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Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 1:04 am
by Gordon Neill
The good ship SOTW has been a bit becalmed since we lost our captain and navigator. And, like others, I know that I’ve been noticeably invisible. But I haven’t abandoned ship, just been below decks, poring over the maps and finding new areas to explore (or at least old ones that made Charlie wince). Some of it has been respectable ‘world music’; some of it, frankly, hasn’t. I mean – keep this to yourselves – sometimes I find myself listening to what can only be described in a slightly haughty tone as……‘europop’. Some of this stuff could be described as ‘world music’, but only by a bloody liar. I worry about my taste sometimes. I really do. Like a naughty child, it often gets a stern talking to, but then it just goes and smears the jam round its ears anyway.

Anyhow, I thought I’d start an occasional series of sharing the interesting stuff that’s bumped into me and not left any serious scars. I say ‘interesting’ but, of course, much of it may be deadly dull to others. Still, as they say, if you throw enough europop at a wall, some of it will stick. So here’s a handful of stuff. If you can’t catch it, at least don’t sit there with your mouth open……

1. “Non Credere” by Mina (1969, 14” above the knee)

What? You’ve never heard of Mina? The most successful singer in Italy since the 1960s? And you think you’re a bit of a music buff? Really? You should be ashamed. This is the woman once described by Louis Armstrong as the best white singer around, even the ‘best singer, period’. Mind you, old Pops never cut it as a music critic and had to fall back on a second career, eking out a living as a trumpet player. So I wouldn’t go with his fairly generous assessment.

Personally, I can’t see that Mina’s as moving a singer as, say, Aretha or Dorothy Love Coates (check out the obscure reference - pretty good, huh?). I’m not even sure what ‘best singer’ means, there are so many styles. But even I would have to grudgingly admit that Mina’s a damn good singer, with quite a range. Unfortunately that range can frequently veer into Barbara Streisland territory, with lots of heavy orchestration and a mouth that gets a bit too big and shouty for my taste.

Here she is, though, in sultry, subdued, soulful Dusty Springfield mode, singing “Non Credere”. I could claim that I’ve no idea what it’s about, but Google makes it impossible to say that without blushing. Turns out that it’s a tale of almost Shakespearian quality. Basically, she’s telling the dishy bloke not to give any credence to what the other woman says. She’s really the one for him (Mina, not that other woman. That other one’s just a slag). I think ‘non credere’ must be Latin for ‘slag’.

Anyway, as far as it goes with 60’s Italian pop songs sung by a woman with a blonde wig and an unfeasibly short skirt, this is as good as it gets.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKCht6VU ... re=related

Available from all good Mina compilations.

2. “Grounding” by Langoth featuring Da Fonz (2007)

There are lots of things to not like about this. For one thing, these guys are from Austria and, as far as I know, all music from Austria is rubbish (except this, obviously). For another, they don’t even sing in Australian. They sing in that irritating phoney-hip phony-American drawl that is quickly becoming the Esperanto of the musical world. By ‘Esperanto’, of course, I mean a language that is universally used rather than universally ignored. (I might need to work on that metaphor, the more I think about it.) The other thing is, why does it feature some arse called ‘Da Fonz’? I bet his mum doesn’t stick her head out the window and holler ‘yoo-hoo, your dinner’s ready Da Fonz’. It’ll be ‘Gunther’ or ‘Fuehrer’ or something. So why the phoney Da Fonz thing? He’s not fooling anyone.

Still, the thing is, the song is as catchy as something very contagious. Even normal people that I come in contact with have claimed to have quite liked it. People like you might get something out of it as well. But, even if you don’t quite like the song, for chrissakes at least enjoy the clever minimalist video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYGjg8eMA7s

It’s probably on some crappy Langoth album with just the one good track (this one, obviousy). But it’s also on a superb collection of mediocre hip hop called “Hip Hop World”. Available from all good Amazons. Go on. You know you want to.


3. “Sana Dogru – Quante Volte”, by Yesim Salkim (2010)

This sounds like a Turkish descendant of ‘I Will Survive’, at least in tone. But, as the wretched woman insists on singing in Turkish, I have no idea what she’s complaining about. Possibly she’s going to survive, possibly not. It’s hard to tell. But, if the video is anything to go by, it’s got something to do with horses and she’s not happy about it. Maybe, she’s jealous about the younger woman getting the ride. Maybe, it’s some sort of metaphor for life being a kind of circus and we all go round in circles. Maybe baby, it’s just a bunch of random stuff attached to a tune. The main thing is, I like it and you might.

http://www.izlesene.com/video/yesim-sal ... 10/2277151

Avaiable from 'Made In Turkey, volume 5'

By the way, if you think that it’s just OK, try clicking on these links to hear Ajda Pekkan and Zuhal Olcay attempt to climb the heights of the same song. Much though I admire their talented bodies, they do show Yesim Salkim to be a singer of towering genius who could have turned Louis Armstrong’s head if only he had been a SOTW Forum member and bothered to read this thread. You have the advantage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvSXuDyIeAM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLR0FTWCaIA



Legal note: "Any resemblance between the characters in this post and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle."

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:22 am
by Con Murphy
Gordon Neill wrote:What? You’ve never heard of Mina?


Obligatory Costello reference: course we have - she's sampled on 'When I Was Cruel No.2', silly.

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:27 am
by Gordon Neill
'Costello'. Who's she?

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:32 am
by Con Murphy
Sorry, should have aknowledged those excellent clips, to which I'll add.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&feat ... h3rlhwG_Eg

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:53 am
by Gordon Neill
Argh! Do you know about everthing, Con? That is a beauty! I just hope that's on the Mina compilation that I ordered a couple of day ago (yeah, OK, I'd never heard of her until then).

I can't match that. But here's another hit, 'Se Telefonando'. It has an odd structure. 53 seconds of verse, and then the remaining 2 minutes is just chorus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKSuG1LO ... 5D246FB35A

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:16 am
by AndyM
I think the wondrous Pedro Almodovar has a biopic of Mina lined up as a future project. So she'll be everywhere when/if that gets released. Getting in on her now puts you impressively ahead of the wave! And I agree about how great she is.

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:02 am
by Gordon Neill
I'm starting to feel that I was the only person round here that was ignorant of Mina. But at least I'm ahead of the waves of plebs!

The Spanish connection doesn't surprise me as I know that she did Spanish versions of some songs (it's amazing how good Google is as a bluffer's assistant). I believe this one, 'Un Ano De Amor', was used in the soundtrack for Almodovar's film High Heels / Tacones lejanos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6awD8mWRLY

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:15 am
by AndyM
Indeed, and how fab.

Here is the Almo clip:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RIzBOM7E0g&NR=1

Song re-recorded by Luz Casal & mimed to here by Miguel Bose, both contemporary (ish) Spanish popsters. The film is patchy but this clip is fanTAStic.

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:30 am
by DavidM
Thank you Gordon. A few more tassles and sequins in life's rich tapestry.

Re: Nincompop

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:43 pm
by Gordon Neill
To help you get in the mood for the festive season (or possibly just to survive the bloody thing) here's some more tassles and sequins. This time they're provided by Potap & Nastya, a Ukranian duo who sing in Russian. Sometimes I feel the world has become quite a small, familiar place. But Potap & Nastya remind me of the Grand Canyon of Good Taste that separate us from some of our neighbours.

I say 'Good Taste' but, once I'd come to terms with the vast cultural differences, I've become quite a fan. In some ways, they remind me of the broad entertainment provided by British variety acts or even, dare I suggest, the shows in the Apollo theatre in Harlem in the 1950s or early 60s. But I can't think of any modern equivalent in the West. Apart from one-off records, are there any British or American male-female duets in the West? And whatever happened to self-deprecating humour in our mainstream music?

While I can't understand a word they sing (apart from the occasional English phrase), the humour shines through. As far as I can tell, most of their records are based on some sort of squabble or power struggle between the two. There's an almost onomatopoeic quality about 'Potap', the name of the bloke, muscular, but slightly overweight, baseball cap, shirt hanging out. Nastya is a babe with bite who clearly wears the trousers (not literally). And, while Potap has a perfectly good voice, particularly for growling out a rap, it's Nastya who can really cut loose when given half the chance.

The other strange thing is that they are far better on live TV performances than in their music videos. The latter are too glossy and calculating, and invariably add up to less than the sum of their parts. But there is a real chemistry between Potap and Nastya in their live performances, playing up to their stage roles.

They have had many, many hits in Russia. I find most of them quite formulaic and forgettable, but here's three that have stuck between my ears:

Possibly my favourite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcR8UJL2kE4

I think this was their first hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKupl0SXl54

Part of some xmas show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LqcBLhPuE

My only regret is that I've left it too late to post on the fRoots forum.....