Monthly Archives: September 2013

Subterranean Homesick Blues

3555_10200358126270237_464951706_nYou know it. This one.

The seminal, iconic and bloody marvellous Subterrranean Homesick Blues was the opening sequence of Don’t Look Back, D.A Pennebaker’s documentary of Dylan’s 1965 tour of UK.

Don’t Look Back with (for some reason) Spanish subtitles  for the clip

The segment was Dylan’s own idea, as described here in

a version including a Director’s commentary.

Throwing away word cards to moderately indecipherable lyrics proved such a winner  that it’s been borrowed in some rather lateral ways> Here is an 80’s ad that took UK TV by storm…

My ears are alight

The first time I saw this I was so excited I called London’s ITV to find out when it would be screened again. Then stayed up to stupid o’clock (nothing unusual in that, really) to record it on a then cutting edge VHS recorder. Collaring people to show them something you’d recorded on tape was the then version of blogging. A bit like taking photos of your food around to your mates’ houses to show them what you’d had for dinner. Except no one did that, as that was clearly too dumb to contemplate, with the potential either to bore your friends or type yrself as prone to eating disorders.

Meanwhile..

Some spoofs are brilliant, such as this one, where Al Yankovic shows himself more witty than weird..

Al Yankovic’s Palindromic version

Dylan’s even spoofed himself (using Instagram, a fave of foodfotoposters- yes, it all connects in the great circle of inter-life) in the vid for the otherwise rather lacklustre Dusquene Train

So, in this great tradition, in 2013 I offered  my own local-ref-full parody/homage- Subterranean Expat Blues- at the first Bali Gong Show, a riotous spoof and skit night held in the cosmopolitan ‘creative hotspot’ of Ubud, Bali.
A Karoake backing track was downloaded, 65 cards were hand-drawn, much unrecyclable waste created (Indonesian board markers don’t last long), the marvellous  Nadia Lala of Bali Circus played Bobby and, bloody amazing, I didn’t forget the words.
Mind you, this achievement’s a little in the shade seeing the song done by a 2 year old

Subterranean Expat Blues

Johnny’s at the balian Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement I’m on the pavement
Fending off transport Thinking about the government
A man in a headscarf The man in a trench coat
Bad job, laid off Badge out, laid off
Says he’s got a bad cough Says he’s got a bad cough
Wants to pay his car off Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid Look out kid
Some karma you did It’s somethin’ you did
God knows when God knows when
but you’re doin’ it again But you’re doin’ it again
Hit a duck in the alley way You better duck down the alley way
Now you got a new friend, Lookin’ for a new friend
A man with a fighting cock The man in the coon-skin cap
and a pigpen In a pig pen
Wants a hundred dollar bills Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got yen You only got ten

 

Maggie gotta detox a Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot Face full of black soot
Driving round Denpasar’s Talkin’ that the heat put
there’s ants in her bed and Plants in the bed but
she’s overstayed her visa. The phone’s tapped anyway.
Maggie says that Imigrasi Maggie says that many say
must bust in early May They must bust in early May
Orders from Jakarta Orders from the D.A.
Ubud kid Look out kid
healin’s big Don’t matter what you did
Walk on your tiptoes Walk on your tiptoes
fill yr arse with ozone Don’t tie no bows
Better stay away from those Better stay away from those
that carry round a game plan That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes Watch the plain clothes
Blow a joint of ganja You don’t need a weatherman
They can slam you in Kerobokan To know which way the wind blows
Get sick, get well Get sick, get well
dengue fever sink to hell Hang around a ink well
Shamans ring bells Ring bell, hard to tell
For makin’ sure the villas sell If anything is goin’ to sell
Try to learn Bahasa Try hard, get barred
give up, learn braille Get back, write braille
Get jailed, jump bail Get jailed, jump bail
pay somebody if ya fail Join the army, if you fail
Look out kid Look out kid
You’re gonna get hit You’re gonna get hit
By losers, cheaters But losers, cheaters
Six-time users. Six-time users.
Then ya meet a flirty boy Hang around the theaters
by the swimming pool (language school) Girl by the whirlpool
Lookin’ for a new fool Lookin’ for a new fool
To buy him a motorbike Don’t follow leaders
He’ll park at Napa Orti Watch the parkin’ meters
Yoga Barn romance Ah get born, keep warm
interpretive ecstatic dance Short pants, romance, learn to dance
De stress, get blessed Get dressed, get blessed
Turn into a princess Try to be a success
Visa squeezing agents Please her, please him, buy gifts
Don’t steal, just drift Don’t steal, don’t lift
Twenty million later Twenty years of schoolin’
And you still ain’t got yr KITAS? And they put you on the day shift
Look out kid Look out kid
You’re starting to skid They keep it all hid
Gonna fall down a manhole Better jump down a manhole
light as dim as candles Light yourself a candle
slippery sandals Don’t wear sandals
streets a fucking scandal Try to avoid the scandals
bang yr head  half drown Don’t wanna be a bum
Brain damage goin’ down You better chew gum
Of course the pump don’t work The pump don’t work
dude, you live in Indonesia ’Cause the vandals took the handles

Karaoake track

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Covering Fes Sacred Music Festival (3)

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Thanks to The View from Festhe  premier English language blog on cultural and current affairs,  for having me as guest writer for the Fes Festival of Sacred Music, 2103  

This is the third of four posts my coverage of one of the extraordinary free evening concerts held in Place Boujloud

More here, here and here 

Abdallah al Makhtoubi and Mohammed Bajeddoub

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Dominique A and Nass El Ghiwane

For inspiration to join the Festival of Sacred Music  2014, here is 

The View From Fes introduction to its theme: Conference of the Birds

Coverage of Volubilis International Festival, Meknes 

Shem’sy, National Circus School of Morocco @ Fes 2013

Shem’sy, National Circus School of Morocco @ Fes 2013

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Included in the program of the Fes Festival of Sacred Music 2013 was a week of training, show development and free sunset performances by the creative acrobats of Shem’sy, the National Circus School.  The School and their performance troupe are based in the old pirate town of Sale, near Rabat, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. With a solid background in their skills and a sound understanding of pleasing the crowd,  they and their mentors a  were a great addition to the Festival and a delight to meet.

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Here is my report on the Shem’sy  Circus School for The View from Fes, 

the premier English language blog on Moroccan cultural and current affairs, who hosted me as guest writer for the the Fes Festival of Sacred Music,  2103.

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MORE information about the National Circus School here and  here

*  *  *  *  *  

For inspiration to join the Festival of Sacred Music  2014, here is 

The View From Fes introduction to the theme:

 Conference of the Birds

MORE photos in my Facebook albumMorocco

Covering Fes Festival of Sacred Music 2013 (2)

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                                   Gypsy Fire, Bab Mekina

Thanks to The View from Fes, the premier English language blog on Moroccan cultural and current affairs, for hosting me as guest writer for the the Fes Festival of Sacred Music,  2103. Here is the second of four posts with my coverage of the event

 MORE  coverage herehere and here

 

Abeer Nehme and Ali Alaoui

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L’orchestra National de Jazz and Ladysmith Red Lions

For inspiration to join the Festival of Sacred Music  2014, check out

The View From Fes introduction to the theme: Conference of the Birds

Coverage of Volubilis International Festival, Meknes

MORE photos in my Facebook albumMorocco

 

Covering Fes Festival of Sacred Music, 2013 -1

Director of the Opening Event

Covering the night shift along with the throng in the vast and booming Place Boujloud, learning on the run how to take photos in the full glare of smokey stage lighting, sorting and writing in dim late night coffee shops on deadline-beating all-nighters, lazy afternoons  in the delicious sound garden of the Batha Museum… a grand assignment indeed.

Here’s the first of three posts linking to my coverage  of the event

Hamid Kasri and crew

Hamadcha Sufi Brotherhood, Dj ClicK, Coumbane Mint Ely Warakane

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MORE coverage of Fes Festival of Sacred Music here and here

and the Shem’sy National Circus School’s participation here

Coverage of the Volubilis International Festival, Meknes, Morocco

Thanks to The View from Fes, the premier English language blog on Moroccan cultural and current affairs, for hosting me as guest writer for the the Fes Festival of Sacred Music,  2103.

For information about the 2014 Fes Festival of Sacred Music, check out The View From Fes excellent introduction to the theme Conference of the Birds.

More photos in my Facebook albumMorocco

 

Brother Wood

 A song to my guitar, at the point of wondering whether to bring him backpacking… of course, I did.

Brother Wood

If I leave you, what will I regret?

Could I leave an old friend to go out on the road?

I’m scared and restless like my heart’s already homeless

Memory of exile, diaspora in my blood

Perjalanan ini feels like throwing crumpled paper on a flood

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 I can’t read the signs,  I don’t know the meaning

 why I choose this path again of onlyness and leaving

 How many times do I make myself a home

 And tear myself away again, create myself alone?

 If I carry you, will you carry me, too?

Or will you only be something else to lose?

You will weigh me, I will have to bear you,

Will you be a token of a dream that I have lost?

Or will you give me comfort and the strength to be the one who pays the cost

When I’m lost and tired, my heart is feeling homeless

Will you find me friends along the way?

Brother Wood if I commit to you, will you give me back some love each day?

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If I don’t take you, what would I forget?

Maybe you’ll remind me out there on the road

Cos I think you’re coming with me, I think that we both know that

You can call me troubador and play me through the times

When a journeying heart can only speak in rhymes.