Saturday 25 August 2007

Moon Calendar 2007

I saw this Moon Calendar in an Amsterdam shop recently and thought you all may like it.

Moon Calendar 2007

Click on the calendar or here to buy a full-size print from Go-art in Amsterdam.

The calendar shows the phase of the moon for every night of the year-and the day of the week for every day. You can use it anywhere in the world: a full moon is still a full moon wherever you are on the Earth. If you want to know the exact time of full moon, remember to make an allowance for the time zone you are in-all the times on this calendar are GMT. So in Britain in summertime, for instance, add one hour to the printed time to get the clock time of an event.

On my last trip to Essaouira I started speaking a little Arabic using a Teach Yourself CD that I had previously downloaded to my iPod. I managed to learn a few words and conntructions, mainly around greetings and simple requests, but I found that even being able to say a few words in Arabic was a great help and the Moroccan people really appreciated the effort. The Arabic dialect used on the CD was that used in Egypt and the Gulf states, so, I was not always understood. It came therefore as a great find when I discovered which has a web-site decicated to speaking the Moroccan dialect or Darija as they call it. has rich vocabulary section with an easily understandable transliteration system and they also show the Arabic spelling too. It has many situational lessons which are oriented around learning by reading since there are no sound clips. These would, I think, be a great addition to the site and I'll try to find out if they have plans to change that.

If you plan to visit Morocco - maybe for next year's Essaouira festival - pay a visit to and try to pick up a few words of Darija - it'll be well worth it.


For music, just music, great music, no chat, no adverts, just music - listen to RADIOGAS.

Click for RADIOGAS on media player

Click for RADIOGAS on iTunes (you'll need to Open or Save and then Open the file
Or, visit

Thursday 23 August 2007

Jbara at Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival 2000

Mohamed Jbara has been compared to Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. I'll leave that to you, but take a listen to a truly great Moroccan guitarist. Jbara is one of the pioneers of Moroccan Rock Fusion as this first song here from the Essaouira World Music festival 2000 shows. Listen and enjoy.

Click for more of the same at Jbara's YouTube channel.

Saturday 18 August 2007

Corinne Bailey Rae at the Glastonbury Extravaganza 2007

Instead of converting the music I've recorded to video format and posting it to YouTube, here I've just converted it to mp3 format and hosted it on FileDen. I think that the player is more consumable, even though the visibility may not be as goo as on YouTube. I tried adding the player to my channel over there but that didn't work.

Friday 17 August 2007

Van Morrison set at the Glastonbury Extravanganza 2007

January 12th 2008 News Update
Van Morrison videos purged from Youtube. Youtube has not only removed all of my recordings of Van Morrison at the 2007 Glastonbury Extravaganza - hence this post is now entirely devoid of music - but has also removed many videos posted by other Van the Man fans and has even suspended a couple of accounts of active Van fans.

OK, I'm back now, so I'll update this new blog entry as I post each Van Morrison number from the Glastonbury Extravanganza 2007 to my YouTube channel

For a full and detailed review of the Van Morrison set, please see Patrick Maginty's excelent review which has been reposted on the Van Morrison News blog . I'd also like to thank Patrick for putting names to some of the tracks that I couldn't identify.

St James Infirmary

Stop drinking Lyrics

Beauty of the days gone by

Precious time

Tupelo honey

Why must I always explain

Brown eyed girl


Some of the photo's that I've incorporated into the videos are by Stewie, other from various web sites.

Saturday 11 August 2007

Van Morrison and Corinne Bailey Rae at the Glastonbury Extravanganza 2007

January 12th 2008 News Update
Van Morrison videos purged from Youtube

Just in - new live music by Van Morrison and Corinne Bailey Rae recorded at the Glastonbury Extravanganza 2007 - YESTERDAY - 10th August 2007.

I'll be posting more from the wonderful concert held in the old abbey grounds sometime next week, but, for now, hear's a taster of what's to follow.

Let's kick off with Bailey Rae singing her masterpiece Just like an angel.

The see and hear more from the girl with this divine voice, visit her site on MySpace.

From the sublime to the not ridiculous but just wonderful. Van the Man with his old favourite G_L_O_R_I_A . Sorry about the loss of control at the end of the piece. Quite out of character, I can assure you.

Saturday 4 August 2007

Not Bono but Akram

I'd like to apologise for a big mistake in the credits when I originally posted clips of Band of Gnawa. I had mistakenly shown them featuring Bono, due to a misunderstanding when Akram Sedkaoui was introduced (in French) as "the man with the Golden Voice, according to Bono from U2". I was at a distance from the stage and my eyesight isn't as good as it was, an I just heard the word "Bono" and jumped to the wrong conclusion. Sorry for the mistake. In this case its more of StupidNotDaft - maybe I should rename the channel.

Anyway, here's a clip that sort of explains my state of mind at the time:

Links to blogs

Thursday 2 August 2007

Dedication and thanks

One thing that you can't help noticing about Morocco is the friendliness of its people and their joy of life. So, it was with much sadness, on my last visit there, that I learned of the death, in the past year, of Mostafa Ben Manna. Mostafa, who died at a tragically early age, will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends around the world, and I'd like to dedicate this blog to him. His memory and name live on, however, as does his cafe - Chez Ben Mostafa - now run by his nephew, Hicham, who carries on the tradition of welcoming all who pass his way.

Thanks also to Kamal and Mamadou who love the music of Essaouira almost as much as I do, but who have the pleasure of living there all year round, not just a week or so at a time.

Labass, guys. See you soon, insha'Allah, maybe in December.

Finally, I'd like to thank His Majesty, King Mohmmed VI, the patron of the Essaouira festival. Each year, he shares this wonderful music with his people and so, via this blog and my YouTube channel, I share that gift with you, the wider internet audience.

John (aka DaftNotStupid)