22 January 2010


~ Σειρήν ~

If I needed to smuggle anything - drugs, precious stones, under-age white slaves - past a rigorous customs post - fierce guards, brutal commandant, man-munching sniffer dogs - I wouldn't bother with the usual fake panels on the fried-out combie.

  • I'd go straight for the killer solution.
  • I'd hire a plush car so's to assure her of a comfy ride
  • Stock the jalopy with the usual luxuries - Gentlemen's Relish, caviar, Vegemite sarnies (natch), galaktoboureko from the patisserie on the road to Castagná.
  • Loipon! Then I'd invite Ms Callirhoe Raouzeou to accompany me on an innocent jaunt.

    As we neared Checkpoint Charlie I'd casually murmur,

    "Alors, Callirhoe cherie ... that marvelous  line at 01:49 in 'Emails to Emily' - 'Then fit our vision to the dark' - do remind me how it goes"

    Which of course she will, hitting those notes that match her voice and timbre so sublimely

    F# - F# - G - A - G - F# - G - A.

    I will of course have timed it perfectly: La Raouzeou will be in full songbird siren-issima croon as the Customs Commandante steps out. He is the terror of all smugglers * No one has evaded him * Even when they have, their expensive vehicles lie stripped and vandalised.

    What have we here? A costly limo, a fop in finery ... a beautiful woman.

    Doxa to Theo! My day is made.

    Yes, indeed, punk - I feel most lucky.

    But what are these heavenly notes that meet his ears? That voice ... he is swooning.

    He raises his hand and the car comes to a halt.

    "No, not you, madame, don't you  halt ... please, keep singing ...."

    I joke but not entirely. Miss Callirhoe Raouzeou (the spelling of whose name seems to be in random dispute, depending if you believe her albums, 'Emails to Emily' and 'Neuromantics' or her own MySpace profile page)

    Even there confusion reigns ~ the lady really doesn't want to be pinned down ~ in the the URL, 'kaliroe'; on the page itself, 'Callirhoe'.

    So-o Greek. I love it.

    Loipon, the customs officer is too hypnotised to move. I slide the 'Neuromantics' album into the car stereo and flick it to track 6, the haunting 'Mme Marchadier', at which even the minions start to lose interest in searching every nook and cranny.

    "Back to work, you dogs!" bellows the capitaine, "Whatever it is, it's got to be somewhere. Tear the car apart!"

    'Wait!' I cry. 'I see I have met my match - here, in full view on the back seat, CDs of Mademoiselle Raouzeou nestling in a bed of used notes.

    I had hoped to smuggle them through but you're too good for me, it's a fair cop.'

    The officer snatches them up with a triumphant gleam: "These are singings by madame? How wise of you to confess. It is a capital offence to smuggle beautiful songs ... but you have confessed so you may go free - but the CDs stay here.

    One last formality - I need a signature for the confiscation ... perhaps madame would oblige ... acknowledgement of this most grave offence ... thank you madame ... and a final touch .... here above the signature, if you'd be so kind? 'To Capitaine Ronaldo, love and affection to my most devoted fan.'


    It's around now that Jimmy-Joe Potts' Byronic Phrase book slips from his disbelieving fingers:


    Yo! What about my  review? Ya know ...??

    Dude! Talk about talking a good game. Every time we meet, Holmes is all 'Ooh, yes, naughty me, I simply must get on with reviewing your blues.'

    It's not even as if I don't give him the get-out - I tell him, you won't like them - but he's all yes yes I will, soon as I get home, three barrés full, Jim, and then he kicks off with all this promising stuff - and now this. Don't get me wrong - lovely lady that Kaliroe, couldn't happen to a nicer songstress."

    Jimmy-Joe is right. I had every intention of wrapping up 'Memphis' and 'Death Valley' and was even putting in deep research by listening round the subject to 'Neuromantics - Explorations of Love' for which Jim wrote the lyrics.

    Big mistake. One note from those golden Callirhoned vocal folds and I was lost.

    Seriously - and I am never so serious when writing about music as when I'm horsing around - this is a woman with an astonishing voice and a matching feel for a lyric.

    • Emails to Emily consists of Kaliroe Raouzeou, Ulrike Niehl, and Louise Nylen - all three wonderful voices and interpreters - singing lyrics taken from Emily Dickinson poems to the music of Raul Scacchi who seems incapable of writing anything but beautiful melody lines, perfectly matched to the words.
    • And what words they are - crazy!
    • I don't know if you know 'Accustomed to the Dark' but I wouldn't have given it a hope in hell of translating well into song, and yet there're those impossible rhythms and rhymes caressed by CR onto vinyl as if from the ABBA or Bacharach stable.
    • Incidentally, there ought to be a law against listening to 'Neuromantics' while driving. It is unsafe - or it is for *me* and my 18-yr-old daughter threatened not to drive with me if I was going to keep slowing down at the 01:33 mark of track 2, 'Eurydice', just to swoon along to that "A-ll night long" line
    • Lord have mercy, I can hardly type those words for remembering that heavenly sound.
    • For such a wonderful singer, I can't believe how badly Callirhoe is served by way of info' for her doubtless devoted fans - and what, by the way, is the fond diminutive of Calli'? I'm getting RSI just bashing out that C-a-l-l-i-r-h-o-e. But I digress.
    • Her myspace space is almost illegible with that ochre background canceling out the text ~ Almost as if she's in sympathy with that equally mis-matched jacket of ED poems
    • Impossible  to find ones way around her myspace page - illegible colours and fonts notwithstanding.

      Here, let me save you 12 minutes finding her photo album. It's here but you'd never have found it.

      Everything is against this talented woman getting the recognition and listenership she deserves, and no, it's not just 'Greek', it's plain incompetence.

  • No albums yet - say whutt ?? Of course it's not Callirhoe's fault but - FFS, you record labelistas out there - wakee wakee! Don't you want to make new and grateful customers? Too passé and uncool to have the coffers swell with loadsa dosh?Weren't like that in my day
  • Blowing in the Wind: If you click on video you'll get a blurred video and by no means representative recording of this marvelous voice.

    When I bumped into Jim Potts in town - going over in my mind my purple praising prose for his review - he told me that Calli' had been over for the launch of Neuromantics and had been better live than on the disc. Hard to believe.

  • Gimme gimme ~ everyone who visits when I happen to have either album on immediately says "Ooh that's nice. Who is it?"

    Since most people who visit are of no earthly interest to me and of dubious tastes, I refuse to let slip the sacred name of Raouzeou (which they wouldn't get their tongue around anyway, let alone the Calliwag moniker)

  • I suggest they try Ms Carey or that Taylor Swift cutie-pie

  • pallyriaBut I am worried about loss or theft so I'm buying 4 more (avec libretto) from Raul at tomorrow's Palirria concert at Triklino Vineyard.

    Libretto will be good: Especially for Eurydice at the 01:01 mark when I currently sing the misheard lines, 'Look a breeze makes me down'. I can't wait to find out what the real lyrics are.

    OK, wanna know what La C is actually singing there? "You look at me, it makes me die". Hmm, how did I get 'down' there, but I still like 'look a breeze' and will continue to do so until glared at by some Salonikan tottie.

    I coulda asked Jimmy Joe but he'd've retorted snorted 'Ain't telling ya til you done that thar review'

  • Speaking of Raul - according to the notes he is the composer of the music for both Dickinson and Neuro'.

    In which case, from that man's fingers alone ripple melodies of such beauty I can only urge you to do yourselves a favour and get hold of these albums.

    I'm not talking pretty frou-frou tunes such as that Mr McCartney from Liverpool has trotted out over the years; I mean serious melodiosity where even the hooks have hooks.

  • So you can imagine the damage when Calli meets Scalli ....

    Phwoar! No wonder the Fruiterine of my Loins feareth to passenger with me when Mme Marchadier plays:

  • 01:02 ~ in come the drums
  • 01:16 ~ that lovely line about "Someone to feel my needs, and make my life a fairy tale come true."

    My kinda lyrics, my kinda woman's voice delivering them.

    Et voilà, I knew I'd get my Potts review in somewhere.

    • Neuro' Plug ~ I'm not the only bloggin' fan. The launch was also recorded here. Scroll down, way down, further than that ... it's there somewhere.

    • Intriguing Azart poster

    • Swanking: This review isn't my first shout out to La Calli: I alerted readers many moons ago

    Jim said...

    You've got your priorities right!

    Corfucius said...

    coming up, old boy - i'll get to you in the end.
    soon as i get over this Calli' crush.
    just picked up 4 more albums from raul at the triklino gig (not really my kinda music) and already one has gone.