Thursday, May 17, 2007:

looking for logic in the chambers of the human heart

Randy Hobbs -- Slowly But Surely
Roosevelt Sykes -- Yes Lawd
Funkadelic -- Maggot Brain [alt mix]
He was alone in the lobby of his hotel in Isla Mujeres, watching Hitchcock's La Ventana Indiscreta and misreading Jeffries' misgivings for disregard, zoning out looking through Lisa's face to the blue and red and green rectangles. Jorge banged on the glass by the door, smiling sleepily, holding his left crutch, his right crutch leaned against his side.
"Jorge," he said. "¿Qué pasa?"
"Nada, man."
"¿Qué tal?"
"Bien, ¿y tú?"
"Bien bien." Jorge lifted himself in off the sidewalk. "What you doing?"
"Nothing. Nothing. Just watching this movie."
"Yeah?" He came around the TV to took a look. "Válgame Dios."
"Yeah." Jorge turned and hopped backwards twice, then sat down and rested his crutches beside him.
They sat there staring at the screen, red and green and blue rectangles brightening and fading away, brightening and fading away: in the commercials, in the break-in, in the theft, in the climax, in the credits.
"Buena película," Jorge said, halfway through an infomercial.
"You flying, man?"
"No, I don't smoke. You?"
"I am ... so flying, man."
"That's cool."
"Shoooooo," Jorge said. "So flying."
Flashes of light, electrons hitting the screen, red-blue-green.
"Do you smoke?" Jorge said.
"No, I don't smoke." I'm staring at a light source, Nick thought. It's furniture and it's a light source and people stare at it. And I do too.
"No smoke?"
"No, gracias."
"So flying."
"Hm...." The tick of the clock on the wall. Somewhere down the street, far off, someone telling Carlos he didn't know anything, ni una putísima cosa, coño. Cars coming by, whoosh.
"Shoo," Jorge said.
"Buena onda, tú."
"Sí. ¿No fumas?"
"No, no fumo. Let's go."
"Where? To where we go?"
"I want a beer."
"Cerveza. Lager. Dos Equis. Vámanos."
"Muy bien. Buena onda," he said, pushing himself off the sofa and grabbing his crutches. "¿Listo?"
"Claro. Ko'ox."
"Ko'ox," he said, laughing. "¡Vámonos!"

"Buena película," Jorge said in the bar.
"Muy buena." He knocked back the last of the beer and sat staring at the table: mahogany under a dark varnish, the reflection of the ceiling fan broken by the ring from the bottle, the bottle now cool and slick in his hand as he spun it around and stopped it, spun it again.
"Buena película."
The breeze wafted in from the beach carrying that unmistakable saltwater smell, waves pounding the surf, people chatting a few doors down, Jorge and Nick and the mesero alone in the bar.
"Aren't you hungry?"
"¿No tienes hambre?"
"Mucha hambre."
"Well, order something then."
"¿No vas a pedir?"
"¡Camarero!" Jorge said. The waiter came over to take their order. He was wearing stiff leather shoes with faded blue jeans and a tan guayabera. "Dos tamales," Jorge said, and something else Nick didn't catch. The guayabera never caught on stateside, did it? he thought. There was a couple outside, looking in, speaking softly in a Scottish accent. Of course, kilts didn't either.
"¿Algo más?" the waiter said.
"Otra cerveza," Nick said.
"Dos más," Jorge said.
The waiter nodded and left. Nick spun the bottle, let it go, stopped it. Jorge contemplated the table. Nick looked out at the street. The couple had left.
"What are we doing here?" he said.
"No, in general."
"Por lo general."
"No, la gente por lo general."
"Eating, too. Sometimes eating."
"No," Nick said.
"Buena onda," Jorge said.
"¿Qué hacemos aquí? ¿Cómo gente?"
"Vinimos a beber."
He sighed. A beer opened behind him, then another. The door in the counter opened, swung back and forth, came to a stop. The waiter set down a plate of chips, a dish of guacamole, and two more beers.
[Midnite Blues Party @ amazon, and @ emusic]
[The Honeydripper @ amazon, or @ emusic]
[Maggot Brain @ amazon, or @ emusic]

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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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