'Amuzed' - 14/11/97
I read this week that George Michael has confessed to smoking lots of 'erb during the recording of his album 'Older'. I can only quote from the comedian of the century, the late and lamented Bill Hicks, who said that he has only four questions to ask in response to that: "Yes! And! So! And What!" He also said that George is a girl and other unsavoury things. The point is that most albums of the past 30 years were recorded "under the influence"; the Beatles were so high they even let Ringo sing a few tunes! So if Mr Michael had said that he hadn't consumed anything during the making of that album, that would be big news followed by a marginal downward shift in his popularity and a broader understanding of why 'Older' was such a turkey.
Back in our cool democracy we find a host of new releases by the artistes of our land. A huge buzz has preceded the release of the new Fetish album (reviewed this week). Debut album by The Dead Sea Surfers (a.k.a. "the Pretoria Smiths") whose 'Eating The Humour' CD is now out and will be reviewed shortly. New albums also from Wendy Oldfield, Magic Cactus ('Things' ), Mike Makhalemele ('Searching') and a greatest hits compilation from Mango Groove. A colleague told me how a young Alan Lazar, the keyboardist in the Mangoes, used to do this party trick where he would switch on the radio, listen to whatever song was playing and then play the song note-for-note on the piano. When you're young, that's called genius; when you're in a band it's called cover versions! On 'Dance Sum More - the Greatest Hits Collection' the Mangoes have included their new single, a cover of the old kwela chestnut 'Tom Hark'. Tsk, tsk, how the Mangoes have fallen. I can only quote a line from the song: "The whole thing's daft, I don't know why, you have to laugh or else you'll cry"! Still, there's enough good stuff on this album to remind us why we loved Claire and her multi-cultural dancing machine.
Flesh out the facts about Fetish in our Reviews section The new CD from Elephant Sun will be out shortly so catch their interview in our Lager Mentality. Read about the pumping Blues Broers in our Blues from the warm Frosts feature. If you can quickly choose five CDs out of your collections to take along when you are abducted by aliens then submit your list to Space Station Discs. Rodriguez has been found alive and well and living in Detroit and there is talk of the enigmatic Sugar Man actually touring SA next year. Post a message or read all about it at the only Rodriguez website on the WWW. When you've done all that, have a browse at SA's most comprehensive online CD store, One World.
If you've got any SA music news, contrary views, new releases, gig reviews or dates or just want to say "high", email me at Sugar@cd.co.za.
The five CDs currently being played constantly in the Amuzine hard drive's "coffee-holder":
(1) Get The Funk Out 5 compilation CD - it's got the Honeymoon Suites' 'Luminous Anonimity' on it!
(2) Fetish - I love this cover. I keep rubbing it against myself while I'm listening. Aaargh…
(3) The Verve 'Urban Hymns' - listen to 'Lucky Man' and 'Sonnet'. Album of the (y)ear.
(4) 'The Best of Rodriguez' - especially 'Street Boy', which isn't on the other two CDs.
(5) Dead Sea Surfers 'Eating The Humour'. Watch out Stellenbosch - Pretoria rock is coming!
by stephen 'Sugar' Segerman
Qkumba Zoo online interview
Theatre Sports interview
Honeymoon Suites interview
Scabby Annie interview
Elephant Sun interview
The Great Rodriguez Website
Your online CD store
Lager Mentality - Interviews, Features and previous Beatspeak and News articles