Gil Scott-Heron, Revolutionary Poet and Musician, Dead at 62

May 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm (Life & Politics, Music, Reviews & Articles)

Sadly, Gil Scott-Heron, the legendary and influential jazz poet-singer, who was sometimes called The Godfather of Rap (for being, along with The Last Poets, an early influence on the genre) has passed away at the age of 62.
This news story comes from Rolling Stone, May 28th. He will be missed…

Revolutionary poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, best known for his 1970 work “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” died May 27th at a New York City hospital. The exact cause of death is currently unknown, though he had been battling a severe drug addiction and other health problems for years. He was 62.

Many hip-hop artists cite Scott-Heron as one of the forefathers of the genre, but Scott-Heron refused to take any credit. “I just think they made a mistake,” he told The New Yorker last year. He also feels that people misinterpreted “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – a biting, spoken-work screed against the mass media and consumerist culture.  “That was satire,” he told The Telegraph in February of 2010.  “People would try and argue that it was this militant message, but just how militant can you really be when you’re saying, ‘The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner’? My songs were always about the tone of voice rather than the words. A good comic will deliver a line deadpan – they let the audience laugh.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Weekly Address (w/ Vice President Biden) (May 28, 2011)

May 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm (Life & Politics)

Vice President Biden fills in for President Obama while he is in Afghanistan visiting the troops.

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Steve Cartwell – “The Cleaners from Venus” (1987)

May 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This article comes from issue #10 of Scene and Heard, Nov/Dec 1987. The Cleaners from Venus were one of the unsung bands from the 1980s English pop underground thanks to Martin Newell’s excellent songwriting…

Over the last seven years or so The Cleaners from Venus have been almost synonymous with the independent cassette ethic. Their main songwriter, Martin Newell, has appeared in print on numerous occasions promoting the cause of music unafflicted by the manipulations of the music business. Thus it was rather a surprise to meet him at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire promoting a new vinyl LP, released by a record company. Whilst the record (Going to England) has been issued by major record companies on the Continent it has been done on a licensing basis thus ensuring that the Cleaners have total artistic control.

Naturally enough much of the interview was spent justifying this apparent ‘sell out’. Martin: “For the past five years I can honestly say I haven’t been to a record company, record companies have come to me, and I’ve turned several of them down. But there’s also something I call the reasonable starvation clause and that is that I don’t have a place of my own, no place to demo and up until very recently I was existing on about £38 a week. So I just think if somebody is Read the rest of this entry »

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