Monday, March 28, 2016

Bajofondo - El Mareo

Argentina is so lost in its own legend, that it's hard to find music there that isn't tango, or in some way related to it. So about the best that you can do is 'neo-tango' or some other such fusion genre that attempts to go beyond the typical sex-and-sultriness that qualifies as a musical genre when combined with the same three chords in the same minor keys over and over and over. That means Bajo Fondo or Gotan Project, and from there it's a toss-up. I get to talk about Gustavo Santaolalla or Lunfardo 'slanguage'. Both are ex-pat groups, the former in LA, the latter in Paris. Gustavo Santaolalla is a renowned award-winning LA producer and film composer in his own right, and on this song paired with Argentine rock legend Gustavo Cerati. Did I mention that Argentina also has rock music? BTW if you listen to much tango, you'll need to pick up some Lunfardo, in addition to Spanish, which specializes in 'vesre', reversing syllables to ensure exclusive intelligibility only with the inner circle, usually criminals. Thus 'tango' becomes 'gotan'. Get it? Clever, huh? Hmmm...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Mbilo Mbilo-Eddy Kenzo[Official]

Uganda is one of the brighter spots in the sometimes-tortured continent of Africa, and this guy seems something like the Pharrell Williams of it, a pleasant surprise in a modern world where frequently the best music is old music, go figure...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Arrow 1990 - Hot Hot Hot

If you're looking for some signature tune from a country as small as Antigua and Barbuda, you might just have to borrow a number from a nearby island that's even smaller, like UK colony Montserrat. But if you're thinking that this is just some cheap kitschy knock-off of David "Buster Poindexter/New York Doll" Johansen's 1987 US hit, then think again, because it's just the opposite: this is the original, the real deal, with some nice guit licks in the background, too...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Alfredo Zitarrosa - Adagio en mi país

Sometimes to find a county's best work you have to travel in time,
not space. Such is the case with Uruguay, IMHO. Alfredo Zitarrosa is
something of a Uruguayan national treasure, with loyal fans all over
Latin America, but I'd never know that if I hadn't stumbled across him
after a fortuitous riffle through dozens of modern Uruguayan 'remixes'
and pseudo-hiphop and generic pop best described as EDM boom-boom-boom
with random lyrics slathered on for effect. Zitarrosa is a champion of
the common man, and his themes reflect that...

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Os Gambuzinos Kaluma

Wow! Who knew that Angola (Angola!) had some of the trippiest music in the world c.1972? Os Gambuzinos or Os Mutantes? This was still Overseas Portugal at the time, of course, so maybe this was where European hippies went to get all freaky--or not. It stands in stark contrast to what is now a pretty grim music scene, variations on sex and rap and all that crap, full-on female ass-end crotch shots, macho male posturing, and soft-core porn posing as pop music. Oh well, at least it livens up the slum scenes, keeping the kids happy. Still, all in all, I prefer the 70's. Eu sou desta geracao!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

'Floating Weeds' by Yasujiro Ozu, the Shakespeare of Film...

Image result for floating weeds picturesI feel that it's very important to review a film in a timely fashion upon its release, so as to add whatever two cents might be necessary or desirable to influence the narrative. So, considering that 'Floating Weeds' was released in 1959, I figured it was about time to rush out this review so as not to nudge up too close to my self-imposed hundred-year deadline. No problem: time to spare...

'Bird in the hand', 'two's company', 'pride goeth before a fall', 'like father like son', 'apple didn't fall far', 'honesty is the best—you get the idea. Call them cliché if you want. Or call them the classic themes of literature—and film: truth, goodness beauty, love, jealousy, pride, revenge, so on and so forth. No one called them cliches when Shakespeare articulated them brilliantly, and all he had were words.  Now imagine Shakespeare in chiaroscuro...

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Feruza Jumaniyozova - Alla

With Uzbek music, the first challenge is to get the Russian out, in order to find what is really Uzbek. That's not so easy as it might seem at first, since Uzbek girls are cute, too (and almost everyone has Russian surnames)! But, in fact, the Russian language is not used much in the local music, though Russian-style pop music is a very popular genre, replete with longing looks, fabulous coifs and sad good-byes. But is it Uzbek? Then there are the old-fashioned 'classics', with their minor keys, clarinets and dirges. It's all good. When I was there, I listened to the radio by day, and hung out at weddings by night.  But I like Feruza the best I think, she from Khorezmia, with ample Arab influence, video here with slices of Uzbek life. Compare to MGMT's 'Kids'...

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