2014/08/09

'Sparrows Will Sing' - Marianne Faithfull (lyrics written by Roger Waters)

'Sparrows Will Sing' was written by Roger Waters for Marianne Faithfull and is the first single from Marianne's 20th album 'Give My Love To London'.


 'Give My Love To London' is released on September 29th and sees Marianne collaborating with an impressive roll call of studio collaborators including Adrian Utley (Portishead), Brian Eno, Ed Harcourt and Warren Ellis & Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds). Songwriting contributors and co-conspirators – with Marianne penning the majority of the lyrics – include Nick Cave, Roger Waters, Steve Earle, Tom McRae and Anna Calvi. Produced by Rob Ellis and Dimitri Tikovoi and mixed by Flood.



A note from Roger - July 11, 2014

"Enough is enough".
In January this year I wrote a private letter to Neil Young, it was sent via his manager Elliot Roberts' email, I never received a reply of any kind.

More recently I spoke openly about The Rolling Stones performing in Tel Aviv.

In light of the appalling recent events in Israel and Gaza and my dismay at the the lack of any response from our governments and in a final appeal to Neil's possible attachment to the rights of all human beings, not just the disenfranchised natives of North America, but all human beings all over the world, I am publishing that letter now.
Here it Is.


Dear Neil Young.

There are rumors flying about that you are considering doing shows in Tel Aviv this year.

The picket lines have been crossed in this last year by one or two lightweights from our community but no one of your stature. Woody Guthrie would turn in his grave. Neil Young! You are one of my biggest heroes, you are one of a very short list, you, John Lennon, Woody Guthrie, Huddy Ledbetter, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday and, like some others, but not many, your songs have always been redolent of love and humanity and compassion for your fellow man and woman. I find it hard to believe that you would turn your back on the indigenous people of Palestine. That you would lend support to, and encourage and legitimize, with your presence, a colonial apartheid regime, largely settled from Europe, that seeks to confine the native people of the land, either in exile or in second class status in reservations and ghettos.

Please, brother, tell me it ain't so.


As I recall, back in the day, along with the rest of us (Stevie van Zandt, Bruce, Led Zep etc etc etc etc)  you would not "Play In Sun City" I am asking you to stand on the same moral ground now. The late, great, Nelson Mandela lives on in us, we cannot let him down. He was explicit in his position and I quote, " We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians".  It is time for "Rock Against Racism" to show some of it's muscle by refusing to lend our names to the whitewashing of the illegal colonization of Palestinian land and the systematic oppression of its indigenous people. Unfortunately the opposition lobby has a lot of muscle too. They spend millions on their "Hasbara"(If like me you have no Hebrew)”Explaining” or to you and me "Propaganda". The propaganda machine is well oiled and ruthless. We, on the other hand, have only our commitment to non-violent resistance to lie down in front of the IDF caterpillar tractors that would raze the native people from the land of Palestine. We stand with those people, and with all the brave people of Israel and Palestine, Jewish and Arab alike who oppose The Israeli Governments brutal policies. We stand with Rachel Corrie, the young American woman who gave her life under the caterpillar's tracks. Please join me and countless other artists all over the world in solidarity with the oppressed and the disenfranchised. It is time to heed the peoples call. People like The Bedouin, the nomadic people of the Negev in the arid south of Israel, please research their plight, one village, Al-Araqib has been destroyed 63 times by IDF Bulldozers. If you are in doubt about any of this, I will go with you to Palestine, and Israel, if they’ll let me in, you will see what I have seen, and then let us figure out the right thing to do.


By the way I watched your Bridge School concert on YouTube last year, it was very moving, you were, of course magnificent. You had asked me to perform, and as I explained to your management, I would have gladly done so had I not already been committed to The Wall Tour in Europe and Stand Up For Heroes in New York. This year I will be pleased and proud to come and support you if you call.

With respect, and love.

Roger Waters.

PS.
Fyi. Nice Christmas present.



Bedouin Village Demolished For 63rd Time
Thursday December 26, 2013 18:18 by Chris Carlson - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group

For the 63rd time, Israeli forces have demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Negev, Thursday morning.

A Ma’an reporter in Beersheba said that bulldozers, escorted by 25 police patrols, raided the village at 9 a.m. and demolished all of its steel houses.

“Forces of demolition and destruction raided our village in the morning and demolished our houses, for the 63rd time. This is a barbarian assault, as they left residents homeless during wintry weather,” local resident Aziz Sayyah al-Touri told Ma’an.  He highlighted that the assault has come following the Israeli annoncement to abandon the Prawer Plan in displacing Negev Bedouins. Bedouins claim the are as their ancestral lands, while Israel considers al-Araqib and all Bedouin villages in the Negev illegal. There are about 260,000 Bedouin in Israel, mostly living in and around the Negev, in the arid south. More than half live in unrecognized villages without utilities, with many living in extreme poverty.


PPS
Google “Prawer plan” and follow a few links, you may catch a glimpse of the tip of an extremely large and terrifying iceburg.

Neil, we’re talking about the occupation, subjugation, dispossession, eviction, ghettoization and possible eventual eradication of a nation.

You, more than most should find this, taboo, story, more than a little disquieting.

From Facebook



2014/07/07

The phenomenal Roger Waters of Pink Floyd


By: Magdalene Paniotte, Jul 2, 2014


Roger Waters is a supremely creative musician, humanitarian and co-founding member of the legendary Pink Floyd. Since the band's inception in the 1960s, Roger has immersed himself with other group members to develop what is known as conceptual album artwork, whereby in contrast to unrelated flowing compositions songs are conceived thematically to impart deeper meaning, while conveying a visual sense of the music. The group's original style of progressive and psychedelic rock combines elements of cinematic art, opera and blues to form a purely unique sound. Several years beyond their first album release of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the all-time record breaking sales volume from Dark Side of the Moon established Pink Floyd’s historic presence, followed by Wish You Were Here and The Wall.

With the passage of time Waters has charted new territory, expanding on Pink Floyd’s tradition of spectacular theatrics and visual effects in a recent world tour of the immensely popular re-mastered album The Wall, which was also made into a motion picture in previous years. A strong believer in world peace who feels that to remain silent is never a choice, this latest edition is a collaborative effort to visually reinterpret the fantastic work, only this time with political overtones as opposed to narrative structure. A prevalent theme on the album is to overcome oppression by breaking down barriers that a wall might represent as an obstruction separating human beings from each other.

On a more artistic level, perhaps Roger’s conceptual idea of the wall is to create a psychological distance between performer and audience so as to ultimately empower people to see the big picture, to reconsider the music in the greater scheme of things. Also defined as "the fourth wall" in theatrical terms, the notion of an invisible wall forms a representational illusion permitting a performer to maintain an intellectual distance as opposed to directly engaging with audiences presentationally. A bit similar to viewing a motion picture, the intended outcome of this artistic detachment is to enable concert fans to get the deeper message in contrast to simply experiencing the thrill of being in the company of a rock superstar.

Still going strong at age 70, Waters is a politically sensitive artist who feels that people everywhere have the right to live in dignity and free of fear. An advocate of human rights who wholeheartedly believes in freedom of expression, he empathizes with families of veterans who have lost their loved ones in times of war. In fact, Roger occasionally relates to American Veterans at half-time during shows, and has actually been working with amputees at Walter Reed to musically uplift their spirits... a great musician and family man who’s been quoted as saying that he has nothing to hide but the truth, Waters has recently started writing a personal memoir.

From axs.com


2014/06/18

Hear Roger Waters’ Early, Work-in-Progress Recordings of Pink Floyd’s The Wall


June 17th, 2014
by Josh Jones



My first exposure to Pink Floyd’s rock opera The Wall left me feeling nothing less than astonishment. And though I never had the chance to see the outrageous stage show, with its very literal wall and giant inflatable pig, the film has always struck me as a suitably dark piece of psychodrama. Over a great many subsequent listens, the melodramatic double-album can still blow my mind, but I’ve come to feel that some of the strongest material are those songs penned jointly by Roger Waters and David Gilmour, and those are relatively few. (Mark Blake quotes Gilmour as saying “things like ‘Comfortably Numb’ were the last embers of mine and Roger’s ability to work collaboratively together.) The bulk of the album belongs to Waters, its autobiographical details and personal themes, and the album and film can sometimes feel as stifled and claustrophobic as its protagonist does. This is either a creative failing or a brilliant melding of form and content.

Inspired by an incident in which an exasperated Waters spat on a rowdy fan at a stadium show in Montreal during the band’s 1977 “In the Flesh Tour,” The Wall documents the painful rise and even more painful fall of a fictive rock star named, of course, Pink (played by Bob Geldof in the film version), whose life closely parallels Waters’, down to the spitting. It has always seemed an odd irony that Waters responded to the alienation of touring massive stadiums by creating a stadium show bigger than anything the band had yet done, but it speaks to the bassist and singer’s grandiose personality and obsessive desire to turn his angst into theater. Oftentimes the results were spectacular, other times bombastic and confusing (at least to critics, some of whom are easily confused). The recording of the album, as many well know, strained the band almost to breaking, and by many accounts, Waters’ imperiousness didn’t help matters, to say the least.




All of the behind-the-scenes drama may or may not eclipse the drama of the album itself, depending on your level of fandom and interest in Pink Floyd biography. Lovers of Waters’ epic rock dramaturgy will find edification at the extensive online critical commentary Pink Floyd The Wall: A Complete Analysis, an online work in progress that delivers on its title. For a very brief account of the story behind the story, co-producer Bob Ezrin’s interview with Grammy.com offers perspective from someone involved in the project who wasn’t a member of what came to seem like The Roger Waters’ Band. Ezrin describes The Wall as “Roger’s own project and not a group effort,” and his own role as “a kind of referee between him and the rest of the band.”

In the beginning we had a very long demo that Roger had written. We started to separate out the pieces, and when we looked at the storyline we realized what we needed was a through line, something to get us from start to finish.

Ezrin recounts that he “closed [his] eyes and wrote out the movie that would become The Wall,” handed the script out to the band, and marked songs missing from Waters’ demo as “’TBW’—‘to be written.’” (Among those songs was “Comfortably Numb.”)

The recordings at the top of the post—which surfaced in 2001 with the title Under Construction—represent a step in The Wall’s evolutionary development between Waters’ rudimentary demos (short excerpts above) and the completed album. (See the Youtube page for a complete tracklist. Contrary to the uploader’s description, Roger Waters certainly does not play all the instruments.) While Under Construction has generally been referred to as a “demo,” Rick Karhu of Pink Floyd fanzine Spare Bricks expresses his doubts about the use of a term he takes to denote “a fairly polished recording”: “Demos are not rough recordings or works-in-progress […]. I doubt very much that Under Construction is a demo of The Wall.”

It’s too rough around the edges—at times shockingly so—to be strictly considered a demo recording. At points, things are haphazardly edited together. Songs cut off abruptly, fade unexpectedly or drop out entirely for a moment as if someone at the mixing desk hit the wrong button at some point. Vocal tracks peak-out, often causing anguish to the listener’s ear drums. Some instrument lines (mostly the bass guitar) meander through the background as if the person playing is making up the part as they go. Equalization is nonexistent on most tracks. Overall, most of it sounds like a 4-track recording by a band who has only the vaguest notion of how the equipment works.

Lest we take this description as disparagement, Karhu clarifies: “It is precisely for those reasons […] that I love them dearly and consider them one of the most valuable, unauthorized Floyd recordings to be unearthed. Ever.” Many Youtube commenters agree, some even arguing that these rough sketches are superior to the final polished product. It’s a debate I won’t weigh in on, though I will say that like Karhu, I enjoy the lo-fi raggedness of this version of The Wall. It seems to convey the emotionally frayed edges of these songs in a way the slick production of the studio album may not at times. Either as a mere document of the album’s early history or an alternate, fragmented—and hence more traumatized—take on The Wall, this unofficial version is haunting and strange. Does it perhaps better represent Waters’ desire to make his psychic unease into art? We invite you to judge for yourselves. And if, like me, you can listen to “Comfortably Numb” (and that incredible guitar solo) on repeat for hours on end, you may be interested to hear David Gilmour discuss the song’s composition in the interview below.




Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC.

From www.openculture.com
 

2014/06/03

New Roger Waters "The Child Will Fly" music video

Written by Matt
Saturday, 31 May 2014

Six years ago, Roger Waters recorded a song for the Fundación Alas, a foundation to help improve health and education for children in Latin America. Two years ago, Roger, who was in Buenos Aires performing a record breaking set of nine Wall concerts at the Estadio River Plate, chose the city to film the promo video for the song, which is called "The Child Will Fly".
Working with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires and with the support of the Spanish International Cooperation Agency, Alas made a contribution of $2 million for 22 early childhood centers serving more than 2,000 children in neighborhoods with high poverty levels.
The theme song was intended to help raise awareness about the importance of early education as a tool for children, with financial and cultural projects hopefully opening a world of greater possibilities. The track features the collaboration with Roger of different international and Latin artists such as Shakira, Eric Clapton, Pedro Aznar and Gustavo Cerati, who have worked actively with Alas.
The video features the artistic supervision of Roger Waters and was directed by Argentine Diego Kaplan and has just become available online - as you can see below.




The child will fly (making off)


From www.brain-damage.co.uk