Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.

Her appreciation of 19th Century French poet
Arthur Rimbaud was also noted in the citation.

Smith said she accepted the award "from the most spiritual side of me". She was given the award at an Aids benefit concert in Paris on Sunday.

"I have vowed to live up to this honour in my work and my conduct," she said. "I can't explain what I feel like. It has uplifted me, and I will work very hard to earn it."

The French ministry of culture called her "one of the most influential artists in women's rock 'n' roll". Smith said she is planning a new album of covers from artists including Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Edith Piaf.

The singer was one of the most acclaimed performers on the New York rock scene, and was friends with artist Andy Warhol, beat poet Allen Ginsberg and author William Burroughs.

Smith's debut 1975 album, Horses, was seen as a seminal release and is still regarded by many as one of the most influential rock albums. Her 1978 Easter album included her biggest commercial hit, Because the Night, which she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen.


Saturday, July 02, 2005

luther van dross dead

b. Luther Ronzoni Vandross, 20th April 1951, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 1st July 2005, JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Although this artist is considered by some soul purists to be too mainstream, Luther Vandross had one of the finest voices in soul music. Luther was born into a family with deep gospel roots and constructed his own group whilst still at school. He also worked with the musical theatre workshop 'Listen My Brother' and also performed at Harlem's Apollo Theatre. In the mid seventies, Luther was invited to join David Bowie's entourage for his 'Young American's' album project. The collaboration became so, mutually, successful when Bowie's U.S. tour was underway, Luther was the opening act.

Following on from this success he sang alongside Chaka Khan, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer. This let to the Cotillion label taking the singer on and he recorded a debut album with a band he formed, simply called Luther.

The albums 'Luther' and 'This Close To You' are today considered highly by todays soul purists, with the latter reaching high prices.
Luther then reverted to session recording. He contributed to many recording sessions ranging from the likes of Quincy Jones, Patti Austin, Gwen Guthrie, Chic and Sister Sledge.There was the opportunity on the table for a deal with Quincy, however, that never transpired.Luther was reported to have been devastated. He continued, however, to subsidize his recordings, at the time, by producing music for various network television advertisements, including Coca Cola.

One of Luthers most successful session recordings came with the group Change on the 1980 album 'Glow Of Love' earning the band two UK Top 20 hits in 'The Glow Of Love' and 'Searchin'. Luther then began performing as a solo artist with Epic / CBS Records.
'Never Too Much' earned him an R & B number 1. The subsequent album reached number 20 in the U.S. R & B charts.
'Never Too Much' then made the the UK Top 20 at a lter date. His follow up releases included duets with Cheryl Lynn ('If This World Was Mine') and Dionne Warwick ('How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye'). Luther followed up with two further R & B number 1 hits with 'Stop To Love' (1986) and a duet with Gregory Hines, 'There's Nothing Better Than Love' (1987). He has won countless awards and his reputation as a producer has been enhanced by his work with Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. If, at any time, you are looking around your local record store, keep an eye out for an album entitled 'See You In L.A.' by the group Mascara. The front cover depicts two models one of whom is the late Paula Yates. Luther's vocal talents are to be found on his cover of The Tymes track 'It's Cool'. An undiscovered gem. An album 'Luther Vandross' was released in 2001 after a label move to J Records. The set was the biggest selling of all of Luthers albums and was seen as a real return to form. Vandross lost 9 stones in weight prior to the albums release!

In 2003, he completed an album entitled 'Dance With My Father' for the same label when disaster struck and Luther had a stroke.
There were reports of him never singing and even of his death.

Luther developed pneumonia and underwent a trachioctomy, at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, an operation which doctors reported would not affect his vocal chords.

Unfortunately, Luther Vandross died 1st July 2005 at the JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A. He was 54.