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Monday, June 27, 2005

Musical interlude: Callier at the Jazz Cafe

I saw Terry Callier at the Jazz Cafe last night (which by the way, is probably one of London's best venues). I've been wanting to see him live for quite a while, but wasn't really expecting any great revelations. I was wrong: in real life he has a presence. He is an absolutely mesmerizing singer. A man who can spin out his lyrics (which sometimes, admittedly, have an air of richest fromage) in a way that brings tears to the eyes of grown men (and perhaps even women too).

The tracks from his recent album Lookin' Out were another revelation, rivalling his earlier classic tunes from the 60s and 70s. The lyrics to his cover of Dino Valenti's 'What About Me' particularly burned their way into my mind:
I work in your factory.
I study in your schools.
I fill your penitentiaries.
And your military too!

And I feel the future trembling,
As the word is passed around.
"If you stand up for what you do believe,
Be prepared to be shot down."

Oh.......oh What you gonna do about me?
Oh.......oh What you gonna do about me?
The Guardian has a nice interview with the man who was a computer programmer at Chicago University from 1983 until 1998, when they sacked him after finding out about his double life as a musician.


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