About

“Music is its own reward”

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

 -Aldous Huxley

Magicmenagerie is a me : a happily married british actor, writer & musician based in Brooklyn, New York City.

My blogging was limited, initially, to major events in my life which I wanted to record for posterity and share. Co-incidentally, the first two both concerned Africa : the World Cup in South Africa 2010, and a Charity Cycle Ride across Ghana which I completed in 2009. Since then I’ve blogged the World Cup again, in Brazil 2014, and started a chequered musical quilt of my autobiography called My Pop Life.

I subtitled My Pop Life “My Life In The Gush Of Boasts”.  No prizes for knowing the reference there.

My Pop Life takes one moment in my life and looks at it through a piece of music. Sometimes the piece of music fits that moment really well, other times not.  It is not a list of my favourite songs.  It is my look back at an eventful, dysfunctional, random musical life.  It is both therapeutic and hopefully without regret.  There is no plan.  I hope you find it entertaining and informative, and possibly find some new music hidden amongst the anecdotes, stories and boasts.

For some reason my World Cup blog – in five parts – invites you to read part 5 first. This is not encouraged. I’d advise beginners to start with part 1. Then 2 and so on. You’ll thank me.

To receive email notifications when I post a blog, click on the FOLLOW button at the bottom right of this page.

MY POP LIFE : index & links

1.    Imaginary   –   Paul Steel

2.    International Feel   –   Todd Rundgren

3.   I Don’t Blame You At All   –   Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

4.   Music & Rhythm   –   The Mighty Sparrow

5.   Friends   –   The Beach Boys

6.   She Is His Only Need   –   Wynonna Judd

7.   Do The Right Thing   –   Redhead Kingpin & The FBI

8.   I Wanna Be Like You   –   Louis Prima

9.   Ballade Number One   –   Frédéric Chopin

10.  Slavery Days   –   Burning Spear

11.  Bye Bye Baby   –   The Bay City Rollers

12.  Rubber Ball   –   Bobby Vee

13.  The Green Fields Of France   –   The Fureys & Davey Arthur

14.  Sodade   –   Cesaria Evora

15.  Original Nuttah   –   UK Apache & Shy FX

16.  The Art Teacher   –   Rufus Wainwright

17.  People Got To Be Free   –   Dionne Warwick

18.  Kalamazoo   –   Glenn Miller

19.  Y Sharp   –   Osibisa

20.  Everything Must Change   –   Oleta Adams

21.  That’s The Way Of The World   –   Earth Wind & Fire

22.  Ladytron   –   Roxy Music

23.  Somethin’ Else   –   Eddie Cochran

24.  Requiem : Sanctus   –   Gabriel Fauré

25.  There There My Dear – Dexys Midnight Runners

26.  At The River   –   Groove Armada

27.  Concerto in F   –   George Gershwin

28.  Too Far Gone   –   Bobby Bland

29.  Take Me In Your Arms & Love Me   –   Gladys Knight & The Pips

30.  Two Lane Highway   –   Pure Prairie League

31.  No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)   –   Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand

32.  Everything I Own   –   Ken Boothe

33.  We Got Our Own Thang   –   Heavy D & The Boyz

34.  Symphony In Black  ft. Billie Holiday   –   Duke Ellington

35.  Right Said Fred   –   Bernard Cribbins

36.  Penny Lane   –   The Beatles

37.  A Salty Dog   –   Procol Harum

38.  Liberté   –   Franco et TPOK Jazz

39.  Knocks Me Off My Feet   –   Stevie Wonder

40.  I Ain’t Mad At’cha   –   Tupac

41.  Poor People   –   Alan Price

42.  African Children   –   Aswad

43.  Finlandia   –   Jean Sibelius

44.  Autumn Almanac   –   The Kinks

45.  If You Love Me   –   Brownstone

46.  Deportee (Plane Crash At Los Gatos)   –   Dolly Parton

47.  The Great Gig In The Sky   –   Pink Floyd

48.  Photoshop Handsome   –   Everything Everything

49.  This Guy’s In Love With You   –   Herb Alpert

50.  Breakin’ Down (Sugar Samba)   –   Julia & Company

51.  Tom Hark   –   Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes

52.  Complete Control   –   The Clash

53.  My Girls   –   Animal Collective

54.  Art Decade   –   David Bowie

55.  Help!   –   The Beatles

56.  Morning Has Broken   –   Cat Stevens

57.  Let’s Push Things Forward   –   The Streets

58.  St Elmo’s Fire   –   Brian Eno

59.  Looks Is Deceiving   –   The Gladiators

60.  Theme From Shaft   –   Isaac Hayes

61.  Fight The Power   –   Public Enemy

62.  4th Symphony – Ruhevoll   –   Gustav Mahler

63.  Games People Play   –   Joe South

64.  Fresh Garbage   –   Spirit

65.  Wake Up Alone   –   Amy Winehouse

66.  Untold Stories   –   Buju Banton

67.  Yun Na Thi Muj Se   –   Asha Bhosle

68.  Desafinado   –   Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd

69.  Love Me Always & Dub (Angolian Chant)   –   Dennis Brown

70.  Can’t Give You Anything   –   The Stylistics

71.  Song For Sharon   –   Joni Mitchell

72.  La Vie En Rose   –   Grace Jones

73.  ‘Til Tomorrow   –   Marvin Gaye

74.  We Major ft. Nas & Really Doe   –   Kanye West

75.  Still Life   –    Suede

76.  St Matthew Passion : Kommt Ihr Töchter    –   J.S. Bach

77.  Shirt   –   Bonzo Bog Doo-Dah Band

78.  Then Came The Last Days Of May   –   Blue Öyster Cult

79.  People Get Ready   –   Curtis Mayfield

80.  Heartbreak Hotel   –   Elvis Presley

81.  Theme from ‘The Virginian’   –   Percy Faith & his Orchestra

82.  Lilizela Mlilizeli   –   Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens

83.  Country Boy   –   Ricky Skaggs

84.  All Along The Watchtower   –   Jimi Hendrix

85.  The Undercover Man   –   Van Der Graaf Generator

86.  I Know You Got Soul   –   Eric B & Rakim

87.  Prélude À L’Après-Midi D’Un Faune   –   Claude Debussy

88.  Silencio   –   Ibrahim Ferrer

89.  Some Folks Lives Roll Easy  –   Paul Simon

90.  Didi   –   Cheb Khaled

91.  The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine   –   Laurel & Hardy

92.  Cities   –   Talking Heads

93.  One Day I’ll Fly Away   –   Randy Crawford

94.  Tannhäuser : Overture   –   Richard Wagner

95.  Delaney’s Donkey   –   Val Doonican

96.  Climb On Board   –   Labrinth

97.  Where Are We Now?   –   David Bowie

98.  When Something Is Wrong With My Baby   –   Sam & Dave

99.  La Tristessa Durera   –   Manic Street Preachers

100.  Stardust   –   Nat King Cole

101.  Tired Of Being Alone   –   Al Green

102.  Israelites   –   Desmond Dekker

103.  Focus II   –   Focus

104.  Smokestack Lightnin’   –   Howlin’ Wolf

105.  Come Rain Or Come Shine   –   Ray Charles

106.  A Wedding In Cherokee County   –   Randy Newman

107.  Desiderata   –   Les Crane

108.  Sumer Is Icumen In   –   Richard Thompson

109.  New Jack Hustler   –   Ice T

110.  Dreams   –   Joe Walsh

111.  Heroes & Villains   –   The Beach Boys

112.  The Night   –   Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

113.  God Save The Queen   –   Sex Pistols

114.  There’s Nothing Better Than Love   –   Luther Vandross

115.  Ma Jaiye Oni   –   King Sunny Ade

116.  Left Bank Two (Vision On)   –   The Noveltones

117.  Umdlwembe   –   Zola

118.  Glass Onion   –   The Beatles

119.  Evidently Chickentown   –   John Cooper Clarke

120.  I Love It  ft Charli XCX   –   Icona Pop

121.  Don’t Make Me Wait Too Long   –   Roberta Flack

122.  The Sensual World   –   Kate Bush

123.  Philosophy   –   Ben Folds

124.  Beyond Belief   –   Elvis Costello

125.  Chickery Chick   –   Sammy Kaye & his Orchestra

126.  Blue Monday   –   Fats Domino

127.  He Who Would Valiant Be   –   Ralph Vaughan Williams / Choir Of Christ’s College

128.  A Whiter Shade Of Pale   –   King Curtis

129.  Get Close To Me   –   Thomas Jules

130.  America   –   Simon & Garfunkel

131.  Santa Claus Is Coming To Town   –   The Crystals

132.  Imagine   –   John Lennon

133.  Sun King   –   The Beatles

134.  String Quartet in C : The Emporer   –   Josef Haydn

135.  I Can’t Hear You   –   Betty Everett

136.  Sanson Ki Maala Pe Simrun Main   –   Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

137.  The Word/Sardines   –   Junkyard Band

138.  Give Up The Funk   –   Parliament

139.  They Way We Were/Try To Remember   –   Gladys Knight

140.  The Right Thing To Do   –   Carly Simon

141.  Jig-A-Jig   –   East Of Eden

142.  Gimme Some More   –   Busta Rhymes

143.  Step   –   Vampire Weekend

144.  Flowers In The Window   –   Travis

145.  Crazy In Love   –   Beyoncé

146.  I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times   –   The Beach Boys

147.  Days   –   The Kinks

148.  Lost Highway   –   Hank Williams

149.  Little By Little   –   Dusty Springfield

150.  Love Ain’t Just A Word  ft Anne Marie   –   Rudimental

151.  Mood Indigo   –   Charles Mingus

152.  The Morning Papers   –   Prince

153.  Small Hours   –   John Martyn

154.  Within You Without You   –   The Beatles

155.  3rd Symphony ‘Eroica’ : Scherzo   –   Ludwig van Beethoven

156.  Paid In Full   –   Eric B & Rakim

157.  By The Beautiful Blue Danube  –  Johann Strauss II

158.  Tipitina   –   Professor Longhair

159.  Sonic Attack   –   Hawkwind

160.  River Deep, Mountain High   –   Ike & Tina Turner

161.  Shine   –   Take That

162.  The Way You Look Tonight   –   Billie Holiday & Teddy Wilson

163.  Early   –   Run The Jewels  ft. BOOTS

164.  Blitzkrieg Bop   –   The Ramones

165.  My Love   –   Paul McCartney & Wings

166.  Pacific 202   –   808 State

167.  Thinkin Bout You   –   Frank Ocean

168.  Pleasant Valley Sunday   –   The Monkees

169.  The Magic Hand   –   Stephen J. Kalinich

170.  Make You Feel My Love   –   Adele

171.  Praying For Time   –   George Michael

172.  In My Chair   –   Status Quo

173.  Como Fue   –   Benny Moré

174.  Learning To Be   –   Eleven

175.  One Better Day   –   Madness

176.  Luck Be A Lady   –   Ian Charleson & NT

177.  Don’t You Take It Too Bad   –   Guy Clark

178.  It’s Up To You   –   The Specials

179.  One Drop   –   Bob Marley & The Wailers

180.  Boya Ye   –   M’Bilia Bel

181.  Skyline Pigeon   –   Guy Darrell

182.  Am I Wrong   –   Anderson .Paak ft ScHoolboy Q

183.  Rocket Man  –   Elton John

184.  Mystery Band   –   Lord Kitchener

185.  Between The Wars   –   Billy Bragg

186.  Praise You   –   Fatboy Slim

187.  Groovy Little Thing   –   Beres Hammond

188.  Spirit In The Sky   –   Norman Greenbaum

189.  Lost In Music   –   Sister Sledge

190.  There You Are   –   Millie Jackson

191.  Águas de Março   –   Elis Regina e Tom Jobim

192.  Hang On In There Baby   –   Johnny Bristol

193.  People Make The World Go Round   –   The Stylistics

194.  Shhh/Peaceful   –   Miles Davis

195.  Do What You Gotta Do   –   Nina Simone

196.  Pullin’ Back The Reins   –   k.d. lang

197.  My Adidas   –   Run-D.M.C.

198.  Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)   –   The Arcade Fire

199.  Oh Happy Day   –   The Edwin Hawkins Singers

200.  Hello, Goodbye   –   The Beatles

201.  The Banner Man   –   Blue Mink

202.  O Caroline   –   Matching Mole

203.  Bird of Paradise   –   Charlie Parker

204.  Never Enough   –   Boris Duglosh ft. Roisin Murphy

205.  Sure ‘Nuff ‘N Yes I Do   –   Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

206.  Summertime In My Heart   –  The Electric Soft Parade

207.  How Great Thou Art   –  The Statler Brothers

208.  I Can’t Win   –   Ry Cooder

209.  Symphony No. 1 in D Major, “Classical”: I. Allegro   –   Sergei Prokofiev

210.  The Carnival Is Over   –   The Seekers

211.  Three Lions   –  The Lightning Seeds with David Baddiel, Frank Skinner

212.  Use It Up & Wear It Out   –   Odyssey

213.  Long Tall Sally   –   Little Richard

214.  Belle   –   Al Green

215.   Top Cat   –   Hoyt Curtin

                216.   MacArthur Park   –   Richard Harris

                217.   Optimistic   –   Sounds Of Blackness

             218.   Bad’N’Ruin   –   The Faces

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ada Jacqueline
    Feb 02, 2016 @ 22:30:26

    As I was searching Google for my favourite Kurdish artist Sivan Perwer, I discovered your blog today in the Netherlands (Holland) because of your 16 May 2015 article on the Womad Talking Book Volume 4 vinyl. I think your blog is great and I subscribed to follow you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • magicman
      Feb 02, 2016 @ 23:38:40

      I’m very happy you dropped in ! That was a wonderful album wasn’t it ? I have also searched for Siwan Perwer…yesterday I discovered that Lebanese electro pop group Soapkills had released a ‘Best of’ last week…
      my enthusiasm for new music remains undiminished. Welcome !

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. Adam K
    Mar 30, 2016 @ 13:28:32

    I actually came here via Birds of Tin – every now and then I idly search for them, and today turned up your blog, a wealth of backstage info! What a pleasure and what great photos! I was working with Emma’s brother, Jeremy, and he invited me to see his sister’s gig, somewhere l called the Merlin, I forget where (near the Angel?). I became an instant fan – the band were utterly brilliant and I still remember a gig you did at the Rosemary Branch in Islington, an Xmas thing. A band called Meaow, whose lead was a journo for NME, performed and were…okay. Regular 80s indie jangle. Then you got up and, in an instant, the dance floor was filled. Wonderful, pulsing Eastern rhythms and that soulful sax and, of course, Emma’s lovely voice. I have, somewhere, a cassette of your stuff, probably the demo you mentioned. I loved Foxes, I Can Close My Eyes, that wonderfully sad song that begins “Dead flowers on the table/sometimes left without a hand to hold”, and I’d love to have them digitally. It broke my heart when you left (Jeremy said you’d gone on to do Shakespeare) and I remember cornering Sam at a later gig and saying, “You really should get a sax player”. He was a lovely guy, but he turned quite sarcastic: “Okay, we WILL, for YOU”.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. magicman
    Jun 19, 2016 @ 19:44:43

    Ahh that’s great stuff Adam. We were a really good band, and before I joined, a C90 cassette called simply BIRDS OF TIN is quite marvellous. I also think these things should be digitised and released to the public – free probably. Great memories. Thank you.

    Like

    Reply

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