The Bees

The Bees. Known for their colorful range of styles – and then some . . .

The Bees – In session for BBC 6 Music – March 22, 2002- BBC6 Music –

The Bees in session tonight. Recorded by BBC 6 Music on March 22, 2002 – this 10-piece band have been variously categorized as Indie, Psych, 60s Garage, Reggae, Jazz and Country. Needless to say, a band that defies being pigeonholed and a band guaranteed to keep listeners on their toes.

Together since 2001 (and still together), The Bees have racked up some 4 albums, a veritable avalanche of singles and eps, and several compilation albums. Have won the prestigious Mercury prize for best new band. They’ve opened for Oasis, Madness, Devendra Banhart, Paul Weller and many others over the years. Their songs have been featured in Commercials for British Television, which furthered their careers. So they’ve been around and have been busy – and this session attests to the wide range of music and influences they’ve been gathering up audiences with.

This session also comes three days before the release of their debut album, Sunshine Hit Me – the album was a critical success and several of the tracks figured prominently in TV and Commercial exposure.

Ironically, the band aren’t called The Bees in the U.S., but rather A Band of Beas owing to some conflicts from similar band names. Their albums and singles have been issued in the U.S. as well – so their popularity extends beyond the Atlantic and into other countries.

If you’re familiar with The Bees, here is their rumored first session (one for John Peel pre-dates it . . .I think) for the BBC – who’s program this was from is anyone’s guess. If you aren’t familiar with them, here is a taste of what they were like shortly after their formation. Oddly, according to their site, they haven’t gigged since 2010, even though Wikipedia claim the band is still very much together.

In any event, crank it up and give a listen and be happy tomorrow is Friday.

Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas – after withering and contentious examination, SCOTUS got a new member.

ABC World News This Week – October 20, 1991 – ABC Radio News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 20, 1991 culminated a week of contentious questioning and cross-examination over President Bush’s nomination of Clarence Thomas to the bench of the Supreme Court. Riding in on a cloud of accusations over sexual harassment and impropriety in the workplace, Thomas’ confirmation was set to a vote, and vice-President Dan Quayle read the results – Clarence Thomas was confirmed.

But all this didn’t set well with the Women of America; the ones who knew only too well the commonplace practice in the Business and professional world of harassment, innuendo and discrimination. That Clarence Thomas was Black didn’t erase the fact that he was alleged to have displayed characteristics unbecoming a future member of the highest court in the nation. But that Anita Hill, Thomas’ accuser and herself Black and a professional, was subject to hours of non-stop grilling and questioning of her own character, filled many with the frustration that it was business-as-usual and that even Senate Judiciary Hearing Room wasn’t immune.

So after the Festival of Lurid details was over, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Thomas, and a new era had begun.

Meanwhile, Police and ambulances headed for a cafeteria in Texas this week, where Police reported George Hennard rammed his pickup truck through the front window of the restaurant, got out and started shooting while yelling “this is payback”. The gunman was armed with 2 9mm semi-automatic pistols which he emptied and reloaded. Police finally opened fire, but by then the gunman had already killed himself, but not before he killed 22 people and wounded more than 20 others.

And it was also the week Singer and well-known TV and Radio personality of the 1950s and early 60s “Tennessee Ernie” Ford died. Ford was also a Country-Western and Gospel Music legend, with over 80 albums to his credit – he was best known for his 1950s hit “Sixteen Tons” which sold some 20 million copies worldwide and in 1990 was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.

And that’s a little of what was going the week of October 20, 1991 as reported by ABC Radio’s World News This Week.

House Of Love

House Of Love – one of the leading practitioners of Indie, but also anticipated Psych.

The House Of Love – In Session For John Peel – June 7, 1988 – BBC Radio 1

The House Of Love tonight – their first session for John Peel, recorded on June 7, 1988 and broadcast on June 20th. Forming in 1986, House Of Love quickly rose in popularity, primarily as one of the leading Indie bands of the 1980s. But they also anticipated the New Psych movement in the early 1990s.

This was their first session – coming right after the release of their single Christine, which shot to the number 1 position on British Indie charts, and also coincided with the release of their debut album, and was also the first batch of sessions minus one of their founding members, Andrea Heukamp, who left the band late in 1987.

This would also be the first and last album recorded for the milestone Indie label Creation before leaving for Fontana in 1989. But there were dark clouds on the horizon, with rumors of rampant drug problems and ego clashes within the ranks of The House Of Love. Even a rumor that their debut album was recorded while the band were out of their brains on LSD, and that mixing the album was nearly impossible for several months, which was why release was held up for a time. Rumors, but enough to raise speculations

Eventually the in-fighting and drug taking would take its toll, and the move to Fontana wasn’t the panacea they had hoped for. The band eventually broke up in 1992. Their decision to leave Creation Records was widely considered to be a bad move, as The House Of Love were being touted as headline/stadium material, and what started out with a massive amount of promise quickly dissolved into feuds and defections. Far from being the exception – the story is more the rule and countless bands have suffered similar fates – it’s the nature of the beast.

They did however, reunite in 2005 and are rumored to still be together. But the halcyon days and the excitement of being considered a cornerstone of Indie are well past. So as a reminder of what the excitement was all about, here is that very first Peel session from June of 1988 – crank it up and enjoy.


Klaus Tennstedt

The legendary Klaus Tennstedt leads the Boston Symphony this week.

Klaus Tennstedt and Malcolm Frager – Boston Symphony – 1976 – Part 1

Klaus Tennstedt and Malcolm Frager – Boston Symphony – 1976 – Part 2

Another historic concert. This week it’s the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1976 during the Berkshire Festival, guest conducted by Klaus Tennstedt and featuring pianist Malcolm Frager in an all-Beethoven program. Starting off with the Overture to Egmont – and then Frager joins the orchestra in a performance of the 3rd piano concert. The second half is a single work – the Symphony number 5 in c minor.

Sadly, neither Klaus Tennstedt or Malcolm Frager are still with us. Tennstedt died in 1998 and Frager left in 1991 after a year-long illness. Both musicians were highly regarded and many of Frager’s recordings for RCA Victor were nominated for Grammys. Tennstedt’s career really took off when he defected from East Germany in 1971 and this concert comes roughly two years after his debut with the BSO as well as his debut in North America. From that point on, until his early retirement from conducting in 1994, due to illness, Tennstedt was a much in-demand guest conductor as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra as well as the position as Chief Conductor of the North German Radio Symphony from 1979-1982. Because his performances with the BSO were so well received, he was a frequent guest in Boston and was frequently at the Tanglewood and Blossom Music Festivals.

It’s also worth noting that Klaus Tennstedt had the unique honor of being the first German conductor of his generation to conduct the Israel Philharmonic, which until then had a standing policy to refuse German conductors because of their connections with the Nazi regime. Tennstedt was active at the Leipzig Conservatory during the war years, and avoided military service by joining a Baroque Orchestra.

So, a historic concert and one which, if you love Beethoven, should fill the bill nicely for an Anti-Road Rage Wednesday – or anything to counter the insanity of the real world at the moment.

Enjoy, and play often.

India-Pakistan War - 1965

India and Pakistan at War in 1965 – The reason? Kashmir. It’s ALWAYS about Kashmir.

ABC Radio: Storm Over The Himalayas – India-Pakistan at War – Sept. 19, 1965 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

With the latest series of news reports regarding fighting going on between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region, I was reminded of an earlier war – a war between India and Pakistan and a war over the same disputed region. Only this one was fifty-one years later.

In 1965 it was a war that lasted some 4 months, took some 8,000 Pakistani casualties and some 5,200 Indian casualties. In the end, no land was gained by either side, and everything stayed the same – with skirmishes and border clashes dotting the last five decades, and this latest crisis pushing the stakes a bit higher. Both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, although it would seem remote that either country would use them over a land dispute.

But the 1965 conflagration had many thinking it would be India and Pakistan’s answer to the Vietnam War; one that would continue for generations. There had been an earlier war over the Kashmir region; in 1947, shortly after India achieved independence, the Kashmir region was under dispute by both Pakistan and India, who laid claim to it. Kashmir was intended to be an independent region.

What has made it different this time, and possible more deadly, is the radical Fundamentalist aspect. The current crisis was sparked by the killing of a militant commander of the Hizbul Mujahidadeen, creating a wave of anti-Indian sentiment over the predominantly Muslim country, in the midst of a growing Hindu Nationalism from India – the two ideologies were destined to clash eventually.

But that is the current situation – and it’s still unfolding. As a reminder and possibly a comparison, the 1965 India-Pakistan war offers some insights over the nature of the conflict in the region and how volatile the area is.

Here is Storm Over The Himalayas from NBC Radio, originally broadcast on September 19, 1965.

Augusto Pinochet

Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet – Chickens of all nationalities were coming home to roost.

BBC World Service – Newsdesk – October 19, 1998 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 19, 1998 – A view of the world on this October day, as presented by The BBC World Service.

Chilean Dictator General Augusto Pinochet was facing extradition and arrest by two Spanish judges on the grounds of genocide and other crimes. The Spanish judges were to present a formal case for extradition through the British Courts. Pinochet was arrested in London during his hospital stay. President Clinton voiced support for the arrest, saying people who committed such crimes needed to be brought to Justice. It was shaping up to being a protracted legal battle. One of the two Spanish judges seeking to question Pinochet had amplified his arrest warrant. He cited 94 victims of the Chilean Military government in the 1970s and 1980s; most of them Spaniards, but also including citizens of Argentina, Chile, the United States and Britain. The Charges were genocide, terrorism and torture. The Judge went on to say the Pinochet government institutionalized a terrorist regime, involving the systematic elimination of people of different nationalities through kidnapping, torture and murder. The Judge went to say there was no question of General Pinochet claiming diplomatic immunity, since it couldn’t apply to crimes against humanity. Lawyers for Pinochet in London countered by saying any effort to extradite Pinochet to stand trial would be resolutely opposed. And on it went.

Meanwhile, in Washington; hearings of another kind. This one having to do with an Antitrust case brought about by the Justice Department over Software giant Microsoft, which began on this day. Microsoft was accused of using its dominant market position to try to squeeze out competitors. It was seen as a landmark case which could set the rules for competition in the Software industry for years to come. At its heart was a government charge that Microsoft restricted competition by, among other things, including its internet browser with other software in its widely used operating program Windows 95 and excluding competitors from offering an alternative. Microsoft founder Bill Gates defended the move, saying customers saved money by having the browser installed as part of the operating system. The government was citing the Antitrust law of 1890 which barred trusts and monopolies in the marketplace. The Justice Department said the law was good for America and good for business by creating competition for consumers and that Microsoft wasn’t honoring that law.

And so much more went on, this October 19, 1998 as reported by the BBC World Service program Newsdesk.


Cut_ That precarious balance between Dark Alternative Techno and Edgy Pop Music.

Cut_ in session for 3VOOR12-FM, Amsterdam – October 12, 2016 – VPRO

Relative newcomers Cut_ tonight. A Netherlands duo consisting of Sebastiaan Dutilh and Belle Doron, they have been around going on three years, have already gotten a lot of positive reaction, as well as a new single coming out this past September along with a new label (PIAS) heavily supporting them.

Touring has just started, helping promote their cause and their new single is none other than 3VOOR12-FM in Amsterdam. The tour will find them criss-crossing Europe before doing a few UK dates before returning back to the Netherlands.

So this session from October 12th of this year finds them keeping the audience spellbound and offering more than casual incentive to go exploring new sounds. Because they freely admit their sound is a combination of Dark Alternative Techno and Pop music with an edge, Cut_, and the hyper-luxuriant voice of Belle Doron cast a nice spell over the proceedings.

I will admit, they are new to me. I just ran across their session at the 3VOOR12-FM site a few days ago and was struck by their sound and thought i would share.

Techno, or EDM isn’t for everyone – and you may find this session by Cut_ tedious in places. But it does signify that pop music isn’t getting stale or complacent and that new things and ideas are popping up all over the place. Whether they work or not is up to the listener.

No word if Cut_ will be heading to the U.S. any time soon. For now, they are sticking around home turf and taking it slowly. So here’s a sample of what’s going on in Holland of late.

You may or may not be familiar with them If not, crank it up and check it out – you may find the magic ingredient. If you are familiar, or have seen or heard them, further evidence you may be on the right track.

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