March 2007


David Kramer & Hannes CoetzeeI first heard of David Kramer not long after I arrived in South Africa in 1997.

Kat and the kings

During my first years we spent much more time in Johannesburg where our favourite club was Kippies – the jazz club of legendary jazz artist, Kippie Moeketsi – right next to the Market Theatre. I felt priviledged to be able to listen to the jazz greats at the club – I wish I could go there regularly but I think it closed down.

One day we bought tickets at the Market Theatre to see a David Kramer’s musical, Kat and the kings ( The story of Kat Diamond and the Cavalla Kings ) . Not knowing what to expect I was looking forward to hearing something new – something I never heard before – and that is what I got. The sights and sounds of the musical was captivating – though I had no idea what the story was really about. Trying to describe the musical in this post would be impossible – you can read more about story behind it but best is to go & see it – or if it is not playing – go and see any other David Kramer production to get the feel and the energy he puts into his shows.

The Wikipedia about David Kramer :

David Kramer (born Worcester, South Africa in 1951) is a singer, songwriter, playwright and director, most notable for his musicals about the Cape Coloured communities.

He played in a South African band called The Creeps in the 1960, and moved to England in 1971 to study textile design at Leeds University. He released his first half live/half studio album Bakgat in 1981, most of which was banned by the SABC. His follow up album Die Verhaal van Blokkies Joubert came later that year and produced the singles Hak Hom Blokkies and Die Royal Hotel. The album reached number 11 on the South African LP charts. His only other singles chart success was with Stoksielalleen from the Kwaai album, however he did chart with Delicious Monster, Hanepootpad and Kwaai in the albums charts.

In 1986 he collaborated with Taliep Petersen on the highly acclaimed stage musical District Six It was also with Petersen that he produced Fairyland and Kat & the Kings all to critical acclaim, the latter having successful runs on Broadway and in London’s West End.

With his trademark red velskoene shoes, bicycle and guitar, he has been an enduring figure on South Africa’s music scene. His songs are mostly stories about ordinary life in South Africa life.

Karoo Kitaar Blues

Karoo Kitaar Blues was one of the DVDs we bought for Christmas. I couldn’t wait till we opened the box and started playing it. This is a musical documentary about David setting off to find some of those musicans that still play the “ou liedjies” – “the old songs”of the Karoo . He travels from town to town, from village to village and wherever he stops people seem to know him well – wherever he goes the music and dancing starts as he asks the people to sing & play the songs of the Karoo.

In this short video, Hannes Coetzee, one of the musicians in Karoo Kitaar Blues is playing the slide guitar with a teaspoon in his mouth.

Read more on the official David Kramer site.

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open4.org

Recently I have discovered open4.org, a Steve Purkiss project – here is what he says about the reasons behind the project :
“This website was born out of the fact that I needed somewhere to network, to promote my services, to express my opinions. I figured there would be a few more people who wanted to do the same, so I built the site. I have networked on a number of other sites, but each one at the end of the day tries to tell me what I can and can’t do, what I can and can’t say, and most in the end try to charge me for something – plus they get all the ad revenue for the wonderful content that I provide, helpng to grow their community. Scarcity is introduced at some level, and it annoys me because we live in an world of abundance – especially where bits, bytes, and electrons are concerned. So I thought I’d do something different – something that looks at it from the member’s point of view, not the owner’s, investors, shareholders, etc.”

Read the rest of the post on Open4.org!

University Avenue

See more of Wa-J’s photos or read his articles on AfricanPath.com .

Steve says it is addictive. Hm I don’t know if I have time to keep writing about what I am doing “right now” – but hm – interesting concept.

Check out twittervision.com – it is amazing – actually!

http://twittervision.com/

MallI cannot get used to shopping malls. On Wednesday we went to Menlynpark in Pretoria – eish – I felt overwhelmed in that shopping empire -when one goes shopping in Africa – one is supposed to end up on an open-air markets most of the time  (  like the ones  in Tunis –  or the ones I used to go to in Szeged and Budapest ) -where you find everything –  from carpets to snake charmers – spices and pots, musicians and barbers – the market used to be the place where you can find out all about the culture & people – but “shopping mall culture” – I don’t really know what it tells about the people – no matter what shopping mall you end up in – the people seem to look exactly the same – from Paris to Johannesburg – shopping mall culture doesn’t change – same brands – same style.

What is Earth Hour?

Earth HourIt sounds simple, but it is very, very dramatic. At 7.30pm on March 31st 2007, we will be encouraging companies, government departments, individuals and families to turn off their lights for just one hour.
If we meet our objectives during the first Earth Hour, the savings in
green house gas emissions will be the equivalent of taking 75,000 medium
sized cars off the road for one whole year!

Now that’s something worth doing.

Visit earthhour.org to find out more!

From the film One Giant Leap featuring Neneh Cherry, Speech and Ulali , taken from lyricsdownload.com:

Yo we was talking earlier and I was telling you talking bout life
I feel like life is like braided hair
Its sorta like twist you know
Bout braided hair like twist
You know three strands twist together
Ultimately you get to where you wanna get to


From the same dirt from the heels of my ancestors
The naked roads and the fields where the pain festered
And I wonder where the hold came from
In the deeps of my heart make me yearn for the drum
It’s the same place where the cross is burned
The same place where the loss was earned

It’s the place where the floss was yearned
Gold teeth and bling ice on the ring baby sure

We’ve all got things that are hanging about

Things that make us cool,
Things that make us whack,
Things that make us mad
Things we wish we never had done
But they’re just the things that make us real
Not the maps to guide where we go from here
The road twists and braids our hair

Until we all get there

I like that I don’t know some mysteries
Ancient things and beginnings
Excited about the day when I don’t have to hear all the theories

My scalp needs some grease
It’s the same place where the crosses burned
The same place where the loss was earned
The only way we all can learn
Is if we have these braids with the twist and turns so


Walking in the race of life
Looking for my own pace
Not always wanting to but I have to
Sometimes feeling like I’ve bitten off much more than I could chew
But the wind goes though my hair

Lifts me up with ease not a crease
Hair full of grease no weave embracing me
It’s you I see

I am you and you are me I see yeah
I am you and you are me I see

We might survive as brothers ye

 

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