Sheila Chandra

why do i like this?

But don’t go away yet. In all fairness, listen to this. She can make beautiful sounds! her voice is an instrument, isn’t it?

Listened to her on NPR years ago. I was amazed at the sounds she could make! A comment under one of her speaking in tongues videos: she must have been a drum in a past life!

From Sheila Chandra’s site:

Born in South London to a South Indian immigrant family, Sheila Chandra discovered her voice at the age of twelve and whilst at Theatre Arts school. From this moment her chosen path was to be a singer. Lacking any real contacts or access to the music business, she nevertheless honed her vocal skills as a labour of love, spending up to two hours a night throwing her voice into the tall, draughty and uncarpeted stairwell of the family home: “I didn’t know how to manufacture an opportunity, but I was determined that when a chance came my way I would be ready.”


the eighties:
* In 1981 Sheila Chandra met Steve Coe in London and became the lead singer of his Asian fusion band Monsoon which then signed to Polygram.
* Monsoon had a UK Top Ten hit with their first single “Ever So Lonely” when Sheila was 16.
* After Monsoon disbanded, Sheila signed Steve Coe’s Indipop label in 1984 and went on to make her first four solo albums in two years.
* Sheila retired when she was 20 to take a sabbatical that lasted 4 years and re-emerged with her fifth solo album on Indipop.

the nineties:
* In 1991 Sheila decided to give concerts for the first time and developed her distinctive voice and drone approach — drawing on vocal cultures from around the world — so that she could perform alone on stage.
* Sheila formed her own music production company and went on to write a trilogy of albums in this style, each of which she licensed to Real World as one-offs, in order to retain creative control.
* In 1999, to mark the 10th anniversary, Real World put out “Moonsung” — a retrospective collection drawn from the trilogy.

the noughties:
* Sheila signs to Indipop for a one-off album “This Sentence is True” (The previous sentence is false) which is released April 2001 by Indipop/Shakti (Narada).
* Jakatta, fresh from their success with ‘American Dream’ use Sheila’s 1982 ‘Ever So Lonely’ vocals and completely * In 2007 Sheila returns to live performances after a gap of 14 years.
* In 2009 Sheila signs her first book to Vermilion Books (Random House) entitled ‘Banish Clutter Forever – How the toothbrush principle will change your life’ Publication date 4th March 2010. Ffi go to

I can’t wait to find out more about her banish clutter book. The way she organizes her music is so interesting, I am looking forward to seeing how she organizes her life!

Working for Santa

thin santa by Mimi Kirchner

You are not going to believe this, but I dreamed I was hired by Santa Claus the other night. And, by the way, in my mind at least, he is not fat (and now  that I think about it, not all that old, either).

I was working on some really stupid assembly line (where the workers actually took a conveyor belt to get to work), and Santa saw me, pulled me off the line, and gave me a job. I’ll be darned if I can remember what he actually had me doing, exactly, but it was challenging and satisfying (It might have been marketing, or something like that — that would be great, wouldn’t it? Marketing for Santa? With his renown and popularity that would a fun job!

Santa let me think for myself, be creative and come up with solutions. He was not a micro-manager.

In the dream, being allowed to work this way, changed me. I became a nicer person! Oh, Santa!

I woke up happy.

Santa! Where are you? Do you have a job available?

Got the thin santa picture from Mimi Kirchner’s web site, which i plan to go back and read. On her homepage, I saw the sewing machine that my sister just handed over to me. I may want to make one of these dolls. I don’t know what my thing about dolls is all about, but I have always liked hand-made stuffed dolls.

So, maybe I’ll end up working for Santa after all!

Oh, I just realized how funny this is! Santa’s Mean Old Bitch makes dolls!


Bitchy terms

Borrowing from Physiology, to supinate is to have a hand with the palm facing up. To bitchinate is to slap a person with the palm of your hand. In other words, it is a shorter term for a bitch slap, plus it makes you sound more intelligent.

– by Knee Wrote Aug 17, 2005

I didn’t write this. Knee wrote it. But, I thought she or he has an interesting way with words…

Yes, I know she's using a fly-swatter. Is that more intelligent?

Cocaine Around My Brain

sung by Dave Van Ronk

In the middle of all the Cocaine research, I remembered this song, and so all that studying I’ve been doing has a back story, which often happens when I get into researching. It takes off in different directions, sometimes twists and turns. So, here’s a little twist.

Saw him sing that at the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth,  not too long before he died.

Van Ronk got the song from Reverend Gary Davis, who said he learned it in 1905  from a carnival musician, Porter Irving.

One of the people I interviewed about drug treatment for the story I’m working on, shared with me some of what he knew about the history of the drug, and its ups and downs.

Cocaine use has declined in recent years, and I asked him how come.

He said popularity for a particular drug goes in cycles. It will get a bad name and people will stop using it. Now, prescription opiates are the drug dejour, but that will change, eventually, too.

Drugs and alcohol have always been around. In 1863, Vin Mariani was a wine that had cocaine in it — it was endorsed by popes and physicians. Nobody said it tasted good. Sarah Bernhard used to say that Vin Mariani gave her strength.

In the 1900s, cocaine was in Coca Cola. Freud pushed cocaine. Some of his colleagues had problems with it. Frued said he kicked it. Lots of music was devoted to cocaine. In 1902, a pamphlet came out, “Eight Years in Cocaine Hell,” by Annie Meyers.

In 1906, we passed the Food and Drug Act, but before that, there was no such thing as a prescription in our country. In the early 1900s, that might have been the greatest period of addiction, but there were no social ramifications. People used to use laudium, everybody took it.

It was probably called something like Carrie’s Feel Good Tonic.

In the 1900s, the Chinese railroad workers were using opiates, but then other people started using opium. We passed the Harrison Act in 1914, which assoiciated drugs with crime, drugs on the street went up 500 percent because before that people didn’t have to steal to maintain a drug addiction.

It went out of fashion, and came back in with Easy Rider, Peter Fonda as Captain America and Dennis Hopper — they pulled off a cocaine deal and went around the country doing nothing and that’s when Cocaine started to  come back into the culture.

It was popular through the 1970s and 1980s, then John Belushi died, and John Delorean had troubles because of it, and it went out of fashion.