CULTURE

It’s party time for magazine

It’s a deeply divided world in Greek music, one partitioned into contrasting sides that rarely mingle. The derision flies from both sides. On one end, it’s a full-on business scene of pop acts that shake and make with seemingly little concern for anything that won’t fatten their wallets. At the other end lies a usually less ostentatious crowd of acts that like to think their work is blessed with artistic quality. In some of the cases, this is so, but there’s also plenty of pretentious output here. One of the quality-conscious scene’s strongest advocates, the monthly music magazine Difono, has gathered 40 acts – mostly Greek music and a touch of rock – for a concert in the port city Piraeus this coming Monday night to celebrate its 10th year in the publishing business. The evening’s bill, divided into four sub-categories – composers, songsmiths, singers and groups – includes some of the country’s more inspired artists that have, deservedly, received considerable support from the magazine for their efforts. Participants include some of the country’s most notable contemporary-era songwriters, such as Socrates Malamas, Thanassis Papaconstantinou, Loudovikos Ton Anogeion and Nikos Xydakis, whose landmark debut album, 1978’s «Ekdikisi Tis Gyftias» (Revenge of the Gypsies) stood as a guiding light for numerous local acts over the years. Appearing as one of four groups on the bill is the talented folk-jazz band Mode Plagal. The act’s delightful renditions of Greek folk, or «demotika», has made some impact on world music circuits abroad. Highlighting this band’s instrumental prowess, most of its members also perform and record with other respected acts as guest musicians. Singing sisters Singers include the discreet Lizetta Kalimeri, who has quietly gone about working with some of the scene’s better songwriters, including most of the aforementioned, and her sister Melina Kana. Also associated with the same guild of artists as her sister, Kana’s more recent activity, both on stage and in the studio, has headed toward a more pop-oriented direction. Other acts on the bill include clarinet virtuoso Manos Achalinotopoulos; the musically ambitious composer Dimitris Papadimitriou; the top-selling singer-songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis, who emerged as a vocalist but is now writing his own material; Panos Katsimichas, who established himself as part of the extremely popular Katsimihas Brothers from the mid-1980s onwards; singer-songwriter Pandelis Thalassinos; and a host of vocalists, among them Manolis Lidakis, Elli Paspala and Gerasimos Andreatos. Hip-hop, too The popular hip-hop act Active Member has been wedged in among the bill’s Greek music and rock-inclined acts. Organizers for the show, at the Katrakeio Theater in Piraeus’s district of Nikaia, have promised four hours of music by the 40 acts gathered for the performance. The 10,000-capacity venue, is located next to the Olympic Weightlifting complex. Thodoris Gonis, a respected lyricist and stage director who has provided lyrics for songs by several of the acts appearing on Monday’s bill, has taken on the production’s set design. Tickets have been priced at 10 euros. Public bus transportation: Athens – B18 (Omonia), 820 Koumoundourou Square; Piraeus – 814, 824, 824, 909.