Happy Birthday Marc Almond

English singer-songwriter and musician. Peter Sinclair “Marc” Almond was born 9 July 1957. Almond first began performing and recording in te synthpp/New Wave duo Soft Cell.He has ls had a dierse career s soloartist. Almond’s official website claims he has sold over 30 million records worldwideAs a child, Almond listened to his parent’ record collection, which included his mother’s “Let’s Dance” by Chris Montez and “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, also his father’s collection of jazz including Dave Brubeck and EartaKitt. As an adolescent, Almond listened toRadio aroline and Radio Luxembourg. He listened at first to progressive music, blues and rock, Free, Jethro Tull, Van der Graf Generator The Who, and The Doors, and bought the first ever issue of Sounds, because it contained a free poster of Jimmy Page.Almond became a fan of Marc Bolan after hearing him on the John Peel Show, buying the T. Rex single “Ride a White Swan”. From then on Almond “followed everything Marc Bolan did,” and it was hi obsession with Bolan that prompted Almnd to adopt the ‘Marc’ spelling. He discovered the songs of Jacques Brel through Bowie as well as Alex Harvey and Dusty Springfield.

Almond initially shot to fame in the early 1980s as one half of the synth duo Soft Cell, whose hits included “Tainted Love”, “Bedsitter” Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, “What!”, “Soul Inside”  and the clubhit “Memorabilia”. SoftCell’s first release was an independent record (funded by David Ball’s mother) entitled “Mutant Moments” via Red Rhino Records in 1980.”Mutant Moments” came to the attention of music entrepreneur Stevo Pearce, who at the time was compiling a “futurist” chart for the music paper Sos which featured young, upcoming and experimental bands of the new wave of electronic sound. He signed the duo to his Some Bizzare label and they enjoyed a string of nine Top 40 hit singles and four Top 20 albums in the UK between 1981-84. They recorded three albums in New York with producer Mike Thorne: Non Stop Erotic Cabaret, Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing and The Art of Falling Apart. Almond became involved with the New York Underground Art Scene at this time with writer/DJ Anita Sarko, and performed at a number of Art events as well as meeting many New York Art luminaries including Andy Warhol.”Tainted Love”, a cover of a Gloria Jones’ Northern Soul classic was number one in the UK and in many countries over the world and was in the Guinness Book of Records for a while as the record that spent the longest time in the Billboard Top 100 chart in the U.S. It also won the best single award of 1981 at the first Brit Awards. Soft Cell brought an otherwise obscure Northern Soul classic to mass public attention and their version of the song is, to date, the UK’s 59th best selling single of all time, selling over one million copies in the UK.

In 1982, Almond formed Marc and the Mambas as an off-shoot project from Soft Cell. Marc and the Mambas was a loose experimental collective which included Matt Johnson, Steve James Sherlock, Lee Jenkinson, Peter Ashworth, Jim Thirlwell and Annie Hogan, with whom Almond worked later in his solo career. Under the Mambas moniker Almond recorded two albums; Untitled and the seminal double opus Torment and Toreros. He disbanded the collective when it started to feel too much like a regular band.Soft Cell also disbanded in 1984 just before the release of their fourth album, This Last Night In Sodom, though the duo reunited in 2001.Almond’s first proper solo album was Vermin in Ermine, released in 1984. , it featured musicians from the Mambas outfit, Annie Hogan, Martin McCarrick and Billy McGee. This ensemble, known as The Willing Sinners, worked alongside Almond for the subsequent albums Stories of Johnny (1985) from which the title track became a minor hit, and Mother Fist and Her Five Daughters (1987), which was highly acclaimed in reviews, stating that it  “embraces classic European cabaret to wonderful effect, more so than any American or English rock album since Bowie’s Aladdin Sane or Lou Reed’s Berlin.”[11]McCarrick left The Willing Sinners in 1987 to join Siouxsie and the Banshees, from which point Hogan and McGee became known as La Magia. Almond  released the album The Stars We Are in 1988 which featured Almond’s version of “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”, which was later re-recorded as a duet with the song’s original singer Gene Pitney and released as a single. The track reached No. 1 in the UK. It also reached number one in Germany and was a major hit in countries around the world. Almond’s other recordings in the 1980s included an album of Brel songs, called Jacques, and an album of dark French chansons originally performed by Juliette Greco, Serge Lama and Léo Ferré, as well as poems by Rimbaud and Baudelaire set to music. This album was released in 1993 as Absinthe (The French Album), and was initially recorded in the late 1980s then finished in Paris in the early 1990s.

Almond’s next album was  Enchanted, which spawned the UK Top 30 hit “A Lover Spurned”. A further single from the album, “Waifs and Strays”, was remixed by Dave Ball who was now in the electronic dance band The Grid. In 1991, Soft Cell returned to the charts with a new remix of “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” followed by a re-release of “Tainted Love” (with a new video). The singles were issued to promote a new Soft Cell/Marc Almond compilation album, Memorabilia – The Singles, which collected some of the biggest hits from Almond’s career throughout the previous ten years. Almond then released a new solo album, Tenement Symphony and also the album Fantastic Star recording sessions for the album with John Cale, David Johanson, and Chris Spedding. During recording Almond also spent several weeks attending a treatment centre in Canterbury for addiction. Almond re-invented himsel with a more downbeat and atmospheric electronica album, Open All Night. This featured R&B and trip hop influences, as well as torch songs for which he had become known. The album featured a duet (“Threat of Love”) with Siouxsie Sioux as well as one (“Almost Diamonds”) with Keli Ali (then of the Sneaker Pimps). “Black Kiss”, “Tragedy” and “My Love” On 2001, Soft Cell reunited briefly and released their first new album in 18 years, Cruelty Without Beauty. Two singles came out of this album, “Monoculture” and a cover of the Frankie Valli’s “The Night”,  then In June 2007, Almond released an album of cover songs, Stardom Road. Picked to tell a story of his life and career, the album featured songs as diverse as “I Have Lived” by Charles Aznavour, to “Stardom Road” by Third World War, Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night”, and “Kitch” by Paul Ryan. The album featured also featured a newly written song. In October 2007, the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent picked Almond’s “Strangers in the Night” to represent their show at London’sFashion Rocks. Almond performed for the event at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2008 and 2009, Almond toured with Jools Holland throughout the UK as well as guesting at shows by Current 93, Baby Dee and a tribute show to the late folk singer Sandy Denny. In October 2009, Almond released an album titled Orpheus in Exile: Songs of Vadim Kozin  which was a tribute to Russian singer Vadim Kozin, who was exiled to the gulags of the Arctic Circleof Russian and comtaimed Romantic ballads and Gypsy songs. In June 2010, Almond released Varieté, an album of crafted personal songs, his first studio album of self-penned songs in almost a decade, and In 2011, Almond released an album Feasting with Panthers. A collaboration with musician and arranger Michael Cashmore. It featured poems of Count Eric Stenbock put to music as well as decadent and homoerotic poems by Jean Genet, Jean Cocteau, Paul Verlaine andRimbaud. Almond also took part in a unique music-theatre work Ten Plagues held at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre which was a one man song cycle based on Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year (which dates back to 1665), with metaphors of Aids and epidemics, and was a collaboration between Almond, theatre director and designer Stewart Laing, libretto author Mark Ravenhill and composer Conor Mitchell. The show won the Scotman’s Fringe First Award. In 2012, Almond took the role of the Greek Stoic philosopher Seneca in the Paris Théâtre du Châtelet’s experimental rock adaptation of Poppea based on Monteverdi’s original 17th century opera The Coronation of Poppea also starring ex-Libertines Carl Barat, Benjamin Biolay, Fredrika Stahl, Valerie Gabail and Anna Madison.On 9 August 2012, Almond performed at Antony Hegarty’s Meltdown Festival in London’s Southbank. He sang the whole Marc and the Mambas Torment and Toreros album for the first time live. Some of the original musicians in the album also performed with Almond:

Anniversary of Howard Hughes non-stop flight round the world

On July 10, 1938 Americanbusiness magnat, investor, aviator, aerospace engineer, film maker and philanthropist.Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. Set a world record by completing a flight around the world in just 91 hours (3 days, 19 hours), beating the previous record by more than four hours.Born December 24, 1905 his many ventures helped him become one of the wealthiest people in the world. As a maverick film producer, Hughes gained prominence in Hollywood from the late 1920s, making big-budget and often controversial films like The Racket (1928), Hell’s Angels (1930), Scarface (1932) and The Outlaw (1943). Hughes was one of the most influential aviators in history: he set multiple world air speed records, built the Hughes H-1 Racer and H-4 “Hercules” (better known to history as the “Spruce Goose” aircraft), and acquired and expanded Trans World Airlines, which later merged with American Airlines.

Taking off from New York City, Hughes set his round the world record via Paris, Moscow, Omsk, Yakutsk, Fairbanks, Minneapolis, and continued to New York City. For this flight he flew aLockheed Super Electra (a twin-engine transport with a four-man crew) fitted with the latest radio and navigational equipment. Hughes wanted the flight to be a triumph of American aviation technology, illustrating that safe, long-distance air travel was possible. While he had previously been relatively obscure despite his wealth, being better known for dating Katharine Hepburn, New York City now gave Hughes a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes. In 1938, the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, known at the time asHouston Municipal Airport, was renamed Howard Hughes Airport, but the name was changed back after people objected to naming the airport after a living person.  Hughes is also remembered for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle in later life, caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder and chronic pain. He sadly passed away April 5, 1976 but his legacy is maintained through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and many of his aircraft including the Spruce Goose are also on display.

Happy Birthday Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys)

I have been a big fan of Englih electronic dance music duo The Pet Shop Boys ver since they releasedtheir first single “West End Girls” back in the 1980′s, and Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals celebrates his birthday on 10th July. Over the years The Pet Shop Boys  have become one of the most commercially and critically acclaimed British groups ever, this prolific song-writing and recording duo have so far achieved eight platinum, two gold and four silver albums in the UK alone,   consisting of Neil Tennant keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards.

DISCO http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0VnojPHvyJY

The Pet Shop Boys have sold over 100 million records worldwide, and are listed as the mostsuccessful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1986 they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four number ones: “West End Girls“, “It’s a Sin“, “Always on My Mind” and “Heart”.(Which features a great came appearance by Gandalf…er…Sir Ian McKellen, who also appears in the Lord of the Rings, X-men and Hobbit Movies.)

INTRO SPECTIVE http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xCo1XdKtIjw

At the 2009 BRIT Awards, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. The duo’s latest studio album, Yes (continuing their tradition of single word titles) was released on 23 March 2009. The album Format was released on February 6th 2012 and contains a less well-known but equally great collection of b-sides and bonus tracks, which have been remastered and the album follows on from the 1995 release, “Alternative”, which collected the duo’s b-sides from 1985 to 1994. So far an incredible 38 b-sides and bonus tracks have now been collected together from singles released between 1996 and 2009 The band’s eleventh studio album,  Elysium was released  2012, the first single of which, titled “Winner, was released during the 2012 SummerOlympics and Pet Shop Boys latest album Electric is out 14 July 2013 and contains the songs.

  • Axis,
  • Bolshy,
  •  Love is a Bourgeois Construct,
  • Fluorescent, I
  • Inside a Dream,
  • The Last to Die
  • Shouting in the Evening
  • Thursday (feat. Example)
  • Vocal

Nikola Tesla Day

July 10 is Nikola Tesla day, which celebrates Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist Nikola Tesla who was born 10 July 1856. He best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories/companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop apower system using alternating current. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radiocommunication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Towerproject.

Tesla’s achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous.Although he made a great deal of money from his patents, he spent a lot on numerous experiments. He lived for most of his life in a series of New York hotels although the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances.Tesla still continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working and make (sometimes unusual) statements. Because of his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation in popular culture as the archetypal “mad scientist”.

Tesla sadly passed away in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel on 7 January 1943 and his work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but since the 1990s, his reputation has experienced a comeback in popular culture. His work and reputed inventions are also at the center of many conspiracy theories and have also been used to support various pseudosciences, UFO theories and New Age occultism. In 1960, in honor of Tesla, the General Conference on Weights and Measures for theInternational System of Units dedicated the term “tesla” to the SI unit measure formagnetic field strength.