Sonntag, 4. April 2010

Final destination Iran?

Exclusive: Rob Edwards

Published on 14 Mar 2010

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.
They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran
Dan Plesch, director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, University of London

Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate.

Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the US navy.

A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. “US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he added.

The preparations were being made by the US military, but it would be up to President Obama to make the final decision. He may decide that it would be better for the US to act instead of Israel, Plesch argued.

“The US is not publicising the scale of these preparations to deter Iran, tending to make confrontation more likely,” he added. “The US ... is using its forces as part of an overall strategy of shaping Iran’s actions.”

According to Ian Davis, director of the new independent thinktank, Nato Watch, the shipment to Diego Garcia is a major concern. “We would urge the US to clarify its intentions for these weapons, and the Foreign Office to clarify its attitude to the use of Diego Garcia for an attack on Iran,” he said.

For Alan Mackinnon, chair of Scottish CND, the revelation was “extremely worrying”. He stated: “It is clear that the US government continues to beat the drums of war over Iran, most recently in the statements of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

“It is depressingly similar to the rhetoric we heard prior to the war in Iraq in 2003.”

The British Ministry of Defence has said in the past that the US government would need permission to use Diego Garcia for offensive action. It has already been used for strikes against Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars.

About 50 British military staff are stationed on the island, with more than 3,200 US personnel. Part of the Chagos Archipelago, it lies about 1,000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka, well placed for missions to Iran.

The US Department of Defence did not respond to a request for a comment.

Ure breaks his silence over Ethiopia weapons claims

Live Aid raised £40 million for famine relief in Ethiopia


Published on 16 Mar 2010

It was one of the largest concerts of all time and raised £40 million for famine relief in Ethiopia, winning plaudits for its masterminds Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.

Now Scots musician Ure has voiced his anger at claims that Live Aid in 1985 – watched by 400 million people in 60 countries – had funds siphoned off to buy weapons for rebel groups in the country.

The 56-year-old broke his silence on the allegation contained in a BBC World Service report.

Speaking at the launch of CCW Long Play, a specialist management company aimed at musicians, Ure spoke out after he was asked how so many millions of starving Africans had been fed on the equivalent of just 5% of the funds raised.

He said: “There’s not a lot I can say about it just now because we’re looking at litigation. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if what is being claimed, that only 5% of the money has got through, what I would like to know is, what is the secret?

“If we tell all the aid agencies how to keep that many people alive and sustained on just 5% of the monies raised, it seems an awful lot of money, or we would be able to save a lot more people.

“It just doesn’t equate, it just doesn’t add up, and it was spurious guff that was out there. It wasn’t accusations, it was implication, and with absolutely no evidence. We have worked hand in hand with every major aid agency and they’re all standing by us and telling us that this is absolute b*******, really.”

Geldof has threatened to sue the corporation and called for the dismissals of the reporter involved, the head of World Service news and current affairs, and the director of the BBC World Service. He wrote: “We will ... take a view on what legal action we may take both against the journalist in question and World Service in general.”

Ure hopes that his role as a director of CCW Long Play, would allow him to help unravel the legal and managerial “spaghetti that has been endemic in the music industry”. Fellow director Ronnie Gurr told how he had seen many acts signing contracts “that effectively sign away rights for the length of their careers.”

The new company will provide musicians with business, legal and creative advice, and potential financial investment. It also has access to external producers, live booking agents and tour managers.

Ure, 56, who himself is about to launch Tunited, an online digital resource for new and emerging artists, said: “Ronnie told me what they were trying to do at CCW ... offering a management deal, all of that stuff, but without getting artists completely embroiled and tied up that has you manacled for the next 20 years.

“It just seemed to make absolute sense. I liked the idea of getting involved in something that doesn’t make you end up paying your first manager, from 10 years before, for the rest of your life. That is how management deals used to be.

He added: “The nature of the artist is that they will sign anything, because somebody is paying attention to them. It’s the first step towards the fantasy they have in their heads, so you will actually sign anything, which is what I did back in the early days.

“My first record deal was hideous but it was great at the same time, because it was the only one I was ever going to get offered in Glasgow. You kind of live to regret it, if you’re sensible about it.”

Ure said he had been lucky in that he had always surrounded himself with good management and advisors, but added: “I remember when I was in Rich Kids and was just about to join Ultravox. I was still tied into a contract that I had done with Rich Kids three years before. The technicalities of that could have stopped me joining Ultravox, but luckily they released me from my contract, even though [Rich Kids] didn’t exist any more.

“That is what happens. You sign with four of your mates and you think it’s fantastic, until the band breaks up and you realise you’re signed not as a band but as an individual, so they can keep you for as long as the contract was originally set up for.”

Blogging from the indie festival in the East Neuk of Fife - Homegame Festival 2010 - Blog

Homegame Festival 2010 - Blog

Fence supremo King Creosote himself, Kenny Anderson

Alan Morrison

Published on 12 Mar 2010

Homegame, Various Venues, Anstruther, East Neuk of Fife


Well, after an hour-long wait in the queue, I finally got those famous fish and chips… The plate is no sooner cleared than I’m off to the Town Hall for Sunday night’s musical menu. On The Fly (7.30pm) is about ten minutes away from the end of his set when I take my seat in the balcony upstairs, a heavy pulse filling the hall, topped by live bass and keyboard effects. It’s a taste of the electro emphasis to come this evening.

I miss the first couple of songs by Found because having gone outside to get mobile phone reception, the way back into the building is barred by the organisers. Some idiot without a ticket has tried to rush the door and then flailed around rather violently in the entrance hallway. The police are called and he’s led away. It’s not much of a bother in itself but, as time goes on, it’s indicative of a slight edginess that will emerge later tonight.

For the time being, though, the big question is, why aren’t Found (8pm) bigger than they are? Their combination of live electronic beats and programmed noise with catchy tunes and thumping indie-rock is surely one of Scotland’s best kept semi-secrets: this is where we’d all have loved Franz Ferdinand to take that slightly disappointing third album. Drive Slowly We’re On Our Way Home, Johnny and Let Fidelity Break sail across their choppy post-punk rhythms or, to bring in another band reference, pull off a terrific high Wire act.

Django Django (8.50pm) pick up the electro-rock baton and, like their on-stage predecessors, lap Franz Ferdinand on the final circuit. Now, someone has made an effort – all four members are bedecked in matching short-sleeve safari suits. Their sound is equally close and together, the vocal harmonies lifting something from sixties psychedelia, while the big stompy tunes art-rock-via-post-punk look back to the noughties; superb new single Wor even works in siren and surf guitar. With their precise image and arrangements, they seem to be a professional notch above most Homegame compadres.

At first it looks as if the hall is emptying before Four Tet’s headline set (10pm), although I’d guess that the third of the punters who have left have simply rushed to the nearest pub for a swift pint as the bar here (and later in the Hew Scott Hall) has been drunk dry and closed early. The uneasiness in the air goes up another notch.

On record, Four Tet can be consumed in chunks; live it’s an all-or-nothing piece of dramatic construction. To some eyes, this is a man in a white T-shirt twiddling with some electronic equipment on a table; to others, Kieran Hebden is a musical genius. The first ten minutes of the set draws that dividing line, as the slowly crafted layers of sounds and samples push the less willing audience members to the front door. Those who stay become more and more ecstatic as the pace lifts and the now-tangible energy levels rise to a dancing frenzy.

A quick stop-off in the upstairs bar in Smugglers finds Animal Magic Tricks (10.45pm) channelling the spirit of Brecht and Weill in a series of songs that condense the complex dramatic structures of a three-act play into four minutes of music. I’m here rather than at Legends for the German techno of Pantha Du Prince and the DJ sets from Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite because my electro levels are exhausted.

Which reminds me, for the completists who have been following this blog in order to find out the somewhat elusive Homegame line-up, here’s my final Kicking Myself miss list: at the Hew Scott Hall today, Findo Gask (acoustic), Hardsparrow, Fake Eyelashes, Jonnie Common and Love Stop Repeat; at the Erskine Hall, Lisa O’Neill and Pip Dylan; at the Town Hall, Rocketnumbernine. That’s not bad going, honestly (even if I have committed the sin of omission by forgetting in an earlier blog to mention a favourite among the electro kids here – Jon Hopkins, who headlined the Town Hall on Saturday night).

Which leads me on to my final thoughts before the ceilidh climax: at most festivals, bands effectively play a greatest hits set in an attempt to please most of the people most of the time; at Homegame, they actively want to try out new songs and things they haven’t done before. It’s a creative environment with an appreciative audience. Where else could a live collaboration between bands as different as Found and Eagle Owl finish with the latter’s violinist - on the surface one of the straightest-looking people at the festival - taking the mike for a wild ensemble rendition of R Kelly’s Ignition?

So while there’s a feeling that the regular festival-goers and musicians all know each other, it never feels to the first-timer that you’re entering an exclusive club; you’re now part of Fence’s inclusive family.

Anyway, the ceilidh in Hew Scott Hall (11.30pm), the place where my Homegame began some 60 hours earlier… A drums-guitar-accordion set-up for traditional Scottish country dancing, and I put almost-forgotten lessons in the school PE hall to good use for the Gay Gordons and Dashing White Sergeant. As the increasingly sweaty sets circle the room, I notice that I’m dancing with people I’ve seen at every venue and with some of the musicians who have filled the stages all weekend. It’s a nice feeling: everyone in a big whooping muddle, now all on the same side of the PA system. You don’t get that at T in the Park.

[Alan Morrison would like to thank Kenny Anderson and Johnny Lynch from Fence Records, and David Innes from the Smugglers Inn, for their help with this blog.]


One thing I’ve noticed over the past three days: if I get on nodding acquaintance with someone standing next to me at a gig and assume they’re another regular Homegame punter, chances are they’ll be on stage performing at the very next venue I go to. That’s not to say that the festival is full of musos – although there is an overabundance of cool and stylish people on these seaside streets – but that everyone mixes together, going to see each other’s gigs. It’s also a really family-friendly affair. More than one set has enjoyed the additional backing vocals of baby gurgles.

That family spirit is at its friendliest in the Erskine Hall, the one venue I haven’t been to yet. The same line-up has been on here Saturday and Sunday (the James Yorkston replacements being the only deviation from plans), so having missed the lot yesterday, that’s where I’m going now. This is an orange-juice-and-cupcakes scenario, as befits a big echoing orange room with children’s paintings decorating every wall.

Acoustically, it’s got great reverb, which suits Adrian Crowley (1pm). There’s a dreaminess to his sound, his electric guitar shimmering over the richness of its bass notes. Songs such as The Three Sisters, Brother At Sea and, especially, Long Distance Swimmer – with its Bill Callahan/Smog atmosphere and pacing - ease us into the day after the excesses of last night.

The Erskine Hall line-up is also where you’ll find what could be called the core spirit of Fence. So after Crowley, it’s time for HMS Ginafore (1.45pm), whose mum and dad are currently serving the food at King Creosote’s Bit of Strange recordings. Today she has dragged the guitar she first bought with her pocket money out of the attic, and she plays a succession of songs which, by and large, seem to be about unhappiness in love. What sets her apart, however, is the hilarious stream-of-consciousness chat between the songs, as she blithely embarrasses friends and family with indiscreet anecdotes and asides.

There’s a major change of pace for Adem (3.05pm) from when I last saw him, charging up the electro beats for Silver Columns in Legends last night. Now it’s one man, one acoustic guitar, and an amazing canon of songs. There’s a lovely little break in his voice that I assume is deliberate and not caused by last night’s workload. At one point he picks up a fancy piece of electronic kit called a Tenori-on (it looks like something halfway between an e-reader and a laptop) that provides beats and programmed backing – a singer-songwriter for the 21st century. But it’s when back on the acoustic guitar for a superb rendition of Laser Beam (closing track on the Takes album) that you could hear the proverbial pin drop.

Adem’s Silver Columns cohort, Johnny Lynch, is back in his Pictish Trail guise at the Hew Scott Hall (4.30pm). I suppose the best way to ensure your concert is packed is to be the event organiser; the queue to get in goes down the hall and out to the street. What we get once we’re inside, however, isn’t a straight set of songs but effectively a cabaret act with stand-up comedy elements. Pictish Trail selects a handful of 30-second songs from an abandoned project to write 50 songs in 100 days. Some are good, some he’s the first to admit are not; all generate laughs from the crowd. It’s an interactive experience, with lots of friendly heckling. Hard to explain though – I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, you can’t come to Anstruther and not have the fish and chips, so I’m typing these last words on a bench outside the Anstruther Fish Bar. Do they do salt and sauce up here?


The delays continue into the Saturday evening sessions, even though the venue changes. When I get to Anstruther Town Hall, I fully expect to have missed Remember Remember, but they’re only tuning up for their set (7.30pm). Saxophone and glockenspiels are the unlikely instruments in this post-rock mix, the latter adding a nursery rhyme-like innocence to the power and drive of the guitars. At times the combination is curious and creepy, a bit like the soundtrack to a Dario Argento slasher movie. Some of the numbers go interesting places, others seem lost in their repetitive loops.

No 21st-century festival is complete without a blast of 1980s nostalgia, and at Homegame, it’s The Bluebells (8.15pm). King Creosote introduces them, saying that when he was 17, 18, 19, they were his favourite band. He sings a few lines, accompanying himself on the accordion and clearly fulfilling a lifetime ambition, then leaves the McCluskey brothers and their band mates to get on with it. Forever More, Red Guitar and, of course, Young At Heart still stand up to scrutiny, and the gig is great, unbridled fun. After a story about how Brendan Behan’s brother used to live in their house, they close with a rendition of The Patriot Game.

I remain in the Town Hall for the last band to be added to the festival programme – The Unthanks (9.15pm). Mercury Prize nominees a couple of years ago, the troupe from the north of England are fronted by sisters Rachael and Becky (who even slip a bit of clog dancing into the live version of Lucky Gilchrist, one of the highlights of latest album Here’s The Tender Coming). Their voices match in gorgeous gothic harmonies – Becky all breathy, Rachael a bit sharper – and the hall falls into a hush that, to tell the truth, hasn’t greeted every band so far. Appropriately enough for a Fife festival, it’s an old Scottish song – Annachie Gordon – that’s the best bit of the set.

I mentioned right at the beginning of the first blog that I’m staying in the Smugglers Inn, and so I pop back there at 10pm to check out who might be playing in the upstairs and downstairs bars as part of the free public gigs. And, boy, do I luck out. King Creosote, still carrying his accordion from that Bluebells intro, has settled himself beside the open fire upstairs and treats us to five songs, including jaw-dropping versions of Leslie (opening track of the Bombshell album) and Curtain Craft (from Flick The Vs).

This is a really special moment for locals and festival-goers combined, and you get the feeling that, even knackered after doing five of his own sets in two days, KC is keen to give something back to the community in which he lives. The closing performance of So Forlorn is lump-in-the-throat time, KC’s voice charged with emotion as his falsetto howls rise on top of the accordion’s drone. Homegame highlight by a mile.

And he’s not done yet. I follow KC down to the Hew Scott Hall where he sits in with The Oates Field (11pm). To tell the truth, I think he thought it was going to be a collaboration with Animal Magic Tricks, but the time schedules are so messed up by this point, it’s the wrong band and, it has to be said, this set takes on a rather awkward, uncomfortable mood.

Instead, I head up to Legends where, tonight Matthew, Pictish Trail is Jimmy Somerville. Yes, Fence duo Johnny Lynch and Adem have come together as Silver Columns (11.30pm), and there’s more than a touch of Bronski Beat about their exuberant electro-pop. The club is stowed out to catch their first ever gig, and it’s a genuine feelgood triumph – a blast of dancefloor energy not really seen in any other corner of the town. I get the feeling that the clubby programming at Legends may well be an inspired addition to the Homegame line-up.

Not too much to complain about tonight, then, on the Kicking Myself front. I didn’t see Uncle Jelly Fish at the beginning of the evening’s bill in the Town Hall, nor the DJ sets by Kieran Evans and John MacLean at Legends or some of the other pub stuff (word was that the Wee Baby Jesuses and Gummy Backo came out to play).

Last stop before bed is a Homegame mash-up in the Hew Scott Hall consisting of Eagle Owl and Found. The delicate strings and languid pace of the former shouldn’t really work with the heavier guitars and programmed beats of the later, but it really, absolutely truly does. You can see the musicians responding to each other in the moment: it’s like a live 12” remix of each song being done before your very eyes.

Saturday, 7pm

Well, here we are again, starting a day of Homegame action in the Hew Scott Hall. Yesterday I noted that the typical rock’n’roll line-up was a rare species in Anstruther this weekend, so I’m not surprised to see in front of me a double bass and three-piece brass section included in the make-up of Benni Hemm Hemm (1.15pm).

This is Iceland by way of mid-west America, as Benni (a native of the cold north now relocated to Edinburgh - okay “colder, norther”) has an ear for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s vocal harmonies. Most of the set is made up of tracks from the truly excellent forthcoming Retaliate EP, and they all come to a dramatic climax after an inherent slow build. I love that quiet-loud-quiet stuff: clearly you don’t need to be the Pixies to do it if you’ve brought your own brass section along.

Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for – King Creosote’s Nth Bit Of Strange In 14 Years. It’s the centrepiece of the festival, being done eight times over the weekend to restricted crowds of about 50 people a time. And if you’re not carrying a piece of recording equipment on your bod, then you ain’t getting over the threshold. This will be (perhaps one day) the next King Creosote album, but for the time being, you’ve got to record your own version and pass it around.

I sat in on the 4th Bit Of Strange (2pm). And I can safely say that this is the most accessible King Creosote album to date, particularly after the sonic tweaks of Flicking The Vs. It’s got the same lyrical intensity – KC himself whispered to me that he thinks the lyrics are a challenge for listeners – but it undeniably contains some of his best ever writing, particularly the closing track, The B-All & End All Of That.

The AIA Hall itself is a bit of an oddity: it’s a tight fit, like a 19th-century drawing room with small-paned windows, electric “candelabra” lights and heavy red curtains. Kenny is joined in the band by Captain Geeko, Uncle Jeesly and Onthefly, and backed by a video projection that takes over at half time (the “album” is split into two 20-minute batches of five songs each) with an arty black-and-white film. But at that particular point, most of us are too busy with the “whisky integral” to pay too much attention to the film. Note: “integral” not “interval”. It’s not a break, it’s part of the overall experience, so a double Highland Park for me, please.

Kicking Myself Part 3: being at the King Creosote gig meant I’ve not been able to catch Mersault, Lindsay West, Ray Rumours or Men Diamler in the Hew Scott Hall, or Adrian Crowley, HMS Ginafore, Lisa O’Neill and Adem in the Erskine Hall. And I’ve learned that James Yorkston, due to be on at the Erskine Hall at 4pm today and tomorrow, has had to cancel because of a family illness. Today the slot was taken by Pictish Trail and Lone Pigeon; tomorrow it’ll be Pip Dylan.

A missing hi-hat clamp holds up Emma Pollock’s gig (5.20pm) - and, admit it, none of us want to hear the drummer going “clang-clang-clang” when he should be going “tssch-tssch-tssch”. This, she points out, is the first part of the tour for her recently released Chemikal Underground album The Law Of Large Numbers, and so the first time the new songs have been played in front of a live audience. No blips in performance, though: the tick-tock device buried in Red, Orange, Green sounds particularly precise. So far, the prize for Homegame’s big rock sound goes to the wee lady with the distorted guitar.

Saturday, 9am

I suppose if you’re a celebrity and you die just before, say, a music festival, then the least you can expect is a shout out from the stage. It’s fair enough in the context of Homegame that Player Piano should dedicate their set to Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, who died last week. I’m less sure, though, about Corey Haim who gets a co-mention until it’s retracted over uncertainty as to whether he was in The Goonies or not (NB: he wasn’t).

Player Piano are on the bill at the Anstruther Town Hall on Friday evening (6.15pm). The place is rammed – on the first day of the festival, there’s only one venue open at any one time until after 10pm. I take advantage of my pink wristband and head to the balcony upstairs for a better view.

Next up are Bristol’s OLO Worms (7pm). "Did you understand OLO Worms?" Fence’s Johnny Lynch asks the crowd after their set. "Did you understand OLO Worms?" I’m not sure that I did – but at least their brand of noise experimentation was constructed on top of some genuinely funky rhythm section work and their art video projection was always interesting. A bit Sly And Robbie meets the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. And it’s the first time I’ve ever seen brown parcel tape used as a percussion device.

It’s effectively Bristol night at Homegame, as Rozi Plain steps on stage (7.50pm). A Fence signing and Homegame regular, she shifts us into the jazz lounge without us even having to leave our seats. That first song is a bit of a red herring, though, as her set takes on rockier dimensions, with enough Afrobeat stylings to the two guitar parts that you wonder why she can’t edge in on Vampire Weekend’s market. You Can See My Boat goes down a storm before she plucks a toddler out of the front row for the final song and is promptly upstaged as the wee one shakes a tambourine and everyone whips out their cameras.

When it’s the turn for the Withered Hand entourage to come out from the wings (8.40pm), you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d left the Town Hall and gone to an Edinburgh Fringe venue instead. Is this cabaret? The cello player’s in a red cocktail dress, the harmonium player (second of the day!) is sporting a bobbly fisherman’s hat, the drummer’s got a grey top hat, there’s a shaven-headed banjo player, and the main man himself seems to have modelled himself on Neil from old telly sitcom The Young Ones. Last year, I raved in the Sunday Herald about Withered Hand’s album, saying it was a set of songs that Neil Young could only wish he was able to write these days. And the likes of Cornflake and Religious Songs don’t let me down when they’re performed live: with the full band ensemble, the country folk flavour of the songs taps into the spirit of punk rock.

Back to Bristol for Francois And The Atlas Mountains (9.30pm). You may have spotted the dapper Francois earlier when, light on his feet, he hopped around the Rozi Plain set playing guitar. Well, the Afrobeat element is turned up within his own music (there’s a remarkably tribal percussion set-up at the edge of the stage, in front of the traditional drum kit), and Francois proves that his guitar lines are as fluid as his stage moves. And as fluid as the band members too (including Rozi Plain) who swap instruments from song to song.

Domestic duties mean I’ve got to drive back to Edinburgh now and miss the final few acts tonight. This prompts me to start a series of sub-sections to this blog (and there will be more as the weekend progresses) called Kicking Myself, for the sets I miss. Actually, Kicking Myself Part 1 would have included Joanna Foster (Hew Scott Hall, 3.45pm Friday) and Mersault’s acoustic set (Town Hall, 6pm). Kicking Myself Part 2 is worse because I’m missing the DJ sets from Onthefly and Romanhead at Legends, as well as the performance there by Findo Gask (11pm) and the sets by Spare Snare (10.30pm) and Kid Canaveral (11.30pm) in Hew Scott Hall. And don’t even whisper to me about the free-to-the-public gigs in the Smugglers Inn and Ship Tavern.

To make up for it, though, I play all the tracks I’ve got by Spare Snare, Findo Gask and Kid Canaveral on my MP3 player in the car on the way back to Edinburgh, so that I too can, respectively, grasp the jaggiest thistle of Scottish lo-fi, taste the Hot Deep-Friend Chip of Scottish electro and rev up the engine of Scottish power pop. Weirdly enough, this playlist lasts exactly from leaving the outskirts of Anstruther to parking the car in Haymarket. I’ll be back up in Fife before it all start again, don’t worry.

Friday, 6pm

You wouldn’t mistake Anstruther for a spa town. The sea-salt exfoliator stripping the dead skin from your face is the real deal, blowing in from the North Sea. The seaweed wrap encasing your feet is what you get for talking a stroll along the harbour beach. And the music coming out of the speakers is absolutely nothing like the New Age ambient rubbish that would waft across a treatment room. In Anstruther this weekend those speakers are everywhere: the Hew Scott Hall, Legends nightclub, the main Town Hall, Erskine Hall, the Ship Tavern and Smugglers Inn. All it needs is a woman massaging scented oil into my shoulders and placing a towel around my naked middle, and this would be heaven.

I’m sitting in Smuggler’s as I write this (fully clothed), and it’s going to be my base camp for the next few days as takes you through Homegame, Fence Records’ annual festival, held right on the label’s own doorstep in the East Neuk of Fife. Three days of gigs by King Creosote, The Unthanks, The Bluebells, Remember Remember, Four Tet, Jon Hopkins, Emma Pollock and many, many more.

I’ll warn you now: I’m more likely to be taking in the indie folk that’s at the core of the Fence Collective’s music than the electro sessions and DJ sets earmarked for a certain corner of the town - although the thought of strutting my weekend stuff to a hi-energy/techno pulse on the dance floor of a Fife club called Legends does have a certain appeal. Legends is Homegame’s blue Slam Tent (T in the Parkers know what I mean), but I’ll do my best to dip in, for Four Tet’s headline set on Sunday if nothing else.

Anyway, as I said, I’m currently in Smugglers, a splendid sea view hotel-cum-bar-cum-restaurant, which is up and running after a break, under new management, and counting itself among the Homegame venues for the first time ever. I feel like a kindred spirit. This is my first Homegame too, so bear with me through these first few paragraphs as I find my feet.

Anyway, still in Smugglers (get to the point), with a beautiful view of the harbour, graveyard and, across the water, the edge of East Lothian. I was here for literally one minute before the distinctive intimacy of Homegame became apparent. The first person I spoke to in the bar – and I’m not kidding – was Fence supremo King Creosote himself, Kenny Anderson, who instantly introduced me to his label cohort Johnny Lynch (aka Pictish Trail). That’s hardly five minutes after parking the car. In the first pub I went into. Coming up and introducing himself, not knowing I wasn’t just a normal festival punter but the blogger. Homegame: it’s the anti-Glastonbury.

This laidback mood is evident from the very first note played at Homegame 7. And, at 3pm, that note belongs to Graeme, Steven, Martin and Craig of Youtakethebiggerhalf, who open proceedings at the Hew Scott Hall. Graeme’s up at the mic first, doing a couple of solo “love songs” before the rest of the Glasgow-based band fill in around him. Looking around, it’s like we’ve all stumbled in (all 150 of us at this point, mind you) on a rehearsal session. Not that the boys are sounding unpractised; more that the small PA, the mixing desk to the side, the dozen or so chairs, the sheer-up-close-and-personal of it all is totally down-to-earth and informal. We feel welcome; it’s keyboard-player Craig’s birthday, we’re told; hell, even their name has a nice, gentle, kind, sharing Homegame vibe about it.

At 4.30pm in the same venue, something very special happens: a set by Eagleowl. Now, this is music that is beautifully paced and composed. I’ve a feeling that, as the weekend progresses, it’ll become obvious that the traditional drums/bass/guitar/vocal rock’n’roll set-up is fairly redundant as far as Homegame is concerned. Eagleowl play harmonium, electric guitar, bowed double bass and violin, with vocals on top. When those stringed instruments meld with the human voices on recent single Sleep The Winter (search it out online once you’ve finished reading this blog), it’s like a five-part harmony.

REBOLATION - ARMERO - Palmeiras x Santos 14/03/10

Aprenda a dançar rebolation com o craque colombiano!

Startseite Videos Kanäle - James Blunt - Same Mistake

Uma das músicas tema da novela "Duas Caras"!

A hora de perdoar é agora

A hora de perdoar é agora
Um ato amoroso que começa em nós mesmos e demanda muita reflexão e autoconhecimento. Daí pode-se voar para uma vida mais saudável – pois o perdão ajuda a barrar uma série de doenças – e surge uma deliciosa e perene sensação de paz.
Texto • Chantal Brissac
Uma técnica havaiana, chamada oponopono, que significa “amar a si mesmo”, prega a cura interior antes de trabalhar o que está fora. Em outras palavras: à medida que você se cuida, seu mundo se modifica para melhor. Segundo o escritor e arquiteto Carlos Solano, essa técnica, usada para fazer prosperar a condição da casa, também pode ser adotada em prol dos relacionamentos amorosos, familiares e profissionais. “Eu sinto muito, eu te amo” é um dos mantras do oponopono, uma amorosa forma de dizer perdão. “Acho que o fato de perdoar, seja um acontecimento, seja uma pessoa, afeta a estrutura inteira de sua vida. Tanto faz escolher perdoar se primeiro ou a outra pessoa. O que conta é entrar na freqüência do perdão, que libera o peso do passado e abre caminhos”, afirma Solano.

Perdoar, afinal, não remete apenas ao outro, mas, primeiro, a si mesmo. E isso, acredite, faz um bem danado: para a saúde do corpo, para o bem-estar da alma, para os relacionamentos e é uma habilidade que pode ser aprendida e praticada por qualquer um por meio dos mantras do oponopono ou até por exercícios de autoanálise.

Essa segunda possibilidade é proposta pelo psicólogo americano Fred Luskin, que fez do perdão seu objeto de estudo. Luskin é diretor do Projeto do Perdão da Universidade de Stanford, nos Estados Unidos, e pesquisa isso há décadas. O tema é abordado em sua mais recente obra, Aprenda a Perdoar e Tenha um Relacionamento Feliz (ed. Ediouro). “Muitos casais se mantêm irritados durante anos com pequenas coisas, outros vivem ressentidos em casa ou no trabalho. Perdoar não é ser condescendente com a grosseria do outro ou se reconciliar com alguém que você não quer mais como parceiro. O perdão ajuda você a ter controle sobre seus sentimentos, é uma habilidade que pode ser aprendida e praticada em sua rotina”, disse Luskin em entrevista a BONS FLUIDOS. Isso significa tolerar o motorista que deu aquela fechada no trânsito, desculpar a atendente da loja pelo mau humor, se perdoar por sentimentos negativos, ações incorretas e histórias passadas.

O bem que faz para a saúde
Segundo o especialista Fred Luskin, perdoar ajuda a barrar o desenvolvimento de problemas cardíacos e reduz os índices de câncer e outras doenças ligadas aos sentimentos negativos. Além disso, traz o delicioso sentimento de paz. “Paz na mente, no corpo e no espírito. Há um grande alívio por não precisar guardar mais ressentimentos, rancores e mágoas. No início da prá tica, a paz surge em pequenas on das, mas, com o tempo, vai tornando a pessoa mais forte, mais cal ma e capaz de enfrentar outras dificuldades”, afirma.

Luskin ensina seu método em sete passos e tem um site sobre o assunto. Ele mostra, por exemplo, que precisamos aprender, primeiro, a desculpar as pequenas atitudes do dia-a-dia. As coisinhas que incomodam, como o fato de o seu parceiro ter esquecido de levar o cachorro para passear. Outros pontos em que o psicólogo americano toca: cada um de nós deve reconhecer que ninguém é perfeito – inclusive a gente mesmo –, aceitar o que não podemos mudar e ter paciência consigo. O pesquisador já exercitou o método de trabalho com casais, jovens e profissionais de empresas. Uma de suas experiências mais marcantes foi um projeto realizado na Irlanda do Norte com famílias que perderam os filhos por causa da violência política e religiosa. “Ao conseguir perdoar os assassinos de seus filhos, as mães deixaram a depressão e o pessimismo, adquirindo força para lidar com isso”, conta.

Para o teólogo Francisco Catão, escritor e professor de teologia do Centro Universitário Salesiano de São Paulo (Unisal), existem duas categorias de pessoas quando o assunto é perdoar: as que entendem o perdão e as que não entendem. “Essa atitude é a caixa-preta da paz”, afirma. E, assim como as teorias de Luskin e a técnica havaiana do oponopono, o teólogo Catão acredita que o ato de perdoar possibilita um grande aprendizado – sobre o outro e sobre si próprio – e coloca as relações humanas em outro patamar: “É o nível do amor, o que falta na humanidade hoje”, finaliza. Então, que tal começar o ano treinando o perdoar? Quem mais ganha com isso é você.

Estação saudável - Sucos com limão-siciliano e lavanda, chá ou até pimenta

Estação saudável
Sucos com limão-siciliano e lavanda, chá ou até pimenta. Combinações que você nunca imaginou vão dar água na boca e fazer destas bebidas de verão um grande prazer.
Texto • Kátia Stringueto
Reportagem Fotográfica •Camile Comandini
Assistente • Renan Candeloro
Fotos • Eduardo Delfim
Com pimenta

Maçã, gengibre, limão, e pimenta-caiena.
• 2 maçãs
• 3 rodelas de limão
• 1 fatia de gengibre
• pimenta-caiena

Bata no liquidificador a maçã, o limão e o gengibre. Despeje no copo e acrescente uma pitada de pimenta-caiena. Ela e o gengibre são o segredo para deixar o suco super-refrescante.
Rende 1 copo.
Receita do Café Santo Grão.

Cenoura, abacaxi, pimenta dedo-de-moça e coentro.
• 2 cenouras médias
• 1/2 abacaxi pequeno
• 1/2 pimenta dedo-de-moça sem as sementes
• 2 colheres de sobremesa de mel
• Suco de 1 limão pequeno
• 1 copo de água
• 1 colher de sopa de folhinhas de coentro picadas

Bata no liquidificador todos os ingredientes, exceto as folhinhas de coentro. Se desejar, coe com uma peneira. Acrescente as folhinhas de coentro picadas e sirva com gelo.
Rende 4 copos.
Receita de Rita Atrib, do bufê Petit Comitê.

Kardashian Decoration

I think I have died and gone to decor heaven. This is the office space of Khloe Kardashian and I am obsessed and literally dying for it!
black and white chevron chairs + amazing desk,chandelier + purple all over =
domestic bliss x 10

want Khloe's designer's SIX TO BLISS?
(read on for designer Jeff Andrews 6 secrets to home office bliss)

Desk chair. This chair is from a designer, trade-only showroom. Occasionally, this type of store will open their doors to consumers to buy direct. Keep an eye out for these (the LA Mart in Los Angeles has one coming up soon) and choose a showroom floor model. You can get high-end style and refinement at a fraction of the price.
Guest chairs. These are vintage chairs Khloe owned but didn’t love. Rather than be wasteful, I found two great fabrics, one with subtle sparkle and one solid, and reupholstered the chairs. Reusing and repurposing furniture and accessories is a great way to be green! It is also a great way to save money. You can reupholster on literally any budget from DIY to high-end. Another tip is to use the same fabric, again in two ways, to make custom throw pillows. You can find fabric at so many locations from craft stores to flea markets to places like the fashion district in downtown Los Angeles.
Shelves and chandelier. To add glitz, dimension, and visual interest to the shelves in Khloe's office, we added antique mirror to the back of the shelves. Again, this is something that can be done on any budget with a quick trip to your local glass shop. We also added glamour with the chandelier. I customized the piece with cut bohemian black crystals that I purchased separately and added for maximum effect.
Painting is something that pretty much everyone can afford to do, and most of us can handle doing ourselves! For Khloe's office, I used a deep shade of gray/lavender (Benjamin Moore – Stone) on the walls, and I painted the ceiling a lighter shade of lavender (Benjamin Moore – Angelika). The dark trim is a custom color that was mixed by the painter on site. Use a paint deck and other color samples to help put together your palette. Make sure to look at the samples at different times of day and night before selecting a color as lighting changes color dramatically.
Three ways to add style, substance and personality to your room. Keep things alive and seasonal with fresh flowers. Vintage stores, flea markets, and resale shops are great places to find interesting and unique vases and vessels. Grab a bundle of flowers when you stop at the farmers market or at the grocery store. Photos and personal mementos (such as bobble heads on Khloe's desk) add a personal touch to the space. No room is complete without photos of family, friends, and loved ones! Buy frames that catch your eye and mix and match. Keep an eye out for sales and promotions at frame shops by subscribing to enewsletters. Finally, books! Art books are a great gift to give and receive. There are usually several great coffee table books to choose from at any good bookstore. You can always find a fun art book about a topic that you find interesting from design to fashion to music.
Window treatments. For the windows, we chose these fabulous charcoal / purple sheers that filter light and really up the "glam factor" of this room. They really pull the room together and make it feel complete. I think that too many people neglect window treatments. Curtains and other window options can get very expensive, but if you do your research, you can make smart, stylish decisions that don't break the bank. Think about function — do you need to block out light completely? Do you need privacy from your window coverings or are they just for effect? Online is a great place to monitor for sales and promotions for both window coverings and hardware.

Programas de TV e Revistas (miniaturas) (latinhas, bisnagas, tercinhos) (feltro e tecidos de pelucia) (botoes e aviamentos) (feltro e aviamentos e las) ( botoes) (aviamentos) (onde comprar isopor) (onde comprar meia perola) (artigo para festas) (artigo para festas) (artigos para festas) ( artigo para festas cortadores) (artigo para festas) (artigo para festa) (artigos para festa) temas) (temas para imprimir) (mini frascos de vidros, armarinho) (miniatura) (miniaturas)

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