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.

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   –   Chopin
  10.   Slavery Days   –   Burning Spear
  11.   Bye Bye Baby   –   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   –   Fauré
  25.   There There My Dear – Dexys Midnight Runners
  26.   At The River   –   Groove Armada
  27.   Concerto in F   –   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 : A Rhapsody Of Negro Life 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   –   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   –   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.   The Undercover Man   –   Van Der Graaf Generator
  85.   All Along The Watchtower   –   Jimi Hendrix
  86.   I Know You Got Soul   –   Eric B & Rakim
  87.   Prélude À L’Après-Midi D’Un Faune   –   Debussy
  88.   Silencio   –   Ibrahim Ferrer
  89.   Some Folks Lives Roll Easy  –   Paul Simon
  90.   Didi   –   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   –   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.   The Pest   –   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   –   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   –   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.   Tipitina   –   Professor Longhair
  156.    3rd Symphony ‘Eroica’ : Scherzo   –   Beethoven
  157.    Paid In Full   –   Eric B & Rakim
  158.    On The Beautiful Blue Danube   –   Johann Strauss
  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

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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