Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers – Leong Lau, 70s Funk & Multiculturalism

Monday is about remembering the movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now, but challenged many on arrival.


Scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here’s some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and it all turned out alright.


Some perspective for your back-pocket, to think about when the times are getting tough as a change maker.

On a late night wander around the interwebs, I was having a whale of a time discovering old Australian funk groups. And then I stumbled upon Leong Lau, an Indonesian man who speaks with the most ocker accent you could possibly expect of a man from the Aussie outback, and has some incredibly tasty tunes.

Unfortunately, like most of this old music, there isn’t much information about this man available. Google it, and you’ll see one fantastic DJ’s effort to document Australian funk, and that’s about it. If you root around, you’ll be able to download the album in the Youtube video above. (I wouldn’t feel guilty about the download, since the only other way you can hear the music is by buying a $300 vinyl that is available very rarely.)
So why does this guy get to be my Monday mover, shaker and game changer?
Because he obviously was outside the square to the enth degree. He made music that is ageless – it could be played when he made it in the 70s, it could be played on Gilles Peterson’s show today. It’s great stuff. It’s also out there. He doesn’t really sing – he tunefully talks, I don’t think you could even call it rap. I don’t know. It’s awesome and oh.so.ocker. Which is even cooler, seeing as he is an Indonesian man.
And from his name, I surmise he is a Chinese Indonesian, which in the 70s would have been a pretty rough deal under Suharto’s ‘Basic Policy for the Solution of the Chinese Problem’ – yeah ouch.

Yet his album is intertwined with Indonesian references. It’s named ‘That Rongeng (sic) Sound’, ronggeng being a type of dance and music. A track is called Naga Rock Music, naga being dragon in Indonesian.  It’s made in Australia, in English, but is so obviously Indonesian influenced. It’s the perfect example of multiculturalism.

And Australia wasn’t all sunny fields of multiculturalism in the 70s either. The ‘White Australia Policy’ was only legally ended as of 1973 or thereabouts. What an intensely racist hotbed to go from and come into.
But he made this album to reflect him, and it’s the truest act of artistry, because you really feel a sense of this man through his music. This ain’t no cookie cutter album.

He really inspires me to be true to myself, all the cultures I come from, have joined through my partner, and live in – and to express myself to reflect that and me. And if it comes out as cool and funky as his work, I’d be damn happy with that!

Do you have multiple cultures in your life that you would like to enjoy and express more?
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers – Marvin Gaye, Angry Bosses, and Serious Funk

Monday is about remembering the movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now, but challenged many on arrival.


Scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here’s some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and it all turned out alright.


Some perspective for your back-pocket, to think about when the times are getting tough as a change maker.

I repeated Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On five times when I first heard it. I love the music, I love the funk, I love the lyrics – I love the feel of it all.

And you guessed it right… the record company hated it.

Gaye was determined to shatter Motown’s pop formula and address pressing social issues. Motown founder Berry Gordy was not pleased. He claimed that “What’s Going On” was the worst song he had ever heard. As for “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” Gordy asserted that he didn’t even know what the word “ecology” meant. Gaye responded that he would never record for Motown again unless “What’s Going On” was released as a single.


Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/500-greatest-albums-of-all-time-20120531/marvin-gaye-whats-going-on-19691231#ixzz27qPKNE6D

Thank the Music Gods that it got released, because now we have this incredible album for our own enjoyment. An album ranked as 6th Greatest Album of All Tome by Rolling Stone magazine. Not a bad result for someone having a crack at breaking the mould.

What’s a convention in your industry that you dreaming of breaking? What’s stopping you? 

Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers – Johnny Cash, the Truth, and the Next Gen

Monday is about remembering the movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now, but challenged many on arrival.


Scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here’s some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and it all turned out alright.


Some perspective for your back-pocket, to think about when the times are getting tough as a change maker.


The Man in Black – what an absolute legend. This song says it all for me. Generations are different, it’s met with opposition, but the fear is often unfounded.

And I love his introduction to the song, about him and his wife seeing all the hippies and how peaceful it all was. Yes, they dressed differently and had funny hair, but they were just kids finding their own truth in this world.

The old man turned off the radio
Said, “Where did all of the old songs go
Kids sure play funny music these days
They play it in the strangest ways”
Said, “it looks to me like they’ve all gone wild
It was peaceful back when I was a child”
Well, man, could it be that the girls and boys
Are trying to be heard above your noise?
And the lonely voice of youth cries “What is truth?”

A little boy of three sittin’ on the floor
Looks up and says, “Daddy, what is war?”
“son, that’s when people fight and die”
The little boy of three says “Daddy, why?”
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
“What is truth?”

A young man sittin’ on the witness stand
The man with the book says “Raise your hand”
“Repeat after me, I solemnly swear”
The man looked down at his long hair
And although the young man solemnly swore
Nobody seems to hear anymore
And it didn’t really matter if the truth was there
It was the cut of his clothes and the length of his hair
And the lonely voice of youth cries
“What is truth?”

The young girl dancing to the latest beat
Has found new ways to move her feet
The young man speaking in the city square
Is trying to tell somebody that he cares
Yeah, the ones that you’re calling wild
Are going to be the leaders in a little while
This old world’s wakin’ to a new born day
And I solemnly swear that it’ll be their way
You better help the voice of youth find
“What is truth”

Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers – Suzi Quatro and Women Who Don’t Just Sing

Monday is about remembering the movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now, but challenged many on arrival.


Scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here’s some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and it all turned out alright.


Some perspective for your back-pocket, to think about when the times are getting tough as a change maker.

Suzi Q – she’s one cool girl. And oh.my.god is 48 Crash the catchiest rock song ever?! Not to mention, those leather pants. I’m still kinda lusting after a pair of leather pants, if only I could first afford liposuction!

But what makes Suzi Q so damn special?

“I was a me-ist. I believed in the right to do whatever I wanted to do regardless of gender. Still do.”

Fantastic Guardian article here.

She was the first ever female musician (not just a singer, but an instrument player) to make it big in rock’n’roll. Her biggest musical hero was Elvis Presley, and like I talked about last week, he smashed the racial barrier of who could sing rock’n’roll. Suzi carried on his legacy, and smashed the gender barrier of who could be a rock’n’roller. Yeah, there were female singers, but she was the first to play – and a damn good bass player at that.

As she said in a radio interview “Somebody had to set the way”. And set the way she did, with a blazing light for other hard rock chicks, like Joan Jett. Joan was so in love with Suzi her wooden platform shoes had Suzi Quatro carved into them.

Have you ever been presented with the opportunity to be the first at doing something? Did you go for it, and how did that work out for you?

Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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Movers, Shakers & Monday Game Changers – The Beach Boys Pet Sounds

The day we look at movers, shakers and game changers, of things that look incredibly trivial now… 

Because scaremongers like to write a lot about the insane changes the next generation will bring. Here’s some changes already brought, against all odds and discouragement, and they turned out alright. 

The album Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys is seriously good. Number 2 in the Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” even.

So I love that this album wasn’t met with enthusiasm by band members, or the record label. However, the visionary behind it, ensured a now legendary set of pop songs was released.

Here’s what the Rolling Stone had to say about it here:

“Who’s gonna hear this shit?” Beach Boys singer Mike Love asked the band’s resident genius, Brian Wilson, in 1966, as Wilson played him the new songs he was working on. “The ears of a dog?” But Love’s contempt proved oddly useful: “Ironically,” Wilson observed, “Mike’s barb inspired the album’s title.” Barking dogs – Wilson’s dog Banana among them, in fact – are prominent among the found sounds on the album. The Beatles made a point of echoing them on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – an acknowledgment that Pet Sounds was the inspiration for the Beatles’ masterpiece. That gesture actually completed a circle of influence: Wilson initially conceived of Pet Sounds as an effort to top the Beatles’ Rubber Soul

With its vivid orchestration, lyrical ambition, elegant pacing and thematic coherence, Pet Sounds invented – and in some sense perfected – the idea that an album could be more than the sum of its parts. When Wilson sang, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older?” on the magnificent opener, he wasn’t just imagining a love that could evolve past high school; he was suggesting a new grown-up identity for rock & roll music itself. 

Wilson essentially made Pet Sounds without the rest of the band, using them only to flesh out the vocal arrangements. (He even considered putting the album out as a solo project, and the first single, “Caroline, No,” was released under his own name.) Its luxurious sound conveys a heartbreaking wistfulness, and the deeply personal songs, which Wilson co-wrote primarily with lyricist Tony Asher, bid farewell to the innocent world of the Beach Boys’ fun-in-the-sun hits. 

Unfortunately, Capitol Records proved no more enamored of Pet Sounds than had Love; the label considered not releasing it at all. Not yet vindicated by history, Wilson withdrew further into his inner world. “At the last meeting I attended concerning Pet Sounds,” Wilson wrote about his dealings with the label, “I showed up holding a tape player and eight prerecorded, looped responses, including ‘No comment,’ ‘Can you repeat that?’ ‘No’ and ‘Yes.’ Refusing to utter a word, I played the various tapes when appropriate.”

Those fantastic songs wouldn’t be hitting our Gold-ClassicHits-BlastFromThePast-90.fm airwaves if the naysayers had their way, and what a loss it would be. And now touring the world on their 50th reunion, the Beach Boys made their impact a long time ago, but are still enjoyed by so many. They are not has-beens by a long shot!

A true mover, shaker and game changer, for the music scene of yesterday’s youth, that was just as scary as the possible change of today. And it all turned out alright.

Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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