Tag Archives: singer

{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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{MUSIC MINUTE} “The Wheel of Fortune” by Kay Starr

kaystarr

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Oh, wheel of fortune
I’m hoping somehow
If you ever smile on me
Please let it be now
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Billie Holliday declared Kay Starr “the only white woman who could sing the blues”, and there’s no doubt that while you are listening to this moody ballad of luck and love, you will know exactly what she meant.
She’s also sassy AF which you will totally get from this 1951 colour video of the singer crooning her song which became a Gold Record and made it to #1 on the charts in the U.S.
All the glitter. All the glamour. All that timeless cool.
Thought she was a useful spirit to inspire.
Hope you feel the same.
Until next time,
{theEye}
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EOF Shop Banner 3

E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {January 29, 2013}

eof snapshot- jeff buckley- sad eyes

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{ The Sad Eyes of Jeff Buckley }

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Music Minute: Scott Walker Sings “Rosemary”

This is classic. We only discovered this a few days ago, but immediately our perspective shone bright on this beguiling and mysteriously seductive tune by the great Scott Walker (not to be confused with Scott Walker, the Governor of Minnesota).

For those who know of Scott Walker, you know he has a wildly fantastic voice – some sort of unique mix between Bowie and Tom Jones, or somehow tottering in limbo between. He got his start as The Walker Brothers, playing with two friends, but it was between the years of 1967 – 1974, Walker began to shine solo.

His works are definitely a product of the time, but demonstrate a forward motion in music, that some argue has yet to be caught up to. Just sit back and listen to the drama and epicness that is Scott Walker’s “Rosemary“.

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Voices from a photograph
Laughed from your wall
Screamed through your dreams
Wake up rosemary and wipe your teary eyes…

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If you have a spare moment, make sure to listen to Scott Walker’s “Archangel”, giving off extreme E.O.F. vibes all over.

Until next time friends,

{theEye}

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Music Minute: “Frankenstein’s Den” by The Hollywood Flames


A great track to keep you in the ghoulish mood, as Halloween’s Eve inches ever nearer.  Tonight we’ll be Ghost Hunting on Toronto Island and we wish we could bring you all along.  We’ll have to remain dancing in our dreams with you, as Frankensteins shackles ring out a tune.

The Hollywood Flames were an American R&B Vocal group formed in the late 40s, during a high school talent show.  They would go on to perform through the span of the 50s whilst rotating members and band names.  Their most famous singing would be “Buzz Buzz Buzz”, later featured on the 2001 “Blow” Soundtrack.

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{The Eye of Faith}
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Music Minute: Le Temps de l’Amour – Françoise Hardy (1965)

Here’s just a tiny taste of one of our favourite Parisian songstress of all-time.  The great Françoise Hardy is known for so much more than just her fantastic voice and smooth 60s style.

According to her wikipedia page her credits reach from singer/actress and notes her as a Astrologist (so you better believe we’d be a fan).  Surely claiming a spot as one of our divinities of style based on looks alone, which directly influence fashion house Balenciaga.  Today it’s her voice which has us buzzing.

From the 1965 album The Yeh-Yeh Girl from Paris!’ comes this amazing track which some of you may recognize from the recent Wes Anderson flick Moonrise Kingdom.  Look for more words on this amazing subject in the ‘coming days‘, until then enjoy this delectable peice of 60s sub culture.

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{The Eye of Faith}
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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {July 6, 2012}

{Andy Warhol with Mick Jagger and Skull Mug}


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Music Minute: Patsy Cline – “She’s Got You” (1962)

No secret here, we love to revel in Vintage.  We had the privilege to find this rare performance by the incredible Patsy Cline of her hit “She’s Got You” thanks to  .  This one goes out to anybody who may be stewing over a lost love, missing days of the past.   We sure as heck miss Patsy Cline.  She truly had a voice like no other, with a distinct sadness in her voice that was truly beyond her time.

Take notice of Patsy’s unique flair for fashion.  Playing hard into the cliche’s of Nashville, Patsy wore the Cowgirl style like it were a uniform, yet somehow she stood out during her time and was a true original.  We are particular intrigued by the way she wore her headband.. talk about trend setter!  Imagine running into her ghost…

{The Eye}

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Donna Summer Tribute: Where Do Disco Goddesses Go?

Earlier today, after battling cancer, the 1970s/disco icon Donna Summer passed. There is no doubt, she is up there playing for the Big Man. This is a woman that knows “She Works Hard For the Money”.

Summers was born December 31, 1948, and after doing background vocals for legendary rockers Three Dog Night throughout the 70s where she met producers Giorgio Moroder (scores for ‘The Never Ending Story‘ and ‘Scarface‘, ‘Call Me‘ by Blondie, ‘Putting Out Fire‘ by Bowie, the list really goes on…) and Peter Bellotte. She eventually signed a record deal in Europe, releasing Lady of the Night as her first album in 1974.

Donna Summers would soon begin to represent everything that is the era. The embodiment of all things decadently glamorous, the passion of the times; her songs have the ability to take you on a wild fantasy and really tell a story. Movies play in your mind. Like a sorceress of emotion, she powered through hits such as Last Dance (for which she would win a Grammy),MacArthur Park“, and the paramount of the decade She Works Hard for the Money“. 

To find her signature sound, Donna practiced imitating Marilyn Monroe’s cooing.  She would also spend time in the dark moaning and groaning to warm up her voice before sessions. Everyone has their way. Donna definitely had hers.

“God had to create Disco, so I could be born and be successful”

Donna Summer.


There is no way to even separate the era from this icon of Disco’s heydey. When love was in the air, and the nights were long and extravagant. Lights flashing, Disco’s last dance has yet to be played thanks to hits like Ms. Summers’. So while records may burn in stadiums, and the world reminisces on the last days of Disco, it really lives on in the talent, beauty, and grace, Donna Summers leaves behind to this day.

[Source]

DONNA SUMMERS

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012

+{THE EYE}+

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“21” Artist, Adele, Turns 24 {and Time and Time Again, Shows Us the Power of Vintage Will Never Die}


This is a song for that beautiful Brit that everyone seems to be OBSESSED with. From the SNL parody depicting an entire office full of a workers crying to her epic ballad “Someone like You”, to the pages of iTunes – Brit Pop will never be the same thanks to this talented young lady.

Turning 24 today, Adele already has an impressive 8 Grammy Awards, not to mention the honor of gracing the cover and pages of Vogue magazine. A graduate from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, some of her peers included Leona Lewis and Jessie J, who have received their own successes abroad. Nothing, however, can compare to the staggering heights this young artist has been able to stride in just a few years!

Going from a relative unknown, Adele was catapulted to buzzing fame with her performance of “Chasing Pavements” on Saturday Night Live on September 3, 2008. From that moment on, the world could not get enough! Seems likely too, that her penchant for vintage and classic pieces has only elevated her status in the public eye. Unlike other young musicians and celebs, Adele always seems to find comfort in being utterly glamorous for her appearances; often sporting vintage furs, beaded dresses, and finely crafted vintage inspired hair-does!

They always say: “Dress for Success”, and it appears Adele is one who definitely takes this term into consideration. She is always dressed to impress, and not in scene stealing style fiasco, but rather simple paired down elegance. What makes her looks modern, is that she herself is modern. Adele also knows you can almost never go wrong in black. She sticks to her style guns, and doesn’t apologize. It’s too late to apologize, anyway, because some might already consider her an icon.

The time will come when Adele will be performing live at Carnegie Hall for the first time. With a voice like that, she’s the closest thing our generation has to a Maria Callas, or Joni Mitchell – artists that can hit you to the core using only their voice. This is an immense power, nobody can deny that. I guess we can just sit back and wait for “25”, or “26”, or “28”.

One thing is for sure, Adele really helps go to show that timeless style really never can die! So, Happy Birthday Adele! Hope you’re having a good one!

Sincerely,

{The EYE}

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