Here’s two songs off the newest Brazilian Beatz Podcast (Facebook page), an upbeat one called “No Balanço da Canoa” by Maga Bo and the other, already famous and a little more mellow, called Oração by A Banda Mais Bonita da Cidade.
“In the far northeast of Brazil, midway between the touristic haven of Fortaleza and the Amazon gateway of Belem, lies the ragged coastal city of São Luís do Maranhão. Long hailed as the ‘Reggae Capital of Brazil’, and known locally as the ‘Brazilian Jamaica’, São Luís has enjoyed a thriving reggae scene for decades, but the scene is as atypical as its setting, not unlike a tropical version of a British ‘northern soul’ town, except with obscure Jamaican roots and British lovers rock being the driving elements that power intense loyalty. In a rough city that has a ‘wild west’ feel, with dwindling infrastructure, alleged governmental corruption, and shadowy elements at play, reggae is a common denominator that cuts across every boundary in one of Brazil’s poorest and most ethnically diverse locations. São Luís is the kind of place you could not dream up if you tried, and the reggae anti-paradise at the core of its being simply must be experienced to be believed.” – Source (more here)
A sambista, born in the Piedade suburb of Rio, Argemiro was a member of the famous Velha Guarda da Portela, and in all his life he only launched a single album (below) of his own music, at 80 years old. He’s also responsible for the early 80’s hit, A Chuva Cai.
Bonus: Full Album (w/o the Solidão song)
I heard this on DJ Vivo’s podcast “Mr Bongo Brazilian Favorites” and it’s just a lovely song, to be played loudly (btw, it’s most known as the chorus of a Marcelo D2 song). The song was co-written by Ivan Lins and is part of a 1973 disc (PT) of the same name. And here’s a bonus track from that disc, Pois é, Seu Zé.
I was reading a Brazilian newspaper the other day when I noticed a new phrase used in the comments section of an article. The phrase was “ter paciência de Jó” (to have the patience of Job, which apparently is a phrase in English, too) and it means to have a lot of patience. The origin of the phrase is in the Bible (James 5.11) and refers to Job’s refusal to condemn God in the face of losing his family and livestock. It is said that obtaining patience is the hardest, yet most rewarding, of the seven heavenly virtues, thus why having the patience of Job means having it in good measure.
For those in need of patience (or a relaxing tune), I thought I’d share one of Lenine’s songs called “Paciência”, with the translated lyrics below. Before starting, I thought it important to mention the meaning of two phrases. One is “faço hora” (from “fazer hora”, which is an informal way to say “to delay“). The other is “vou na valsa“. This comes from the phrase “vai-da-valsa” which basically means “to live it up” while “ir no vai-da-valsa” means to let things happen as they may. Here’s an example of the phrase, “Jack Nicholson no filme The Bucket List, vive na base do vai-da-valsa.” (Jack Nicholson in the film The Bucket List lives life based on the spur of the moment). I wouldn’t say it is a common phrase but I go by the motto that all phrases learned are good phrases. On to the song!
Mesmo quando tudo pede
Um pouco mais de calma
Até quando o corpo pede
Um pouco mais de alma
A vida não para…
Even when everything requires
a little more calmness
Even when the body requires
a little more soul
Life doesn’t stop…
Enquanto o tempo
Acelera e pede pressa
Eu me recuso faço hora*
Vou na valsa*
A vida é tão rara…
goes faster and asks us to rush
I refuse I delay
I take things as they come
Life is so rare…
Enquanto todo mundo
Espera a cura do mal
E a loucura finge
Que isso tudo é normal
Eu finjo ter paciência…
waits for a cure for everything bad
And craziness pretends
that all of this is normal
I pretend to have patience…
O mundo vai girando
Cada vez mais veloz
A gente espera do mundo
E o mundo espera de nós
Um pouco mais de paciência…
The world keeps spinning
going slower and slower
We hope from the world
and the world hopes from us
for a little more patience…
Será que é tempo
Que lhe falta pra perceber ?
Será que temos esse tempo
E quem quer saber ?
A vida é tão rara
Is it that time
is too short to perceive?
Do we have this time
And who wants to know?
Life is so rare
This great little documentary was made in 2008 by Adriana Caitano and Galton Sé, journalism graduates from the University of Brasília. The film shows the pé-de-serra movement, composed principally of young people from southcentral Brazil who idolize the more traditional forró, disseminated by Luiz Gonzaga in the 50s, and based on the accordian-triangle-bass drum formation. These forró lovers research the musical style, listen to vinyls and get together several times a year in festivals where forró is played 24 hours per day. In the film, three such festivals are shown: Rootstock (SP), RioRoots (RJ) and Festival Nacional de Forró de Itaúnas (ES).
(There are English subtitles but you may have to activate them by clicking the video’s ‘caption’ button on the Youtube site.)
They are young, rich, famous, wear jewelry and designer clothes and buy imported cars and supped-up motorcycles. And believe it or not, they don’t play football. The rise of ‘light’ funk on the charts is creating a generation of MCs and dancers who, often, earn their first R$1 million before they come of age.
In line with pancadão which makes the middle class ‘hit the floor’, a wave of new artists fill their piggy banks at a speed that few professions allow. And that money allows them a new level of consumption.
For starters, the fee begins at R$1,000. Not bad for those who do up to 15 shows in a single weekend. From there, the progression is geometric. If the song, as well as making the rounds on social networks, plays on the radio, the fee jumps to R$10,000. And when they’re on top, as what happened with the singer Naldo, a single performance can yield R$250,000.
Weddings and debutante balls on the schedule
Doing shows is not the only source of income for funkeiros, who have busy schedules of performances at weddings, debutante balls and agricultural fairs, earning paychecks starting at R$5,000/show. Arriving at ‘Olympus’, however, does not mean abandoning their roots. Money to live at more sophisticated addresses is not lacking, but an MC on the rise will rarely give up their community. Nego do Borel, for example, already has an imported fancy car, but he still lives in the favela. His family home, though, has been renovated.
Viviane Queiroz, 18, MC Pocahontas, is building her mother a duplex with a pool in Campos Elíseos, in Caxias, where she was born and raised. An exponent of funk ostentation, she is able to spend R$10,000 at handbag stores. Before diving into consumerism, however, she had one concern:
– Three months after becoming an MC, I told my mother that she would no longer need to work as a maid because I was going to support her. I want to give her the best.
The mother, Marinês de Queiroz, 48, is proud to have faced criticism when allowing her daughter, then a minor, to become a funkeira:
– I was right when I let her follow her dream.
Brunninha, the Princess of Funk, has a different story. A young woman, aged 19, she lives with her mother and two brothers in Tomás Coelho. The fame has not changed where she lives, but it has altered, and by lots, the quality of family life thanks to the shows.
– My family comes first – she says.
In the case of MC Jean, 19, from Rocinha, helping his mother is also a priority. However, with an eye on a more solid future career, he invested part of his paychecks in artistic training. Jean is an exception because he didn’t quit school, like many young people:
– I take voice and guitar lessons. After high school, I think about college.
– Source (PT)
Bonus: Luê Soares (from Belém do Pará)