Thursday, August 26, 2004

Foreign Sound, Familiar Songs

Here's a July 2004 interview with Caetano Veloso from the World Music Central site. Nice song-by-song annotations on Caetano's all-American collection.

Oh, and speaking of CV, I've been reading his book Tropical Truth for the last few weeks, and I'm at the chapter on his arrest and imprisonment by the military police. Not only is the episode harrowing in itself (Americans, imagine Bob Dylan being locked up in 1966 ... or Bruce Springsteen in 1988), but Veloso's retelling of it is just amazing. Comes out of nowhere, right after a key passage on his few drug experiences, as this gigantic interruption of his daily life. (He's relentlessly self-deprecating/humble as he describes his ascent to national stardom throughout the book, but you still get the sense that he was a major pop-culture figure--not a politician, but an artist whose work includes political content among other things. I've been trying to think of a parallel from the year 2004, but I can't quite think of one.)

I have much more to say about the book, but not now: time for the Daily Show... Say, maybe John Stewart could serve as an analogy; imagine him being awakened one night and driven to a prison with only a toothbrush, all for making jokes on TV.

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