Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Ed is Kost's co-host on Radio Muzyka in Regina, which airs Wednesdays at 3 p.m. CST. They feature the best in contemporary Ukrainian music by artists from Ukraine. There's a live feed so set your timers and enjoy the show tomorrow.
I was fortunate enough to meet these two last summer at the fabulous Ukrainian camp they organize. It was amazing, they are amazing and so is Regina's Ukrainian community. I've never had so much fun!
Looking forward to your posts, guys!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Given the state of the media industry worldwide, this makes you wonder whether the perceived "cure" is worse than the disease.
With this kind of a mindset, it looks like we shouldn't expect many delightful surprises from the Ukrainian music industry. As we've been hearing, apart from the language, most contemporary Ukrainian music is indistinguishable from contemporary music produced in any other country.
Let's hope that the truly talented Ukrainian musicians discover the emerging underground world of podcasting and long-tail economics, and bypass the industry gatekeepers. I certainly hope they stop overlooking Ukrainian broadcasters in the diaspora, who are more than willing to give them a leg up.
On Nash Holos, Sylvia has more about pork, mushrooms and a delicious recipe using both. Myrna talks about her upcoming spring and fall tours. And as usual, there's plenty of GREAT Ukrainian music!
Chetverta Khvylia is also updated. As usual Pavlo brings you the latest news from Ukraine, in Ukrainian ... along with some fabulous contemporary Ukrainian music.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
There are so many incredibly talented Ukrainian Canadian artists struggling to produce both Ukrainian and mainstream music.
It's too bad there is no repository for Ukrainian music that such people could contibute to.
If would be nice if our community leaders would set up such a repository, similar perhaps to the Shevchenko Foundation, so that Ukrainian Canadian music artists could reach their full potential ... and share their gifts with music lovers besides the few lucky enough to know of them, and have access to their music.
Archives for the 6 PM programme on Saturday, February 25, 2006 have been archived. Here are the highlights:
1. News from Ukraine (Read by Rostyslav Nyemtsev).
2. Olympic News (Ukraine wins a second and probably final medal.)
3. Interview with Mykola Maimeskul ... Lina Gavrilova interviews the outgoing ambassador of Ukraine to Canada. (Radio Canada International)
4. Blahovisnyk (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada). Theologian Dmytro Stepovyk comments on the recent caricaturing of the founder of Islam. (Radio Resurrection)
♪ Aritsts: Paris to Kyiv, Maria Burmaka, Vopli Vidopliassova and Bela Rudenko, soprano with the Dumka choir (Kyiv).
On the eve of the Metropolitan Opera's premiere of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, George Loomis looks at the 17th-century Ukrainian hetman Ivan Mazeppa. Was he a patriot committed to liberating his country from Russian oppression, or a cunning and bloodthirsty villain?
I'm jealous of New Yorkers ...I'd love to take this in but alas, I am located on the other coast! Hope everyone who can see it takes advantage of the opportunity.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Hopefully someone will give him a heads-up to listen to Nash Holos ... in addition to GREAT Ukrainian music the program features travel tips by one of Canada's top experts on travel Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Myrna Arychuk, owner of Solaway Travel in Burnaby, BC, has been in the business for over 30 years and has a very devoted following in the Vancouver area and beyond. She knows lots of great tourist attractions all over Ukraine where you get to keep your clothes on ... and engage your mind as well as your senses.
Myrna also publishes a great travel mag called Solovei, which features all sorts of interesting "things Ukrainian" ... and East European. Subscriptions are cheap and great value.
And of course Myrna's tours offer outstanding value as well. She provides a personal touch and a depth of caring that is hard to find in any business. She's just gone through some business restructuring (used to be Cascade Travel) so her website isn't up yet. I'll post a link as soon as it's up, but in the meantime you can reach her or one of her very helpful and knowledgable staff at 604-430-6789 or toll free 1-877-430-6789.
Call and book a tour or subscribe to Solovei! And tune to Nash Holos on Sunday to find out about her upcoming tour to Greece and Poland!
It covers just about every topic imaginable, and sometimes they even have a thing or two about Ukrainian music!
You can subscribe or just go visit their blog. Highly recommended.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
This article has some answers.
A summary of the original survey can be found here . Vendors and marketers looking to reach the 18-24 might be interested in this too.
At any rate, Ukrainian music lends itself well to mp3 players ... wonder if anyone will ever do a survey on how many listen to Ukrainian music on mp3 players? (Or am I the only one?)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Hutz comes across as much more thoughtful and articulate than in the print interviews I've seen. He is obviously very well-educated and knowledgeable about Ukrainian literature and history, and of course, Ukrainian music.
The interview is just under 9 minutes and well worth the time. Here's the link again.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
At a time when the educated in every country in the world, including China and Russia, are learning English as a second language, because English is the de facto world-language, Ukraine's neo-soviet Russophile politicians threaten to isolate the country from the rest of the world with their Russian language legislation and throw Ukraine back culturally 100 years.
This is no surprise. Ukrainian success would mean the end of the status quo.
Fifteen years after independence public life, business and the media is still Russian-speaking outside Ukraine's three westernmost provinces. ... The government does not enforce its language legislation. All government employees must speak Ukrainian, but most don't and continued to be paid nonetheless. Whether or not foreign corporations use Ukrainian inside their stores is ignored. MacDonald's does use Ukrainian on its menus. Baskin Robbins does not.
Ukrainians everywhere should boycott Baskin Robbins and buy MacDonalds ice cream instead. It wouldn't hurt to let Baskin Robbins know, either.
It is thought that as much as 80% of Ukraine's media is owned either by Russians or Russophile Ukrainian citizens. Sixteen years after independence, however, no one really knows who owns Ukraine's media. Foreign companies, of which 3 are Russian, own all or part of at least 9, individuals unknown own all or part of 3, and one is partly owned by a Russophile Ukrainian oligarch.
This could explain the Ukrainian media's lack of interest in collaborating with Ukrainian broadcasters in the diaspora.
Mass-circulation Russian-language dailies like Bulvar, Kievskie vedomosti and Fakty i kommentarii ... regularly belittle, ridicule and mock things Ukrainian, and highlight Russian rather than Ukrainian pop- stars, movies and television programs.
This could explain why fifteen years of Ukrainian independence has had minimal impact on Ukrainian radio and TV programming in the diaspora. And vice versa.
Read the entire article. Very illuminating.
Our Ukraine Bloc blames the Party of Regions of Ukraine for the situation around TV-radio channel “Chornomorka”, which is in danger of closing. ...
It seems to me that having got used to brutal, violent and illegal methods of struggle against the media during its reign at Kuchma times, The Party of Regions has not deprived of authoritative habits and keeps coming up with new forms of pressure on freedom of speech in Ukraine. ...
Such attitude towards the media not only discredits our state in the eyes of international community but also hampers the process of formation of a civil society in Ukraine and a lawful state.
Not that my jab wasn't well-deserved. But the point I didn't make, and should have, is that since the RIAA doesn't represent many (if any) Ukrainian artists, it is probably safe to rip songs from their CDs onto your iPods and MP3 players. ;-)
I encourage you to do so. Ukrainian music is such a great mood-booster! Do make sure and buy the CDs first, though. Go here to find out where. Great for gift-giving, too!
Remember ... Svih do svoho! (Buy Ukrainian!)
So. It seems the nice folks who control the music business in the U.S. would really like it to be illegal for their customers to copy songs from the CDs that they buy onto iPods and MP3 players (or blank cassettes for that matter) to listen to while on the bus, out for a run, or whatever.
No great surprise. RIAA members do, after all, "create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate [sic] sound recordings produced and sold in the United States."
Furthermore, part of the RIAA's stated mission is "to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes its members' creative and financial vitality."
Wikipedia has some details on how the RIAA fosters that climate ... seems their strategy relies heavily on suing 12-year-old girls and deceased 83-year olds. Smart.
Oh well. In a way, you can almost feel sorry for the RIAA. A century or so ago, buggy whip makers likely were trying similarly desperate tricks to keep people from buying horseless carriages.
On second thought, maybe we should save our sympathy for those in their cross-hairs.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Find out about the much-cherished and precious pidpenky, an upcoming tour to Poland and Ukraine called In the Footsteps of Pope John Paul II, news from Ukraine (in Ukrainian), items of interest to the Ukrainian community in the Lower Mainland, - and of course, enjoy plenty of GREAT Ukrainian Music!
Now why don't the hand-wringing Canadian elites get happy about a cultural export like that?
Let's hope Alexis sells tons of CDs to help finance her musical explorations and in the process inspire other Canadian artists (Ukrainian or otherwise) to follow in her footsteps.
For reviews of her CDs go to cdbaby.com or Alexis' web site. Here's a recent one by American journalist Peggy Latkovich (Rootsworld, Dirty Linen).
Paris to Kyiv
Olesia Records (www.olesia.com)
This release is a departure from 2000's Prairie Nights and Peacock Feathers. While that work applied an experimental brushstroke to folk music, this one starts from a basis of experimentation. Though Alexis Kochan and company use the same building blocks as in previous releases - voices, violins, bandura, bass, guitar, and soft percussion - the elements are used sparingly, in an almost devotional fashion. The deep bells interspersed between tracks and the slow, processional tempo of many of the pieces add to the sense of sacredness. Sparsely textured and delicately shaded, these contemplative pieces lay on the ear like soft silk. Alan Schroeder contributes overtone vocals on two tracks, furthering the meditative ambience. andura player Julian Kytasty's quote of Gershwin's "Summertime" is not at all out of place on "Dream," a gentle lullaby. They do kick it up a little on tracks such as "Oj U Lisi," a Spanish-tinged number with vocals by Rodrigo Muñoz. Two sets of "Variations on a Three-Note Dance," one folky and one jazzy, show the possibilities inherent in minimal materials. "Trans-Siberian Blues," a bandura and guitar duet, uses plucky ostinatos and behind-the-bridge strumming in a gentle meeting of cultures. The release is aptly titled, as many of the tracks sound like fragments of musical ideas stitched together into a cohesive whole. It's evocative music that is not easily categorized, but will unfortunately probably be put in "new age" or "world fusion" bins. It's really neither, but rather stands on its own as a unique expression. Wherever it ends up, it's definitely worth seeking out. - Peggy Latkovich
Friday, February 17, 2006
But, I'll be back on Monday with some exciting news that just came in!
Have a good one!
ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross targeted the radio and record industry on last night's Primetime on ABC-TV in a story about 'Payola: The Dirty Little Secret Of The Music Business.'
Ross interviewed recording artists who indicated that payola was common practice and necessary to gain radio air play. Ross referred to the practice, which started in the 1950s as a "multi-million dollar secret" which continues today.
There's a detailed article on the ABC website here and if you'd like to watch the webcast check here.
Might be illuminating.
She's just back from France and Poland and was finally able to answer a question that Irena Bell, host of Ottawa's Ukrainian radio program had put out in cyberspace. She wondered if "You Are My Sunshine" was a Ukrainian song, since there are several Ukrainian versions floating around. I figured if anyone would know, Alexis would ... I'd heard the knock-your-socks-off rendition she did with the Borsch Bros. back in 1992 at the PNE's Ukrainian Showcase Pavilion.
Here's what Alexis said:
I can't be absolutely sure but I would say that 'You are my Sunshine' is not a Ukrainian song. I think that Mickey and Bunny translated it from the English in the '60s (as they did with other tunes like 'This Land is Our Land') and the Marenychi ripped it off from Mickey and Bunny (interesting twist if it's true). Or they may have heard a demo that I did with my musicians from an early Paris To Kyiv CD - it would be the version you heard, Paulette. Someone should do a doctoral dissertation on this...
A doctoral dissertation may not be too far off. The Centre for Ukrainian Canadian Studies at the University of Manitoba has already put together a free online course on Ukrainian folklore that explains why this particular song and others like it lend themselves to translation into Ukrainian.
Oh and by the way, Alexis recorded that boffo version of You Are My Sunshine on a demo CD a while back. She promised to send me a copy. Soon as she does I'll play it on my program. Then you'll understand what the fuss is about!
Thursday, February 16, 2006
XM, which last week signed Oprah Winfrey to program her own channel for XM Satellite Radio under a three-year, $55 million deal, said its cost of attracting additional subscribers rose by 39 percent in the fourth quarter.
Well, duh. Someone give these guys a calculator. And maybe a clue that the times, and audiences, are a-changing.
If you could get a phone with 30 GB of storage (enough for your whole music collection) which would pause if your phone rang so you could take the call (hell, you already have the earpiece and mic plugged in) why would you need a radio (or iPod for that matter).
Now I might find this scary if I weren't already doing a primitive form of podcasting with my radio program.
Might put things in perspective for comfortable Canadians and others arguing about freedom of the press these days... if they bothered to pay any attention.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
A Prairie Home Companion ... looks at the events backstage at the final broadcast of an old-fashioned radio show. The ensemble cast includes Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Tommy Lee Jones, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan and Garrison Keillor.
Streep commented that "...the world that Garrison Keillor creates ...locates a place in our childhood, in Americans' childhood. We grew up listening to the radio in a more innocent time."
Monday, February 13, 2006
They called it magnitizdat, or self-publication on reel-to-reel tape recorder, and it was a brand new medium for Soviet dissidents. Vladimir Kovner was there at its birth.
'In 1961 was the first major recording of Okudzhava,' Kovner recalls. 'It was in a communal apartment in front of 20 people, all friends. We had a couple of tape recorders on a small table, with some vodka of course, and that was it.'
The performer that evening was Bulat Okudzhava, a poet and former soldier whose father was executed during Stalin's Great Terror. In the late 1950s, Okudzhava began setting his poems to a spare guitar accompaniment and performed them at small gatherings of friends. Unofficial recordings of those performances, such as the one Kovner taped in 1961, began to circulate. Those recordings created a movement.
'At the time there were only songs approved by the Union of Song Writers, and all of them glorified Soviet power,' Kovner explains. 'Okudzhava glorified women, love, mothers. When he sang about war, his songs were sad. He never glorified war. That point of view was incredible. And those songs accompanied by just a guitar were very attractive to us.'
Soon, other guitar-poets began disseminating recordings. Copies of their performances spread quickly and beyond the reach of the Kremlin's control...
Read the rest here.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Yesterday (Saturday) I attended this incredible blogging conference here in Lotusland.
For those who couldn't attend, I understand notes and/or audio archives of many of the sessions will be available in the near future. So, bookmark the site and/or add it to your RSS feed readers.
The sessions were all great! But one I'd recommend every Ukrainian musician check out is the Music 2.0 presentation.
Pay close attention to the part about long tail economics. This concept strikes fear into the black hearts of record label execs. Why? Because it allows many, many musicians to make a respectable "middle class" living from their music. This of course is impossible in the current system controlled by the major labels.
For musicians (and the rest of us!) blogging technology is making the future very friendly indeed!
Find out all about poppy seeds, the beautiful city of Ivano-Frankivsk, Fr. Bohdan Lukie's upcoming visit to BC, items of interest to the Ukrainian community in the Lower Mainland - and of course, enjoy plenty of GREAT Ukrainian Music! The musical theme is "love" ... in honour of St. Valentine's Day.
Friday, February 10, 2006
CBC Radio is sending 14 Canadian artists to New Orleans for a fundraising concert that could cost more to put on than it will raise.
Hmm... what are the chances Ukrainian Canadian broadcasters could get gov't funding for a televised concert of Canadian performers of the Ukrainian persuasion? Seeing as this is an egalitarian country committed to cultural diversity and all that, it should fit the CBC's mandate to reflect Canadian society.
What if we arrange to keep costs down by holding it in Vancouver, Edmonton, or even Toronto? And we could charge more for the tickets ... say enough to break even.
Somehow, even still, I imagine the chances would be slim. Cultural diversity and tolerance notwithstanding.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"A sign language interpreter at the state television channel UT-1, she abandoned the script during a live news bulletin in November 2004 to denounce a rigged presidential election and declare her support for the defeated candidate, Viktor Yushchenko.
Mrs Dmytruk was hailed as a heroine after Mr Yushchenko swept to power in a re-run of the poll a month later. But when a hot-headed young reformer was appointed to shake up UT-1, Mrs Dmytruk was told that the channel no longer needed sign language interpretation. "
A sad situation. But as they say "democracy is messy" and in Ukraine it is still in the infant stages. Let's hope they grow up soon.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
... the mysterious Symphony No. 21 by Ovsyankov-Kulikovsky ... actually written by 20th century Ukrainian composer Mikhail Emmanuilovich Goldstein, is a famous fake musical antique: Goldstein, offended by a critic's comments that his Jewishness prevented him from feeling authentic Ukrainian music, penned a symphony on Ukrainian themes under the name of an early 19th century landowner. As such, it was lauded and recorded by the Soviet hierarchy, and the hoax persisted for years.
Gotta love it when they put one over on pompous bureaucrats!
You can hear Symphony No. 21 (and more) at the mid-winter Russian Romantics Festival hosted by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra next January.
... these guys sound like a mad klezmer band in a head-on collision with the Sex Pistols on the way to a Jamaican rave, over which can be heard the braying, sneering, cursing, heavily accented voice of one Eugene Hutz, Ukrainian by birth, Gypsy on his mother's side and punk the whole way through. "
The band's material generally has an anti-social, anti-celebrity, anti-establishment attitude. Sure sounds like punk.
So OK, you know what to expect.
Told there's a huge Ukrainian population in Alberta, Hutz - who's never been to Alberta - says he knows already. He laughs as if it should've been obvious, "I know my history of Ukrainian immigration."
Somehow I don't think you'd want to take your Baba to see them... although, you never know.
More illumination here.
As of now, Gogol Bordello has developed cult followings in places such as South America, France, England and Sweden ...
“I don’t want it to be like Eastern European kind of ‘boom-cha, boom-cha’ polka bands,” Hutz says. “That kind of stuff bores the sh** out of me. ...”
Guess that means leave your vyshyta sorochka at home? Well, you probably wouldn't wear it to the movie theatre either.
Hutz was given the chance to test his acting capabilities by playing an aspiring rapper opposite Elijah Wood in Everything Is Illuminated. .... “Lately, I’ve been receiving more scripts, but now I’m getting tired of reading them because all the parts are these bad Eastern European guys who, like, spread biological weapons ... They are so predictable."
Astute observation from someone so [ahem] anti-establishment and anti-celebrity. Oh well, they're just trying to earn a living. I suppose we shouldn't take them any more seriously than they take themselves.
“We create our own world, which is what artists usually do. You have to create your own example of freedom ...,” proclaims Hutz. “Did you hear that America is going to nuke Canada? I heard about it on a television show, and I want to say that I strongly disagree. We’re going to come up there and save you. I heard it with my own ears, so I want to tell people to watch out. Just listen to Gogol Bordello and you’ll be safe. Spread the news, please.”
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Wouldn't you know it, the very next day Darren Gagaluk of High Profile emails me to tell me that they recently launched a brand new website. Had I given him a heads-up, he'd have let me know before the program so I could inform my listeners. (Duh... Can you tell I'm blonde?)
Oh well, at least I can offer a bit of extra publicity by way of apology.
So ... please visit their website, and order a CD. Remember, svih do svoho!
Monday, February 06, 2006
In the U.S., the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has launched the largest radio promotional campaign ($28m) ever, marketing radio as "the primary source for news, music and compelling audio entertainment."
Some podcasters were asked about the campaign, their thoughts on the state of traditional broadcasting, and why some listeners are looking for an alternative. Here's what one says ...
"In 1920 when the first broadcast hit the airwaves, it was nothing different than some of the podcasts that you listen to today. Podcasting will go through the same evolution as radio. ... A show like mine on Celtic Music, might not be commercially viable in a small market. With podcasting, I have the whole world as a market for it."
Hmmm. Definitely something to think about...
Read the entire article here
I heard him speak at a co-op radio seminar a couple of summers ago over on Gabriola Island. He's a veritable fount of knowledge of all things radio.
Looks like he prefers to keep the prices (and number of attendees) low, as judging by the application process he is "selective" in who he allows to attend. However, it is well-worth trying. So if you're interested apply right away.
Friday, February 03, 2006
This blog's purpose is to bring Ukrainian music to more people. There are so many fabulous Ukrainian artists in Canada, the U.S., Ukraine (of course!) and around the world.
Thanks to the internet, it is easier for more people now to access it. And the Nash Holos blog is being designed to make it even more so!