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Dara Puspita (Flower Girls) were an all-girl rock group from Indonesia, whose career spanned from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s. Formed in Surabaya in East Java in 1964, the girls were heavily influenced by the sounds of the British Invasion, as well as American garage rock. When they relocated to Jakarta in 1965, […]

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If You’re a Viper is a song from the ’30s, full of references to the jazz scene’s favourite herb.   I first came across the song in Nathaniel West’s 1939 novel, The Day of the Locust, a savagely surreal look at the bottom feeders of Depression-era Hollywood. One of the book’s main characters is Faye […]

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Just when it seemed Quentin Tarantino was safe on his throne as king of the American soundtrack, along came Wes Anderson and his Euro-Art sensibilities and knocked him clean off. From B-sides to Bollywood, Bowie to Britten, Wes Anderson’s soundtracks are as exquisitely crafted as the films themselves. ABCKO Records are set to release a […]

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Shirley Ellis (1929-2005) was a vocalist and composer from the Bronx. She’s sometimes described as a novelty singer, though she was so much more than that. Her songs have stood the test of time, sounding just as fresh today as they did in the ’60s. Here’s three of her best-loved singles, offering a brief overview […]

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Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was a composer of immense popularity, both in his lifetime and beyond. He is to Norwegian’s what Shakespeare is to the English, a favourite son and national treasure. Greig wrote a lot of great music – shorter pieces inspired by the rhythm and harmony of Norwegian folk dances – longer pieces in […]

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Elizabeth Cotten was a heroine for the folk set of the early ’60s, an encyclopedia of folk standards and a real live link to the tunes they adored. Her own songs are now an established part of the repertoire, but for a quirk of fate, they might never have been known at all. Born in […]

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In the late 60s/early 70s, the kings of out-rock in South America were a Peruvian band called Traffic Sound. For four years they brought acid rock to the masses, and their records are now highly prized by collectors of psychedelia around the world. Like many bands, Traffic Sound was created out of the dissolution of […]

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