Syria

It has taken quite a while to write about Syrian music that I have found on this imaginary trip around the Mediterranean. After a slow start, I found at least two fabulous bands, and many other fascinating musicians.

Podcast: Stuart Bailie – Trouble Songs

Music journalist Stuart Bailie’s new book Trouble Songs will be officially published in May, but it’s already starting to stir conversations and commentary. He takes on difficult stories from our history since the mid-1960s at the place where music meets social and political change and through interviews and analysis tries to understand and explain what happened.

It will be in the shops around now, but you can also order it on the web at TroubleSongs.com

Returning to Podcasting

After much thought and deliberation (i.e. dithering) I have decided to revive my tech and media podcast – and extending it to music. Testing for the bathroom effect in the kitchen. (Audiophiles will get that one). 

First recording next week with Popup (Ross Moffett) and musicians Sonja Sleator and Chase the River). That should be available Thursday 8 March. Subscribe here.

First recording next week with Popup (Ross Moffett Sonja Sleator and Chase the River)

venice-flag

All the way to Venice (and Trieste)

Almost the last part of the of the Italian leg (sorry!) of this imaginary Mediterranean journey. Leaving Apulia and moving north, the plan now is to add “all of the rest” of the music that I have left behind so far, or can’t get a fix on exactly where musicians are from.  The playlist is varied and draws mainly from the north east of Italy, but a few additions picked up along the way.

Music: Amira Medunjanin

Amira Medunjanin is the finest exponent of sevdah, the melancholy and emotional folk music of Bosnia, and is remarkable not just for her clear, pained voice, but for the way she balances respect for ancient styles with experiment.

Here’s to Stuart Bailie the man who made Oh Yeah

Stuart Bailie the founding father of Belfast’s Oh Yeah centre hands over to a new CEO. Oh Yeah is a unique place were music is created, celebrated, remembered and the business around I taught. But it has only been one achievement of the man who might have invented the word “Britpop”.