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Friday, January 27, 2012

Pink Floyd's Saint Tropez

Pink Floyd were filmed in concert a number of times in the early 1970s, and as such footage goes, this was not the best performance nor the most dramatically shot. The show filmed at and broadcast by KQED public television in San Francisco in April 1970, for instance, had more compelling performances, and the more familiar scenes shot for the Live at Pompeii movie were certainly filmed with more cinematic flair. But if you're a serious Pink Floyd fan and want even more, this is certainly a satisfactory, professionally made fivesong, 50minute concert film of an August 8, 1970 performance at the Saint Tropez Music Festival, originally done for broadcast on the French TV program Pop 2. The image and sound quality are good (though not great) on live versions of several of their oftperformed pieces of the period, including "Atom Heart Mother," "The Embryo," "Green Is the Colour," "Careful with That Axe, Eugene," and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun." Also included is a montage of Pink Floyd photos, soundtracked by a recording of "Cymbaline" done at the soundcheck. As a "bonus feature," the DVD also contains seven blackandwhite promotional clips done for Belgian television in February 1968. They're not nearly as interesting as that concert sequence, however, as they're fairly typical, if just slightly arty, pop promo films of the time, showing the band goofily romping around and miming to the studio versions of the early Pink Floyd songs "Astronomy Domine," "Corporal Clegg," "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," "Paintbox," "See Emily Play," "The Scarecrow," and "Apples and Oranges." Three of these songs ("See Emily Play," "The Scarecrow," and "Apples and Oranges") actually featured Syd Barrett on lead vocals on those studio versions, and it's a little disconcerting to see other members of the band mouthing the lyrics, Barrett having left Pink Floyd just weeks before the clips were made. - Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year Shanghai

Amazing sound and light show from Chinese New Year in Shanghai this year. gongxi facai!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Joe Strummer - The Future Is Unwritten

John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), best remembered by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of the British punk rock band The Clash. His musical experience included his membership in The 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and The Pogues, in addition to his own solo music career. Strummer's work as a musician allowed him to explore other interests, which included acting, creating film scores for television and movies, songwriting, radio broadcasting, and a position as a radio host. Strummer is one of the iconic figures of the British punk movement. Strummer and The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2003. In his remembrance, Strummer's friends and family have established the Strummerville Foundation for the promotion of new music, and each year there are many festivals and both organised and spontaneous ceremonies worldwide to celebrate his memory.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Becoming a Woman in Zanskar (2007)

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Becoming a Woman in Zanskar recounts the moving story of a friendship shattered by destiny, when two best friends have to part and leave their families forever. Tenzin will be married to a man she hasn’t chosen, while Palkit will become a nun. (German subtitles with English commentary) France, 2007, 87 minutes Directed by Jean-Michel Corillion Produced by Manuel Catteau Production company: ZED

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Power Of The Witch - British Witchcraft documentary, 1971

An extremely rare documentary about Witchcraft aired once in the UK in 1971. Featuring contributions from Eleanor Bone, Cecil Williamson, Alex & Maxine Sanders, Doreen Valiente et al. Very much of its time and with some very rare footage, also includes reference to the famously unsolved murder of Charles Walton on Meon Hill.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Last Hippie Standing


Last Hippie Standing (2001) is a 45 min. documentary by the German filmmaker Marcus Robbin about Goa, India. The film compares the sixties and seventies hippie era with the situation in 2000. The film works without commentary and consists of documentation of the ongoing party culture in Goa, as well as private and previously unreleased Super 8 footage from the sixties and seventies in Goa, filmed by Cleo Odzer. This material is the only existing contemporary film document of the hippie days in Goa. Furthermore, interviews with hippie veterans like Goa Gil, locals and the former chief minister of Goa, Francisco Sardinha, describe the clashes that occur between the party culture and Indian conservatism. The last part of the documentary is shot at the Berlin Love Parade, where the protagonists reflect about their own spiritual development and the changes that have happened since the hippie movement had started. The film was shot in December 1999 and January 2000 with an estimated budget of $20.000. Since 2004, it has been distributed by Nowonmedia (Japan). Despite the refusal of many TV stations and film funding institutions to cooperate, the documentary became very popular on the Internet.

"Anjuna’s psychedelic trance scene cannot be understood outside its hippie legacy. There are clear continuities between Goa’s psy-trance scene and the legendary fluorescent Furthur bus of the Merry Prankster, which brought Ken Kesey’s delirious multimedia “acid tests” across the United States and into Mexico. These continuities express what this book is about: psychedelic whiteness. In an essay on the American hippies, Stuart Hall usefully summarized the eclectic practices and attitudes that defined them. Hippie culture literally held together through the adoption of black slang and what Hall calls “assumed poverty”; enacting Jack Kerouac’s On the Road; an identification with American Indians and India; hallucinogenic mysticism; slogans about “togetherness”; a yearning for childhood innocence; and a new brand of hedonistic anarchism do your own thing. Each of these meant a redefinition of what it meant to be white and middle-class in the America of the fifties and sixties, challenging its politeness, suburban consumerism, hometown nostalgia, the Protestant work ethic, and white supremacism." - Psychedelic White: Goa Trance and the Viscosity of Race by Arun Saldanna p11

According to lexicographer Jesse Sheidlower, the terms hipster and hippie derive from the word hip and the synonym hep, whose origins are unknown. The words hip and hep first surfaced in slang around the beginning of the 20th century and spread quickly, making their first appearance in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1904. At the time, the words were used to mean "aware" and "in the know." In the late 1960s, African language scholar David Dalby popularized the idea that words used in American slang could be traced back to West Africa. He claimed that hipi (a word in the Wolof language meaning "to open one's eyes") was the source for both hip and hep. Sheidlower, however, disputes Dalby's assertion that the term hip comes from Wolof origins.

During the jive era of the late 1930s and early 1940s, African-Americans began to use the term hip to mean "sophisticated, fashionable and fully up-to-date". and the word hippie is jazz slang from the 1940s. Reminiscing about late 1940s Harlem in his 1964 autobiography, Malcolm X referred to the word hippy as a term that African Americans used to describe a specific type of white man who "acted more Negro than Negroes". In his autobiography, Harry Gibson claims to have coined the related term hipster in the 1940s for use in his stage name. In the 1970s, Gibson remade his act to appeal to contemporary hippies, and is known as the 'original hippie'.

In Greenwich Village in the 1960s, New York City, young counterculture advocates were named hips because they were considered "in the know" or "cool", as opposed to being square. In a 1961 essay, Kenneth Rexroth used both the terms hipster and hippies to refer to young people participating in African American or Beatnik nightlife.

In 1963, the Orlons, an African-American singing group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania released the soul dance song "South Street", which included the lyrics "Where do all the hippies meet? South Street, South Street...The hippest street in town".[8][9] Some transcriptions read "Where do all the hippist (sic) meet?" Nevertheless, since many heard it as "hippies", that use was promoted.

"The Hippies" was also the name of a mixed African American and white soul singing group on the Orlons' record label, Cameo-Parkway. Another use around the same time was on the 1963 Freddy Cannon single on Swan Records, "Do What The Hippies Do".

Satsang Interview with Shri Uma Giri Ji Maharani at 2010 Haridwar Kumbh Mela


Shri Uma Giri Ji Maharani began her life in Sweden, and now lives in the Himalayas as a esteemed Yogini. I first came across Sri Uma Giri in this film.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Naked in Ashes: the ways of the Yogi

Naked in Ashes from LearningCORE on Vimeo.



Naked in Ashes is a documentary film about the practice and philosophy of being a Sadhu, a renunciate of one of a variety of Hindu sub-sects, who renounces family, name, job, wealth, property and ultimately human identity in the pursuit of the divine.


The Sadhu, Baba, or Yogi takes vows under a guru and follows a strict regime defined by poverty, selflessness and spiritual observance. The teachings of the various schools of Sadhus stretch back to the age of the Vedas, to at least 5000 BC.

Yoga lies at the center of all the Baba does. 'Yoga' is etymologically related to the word 'yoke', as in to yoke the animal to the plough. To join with the essence of existence is the goal of the Yogi.

This film provides an insight in the closed world of the Babas by following several over a period of months. I would like to say that I spent some months myself with Babas in India and in their world little appears as it seems. There are truly righteous, pious and devoted Babas. Meeting them is another matter. The Babas of this film range from the stars to the ordinary, but all seem to be pure followers.  Baba Shiv Raj Giri Ji is one of the subjects in the film who comes across as a genuine Yogi. Here is more of Baba Shiv Raj Giri Ji:



While you are in the right frame of mind after receiving the teachings of Baba Ji you may want to meditate further of the Ram Bhajan I recorded while among Sadhus in 1996



Recorded at a Durga Temple near Nagwa Ghat in Varanasi India in August 1996. A group of about 30 devotees sing the Rama Sita Bhajan accompanied by a dholak. One of the devotees told me they were all very "fond of God".