Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bringing it all back home

In my ongoing effort to revitalize this long-neglected blog, I've been slowly but surely restoring the ginormous links list I had built up before Blogger 2.0 came along and wiped the whole slate clean. At the rate I'm going, it's going to take me months to finish. But in the meantime, while updating the list, I've come across some interesting stuff, like:

1. Loronix, a mindboggling blog (mindbloggling?) archiving over 1500--that's FIFTEEN HUNDRED--hard-to-find-in-Brazil/impossible-to-find-in-the-States albums, ranging from obscure stuff you might seriously want to hear (Ivan Lins, Elizeth Cardoso, Gal Costa, and what appears to be some of Joao Gilberto's long-out-of-print early recordings) to obscure stuff like this--

--an album the Loronix-master describes as "instrumental rock renditions of Brazilian and international well-known Christmas songs. Very dancing and tiny session with only 26 minutes running time. Do not wait for Christmas time, you will have a lot of fun with Feliz Natal, they make me laugh out loud with the arrangements created for these tunes." Needless to say, I downloaded it immediately.

2. Loronix also led me to Bossa Brasileira, a blog devoted to detailed mini-essays (in Portuguese) about vast multitudes of Brazilian musicians, many from the pre- and early-bossa nova eras. While I can't read the text, I can still groove on the gorgeous album art and vintage photos, and the wealth of ultra-obscure video footage, including this chestnut, in which Perry Goddam Como sings an English translation/easy listening version of “Manhã de Carnaval” from "The Black Orpheus" [sic] with its composer, Luiz Bonfa, on guitar.

Extra-musical highlights:
Como's best line, "Louie, I don't speak Brazilian, but ..." (followed by an incredibly condescending attempt at ESL)
and Bonfa's scripted comeback, "Your English is worse than mine."

3. Speaking of awesome album art, I've started a new section of links devoted to cool sites like LP Cover Lover, where you can find oodles of images like this:

to cite an example which manages to combine my obsession with Brazilian music, my admiration of graphic design, and my fondness for wetsuits as fetish apparel. It's win-win-win! Note: the albums on the site are by no means all from Brazil, which explains why it is also able to offer us another seasonally appropriate LP:

If Christmas looked anything like this at my home, I think I'd move, pronto.

4. Still speaking of albums and art but not necessarily album art, the website of The Wire tipped me off to the cleverly named Graphic Design on the Radio (not to be confused with a certain buzz band I enjoy in small doses). Here you will find audio interviews with Neville Brody and several other designers whose names are not as familiar to me, in which they face the challenge of discussing entirely visual work via streaming audio, punctuated by bits of their favorite rekkerds. I haven't actually listened to any of these yet,but if I waited to do that I would never ever post anything here, ever ever.

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