Category Archives: music

Bitter Tears Revisited – Johnny Cash – Peter La Farge – #cash #LaFarge #musicandpolitics

When he first discovered youtube, my elder son Emile was an avid viewer of videos about locomotive trains, and the very best of these was the ‘Riding the Rails’ documentary on the history of the railways narrated by Johnny Cash.

http://youtu.be/KNPUZixJA-s

We must have watched this 30 or more times, and this was while I was getting to know Antonino Pasquale D’Ambrosio’s book A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears – the book IS one of the greats, about the Great, Cash, and Bitter Tears, this Great album (am I overdoing it a bit?) was like a mind worm for many many years. I was glad to meet and hang in NYC bookshops and record stores with Antonino a few years back, (thanks Jen Otter) and now it turns out there is a new covers/tribute album and a documentary film about Bitter Tears coming too. This is excellent news fans. Here is part of what David Kennedy has to say about Bitter Tears and the new revisited album [must get] and the forthcoming documentary:

‘It was during this time that Johnny Cash would find his way to the New York folk scene and, in particular, to the work of songwriter Peter La Farge.  La Farge is not a household name by any means, but it is safe to say that his work is remembered largely thanks to Cash.  While the civil rights movement gained steam in 1963 and ’64, Native American issues began to emerge due to problematic government policies and land grabs that continued the United States’ historic mistreatment of Indians and thievery of their land.  Peter La Farge gave a voice to these issues with a string of protest songs that emerged in parallel with the folk movement’s wholehearted embrace of African Americans’ civil rights movement.  As Johnny Cash (along with several other celebrities) found himself increasingly aware and committed to Native American issues – with demands and circumstances quite different from those of African Americans – the idea formed for yet another concept album, this one sure to cause further tension between Cash and his label.  The seeds of Bitter Tears were sown from a unique set of circumstances, both social and personal, and the record proved to be polarizing and often forgotten among Cash’s body of work.

Heartbeat_GuitarThe social, political and musical context surrounding Bitter Tears is wonderfully captured in Antonio D’Ambrosio’s2009 book, A Heartbeat and A Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears.  D’Ambrosio devotes only a few pages to the actual recording of Bitter Tears (notably, the only time Cash and La Farge spent any significant time together) and instead traces the events and experiences that would lead Peter La Farge to write his songs and Johnny Cash to record them.

Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited was no doubt inspired by D’Ambrosio’s book (he is credited as Executive Producer on the new album), and a forthcoming documentary directed by D’Ambrosio will cover both the original Bitter Tears as well as the tribute album.  However, it was producer Joe Henry who assembled the players and produced Look Again to the Wind, which, in equal measure, is a testament to the talents of both La Farge and Cash (who contributed two originals, “Apache Tears” and “The Talking Leaves,” to Bitter Tears).  Musically, Look Again shares as much (if not more) with La Farge’s original interpretations, which in some cases were nothing more than solo acoustic performances.  As you might expect, Henry did not recruit big-name country stars for the project but rather marquee names from the world of Americana, the genre of music most indebted to Johnny Cash these days.  As Bitter Tears has its roots in the folk scene of the late ’50’s and early ’60’s, it’s only fitting that some of today’s leading lights in folk music –Gillian Welch & David Rawlings and The Milk Carton Kids – provide the musical backbone of most of the tracks here.  Norman Blake, the only living veteran of the original sessions, fittingly contributes a track (as does his wife, Nancy Blake).  Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle represent the generation who most directly inherited the torch from stars like Johnny Cash.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Rhiannon Giddens puts here signature on “The Vanishing Race” (the lone tune penned by neither La Farge nor Cash, but Johnny Horton), and Native American artist Bill Millercasts a spell on the title track (a La Farge composition that did not appear on Bitter Tears).  Kris Kristofferson tackles the indelible “Ballad of Ira Hayes,” still the standout song here (and easily the most widely recognized, as it became a staple of Cash’s live repertoire).’ (David Kennedy August 19 2014)

Johnny-Cash-Bitter-Tears

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So, if you have. Indeed, revisiting is the occasion of this very visit.a flood of stuff that you need to get into if you have not yet, and a bunch of stuff worth revisiting.

Catch up or rerun, its worth the time – you can read the whole of the Kennedy blog post here. You can get Antonino’s Heartbeat and a Guitar here, buy the original – the Great Johnny Cash – album Bitter Tears album here [a non-Amazon link, sorry Jeff], and the new Revisited album now has a whole FB thing going on here. All in tribute to the memory of Peter La Farge, in itself important.

ADF first album press release.

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Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics

A welcome boost to sales numbers last month – some booksellers are doing it right. get them here

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M.I.A.; The Partysquad – Double Bubble Trouble official music video Unc…

DIY Anti War Drones and more:

Pantomime Terror: MIA as Provocateur. Keynote address at International Centre for the Study of Culture, Giessen. 21 Nov 2013

Click on the image to get to Daily Motion to play. 55 mins. Thanks Raul Gschrey: it is on the same material as the last section of the book Pantomime Terror

Screen shot 2014-01-06 at 11.53.02Play Video

 

Pantomime Terror #music #politics

There’s a whole section on Wagner in this, and some humour. For the record… (you can order by clicking the cover to get to Zero then look for the sales tab lower right):

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Pantomime Terror: Music and Politics

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 11.22.40Click here to order: http://www.zero-books.net/books/pantomime-terror

 

talk at RMIT Melbourne

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John Hutnyk
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Pantomime Terror: MIA’s lyrical opposition to Capital, Google and the Border Patrols.

 .
Monday 16 December 2013 4:30PM (room tbc)

Within the prevailing ‘keep calm and carry on’ conditions of the UK security regime, those who find safety in repressive complicity are also necessarily disabled from criticism of the war-effect as it appears everywhere. At best this turns anti-war opposition into performance, staged protest and the lyricism of music, song, drum and video. In this talk I examine the culture-inflected, low-intensity war alongside the shooting war. The video provocations of artists like M.I.A. (Mathangi Arulpragasam) can be read as dramatising difficulties that have occupied British South Asian musicians, writers, filmmakers and commentators in the context of a domestic civil liberties crackdown that replicates detention and terror security repression elsewhere.

talk is on the same day as one by Sophie Fuggle…

Flyers with room details:

GRC Seminar John Hutnyk 161213

GRC Seminar Sophie Fuggle 161213

 

Talk in Giessen, Germany 21.11.2013 18:00-20:00

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Note: The same day as this

New Cross Review of Books – Macon on aura ‘n swagger

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Anti-Monarchy Playlist (hat-tip/crown tip Morgan)

click the screenshot to be taken to spotify

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See also these promises, duck, coutts, speeches, FTJ and Radio Fascism

Sharpies (Melbourne Sharps)

a little bit of nostalgia – what was in when I started secondary school. Holidays in Frankston (!). Suzi Quatro was compulsory listening on a portable cassette player. A connie was a kind of cropped woollen cardi. Staggers were madly wide jeans (wide from the thighs down), bought from Epsteins. The knuckles game shown here towards the end… and the elbows… the dancing… indicate a little of the undercurrent of anger… Remember Lobby Lloyd, but also Hush…

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More background = http://www.furious.com/perfect/sharpies.html

It was all downhill after this. traded in the treads (woven sandals with car-tyre soles) and Skyhooks took over, and AC/DC (originals – Bon Scott era), and then later on The Radiators through to Loaded Dice at the Sarah Sands.

Iraq AC/DC

AC/DC http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX05dWBoeUs – accessed April 7 2008

Marilyn Manson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOWmTyrz1RA – accessed April 9 2006

Doco http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=1ljXnV4Ibpk  – accessed April 7 2008

Comic stuff: http://gocomics.typepad.com/the_sandbox/2008/03/5-years-1-year.html – accessed March 27 2008

Sonic Border talk notes 2008

notes on the global sweatbox (2008 talk in Malmo)

SB1

sb2 sb3 sb4 sb5 sb6 sb117 sb118 sb119 sb1191 SB1192 sb1193 SB1195

SB1196

SB1197SB1198

SB1199

(ha! REF that if you can employers. Sadly, this never got typed up nor even given over to the mice to gnaw on)

Brazil event video from Canallondres tv

A TV report on the Brazil conference 22.5.2013 Centre for Cultural Studies Goldsmiths
A cultura brasileira no exterior vídeo do… by Sputnyk10 A cultura brasileira no exterior vídeo do seminário Panoram Brasil em Movimento organizado pela pesquisadora brasileira Rosana Martins na Goldsmiths University de Londres – Video Dailymotion.

old man Wagner, on deinem geburtstag (200th)

‘Wagner became involved in revolutionary activities against the royal family of Saxony. On Oct. 5, 1848 he was dismissed from the Dresden Hoftheater and he was imprisoned May 7-8, 1849 after taking part in an insurrection on the market square in Dresden that contained the Hotel Saxe (where Liszt stayed and performed) and the Frauenkirche.

When Wagner was able to escape Dresden, he went into exile for many years…’ From here.

Much else to say I am sure, but this is the highlight for me.

Cyndi Boste’s new album appeal

Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 15.06.37Hi John
I was wondering if you would mind if I posted a link on your page to promote my crowd funding project. www.pozible.com/project/22454
to raise funds for my new album ‘Nowadays’ Thought it was manners to ask! If you would like to purchase a pre-release copy of the album or contribute in any way, click on the link and away you go…..or just share the link……No offence taken if you would rather pass.
Hope all is well in your world.
Cheers Cyndi

‘Nowadays’ New album! by Cyndi Boste
Cyndi Boste is back! Help her record her 5th solo album ‘Nowadays’

Laal, “Gal Sun Chapna, Raj Lay Aa Apna” (Pakistan)

Laal is a revolutionary band from Pakistan.  Lyrics by Habib Jalib.  Directed by Taimur Rahman. Click on the image to hear the track/watch the video.

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Thanks Saleh for the tip.

BREAKING THE RULES talk Braga Uni of Minho Portugal 9.4.13

12th ENGLISH OPEN DAY
THE 60’S – BREAKING THE RULES
 
APRIL 9-10 2013
 
Detailed programme:
 
Organized by Joanne Paisana, Fernando Alves, Salomé Osório 
and Isabel Ermida

_____________________

Talk: Braga 9.4.2013

‘Seems like the funky days, they’re back again’ - 1960s fashion and subcontinental politics in the 21st Century? – John Hutnyk
 
This talk will consider the resurgence of an Asia-inflected 1960s aesthetic and a thoroughly modern politics in the present. To what extent does a kaleidoscopic reference in fashion and sound make room for a political activism that owes more to street protest than an updated digital-cultural exoticism. The work of Sri Lankan musician M.I.A will feature, as will Frank Zappa and the Monkeys psychedelic era masterpiece ‘Head’.

2:30 9 April 2013

Location: Braga, North of Portugal, at the Gualtar campus of the University of Minho. The building is the Institute of Arts and Humanities (Instituto de Letras e Ciências Humanas – ILCH) and the room is the ILCH Auditorium.

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