8 tracks : : chévere!

A bunch of tracks, purchased during our four months in Venezuela, that served as a kind of background to our stay. As my Spanish improved, so did my enjoyment of the music I heard around me, which suddenly spoke to me out of the chaos of exotic-sounding words.

I made friends with a dapper old gentleman who owns a music shop near the local market, and he gave me a short, intense education in salsa music…which resulted in my now having almost everything ever published by Oscar D’Leon and Willie Colon! The Argentinian Giulia y Los Tellarini is kind of like a female version of Tom Waits, with her ruined, husky voice, and smoky songs of nostalgia and damnation.

N.B. I don’t particularly LIKE Francisco Montoya, but he is an absolute must, in order to capture the true feeling of the country. This type of music is called Musica de Los Llaneros (Music of The Rangers), and is their version of country western, here. All the male singers have high, goat-like voices, and bleat to the accompaniment of a harp (strummed and plucked like a guitar), a small guitar called a cuatro, and maracas. They play it in taxis, on buses, absolutely EVERYWHERE. And most popular of all of them was Montoya. There was no escape. A playlist of Venezuela wouldn’t be complete without him.

Taking a friend’s advice…

Thank you, Miri…I promise that I will never, ever die. ;)

hauntingly beautiful

it’s a wonderful life/happy mashup

Good for a chuckle, considering how over-played “Happy” has been, of late.

It’s a Wonderful Life/Happy mashup by Tough Poets Publishing (a.k.a Rick Schober) on youtube

saltwater daydreams

On a cold morning in Darwin, I’m dreaming of islands in the high tropics…

This gorgeous little film of Palawan From the Air by Scott Sporleder is the perfect way to start a daydreaming session. I lived here (El Nido, Palawan) for 7 years.

via Matador

Bartholomäus Traubeck’s “Years”…singing wood.

Doing the rounds on facebook is this Vimeo of a record player that “plays” the growth rings of a cross-cut tree trunk. Rather than have an actual needle grind and grate over the wood’s surface, Bartholomäus Traubeck’s turntable scans the grooves on the wood and translates them into piano notes. I love the heavy chords where the trunk is scarred, and the little trills where a crack splits the rings. Eerie and beautiful, the years of a dead tree told like a story or a song.

This gave me goosebumps.