Jingo Harleyman on Bandcamp … and it’s all FREE !

2nd December 2022

Yesterday, before work, I finally opened a Bandcamp account for my solo project Jingo Harleyman.

I am really not tech-minded, so completing anything online is a minor victory for me. I still need to add a photo and a bio but at least I have uploaded six tracks, and hope to add more today.

The address is: https://jingoharleyman.bandcamp.com/

The music, which I recorded on various phones and iPad apps, is available to download free of charge.

The six tracks are taken from the twenty-four track project ‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’, the soundtrack to an underground cult film.

You may watch clips from the film on YouTube:

Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsmo9VDTZXw&ab_channel=Chadav

Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNtSgvvBLLQ&t=284s&ab_channel=Chadav

Part 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RODBAMlmg8o&t=217s&ab_channel=Chadav

Part 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC3p1ChzsUk&t=405s&ab_channel=Chadav

Meanwhile, I need to learn more about Bandcamp and make the dashboard more appealing. Any help, tips or advice will be gratefully appreciated.

Furthermore my band Butterfly Decal also need a Bandcamp page, as we have a number of tracks already completed.

I’m working with my old friend Niall Keohane in this band, and Niall’s technical expertise elevates the low-fi music; he makes it sound professional and epic !

Niall’s also a multi-instrumentalist, and regularly plays gigs and makes recordings.

In case you haven’t heard anything from Butterfly Decal (there are several videos on YouTube), here’s one from Niall, about the love affair between Jazz legend Miles Davis and French singer Juliette Greco:

Thank you all very much for your time

All the best from Sai Gon

Swedish Rock … and hej då to Stella.

4th October 2022

Ni Hao Stella ? How are you ?

Everyone allow me to introduce you to my favourite YouTuber, Stella, who has a channel dedicated to music :

As you can see from this screenshot, Stella discusses individual bands, favourite songs and genres of music, all in an educated yet very entertaining manner.

Her laugh is just about the cutest thing you will ever hear, as well.

I suggested Stella take a look at some Swedish rock and pop bands; not the global acts such as Ace of Bass, The Cardigans or Rednex (not to mention ABBA) but the lesser known bands, the indie rock of Stockholm, Gothenburg and my old stomping ground, Malmö.

KB music venue, 10 minutes walk from my old apartment in Malmö

What follows is the tip of the Nordic iceberg, a very mixed bag of styles and attitudes. I hope you find something of interest.

Tack så mycket (thank you very much)

To kick off, the first Swedish artist I heard, Thomas di Leva, and ‘Vi Har Bara Varandra.’ The title roughly translates as ‘We only have each other.’

Thomas was born in 1963, and achieved wide success in 1987, even being name-checked by David Bowie (the back blurb of a book on Di Leva). The main body of his work is from the mid 80s to the 90s, his last LP being released in 2013.

I think this song is so catchy, immediately infectious and memorable. I often sang it, along with the whole crowd, at festivals.

Next up is another band active from the mid 80s to the early 90s, Union Carbide Productions. My favourite song is the guitar-riff heavy ‘Golden Age.’ This one’s for you, Stella.

The band morphed into The Soundtrack of Our Lives in the mid 90s.

Now for one of Sweden’s biggest guitar bands, Kent. Here’s the video for ‘Dom Andra‘ from 2002:

The band, who broke up in 2016, released 12 albums. Lead singer and guitarist Joakim Berg also wrote for other artists, such as Lisa Miskovsky.

I saw Lisa at a free concert at the Malmö Festival, and she was amazing. This is a live version of ‘California Heart‘ from the 2006 ‘Changes’ album.

Staying in Malmö, Skilla is an all-girl band that I saw live on a few occasions. I once met Lisa, the guitarist, after a gig, and the lyricist Nina allowed me to interview her for a paper I was writing on linguistics. ‘Tragic Song‘ is from their debut album.

The next band, The Hives, had success outside of Sweden, an early album reaching number 7 in the UK charts. You may know this song, ‘Hate to say I Told You So,’ a great garage band thrash.

One Swedish band who apparently have quite a following in Japan is Mando Diao, and here’s the video for one of their early hits, ‘Sheepdog.’

Finally The Sounds, a band from Helsingborg, and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll‘ from their 2002 debut album.

As mentioned, we have only scrapped the surface here, there are so many bands I omitted; Melody Club, First Aid Kit, The Mo, Alice in Videoland, Lisa Ekdahl, Weeping Willows, The Ark, Lykke Li, Veronica Maggio, Dolkows, Atomic Swing … I feel a Part Two coming on.

Hope you like this, Stella

Jingo Harleyman – ‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’ OST (Part 4)

2nd October 2022

Hari Karachi returns to Singapore

Part 4 of the OST (original soundtrack)

‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’

The music was composed and performed by Jingo Harleyman, and is royalty-free; anyone may download the music or use it for non-profit purposes.

Furthermore, all the music is free to use for no-budget or low-budget projects. Please credit the composer:

Music by Jingo Harleyman ⓒ 2022

Hari Karachi is a cybertective, notable for wearing crocodile boots.

In Part 4, the hero confronts the dark web Cicada 126, utilising all his cyberskills to bring down the evil organisation.

The Mai Tai Girls help Karachi get back to Asia, but from a different home base. But are the Durango 4 still on his trail … ?

Now, without further ado, the video:

Thank you to everyone who has watched the video. Your time and support is really appreciated.

Jingo Harleyman – ‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’ OST (Part 3)

26th September 2022

Part 3 of the OST (original soundtrack)

‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’

The music was composed and performed by Jingo Harleyman, and is royalty-free; anyone may download the music or use it for non-profit purposes.

Furthermore, all the music is free to use for no-budget or low-budget projects. Please credit the composer:

Music by Jingo Harleyman ⓒ 2022

Hari Karachi is a cybertective, notable for wearing crocodile boots.

In Part 3 Karachi realises why the notorious Durango 4 revenge posse are hunting him; the cybertective has uncovered a hidden, nefarious dark website known as Cicada 126.

Seymore Green employs the Mai Tai Girls to get Karachi to safety, then Karachi can plan to destroy Cicada 126 … unless they get to him first.

Now, without further ado, the video:

The story (spoiler-free) will conclude in the next blog post, Part 4 of the OST.

Thank you to everyone who has watched the video. Your time and support is really appreciated.

Jingo Harleyman – ‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’ OST (Part 2)

22nd September 2022

from the ‘Hall of Yama’ sequence, an underground Berlin dance club.

Part 2 of the OST (original soundtrack)

‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’

The music was composed and performed by Jingo Harleyman, and is royalty-free; anyone may download the music or use it for non-profit purposes.

Furthermore, all the music is free to use for no-budget or low-budget projects. Please credit the composer:

Music by Jingo Harleyman ⓒ 2022

Hari Karachi is a cybertective, notable for wearing crocodile boots.

In Part 2 Karachi, acting on a tip-off from Tiger Girl, flies to Berlin to meet an old accomplice, Seymore (sic) Green. The two talk in a pulsating, deafening underground nightclub, and Green organises a nightdrive to a safehouse … but for how long will the safehouse remain safe ?

The Durango 4 are approaching.

Now, without further ado, the video:

The story (spoiler-free) will continue in the next blog post, Part 3 of the OST.

Part 2 is dedicated to the memory of the British actor Seymour Green (1912 – 1998)

Jingo Harleyman – ‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’ OST (Part 1)

16th September 2022

Hari Karachi – cybertective

Part 1 of the OST (original soundtrack)

‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’.

The music was composed and performed by Jingo Harleyman, and is royalty-free; anyone may download the music or use it for non-profit purposes. Furthermore, all the music is free to use for no-budget or low-budget projects. Please credit the composer:

Music by Jingo Harleyman ⓒ 2022

Hari Karachi is a cybertective, notable for wearing crocodile boots.

Karachi has a small, intimate network of informers, enforcers and compadres: one stormy night he picks up a coded warning from Tiger Girl.

Tiger Girl, cyber expert, Wing Chun Master, Heaven’s own Angel

The beautiful, highly-skilled compadre wants to meet Karachi at the Chamber of Jade to pass on some terrifying info from the darkest of dark webs …

Now, without further ado, the video:

The cult film is based on the book by award-winning author Duncan G. Balthazar.

More on the elusive, reclusive, enigmatic author in the next video blog.

Coming soon … Jingo Harleyman

10th September 2022

Jingo Harleyman will be releasing FREE online, the soundtrack to the independent cult film

‘Hari Karachi & the Durango 4’

Links will be posted to the appropriate sites. I have been informed that all tracks may be downloaded or grabbed and used

FREE OF CHARGE

for non-profit use or low-budget artistic projects.

Watch this space …

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

The Beatles solo cinema projects. Some not-so-fab films (part 2)

9th September 2022

The solo cinematic careers of John, Paul and George were covered in Part 1, which may be accessed here: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2022/08/31/the-beatles-solo-cinema-projects-some-not-so-fab-films-part-1/

So now it’s Ringo’s turn, and he co-starred alongside Richard Burton, and Peter Sellers among others. Furthermore, two-time Oscar winner Marlon Brando was in one of the films so they should have been magical … unfortunately that is not the case.

Let’s start with the source material, novels by Terry Southern.

Southern had published these books in 1958 and 1959 respectively, then in the 60s he worked on such iconic films as ‘Dr Strangelove,’ ‘The Collector’ and ‘Easy Rider.’

Writer Terry Southern

‘Candy’ is said to be based on Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ but I think the film, described as a sex farce, owes more to de Sade.

A blonde-haired, blue-eyed innocent teenage girl is sexually manipulated and exploited throughout the film. Ringo only appears in one sequence (with a brief appearance at the end of the movie) playing a gardener, speaking broken English with some kind of accent. He is later identified as being Mexican though he sounds pure Merseyside.

Brando appears as a guru, and actually displays some excellent comic timing. Just a pity the material is rather weak, laboured and very dated.

Candy star Ewa Aulin with Marlon Brando

The film, however, was quite a commercial hit although reviews were mixed. Today it has acquired cult status and is very much a late 60s period piece, the look, the sound and social mores.

‘Candy’ was released in the US on 17th December 1968, and the soundtrack features The Byrds and Steppenwolf.

A year later, Ringo’s second solo film was released. In ‘The Magic Christian,’ he has a co-starring role alongside Peter Sellers (who had memorably played three roles in Kubrick’s ‘Dr Strangelove’).

The film is a satire on wealth and greed, and a condemnation of capitalism. Sellers plays a man of immense wealth, who sees Ringo’s character as the son he never had, and subsequently adopts him.

Ringo with 60s icon Raquel Welch

The film is a series of set-pieces where Sellers shows what people will do for money; a Shakespearean actor is bribed to strip during the famous soliloquy in ‘Hamlet,’ a traffic warden is asked to eat a parking ticket, and the climax shows respectable businesspeople diving into a tank of unmentionable content to retrieve paper money. This film does not go in for subtlety.

Again, the film is packed with familiar faces from film and British TV, and again, as with ‘Candy,’ it’s not a film I would rush to re-watch.

Finally, there is another Beatles connection in this film. The main song is ‘Come and Get It,’ performed by Badfinger but written by Paul McCartney.

Speaking of The Beatles, they spent January of 1969 rehearsing for a proposed TV special or live concert. This was captured in the documentary film ‘Let It Be,’ released in May 1970 by which time the band had broken up.

But the music remains … forever.

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

The Beatles solo cinema projects. Some not-so-fab films (part 1)

22nd August 2022

Before The Beatles broke up in 1970, each member had released at least one solo record or appeared in a non-Beatles film.

These solo outings are a ‘must-see’ for Beatles fans, although none of them match the artistic excellent of The Beatles music, or come anywhere close. Most are now curio pieces, examples of the late 60s zeitgeist, and are of little cinematic merit despite amazing casts and writers.

I hadn’t previously seen any of the following five films. Unfortunately it proved to be a rather disappointing experience.

Anyway, in true Beatles style, “One, two, three, four …”

Let’s start in the Autumn of 1966. The ‘Revolver’ LP had been released in August. John Lennon was offered a part in an anti-war black comedy so left the UK to film in Germany and Spain. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney was approached to write a score for a domestic comedy-drama called ‘The Family Way.’

The film was released on 18th December 1966 (June 1967 in the US), while the soundtrack LP was issued in the new year, on 6th January 1967. First, the film review.

‘The Family Way’ is by far my favourite of the five.

The Boulting Brothers, producer and director, were significant names in 50s British cinema, making some classic films on a limited, post-war budget (films such as ‘I’m All Right, Jack’, ‘Brighton Rock’ & ‘Lucky Jim’ among others). The script was by Bill Naughton, who had written the iconic 60s play ‘Alfie’.

British viewers (of a certain age) will recognise many familiar faces from film and TV, especially the male lead, Hywel Bennett (later to play the eponymous Percy in 1971, music written by Ray Davies of The Kinks).

Hayley Mills & Hywel Bennett

The title is somewhat misleading, as the phrase is a British euphemism for being pregnant, usually out of wedlock (a social stigma at this time). In fact, the lack of a family is the main point of the film.

Set in the Manchester region of north-west England, the film following the wedding of Jenny and Arthur, Jenny from a middle-class background, Arthur’s father a life-long employee at the local gas works. Arthur enjoys classical music and literature, at odds with his uneducated father. There are tensions at the wedding between father and son, but the real problem occurs on the wedding night; Arthur is unable to consummate the marriage, and the couple to sleep separately throughout most of the film.

Finally Arthur overcomes his issues, and the couple go on a belated honeymoon, and will move into their own home when they return. It is also heavily implied that another man was Arthur’s biological father, although he now seems to fully accept and love his dad.

Of the five films under discussion, this is the only one I would be happy to watch again. Additionally, it is also one with the least contribution from a Beatle.

Paul McCartney wrote some pieces which his producer, the legendary George Martin, scored and wrote variations for orchestra. According to online sources, Martin had to force McCartney to finish the work, staying at McCartney’s house one night until Paul had produced some music. [1]

Paul McCartney at the film’s premiere

As for the music, I feel it’s pretty uninspiring and inconsequential. The LP clocks in at under 27 minutes, and I doubt if many Beatles fans who actually own it, play it often.

However, it may hold a very important key. Because of the northern setting, McCartney thought a brass band would be a good idea, and it has been suggested that this led to the idea of ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ Of course, that LP is another story altogether …

‘Sgt Pepper’s’ epitomises the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967. Meanwhile, the US forces were increasing in Vietnam, fighting was escalating.

At this point, John Lennon made his solo screen outing as Private Gripweed in ‘How I Won The War,’ released on 18th October 1967

The film centres on a lower middle-class man who becomes an officer (Michael Crawford), and how out of touch officers were with the men under their command. The humour, often black, is very hit-and-miss, not to say outdated. Occasionally the jokes don’t work at all.

Lennon, with cropped hair, merely plays a version of himself, and is competent and enjoyable to watch although the film does drag. The plot is basically a group of soldiers being sent into the desert to prepare a grassy area suitable for a game of cricket.

The film received moderate reviews which was disappointing as the director was Richard Lester, who had made ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ the first Beatles film, which was so fresh and exciting.

Another interesting incident is that Lennon stayed in a villa in Spain during the shoot, a villa that reminded him of a certain building in Liverpool, a Salvation Army garden called Strawberry Fields.

One of the co-stars, Jack MacGowran, would be the lead actor in ‘Wonderwall’ (1968) for which George Harrison composed the music.

Harrison’s soundtrack was released on 1st November 1968, while the film wouldn’t get a full UK release until 12th January 1969.

MacGowran plays a stereotypical absent-minded scientist, who lives alone in a drab, brown-toned apartment, piles of dusty papers everywhere. One day, through a crack in the wall, he sees into the next apartment (alluded to in the LP cover). His neighbour is a beautiful young girl (Jane Birkin) who practises free love, her living space open and multicoloured. The scientist envies her life, and boyfriend, until he witnesses the other side of the permissive society; the irresponsibility. The girl gets pregnant, the boyfriend leaves her and she attempts suicide. The scientist sees this and calls an ambulance, thus saving her. The film is a condemnation of the hippie lifestyle, the squares save the day, depth and character over superficial image.

Jane Birkin
Jack MacGowran

Musically, the LP has its admirers, featuring Harrison’s fascination with the sitar. This works well with the film and places the film firmly in the late 60s. The music is quite listenable, without the images, mixing eastern and western influences, and did receive some praise from contemporary reviewers.

Ringo, meanwhile, made two films in the late 60s, both based on books by Terry Southern, ‘Candy’ and ‘The Magic Christian.’ The much-loved drummer worked with such screen legends as Richard Burton, Peter Sellers and Marlon Brando … but I will save that for another blog.

Goodbye from Ringo

Please Note: All photos are taken from Google Images or free photo sites, and are used for educational purposes only. No copyright infringement or offense is intended. If I have used your photo or image, and you wish me to remove it, just ask. This site is not monetized, I run it on my own dollar. Thank you.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Family_Way_(soundtrack)

Chinese short stories: A recommendation

24th July 2022

Recently, I finished an anthology of Modern Chinese short stories namely ‘The Picador Book of Contemporary Chinese Fiction.’

The collection, first published in 1998, is one of the best I’ve ever read; all stories are worth reading and many are excellent.

My experience of Chinese Literature has been mainly limited to the Classics: Confucius, Lao Tzu and poetry from various dynasties, so this is a great introduction to contemporary fiction.

A 2004 collection by China’s first Noble Laurate

The Picador anthology has the following contents:

Western readers may be aware of Su Tong as he wrote ‘Raise the Red Lantern’, which was filmed by Zhang Yi-mou in 1991.

If you can find a copy I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.