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Morrissey prepares for latest visit November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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He never made it to Greece as frontman of the iconic pop-rock band the Smiths in the 1980s, but Morrissey has visited the country as a solo performer in more recent years.

For his latest visit, Morrissey has been booked for one show in Athens on November 25 at the Olympic Tae Kwon Do Center in Faliron, southern Athens.

One of pop’s most distinctive figures, renowned both for his unique vocal delivery and mocking lyrics, Morrissey first performed in Athens back in 1999, long after the Smiths put out their final studio album, 1987’s superb “Strangeways Here We Come”.

Though his legend has never faded, Morrissey last performed here as an artist without a without a record contract, late in 2002. It was not long after he and Smiths guitarist and songwriter Johnny Marr were successfully taken to court by their former Smiths bandmates over unpaid fees.

Though the several solo albums delivered by Morrissey at a relatively steady rate since the demise of the iconic 80s band have lacked the magic conjured up by the Smiths, the defunct group’s former frontman has continued to draw a major following.

In the US, where the Smiths were confined to cult status during their brief yet incredible five-year spell, Morrissey’s popularity has exceeded that of his previous band. At home in the UK, both Morrissey and the Smiths remain popular.

Highlighting the impact of both in contemporary music, a poll conducted by the influential British music publication NME a few years ago had declared Morrissey and the Smiths as the most influential pop act of all time, with the Beatles placed second on the list.

On this latest forthcoming visit, Morrissey will be touring with fresh material from a recent album, “Ringleaders of the Tormentors”, the follow-up to 2004’s “You Are the Quarry”. Morrissey had launched his solo career with “Viva Hate” released just a year after his band’s final album.

Tickets, priced at 45 euros (advance purchases) and 50 euros on the door (subject to availability), are on sale at Metropolis music stores, the Tickethouse agency in Athens, 42 Panepistimiou street, and online at www.i-ticket.gr.


Harry Mulisch to talk at the Megaron November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Books Life Greek.
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Acclaimed Dutch writer in public appearance > Harry Mulisch will share his experiences with the Athenian public this evening.

One of the so-called “Big Three” of Dutch postwar literature, Harry Mulisch, a prolific modern-day philosopher and writer, will be visiting the Athens Concert Hall today at 7 p.m. to hold an open discussion with the public at the Nikos Skalkottas Hall, within the context of the Megaron Plus series of events.

Mulisch, who, along with Willem Frederik Hermans and Gerard Reve, is considered one of the most illustrious writers to come out of the Netherlands in recent years, will discuss his work and experiences. He will be introduced by Greek writer Christos Homenidis, while actor Dimitris Lignadis will read extracts of his works.

The son of an Austrian banker who collaborated with the Nazis and a Jewish mother who was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust, Mulisch grew up in the Netherlands. He had ambitions to be a scientist, but instead he became a writer and has used his fiction to explore the Second World War, according to a November 29, 2003 article in The Guardian newspaper.

Born on July 29, 1927 in Haarlem to a Jewish mother and a half-German, half-Austrian father, his parents divorced in 1937 and Mulisch was raised by his father’s German housekeeper. His father was a joint director of a banking firm which was a repository for stolen Jewish funds. “I didn’t so much ‘experience’ the war: I am the Second World War,” he wrote in the autobiographical “My Book of Hours” (1975).

In addition to novels, Mulisch has written plays, poetry, political pieces and philosophical studies. He has received the Dutch Literature Prize (1995), the P.C. Hooft Prize (1979) and the Constantijn Huygens Prize (1977), as well as being a Nobel Prize nominee in several years.

His publications, few of which have been translated into English, include “The Stone Bridal Bed” (novel, 1959), “Criminal Case 40/61, the Trial of Adolf Eichmann” (reportage, 1962), “Two Women” (novel, 1975), “What Poetry Is” (poetry, 1978), “Last Call” (novel, 1985), “The Discovery of Heaven” (novel, 1992), “The Procedure” (novel, 1998) and “Siegfried” (novel, 2001), among others.

Admission to Mulisch’s lecture is free of charge with priority coupons, which will be available as of 6 p.m., or 5.30 p.m. in the case of great demand. The lecture will be in Dutch with simultaneous translation into Greek.

At the Athens Concert Hall, 1 Kokkali Street and Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens, tel 210 7282333.

Indie acts liven up domestic music circuit this week November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Sparklehorse, Hugo Race set for Athens shows

Long-serving musician Hugo Race, who emerged backing Nick Cave on guitar during the latter’s early days, will be accompanied by Italian artist Marta Collica for one show this Friday.

Following a failed attempt to make it here for a show in the not-too-distant past, American cult band Sparklehorse, marveled by fans for their dreamy noise-pop sounds, are scheduled to perform their first ever Greek show this Thursday in Athens.

The act, now active and touring with a new album after a lengthy break due to near-tragic circumstances, are one of three worthy indie-scene concert prospects lined up for the Greek capital over the next dew days.

Also performing will be the enduring Australian musician Hugo Race with Italian collaborator Marta Collica, who call their project Sepiatone. The pair, who had performed in Athens a couple of years ago, play the capital this Friday.

Jack or Jive, another musical pair, from Japan, bring their ambient dark folk to Athens for the first time tonight.

Meanwhile, Sparklehorse recently released its first album in five years, “Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain” and are making their way through a 30-date European tour, following years of inactivity.

Frontman Mark Linkous has always taken time to deliver new work. There was nearly a four-year gap between the preceding two albums, “Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot” and “Good Morning Spider”. But that intervening period was the result of a near-fatal overdose of what were reported to be prescribed substances by Linkous. The frontman nearly died following a show in London several years ago when he apparently mixed Valium with prescription anti-depressants and spent more than half a day lying unconscious in his hotel room. The subsequent prolonged loss of blood circulation nearly left Linkous crippled.

Following his gradual recovery, Linkous collaborated with PJ Harvey and the Cardigans’ Nina Persson for 2001’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” a very radiant-sounding album following the near disaster.

The latest delay for this year’s “Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain” which features contributions from Tom Waits and the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd, seems to have been linked to both the creative process and side-project activity. Between albums, Linkous provided songs for the soundtrack of the film “Laurel Canyon” and production work for others. Sparklehorse’s Athens show is the last on the band’s European itinerary.

Meanwhile, Hugo Race and Marta Collica will perform material from Race’s extensive solo career as well as tracks from their joint project, Sepiatone. Race originally emerged in the early 1980s as a guitarist for the now-legendary post-punk band the Birthday Party just prior to its demise. Shortly after, the project evolved into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Race remained on board for a few albums before launching an intriguing career of his own.

Over the years, Race, who has divided his time between native Melbourne and various European bases, has crafted an elusive sounding brand of the blues. It has alternated from a spacey and ambient feeling to more industrial-type sounds.

Japanese act Jack or Jive’s dark folk and ambience carries a theatrical quality. The duo from Osaka has recorded a series of projects since forming in 1989. They include music for theatrical productions and art exhibitions.

Sparklehorse, Thursday at the An Club, 13-15 Solomou Street, Exarchia, Athens, tel 210 3305056; Hugo Race and Marta Collica, Friday at the Small Music Theater, 33 Veikou Street, Koukaki, Athens, tel 210 9245644; Jack or Jive, tonight at the Small Music Theater, Athens.

Imagine a Flashing Policeman on a Bike Patrol! November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Officer caught revealing himself >

A 40-year-old policeman has been arrested for allegedly exposing his genitals to oncoming female motorists in the northern Athenian suburb of Gerakas. The unnamed officer was charged with sexual harassment at the beginning of the month after being reported to police by his alleged victims. The officer, who was recently appointed as a guard for diplomatic officials, was charged for a similar offense a few years ago, officers said.

Bike patrols >

The Public Order Ministry yesterday delivered 322 scooters to the Police Headquarters in Athens and Thessaloniki for use by officers patrolling the cities’ residential districts. The bikes are to be given to officers who usually patrol these districts by foot, the Ministry said. Police are set to receive another 500 scooters in March 2007.

Asylum at campuses could end November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Education, Police & Crime.
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Prosecutor Vassilis Floridis has asked police to ready a plan that would enable law enforcement authorities to storm university grounds and end the rule that forbids police officers from entering University campuses.

Law enforcement agents are currently not allowed to enter Universities even if they have evidence of criminal acts taking place. However, legal steps are apparently being taken to end this form of asylum.

In a note sent to Antonios Bamiatzis, the head of the Thessaloniki Police force, Floridis said that “an operational plan should be readied for police to enter Universities and arrest suspects.”

The government distanced itself from the news, saying that it is a matter for the judiciary. “The issue is not political, it relates to the judiciary,” said Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos.

The move was welcomed by academics, who said the change would translate into a proper implementation of the law. Ioannis Manoledakis, a law professor, said that it is likely that police had not entered Universities in the past for political reasons.

Aliki opens again, with a musical November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Greece, Arts Events Greece, Stage & Theater.
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The celebrated Aliki Theater entered a new chapter in its illustrious life at the end of last week. Showcasing a larger stage and 300 fewer seats than before, the theater welcomed its first members of the audience for “Cinecitta” a new musical by Thanassis Papathanassiou and Michalis Reppas.

The Aliki is the first of three theater venues to open as part of the renewed City Link complex, formerly the Army Pension Fund building on the Voukourestiou – Stadiou – Panepistimiou streets block in downtown Athens. Its opening will be followed by those of the Pallas and Mikro Pallas “Little Pallas”.

Listed for preservation, the theater’s remodeling followed the construction’s original character, a cabaret venue in the mid-war period originally known as Maxim’s. Subsequently, the theater was purchased by National Greek star Aliki Vouyiouklaki. A collection of the late, popular actress’s memorabilia can be viewed in the theater’s lobby.

As for the current production, “Cinecitta” follows two mature prostitutes, interpreted by Maria Kavoyianni and Tzessi Papoutsi, who try their luck in the blossoming film industry of Rome in the 1950s. The production’s original music and songs were composed by Aphroditi Manou.

Interactive Gaming enters Greek market November 7, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Games & Gadgets.
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Online sports betting and gaming operator Interactive Gaming Holdings PLC said it has entered into a white label agreement with NS Sports Ltd to offer sports betting on its Betinio website.

Interactive Gaming said the agreement will enable Interactive Gaming to promote its sportsbook betting service in the Southeast and Eastern European markets. It added that it doesn’t have any US operations.

‘This is the second white label agreement that IGH has recently signed and will further diversify the group’s revenues,’ chief executive John Heaton added.