Tuesday, 19 April 2022

See Hear Podcast Episode 96 - Urgh! A Music War and Dance Craze


The 1980s were headed into frightening times politically. The threat of war and potential nuclear conflict was pervasive. So naturally music would reflect the times, right? Sure thing....Bette Davis Eyes, Nine To Five (Morning Train), This Ole' House, You Weren't In Love With Me, and Just The Two Of Us were what people were buying – they reflect the times, right?


Welcome to episode 96 of See Hear Podcast.

Okay, okay.....I loaded up some songs that were the antithesis of the films under question, but just wanted to make a point that what was popular in the mainstream was still a long way from the more edgy music that rock fans were taking joy and catharsis in. While a lot of the new wave of music wasn't necessarily focusing on the fears of the world, its often jittery nature and aggressive sounds surely reflected the state of the world (that's my theory and I'm sticking with it).




Tim and Bernie look at a pair of films released in 1981. For the main part, they discuss Urgh! A Music War, a concert film showing the diversity of the “new wave” / post punk bands of the era. How else are you going to find a connection between Klaus Nomi, XTC, Gary Numan and The Cramps? It's a great time capsule of the era showing that musicians didn't choose (at least at first) to play it safe, but still found varying levels of success. They also look at a film more musically focused called Dance Craze – a concert film featuring a range of bands from the British ska revival of the late 70s / early 80s. While any of these bands could have easily fit into Urgh! A Music War, it's great that Dance Craze exists as a companion piece.


Later in the show, I speak with director and friend of the show, Skizz Cyzyk about a documentary he's been working off and on for many years called Urgh! Revisited. Acknowledging that there's not much information out there about U!AMW, Skizz has interviewed a range of musicians from the original film about their recollections of the era, and how the film got made. Hopefully, he gets to finish it and put some perspective on a cherished film without much documented history. Our huge thanks to Skizz for joining us.


U!AMW can be found on Kanopy in some regions, or at https://archive.org/details/urghamusicwar


Dance Craze is on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVexewVb2B4


You can find out info about Skizz's film and music adventures at http://www.skizz.net/


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


Download episode 96 from here.




Monday, 21 March 2022

See Hear Podcast Episode 95 - Summer of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

 

In the year 1969, Richard Nixon became president of the United States, James Earl Ray plead guilty to the murder of Dr Martin Luther King, multiple planes are hijacked to Cuba, the Stonewall Rebellion took place, and the war in Vietnam raged on.

.but there was an incredible music festival that took place for the third time in Mt Morris Park in Harlem, that for years no one recalled.

Welcome to See Hear Podcast episode 95.

Tony Lawrence was a lounge singer who had a vision to bring some joy and positivity to Harlem. The African American population had undergone poverty and police brutality. Lawrence assembled the first Harlem Cultural Festival in 1967, but the lineup of 1967 was truly amazing. Started a full two months before Woodstock, this festival held over a series of weekends over the summer featured the likes of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, The Staple Singers, The Fifth Dimension, B.B. King and many others. 40 hours of festival footage was shot for local TV networks, but shortly after, the festival and its footage were forgotten by most – and Woodstock became ubiquitous in popular myth as the cultural event of a generation.

In 2021, drummer, DJ and music director Questlove released the film “Summer of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” about that event featuring much of that magnificent footage.....but this is not a concert film in the conventional sense. There are interviews with musicians and those who attended the shows – both from the time and contemporary. To contextualise the period the show was born into, we get news clips about the moon landing, poverty, radicalism, Martin Luther King's assassination and a lot more. This footage is not slotted in as an afterthought – it goes hand in hand with the music, and is a masterpiece of editing.

Tim was not available, but Bernie and Maurice were joined by film writer, broadcaster, and commentator Emma Westwood to discuss the wonder of the event – both musically and politically. The film is completely worthy of the praise and hype. We hope to convince you that you need to see this – in a cinema or on a streaming service.

Our gratitude goes to Emma who brought an amazing conversation to the show (no surprises there). She will be back – make no mistake. Her knowledge and enthusiasm really made the show. You can find details of her work at https://emmawestwood.net/ She will soon release a book she's curated on James Whale's “Bride of Frankenstein”........Mmmmm, book GOOOOOOOOOOD.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 95 from here.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

See Hear Podcast Episode 94 - Interview with director Tamara Saviano about "Without Getting Killed Or Caught"

 

Texas has given the world some great songwriters: Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Kinky Friedman (yes indeed!!!) among may others. When you discuss one of the most revered Texan songsmiths, (who lived much of his life in Nashville), you really have to discuss two others as well.

Welcome to episode 94 of See Hear Podcast.

Tim and I were rapt to welcome to the show author and film maker Tamara Saviano. She co directed with her husband Paul Whitfield a documentary about Guy Clark called Without Getting Killed Or Caught. Of course, you can't discuss Guy without talking about his wife Susanna and their friend Townes Van Zandt – their lives were all closely connected. They wrote together, lived together and loved each other deeply. The story has joy, tragedy, art, knives, boats, and a very healthy respect for songwriting. These three and the community of songwriters they worked with in Nashville would share their work, for the sake of the song. The perfect song was king....rivalries be damned.

Tamara and Paul have put together a wonderful film that really gets under the skin of what it's like to be devoted to your art so much that it can come at the expense of the relationships around you. This film was a complete joy to watch, and we thank Tamara immensely for being so generous with her time to talk about her work with Guy and about Guy.

You can watch the film on demand from https://www.withoutgettingkilledorcaught.com/

You can also find the book or ebook wherever you get great reading material from.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 94 from here.




Sunday, 30 January 2022

See Hear Podcast Episode 93 - Voyage of the Rock Aliens

 


Would you be tempted to watch a film where aliens travel around in a space ship in the shape of a Flying V looking for the source of rock and roll in the universe? How about if it involved a high school romance, a battle of the bands, escaped mental patients armed to the teeth, and a polluted lake?


Tim, Bernie, Maurice and friend of the show Paul Ryan have done just that.....and had a conversation about it for your aural pleasure.


Welcome to episode 93 of See Hear Podcast.


Voyage Of The Rock Aliens is a forgotten musical from 1984, made in an era when instead of the MGM musicals of yesteryear, we were presented with Can't Stop The Music and The Apple. Like many musicals from the 70s and 80s, Voyage combines fantastical elements with popular music....at least what was popular in the mid 80s....so synths, Linn drums, big hair and space costumes are the order of business here. Did we mention that Jermaine Jackson appears in the opening minutes of this film for NO REASON AT ALL????


When aliens are looking for where rock and roll music is in the universe, they're going to trace it to a town called Speelburgh (ho ho ho) where they hear techno music being sung by Pia Zadora....because, yeah....


The film attempts to be a parody of several different styles of film making – is it successful? Download the episode and we'll tell you.


Our gratitude to Paul for bringing this suggestion to the show and joining us to discuss it. As Bernie said, “Thanks a bunch, Paul”. You can find the film on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEWQH1ajnbk&t=1007s


If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....


See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.


Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com


Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast


Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en


You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.


Download episode 93 from here.


Sunday, 19 December 2021

See Hear Podcast Episode 92 - Interview with Tom Surgal, director of "Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz"

 


Change is difficult. Some embrace it, some resist it. It might seem obvious, but change is inevitable.

Welcome to episode 92 of See Hear Podcast.

Jazz is an art form that never remained stagnant. Through creativity or financial necessity, post-war jazz moved from the big swing orchestras to smaller ensembles and bebop became the dominant form. In the late 50s, some jazz musicians decided that, as exciting as bebop was, they wanted to take jazz music in a different direction with band members not having to rely on a structure – neither rhythmically, melodically, or tonally. Avant garde jazz had its champions over the years including people like Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley, Albert Ayler and Sun Ra amongst many others.

Bernie and I speak with drummer and film director Tom Surgal about his great new documentary “Fire Music: The Story of Free Jazz”. His documentary tells the story of how this music was developed and supported over the years. The music had many detractors – music venue owners, jazz publications, and saddest of all, other jazz musicians – those who were afraid of the music's evolution. Given that there appears to be no attempt to put free jazz into its perspective on film (and we speak about who is possibly responsible for that).

Tom was a fantastic conversationalist and we spoke about his own performance background, how musicians took on a DIY attitude when the mainstream rejected them (and probably influenced punk years later), how free jazz musicians formed collectives, angry sounding music being full of love, civil rights, and the music's ongoing legacy. Also, Tom tells a story about Charlie Parker and Miles Davis that would probably find a happy home on Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast.

Our huge thanks to Tom for being such a wonderful guest and to Lin Culbertson (who scored the film) for organising the chat.

You can go to the website https://www.firemusic.org/ for all information about screenings and to keep an eye out for the streaming and physical media release.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 92 from here.








Monday, 22 November 2021

See Hear Podcast Episode 91 - Interview with Scott Barber, director of "This Is Gwar"

 


What happened to heavy metal in the eighties? It bred Dokken, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, W.A.S.P., Motley Crue and many other hair metal bands. Meanwhile in Richmond ,Virginia, an art student and punk musician connected while part of an art collective to form a metal band that combined theatre, chops, a sense of humour, and plenty of bodily fluids.

Welcome to episode 91 of See Hear Podcast.

Scott Barber is the director of a wonderful documentary about Gwar, a band that had liked to blend social satire with heavy music. They invented themselves as creatures from another planet that had been dumped on Earth with the express purpose of destroying all humankind....or at least its political leaders. A Gwar concert experience will include costumes, stage props, bodily secretions sprayed on its audience, decapitations, and as much taking the piss as spraying the piss. For all of the cartoonish elements the band may have to the casual observer, this film tells the story of a band of brothers and sisters – musicians and artists – who looked after each other and cared deeply for each other, even to the point of protecting each other from possible death.

.and one would think that the law enforcement community had learned something from the debacle with Jim Morrison in Florida.....all hail the cuttlefish of Cthulu.

Bernard was absent for this episode, but Tim and I are joined by friend and Gwar super-fan, Jason Skitch to talk about the film with Scott from all its humour to its very dangerous moments. Gwar owe as much to vaudeville, and the boundary pushing of Lenny Bruce as it does to science fiction novels and heavy metal bands of previous years – yet they're definitely their own thing. It was a privilege to speak with Scott about how he captured a career of over 35 years in a 2 hour film. Tim and I also offer many thanks to Jason for stepping in at the last minute to join us.

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 91 from here.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

See Hear Podcast Episode 90 - Breaking Glass

 


Music must change. It always has and always will. The common story (probably part truth and myth) is that punk emerged in the UK as a reaction to the so-called “dinosaur” bands...the ones that had been around for a whole 10 or so years (we'd laugh at that notion now....). Bands that were bloated on their success and measured that success on excess...the supposed antithesis of the early days of popular music. Punk burned brightly, but quickly gave way to the “new wave” of British bands. A large umbrella for many bands who often had little in common.

Welcome to episode 90 of See Hear Podcast.

Tim is absent for this episode for the most wonderful reason...he's getting married on Halloween to his fiance' Maria (Bernie and I love you both). We invited long time friend and host of The Projection Booth, Mike White, to help round out the trio. Mike selected this month's film, Breaking Glass released in 1980. Starring Hazel O' Connor, it's set in Thatcher's England and tells the story of a singer who just wants her music to be heard. At that time, artists of the British new wave were exploding (not in the Spinal Taps' drummers sense...) in popularity. O' Connor plays Kate who is part of this musical dawn, but has to fight crooked music publishers, radio station apathy, the National Front and eventually, her own success. It's an oft repeated story, yet still has a vitality set in this musical and historically troubled period.

The film is available on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR5BXDqO_CQ

Our gratitude goes out to Mike for joining us again. You can (and really should) subscribe to The Projection Booth wherever you download your shows or at the website https://www.projectionboothpodcast.com/

If you’ve been enjoying the show, please consider giving us a favourable review on iTunes and let your friends know that our show exists. If you don't enjoy the show, tell your adversaries to tune in. We don't care who listens.....

See Hear is proudly part of the Pantheon Network of music podcasts. Check out all the other wonderful shows at http://pantheonpodcasts.com.

Send us feedback via email at seehearpodcast@gmail.com

Join the Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/seehearpodcast

Check out the Instagram page at www.instagram.com/seehearpodcast/?hl=en

You can download the show by searching for See Hear on whatever podcast app you favour.

Download episode 90 from here.



See Hear Podcast Episode 96 - Urgh! A Music War and Dance Craze

The 1980s were headed into frightening times politically. The threat of war and potential nuclear conflict was pervasive. So naturally music...