Friday, November 29, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 299 SONG #330

DAY 299 - A Song about an African Deity

This is as song by the Invertebrates, a San Francisco based band from the early 1980ies which has been labelled very differently (from blues to post-punk to new wave). It is about one special lwa (as the Vodun - Deities in the religion also called Vodun -  are called in Haiti), Danbalah, a Vodun from Ouidah, Benin, where he is venerated in the "Temple des Pythons". The video is taken from Maya Deren's movie "Divine Horsemen". Actually, the movie was put together after Maya Deren's death from the material she shot in Haiti. She went there because she was interested in the dances of Haitian Vodoun, but ended up being initiated into the religion. You can read about that in her famous book "Divine Horsemen". Dan, or Edan, is a deity of the rainbow, associated with the python, in the religion called Vodu in Southern Benin and Togo. He became Danbalah in Haitian Vodoun, often depicted as a twin pair of snakes together with Ayido Wèdo), sometimes referred to as Danballah Wédo. The veve (symbolic respresentations of the lwa) made of chalk, wheat flour or gunpowder of Danballah Wédo looks like that:

Danbalah and Aida Hwedo (Danbala and Ayida Wèdo) are the divine serpent and the rainbow, whose powers reside in the domain of knowledge. Sometimes referred to as Danbala Wedo, the water spirit, with the symbol of the snake that can survive in hot and dry regions and therefore is looked at as a symbol of life-energy. Associated with St. Patrick, who is sometimes depicted with snakes, because it is said that he relieved Ireland from the snakes. Danbalah is the eldest of the lwa, therefore special attention and care is paid to him. He is also thought of as connecting the earth with the water underground (Ginen, Guinea, the homeland), therefore the poteau mitan is also called “poto-Danbalah”. In Ouidah, Benin, I took the following photograph of a depiction of Edan at a house, whose inhabitants are adherents of the cult of the vodun Dan (the shrine on the right hand side houses Legba, the guardian deity):

And here is the song by The Invertebrates:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1000 SONGS - Day 298 SONG # 329

DAY 298: A song from one of my favourite albums

I used to think. that "Prophet" was the stage name of some guy born as Miller or Tanner or the like (Baker?). Obviously, Chuck Prophet was born as Prophet, Charles Williams. He was/is (?) a member of Green on Red, one of my fav bands, featured, amongst others on two of my fav albums (there are thousands...), Gas Food Lodging and No Free Lunch. He did a lot of fine solo work, too, and one album he recorded I really appreciate is "The Hurting Business". From that one, I post this one, called "Rise":

Saturday, November 16, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 297 SONG # 328

DAY 297: A Song About Going Home

There are many songs in the world that deal with the topic of "Going Home", f.e., one rather lengthy (11:13) song by the Stones on their album "Aftermath" from 1966, and the rather short version that Ten Years After did of their song of that name on the Woodstock album (9:20). There is also a song called "I Feel Like Going Home" by Charlie Rich, covered by the likes as Mark Knopfler or the great Walkabouts on their seminal album "Satisfied Mind". I will come back to that later. Here is the Muddy Waters song from 1948

Well, now it gettin' late on into the evenin'
And I feel like, like blowin' my home
When I woke up this mornin' all I, I had was gone
Now it gettin', late on into the evenin', man now
I feel like, like blowin' my home
Well now, woke up this mornin', all I had was gone

Well, brooks run into the ocean, the ocean run in, into the sea
But don't find my baby, somebody gonna sure bury me
Brooks run into the ocean, man, that ole ocean ran into the sea
Well now, if I don't find my baby
Somebody sure gonna bury me

Well, minutes seemed like hours, an hour don't it seem like days?
Seems like my baby would stop her old evil way
Minutes seemed like hours, an hour seemed like days
Well now, seems like my baby child, whoo-hoo well, child
Would stop her low down ways

Saturday, November 9, 2013

1000 SONGS - DAY 296 SONG # 327

DAY 296: 4 Songs by one of my Favourite Mancunian Bands

James' first album has always been one of my favs. Produced by Lenny Kaye, "Stutter" added a new kind of a hard to describe musical style somwhere between folk, indie-rock, alternative music and I do not know what to my musical universe in 1986. Later on, with Manchester changing into Madchester, James released some electrifying dance-tracks, some of which are featured in my vinyl collection as 12" singles and ep-s.
Here are 3 songs from "Stutter", "So many ways", "Why so close" and "Black Hole", and as a kind of bonus-track, the rousing "Come Home" (which I first heard on the late night radio show John Peel did in the late 80ies and early 90ies in Austria), in the original 1989 recording. The track was later re-released in a remix by Flood, after James had changed their record company.