Monday, March 19, 2007

Caged around the ghett0))), ID please!


University, 9 am. It's Monday and it feels a few hours too early. Downstairs in the marble hallway a student is waiting for an appointment with his music teacher and practises his classically trained baritone voice to kill time, as they say. A perfect swooning echo of angelic proportions bounces off the walls up into my confined space, with background noises of office rumble giving it a surreal context. Everything freezes and I listen, it kills my time.

It has just snowed for an hour, thick white shards of fuzzy frost out of nowhere. Now, all clouds are gone, the snow dissapeared and full-on spring sunshine. One weird Monday I tell ya.

Now playing on the compressed office soundsystem: Musique du Nordeste, Brasil, 1928 - 1946 (Buda Musique). Grammophone cracks and dusty recordings in mono give this musical antiquity a touching personal quality. It softly makes this Monday morning swing.

How come this feels like an ancient Tom Zé song?
Luis Gonzaga & Humberto Texeira - Briao

and here Tom.
Tom Zé - Medo de Mulher

Luis Gonzaga was one of the main predecessors of Bossa Nova and it's also his voice that nearly resembles Tom Zé's smooth dark voice, shaped from the Brazilian local patois perhaps, since Tom Zé is also from up north. Carolina, if you read this; is this a typical quality of the singers of the Nordeste or am I shooting at mosquito's?

Here another classic pearl.
Joao Pernambuco - Meu Noivado

To come back on Wednesday, when I visited my friend in the Ondiep area. Ondiep literally means shallow, though emotions that rose up during early last last week were far from that. The main streets towards the riot hotspot were casted off with fences put up by police, which at the time of my entry were still open. I came up to the school building where my friends live and saw a bed of flowers lying in front of one of their doors. 54 year old Rinie Muller was in fact shot dead right on their doorstep and this spot had become the pinnacle of the eruption. I came in the building and my friends were still shaken from the past nights of rioting, not knowing what to expect tonight. I naievely hadn't realised the curfew was still on and would come up at 18.00 sharp. With a friend I had to pick up some equipment elsewhere and we were told we could come back in if we just carried our ID with us. I'm not receptive to ID verifications, stubborn as I normally am while supporting the cause of these people (sorry, no english option). Buuut, hypocrisy is a standard given rule and I surrendered for a night. When we came back, all the entries were closed off, with fences locked and riot police in full helment and stick garment guarding these gates. We weren't allowed in, 'residents only' and could see the building only hundred metres away. Talking with your friends through a fence is well weird, with them ghettonized into a human zoo as police looks on. The situation does create a lot of impulsive jokes to lighten up the spirits, though it seemed that only we were able to create an effort for a happy mood on this border control, unlike the rest of the people on the street. The police did lose their suspicion for us so we could get our stuff back from the building. All in all, no riots happened anymore. The atmosphere was a tad grimm and people -many of them teenagers to twenty somethings- were just gathering in circles as if to expect a theatre spectacle from the stickmen in blue n black. In other words, this free show was a no show, thankfully. Since Friday the curfew has been lifted, gates erased and disappeared. It will take much longer to bring the social mood back in balance. Perhaps the city council should focus to organise festivities in the area, as a perfect way to counter an otherwise downward spiral.

Ok, on a positive weekend note... Saturday there was a night in Amsterdam of mashed up world music, rusty with sharp edges, intwined with a fundraising motivation; the Rebel Up! Soundclash. See it blogged here. I am extremely biased ofcourse, since I started this idea with the help of a few friends so we could throw this gig in the OCCII squat bar. We kinda expected 30-50 people at most,-like friends and company-, but in the end over 100 people came, creating a superb atmosphere on the crammed dancefloor. Plus even better, we raised a few hundred euro's for the grassroots project in Chiapas. Truckload of Gracias indeed! To be continued in future months, for sure! I'll restrain from spamming my own blog too much and will put all info bits on the Rebel Up! blog instead.

Pity that because of these preparations, I missed DJ/Rupture and Andy Moor (The Ex) playing at the OT301 the night before, impov guitar meeting rough cuts from vinyl. Were any of you Amsterdam readers there? Please fill me in at the rabbit hole. Instead I went to the Bonte Koe Records night, just around the corner of my Utrecht den, which was a mixed night of indie, big band jazz, songwriter moods and electropop...though I didn't catch all. Good to see some friends and new faces (hi there!). Another time pity I had to leave early, pity for various reasons... vaguely I reside.

About that upcoming Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan record that was blogged about here, Joana freshly informed me in our pseudo journo manner that the distributor isn't too happy with the backward play of this album. Backward? Yup, it can only be heard backwards apparently. Music turned into a crafty concept, though what is the sharing use for it in fairness? The backlash surely will soon happen in various alternative media, offset by encouraging and opposing crusaders. I wonder who will win the flame war.



SebCatLitter said...

wow, how the word ghetto can instantly inspire latino spam masters to pick upon your blog and bombard your comment field. -spam deleted, so no bongs and glass pipes to read about, sorry folks- ;)

carol said...

yes!! you're right very typical! :) by the way, i don't know if you know that, but i'm from nordeste. :) i grew up listening to those songs and luis gonzaga is the king in this style - "forró" or "baião" are the names usually given to this type of music. gonzaga died many years ago but his influence is very present in the music that is made around here. if you want more suggestions of this kind of music all you need is ask.

kissu :*

SebCatLitter said...

ah Nordeste! Yup yup, I should have noticed with Recife..but even better that you grew up with this forro e baiao stuff! ok, I'll now ask for more, hah. Any chance of uploads or links of 1930-1960's stuff? grateful residing indeed woah :)