Monday, September 26, 2005

 

Merce Festival Video on Website

I decided to try and make the most of some of the footage and photographs that I took over this weekend at the Merce Festival in Barcelona, whilst having a go at learning some of the software in my new computer at the same time. So i knocked up a little video and dropped a Xavier Cugat party tune onto it at:

www.rogercowell.net/html/merce_movie.html

There are fireworks from Barceloneta beach, the CorreoFoc or "running fire" in the Pl. St.Juame, some rides and stuff from the Forum over the last two nights. Should be longer really but there was some serious drinking and dancing to be done at the same time.



Saturday, September 24, 2005

 

So What Is It With The Camping?

So what is it with me and camping? How come everytime I try to go
camping it ends up in disaster? Anyway last weekend I headed up too
Figueras & the Costa Brava to go camping for a few days with my old
friends from Stoke Newington - Mike, Dawn & Peter. I specially go and
purchase a new tent, sleeping bag and ground mat thing from
Decathlon, especially for the event (Got to love Decathlon they've
got all the gadgets for camping, cheap as well). Anyway I get all the
way there, we have a nice time on the beach, lovely dinner in St Pere
de Pescador, we get back to the campsite for nightcap & a spliff -
all very sociable. I retire to the tent all very nice so far - 2.30am
the wind starts getting up, tent starts to rock a bit, 4.00am
torrential rain starts pouring down. Luckily my tent holds up
without any leaks but it is really bucketing down and of course I
have to go to the bathroom 200 meters away - so there I am at 4.30am
trudging through the mud in a howling storm in nothing but my
underpants (not worth getting all my clothes wet), in the perfect
world this would be the part of the story where i come across a
mobile home, with six Swedish girls on holiday - but unfortunately
life doesn't work that way.

Next day it's all cleared up a bit - Peter and Dawn drop Mike and
myself off in the van at Empuries Brava, and they head off back home
to France - we're supposed to be going to a big party and BBQ at a
beach very nearby that night. We set up the tents and have a bit of a
siesta after the previous nights disturbances - but all the time the
wind is getting stronger & stronger. I get woken up by the roof of my
tent pushing down on my nose, and it isn't even dark yet. In a burst
of activity I break my tent down, then build it again but pointing in
a different direction, simultaneously lashing it too tress with
bungee cords, which seems to solve the wind problem.

Few hours later we get a call - BBQ is cancelled, too windy, another
hour later we get another call - entire party is cancelled, too
windy... so we have a strange evening in the campsite bar fortifying
ourselves against the elements with alcohol... it works! Strange
though, put it this way - if you had just got married would you bring
your bride, still in her wedding dress, to a draughty campsite on the
Costa Brava along with all of your mates? No, me neither - maybe it's
a Catalan thing?

Next day was great though - sun was shining, we visited my friend Nic
at his converted mill and there was no camping, as we came back to
BCN. But what is it with me and camping? Last time I went, in
Australia, about three years ago, exactly the same story - New Years
Eve, middle of a beautiful summer, no rain for weeks - I get a new
tent & sleeping bag, off to the outback with a bunch of people and on
the first night the heavens open and it doesn't stop raining for two
days. I just don't get it - tent and sleeping bag are now resident in
the cupboard under my sink and I have a feeling that they may be
staying there for some time.


 

Merce Festival Barcelona 2005

OK, so it’s 1687 and Barcelona is suffering from a plague of locusts, who are munching their way through all the crops and nobody can find a way to get rid of them. Somebody has the bright idea of doing a trade-in on the existing city saint, and swapping all the prayers over to the Virgin of Mercy – consequently all the bugs disappear and we all get to stay out until 6.00am, drinking beer and watching bands, pretty good huh?

That’s the great thing about Barcelona, the Fiestas are like buses – miss one there’s no need to worry there will be another coming right along soon. So not a month after the week long mayhem of the Gracia Festival along comes Merce, four days of live music, drinking, free access to all museums and galleries, more drinking, fireworks, human towers with kids on top, demons running around with fireworks, four meter giants wobbling about the streets and even more drinking.

Live music is everywhere, something like 100 gigs over the whole festival. Caught an absolute blinder last night at The Forum – Saul Williams, American rapper / slam-poet / political agitator – really moving and motivating, and playing in front of a huge crowd of several thousand people all for free. Also caught a pretty cool Belgian electro punk-pop band called Vive la Fete (below) – kind of a1980’s Debbie Harry fronting D.A.F. with guitars, put together by a former bass player from dEUS.



The other great thing is that the Metro stays open all night from Thursday til’ Sunday, 24 hours – can you imagine that happening in somewhere like London? Now if we could only fix it so that the shops can open over the holiday, so we could buy bread and a litre of milk, then things would be perfect.

LINKS
www.bcn.es/merce
www.saulwilliams.com
www.vivelafete.net

Friday, September 23, 2005

 

Visit to Madrid

I'm off for a visit to Madrid next month, just for five days to see what's happening:
Friday, 21st October - Barcelona to Madrid
Tuesday, 25th October - Madrid to Barcelona

What else? well I brought my old amplifier back from the UK, a chunky old Yamaha and picked up a couple of tasty 50W Technics speakers in Cash Converters. So now along with my CD/DJ player and mixer, I should have a nice little system for playing at house parties around Barcelona... which hopefully will be loud enough to kick up some noise in the average sized lounge room, without taking up too much space. Proof of the pudding will be next weekend when i play a party for Christa and Lucy, who have a nice big flat in town. 

Monday, September 19, 2005

 

The Bushes in New Orleans

At least you can rely on somebody to be making the most of a bad situation.



Tuesday, September 06, 2005

 

"Cramp Your Style" - New Mixtape MP3 available online now!

I've been working on a new mix in order to get some DJ dates around Barcelona, so at the same time i thought i had might as well put it online:
http://www.rogercowell.net/music/Roger_Mix_Aug2005.mp3

It's about 50 mins long and clocks in at about 56MB, so better if you've got broadband...
You'll find some Funk and Soul, both vintage and contemporary - some Hip-Hop, Latin Boogaloo, Original Disco & Jazz Breaks - which covers some of the genres that I usually play, but not all...
All mixed up in my usual sloppy & haphazard fashion...

Hope you enjoy, feel free to pass the link on to anybody who you think might like it...

Cheers Roger...

******************************************************************
at the risk of gushing...

i'm having a terrible time dealing with my job lately, but
i'm listening to your mixtape and i just don't care!

that missy elliot track is sweet.

: )

-michelle, also super dope
******************************************************************



 

Sir Bob Geldof - Egomaniac or G8 Stooge?

With all the mayhem of the last two months - London bombings, hurricanes in New Orleans etc - it has been far to easy to overlook, the results (or lack of them) after the G8 Summit and the self-indulgent farce that was Live 8. For a real insight into the recent developments that have occurred since the G8 declaration that led Sir Bob to announce: “a great justice has been done. .. On aid, 10 out of 10; on debt, eight out of 10 … Mission accomplished frankly.” you must check out George Monbiot's new article 'The Man Who Betrayed The Poor' on his website:

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2005/09/06/the-man-who-betrayed-the-poor/

It makes for harrowing reading, all of the supposed promises made by the G8 have crumbled away to dust - not that you would ever know by reading the mainstream media. Sir Bob has he made any effort whatsoever to point this out? absolutely none - the question needs to be asked, is this because he is a damn fool with a giant ego problem, or is he really a stooge of the G8? he was pretty quick to pat George and Tony on their backs, thats for sure.

If you have any doubts then read the full article by clicking the link above, here are a couple of choice quotes that I have pulled out:

“We are very critical of what Bob Geldof did during the G8 Summit”, Demba Moussa Dembele of the African Forum on Alternatives tells me. “He did it for his self-promotion. This is why he marginalized African singers, putting the limelight on himself and Bono, rather than on the issues. … The objectives of the whole Live8 campaign had little to do with poverty reduction in Africa. It was a scheme intended to project Geldof and Blair as humanitarian figures coming to the rescue of “poor and helpless” Africans.”(15)

“Right from the beginning,” says Kofi Mawuli Klu of the Forum of African Human Rights Defenders, “he has acted in his own selfish interests. It was all about self-promotion, about usurping the place of Africans. His message was “shut up and watch me”. Without even understanding the root causes of the problems, he used his role to drown the voices of the African people and replace them with his own. There are many knowledgeable people – African and non-African – who could have advised him, but he has been on his own, ego-tripping.”(16)

I have heard similar sentiments from every African campaigner I have spoken to. Bob Geldof is beginning to look like Mother Teresa or Joy Adamson. To the corporate press, and therefore to most of the public, he is a saint. Among those who know something about the issues, he is detested. 

Sorry Bob - a mission very very far from being accomplished by the looks of it...




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