Test Post

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

A new test post using MT 3.2, installed this evening.

What’s Next?

Posted in Random Thoughts on August 27th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: I have been playing with WordPress 1.5.2, and after the usual weeping and gnashing of teeth, was able to download and install it here; note that the default template out of the box is based on the Kubrick template – cool. At the same time, Moveable Type 3.2 was just released, along with a new set of style templates, and I need to upload it and see if it makes any difference to my existing sites.

It’s my understanding that WordPress has great spam comment protection. I wonder if it has improved on Moveable Type. Recently I had comments submitted to STLQ refused because of “questionable content” or something similar. Turned out that the commenter used “analysis” in his comments, and my MT-Blacklist of entries included the substring “anal”. Wonderful. So I had to switch the entry from “Block” to “Moderate”, and to date, of the 169,975 comments sent to my sites, which were blocked by MT-Blacklist, 6,369 of them had “anal” in the text. 169,975 spam comments? I wonder what part of “get a life” these morons don’t understand. We need a new word for spammers, something like spidiots, or spassholes. What about spuckwads?

Regardless, PBD is overdue for a tuneup and retooling, and the opportunity now presents itself accordingly. Stay tuned.

I am scheduled to be in NYC from 7-16 October, ostensibly to attend Jessica‘s wedding on Oct 15th in Summit, but as most know, NYC is my favorite destination, so I’m stretching the trip out to nine days.

Johnny Clegg and Savuka at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, 7 August 2005

Posted in Blogcritics Entry, Music on August 12th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

.: .: Last weekend, I participated in my 14th consequtive Edmonton Folk Music Festival as a volunteer. I was blessed with the opportunity to work with one of my musical heroes, Johnny Clegg. Clegg and Sipho Mchunu formed the seminal South African band Juluka in the late 1970s. Their song, “Scatterlings of Africa”, is an all-time favorite.

Clegg and his band rocked the festival during the Sunday (Aug 7) 2:00 pm mainstage show, and later in the evening, at the after-festival party. At the party, I planted myself in front of the stage, a few feet away from Johnny, and danced to his music for 75 delirious, joyful minutes. For both shows, Johnny and the current version of Savuka played a tight, melodic and joyful show, showcasing many of Juluka and Savuka well-known songs, and mixing in many different dance steps, which I assume were based on Zulu tradition in many cases.

I was thrilled when I learned Clegg was playing our festival. He is one of those artists I have always wanted to watch in performance, and to have experienced such an amazing show twice in less than twelve hours was a gift from God. I don’t know how else to describe it.

Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu defied apartheid authority in their early musical collaborative days in South Africa. Because Clegg was white and Mchunu black, they were subject to police harrassment, threats, and abuse. The continuing development of their unique sound, which led to the formation of their band, Juluka (Zulu for “sweat”), was in defiance of the cultural segregation laws at the time. With their music largely ignored in their home country, they played live performances on the street and at private functions. Word of mouth continued to spread, and Juluka’s reputation grew, eventually leading to a record contract, and international recognition. Further details are available on the biography page on this site.

What makes Clegg’s music so appealing to me is his ability to mix traditional Zulu musical structure (about which I know next to nothing, frankly) and Western melodies and rhythms. He also mixes Zulu and English lyrics. Regardless of how he does it, it is music that radiates and bleeds celebration and joy in the midst of world that can be terrifying and unforgiving.

Clegg and Savuka (“We have risen”) are in the midst of an extensive world tour. If you get the chance, see his show, you will not be disappointed, and if you are new to his music, you will experience a sound that you have not heard before, pure auditory pleasure. I’m still smiling.

Here is the set list from the party, which mirrored the 2:00 pm afternoon show as well:

  1. Jongosi
  2. Take My Heart Away
  3. Africa
  4. Giyani
  5. I Call Your Name (Ngibiza Igama Lakho)
  6. Tatazela
  7. Malonjeni
  8. Kilimanjaro
  9. Great Heart
  10. Scatterlings of Africa
  11. Cruel Crazy Beautiful World
  12. Asimbonanga (Mandela)
  13. Dela (I Know Why The Dog Howls At The Moon)

At the party, we wouldn’t stop clapping until the band returned for an encore. I did not catch the name of that song. At the party performance, he added one extra song, between Great Heart and Scatterlings.

Mention must be made of his excellent band, the current Savuka lineup, featuring Brendan Ross on sax and keyboards, Mandisa Dlanga on vocals, Concord Nkabinde on bass, Andy Innes on guitar and mandolin, and Barry Van Zyl on drums.

In February, 2005, Johnny held a braai (barbeque) at his home for as many surviving people that played for him in his career as could make the event. This photo features members of Juluka and Savuka throughout the years. An extensive discography is available here, and includes albums, singles, DVDs, books/press, lyrics, songs index, discs index, and more.

Thank you, Johnny, thank you again. 🙂

Also posted to Blogcritics.

Sh*t Happens

Posted in Random Thoughts on August 1st 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Yesterday, while having dim sum with Taras, someone tossed a rock through the window on the front passenger door of my car. The only items missing were coins, which were sitting in the coin slots by the emergency break. With today a holiday in Alberta, I’ve been unable to do anything about this since it happened. Tomorrow morning I will drive to an auto glass repair shop and hope the window can be replaced asap. A police report was filed, and my insurance company was informed accordingly. What a mess, and for less than five dollars in change. The rock used to break the window was in the driver’s seat.

Depending on the cost of the repair, I may not file with my insurance company. Ironically, the day before, I saw My Summer of Love. There is a scene in the movie in which one of the characters tosses a garden gnome through the front passenger-side door window of a car. The next day the same window in my car is smashed. Coincidence or are mysterious forces at work?

:: My Winnipeg homies are cyclemaniacs. A typical week will find Mike, Steve and Tony on one or more 70-100 km bike trips. I, on the other hand, have no cycling friends close by *sniff*. Today I went for a short bike ride with my shadow, took a self-portrait on 34th Ave, and stopped at Keith’s for a short visit before returning home. I have a guest in my house for two weeks, her name is Polly.

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