Simon Pegg Has Opened Up About His Depression And Alcoholism

“I was drunk a lot of the time and I was profoundly unhappy”

Simon Pegg has revealed that he struggled with depression and alcoholism after the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

“I was depressed. I had always been susceptible to it. But at the same time as I started to ascend into what would conventionally be regarded as a success, I was going down,” he told Empire.

“The more material success presented itself to me, the less I could understand why it wasn’t fulfilling me in any way. It wasn’t that it wasn’t fulfilling me, it was because I was depressed.”
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Continue at : Simon Pegg Has Opened Up About His Depression And Alcoholism

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Russell Brand’s ‘Under the Skin’ Is Surprisingly Brainy

When you’ve done it all, what then? When you’ve smoked all the crack, eaten all the chocolate, had all the sex, made all the money, and been on all the talk shows—where do you go next? Because there it is, squatting on the far side of adulation: nothingness. “Celebrities,” the Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman once said, “are in a very interesting position. They’ve already achieved great fame, success, and wealth, and they’ve realized that those things alone don’t bring happiness; that, in fact, they can be a real pain in the neck.” Or, as Russell Brand puts it, tunneling toward enlightenment in the 2015 documentary Brand: A Second Coming, “Fame and power and money is bullshit.” (Brand, in this scene, is addressing a group of wonder-struck English schoolchildren.) “To feel adored is a buzz for me, but—what does it matter, really? [ . . . ]

Continue at THE ATLANTIC: Russell Brand’s ‘Under the Skin’ Is Surprisingly Brainy – The Atlantic

Sam Lee performs Lovely Molly and more

ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS | September 11, 2015

English vocalist Sam Lee has an amazing backstory: He found his way to singing professionally after stints as a naturalist and a burlesque dancer. But what really matters are his mesmerizing performances, as well as his incredible ability to connect with people — certainly with the audience in front of him, but also with the elders he’s sought out to learn these songs.

Lee has dedicated himself to preserving centuries-old folk songs of the U.K. and Ireland, particularly from “outsider” communities like the Roma (Gypsies) and the Scottish and Irish Travelers. But he and his bandmates — ukulele player and vocalist Jon Whitten, violinist and vocalist Flora Curzon, and percussionist and vocalist Josh Green — put these ancient songs in thoroughly 21st-century arrangements that feel creative, fresh and surprising, but also deeply human.

Above it all, Lee’s voice blazes through with strength, clarity and confidence. This is an artist who has found his destiny as a singer, a folk-song collector and a steward of stories, keeping them alive and relevant for a new generation.

Set List
“Over Yonders Hill”
“Lovely Molly'”
“Goodbye My Darling'”

Credits
Producers: Anastasia Tsioulcas, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Suraya Mohamed, Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Lani Milton; Assistant Producer: Elena Saavedra Buckley; photo by Lydia Thompson/NPR

The rise, fall and return of Shirley Collins, heroine of English folk music

The postwar folk revival in Britain, decreed that, henceforth, folk singers should only sing material from their own national culture. Given his stance, you’d think that MacColl would be supportive of Shirley Collins. A young, working-class woman, she was born and bred in Sussex and many of the songs in her repertoire were learned from the county’s traditional singers. Alas no. MacColl, hiding behind the pseudonym “Speedwell”, penned unflattering rhymes about Shirley, printed in the pages of his own magazine, Folk Music, likening her to a lumbering Jersey cow.What was it that so offended MacColl’s sensibilities? He had a Marxist perspective on folk music, his material evoking a macho world of hewers and haulers. Shirley’s songs gave voice to women, often in rural settings, yet were no less concerned with issues of class and gender. Propositioned by the local squire, “Lovely Joan” accepts his golden ring in return for her maidenhead. As soon as it is placed in her hand, Joan leaps on his horse and rides off to her lover’s house. In the Dorset ballad “A Blacksmith Courted Me”, the singer complains that her man should not have to go overseas “fighting for strangers”. [ . . . ]

Read full story at THE STATESMAN: The rise, fall and return of Shirley Collins, heroine of English folk music