It is with
pleasure that I present this issue of
you. If you have ever had one of those
experiences of 'kismet', you may understand how things happened.
One day I opened my mail and read a message about Patricia
O'Callaghan's website. She had to have a new one because of some
cybersquatting. This got me thinking, no not about
cybersquatting, but about whether she would ever be interested in being
featured in this ezine. So I wrote back to the person who sent me
the notice. The person suggested I write directly to Ms.
O'Callaghan and ask her. So I did and she agreed. Let me
tell you it was an exciting day at 'abovegroundtesting' world
headquarters when THAT email came in.
I also discovered
she had produced a new CD which I
promptly downloaded from Puretracks
so it was all legal. It is an amazing CD and you'll read my
review of it later on in the issue. I will be honest I am a
fan of Patricia
O'Callaghan, she is one of those talents that restores your faith in
the music industry. When all you're surrounded with is a bunch of
poseurs, gangstas, wannabes and no talents dependent on the magic of
computers rather then their own voice, Patricia is a breath of fresh
air. Her voice is magical and her interpretation of songs, be
they classic cabaret to modern compositions will bring joy to your
heart. As you can read, she describes herself as a 'magical
mysterious character' and that's probably true. She is a talent
you can enjoy and so take the time to read the interview, my review and
yes some great poetry.
Patricia O'Callaghan was born
and raised in Northern Ontario, living in small communities such as
Dryden, Sioux Lookout and Iroquios Falls. If she had one constant
it was music and it was at an early age her talent was noticed.
It was during the year she lived in Mexico as an exchange student she
decided to make singer her life career and her choice of music was
opera. This led to her later attending the University of Toronto
where she studied and gained her degree in musical performance.
It was during these years she immersed herself in the unique music
scene that is Toronto. She also began to perform in her own
avant-garde music group, which gained an award at a music competition
in Dusseldorf Germany.
However it wasn't until 1999 when she won a Chalmer
grant that she was able to stop waitressing and concentrate full-time
in developing her musical career. She has released four CD
"Youkali', "Slow Fox", "Real Emotional Girl" and this year's "Naked
Beauty". Now, her talent has been extended onto the stage and
television, in the case of the latter she has appeared in the
television series "Foolish Heart", and "Youkali Hotel". On the
stage she took the role 'Penny" in 'Three Penny Opera" and this year
toured Europe in "Constantinople".
When not doing all this, she resides in
1) First of all, who is Patricia O'Callaghan
a magical mysterious character
2) So how does a young girl from Northern Ontario become the toast of two continents? Where did the road take you and what were
some of the stops along the way.
Favorite memories are being snowed in in Newfoundland in December, making a movie (Youkali Hotel) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in a run
down hotel with no heat in 54 below weather, going to a gig in St. Catherine's, Ontario, where noone showed up only to find out the next day
my agent had given us the wrong venue, doing a gig in my hometown of Iroquois Falls, Ontario, and sleeping in my childhood bedroom that night
(our house is now a small hotel for mill employees), singing with baritone Bryn Terfel at Roy Thompson Hall, touring with Don Byron throught
the States and finding out jazz players are on a whole different time schedule (our gig started at eight and we hadn't left the hotel yet), singing at the Brooklyn Academy
of Music for Kurt Weill's 100th birthday, opening for the crazy Tiger Lillies throughout Germany, you know what, it goes on and on, so I may as well stop
3) You are considered, among other
things, a cabaret singer, how do you define that style of music and is
there an audience for it in the 21st Century?
I think there' an audience for
anything that's really good. Cabaret, coming from the social and
economic repression in France and Germany at the turn of the last
century created enourmously eclectic evenings. Anything
went. Political criticism and irony and humour abounded. I
do a little of all these things
4) Your CD's have mixed
classical cabaret music such as Kurt Weill with other individuals such
as Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman? Randy Newman?? Why
him. I realize he is perhap better know for "Short People" but
you have his other works including the first track of your new CD.
Randy is very much in the
cabaret tradition, huge irony, humour,and a fantastic songwriter
5) I truly enjoyed your
interpretation of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen, what was your
interpretation of the song, because whatever it was, it's wonderful.
It was the end of a big love
6) Your new CD features some
collaborative work with Steve Page of "Barenaked Ladies", again some
one most people wouldn't consider, how did that collaboration start
how did you feel about the songs produced.
I found out he liked my stuff and our
managers got us in touch. He is also very "cabaret" in his
songwriting, not to mention a fantastic guy.
7) You're going beyond being a
recording artist, how did your performance go with "ThreePenny Opera"
It was another highlight for me.
I loved it deeply
8) You're also involved with the
musical "Constantinople", how did you get involved with this project
and what is required of you. Could you also tell me about it.
Versatility and solid tecnique is
riquired as well as an open mind and stage experience and poise.
It's about religion, culture, east meeting west, truth, beauty,
and it's great.
9) Your latest CD, "Naked Beauty", I
noticed you have a number of styles going through the different tracks,
how would you describe the CD? Also I noticed in one review you
mentioned the title as being provocatve, while this comes from a song,
why did you choose this title?
My boyfriend who hung out on the couch
most of the time during the recording inplanted the idea of the title
in all out brains very subtly and
persistantly. I think he liked
it cause it sounds naughty. I like it because it implies it's all
about the song, the pure beauty of the song, as opposed to production
10) Besides music, do you have any
other artistic abilities and skills you want to share with the world?
none at this time
11) With both recording and live
stage, which direction do you see your career going?
both, I don't want to exclude
either. I'll just have to be careful about my choices I suppose.
12) And what does the future hold
for Patricia O'Callaghan?
lots of exciting adventures
If you read past
issues of this ezine, you know I
have reviewed other material by Patricia O'lCallaghan. To sum up
my past opinion, I enjoyed "Slow Fox" and was dissappointed with "Real
Emotional Girl". I suppose my disappointment in the latter was
due to the repeat of previously released material and I personally am
not too fond of some of the artists she chose to interpret. Okay,
so I'm not a huge Eddie Vedder fan. Now "Naked Beauty", what can
I say. Three words, Buy. It. Now. That's it, buy it, play
it, buy more to give as gifts, she needs to become the next great
talent, because that's what she truly is. As I listened to this
CD I was impressed with the variety of styles she interpreted.
This is a lounge CD, it's a cabaret CD, it's an Alternative CD, its a
pop CD. What unifies it all is the sound of
Patricia's voice. It is wonderful. As mentioned
in one of the questions, she collaborates with Stephen Page
of the BNL, and let me say it is a collaboration that works, and
works well. They perform two duets and she share the writing
duties of one song. One of my favourites songs is "Tonight We
Fly", it's a fast paced song that draws you inot her flight.
You may wonder how
can so many different styles
exist on one CD and have it work? It works because the unifying
factor is the Voice of Patricia O'Callaghan. She is in
great control and never do you feel its forced. It flows
and she adds depths of interpretation to each song. Her control
exists in the way she interprets each song, she's
sing "Dayton , Ohio" with the right level of easiness that makes
it as inviting to listen to as sharing 'tea with the missus and
me'. which is part of the lyrics of the song. She does
continue her interpretation of cabaret and gives a bow to Leonard
Cohen. The instrumentalist provide the appropriate interpretation
for her music and enhance her voice.She is also willing
to experiment; two of her songs are sung in the Ladino language.
commented that Patricia has a determination to refuse
musical limitation; it is aptly demonostrated in this CD and it
makes it a gem.
Hawes brings us
more of the unique interpretive style:
A cloudy, dreary day --
so like the one when you
packed your things and left without
Near the river...
Our passion is driven
Like that bright red leaf being swept
this cold morning
my breath forms little clouds
of my soul rejoining
the universe’s heaving breast
I kiss your sweet lips
and take joy at the union
of our hearts and souls
you’re my reason for living
until I wake from my dream
a stolid stoic
she ignores the laughter
and pointing fingers
until safe in her room
and then the tears come
brings us her fascinating study of life:
For decades, the iron hen
atop the church-tower has pointed
facing the rising sun, wings tucked
neatly, tail tilted against
the west wind strong at her back.
But that was
before this new
riffling of the Sunday morning air
that brings some lost soul’s litter –
tatters of bright magazines
from far-away cities, slick shreds
with a faint whiff of tobacco,
or watered bourbon sliding
down a glass.
This morning the townsfolk
look at their neighbors aslant;
they stare; each one knowing
he alone stands righteous
as a compass. A whisper could be
blasphemy or prayer.
AT THE COSMIC CAFÉ
Imagine a rolling California blackout
while we’re sitting in the upstairs
of a refurbished Gold Rush water-hole
dug into ancient hillside rock,
with just the single fire-code
scaffold for escape.
Ghosts are nothing but old legend.
We believe in music. Upstage
under spotlights a band’s been
with its sound machines. And then.
The power fades, a snitch of sunset
through velvet-curtained windows.
And then dark.
The guy with a guitar has nothing
to plug in to.
Come, sing me a poem with your own
acoustic voice, the one
that wooed me, how many years
of borrowed and half-forgotten songs
For the Winter Pageant,
Mrs. Schwartz’s 6th grade class
is dancing on a desert island
with a single date palm
which hides the keyhole
through which peers Mrs. Schwartz
(a ruthless lot
who thinks of make-believe
as boot camp for a generation
raised on Reality TV).
But the little girl
in the salmon-colored tutu
and dingy saffron hair
just twirls herself dizzy
for this fantastical night
How do they stand it?
That tiny old couple leaning together
in a quiet smile in the midst
of the Friday night jam session,
perhaps it’s their great-great-
grandson on stage, yelling over a
in guitar with untaught voice.
The two of them so gently
poised, they don’t even cover
their ears, the fragile
drums, they’ve stood
so much already.
brings us television haikus
RADIO AND TELEVISION PERSONALITIES
Bill Cosby writes books,
makes recordings and films, stars
in his TV show.
Steve Allen hosted
original Tonight Show,
authored twenty books.
Amos and Andy
white vaudevillians, wrote and
acted their own show.
Jay Leno---The Chin!
Took over The Tonight Show
from Johnny Carson
Jackie Gleason worked
in nightclubs, radio, TV,
films, and Broadway stage.
and comedian; starred in
The Red Skelton Show.
Johnny Carson was
the best paid TV talent
Sid Caesar came up
with zany, comic, sketches
for Your Show of Shows.
George Burns---in vaudeville,
movies, TV, radio. He
was a singer, too!
producer; star of TVs
hit, I Love Lucy.
will be host of The Tonight
Show five years from now.
Lawrence Welk was a
band leader; had TV show;
played "Champagne Music."
and TV performer; was
Red Foxx was a great
comic; starred in TVs hit
show, Stanford and Son.
Arthur Godfrey was
radio and television
ad lib performer.
The Late, Late Show's Craig
Kilborn---a very young man---
Milton Berle---he starred
in Texaco Star Theater,
and in the movies.
the gap-toothed one--- is bumping
heads with Jay Leno.
Hear "Imus in the
with biting humor.
Fred Allen displayed
his laconic style, dry wit,
and flawless timing.
Stan Freberg---rock and
roll radio satirist;
parodied hit songs
Rush Limbaugh, titan
talk radio host, is now
hooked on pain killers
richard h williams
Dina brings us
this fare from Russia
The Prayer - the letter
Devoted to the friend - to Aurora
I do not know where you are now
But I am with you in my ideas,
With my heart and my soul.
I see you so well,
As if you are near me -
You are the same Fine Princess
With hot black eyes
And with magnificent waves of hair.
I hear your voice -
It is voice of your poetry,
Which sings about beauty, about love.
Sometimes your voice is crying,
sometimes is angry,
But it always is a voice of sincere
I don't know now, where you and how
But I ask God to help you,
To protect you from illnesses and
I ask God to return you
To the joyful world of your friends,
of your relatives and your poetry.
Yes, it will be so!
Farewell to Autumn
Again the Autumn leaves us.
What for to shout: " the Trouble!
We shall not accuse a wind,
Which has torn off all leaves.
Autumn go away imperceptibly,
As the wife who any more does not
She only, will nod affably,
And from a rain, as from vine
We are already drunk.
Leaves fly from trees, as birds.
We want to sing and love,
And to take a shawl from a laughing
That To put on it on the frozen
Poems for my Sweden friend Kerstin
There is the little red house
Somewhere, in the mysterious
There is the little red house
And field around it.
There are kind horses.
That look sorrowfully
At their Kerstin -
At my far, familiar/unfamiliar friend,
Who lives in this little red house
Somewhere, in the mysterious Sweden...
2. It is the song of a road
My train is singing
The song of roads.
I am looking through a window:
Yellow and red trees
Are seeing me off
With sorrowful, mysterious
Wet with rain, the bushes,
The grass, and October's flavours,
Are telling me:
Maybe we shall never
I am looking through the window,
There are many old, little houses
Under the ramshackle, black roofs
In lonely, poor villages.
They are looking at that train,
And at me, in the window;
There aren't many people in these
And almost never childish laughs are
But I am thinking, somewhere,
Two adult persons – a man and a woman,
Are watching the TY - program
And after that they are traveling;
In their thoughts and dreams,
In that country,
But they Know nothing about
Two Swedish persons:Kerstin and Olle,
And their little red house,
And horses, and the fields nearby.
My train is singing
The song of roads.
My love is tired of me.
She has been so for a long time
by support for me
And by help for me the Fastest.
I spilled too many tears ,
I fell down too often,
I was only a pain, unlucky,
had a lot of questions.
But she desired rest and joy -
To sit untroubled near a cheerful
And watch TV in the evening
… My love is tired of me,
And the grief of centuries
Has squeezed at once my shoulders.
( Has squeezed down on my shoulders.)
It's the season of
change, the fall colours
are almost expired ending up as piles of leaves to be raked and
disposed of. The weather has gone from wet to dry, warm to
chilly. It is the time for fires to be lit and people to gather
to feel the warmth and drying of the flame. Another couple of
weeks, the first snow of the season will appear and our thoughts will
turn to the season of light, Christmas and other festivals of
lights. We are almost celtic in our attiude, seeking the glow of
friendly flames and the company of family and friends.
Next month is the annual Christmas issue, let's
consider it the celebration of Lights. The peace of the open
flame and warm hearth that we share. I'll work on some work to
share the theme. In January, the theme is will tea. I had a
coffee issue and now let's go to the other warm caffeinated drink,
tea. Who knows perhaps a special issue dedicated to cola drinks
is still to come.
If you want to submit some work, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can write, send your poetry, your short stories, art work
or photographs. All are welcomed. If you have any news, a
new book being published, I'll include that as well. If you just
want to write and say 'hi', I'll answer back, that's a promise.