twitter twaddle

do any of you use twitter?

if you are asking ‘what the hell is twitter?” then you probably don’t use it, although those of us who do could ask ourselves the same question.

basically, it is a social networking system that allows you to send and read people’s “tweets” which are text messages of up to 140 characters. in a nutshell, it’s your facebook status without all the other paraphernalia.

over 100 million people use it, mostly for very dull and pointless purposes. but there are some people (very, very few) who are able to be genuinely amusing in 140 characters. perhaps the most famous is stephen fry (mentioned in the previous post). the woman who claims to be his wife and mother of his 5 or 6 children, mrs stephen fry, is perhaps even funnier (she also has a blog). another bastion of british comedy, john cleese is still alive and twatting like a loon.  the fucking queen is amusing but not amused. and god has a sense of humour, believe it or not. shit my dad says is worth joining twitter for but one of my absolute favorites has to be the funniest dog on the planet, bLoOMeRrOoNeY. she’s the only person (or animal) who merits using capital letters on this blog.

and there’s the dilemna. you cannot enjoy the pearls of nonsense on twitter unless you actually join and most people really don’t want to bother with any more internet crap. but if you do want to broaden your horizons beyond facebook, twitter can be fun and has also broken news before some of the major news channels. tweeple knew about the earthquake in haiti long before the msm picked it up and when the icelandic volcano trapped travellers all over europe, twitter was invaluable for hooking up and sharing rides to get home.

so if you need more entertainment but have the attention span of a gnat, join us and lots of other silly people on twitter. and don’t blame me if you get addicted. i’m sure there’s an online therapy group for tweetaholism and twitterhea.

happy tweeting…

mountain of love

if you haven’t done so yet, go and join mountain of love on facebook. our mate piers marsh is feverishly working away in the studio and has posted a tasty teaser on the fan page.

there is something deeply wonderful about friends working on creative endeavours and being fuc*!ng good at it. it’s not about whether they get famous (or even any recognition) for doing it. it’s the fact that they have the guts to do it anyway. in this case though, i’m pretty sure that this album is going to be big and us fans of mountain of love can boast that we heard it first.

best of luck piers.

we’re with you all the way

stupid baby names

it’s been a while since i wrote any nonsense here and much has happened in the world. not that i noticed while it was happening. the big news was that chelsea clinton got married to some bod called marc. no idea when mark came to be spelled with a “c” or when it became acceptable to name your child after an area in london but there you go. people are strange. in other celebrity news, alicia keys married someone called swizz beatz and now we have a silly name competition on our hands. the prize used to be held by the artist formally known as prince who became this unpronounceable symbol


jordan and peter andre called their daughter princess tiaamii, poor child. life is hard enough for kids without inflicting ridiculous names on them too. but they didn’t start this cutesy nauseating trend. bob geldof and paula yates should be held partly accountable for fifi trixibell (and paula again for heavenly hiraani tiger lily with michael hutchence) but they are not the worst offenders. here’s my list of the worst of the worst:

shannyn sossamon (i had to look up who the hell she was!) called her boy, audio science.
geri halliwell settled on blue angel for her girl? boy?
arthur ashe’s boy(?) is called camera.
david duchovny and tea leoni skipped the thinking up names bit and went straight for kyd.
jermaine jackson continued the rampant insanity in the jackson family and called one of his kids jermajesty
but i think the prize has to go to mr frank zappa who cursed his children with the names moon unit, dweezil and diva muffin

i should point out that my name, cassi with an “i” is not to be included in this diatribe about silly names. it is a unique and rather beautiful name, befitting of a diva but if i was having to name a child these days, i’d go for something that would really stand out like george or mary. the naming equivalent of not having a tattoo or having real boobs.

what’s the silliest name you’ve heard?

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tori amos – god

seeing as this is supposed to be a music blog, i’m posting some…. music!

go see it here

god, sometimes you just don’t come through
god, sometimes you just don’t come through
do you need a woman to look after you
god, sometimes you just don’t come through

i have a huge soft spot for tori amos. she’s talented, odd, unique and seriously underrated. all the stuff i like in an artist. she’s often categorised as “alternative” which means she’s consigned to the sidelines of the music machine but also means she’s free to do what the hell she likes.

when i dream of fame and fortune (which, of course, i have succeeded in achieving ;-)), i imagine being like ms. amos or bjork or pj harvey.

wild, wacky and wonderful.

wobbly bits

i’ve often wished that there was a language plugin for humans. imagine being instantly fluent in spanish, mandarin or navajo. i’d also like a delete button for stupid things that come out of my mouth. and a restart button for those days when i wake up feeling crap. and the ability to chuck out the old useless files in my sluggish brain and make space for new ones.

and while we’re at it, let’s add real life photoshop to the wishlist. having a bad hair day? no problem. photoshop! had an overindulgent night before? whoopee. photoshop! bad lighting showing up your wrinkles? abracadabra. photoshop! put on a few pounds over christmas? forget diets. photoshop!

we’d all have the ability to look flawless. all the time. sadly, at the moment, the boffins have been unable to invent these applications for us so we will have to amuse ourselves some other way. oh, i know! let’s look at “before” and “after” pictures of celebrities and laugh at their wobbly bits.

keira knightley grows boobs and cameron diaz gets symmetrical ones. kelly clarkson loses weight, serena williams loses a mole and tyra banks loses her moustache. kim kardashian’s cellulite disappears, eva longoria gets see-through clothing and britney spears head moves. justin timberlake de-shines and de-creases, naomi watts changes skin and heidi klum misplaces an ankle bone.

go on. click the link. it’ll make you feel better…

venue mistakes

i read yesterday that paul weller (he of the jam who i absolutely loved back in the day) played the royal albert hall. now i know it was mr weller’s show and not the jam and i actually like him on his own, but the royal albert hall? i know, i know, tons of famous bods (including hendrix, sting jay z and the kaiser chiefs have played there but i find it odd. for me the royal albert is for ballet and classical music and eric clapton. not for the bad boys and girls of rock and roll. call me old fashioned but i like my bands up close and dirty. i understand stadium rock even though i never go. i can’t see the point of paying hundreds of quid to go and see bands and only being able to see them on a big screen. yeah, yeah, it’s the atmosphere bla bla and there are so many fans that they wouldn’t fit in a normal rock venue. i get it.

but the royal albert hall? it’s sedate and polite and nice. all the things that music shouldn’t be. especially not for someone who used to be in the jam. i like my rock idols to stay on the edge, to remain rebellious. but sadly, they either go the way of bono and paul weller (and countless others) or they self-destruct by the age of 27.

i do take my hat off to bowie and the rolling stones who have managed to survive this gentrification of music and have stayed (in my opinion) as exciting as they always were.

ps: i have a particular hatred of the royal albert hall because of the last night of the proms. this is when the hooray henrys and henriettas, let the peasants into their inner sanctum to get pissed and sing land of hope and glory. gives me shivers just thinking about it.

pps: in mr weller’s defence, he did live stream the gig and bruce foxton joined him on stage for the first time in 28 years

u2 postpone tour

from the bbc

U2 have pulled out of the Glastonbury Festival and postponed their US tour after Bono had emergency surgery to save him from possible paralysis.

The singer, 50, had a back operation on Friday after suffering an injury while training in preparation for the tour.

Neurosurgeon Joerg Tonn said: “The surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis.”

Bono, who must recuperate for the next two months, said he was “heartbroken”.

i was going to say “i know how you feel, mate” but that would seem a bit big-headed but in some small (but very diva-like) way, i do. when i was a wandering thespian, our company toured up and down merry england. one of the classic, another day, another city, kind of tours. on the day of a big premiere in london, i sprained my ankle. sounds pathetic but i was ordered not to perform for two weeks. did you know it takes longer to recover from a bad sprain than a fracture in some cases? the show i was in was a highly physical one that we trained for by running 5 miles in the morning, followed by a two hour physical training. anyway, our director had to stand in for me and i travelled with the company but was unable to perform. it was the most intensely frustrating and yes, heartbreaking time.

the desire to get up on stage is a strange and indescribable fish. it’s not as simple as people make out. that performers want to be loved (although that’s very nice too). it’s more like a need. like there’s nothing else you could possibly want to be doing other than that. nothing. the stage is where you are at your happiest. where you feel the most fear and overcome it. where you feel the most vulnerable. where you feel the greatest power you possess. it’s the greatest high that i have ever experienced. no amount of alcohol (drugs might be different… i don’t know) can make you feel like that.

so, although i haven’t been a fan of bono or u2 since their “war” album, they have my sympathy.

i know how you feel…

funky rehearsals

we’re on the final countdown to the gig at afaneis (tuesday 20th april 2010). had a great rehearsal yesterday with our mate piers marsh (alabama 3). he’s made an amazing “dance your tits off” track out of one of our songs. you’ll have to come to the gig if you want to know what and how. we have also invited the stylianos tziritas trio to play the opening set. he’s a bit of a wild boy, so anything can happen.

all in all, it’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting evening and another completely one-off event for athens town.

be there.

you know you want to…

indie musicians win an oscar for best song

from stereogum

The Frames’ Glen Hansard and girlfriend, Once co-star, and singing partner Marketa Irglóva took home the gold, and their acceptance speech(es) provided a night highlight. Glen delivered some touching words, and a sour note in Oscar history was avoided when Jon Stewart brought Marketa back out, after commercial break, to make right the orchestra’s ill-timed acceptance speech exit music. She says some nice things about independent musicians.

musical unions


from kathimerini

Yiannis Angelakas (r) and Nikos Veliotis, a strong draw on the local alternative music circuit, have just released a new brighter-sounding album, ‘Pote Tha Ftasoume Edo,’ as the follow-up to their very well received debut together, “Oi Anases Ton Lykon.” The duo is now touring.

By Yiouli Eptakili

We were drinking tea at a quiet cafe in downtown Athens. Yiannis Angelakas, the former frontman of the popular Greek rock act Trypes, and his gifted music partner of late, the talented cellist and composer Nikos Veliotis, an active figure on the international experimental circuit, were preparing to depart for Thessaloniki for final rehearsals ahead of a mini tour, now on. The pair has just released a second album, “Pote Tha Ftasoume Edo,” following their very well received first outing together, “Oi Anases Ton Lykon.” Both albums are unique. Veliotis’s multilayered sounds, chords, and drones, all on the cello, blend with Angelakas’s thoughtful lyrics. The duo traveled along different paths, at different times, before joining forces. From Thessaloniki, Angelakas picked grapes as a youngster before rejecting that line of work. He turned to music and fronted his rock band Trypes along a blazing trail for 15 years. Back then, an entire generation here identified with the angst-ridden words and thoughts of Angelakas, now 48. Born and raised in Athens, Veliotis, a cool-headed 38-year-old, thrives on city life. The classically trained cellist prefers anti-academic ways in music, surfs the Internet, and gets his kicks out of watching trash TV and frequenting small venues with experimental leanings.

Yiannis Angelakas, are you still mad at [the late archbishop] Christodoulos?

Y. A:

I was not mad at Christodoulos, nor was the song “Airetiko” (Heretical) just about him, but about what he represented. Christodoulos was a passionate priest in a mad world, a rock star who controlled listeners, and a TV star, but his show was cheap. In the end, of course, he became a hero. Everybody emerged in the media and spoke lofty things about how significant a personality he was. Big deal, we knew what he was.

N. V:

Greek hypocrisy is a well-known fact. We need mass, national psychotherapy in order to be able to move on.

Should I assume that you were not at all alarmed by all that has gone on at the Culture Ministry (Zachopoulos affair)?

Y. A:

It’s a joke in itself that a Culture Ministry exists. Power, amid all its interests, cares little about how it will further develop people. Like the Public Order Ministry and its enforcement of order as it sees it, the Culture Ministry imposes its own views about culture. And we’ve seen what the results are – dirt, money, scandals…

Would you accept financial backing from the Culture Ministry?

Y. A:

We would most probably say “no,” as we’ve done in the past. If we lived in a more serious country with serious leaders and I saw that people like Socrates Malamas and Thanassis Papaconstantinou received occasional ministry backing, then I may have asked for funds to maintain the band.

N. V:

I would prefer it if young, unknown artists received ministry funds. But, as Yiannis just said, we don’t live in a serious country. We’ve suddenly just realized that the Chrysi Avgi (right-wing extremist) group enjoys good ties with the Greek police force, and that immigrants get beaten up at police stations. Reality is just what is captured on video and put on the screen.

Do you watch television?

N. V:

I do. I’ll find something even in the junk. There’s something worthy there, too, if you watch with a conscience. I’m just as conscientious about not watching the news.

Y. A:

It’s not news, its a show. Fortunately, not everybody is feeding television’s atrocious state. TV junkies in Greece number no more than 2-2.5 million. They’re the minority. There are also people who think, worry, and get out onto the street to fire up the thoughts of fellow citizens.

Are you optimistic?

N. V:

Yes, because we get around here, meet people, young people who think. There’s something alive out there that’s boiling.

Is this why your new album is more optimistic than the previous one?

Y. A:

When we were making “Oi Anases Ton Lykon” it was a difficult period for both of us. Things around us then changed, as did our energy, and this new album is truly more luminous.

How did you two get together and find you matched?

N. V:

Yiannis was doing the soundtrack for Nikos Nikolaidis’s film “Loser Takes All” and wanted to do something with the cello.

Y. A:

And we became friends. It’s the only way I can work. I don’t function in a totally professional way. I create human bonds and, then, music through them.

N. V:

What we do is like a serious game.

Is there any chance of us seeing Trypes on stage again?

Y. A:

No, no chance whatsoever. We have nothing to do with this trend for band reunions, all for the sake of making money.

N. V:

It’s still early. You’re all too young!

Nikos Veliotis, did you follow Trypes ?

N. V:

No, I’d started getting involved with experimental music at the time.

Y. A:

I like to collaborate with people who didn’t listen to Trypes. Much of the Episkeptes [Angelakas’s current backing ensemble] lineup had no idea about the old band.

How did you manage to gather all these exceptional musicians? And how can such a large band of about 15 people on stage survive financially?

Y. A:

It’s total madness trying to maintain such a band in Greece. It does generate some wages. Our nerves often reach the breaking point, but we carry on because the guys understand that what we do is worth the effort. Which is why they often sacrifice better pay to be with us.

Do you believe in the freedom that the Internet provides musicians?

Y. A:

I believe with hesitation. I need to wait a few more years. There’s momentum and potential, so something may be achieved here.

N. V:

We feel concern about the distribution of our work. Total freedom may come through the Internet.

Your album sells for about 17.80 euros. That’s expensive isn’t it?

N. V:

It’s expensive because of the middlemen.

Y. A:

We dream of cheaper albums, but at this point in time, don’t have the power to achieve this. Of the 17.80 euros, our label, Alltogethernow, which does all the production work, gets 5 euros. The money we get is in there. We give the distributors completed work and they share the remaining 13 euros with the record shops. Let’s not talk about this anymore because it drives me crazy.

N. V:

And just think, albums are even more expensive in the country’s provinces.

Does it annoy you if some listeners freely download your music?

N. V:

Now, that’s just the way things are.

Y. A:

We try to be on good terms with our fans. And because they’re quality-minded, they understand that All together now needs the money to survive. Until now, despite these difficult times, people have been buying our music, consciously. I’m certain that if we were to ask our following for support, it would offer it. At some point, when it became known that Alltogethernow had problems, a girl called me to say that she had 1,500 euros which she could gladly give me. There was a boy, too, offering about that much more. I didn’t accept it, of course, but it’s touching when somebody says: “Well, I’m here and want to help you continue with what you’re doing.” People know.