Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dirty L'il Blunt

He's the man who has given us sad songs such as Goodbye My Lover off Back to Bedlam and Same Mistake off All the Lost Souls - even You're Beautiful even had a touch of melancholy to it. But Mr Blunt is sounding a lot happier these days. Witness the new single off his latest album called Stay the Night. 

There's a different kind of energy that comes though in Some Kind of Trouble. Blunt himself acknowledges this, saying his two previous albums were a pair of book ends - action and reaction. Some Kind of Trouble starts a new chapter.

Some Kind of Trouble is out now. 
Follow James Blunt, the self-confessed performing monkey, as he gets more comfortable on Twitter here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Make Things Happen

This is the advert Sharlto Copley made for Nedbank. I love that Sharlto, who is currently in talks to star in the upcoming Men in Black 3 movie, was involved in filming this in downtown Joburg. It has such a great message - one that I have been taking to heart.

John Kani also made one, that will air on TV as a follow-up to this one.
Well done to Nedbank on bagging two of the country's finest actors!

RIP Hotep Galeta

It was with a sad heart that I wrote up one of today's stories: jazz musician and teacher Hotep Idris Galeta passed away.

Hotep was one of the first interviews I did when I started out as a music journalist, while I was living in Cape Town. He was so warm and friendly, and full of knowledge - knowledge he was so eager to pass on. He remained that way, up until I last saw him a few months ago in Cape Town.

He may not have been as well known as Abdullah Ibrahim or Hugh Masekela, but Hotep was more comfortable behind the scenes, as writer Evan Milton attests in this piece he wrote last year. But the contributions Hotep made should not be forgotten and will live on in the many young students who gained so much from his wisdom and warm smile.

Hotep's death comes in a year in which we've lost many a wonderful soul, like Winston Mankunku Ngozi, Robbie Jansen, Rex Rabane and Ezra Ngcukane. As the new Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile says, it's been a sad year indeed for jazz lovers.

Monday, October 18, 2010

U2 360 Degree Tour Confirmed for SA!

So we knew this was in the pipeline but as good, law-abiding citizens over here in Newsville, we like to make sure the I's and T's on the contracts are all dotted and crossed before we start getting as excited as we should be for one of the biggest concerts of our time!

This stage from the band's concert in Barcelona is the same one that will be used in Joburg and Cape Town next year.

The two dates in South Africa took many years to confirm. Organisers Big Concerts say the world-class stadiums in Cape Town and Joburg sealed the deal. The size of this tour will be unlike anything we've seen here before: 150 containers will be shipped in, with 120 of those being transported back and forth between Cape Town and Joburg. The stage itself is 190-feet-high, weighing 180 tonnes. Then there are the fans: 100 000 people can fill the FNB Stadium standing, with about 56 000 in the Cape Town Stadium. And you can be sure these shows will most certainly sell out!

U2 play Joburg and Cape Town on the 13th and 18th of February, respectively. Tickets go on sale this Saturday.


Oh, how we love you! It was so good to be transported back to a time when bassists spoke an incomprehensible language and dressed up in pink fishnet stockings at Friday night's reunion gig in Joburg.

Ta-da-taaah, ta-da-taaaaah!

Taken with Nadia's Gorgeous iPhone

Boo!'s latest album The Three of Us is out now.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to The Arch

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu turns 79 today. He announced two months ago that he would be retiring on his birthday, and there are some great pieces that have been published, reflecting on his legacy here and here.

I've always loved covering events that The Arch attended because he just has such a wonderful personality (and makes for great radio with his jokes and charm!) This photo was taken at his 75th birthday celebration at the Sandton Convention Centre - where Samuel L Jackson, Santana and Alfre Woodard came to join in the fun (and fundraising).

And this right here - from the World Cup Kickoff Celebration Concert in June - is one of the reasons why he is so loved:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Die Antwoord - Part Two

A few posts ago, I expressed my ambiguious feelings about Die Antwoord where I said I was hoping the group would stick around long enough for me to make up my mind about how I felt about them. Much has happened since then, namely that the band signed a major deal with Interscope Records, home of Lady Gaga and Eminem. They're committed to 5 albums so have to be around for at least that long.

On Saturday night the group performed at the Bassline before heading back overseas on the second part of their world tour. They also previewed the music video for their new single, Evil Boy, which features a young Xhosa rapper called Wanga, as well as a whole lot of penises. These made their way onto the stage too - see Exhibit A and B below.

The video is as controversial as you'd expect from a group that uses the words "poes" and "naai" as easily as "please" and "thank you". But the track is slick and US producer Diplo has worked in his magic into a tale about circumcision and "big loving". It's as hot as Die Antwoord's stage show, which is filled with non-stop energy, fast raps and great costume changes. Oh, yeah, and Ninja's prosthetic District 9 limb. He showed me later the D9 tattoo inscribed on the inside of his bottom lip. Fans to the max!

As for me, I had fun and that's that. I think I am going to stop over-analysing the band too much. Although I am still intrigued by things like meeting an American girl who has flown over here just to watch the band because she's "seen everything else out there, from dubstep to industrial, and there's nothing like Die Antwoord".