Thursday, May 10, 2007:

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra -- Sí, Se Puede
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra are a Brooklyn-based musical collective expanding the sound laid out by Fela Kuti, who originated the term Afrobeat and set its political tenor in the 1970s.

Si alguien te dice que no se puede hacer algo, sólo dílo <<sí, se puede. Mientras vivo, mientras respiro, lo haré, lo hago, en hacerlo yo sigo.>>

I've seen this one listed as "si se puede." It is not. "Sí, se puede" means "Yes, it's possible" whereas "si se puede" means "if it's possible." Diacritics and punctuation are not optional in Spanish; aside from the años/anos trouble some early Spanish students stumble into, there are other more common semantic differences.

One I've noticed recently: an early Alfonso Cuarón movie cited as Solo con tu pareja, which means "alone with your wife," whereas the title is actually Sólo con tu pareja, or "only with your wife." I'm not sure if the second one is a more lecherous title or a more prim and proper one, as I haven't yet seen the film, but given Cuarón's other films (Harry Potter excepted) I think I can guess.
[Liberation Afro Beat, Vol. 1]

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra -- Indictment
Or, a list of people who should be indicted, and how we can dance as it's done. I'm not sure why Noam Chomsky makes the list, or if by that point people are groaning and booing because politics isn't fun.

The indictments continue; Antibalas pave over them with horns blown from the bottom, electric guitar lines, funky beats, polyrhythm, and syncopation: the aural equivalent of a protest with puppets.
[Who Is This America?]

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra -- I.C.E.
This one is not the typical Afrobeat (or Antibalas) song. It starts with a sedate trombone over a two-bar metallic percussion figure with alternating accents, is joined by electric bass, rimshots, and a pensive organ, and then by a horn section and electric guitar playing against the organ ... and then the song deconstructs itself into a kind of grand cinematic music that might play over some inexplicable revelation.
[Antibalas' official site: they're gonna code it like it's 1999]
[Antibalas concerts @]
[and from Well-Rounded Radio, some background about the group and an interview]

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The world needs more doggerel, doesn't it?

I know no Spanish but admire your enthusiasm for the semantics. We could do with more people like you in the world - and especially the UK where, it seems, the English language is being increasingly mangled by increasingly more natives. And those that dare to cry foul are looked upon with disdain.

Your commentary put me in mind of Jonathan Meades, a person clearly in love with both the English language and place, whose excellent new series started on BBC2 last night. Alone, worth the cost of the licence fee. Not sure of your base but you if you get the chance you should check him out.

Now I will listen to the music.

I haven't caught that Jonathan Meades program; my cable company doesn't carry it. You've piqued my interest in it, though.

In English there's a long-running battle among linguists between the descriptivist and prescriptivist camps. The situation's a bit different in Spanish (and French, among other languages) since there's an academy that declares linguistic rules and acceptable terms for new inventions.

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