NINA NASTASIA Arches, Glasgow, Tue 15 Jun
Given the opportunity to play with members of a band from a far-off country, who use bizarre instruments and whose very concept of musicality may be alien to Western audiences, many other artists would take a few days to decide whether to join the tour. Not Nina Nastasia. When the Contemporary Music Network invited her to create a unique protect with Kaigal-ool Khovalyg and Sayan Bapa, founding members of unusual Tuvan ensemble Huun-l-qur-Tu, she dived in. Only then did the masters of the igil (horse-hair cello) and khoomei (harmonic throat singing) get together with Nastasia’s band for 45 minutes.
‘I’ve been a fan for a long time and thought it would be really interesting to play with them, but I wasn’t sure at all how it would sound,’ says Nastasia, her voice as gently enchanting as the feathery gothica of her records. ‘They came by my apartment and we played for 45 minutes. I played them songs I couldn’t have imagined them playing - but it sounded great.’
Nastasia is used to yielding a handsome return on her impulses. A decade ago she left her native LA and took a flight to New York on a whim. After assembling a band with the help of partner/manager Kennan Gudjonsson, Nastasia tentatively pressed 1500 copies of her debut LP, Dogs.
There are a few original copies of Dogs available if you’ve found $280 down the sofa. Thankfully, a re-release will coincide with her dates with Huun-Huur-Tu.
says. ‘But I wasn’t tempted to mess with it as Steve (Albini — engineer of Nastasia’s three LPs) had given it such a great sound.’
She is already preparing a follow-up to last year’s Run to Ruin. ‘l’ve got loads of material I’m anxious to record. I write with my guitar, so the songs are semi-formed musically and the band can then add to it. Kennan is very good at saying where perhaps people shouldn’t play, as I just get very excited about hearing them
Gone to the dogs
So she should; her band includes legendary Dirty Three sticksman Jim White and violin maestro Dylan Willemsa. ‘We don’t get to practise a hell of a lot,’ she laments. ‘Touring is the most time we get to play together.’
Uncertainty then, appears to be Nastasia’s optimum environment. A good 45 minutes should be more than enough for her to conjure up what will be a certain treat. (Nadine McBay) I Dogs, is re-re/eased on 7 Jun on Touch and Go
‘Dogs is kind of different to the others,’ she aII.’
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Sun 13 Jun
To have one period of halcyon glow is fonunate; to have two is just downright Cunning. And the Chili Peppers can boast a renaissance to beat most.
Earning their stripes as the 80s Californian frat boy funk rockers for snot punks everywhere. they exploded off the skater's mix- tape into the mainstream with an elasticated cover of the Stevie Wonder classic ‘Higher Ground' but it took 1991's B/oodSugarSexMagic/r and its lighter-abusing. smack ballad “Under the Bridge' to propel them to real Super stardom.
Prolific substance abuse lost them one of their greatest assets in guitarist John Frusciante and signalled their first drop from the straight(ish) and narrow.
But this was 1991. and they had to go through a mid-908
Matured but still Hot
creative slump — the unfocussed. under-performing One Hot Minute — and another couple of guitarists. including Jane's Addiction's Dave Navarro. It looked like their number was up.
Frusciante knocked the heroin on the head. rejoined and propelled the quartet with their most reflective and effecting work yet. Cal/fornication. The bratty. crotch grabbing of the 808 seemed a lifetime away. It sold by the shedload and they made a return to the top of the heap. with last year's By the Way continuing the trend for brassy pop rock. A second bite of the cherry (or perhaps chili?) was theirs.
Now more interested in engaging the public with tofu recipes and yoga positions than tales of nocturnal sexual conquests and general bad behaviour. the Chili Peppers have managed to mature but musically not SUCk. And after 20 years of high jinx, that's an achievement in itself. (Mark Robertson)
RSNO SCOTTISHPOWER PROMS 2004
Usher Hall, Edinburgh Thu 1-Sat 12 Jun; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Wed 16—Sat 26 Jun
A quick glance at the classical mus:c listings WI” reveal how much the RSNO ScottishPower Proms dominate the orchestral muSic scene in Edinburgh and Glasgow in June. A dauntineg huge selection of some of the most popular music ever written for Symphony orchestra. opera. big band. musicals is on offer. If you like film music — and even if yOu don't — ex-Bond girl Honor Blackman in An Evening of Bond. . . James Bond is one for the record books. It was 196/. that Blackman — now well into her 70s — appeared as Pussy Galore in GO/df/nger. But much. much Older and wearing just as well is pretty much everything else that can be heard in the Proms. Berlioz' Symphonie FantastiQi/e. for instance. premiered in 1830. is still as fresh as one of Bonds dry martinis. And the same goes fer Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Schubert's Unfinished and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.
For the Last Night of the Proms. the music might be claSSic — 78 72 Overture and the biggest of big tunes from Verdi and Puccini operas — but the latest news is that new young talent Nicola Benedetti. winner of this year's BBC Young MLiSiCian of the Year competition. is making a Surprise appearance iGlasgow onlyi With the Polonaise No I for violin and orchestra by Polish composer Henryk Wieniawski. Introducmg her, and everything else that evening. will be actOr panto favourite Gerard Kelly. whose first experience of presenting the Last Night of the Proms was three years ago. ‘lt was a fantastic night and one which I thorOughly enioyed. so I'm very happy to be presenting the last night again this year.' he says. (Carol Maini
Alexander Lazarev will be the man with the baton
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