Category Archives: Almendra

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: AZ— VOLUME 1

Hello all,

Welcome to the first post of what is set to be quite a long form MixTape. With a whole other slew of priorities and projects currently occupying both my plate and back-burner, here is my solution to keep this blog going steady and fun for the moment. This is something I see as a perfect medley of autopilot and challenge. I am creating this AZ series of mixtapes by selecting one song to represent each artist’s work up on my CD shelf. Yes, that is from an actual physical CD–as for now I won’t attempt to tackle the 10,000-plus “items” stored up digitally on my computers.

Taking this on from A and continuing through the entirety of the alphabet until I touch down upon Z, this certainly provides direction and a forward momentum of its own. However, the challenge lies in selection and finding a flow to thread it all together. In a pursuit for clarity I am going to skip all the various compilations, soundtracks, tribute albums, genre box-sets, and the like that I own on CD. Perhaps I’ll create one for just those someday.

In addition, I plan on pairing each song with a line or two of quick poetic impression. Utilizing each track as a mandala—a target for focus—or perhaps as a prism to refract thought, I think of this aspect of the AZ project as a Solitaire variation on the Surrealists’ game of Exquisite Corpse. Once all that is completed my intention is to present them stitched and somewhat refined in structure at the bottom of the post. Hopefully in the end I’ll have a few good poems to show, but even that concept of “good” doesn’t seem all that important for this project. A psychic investigation and a form of exercise to keep my imagination limber and help the creative juices to continue to flow: sure this may all be a bit self-indulgent, but hell, what isn’t in this world?

Now I know that these scribbles may only serve to distance the listener from the core of these artists’ work, as opposed to hinting at a new lens to view them; so I invite you all to create your own and if you like feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Although every song found on these might not be what I normally would present on a mix, or even be something I’d typically recommend, I’m positive the results will at least be more interesting than a standard music block on your radio. I must admit that in the case of some of this music I might not have listened to it in over two decades, and I’m sure that there will be a few I’ve actually never listened to more than once if at all. However, I must say, I’m pretty pleased with how this first one came out.

So click below to commence what is sure to be a long, long, long and bumpy ride.

…and as always,

–ENJOY YOURSELF–

AZ-- Volume 1

————-(CLICK TO LISTEN & DOWNLOAD)———————-

AZ VOLUME 1

S.O.S. – ABBA (from The Millennium Collection)

Between The Bridge And The Chapel – The Actual (from In Stitches)

Nobody Girl – Ryan Adams (from Gold)

What It Takes – Aerosmith (from Pump)

When We Two Parted – The Afghan Whigs (from Gentlemen)

Five Star Life – Damon Albarn (from Democrazy)

Over Now – Alice In Chains (from Alice In Chains [Tripod])

Tricky Dick – Ben Allison (from Cowboy Justice)

Little Martha – The Allman Brothers Band (from Eat A Peach)

Color Humano – Almendra (from Almendra 1)

Do Fa Self – Apache (from Apache Ain’t Shit)

Slowly/Slowly (dub) – Aphrodesia (from Shackrobeat Vol. 1)

On The Bound – Fiona Apple (from When The Pawn…)

Talk To Her – India.Arie (from Voyage To India)

A——————————————————  — —     — ————- ———Z

O how the desperate learn to dance upon the decks by any means.

S.O.S. ABBA (from The Millennium Collection)

—————————————— — – –              —         —–   ——————–

The four-cornered barb is cast out with the twine unwound into the grit of young love.

Between The Bridge And The ChapelThe Actual (from In Stitches)

————————   —————  —  ————————                      —               —

some-come—some-go—some-come again—

some are forced to live forever

sealed-over under

the masks of Thalia and Melpomene.

Nobody GirlRyan Adams (from Gold)

———————————-      —- –     –     –       ————–   –     —-  ————-    –   —

Back then you could kick and feel

often

enough

but now all that’s been hammered so thin…like fine iron.

What It TakesAerosmith (from Pump)

———-   – ———————–  —  –       ——-  ——   –  –   —-  ——    ——    –   —      –

So we slip on in our robust costumes and roll forward; stumble from stoop to doorstep to pillow, but we don’t stop.

—Stop!

—Sleep!

When We Two PartedThe Afghan Whigs (from Gentlemen)

————-          –      ———————- — – –     —     —    –     —–   ——–  —   –  ———  –

Here we are in America, where the brittle are given some fluids to shine,

—nail polish and dentures—

and if they’re lucky, for a rare majority, their very own television show.

Five Star LifeDamon Albarn (from Democrazy)

– –    —     ————————  — — –    —————– —        –   –   –  –   –    ———————————— ———-

The seep and chime from pipes of lead, the stabbed then dead, the sop of thin blood,

—Stop!

—Sleep!

Over NowAlice In Chains (from Alice In Chains [Tripod])

———— —-    —————— ——     –   – – – ——        –        ———————   ———- —

Hormones may roil about us,

but I’ll make you love me one day on this boat from which we paddle.

Tricky Dick Ben Allison (from Cowboy Justice)

———–  – —       –        ———–    —-    –         – ————- —    – – ———    — –

We get clean, we get well, some-come-heaven—some-go-hell—

Little Martha The Allman Brothers Band (from Eat A Peach)

——————-   —   ——————————  —-       –      —     ———————-     —       ————————  –

The far river shore is boiled down to serve as a window of stained glass, through which we may peer out at the near river shore.

Color HumanoAlmendra (from Almendra 1)

——————————- —- ———-    —-          ————————- – –        ——- – –    —–

It’s all a juggle

of tinfoil balls that bounce, and hubris, and hurt…

Do Fa Self Apache (from Apache Ain’t Shit)

–          —             —            —        —   –        —- ——-      ———–  —     —    —    – –     ———  –

—slowly, slowly, slowly we bloom— slow we come towards the honest blossoms of orgasm.

Slowly/Slowly (dub)Aphrodesia (from Shackrobeat Vol. 1)

— – —————- —  — – – – – – – – – —————–     ———- — – – – — – ———————   –

We hunger for patterns on which we may spit the weight and fret of all our coils.

On The BoundFiona Apple (from When The Pawn…)

—- —- —  — —–   —– ——— ———- — – — ——-       —     ———- ————  —– — – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – –    —

…and spill and coil and spill and coil and spill and coil…and spill…and coil…and speak

Truth

with soil on our tongues…

…say so slowly…

Talk To HerIndia.Arie (from Voyage To India)

————— – ——————- —     —————- — — ————–  — ———

AR (Are We Still Swimming?)

O how the desperate learn to dance upon the decks by any means:

The four-cornered barb is cast out with the twine unwound into the grit of young love.

some-come—some-go—some-come again—

some are forced to live forever

sealed-over under

the masks of Thalia and Melpomene.

Back then you could kick and feel

often

enough

but now all that’s been hammered so thin…like fine iron.

So we slip on in our robust costumes and roll forward; stumble from stoop to doorstep to

pillow, but we don’t stop.

—Stop!

—Sleep!

Here we are in America, where the brittle are given some fluids to shine,

—nail polish and dentures—

and if they’re lucky, for a rare majority, their very own television show.

The seep and chime from pipes of lead, the stabbed, then dead, the sop of thin blood,

—Stop!

—Sleep!

Hormones may roil about us,

but I’ll make you love me one day on this boat from which we paddle.

We get clean, we get well, some-come-heaven—some-go-hell—

The far river shore is boiled down to serve as a window of stained glass,

through which we

may peer out at the near river shore.

It’s all a juggle

of tinfoil balls that bounce, and hubris, and hurt…

—slowly, slowly, slowly we bloom— slow we come towards the honest blossoms

of orgasm.

We hunger for patterns on which we may spit the weight and fret of all our coils…

…and spill and coil and spill and coil and spill and coil…and spill…and coil…and speak

Truth

with soil on our tongues…

                                   …say so slowly…

————————————    ————

———All the best to you and yours,

——————————Bobby Calero——————— — —

Advertisements

THE SERPENT TRAVELS ACROSS THE SALT: LUIS ALBERTO SPINETTA, R.I.P.

Luis Alberto Spinetta (January 23, 1950–February 8, 2012)

Today, I interrupt my regularly scheduled post to note the passing of South American rock pioneer Luis Alberto “El Flaco” Spinetta. Spinnetta, aged 62, died on February 8 from lung cancer. Spinetta’s musical career began in 1967 with the fantastic band, Almendra, which was formed in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Featuring Edelmiro Molinari on guitar, Emilio Del Guercio on bass, Rodolfo García on drums, and Spinetta–as one of the group’s principal songwriters–on guitar and vocals, Almendra helped revolutionize the way local rock music was both perceived and created.

After Almendra dissolved, Spinetta returned from traveling Europe to form a new group—Pescado Rabioso (Rabid Fish)—featuring Black Amaya on drums, and Osvaldo Bocón Frascino on bass.

Pescado Rabioso could be considered more aggressive (as well as progressive) than Spinetta’s earlier music, at least in terms of its socio-political voice, as well as its poetic one; particularly so, at a time when South America was being pressed beneath the boot heels of military dictatorships (typically backed by the C.I.A.). Pescado Rabioso’s 1972 debut, Desatormentándonos (from which today’s song comes) was released with the following poetic text written by Spinetta on the inner sleeve (I’ve attempted to do the translation myself, so it might read a bit more clunky than originally intended):

The people are the magic star.

All we see resembles the river.

Worms of the emperors tremble

in apocalyptic feast.

They have no time to resort to arms.

The star cast them all in an infinite plane.

The hair of the torturers bleeds into my car.

We: desatormentándonos forever.

And with a postscript, which reads:

PS: I love you Beatles.

            After Pescado Rabioso split up, Spinetta continued recording up until the present day with various bands, as well as solo projects, having a musical career that has spanned nearly 5 decades. he died in his home, surrounded by his children Dante, Valentino, Catarina and Vera (BBC, 2012).

From Desatormentándonos, and featuring some sinuous Hammond organ playing by guest Elvio Lado, here’s Pescado Rabioso’s psychedelic epic: “Serpiente (viaja por la sal).”

————————(CLICK TO LISTEN)

Like it? Buy it.

Below are the lyrics, translated by my father, Julio, who is the primary reason I know anything about this music.

The Serpent (travels across the salt)

In the light of the warm day

The serpent travels across the salt

No one demands that she leave

The serpent travels on and on

And in the new day

Timeless lips…

Clouds arrive

Bearing messages…

And doors, doors, doors

Day of lilacs…

You’ll speak

The serpent across the salt

No one demands that she leave

The serpent travels

And in the new day

Of dusk

Clouds will arrive

Bearing messages

In the clear water of the sun

All mourn

Goodness gone

In the body

Some will see

That the serpent travels

Across the salt

And dusk travels

Travels like time

And clouds will come

Bearing messages

——————————————————————————-

If you’d like to hear more of Spinetta’s music you should check out the excellent playlist created by Academy Records for East Village Radio and here’s a link to a list of the songs they played.

And I’ll see you all back here real soon for (finally) my conclusion to “The Narcotic Wreck Quintet.”

Luis Alberto Spinetta (January 23, 1950–February 8, 2012) R.I.P.

————————-Bobby Calero

Ref:

BBC. (2012, February 9). Argentine rock musician Luis Alberto Spinetta dies. BBC. Retrieved February 17 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-16959657

Spinetta, L.A. (1972) Serpiente (viaja por la sal) (recorded by Pescado Rabioso) On Desatormentandonos [CD] Microfon. (1972). Sony Bmg Europe. (2003)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,