31st March 2015: Tony Light – Laat Me Gaan

Language – Dutch

Translation – Let Me Go

I love this tune! OK, yes, it bears more than a passing resemblance to ‘Needles and Pins’ by The Searchers at the beginning, but it develops into something more, which is most enjoyable (especially the piano section).  I am still coming to terms with the Dutch language in song form. It is quite harsh, but I think I am getting used to it!  In this song, especially, I think the vocals combine well with the scratchy guitar. I think languages are so exciting, how they have ended up like they are after years of being altered and changed and improved by people, and how they are constantly changing. It is like puzzle solving sometimes, and when words in different languages are similar, well, I find that so interesting. But I’m a nerd, not a linguist. What do I know, lol? Enjoy the tune!

30th March 2015: Eolika – Jāprot

Language – Latvian

Translation – Be able to (Thank you, Google Translate, but I’m not sure that’s right, lol)

So, this is what was happening in Latvia in 1970, the year of my birth.  Nice keys, brought to us by Raimonds Pauls, who seems to have been a pretty busy chap in the Latvian pop world in those days. Also featuring the wonderfully named Nora Bumbiere on vocals.  Decidedly groovy! Not so groovy, is that it looks like 1970 was the year that the band ended (only temporarily though) as they all had to go and serve in the Soviet Army…they did carry on with Eolika after they returned in 1972, and seem to have had a career entertaining people in the Baltic states (on and off) ever since.

29th March 2015: Ennio Morricone – Deep Down (Italian Version)

Language – Italian

A song that recurs in quite clearly the grooviest film ever made (the fabulously psychedelic Mario Bava directed film ‘Danger: Diabolik‘), by the most amazing musical composer Italy ever produced.  I can’t see the point in telling you how wonderful Ennio Morricone is.  Either you already know, or if you don’t already know then you need to go and listen, really listen, and just be thankful that Mr. Morricone was driven to make music, because it is music that cannot be beaten.

http://www.enniomorricone.org/   @MEnnioMorricone

28th March 2015: Ελπιδα – Στην ντισκοτεκ (Elpida – Sti diskotek)

Language – Greek

Translation – In discos (the artist name translates as ‘Hope’, who is Ελπίδα Καραγιαννοπούλου (Hope Karagiannopoulou), a popular Greek singer in the 70s, 80s and 90s)

It’s Saturday.  I like to have a little dance on a Saturday, you know, to celebrate the weekend.  I wanted to share this track, as it’s most danceable, but also has those lovely mournful vocals that make Greek pop so fabulous.

I was watching the accompanying video, which seems to have footage from a film, wondering why I have never been to a foam party.  Maybe if they played Greek disco at those sort of gatherings I might be more interested…

27th March 2015: Isjunk Sviesa – Pinigai

Language – Lithuanian

Translation – Money (the band name translates as ‘Turn Off The Light’)

Due to England playing Lithuania in the football tonight, I thought I would check out some of the musical output of this ex-Soviet state.  Interesting…

I like this video though, due to the distinctly feminist ending.  And I shall continue my Lithuanian music search with gusto!  It’s a new musical world in Lithuania, after years under Soviet rule and one national record company.  If anyone wants to pay me to go and investigate, let me know!

26th March 2015: Gens – In fondo al viale

Language – Italian

Translation – Down The Avenue (possibly Down The Lane…)

Back to 1968 in Italy tonight, with this rather playful pop tune from Gens.  Lovely piano underlying the glorious multi-layered vocal harmonies.  I love this!  I believe I have a great deal more exploration to do in the area of 1960s Italian pop…

http://www.igens.net/

PS – Yesterday, I didn’t mention the fact that Zayn has left One Direction.  Good luck to the poor fella, is my immediate thought, and best wishes for life in his (fingers crossed) post-Cowell world.  Obviously, if Louis ever leaves, I just don’t know what I’d do…

25th March 2015: Edip Akbayram – Mehmet Emmi (1976 ilk Version)

Language – Turkish

Translation – Uncle Mehmet

I love Turkish rock music from the 1970s.  I especially love Turkish rock that has phased instruments, or whatever the heck they have done to that guitar to create that super noise about 3 minutes in!  It reminds me of the magnificence of R.D. Burman at the height of his pomp…but, I digress.  This song has a super, relentless, plodding beat, and the joy is that you can sing along without knowing any Turkish.  I went to Istanbul once, and nearly made a bar man die with laughter at my absolute insistence in asking for two beers in probably the worst Turkish he had ever heard.  Well, you have to try, don’t you?

Not speaking Turkish very well, if anyone can tell me anything else about this track I would love to know as I am struggling a little with the research v. language barrier…

@edipakbyrm

UPDATE: I found a translation of the lyrics.  Seems Uncle Mehmet wasn’t a good bloke…

Uncle Mehmet

Is a couple of oxes enough?
Aha Uncle Mehmet
Is this a good way to live?
More, Uncle Mehmet

Kids won’t sleep
Aha Uncle Mehmet
Hungry people can’t sleep
More, Uncle Mehmet

This field is a drought field
Aha Uncle Mehmet
Push more, more
More, Uncle Mehmet

Ten children eat barley
Aha Uncle Mehmet
Authorities don’t know about this
More, Uncle Mehmet

Uncle Mehmet is shameful
Aha Uncle Mehmet
I swear it’s not a lie
More, Uncle Mehmet

Let’s go to the court
Aha Uncle Mehmet
Sad Sherrif has come
More, Uncle Mehmet

Taken from http://lyricstranslate.com/en/mehmet-emmi-uncle-mehmet.html#ixzz3VQbEEjKy

24th March 2015: Madeleine Chartrand – J’ai Du Bon Tabac

Language – French

Translation – I have good Tobacco

That’s a strange title for a children’s song!  Oh well, I guess kids have always smoked…but hey, what a rockin’ version by French-Canadian singer and actor Madeleine Chartrand!  The video is pretty cool too, coming from the film “Où Êtes-vous Donc?” (Where Are You Then?) – you can read about that here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284376/.

Madeleine Chartrand seems to have had a penchant for reworking kids / folk tunes in a gloriously psychedelic way.  A video of ‘Ani Kuni’, the song of hers you may be more familiar with, is below (many thanks to @musicography who kindly introduced me to this track). There is an interesting blog that has a translation of this beautiful Native American song here: http://hiptran.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/ani-kuni-everywhere.html

23rd March 2015: Charlotte Gainsbourg – Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes

Today’s track is Le Chat Du Café Des Artistes, from the excellent Charlotte Gainsbourg album IRM.  This was made after she had surgery for a brain haemorrhage and the recurring musical theme is her remembrances of the repetitive sound of an MRI scanner (IRM in French), obviously something that had a very intense meaning for her. This track was written by Jean-Pierre Ferland and Michel Robidoux.

In July 2010 I was lucky enough to see Charlotte Gainsbourg perform in Carcassonne. I was on my hols, and saw Ms. Gainsbourg one evening, and saw the stunning fireworks display over the castle for Bastille Day the next evening. Pretty cool. It has come to mind as I listen to her album, IRM, while stuck on a bus in appalling traffic in Digbeth. I find that thinking happy thoughts in situations like this really helps. No, really! OK, I just want to be home now. And breathe…so, hey, this album is totally amazing, brilliantly inventive and I listen to it often and am still hearing new instruments and little motifs. Beck’s hand is all over this, his clever production ideas combining with the fragility of Charlotte’s voice to create…well, a kind of heaven.

This bus I am on is moving now, and I feel hopeful that I may be home before midnight. I’m just going to listen to this glorious album on repeat until then…

In fact, you can have two tracks today. What the hell, I’m in a good mood, despite the bus shenanigans. Most of this album is sung in English, but this second track is half English and half French and is probably my favourite (it has hints of ‘The Hoarder Next Door’, which I can relate to…). Today, anyway. I am kind of breaking my own rules adding this, what with it having some English vocals, but at this point in time and with the state of this traffic I really and truly don’t care! Note to self: start riding my bike again…

http://www.charlottegainsbourg.com/
@cgainsbourg / @beck

22nd March 2015: Τέτος Δημητριάδης – Μισιρλού (Tetos Dimitriades – Misirlou)

Language – Greek

Translation – Egyptian girl

Anyone with an interest in film music will know the kick-ass Dick Dale version of this song from Pulp Fiction, expertly chosen by Quentin Tarantino.  I knew it was a song with a much older heritage, but I didn’t realise it was originally a Greek rebetiko / rembetiko tune.  Well, that is the generally accepted view, but arguably it has possible Turkish / Arabic connections. Which could make sense, especially knowing what the title ‘Misirlou’ means.  Anyway, wherever it originally comes from, this version is recognised as the earliest known recording of the song, and was recorded in New York in 1927 (!).  It is mesmerising, and truly beautiful.