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Permanent LinkMar 22, 2009 
:hippy: Move over Penélope and Scarlett - a struggling musician-turned-diva is the real feelgood story behind Woody Allen's new movie.

When British cinemagoers flock to Woody Allen's latest film Vicky Cristina Barcelona this week, they are likely to have been drawn by the triple attraction of Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem, who star in the tale of a love triangle conducted in one of Europe's most charismatic cities. But in Catalonia the true hero of the film is an Italian busker who has never been anywhere near the studios of Hollywood.

The film has already garnered a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination, but last week a less publicised award - a Catalan film festival award for best original music - went to Giulia Tellarini, whose "Barcelona" forms the opening soundtrack to the film and has already been adopted by the city's tourist board.

Tellarini and her band a...

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Permanent LinkMar 17, 2009 
:banjo: The group Playing For Change is the international stew stirred by Mark Johnson, a recording engineer/ producer who had a vision in a New York City subway station 10 years ago. He's travelled the world seeking out indigenous musicians all over the world to compile a series of songs performed by buskers. Johnson brought together, on tape, musicians from Israel, India, Ireland, the U.S. and several African nations to back the vocals of Marley and U2's Bono.

Playing for change

The past few years saw the release of several interesting busker documentaries. Online video sharing and social networking websites are now flooding the internet with street performers from around the world shot by amateurs on holiday.

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Permanent LinkMar 3, 2009 
:busker: Street entertainers are to be allowed to perform on a privately-owned stretch of London Docklands for the first time, after its owners announced plans to award busking permits in a bid to revitalise the area.

St Katharine Docks in Wapping - next to the Tower of London and owned by property company F&C Reit - is now looking for performers such as magicians, jugglers and musicians to entertain in one of four designated zones within the site.

One of the proposed busking areas sits on the riverfront next to Tower Bridge, while another would see performers make use of a courtyard space known as Centre Basin.

The street performers idea is part of a wider initiative aimed at raising awareness of St Katharine Docks and increasing visitors to it, which is being overseen by Gossip Consultancy on behalf of F&C Reit. It is hoped that the initiative will help enliven the area, in much...

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Permanent LinkFeb 22, 2009 
:guitar: Orlando homeless wanna-be busker Vincent Tarazavich has been prevented by city laws from playing for tips on the streets of Orlando.

It seems that Vincent might be getting his big break, as soon as tonight, possibly. Bob Snow, the man who created Church Street Station back in the day, called me this morning. He's willing to give Vincent a spot in front of the newly reopened Cheyenne Saloon on Church Street.

"We'll throw $20 in the case and get him started," Snow told me. "He can start tonight, if he wants to."

Vincent will be holding his sign for the electronics store this afternoon, so it's not clear if he'll be able to connect with Snow. If he does, though, it would be a happy ending.

Snow told me he was involved in discussions with the city about 10 years ago about setting up a system for busking permits that would have included auditions before a committee...

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Permanent LinkJan 27, 2009 
:party: Gatecrashers: The World Buskers Festival is being gatecrashed by street performers eager to cash in on the crowds attracted by the popular Christchurch event.

Heymoonshaker, a guitar and beatboxing act, set themselves up on a street corner yesterday afternoon to take advantage of the crowds.

"If the festival is a boat, then we are on skis behind it trying to get as much out of it as we can," gatecrashing British beatboxer Crowe said.

British travellers Crowe and guitarist Andrew Balcon met in Nelson and decided to perform in Christchurch to raise money for their world travels.

"We thought we would be able to perform in between sets in the Square, but they wouldn't let us," Balcon said.

Festival director Jodi Wright has taken a liberal approach to the busker pilot fish cruising in the wake of the festival shark.

"It is too hard to try to police them. Unless...

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