RR Films: Moving On

Whether he’s just braving it out or simply doesn’t understand the concept, Robert Mugabe seems incapable of moving on from his life’s works as a despot. He should know by now, from observing the past experiences of his kind, that the choices open to him are exile with a secret fortune, jail or a ditch; I’d make my mind up pretty quickly, I reckon, and I can’t imagine Grace is keen on either of the second two….

We have explored films about leaving and escaping but I think moving on is slightly different in that the movement is as a direct result of an existing situation that changes, prompting a move to, hopefully, a better one. Or something like that. Close to the current news story, I was tempted to choose The Death Of Stalin, in which Uncle Joe’s death prompts several plans to move on in those around him. But I actually wasn’t as impressed by this film as I wanted to be, as an Armando Iannucci fan (it’s difficult to get laughs from rape). So instead I’ll pick I’ve Loved You So Long, with Kristen Scott Thomas’s wonderful performance as a woman trying to move on with her life following 15 years in prison and the events that preceded them.

What films about moving on would you recommend?

NINA SIMONE.

Nina Simone.
 

There’s a piece on the Guardian’s front page today by a guy who joined Nina in a hot tub, my experience with her was not so exotic but here’s how it happened. I posted this some years ago on the Spill but there’s enough new faces here to warrant a repeat.

One day back in the ’80’s Bob Andy, pioneer Jamaican musician, was staying with us in Long Beach California. On the Saturday I noticed that there was a free reggae festival in a park in south central LA. We decided to go. We were standing around between sets, sort of backstage, though there wasn’t any real backstage when I saw Nina Simone standing alone about 40ft away. I couldn’t believe it, I’d been a huge fan for all of my adult life, I’d never seen her perform, but there she was. I knew that she had a gig at the Wiltern theater in LA the following Tuesday so I excused myself from my wife and Bob and walked over to her, I introduced myself and told her how much I’d appreciated her music over the years and how much she’d meant to me. She was very cordial and we chatted, then I said “Nina, I’d like you to meet my friend Bob and my wife”; we walked back to where they were and I said ‘Nina, this is my friend Bob Andy’. 

Everything changed at that moment, I’d not even remembered that Bob Andy and Marcia Griffith had had an English hit single back in the 70’s of Nina’s song “To be Young, Gifted and Black”. ‘Bob Andy’ she screamed ‘you’re that Bob Andy?’ ‘You god damn motherfucker, you ripped me off, I never got a penny for that song and you made millions!’ Bob and Marcia were a young Jamaican vocal duo back then, they recorded the song for Harry J’s studio in Kingston. Very doubtful that they made millions! Marcia went on to join the Wailers as one of Bob’s backing trio, the I 3’s.
What had been a pleasant surprise encounter had suddenly taken a nose dive, all there was now was anger and embarrassment. I tried to smooth things over but she obviously wasn’t having any so we gingerly backed off and I said something to the effect that I looked forward to her concert. ‘You show your face at my fucking concert you bastard, and I’ll have security throw you out!’ Oops, nothing I could say was going to work so we beat an ignominious retreat, but as we left I was approached by a guy who said that he was managing Nina and did I have any influence with the mayors office, I told absolutely none, I wasn’t at all involved with any of that. 

On the way home I had a thought. Whenever there were high end celebrity visitors to LA I noticed that there were day’s proclaimed in their honour and the mayors office would issue proclamations, in the form of very ornate heraldic hand lettered documents listing that person’s contributions to society etc. The guys question made me think it might be appropriate to send a note to the mayors office and suggest this. I had an image of some flunky coming onstage before the show and making a bit of a fuss and then giving it to her so I sent a note and promptly forgot about it. 
Regardless of Nina’s threats we went to both shows, the 7 pm and the 9 pm, I had a press pass that got us into the Wiltern and we could always grab any empty seats; we had two right in the front row and I had all my camera gear with me. I shot her discretely throughout the first show and then sat back and enjoyed the second. I didn’t even notice that there was no representative from the Mayors office. 

The next day I went to work and when I came home at around 5pm I checked the mailbox as usual and there was a large 16″ by 20″ envelope screwed up and stuffed into it, I opened it and it was the proclamation for Nina! And there was a nasty note attached to the effect that if I requested a proclamation, then it was my responsibility to come and get it! Oh dear! Little did I understand the inner workings of LA politics. So what to do with it? The guy, who I later realised was the Ethiopian Orthodox minister who had conducted the ceremony for Bob Marley’s funeral at the National Stadium, had given me his card, so we called him and explained the screw up. He asked if we would bring it to her since she was leaving for Paris early the next day; she was staying at a place in the San Fernando valley which was about 75 miles from us and given her reaction on the weekend I didn’t really feel like 150 miles of LA rush hour traffic just to be Mr Niceguy. But we weakened, we found the address, her apartment door opened, the ‘manager’ stood there, we handed him the envelope with the wrinkled, creased proclamation, he thanked us and closed the door. It’s probably in her archive now.
And that was how we met Nina Simone!

Earworms 20 November 2017

It’s chilly November in Earwormland. I found some cut-price, instant, beetroot soup in the local shop; it appeared to be “cuppa soup”, so I tried it … OK, so the instructions were in Polish, but how difficult could it be? Long story short, you’re only supposed to use 12g to half a pint of water, but I used the whole 60g packet. I shall be in the pink for the rest of the week. Anyway, enough of that, here are this week’s worms for you. If you have a worm you’d like to share, please send an .mp3 or a link to earworm@tincanland.com, along with a few lines about why you’ve chosen it. Many thanks to all contributors.

Bedouine – Back To You – tincanman: Her music doesn’t sound strident or angry, but being quietly subversive can speak volumes when everyone else is shouting (https://goo.gl/PTpKde): “Buying used, local, or strictly from companies that pay their employees a living wage. . . is another form of voting.”

Lykanthea – Telos – abahachi: I guess this is one of those ‘power of the internet’ things; I needed to look up a fellow academic to invite her to contribute to a volume I’m editing, discovered that she’s also a musician, found her EP on Spotify, and here we are. This is rather great, atmospheric electronica and vocals influenced by the southern Indan Carnatic style. Yes, there are points when it verges on being a less annoying Enja, and I think I’d like some more percussion, but currently I’m switching back and forth between this and the new Fever Ray album as light and dark, calm and jittery, spooky and angsty.

Portishead – Mysterons – AliM: I have been sifting through some of my late brother’s CDs; this is from the album “Dummy”, which I had completely forgotten about. It’s very evocative, and Aba’s choice reminded me of it in some way.

Gary Moore – Parisienne Walkways – Ravi Raman: I had just picked it up when Sarah came up with M for her Wheel/Tune. No Lynott vocals in this though.

Errol Walker – Better Future – severin: An up-tempo tune. A good singer. A positive message for grim times. A Lee Perry production. That’ll do me.

Soulwax – Is it Always Binary – CaroleBristol: I don’t get actual earworms that often, but this is a genuinely wormy tune. It is by Soulwax, and the worminess comes from the mad drumming and the insidious riff.

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The Wheel of Your Tune

 

 

The Wheel of Your Tune works like this; I metaphorically turn my spinning top to reveal a random letter and number. The letter relates to an artist or the name of an album in my collection and the number relates to the track by that artist or on that album. This week’s spin landed on R2 (I know we had 2 the other week, let’s just deal with it).  Had it landed on 14 I would have chosen Radiohead’s Man of War from their 30th anniversary edition of OK Computer, OKNOTOK.  Alas, twas not to be.  Check out the video for that though – it’s suitably weird.

The track I have chosen is by R&B/Soul/hard-to-describe artist Allan Rayman.  I first came across Rayman last year when he released an album called Hotel Allan.  It’s full of beautifully delivered, moving and often funky soul tracks (check out the song Beverly).  I think of him as a slightly cooler, sexier Jack Savoretti.  This year he released another album in February called Roadhouse 01.  This album has a real mix of tracks – I’ve listened to it a few times over the last couple of days and have come to the conclusion I much prefer Hotel Allan.  However, he’s redeemed himself in my eyes with the release last week of an edgier sound on an EP called Courtney.  I’ve chosen the 2nd track from that EP.  It’s called Word of Mouth.  This version is an acoustic live performance and much more pared back than the studio version (which I cannot find a video for that works here, but am posting the whole EP I found on YT in the hope that it will play for you, wherever you are).

I give you…Allan Rayman – Word of Mouth

Full Courtney EP here.

Other R’s I thought about:

Rag n Bone Man

Ride

Royal Blood

What’s your R2?

 

‘Spillin’ The Beans – “I Can Feel the Weight” by Silver Liz

Well, I have no excuses for the latest hiatus, apart from intrusive reality, but ‘Spillin’ The Beans is back again and this week I am exploring the debut album by Silver Liz, “I Can Feel The Weight“. The album was released at the end of October Continue reading