May 9, 2008
May 7, 2008
Apr 24, 2008
Apr 14, 2008
Feb 17, 2008
"The Yanks have colonized our subconscious" (Wim Wenders - Kings of the Road)
Any kid listening to rock music has his/her mind haunted by America, at least by its image.
I've never been to San Francisco, yet I consider it something like a promiced land, ever since I learned about Ashbury Height and Summer of Love (Yes, I know there's nothing left today, but this doesn't change a bit of the image I have). For many years I've listened carefully to any band came from there - and still do. Every now and then I find music that assures me that my little ...err obsession is not wrong at all, on the contrary it's very rewarding (the latest find is of course Wooden Shjips).
(This was my introduction to World of Pooh's 'Land of Thirst' LP on Lost-In-Tyme, but I think it fits perfectly here)
01 Donner Party - The Ghost
02 Cat Heads - Sister Tabitha
03 Bedlam Rovers - Objectivity
04 X-Tal - Misandventure
05 Blue Movie - Mary & Riley
06 Barbara Manning & SF Seals - 8's
07 Penelope Houston - Fallback
08 Wannabe Texans - I Cut Myself
09 Camper van Beethoven - ZZ-Top Goes To Egypt
10 Yo - Charm World
11 Ophelias - I Dig Your Mind
12 Game Theory - We Love You, Carol and Alison
13 Swell - Get High
This is a tiny portion of S.F. music (including Oakland, Davis etc). , compiled with the connections between the bands in mind. David Immergluck of Ophelias was in Camber Van Beethoven, Sam Babbitt also from Ophelias was in Cat Heads, Melanie Clarin in Donner Party, Cat Heads and SF Seals (and a million other bands), Wannabe Texans and Penelope Houston were performing together in SF clubs, Alan Korn and Mark Zanandrea were in X-tal and later in Cat Heads, Greg Freeman produced everything (well, almost),and Pat Thomas recorded everything (again, almost).
1.Donner Party: Sam Coomes, Melanie Clarin, Reinhold Johnson. After Donner Party, Coomes moved to Portland where he founded Quasi and Blues Goblins among others. The Ghost is from Donner Party (Cryptovision LP)
2.Cat Heads' Sister Tabitha is from 1988's Submarine, produced by Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery. They seem to have reformed.
3.Objectivity opens Bedlam Rovers Froathing Green from 1988, the band of Caroleen Beatty, Cindy Wigginton and about fifty more members. Released on Heayday with Pat Thomas producing it.
4.Misadventure is from Who Owns Our Dreams? CD that compiles 3 of the last releases of X-tal.
5.Mary & Riley is from the first LP of Blue Movie - you can find it here, and if you want to read something more, go here.
6.I often write about Barbara, most recently posted 'World of Pooh'. 8's is from her Nowhere (or Now Here) album.
7.Penelope needs no introduction if you have seen my family photos or the intro to this post.
8.I Cut Myself is from Devouring Our Roots, a compilation released on Subterranean, when this scene was at its absolute height. Wannabe Texans , who had two if the best tracks in this comp, released only one album, which you can find here - and say hi to J Bradley Johnson.
9. I must have listened to Camper Van Beethoven's ZZ-Top Goes To Egypt about 500 times, not because I was obsessed with it, but because it was the intro to my favourite radio show.
10.Yo were Bruce Rayburn, Sally Engelfried and Greg Baker, active around 1983-87, making some highly original music. Bruce and Sally went on and formed El Sob, also defunct now. No signs of recent activity.
11. Dig Your Mind is of course Nervous Breakdown's song from the 60's, covered by the Ophelias, who in their two releases managed to cover every music genre under the sun. David Immergluck later in Counting Crows.
12.We Love You, Carol and Alison is from Lolita Nation, maybe the best release of Game Theory. Too pity it's out of print and, as I've said in my previous post (10 covers), Scott Miller doesn't seem to flirt with the idea of a re-issue.
13.Swell are again active, as David Freel has released a lot of music recently. Get High is from their first album from 1990.
Feb 14, 2008
...because too much love could be dangerous to your health...
Divine Horsemen - Frankie Silver
Blood On The Saddle - Banks Of The Ohio
Dead Moon - Hey Joe
Cat Heads - I Would Kill For Suzy
Bedlam Rovers - Long Black Veil
Dame Darcy - Butcher Boy
Mountain Home - Omie Wise
Triffids - St James Infirmary
Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
Peter Scion - Pretty Polly
Snakefarm - Tom Dooley
Destroy All Monsters - Mack The Knife
No need for more words here: great bands/artists doing some of the classic murder ballads (except Cat heads whose song is not a ballad and Cowboy Junkies who don't sing about murder). I should mention though that Divine Horsemen was Chris D.'s (Flesh Eaters) band and here is in a duet with Julie Christensen, Mountain Home is another Greg Weeks project (try Drag City if you like it), the Destroy All Monsters' track is the +1 of the title, and this fine painting I used, is made by Dame Darcy and you can buy it here.
P.S. I wouldn't recommend to listen to this with your unsuspected loved one - unless you're trying to find a way to send her/him a message!
Feb 10, 2008
Here they are
01 Avengers - Paint It Black
02 Game Theory - The Letter
03 Slickee Boys - Glendora
04 Sneetches - He's Frank
05 World of Pooh - Druscilla Penny
06 Feelies - Dancing Barefoot
07 Brood - You Got Me
08 Tav Falco - Oh, how she dances
09 Camper Van Beethoven - O Death
10 Meat Puppets - Good Golly Miss Molly
I avoided the tribute records (as the most tracks on them are recorded just for the project) as well as the versions of traditional songs (with the exception of O Death, but this was a cover of Kaleidoscope's version)
Avengers - Paint It Black Blasphemy you say? Listen to these teenagers (I think they were 18-19 years old) and then tell me if you've ever witnessed such power in the pure, honest voice of Penelope - so self-confident even from the start -, the nerve of a young punk band to cover this song and make you accept their version, and the absolute killer finale - a black hole that spins and spins and sucks everything, leaving only the rattle of drums at the end. I consider this song as the proof that the Avengers did actually teared the Sex Pistols to pieces in the Winterland show, in Jan 1978. No Avengers records are in print these days, but you can ask Penelope for a CDR.
Game Theory - The Letter (from Dead Center LP) That's the perfect power pop song from the perfect power pop band. Scott Miller took this classic and treat it with enormous love. I bet he himself wouldn't know how many times he'd listened to it and this is obvious here: This is not anymore Alex Chilton's song, it's Scott Miller's. Sadly Scott considers Game Theory a story of the past and thinks there's no reason to re-release their output, so all these amazing records remain unknown to the newer audiences.
Slickee Boys - Glendora (from Uh Oh...No brakes LP) I imagine these gyus performing this old Perry Como tune in their shows, after they'd exausted their audience with a bunch of their garage-punk songs. Not that they're going far from garage-punk with this: the drums are pounding , the guitars are loud and fuzzed as ever and the vocals have nothing to do with mellow - in fact they definately had listened a lot the Downliners Sect version (which remains the best).
Sneetches - He's Frank (from He's Frank 12') This cover shows how absolutely brilliant band the Sneetches were. They've earned the right to look the Monochrome Set streight in the eyes: more melodic, not so tense as the original, but equally powerful. The arrangement is full of fine touches (organ, faint rock'n'roll pianos), the guitars are ringing with a crisp and clear sound and I must tell you that I like Sneetches electrical no-holds-barred guitar solo in the final part, better than the rather sudden ending of the original.
Brood - You Got Me (b side) This is what I've said about this in 7 X 7 is - U.S. garage singles pt.2, about this Prodigal's cover: There's much music from the Brood from Portland, Maine in this blog, but I thing that they never again captured on vinyl like on this single, especially on the non-LP b-side 'You Got Me'. In this track (the original, by the Prodigal, can be found in Boulders vol.9) the garage rhythm of guitar, bass and drums gets a psyche treat by the haunted farfisa and above all the teenage voice of Chris Horne spits out all the energy and feelings like no rich-and-famous rock star can. Just great.
Feelies - Dancing Barefoot (from Bob flexi) Yeah, I know the vocals cannot match Patti Smith's original, but the band - oh this band! When you listen to this absolutely stunning version, you'll not even thing about vocals: the rhythm section is something I wish I'd watch live (but thanks to my friend gomonkeygo I've had the chance to listen how it was) and gives the guitar the freedom to do its magic. This is history: not only for the classic original but for all the different sides of the alternative/guitar rock that the Feelies put in it. The final point is the spoken vocal part over the derrailed band playing at the end of the song.
World of Pooh - Druscilla Penny (Banafish 7') Rarely you find a cover that while remains close to the original, it cancells it at the same time.
Your family’s probably given up on you
Since you began to follow groups of long-haired rock'n rollers
I can hear your mother crying for her daughterThe Caprenters' song stands with the -let's say- parents/normal society side, while the World of Pooh cover clearly stands in Druscilla Penny's side. Not only the music here is this of "long-haired rock'n rollers" - of the psychedelic type I would say, but while Barbara Manning sings the same lyrics, without changing a single word, she manages to make you see the song through the girl's eyes. I've always believed that Barbara not just sings, but rather IS her songs, only this time she proved that can do it with other people's songs.
Tav Falco - Oh, how she dances (from The Red Devil LP) This I guess will give the necessary odd touch to this collection: it's a cover of James Luther Dickinson's song from the cult "Dixie Fried" from 1972. Surely this Tav Falco's version got more known than the original (which remains unmatched). This song needs a story teller and Tav could easily be a great one. Behind his dangerously charming vocals (different from Dickinson's harsh voice), Panther Burns rattle and shake their instruments, in this invitation to the circus freaky world.
Camper Van Beethoven - O Death (from Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart) I find CBV's version of this traditional song as 'full' and imaginative as Kaleidoscope's version, after all we're talking about two of the best eclectic bands of all times. Of course that one was done 30 years earlier, so there must be something more in the newer version to justify its inclusion: Campers moved from the folk roots of this song even further than Kaleidoscope, they gave us a more rockin' version. They retain the violin (how could they stop Jonathan Segel?), they added horns and louder drums, yet this is flowing nicely like the stream finds its way between the rocks. I'm very happy because this record is again available -it was CVBs debut on Virgin, and one of the few exceptions to the rule that all records of underground bands made on major labels are crap - it's easily the band's best. Btw Camper Van Beethoven are together again - details here.
Meat Puppets - Good Golly Miss Molly (from Out My Way EP) If you listen to this one twice in a row, you will feel exausted, like you've been running all day. You've never heard such a frenzyfied version of Miss Molly (which is frenzied enough in its Little Richard version). It starts by hitting you with an unbelievably energetic guitar riff, and while Curt stops for a breath, after the first verses, his guitar becomes a huge truck, rolling down from a mountain with no breaks, just honking to clear the road. You can imagine how this ride ends.
Here's the link, if you're interested.
Feb 1, 2008
|Valerie Project, released last year, and although breaking no new ground, definately has it all: lysergic guitars, 60s feeling, cinematic approach (of course), tension, psychedelia and enough dark folk to satisfy even the most hungry of us.I will not tell you much about Jaromil Jires' "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders" movie and Czech New Wave, because you can find a lot in the web, if you're interested. It was released in 1970 and it's a dreamy-surreal-gothic story about a girl named Valerie, who lives with her grandmother in a central European village, in 19th (?) century. There are vampires, rotten priests, teenagers in love, the battle of good and evil and very obvious references to the classic horror/gothic films. Having watched A LOT of movies from Eastern Europe countries - especially Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia (those names seem so old now)- I can tell you that cinema in those countries was much more adventurous than you could imagine. I'll just drop the names of the mighty Ducan Makavejev and Istvan Szabo, and just mention that 'Closely Watched Trains' (the title of Glorious Din LP from 1985) was in fact the title of a famous czech movie by Jiri Menzel from 1967. Anyway, Valerie is a rather unusual film, because it plays with reality and dream and, essentialy, tries to show a dreamlike story. Jaroslava Schallerova, the 14-year old girl who plays the role of Valerie is just perfect, the filming is superb (talented Jires was already an experienced director) and it's a must-see movie, if you're looking for something different.|
I listened to the Lubos Fiser original score for the movie "Valerie and Her Week of Wonders" after the Valerie Project. It sounded strangely familiar and the reason is that it reminds me a lot of Manos Chatzidakis' score for Makaveyev's "Sweet Movie" of about the same era. It was proffessionaly written and performed by a symphonic orchestra. Fiser was not a soundtrack
composer, although he has an impressive filmography -especially in the 60s and the 70s- his work varies from compositions for classical orchestra, concertos, operas, chamber music etc. As for this soundtrack, I must say that sounds to me more renaissance inspired, than gothic or psychedelic or anything that would ring a bell to a rock listener. It's based on a central theme with several variations, as 99% of movie scores are (excluding music films) and it's certainly tied with the image, because it was written by someone who knew what he wanted and how to create it - i.e a professional composer. In addition to these, it's not at all academic but has beautiful, fresh melodies, romantic and innocent and I think that was the combined result of the image and music that attracted the musicians involved with Valerie's Project, 26 years later.
But now it's time to ramble about Valerie Project.
Valerie Project includes Greg Weeks, Brooke Sietinsons and Helena Espvall (of Espers), Mary Lattimore, Tara Burke (Fursaxa), Jesse Sparhawk (Timesbold), Jessica Weeks (Woodwose, Grass), Charles Cohen, Margie Wienk and Jim Ayre (Fern Knight), and, as they say in VP site, this is just the first part of the consept "of recontextualising the filmic meaning and impact of a particular work through the substitution of a newly composed soundtrack". They started performing this music at the end of 2006 and this record released in 2007 (you can listen a few songs from a 2006 performance here, although I prefer the darker sound of the record)
Click to read more...
There are two sides in Valerie Project: the 'electric side' which is heavily fuzzed acid guitar sounds, slowly climbing up and up, White-Rabbit-rhythms that makes you expecting for Grace Slick to appear in the middle of the haunting arrangement of distorted guitars, cello, harp and synthesizers and the 'Ethereal/folk' side, which is more close to the original soundtrack and the guitars are held back, to show a more conventional folk/70s-pop-psyche approach (although the use of cello and the voice of Fursaxa makes it sound strange enough).
Valerie's Project is a commend on a movie and its soundrack. This last phrase may be not entirely true though, because Valerie's Project musicians wanted it to 'replace' the original soundrtack, but you can't deny that if an artist is working on both the OST and the movie scenes, has a totally new perspective than the original composer's. That's why I'm thinking of Valerie's Project more as a comment and less as a soundrtack, or to put it better more as music about a movie. Gregg Weeks and his team were losely based on Fiser's music when they create their music on the films scenes. They used some of his ideas and his melodies and they introduced their views and the "different time and distance" element. You understand immediately that this music was not made in the 70s or in the 80s, although it's surely emerges from this era, and that was not made in continental Europe. The Valerie Project team are musicians with very strong personalities to keep them hidden. In many reviews Greg Weeks appears as the head of the project, although -as a big Fursaxa fan- I'll tell you that I can easily spot many of her trademarks here.
The movie length is 1:13 and that's excactly the running time of the CD. There are 30 tracks, perfectly timed, so if you start the movie and the music simultaneously, each scene will have the appropriate soundtrack. But in Valerie Project's site you can read that "The new soundtrack is meant to be performed live to a sound film, with the original soundtrack turned off or the original music removed". Well, this is absolutely true. I didn't had the chance to see a live show of the Valerie Project, but I did saw the movie with its sound turned off, while listening to the new soundtrack. I realised that Valerie Project was not created to replace the original soundtrack. If you watch the film as I did, you'll see that the music 'covers' the image and makes the movie just a background for it. It's too loud for a soundtrack, it's continuous (that means that although it's perfectly timed, it plays over the actors voices) and it's not so flexible as a soundtrack : the themes have the form of a song rather, than a composition, and this shows clearly when it replaces the original soundrack. Valerie Project was created not to back up the image, as soundtracks do, but to be listened to while the film is playing in the background. The movie is used to back up the music and not the opposite.
So, go and see the Valerie Project live and tell me: if I'm right, it would be a tremendous experience, as the music itself is among the very best of last year and the movie has several very strong scenes and is full of tension and beauty. If you can't see them, get the CD, take a good look at the pictures of this post (or find some clips in youtube), close your eyes while listening and I'm sure you can make your own dream of Valerie and Her Week of Wonders.
Just a little teaser
You can find the movie in dvd,
the Lubos Fiser soundtrack (released in 2006) and of course the Valerie Project CD.Click to slide up
Jan 25, 2008
Thank You Master was the radio show of Christos Daskalopoulos, one of the best radio producers in Greece. C.Daskalopoulos started his career in the Greek National radio in 1983 with a weekly show entitled "The History and Characteristics of Contemporary Rock". Under this academic title, for 6 years, he presented to the greek audience (i.e. those who cared) the best releases of postpunk, alternative, garage etc of the 80s from all over the world. In 1989, with the blossom of the "free radio" (i.e. not under government control) he started his shows in "Channel 15", one of the first free radio stations and later on in "Rock FM", the best ever Greek radio station for uneasy listeners. In "Thank You Master" (started as a weekly show- every Saturday- and continued as a Monday to Friday 2-hour thing), he had the chance to unfold his vast field of music interests, and cover almost everything was happening musically at the time (I'm always refering to "alternative/indie/underground/etc" music). It was the "audible bible" of any "new rock" music listener. "Thank You Master" lasted-in this form or other- until 1994 and after that C.Daskalopoulos, more or less, stayed away from the airwaves, until recently.
This show from 26.1.1991 is from the once-a-week period of "Thank You Master". It contains a bit more of US bands than usual, due to many then-recent US releases, but it's a typical TYM: very strong selections and detailed information on each track (including format and label!), a mini contest for tickets for a show (among the winners there was always a girl!).
This is taped from FM broadcast with decent equipment, not perfect though. At around 0:49 (just before the MaryChain track) there's a harsh fade-out - this is where I had to turn the cassette over. The last track is missing - obviously the tape has ended.
Here's the tracklist (well it's really just my notes from listening back then -I've never bothered to fill the missing track titles-sorry) to get an idea what was this all about. The intro of the show was Camber Van Beethoven's "ZZTop Goes To Egypt" if anyone's wondering.
Thank You Master from 26.1.1991 (1h:35min)
HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS-Your Love Is Blue (Voxx LP)
CHEMISTRY SET-??? (Wake Up Sometime LP)
BEAT HAPPENING- Red Head Walking (7",Sub Pop,90)
CHUCK PROPHET-Scarecrow (Brother Aldo LP)
CROCODILE SHOP-??? (Lullaby LP)
SACRED MIRACLE CAVE-??(Liquid In Me 12")
CLAWHAMMER-Final Solution (2X7")
SACRED MIRACLE CAVE-Liquid In Me
CLAWHAMMER-Pumping My Heart(2X7")
DRAMARAMA-Pumping My Heart (2nd LP)
TWO SAINTS-Lost At Sea
NAKED RAYGUN-??? (Raygun LP)
JESUS & MARY CHAIN-Tower of Song
TEENAGE FAN CLUB-Everything Flows (7',90)
CUD-??? (Leggy Mambo,90)
DANIELLE DAX-King Crack (Blast The Human Flower)
LOVE DOLLS-Last Gear
LUNACHEEKS-Baby Sitters On Acid
BLAKE BABIES-??? (Sunburn LP)
EXENE CERVENCA-Coctail Tree (Old Wives Tales)
BOILED IN LEAD-Greenwood Side (Orb LP)
ED KUPEPPER-I'd Rather Be The Devil
DEATH OF SAMANTHA-Mary Queen of Scots (Come All You Faithless)
Here's the links in massmirror: part 1 and part 2
Jan 24, 2008
Jan 23, 2008
It's really unbelievable: Annie's Animal, one of the most well-informed (musically) and sensitive (politically) blogs is out of business. The reason is not complains or something similar, but the lack of time, but what does it mean? We lost another of the finest.
Jan 22, 2008
Another piece of sad news is that Mystery Poster seems to quit (the blogland or his blog only?).
Le Mystere knows that I was enjoying his posts from the very start, so he will not be surprised if he sees some of them here, when I manage to make an interesting review about them.
See you soon Mysterioso.
Jan 16, 2008
Jan 14, 2008
Jan 7, 2008
So now it's the time to do it. I've scanned the images, I translated a lengthy article, I even scanned and stiched the cover of the record, because there was no picture of it in the whole web (except the half scan I had posted in LiT and recently in Discogs a scan of some promo photograph which apparently was used for the cover ).
What follows is from a feature on Marnie Weber in the greek magazine "Sound & HiFi" (ΗΧΟΣ & Hi-Fi), July 1990 issue. It was written by Tasos Sakkas and it also contains parts (I assume) from an interview with Marnie. I hope that there was not much lost in translation.
It's summer of 1987 and the Party Boys were recording their 3rd album, titled 'Daddyland'. It was an ideal case of swan song. The end of a story that had started several years back, at the late 70s.Marnie Weber was the bassist of the band. At the same time she had based her whole life on it. She knew that someday this little dream would end, leaving her weak, in the middle of nowhere, but, back then, ten years ago, she wouldn't help but sink deep in this. Music was her life and, in fact she had only left with two choises after Party Boys split: to join another group or to continue as a solo artist.
Although Party Boys had released three albums, only in their last release they did use the studio as a vital factor in their music, and even then, at a low degree.
Marnie has no recording experience and she had rarely did vocals with the band. With no experience in singing and studio recording, there was very little that a bass player could do.
Being in a bad psychological condition, she managed to gather her strength and she started lessons on singing, recording techniques and sound effects in UCLA and, participating in actors classes, she gained self-confidence. This procedure lasted two years, but in the meantime she started her appearances opening for local groups."I was dressing as a young gheisha with a lot of make-up and I was performing all these stolen narrations on stage with playback. Or I was the old woman thinking of the life she had lived and I was becoming young, throwing my rubber mask and ending as a young starlet playing guitar...I had already bought an electric guitar along with cheap keyboards, where slowly I started to control the sounds. I became a strange one-person-band.
Contrary to what may people believe, in America there are no serious grants in art. The huge expenditure for defence in the 80s restrict the allowances in young artists with no advertising potential and usually we have the univercities paticipating in students' cheap projects. This creates a state of anxiety and a continuous struggle to survive, where it's very difficult to live from your art and if you want to be serious about art you have no time for a second occupation.
I was lucky because I had the support of groups as the Red Temple Spirits and Shiva Bourlesque who were asking me to open their shows. I did some shows with the musicians dressed as animals or mythical figures, singing birds and monster heads, until I realised that I could make strange surreal musicals with contemporary music, which were uncommon and amusing. I suppose that this way I overcome many problems, by being an art school graduate and a bass player with some potential. But I was still missing the companionship of Party Boys".
Click to read more...
"My parents bought me a green classical guitar, when we lived in Taiwan. My father is art historian, specialized in ancient chinese brass utensils. I had not friends to play with them, so I took lessons from a Chinese, speaking very little english. I started with an unusual perspective on music.
Later, when we came back to L.A., I played a little folk at the univercity. Everything was leading me to become an artist. I studied visual arts in UCLA and, about a year before I graduate, I found myself in Party Boys. This changed everything. I realised that I could not be happy making art alone in my room. I was drunk by the enthusiasm and the energy of the band. We were playing in crude hispanic bars every weekend in downtown Los Angeles, where truck drivers and locals mingle with the artists. It was a fascinating time, around 1980-81. I was very seriously into the group. I wanted to be my life. I knew that we would make it our life. I had....
Well the band split, but I'm trying to keep its spirit."
At the summer of '88, Marnie gets in the studio again, with Philip Drucker aka Jackson Del Rey (Savage Republic, 17 Pygmies), adds vocals to 'The Courtesan' and records seven more songs, under the title "Songs Hurt Me". Bruce Licher's Nate Starkan & Son was facing serious distribution and financial problems that time, while Drucker's Resistance records had already closed. Searching for label, the tape arrived to Greece, initially to find closed doors until its vinyl release on Penguin Records. Behind 'Songs Hurt Me' there's a little personal secret, wandering as a shadow over the tracks. Maybe Marnie didn't want it to be known.
"Songs Hurt Me" opens and closes the record. It's the best song I've listened to
"When I'm listening to music I feel I'm dissolving, reaching a primitive sensitivity, a kingdom of pure feeling. In this state the senses seem acuted.I matched this with the story of a loved one who was gone. I visualised the situation with a girl left in an island, waiting for the sailor she loved to return. She listens to the music they used to listen, their songs, but all it was left is her own song.That's why I sing the lyrics through a walkie-talkie from the other room. I wanted this distant sound. Songs bathe the remains of my soul, songs can cleanse your soul when you're bad."
The first you notice in Marnie's music is a simple, heavy bass line. It's an obsession from the past, a musical obsession.
She works as a cinema actor and director, refering to her performances, combining sound and image, motion and action. "I want to reach both into regions unknown. I like make things with a different way, even it's a job. Combining sound and image in a performance, I feel I drive each medium beyong its limits. I suppose it's a little game I play with myself, that ends by making the others happy or making them thing."In her performances and collages -with which is occupied professionaly- the recycling of the women's part is always present: the stripper as an old woman, the old woman as young starlet, the young starlet abandoned from love, becoming a stripper.
"I was always creating characters. When I was in the art school I used to make installations in old hotel rooms, I composed the character (almost always female), gave it a name, an occupation, a past. Then I was leaving the spectator free to move in the environment, like a burglar in someone's room. I was leaving the character's diary, with his inner thoughts, exposed. This deprival and exposion is what fascinates me. I like the thrill of the scene for this reason: the hermetic soul of someone who's on view. Exposion is, I think, the common denominator of art and music. But it has to be made correctly and with good aesthetics, or else it becomes self-satisfaction.
This way I'm able to express and reveal more of my secret thoughts and the role of women. Pretending to be someone else, I can be extreme. For example, playing the role of a prostitute, I can examine feelings of self-destruction, deeper and more interesting, because of the extreme position that the prostitute holds, rather than if I was singing about the blues or about how rotten I feel. It couldn't be believed because my life was not bad at all. People eagers to see strong human feelings that are expressed so rarely in real life.
Playing roles I can hide and reveal at the same time. It's also a way to ... wear costumes, something I like, as well as making them. I like very much the elaborate costumes and their changings. I've made a new character, "Rosie Love". She wears a red dress with voile, a black curly wig and a huge heart in her back, so big that looks like feathers. She's a rookie starlet performing a dumb night-club act. She's really innocent but she has some inner wisdom. She's also an unmarried mother, who tries to forget that she has a baby. She plans to be a big star. How do you enter in a state different from what you are and what does that means? I'm thinking much on her character and I'm practicing by often becoming her.
I was surely helped by the acting classes. This whole procedure is a liberation. Acting helps someone to feel free, so does to the audience: it's socialy admitable to be watched revealing myself, because this isn't really me. When they believe you, you are permited to reveal more truth."
In "I'm Above Rock" Sahara Sarah, has a random relation with the show business.
"I suppose I still appreciate rock'n'roll as a part of history, but now it could be used only as inspiration or a start. Music must be beyond rock'n'roll. Pop, in the other hand, is so vague term... I like it when it's unusual, when it takes risks at the studio, in structure or lyrics. I hate listening to music whose motive is financial, music badly produced, with no soul. It's against my beliefs. Don't get me wrong, musicians must be financialy rewarded but first they must be artists.
I wish music today to serve the same purpose as in the past. To rise the people spiritually, or to express basic human or animal impulses. Even the repetition of the radio hits has a ceremonial tint. When you've heard a tune so many times, even the moment you don't hear it, it becomes a familiar ceremony.
I believe that if someone looks at the history of art, from the side of its movements, he will come to conclusion that we are in a crisis. I just believe that the modern world has reached the end of "movements". Artists are working alone, as individuals. People like Chris Burden and Mike Keley reached the art where it had not reached before. It's just that financial surviving is hard now."
If it's true that someone cannot impersonate something that hasn't got inside him, then acting is an honest confession, just preserving its privacy. Yes, there's no real actor who does not impersonates himself. Marnie impersonates in "Songs Hurt Me" at least five different personas, not revealing them anywhere else, but only in the secret drawers of her conscience. But she's not just sincere in her confessions or true in her acting: she's shattering in her emotional nakedness. She will never convince me that she's not herself. Tasos Sakkas, July 1990