Tuesday, September 26, 2006

relaxing weekend and busy week!

Hello everyone!
greetings again from South Africa! It's been a busy and fun time.
live music most nights, fun times with old and new friends.
i'll try and pick up where i left off - thursday last week.
thursday i was on a panel with a guy from a label here and we were talking about the ways to make money of digital downloads. we're both a bit bullish on the download market, so the panel wasn't quite balanced, but we had a good discussion with the people in attendance anyways. there was also an interesting panel on the ways to exploit and preserve indigenous music.
thursday night we had a dinner with all sorts of government folks. it is amazing to look at the people now serving in government and think of all they (and the whole country) have been through in the past 15 years. inspiring to say the least.
and afterwards, this group "stimela" played. wonderful. i'd met their guitarist and singer earlier in the day, courtesy of my new friend andrew, and they played an inspired set for the enthusiastic crowd of 200. great music, great messages, including one song where ray, the lead singer, was basically chanting "use a condom" the whole chorus. that and some funny plays on words around playing with ones self were quite amusing and also inspiring. artists need to speak directly to people about AIDS and these important issues facing south africa.

friday morning i was out of the hotel by 6 am headed to SABC studios for a tv interview with nic, the head of SAMRO and moshito.
showed up, went to the green room, to make up, back to the green room and then straight onto the set. the anchor man was reading the paper during commercials, they had nic and me mic'ed within 1 minute flat, and then the anchor read the news and came straight to us. some good questions, and i think we had some good answers. hempza and his mother both watched and gave me good feedback, and i think it went well. got to plug calabash a bit and deliver our "obscurity is a worse threat than piracy" line, which is a great one.

later in the day, i was on another panel, spur of the moment, which went ok. i also got a chance to look around the museum africa, where the conference was held. great exhibits, showing the history and struggle of south africa, as well as a special music exhibit set up for the conference and the heritage month, which we are in the middle of right now here.

friday night we got to see a show by the artist philip tabani (i know i'm spelling his name wrong, but i'll fix it when i find my ticket). anyway, great guitar player, did some seriously funky blues style stuff, as well as gimmicky but great playing of the guitar with his teeth and head and other fun ways.

after that, hempza and andrew and i headed out to a club to check the launch of adrian's new band. nice stuff, but indy rock is tough after such sweet blues. managed to have some great interesting talks with adrian and hempza and hempza's friends as well though.

saturday was a rest day. some shopping around and wandering around and then off on saturday night to see a show by "arts alive" (http://www.joburg.org.za/artsalive/calendar.stm). they featured 3 zulu acts, and had as opener a male chorus in the style of ladysmith black mambazo. they had been having a competition all day long, and this group won the competition and got to open for:
Phuzekhemisi, Shwi Nomtekhala, Ihashi'elimhlophe (they played in reverse order)

awesome stuff. traditional music and dancing, and these are 3 of the top selling groups in south africa.

sunday was again to rest a bit. more shopping about and then on to a studio to hear some of vusi khumalo's new tracks for his new album (http://vusikhumalo.calabashmusic.com)
great stuff. so much great south african music.

then the engineer and i went out to dinner and a bit of house dancing later with some of his friends which was a good time.

yesterday was a national holiday, and i planned to spend the day with hempza. we met up around noon, and as it was his birthday, his mom had prepared a picnic lunch, which we took to the zoo, and chilled on the grass there on some of their vast open space at the zoo. we met one of hempza's aunts and one cousin there. and got to wander around after lunch and check the animals. i've got lots of pictures for you all later.

hempza and i had dinner and then met up with sipho and os12 for drinks later.

this morning i did an interview with a bbc reporter staying at the same guest house as me, and then i headed out for my meetings. finished 4 meetings by 1.30 and have been chilling since then. i'm supposed to do another interview later today and then have dinner with my south african cousins.


i'm tired writing all this stuff i've done.
anyway, i have a mix of fun and work left here, and at least 1 more show to go to.
i'm bringing back lots of music and photos, so i'm excited to share that all with you.
peace. and love.

1 comment:

karen said...

missing you so much, but thrilled that things are going so well for you.

love you,