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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Greek Bailout Money: Expenditure and Political Implications; ESMT Press Release

Interesting study of the political implications.

ESMT White Paper (24 pages, pdf)

ESMT's Jörg Rocholl on Greek bailout study, DW Video

EU, creditors put Greece finances under the microscope, DW - "Sunday's bad news appeared in the German weekly Welt am Sonntag, which reported that Greece was trailing far behind on enacting the austerity demanded by its international creditors, calling the country a ship with no captain. That provoked an unusually harsh response from the prime minister's press office: The "diehard and unrepentant enemies of Greece" continued to rely on "disinformation and speculation."

Taxpayers appear reluctant to file their income tax statements (eKathimerini)

Everything Has Been Said Already. Perhaps Not By Everyone (Observing Greece).

Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil in London

From The Economist blog - Caetano and Gil, The Brazilian pop duo reflect on imprisonment, exile and life in London

"TWO OF Brazil’s most prominent pop musicians, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, both from Bahia and both 73 years old, will perform on May 4th at the Barbican Centre. They are regular performers across the world, seem not to feel their age and wear their superstardom lightly. But it was not always so easy—there is darkness in their story. Just over 47 years ago, they were slung into solitary confinement in Rio de Janeiro. They remained incarcerated for two months.

It is an experience neither will forget. Brazil had become a military dictatorship in 1964, and the generals quickly tightened their grip on critics, writers, poets and provocateurs such as Messrs Veloso and Gil. By 1967, the duo was known as the country’s leading tropicalistas, exponents of a permissive new musical idiom—Tropicalismo—that grafted British and North American rock on to the gentler song-forms of what was known as música popular brasileira (MPB). MPB was a mix of Brazilian rhythms, samba and bossa nova, often accompanied by edgy lyrics reflecting amorous and social concerns. It was not the time in Brazil to get edgier. Anything that smacked of revolt and the counter-culture was targeted. People began to be locked up; some were tortured and many fled....

After jail, followed by four months of house arrest, the two were forced into exile. Until 1972 they spent it in London. The Beatles, whom they loved, had just finished making music, but the place was still pulsating with sound. There was a demand for new music and albums—increasingly met by bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin—and “World” music, such as reggae. In a way, it was a perfect moment for two ingenious Brazilians to land there and lap up the energies. Any performance by either man in the British capital has pointed significance that is not lost on the audience.

Nor is it lost on Messrs Veloso and Mr Gil. “London was first part of a punishment for nothing,” Mr Veloso says in an e-mail exchange with your correspondent. “But after a year I started to learn how to love it. It’s always emotionally intense to be back.” “We open our concert at the Barbican,” Mr Gil adds (also by e-mail), “with ‘Back in Bahia’ [which references Portobello Road, where the pair fell in love with reggae]. I wrote it straight after returning to Brazil. It celebrates the consequences of having lived in the Swinging City.” (In English, the song’s lyrics state, “I feel as if going there were necessary to return so much more alive / With life more lived, divided between there and here”.)"

Back in Bahia

Back in Bahia 1972


Sold Out at The Barbican

"Two giants of Brazilian music, Gil and Caetano reunite for an intimate acoustic duo performance, continuing a series of musical collaborations, and a friendship that’s weathered revolution, exile and more. Leading lights of the provocative Tropicalia movement that swept Brazil in the late 1960s, Gil and Caetano went from being two of Brazil’s biggest pop stars to prisoners under house arrest ordered by their country’s military dictatorship, and later exiles living in London, jamming around the city’s underground scene. 50 years on, their intricate guitars and soulful vocals still recall the radical spirit of the time, blending Brazilian and African rhythms with elements of psychedelia, rock and funk. In a welcome return to London, the duo continue to make music that communicates directly with the heart and soul."

Caetano's LP, signed for Maria in 1971

A 1971 London Programme (above)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

"Home" in US Country Music

A selection of sentimental (but soulful) songs about home - dedicated to expats, the nostalgic and the homesick everywhere:

My Home Town, Ferlin Husky

Home, Jerry Lee Lewis

The Old Home, Hank Williams

Rank Stranger, Stanley Brothers

My Clinch Mountain Home, The Carter Family

We're Gonna Move, Elvis Presley

Green, Green Grass of Home, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash

Take Me Home, Country Roads, John Denver

500 Miles from Home, Bobby Bare

I Want to Go Home, Johnny Cash

Blue Ridge Mountain Home, Flatt and Scruggs

My Dear Old Southern Home, Doc Watson

No Place Like Home, Randy Travis

Mountain home, sweet home, Roy Acuff 

I'm Comin' Home, Carl Mann

Daddy and Home, Jimmie Rodgers

Waiting for a Train, Jimmie Rodgers

My Nova Scotia Home, Hank Snow

I'm on my way back to the old home, Bill Monroe

Little Cabin Home on the Hill, Bill Monroe and Lester Flatt

Not quite country:

Bob Dylan's Dream, Bob Dylan

Memphis, Tennessee, Chuck Berry

Home I'll Never Be, Tom Waits

Grasshoppers in my Pillow, Leadbelly

Sweet Home Chicago, Magic Sam

Bless This House, Mahalia Jackson

and, for contrast, two Greek songs:

Αντώνης Καλογιάννης - ΤΟ ΣΠΙΤΙ ΜΟΥ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΜΙΚΡΟ

Μια νυχτερίδα στη σκεπή

Corfu: George Psailas Video

A short video - Corfu's constant cemetery gardener | Global 3000 - "87-year-old cemetery gardener George Psailas enjoys cult status. Not only does he care for the graves with great devotion; he was actually born on the cemetery grounds and has already chosen his final resting place there".

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Durrells, Episode 5: Coming Round to Calamari and Olives

"I'm coming round to calamari".

I'm gradually coming round to this series, as the characters develop and gain some depth, with some more subtle humour as a bonus.

Episode 5: a domineering Aunt Hermione arrives.  29 days left (you have to sign up to the ITV Hub)

The treatment and representation of Nancy Durrell, Lawrence's first wife, is really regrettable.

Bermuda: Setting the Record Straight

From The Royal Gazette - "Michael Dunkley has written to Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, to defend Bermuda’s international reputation".