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{MUSIC MINUTE} “The Devil is Loose” by Asha Puthli

Well it sure has been a minute since we’ve had the chance for another addition to our beloved {MUSIC MINUTE} corner of our blog. Things have been really hectic and full, which is great, but with summer officially in full swing we are hoping to take the opportunity to put up more content here to ensure treasures of the {PAST} can be upheld here in the {PRESENT} and hopefully continue shaping our {FUTURE}…

Here we have a wicked piece called “The Devil is Loose” by one of those icons that everyone should know (but doesn’t) – Asha Pulthi! This song is from her album by the same name, and was her third of eight recorded albums.

Asha was born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) February 4, 1945 and trained in classical Indian music and opera before falling for the devils of jazz which she infused into her traditional roots. After graduating from a public University in India, she received a scholarship to go to New York City and study with legendary choreographer Martha Graham (that aspect will make total sense when you see her moves in the video).

Her fate was setlled when her appearance on “Aint it Peculiar” by the Peter Ivers Band which was covered by major music magazines like Billboard and Rolling Stone. Her reckless abandon and joyful reverie was heard (and you can hear it too here– HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) and soon she had avant-garde jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman knocking on her door, or calling her phone? We may never know…but she would make the most prophetic and signature vocals for his out-of-this-world improvisational jazz album Science Fiction, and the rest is history!

She was signed by John Hammond who most famously discovered Billie Holliday, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen – so very good company indeed!

Like I mentioned, this is from her third album of the same name (“The Devil is Loose”). Sadly not much is written about this album at all (at least in English) since it never saw its release in the US. But throughout, her vocals are sultry, soft, sweet, soulful and mysterious… her voice vaguely reminiscent of Diana Ross and then at other times as great and grand as Aretha Franklin.

Unfortunately for Asha, the money men at CBS London found an easy way out of hoisting her up and getting paid her proper dues when she became pregnant which effectively brought an end to her escalating royalties.

But before they could stiff her completely, performances on British television  would ensure her the right to negotiate royalties that only major acts such as The Beatles were able to obtain at the time- 14%!!! This and coupled with her pregnancy, Asha was shipped off to Germany much the same way The Beatles had been shipped to Hamburg.

However, unlike The Beatles, this choice by CBS London essentially hindered her career much more into obscurity and  allowed for artists like Donna Summer to build their brand off what Asha had rightfully developed.

She herself claims that Donna Summer, alleged Queen of Space Disco, copped her style- not only vocally, but literally too!

According to Asha, during one of her performances in Germany in the early 1970s she was approached by Ms. Summer herself.

Donna was in this moment “belting out songs” according to Pulthi, rather than the subdued dreamy vocals of Asha, inspired by her Hinduistic classical training, which gave that otherworldly style that would become the virtual sound of any major Munich disco…and would soon be adapted by the now famous Disco Queen that EVERYONE has heard of.

Not only that, Donna Summer allegedly approached Ms. Puthli backstage asking where she could find Asha’s custom made dress, to which Puthli would not oblige.

Donna, unbeknownst to Asha, went ahead and asked designer Bill Gibb to which he refused. Them’s the breaks, I guess.

“A lot of people say that this album [The Devil Is Loose] and the other album are templates that later on Donna Summer, Pete Bellotte, Georgio Moroder all ripped off from my sound. Now, remember I’ve mentioned to you that I was suspended because I was pregnant. So at that time was when they jumped on the bandwagon, apparently. This is what I’m told by people in Germany, in the industry. Because when they called me up they said, ‘We want to work with the real McCoy,”

-Asha Pulthi {source: Red Bull Music Academy}

Nonetheless, she is more and more recognized in importance and relevance for her ethno-fusion cosmic disco avant-garde synthy soul vibes, her out of the world stage presence (her moves have also been centred out as a major influence to Kate Bush), and undeniable individuality. A rebel spirit through and through.

Her first album “Asha Pulthri” was shot by Mick Rock who was David Bowie’s official photographer (she would also go on to hire Pierre LaRoche, Bowie’s iconic makeup artist), and was admired by art influencers such as Richard Avedon, Manolo Blahnik Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Diane Vreeland, and even headlined at Studio 54.

Her style was always changing and was always an eclectic mash up of her heritage, the {present} day (for her, {past} for us), and the unknown frontiers of space and time….So, how about that Donna Summer?

She most notably also made an appearance in the obscure Merchant-Ivory art film “Savages”, as one of the three wild women leaving very little to the imagination.

Her music was even literally blasted into space in 2009 from the Goonhilly British Satellite Earth Station on the 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Why, you ask? Well

“{her music is} a form of free-floating, ultra-sexualized intergalactic disco that matched hyperventilating time with erotic electronics and surreal sonic environments. Puthli has gone so far out that she has space walked into inner space.”

As well, she has been sampled by the likes of P. Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Redman, 50 Cent, and Dilated Peoples. She even owns writing credits to “The World is Filled” by Biggie Ft. Too Short and Puff Daddy…so yeah!

SHE’S A BOSS

 

Nowadays the notion of a globalized pop star like Asha isn’t too uncommon. Artists like BTS get millions of fans around the world; or take for instance, K-Pop Girl Band BLACKPINK who just performed at Coachella…even the song ‘Jai-Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire went on to win both an Academy Award and a Grammy!

That is NOW…but back THEN, artists to cross-over these racial boundaries were even rarer which is why still today, we can look back in awe on the incredible artistry, bravery and honesty Asha put forth to just be who she is!

I was not encouraged to do my own songs. They wanted me glam, more Shirley Bassey than Joan Baez. I insisted upon including at least one of my own songs, just one. They (the CBS record producers) already thought I was difficult because I wouldn’t change my name. There is a cognitive dissonance when you have a name like mine….They gave me suggestions like Ann Peters, Ann Powers. I said no as I had already won the Down Beat at that time and had a fan base in India. As Asha Puthli!”

Asha Puthli @ The Grammy Museum  {source}

Oh, how wonderful it is just to be yourself!

Some people might even blame THE DEVIL…which I’m sure is why she created this cosmic disco masterpiece.

See for yourself below:

HOW EPIC WAS THAT?!

{the dress, the moves, that audience, the song…EVERYTHING}

Luckily, so much of her music is resurfacing so we hope this post will help in the manifestation of her glory. Please enjoy “The Devil is Loose” and let us know what you think in the COMMENTS.

If you are intrigued, Red Bull Music Academy has a wonderful interview with this legend published just this last February, 2019.

We barely scraped the tip of the iceberg with this one, so don’t let us down! Go check her out, channel her spirit, and play those funky cosmic disco sounds hard into the night…

+E.O.F. STYLE DIVINITY+

It’s official.

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F {STYLE IDOL} + MARK FRECHETTE +

What do all of our E.O.F. {STYLE IDOLS & DIVINITIES} have in common?

Perhaps its a lust for life? A certain je na sais quois . . .  the X-factor; whatever you want to call it, these men and women are imbued with a magnetic spirit that entices us to go above and beyond- and invoke our deepest self!

Over the years, we’ve truly learned that cool  is absolutely timeless, and classic style never fades, but it never hurts to give your own zest over to showcase why you stand out from the crowd.

This week we are featuring the effortless style of American actor Mark Frechette – best known for his role in Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 counter-culture cult classic Zabriskie Point.  

Notoriously casted by Sally Dennison during a year long search to find America’s new rebel icon – Dennison spotted Frechette, a handsome 20 year old carpenter, throwing a flower pot at a woman on the streets of Boston (while another account describes him arguing vigorously with a third floor tenant of an apartment building), and the rest is history.

“He’s twenty, and he hates”

Sally Dennison

 

Bad ass to the core, don’t let this pretty face fool you – this guy’s got attitude for daze.

His effortless cool is emphasized by a distinctly American edge – denim shirts, oxford shirts, khakis, piercing blues, and perfectly unkempt brunette hair all juxtaposed by a rebellious heart. Very much a U.S. incarnation of Alain Delon (another E.O.F. {STYLE IDOL} )!

Mark Frechette quickly became a sensation even before the film was released, with much fuss and anticipation over Antonioni’s take on the counter-culture movement spreading like wildfire throughout the States. Frechette appeared on the cover of LOOK magazine, Rolling Stone, and even shot an editorial for VOGUE magazine in 1969 solidifying him as the next great all-American hero.

{source}

However, a wild heart has no bounds, and while Frechette made two films after Zabriskie Point  in Europe ( Many Wars (1970) & La Grand Scofa Negra (1971) ) – his acting career was prematurely cut short by his bad ass antics.

Aiming to collect 5 million dollars to produce an American take on Dostoyevsky’s classic Crime and Punishment alongside Hungarian film maker Dezso Magyar, Frechette attempted to rob a Boston bank at gunpoint . . . unsuccessfully.

“[M]y first friend was Mark Frechette, protagonist of the film Zabriskie Point. We wanted to make a film, to adapt a part of ‘Crime and Punishment’ because we felt that America was like a Dostoyevsky-type world. Mark said that he would get the money in Boston. He phoned me every second day and always assured me that he almost had the money. One day he called me and said that he would bring the 5 million dollars the next day. Great! I was watching TV in the evening when it was announced that … Mark Frechette attempted to rob a bank at gunpoint … and was arrested.”

{source}

So who knows what could of come from Mark Frechette’s career if he had gotten away with the robbery, and produced his dream film?!

Things unfortunately got even worse for the matinee idol who died in Prison from a tragic weightlifting accident involving a 150 lb barbell that fell onto his neck suffocating him to death, and reminding us all the importance of having a spotter when lifting heavy weights.

He was 27 years old.

Classic, right?!

They say only the good die young…

That just ain’t right.

WHO DO YOU THINK IS WORTHY OF WORSHIP?

LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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ITCHING FROM INSPIRATION? GET THE LOOK!

Mark Frechette is all about being effortless and relaxed. To keep it fresh, play with different textures, and look for cool details like embroidery or subtle patterns like stripes.

Pair it with your favourite pair of jeans, and a pair of desert boots and you’re pretty much set.

The most important piece to gather is your bad ass confidence- the most versatile accessory. This will truly elevate the look, and any other spirit you wish to invocate.

Here’s some ideas by yours truly!

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Vintage Mens Blue Denim Graphic Stripe Long Sleeve Shirt

BRAND: 955 JEANS
SIZE {LARGE}
MADE IN HONG KONG
100 % COTTON

PIT TO PIT: 23″
LENGTH (FRONT): 29″
LENGTH (BACK): 31″
SHOULDER TO SLEEVE: 32″

{buy it now}

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Vintage 1960s  Mens Lightweight Ivory Button Down Collared Shirt w/ Navy Blue Stripe

Wear it oversized for optimal results. 

SIZE {LARGE // X-LARGE}

PIT TO PIT: 25″
LENGTH: 31″
SHOULDER TO SLEEVE: 33″

{buy it now}

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Vintage Classic Cool Black Western Shirt w/ Embroidered Red Roses

Design by ROUGHSHOP
SIZE {SMALL}

PIT TO PIT: 21″
LENGTH (FRONT): 28″
LENGTH (BACK): 31″
SHOULDER TO SLEEVE: 32″

{buy it now}

Slouchy Purple Silk Oversized Mens Vintage Button Down Shirt

tucked into jeans / worn oversized / bad ass +++

SIZE {LARGE}

PIT TO PIT: 22″
LENGTH: 30″
SHOULDER TO SLEEVE: 33″

{buy it now}

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REMEMBER

XIXIXI gets you 25% OFF

BROWSE THE {SHOP}

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So, don’t throw away this summer by standing in line at the mall to look like everyone else!

And stray away from the trends they force onto us.

Help bring back the {PAST} to the {PRESENT} to shape our {FUTURE}

Until next time,

{theEye}

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