“La Bomba In Testa”


“LA BOMBA IN TESTA” (ITALY)

“And I was counting the edges around the stamp,
I was saying Thank You God, Merry Christmas,
I was feeling normal,
And yet the years in my life at age 30,
Were longer than theirs,
But it doesn’t matter now, I resume working.

They were imagining penance,
To the ungrateful who supported French welfare,
And not one had the thought,
To publicly ostracize them,
One May, to Italy.

And my old face worn with wisdom,
Repeated “Do not do harm to anyone”
And I feel unusual,
And I am surprised,
To compare myself with them,
and now it is late, now I go back to work.

They risked their life because of one man,
They had a purpose,
Ready to endure the pain,
And the purpose was not martyrdom,
But to revolt.

Who knows what controls,
The desire in your own temptations,
What averts intrusion,
Of our hearts,
Gradually turning away from everyone,
And before complete solitude,
With the fear of being unemployed.

Risk my life for freedom on the streets,
Forget the path leading home,
I shall, as my duty,
To be in solidarity,
Without pretending to be innocent.

I try to repeat myself to them,
And when they began to understand,
I began to be left behind,
Because their cause was more accurate,
I don’t know the game’s rules,
I don’t trust myself so fearlessly.

Now there is no time for comrades,
Because the fuse only needs one person,
To light the flame,
Which represents,
Stagnant results, stagnant inaccuracy.

And the explosive breaks, cuts, rummage
Through the hosts of a masquerade ball,
That I invited myself to,
To dust for finger prints of who is to blame,
Behind each eloquent masque,
And to be merciless for the first time, with no shame.”

FABRIZIO DE ANDRE
The radical songwriter-poet has roots in Liguria, a narrow slice of land in Northern Italy, east of France, where he was born into a family of middle-class status and raised with anti-fascist sentiment in 1940. Growing up without a sugarcoated view of life, de Andre was inspired by the words of Bob Dylan, American folk singer, and George Brassens, the famous French singer/songwriter, who also wrote lyrics that were controversial to few, but realistic to most, including Fabrizio de Andre. By the 1960’s, he released one blasphemous album followed by another concept album based on Edmar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology exposing hypocrisy in all facets of society. In 1979, de Andre resided in the island of Sardinia, to the west of Italy, and was kidnapped and taken for a ransom that was never paid upon his release of detachment of society from the Supramonte mountains. In fact, at the trial of those who held him hostage, it was noted that he said, “They were the real prisoners, not I.” This experience led him to compose his Sardinian inspired album in 1981, and three years later, one of his most acclaimed albums in his native tongue, Genoese. This dialect is derived from the central region of Liguria, Genoa, where he was born. He was a master of linking people together worldwide and his music is the proof, whether it was the revolutionary atmosphere in the ’60’s or keeping indigenous languages alive.He was diagnosed with cancer and died in 1999.


NURAGIC CIVILIZATION
Dating back to the Bronze Age, the island of Sardinia can trace its history to ancient civilization which highly influenced Sardinian culture. The juniper coated island has preserved most of its pure history and signs of the Nuraghe villages are vitalized. There are cuiles or huts that resemble heaps, made by wood or stone that housed the generations of indigenous people. Interestingly enough, the Sardinian word for heap is nurra, which has been connected to the named civilization, iconically known for the cuiles. Even the Sardinian language dates back to ancient Latin and can be found to be very similar, though the Romans provided the native tongue around 240B.C. By the 1700’s, Italian became the primarily spoken language and Sardinian was demeaned, but today there are still over one million speakers of the historic language. Nuragic villages were also known for their water collection systems during 1500B.C. where in the city of Tiscali, cave walls were strained for the moisture. The Supramonte mountains also lie in this enchantment of an island and it is no wonder that the poet of Sardinia, Sebastiano Satta, constantly wrote of the Monte Corrasi, the highest peak in the range at 1463m. Satta was a 19th century poet inspired by Italy’s Giosue Alessandro Michele Carducci. He was the first Italian to be awared a Nobel Prize in Literature as the country’s radical anti-clerical poet from the 1800’s.’

By Neda Shahram

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Rehearsing with Nanai

Hello bloggers,

I want to share with you all my experience of rehearsing and performing with Nanai. Like I said in an earlier post, Nanai is not just another band. You can notice this just by listening to their songs and watching some of their videos online. They are a group of musicians with a mission of sending a message throughout their music. They have managed to incorporate serious lyrics into entertaining rhythms that makes even the worse dancers jump into the dance floor. Rehearsing with them was a really good experience. Since I walked in to the rehearsal room they welcomed me with a smile in their faces and a really good energy. As soon as everybody was ready to play we all started jamming for a few minutes. In this jam they came up with a few ideas that they decided to record so that later on they could develop them into new songs. After jamming for a good twenty minutes we then started working on the set list for the show. One of the things that I liked the most about the rehearsal is the way they were open to new ideas from all the members, even me.  After practicing the songs that I was playing on, we jammed a little more and came up with some more ideas for new songs. In the second half of the rehearsal they ran the set list twice. After rehearsal was over they decided to go for beers and bocatas.   In my opinion, the energy and vibe they transmit to the listener has a lot to do with the good relationship the musicians have. I am sure that if they keep working as hard as they are right now success is the only thing that awaits them. Que viva Nanai!

South by Southwest 2012 Conference

Hello all,

For those who are still remembering the awesome experiences we had at MIDEM and think that you have to come to Europe every year for a conference like this..Think Again! I’m not an expert or anything on this event. But for anyone who didn’t know, there is a MIDEM-esque conference called “South by Southwest (SXSW)” held in Austin, Texas every year. Apparently, it doesn’t just surround the future of the music industry. But you discuss information on film, education, economy, etc. The music portion of the conference is happening now (March 13-March 18)

Again..I’m no expert on this. Just found out about it not too long ago. If any of you guys have anymore information on SXSW, feel free to share!!

MIDEM 2012

This year I had the opportunity to attend to “MIDEM” the world’s biggest music business trade fair that takes place every year in Cannes, France. This might sound a little dramatic to you all but I am not lying when I say that attending to MIDEM changed my life. It is unbelievable the amount of information that you can get and the people you can meet in just a few days. Since it was my first time attending to a music business trade fair at first I was completely lost. It took me around a day to get used to the way things were been run and to start meeting with people that work in the different fields that I am more interested about in the industry. Just by walking around the different booths you could see how important are the different types of intermediaries in an artist’s career. Publishers, Managers, Attorneys and Web Designers just to name of few were the different booths you could find there.  There were two different sessions that I found really productive: meet the lawyers and meet the managers. In these two sessions I got to talk one to one with people that are actually doing what I would like to do after graduating. The amount of advice and information about the industry that I got out of those one to one meetings is just unexplainable. I definitely plan to go to MIDEM in the next few years and eventually have my own booth and represent my country there.

Where Have All The Managers Gone???

Hello students, faculty, and all other who are LOVIN’ reading this blog!

As time has progressed in my educational career, I have learned, read, and experienced many things involving the music industry and the music intermediaries who make it all turn round.

We all know and accept that social media, and technology have taken over, and many jobs have been stated unnecessary, while new jobs have been created. People say that labels are dying, and “Do It Yourself” is the only way. BUT, when does the “do it yourself” mentality become noise? When will the only music intermediary be the Internet? I would not say we are close to getting rid of manager or agents, or lawyers, but after an article I discovered on Hypebot.com, I have found that we may be closer than we think.

The article is titled “Artist Growth Launches Musician Career Management Platform With Mobile Tool” by Hisham Dahud

Check it out on Hypebot here….

http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/01/musician-career-management-platform-artist-growth-launches-with-mobile-tools.html

The article talks about a cloud based platform that basically acts as your own manager.

“At its core, Artist Growth is a software platform that provides artists with streamlined career management tools that track daily business activities and coordinate projects,all in one place. The aim is to help artists better manage their own careers by monitoring revenue goals, expenses, and keeps track of the overall data their music trends. Essentially, the goal with AG is to empower the artist with tools to remain as independent, organized, and economically responsible as possible.”

This $4.99 a month application could end up saving artists thousands of dollars that they would normally pay to a manager. Applications like these are making it easier and easier for musicians to do their own work. Artists can record studio-quality records in their bedroom, book their own shows, and now have a computer manage their entire workload. I have heard from many industry professionals that they believe technology is the brightest point in the industry today, but it could be the downfall of some seriously substantial occupations.

Only time will tell, but for now, everybody needs to be thinking about what is next to come, and be prepared for change.

If you want to be in the Industry, now more than ever, you have got to be a Renaissance Man.

Meeting the band

Nanai

As part of one of the assignments for the music intermediaries’ class I’m working in a group project with the band Nanai. Our mission is to help them promote their upcoming show in March 17 and further their career goals. After researching on the web and listening to some of their music we finally set up a meeting with the main vocalist of the group and the percussionist, Pilar and Luisjo. In this meeting we got a better sense of what is Nanai all about. Nanai is not just another band. They are trying to transmit a message throughout their music. They have had the opportunity to perform in different festivals throughout Europe and at the moment they are planning the recording of their first album. In that meeting we exchanged ideas on how to promote their upcoming show and how to create a budget to afford the recording process. The last few years the band have worked restlessly in order to build a strong fan base around the Valencia area and their effort has finally started to give fruits. Pilar and Luisjo expressed their desire to become known and respected worldwide. In that meeting we were able to set a list of goals that we want to accomplish before the semester is over. This goal list includes things such as: translate biography, promote the show, work in online presence and crow funding website to name a few. So far we have been able to translate the bio, update their FB and Twitter account and help promote the upcoming show in different ways. I think I speak for the whole group when I say that we are really excited to be working with such a talented band and we are looking forward to the upcoming show.

 

P.S. Luisjo and Pilar asked me to play Baritone Sax in the show!!!! I am really looking forward to it! See you all there!!!!!!!

 

“General Suleiman”

“GENERAL SULEIMAN” – Zeid & The Wings (LEBANON)

“Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Salam Salam Salam Aleik
General Suleiman

U re a Miracle Man
For peace in our nation
General Suleiman
U re a miracle man
General Suleiman
U re a miracle man

Put your weapons down
Put your weapons down
Now it s time
To leave your warlords behind
Everything is fine , and they ll be no more crime
Let the country shine with general Suleiman

General Suleiman
U re a miracle man
General Suleiman
U re a miracle man
Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Salam Salam Salam Aleik
General Suleiman

U re a Miracle Man
For peace in our nation

All the militia man GO HOME
Corrupted politician GO HOME
To Weapon dealer say GO HOME
To trouble maker say GO HOME
Foreign intelligence GO HOME
Neighbour influence GO HOME
All the militia man GO HOME
Corrupted politician GO HOME
To Weapon dealer say GO HOME
To trouble maker say GO HOME
Foreign intelligence GO HOME
Neighbour influence GO HOME

Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Gene Gene General
General Suleiman
Salam Salam Salam Aleik
General Suleiman

U re a Miracle Man
For peace in our nation
General Suleiman
U re a miracle man
General Suleiman
U re a miracle man
Gene gene general , GO HOME !”

ZEID & THE WINGS

Seven years after the Lebanese Civil War, there was an underground music scene bubbling in Beirut. Of the many indie fusion bands was SoapKills-a duo started by poignant producer Zeid Hamdan-beginning the alternative genre generation with boldness, youth, and diversity. Twenty years after the Civil War, the first band was dissolved and Hamdan’s new group, Zeid & The Wings took off–notoriously recognized for the song that had the leader of their band imprisoned in 2011 for slandering the former President and army officer of Lebanon, Michel Suleiman. Several months before Hamdan’s arrest, Zeid & The Wings went on a concept tour, the “Beirut Love Attack” in Italy to focus on spreading the art of their land to Milan, Rome and Turin during times of political turmoil in both countries. Suffice it to say Italian government was going through the pornography scandal with Berlusconi and coincidentally, the Lebanese government fell the first day of their tour. One year later, the group is continuing to disrupt society’s mainstream from the current beneath. Hamdan’s latest initiative will be performing at the “I AM FREE” event against censorship in Hamra, Lebanon with many of the country’s directors, musicians, actors, journalists, lawyers, and other industry professionals.

ASSASSINATING MR. HARIRI 

In 2005, Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated. To this day, over 200 investigators from over 20 countries are inhaling and exhaling the case at the Monteverde hotel in Beirut. His death is said to have left a hole in Lebanese politics as well as physically creating a 30 foot crater and injuring hundred of innocent civilians from a bomb that weighed over 2,000 pounds and was carried in a stolen truck from Japan. Similar to Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” the situation can be equated to the book written by Nicholas Blanford, “Killing Mr. Lebanon,” the son of a poor orange farmer. Mr. Hariri was also a symbol of the stability in postwar Lebanon. A lot of the issues surrounding his murder appeal to the destruction of a stable country, for example, the detonation also caused the temporary closing of the InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel- which was built after the civil war and stood strong until the day the prime minister died, the music survived, and the suspects of the case have still, to this day, not been revived.

By Neda Shahram

Gaga’s Intermediaries

I recently had the chance to read the case study of Lady Gaga, by Anita Elberse and Michael Christensen, published by the Harvard Business School. When it might be surprising for many at a first glance that there are high-level academic studies about a music celebrity in places like Harvard University, it may not be difficult to understand them when they are focused in the figure of Lady Gaga, whose abrupt jump into world fame in recent years represents an exceptional phenomenon far beyond the music industry and culture. The study of her case now even has a full course in the University of South Carolina devoted to it, the course SOCY398D, or LADY GAGA AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAME.

When reading the Harvard’s case study it was inevitable to think about the huge role that the so-called “music intermediaries” played in the development and rise of the figure of Lady Gaga. From her manager to her record label, agent, promoters, attorneys, accountants and even her outfit designers… it is thanks to the effort of all this people (together with the talent and devotion of Gaga herself) that Lady Gaga became the world superstar that is today and that all of us know about, besides our opinions about her or whether we like her or not.

A very surprising fact that the case study also talks about is related with the revenues of her concert tours. In the first stages of her 2009 Fame Ball Tour, Gaga’s first theater-sized venues tour around the United States, despite all the success that she had already achieved with her music and even with the ticket sales of the shows, despite all the hard work devoted in putting the concerts together, the tour was loosing money. The enormous expenses in the production of the show, the maintenance of an enormous staff team, as well as many other factors, were taking the new pop superstar in the way to bankrupt. It was again the job of Lady Gaga’s team to make the right decisions to revert this tendency and point Gaga’s career (and income!) to the stars. A partnership with the multinational promoter Live Nation, among other wise decisions, made that the second part of the tour (an arena tour around the world between February 2010 and March 2011) generated a total gross income of $195,000,000 US Dollars, which again should bring our attention to the enormous importance of having a great team working together in the common goal of success.

“Culpa Mia”

“CULPA MÍA” – Buika (SPAIN)

“There is no sun
Illuminating the sky
Only stars
In the heaven above
While it is night
And the day comes
Nothing illuminates
This pain of mine

This pain of mine
A crazy flower
That kills my soul
Bittersweetly, little by little
And my dreams
I’ve never hurt so much
This suffering is killing me

It was raining
That afternoon you left
Even the thought of you
Makes me sad

You’re gone forever
And always remember
I think that it was all my fault
When you talked
I did not answer you
I was to blame for all the silence

I am to blame for not answering your calls
I am to blame for allowing you to leave
I am to blame for giving you my soul without thinking
I am to blame for going through pain

It was raining
That afternoon you left
Even the thought of you
Makes me sad

The first moon
From the first night
We danced non-stop because of me
A smile
Almost all the songs
And the evening by the sea was my fault

I am to blame for the memories we made
I am to blame for making you wait
I am to blame for giving you my soul without thinking
I am to blame for going through pain

I am to blame for not answering your calls
I am to blame for allowing you to leave
I am to blame for giving you my soul without thinking
I am to blame for going through pain

It was raining
That afternoon you left
Oh, I am still thinking of you all the time”

CONCHA BUIKA

Award-winning, humble, stern, ahead of her time, all to describe the woman that is Buika. Raised in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, after her family fled Guinea to live in exile because of her father’s involvement in pro-democracy movements, Buika was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Instead, she absorbed the life around her and translated her experiences into a universal language that soon mesmerized anyone who listened to her unique voice. She blends her African roots into what can be compared with flamenco and copla, involving very expressive styles of singing. This genre of new flamenco was brought to life by her dry vocals over such rich melodies to quench her thirst, such as the saturating drumming of Horacio Hernandez, also known as “El Negro” or one of Buika’s lovers amongst few other men and women from her past. Her songs are partially written by the notorious Javier Limon, an Andalusian composer who is best known for his compositions for Bebo Valdés and Paco de Lucia.

FLAMENCO & FRANCO

Dating back to the late 1700’s, music was necessary to uproot the voice of grieving Gypsies who were facing discrimination and persecution then and for hundreds of years to come. Thus, gitano, or gypsy, music was created and served to account for collective solidarity amongst the tortured, harassed, and murdered Romani people in Spain until the end of Francisco Franco’s regime. Censorship was even favored when the Andalusians, and others fascinated, wanted to share with the world the Gypsy-influenced art of flamenco, which consists of expressive soulful singing, usually of mourning, musical accompaniment including clapping, also known as palmas, all while a dancer illustrates the emotion throughout their body. During Franco’s propaganda operations in the beginning of his rule that was to last over three decades, Flamenco documentaries such as, “Duende,” and “A Través del Flamenco” were subject to his bigotry. In those tampered videos, voice-overs, insertion of promotional propaganda to foreground the state under his control can be found and distressed.

By Neda Shahram