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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 5:00 pm
by Charlie
howard male wrote:The rest of Charlie's afternoon session was fine, with the only problem being it could have been louder. For some reason only when Giles Peterson joined him, for a way too short ping-pong session, did the volume get turned up to a reasonable level. For the rest of the time it was often a case of straining to hear what was being said above the hubbub of conversation from those at the back - people can be so rude!

I did wonder if it was loud enough, but sitting on stage behind the speakers, it was hard to judge, and I assumed that if anybody felt it was too quiet, they would come forward to say so. I'm surprised you didn't, Howard.

I noticed where you were standing, just behind the seated audience, and although your hearing was spoiled by the noisy chatterers near you, the audience closer to the stage was remarkably quiet. I consoled myself with the conclusion that they were having to stay quiet because they would be conspicuous if they spoke. There may be some correlation: the louder the music, the louder the chatter.

Glad you liked LaXula. That was actually the first time I had seen the full line-up, and I was as impressed as you were. Helene Rammant, who organised the afternoon, said she received many enquiries from members of the audience wanting to know the name of the band and where to get a copy of the album. www.myspace/laxula

Re: Sunday Ping Pong etc

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 5:02 pm
by Charlie
Peter Williams wrote: Is there any chance of a recording of Sunday's proceedings finding their way on to the Sound of the World site or the BBC one?.

I don't think it was recorded. You had to be there!

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 5:30 pm
by Ian A.
Charlie wrote:
Ian A. wrote:but then it's always much easier to knock things than give credit, eh?

I can't understand this punch in the stomach, Ian - I'm all for lively interchanges, but this remark has the feel of somebody looking for a fight? What's that all about?


It's about being sick to death of people who haven't done anything to build the infrastructure that has resulted in the amazing scene we have today - the festivals, the record releases, the tours, the festivals, the awards - constantly whingeing about and denigrating the efforts of all the hard working people who have done behind the scenes over the years.

On Friday I was called up by BBC4 to come on a programme and "defend" world music, which I decilned to do as I couldn't see what needed defending, but perhaps in retrospect I should have done. Yesterday I did two radio interviews in which I got the same old crap. So yes, exactly, I've had enough and I will fight the corner of the hard working activists. I'm really hacked off with the BBC idea of "balance" which says that if there are two opposing views, one of which is held by 95% and the other by 5%, they put it up as a 50/50 discussion and boost the negativity and credibility of the whingeing minority.

Howard's piece had a sub text of carping about the "world music industry". If it wasn't for the many people behind its scenes, mostly genuine hardworking enthusiasts like Francis, Yusuf, Hilda, doing it for very little reward or recognition, who've built it up over the years, there wouldn't be an awards show to enjoy and the chance to experience Mahmoud Ahmed. I'm lucky enough to have a small platform to stand up for them, and I will. And Howard's a journalist, not a punter - it's his job to research the background rather than come out with sweeping ill-informed statements that reinforce prejudices, especially as he's writing for a mass-circulation public-facing newspaper rather than a "minor parish magazine" like I do. It ain't good enough.

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 6:25 pm
by howard male
Ian wrote -

And Howard's a journalist, not a punter - it's his job to research the background rather than come out with sweeping ill-informed statements that reinforce prejudices, especially as he's writing for a mass-circulation public-facing newspaper rather than a "minor parish magazine" like I do. It ain't good enough.


It's as good as it's going to get, Ian. I am passionate about what I do, but it's clearly not what you think I should be doing.

My job, as I see it Ian, is to make world music assessable to the more general reader.

My comments on Mahmoud weren't 'ill-informed', they were just a simplification of the situation. Surely you would agree that Mahmoud's music is only now reaching a much wider public through the BBC Awards? If I had been writing a piece just on Mahmoud, obviously such details you refer to might have been included - if you look on-line on a site called 'Find Articles' you will probably find my live review of Mahmoud from last year where I talked about more about the history of his music and its revival.

As I've already stated (yet you still keep firing away) if I'd had more than 80 words to talk about his performance I could have given credit to Francis. But my concern when writing a piece such as this is to not lose the reader on some tangent, and stick to trying to convey my enthusiasm for the visceral substance of the moment - the music that's hitting me there and then. After all, the enthusiast would know these details anyway and I'm more interested in the reader whose asking 'what is this world music stuff?' And surely drawing them in has to be one concern when thinking about the future of world music?

Ian wrote -

It's about being sick to death of people who haven't done anything to build the infrastructure that has resulted in the amazing scene we have today - the festivals, the record releases, the tours, the festivals, the awards - constantly whingeing about and denigrating the efforts of all the hard working people who have done behind the scenes over the years.


If you're going to blame me for that too, why not blame me for not helping to create the NHS or win the battle of Trafalgar? I only became fully immersed in this genre in the last two or three years. What can I do about that? I can't turn back time? I am far from a constant whinger on world music. I'll say it again as you don't seem to take it on board: I never review an album I don't like. I always write fairly and with enthusiasm!! I don't recognise the person you describe and I can only think that a personal dislike of me has wharped your judgement of my work.

Ian wrote -

Howard's piece had a sub text of carping about the "world music industry".


What?! There was no 'subtext' as you put it regarding the industry, just one brief mention which was meant to be taken in a positive light - that it's never too late to put an artist in the spotlight. Otherwise why would I have also mention Konono No 1 in the same breath, a band I am known to be a huge fan of, just as I'm a huge fan of Mahmoud? Really this is so tiring and emotionally draining to have to justify myself like this!

I really don't understand why you have such a downer on me Ian, to the point, it seems, of actually reading negativity into what I write which isn't even there! There was some music at last night's concert which wasn't exactly to my taste, but I actually wrote about it all in a really positive way, and my only negative comments were actually about the band who I imagine you would have the least sympathy with anyway - Gotan Project.

Yes, it would have been great if K'naan had been there - perhaps you read negativity into that comment - but I even put a positive spin on that by saying he did 'the right thing' by staying home with his wife and baby.

Anyway, enough.

Counterproductive posting

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:17 pm
by Quintin
Actually it was me not Howard who bemoaned the lack of a new recording by Mahmoud Ahmed. I am just, to quote Ian Anderson, a "punter"- a pretty disparaging description frankly-who has no idea of the going ons in the industry. But what really pisses me off is that this forum (or parts of it) seems on occasions,and this intervention by Ian Anderson is a prime example, to have become the preserve of those who want to wage some kind of pointless (to me) personal vendetta to an extent that I find pretty offensive and off-putting. Surely one of the main points of this forum is to communicate the joy of this wonderful music something Howard, amongst many other contributors, does so well. If you want to be rude to someone send them a PM.

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:18 pm
by Charlie
Ian A. wrote:It's about being sick to death of people who haven't done anything to build the infrastructure that has resulted in the amazing scene we have today constantly whingeing about and denigrating the efforts of all the hard working people who have done behind the scenes over the years.

Maybe you should come out in the open and name some names here, Ian - however long it is, surely it can't include Howard, whose welcome breaths of fresh air have blown through both Independents and the Word, as well as these pages.

Howard's piece had a sub text of carping about the "world music industry".

There was no sub-text: this comment applied very specifically to the relative obscurity of Mahmoud in the world music firmament, and I think it is justified.

The first time I saw Mahmoud in London was back around 1985 in a venue at the north end of Queensway, where the audience was almost entirely Ethiopian and Eritrean; mine was one of very few white faces, Joe Boyd's was another, and he may remember who else was there.

Much more recently, early this year or at the end of last, a concert was staged at the Hammersmith Palais (under the banner Stars of the Nile, I think) and among only 200 people there were few if any of the world music community.

In between, Mahmoud has rarely been invited to play here, although the rapturous reaction to him at WOMAD in 2005 showed how welcome he would have been.

My only comment would be to wonder, is there such a thing as the world music industry? Somehow that word has a mass production feel, which hardly applies to the low key, home-made feel of many of the companies and people who work with this music. In general, there's a spirit of co-operation and collaboration, which is why it pains me to see Ian taking this swipe at Howard. It's like a footballer suddenly turning round and shooting past his own goal-keeper. We're all on the same side. Aren't we?

Re: Counterproductive posting

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 7:57 pm
by Ian A.
Charlie wrote:We're all on the same side. Aren't we?

Quite clearly not, judging by the constant drip of negativity I've encountered over the past few weeks in the lead up to the Awards and the marking of 20 years since a bunch of actually quite well meaning people dreamed up 'world music'.

QUINTIN wrote:this intervention by Ian Anderson is a prime example, to have become the preserve of those who want to wage some kind of pointless (to me) personal vendetta to an extent that I find pretty offensive and off-putting.

If that's how you see me trying to defend the workers, then so be it. But since Howard also suggested in another thread (which I had the restraint to not respond to at the time) that I ought to take a long holiday, I'll now do exactly that. Outta here. As we say in another place, IAFWAFIAWMWQ.

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 8:31 pm
by Jamie Renton
In my own very local (& daft) way, I suppose I could be included amongst the 'activists' Ian refers to & what a great supporter Ian has been (many thanks oh media sponsor). Howard too has been a real allie, recently receiving some flak on this forum for complaining that more people don't come to my gigs. So I think there's a lot to be said for Charlie's assertion that we're all on the same side. There are carping cynics to be found in the world music biz, just as there are in any scene, but I don't think Ian or Howard are amongst them.

Ian, don't go, your views (like Howard's) are always forthright, informed & interesting. If I can't get my fix of them here, I'll have to phone up & bother you at work to get them (hang on, I do that from time to time anyway ... well ... well ... I'll do it more!)

Charlie, if I can be counted as a part of the 'world music community' then you can count me in as one who was at the Hammersmith Palais last year (Howard was another), only trouble was that having enjoyed support band El Tanbura, I had to rush off before Mahmoud Ahmed hit the stage, as it was a work night. I suspect that if I heard even a little, I'd want to stay to the end & ub doing so, miss the last train home. A suspician confirmed by last night's performance.

B.t.w. if anyone reading this was turned on to Laxula by their performance at the Barbican yesterday, I've got them at Darbucka on 19th July

Many thanks

Seamus Plug

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 8:32 pm
by howard male
Ian wrote -

But since Howard also suggested in another thread (which I had the restraint to not respond to at the time) that I ought to take a long holiday


OK, for the record, this was another example of Ian not only mistaking a friendly, joshing bit of advice, for a put-down, but also, it should be noted, my light-hearted comments were a response to him being negative about the Radio 3 World Music Awards, when he moaned about the accompanying double CD which I had given a five star review to. And I quote:

"a silk purse out of a predetermined sow's ear because a large amount of what's on the first CD is downright boring and simply really isn't very good by mainstream standards"

Surely this is the very thing he's been accusing me of doing with my live review? I am, for once, lost for words.

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 9:14 pm
by Gordon Moore
I would like to thank Ian for providing a necessary distraction from my self immolation in these threads. I am now licking my wounds and enjoying the intellectual debate we are having here.

Come on guys, we all love World Music, maybe not every bit of it, but enough for us to have more in common than not. We all know Howard likes to raise the temperature, and Ian does a fantastic job in promoting the genre. We don't want any deserters and as I know myself, by tomorrow the feelings and emotions and fire will cool down.

Let's take a deep breath and someone please go and buy a round.

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 9:32 pm
by John Bainbridge
Aww! Can't we keep it going a bit longer? This is better than Mudcat.





(Makes swift exit, ducking to avoid beer glass thrown in his direction)

Awards for World Music

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 1:12 am
by Philip Ryalls
I thought the event was very well produced by Serious and the Barbican, and with excellent visuals by Yeast. I enjoyed the whole show, especially Ghada Shbeir and her ensemble.

It has been a terrific week for live music in London; highlights for me being Mayra Andrade, Omar Pene, Ghada Shbeir and Simphiwe Dana.

Re: Counterproductive posting

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:20 am
by Charlie
Ian A. wrote:If that's how you see me trying to defend the workers, then so be it. But since Howard also suggested in another thread (which I had the restraint to not respond to at the time) that I ought to take a long holiday, I'll now do exactly that. Outta here.

I did hesitate in making any comment on your jibe at Howard, because each time I have done so in the past, it has resulted in the addressee retreating from the forum.

And now it happens again. Am I too brutal in my responses? Or am I not allowed to intervene at all?

I still think that you have unfairly included Howard in the group of people whose negative opinions have been bothering you over the previous two weeks, although I did wince when he suggested you take a long holiday. But at the time it did feel in keeping with your tone of weariness after listening to the Awards for World Music album.

It would be helpful to know the source of the carping that has been going on - I have had several calls about the world music 20th anniversary, but have not experienced this negativity.

I will be extremely sorry if you do join the forum departees, because your posts here have been a major contribution to its stature and quality. I know how busy you are, and am conscious that you have your own fRoots forum to run and respond to, so it has been a great privilege that you have found the time to contribute here as well.

And not least, your tips and mailings have had a profound influence on me over the past ten years or so - it was you who introduced me to Daara J, Souad Massi (whose first album you bought specially for me at FNAC in Paris), Think of One, Eugenio Bennato, Wai and also Urna, the Mongolian singer whose albums you posted on to me, having been sent multiple copies. I am belatedly including a track from one of them on this year's annual compilation, World 2007. There are more, but that's a pretty good list of people who have felt like 'my' artists but who were first of all 'yours'.

Re: Counterproductive posting

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 12:02 pm
by Rob Hall
Charlie wrote:I will be extremely sorry if you do join the forum departees, because your posts here have been a major contribution to its stature and quality. I know how busy you are, and am conscious that you have your own fRoots forum to run and respond to, so it has been a great privilege that you have found the time to contribute here as well.


For what it's worth (if you're reading Ian) the above pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. This forum will be the poorer for your absence, so I would ask you to reconsider.

Best wishes

Rob

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 12:06 pm
by howard male
Charlie wrote -

although I did wince when he suggested you take a long holiday.


Here we go again - this is not what I said. Let me cut and paste it for everyone and they can be the judge as to whether any ill will was meant:

I wrote -

Couldn't Jamie or Garth edit next month's fRoots? Take a break, man! :-)


- I think saying 'take a long holiday' has much more of a negative ring to it than 'take a break, man' with a smile after it. Even that 'man' at the end denotes friendliness as far as I am concerned. And check the rest of the post - it's all written in a light and positive tone.

I had though that Ian and I had come to an understanding over the past year or so from the few little chats we have had - I have on several occasions made the first move and tried to be friendly and put past misunderstandings behind us - so I thought he would understand the above comment as a friendly, if slightly teasing remark in response to his grumble about a CD which seemed to me to include many acts which I knew he liked. As you know I am not a fan of emoticons but I deliberately used a smiley one to try to avoid rubbing the man up the wrong way - what more could I do?

The night of the concert I was up until 3 in the morning writing and then up again at 7 to continue. I thought very carefully about how I approached reviewing an event which I enjoyed, but not quite as much as last year. I was gutted when Ian ripped into me, completely misreading a review I'd spent so much time trying to make a fair balance of the positive, with a smidgen of disappointment about K'naan's non-appearance. I was actually unable to do anything else for the rest of the day, because I was so disappointed and shocked by this response.

This will be the last word I will write for a while too on this forum. I'm not going to make a big deal about it - I may return next week, who knows, but at the moment I am literally physically shaking with the unfairness of the fact that I am yet again feeling blamed for the walking out of another forum contributor who can't control their temper, criticises others for what they have plainly done themselves only a couple of weeks before, and seems to wilfully choose to read something into a piece I deliberately and very carefully made sure wasn't negative overall.

However, because I am not someone who enjoys such conflicts (I'm really not!) and because I agree with Charlie about wanting to keep this lively virtual family intact, I will say that if the man is willing to apologise and admit he jumped to the wrong conclusion from perhaps a cursory read, I'll do what I've always done in the past, which is forgive and forget.