The hugely successful American musician Kanye West was in Prague recently making what is being described as a movie to accompany his as yet untitled new album. The rapper kept fans informed about his time in the Czech capital via Twitter, saying he had been doing 16-hour shoots and describing filming here as “like a child’s delusions become reality!”
In the first verdict of its kind, a higher court in Prague upheld on Tuesday a previous ruling in a case of plagiarism in Czech pop music. The court said that part of a 1994 song by the singer-songwriter Jan Kalousek was “very similar” to the 2002 hit “In Da Yard” by Jaroslav Helešic, a former member of the band Support Lesbiens. The court ruled that Mr Helešic is to pay 200,000 crowns, or more than 10,000 US dollars, to Mr Kalousek in damages. Both musicians said the dispute was not personal; Mr Helešic refused to agree on an out-of-court settlement, and said he wanted the court to establish a precedent for similar cases in the future.
In this week’s Music Express my guest is the talented singer, rapper and composer Radek Banga, the frontman for one of the Czech Republic’s best-known bands Gipsy.cz. The four-member group first broke onto the scene six years ago and quickly rose to the top with an unusual mix of traditional Romany music crossed with rap, hip hop, pop and r n’b. They have only grown in popularity since.
The Czech government’s representative for human rights, Michael Kocáb, has said he will leave the post once he has someone to replace him. On Wednesday he is to meet with the Prime Minister’s advisor on human rights, Roman Joch, who has publicly said that the position of human rights representative was redundant. Last week, the Prime Minister said he had accepted Michael Kocáb’s resignation and thanked him for his work in the field of human rights; later that evening however Mr Kocáb said that the prime minister had pushed him to resign and that he had refused. Mr Kocáb, formerly a rock musician, also served as the Human Rights Minister in the previous cabinet.
Actor, singer and translator Rudolf Peller died on Saturday at the age of 87. Mr Pellar was well-known for dozens of translations of English language and German novels, such as the work of J. D. Salinger. Together with his wife he was awarded the State Prize for translation in 1997. He was however a person of many artistic talents; aside from his frequent performances in some of Prague’s best known theatres and in some films, Rudolf Peller also recorded songs in the 50s and 60s, and studied chanson singing at conservatory in the 1970s. His first album was only released when he was 80 years old, as he had been banned from performing during communism.
Meanwhile the festival Dvořák’s Prague comes to a close on Saturday with a concert by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra led by the young French conductor Ludovic Morlot in Rudolfinum. French pianist Cédric Tiberghien will be performing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2, while the music of Dvořák will be represented by the prelude Husitská and Symphony No. 7. One of the aims of the festival is to introduce with young musicians who have garnered success elsewhere but are little known in the Czech Republic.
Thousands of rock fans were left disappointed by the one day festival Řipfest 2010 which culminated with an appearance by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne just before midnight on Saturday. Fans were disappointed that the Black Sabbath member only sang for around an hour instead of the expected 90 minutes. The appearance of former Uriah Heep member Ken Hensley was also cut short. Technical problems due to rain disrupted the programme. Osbourne was launching an 11-stop European tour at the Czech festival and also promoting his new album, Scream.
Fans of deceased US pop singer Michael Jackson organised a three-hour walk through the streets of Prague on Saturday in homage to their hero. The walk was staged to coincide with would have been the singer’s 52nd birthday. At various stages along the walk stops were scheduled for participants to dance to the tunes of his hit album “Thriller.” Fans from Slovakia were also expected to take part. Jackson died in June last year after taking too many sedatives.
Thousands of rock fans have been gathering for the one day festival Řipfest 2010 near the historic hill Řip in central Bohemia on Saturday. The culmination of the festival will be a late night appearance by rock legend Ozzy Osbourne. The former Black Sabbath member is launching an 11-stop European tour at the Czech festival and also promoting his new album, Scream. Rain forced the cancellation of some of the earlier bands on the programme.
In this week’s Music Express our guest is Jan Žampa the talented singer/guitarist for Eddie Stoilow – an unusual Czech band founded in 2004. The group has grown increasingly popular, especially following the long, much-awaited release of just their first album just last year. Humorously called The Best of Eddie Stoilow, the album brought hits such as Hey You, Floating, and the catchy Realize and Compromise.
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