Leci Brandão da Silva is a Brazilian singer and composer and one of the most important interpreters of MPB and samba. She is the daughter of Pérola Negra, one of the artists who pioneered in making the Brazilian pagode music popular throughout the land.
Something I’ve never done here on this site, I’m going to do now. I can’t get enough of singer/songwriter Maria Gadu’s music, so here she is again, with some more of her musical gems.
This was supposed to be a simple video with a translation of a few lines of the song included…but as you can see, it has grown! Thanks for the comments everyone! Quanta falta ela nos faz!
Here are some lyrics from the first Youtube clip below as well as a short explanation of the song’s name.
This steep street, what steep street is this?
This is the steep street of laziness
It is not recent
It is from since back when
One would tie down a dog with linguiça*
* – ‘se amarrava cachorro com linguiça’ figuratively means ‘the good ol’ days’
The song was written by Gilberto Gil, who is from Bahia. In the colonial days, the ‘ladeira da preguiça’ was a steep street the African slaves had to climb up while carrying large crates/sacks of goods on their backs. They were injustly called ‘lazy’ by the Portuguese settlers, thus the phrase ‘steep street of laziness’. It seems Gil wrote a regular song while creating a new meaning for the racist phrase.
“De acordo com a antropóloga, a ladeira da Preguiça, no centro de Salvador, é símbolo do preconceito. Nos tempos da escravidão, e também depois dela, quem reclamava da íngreme travessia, carregando nas costas as mercadorias desembarcadas no porto, eram os negros – “preguiçosos” na visão desdenhosa dos brancos que, das janelas de seus sobrados, gritavam: “Sobe, preguiça!”.” – Fonte
Ladeira da Preguiça
As a bonus, here she is again…twice!
20 Anos Blues
Se Eu Quiser Falar Com Deus (obrigado pela recomendação, muito boa!)
Dorival Caymmi, considered to be one of the most important songwriters in Brazilian popular music, died today of cancer at his home in Rio de Janeiro.
Here’s the story. I’ll do a post on his music in the next few days.
Línox is a 34-year-old Brazilian artist living in Rio de Janeiro who just launched his sophmore solo project named Positivo. A talented musician, he’s been playing the drums since he was 12 and writing songs since he was 22. His talents don’t stop there, Línox is also a producer and the owner of his own label Fibra Records, although he prefers to simply be a man well-connected to words and ideas. He took part in various musical projects along with other partners and eventually making his solo project out of his signature poetry and lyrics. A peaceful guy and a yoga enthusiast, he still takes time to be involved in social causes, such as the Movimento pela Gentileza (Movement for Kindness). Línox tries to incorporate some of this vibe onto his album Positivo, allowing a purely Brazilian state of mind to shine through in such a globalized world. In a simple musical language, influenced by Brazilian Popular Music (MPB), Rock and Reggae among other genres, Línox gets his message across while leaving in the mind of the listener, the sweet flavor of his music.
Here’s one of his hits, Stop Stress.
In conjunction with the series on Singers that Died Before their Time (or my acronym SDBT), I’m going to continue this time with a piece on Elis Regina.
Elis Regina Carvalho Costa, known simply as Elis Regina (March 17, 1945 – January 19, 1982) was a singer ofBrazilian popular music who achieved great success and recognition during her lifetime. She remains one of the most popular and beloved stars in Brazil.
Elis Regina was born in Porto Alegre, where she began her career as singer at age 11 on a children’s radio show, calledO Clube Do Guri on Rádio Farroupilha (most likely named after the Farroupilha Revolution). In 1959, she was contracted by Rádio Gaúcha and in the next year she travelled to Rio de Janeiro where she recorded her first LP, Viva a Brotolândia.
She won her first festival song contest in 1965 singing Arrastão (The Trawling Net) by Edu Lobo and Vinícius de Moraes, which, when released as a single, made her the biggest selling Brazilian recording artist since Carmen Miranda. The second LP with Jair Rodrigues, Dois na Bossa, set a national sales record and first LP to achieve over one million copies. Arrastão by Elis also launched her career for a national audience since that festival was broadcasted via TV and radio. As for the history of Brazilian music it represented the beginning of a new music style that would be known as MPB (Música Popular Brasileira or Brazilian Popular Music), distinguished from the previous bossa nova.
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Elis Regina helped to popularize the work of the tropicalia movement, recording songs by musicians such as Gilberto Gil. Her 1974 collaboration with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis & Tom, is often cited as one of the greatest bossa nova albums of all time, which also includes what many consider the all-time best Brazilian song, “Águas de Março”. She also recorded songs by Milton Nascimento, João Bosco, Aldir Blanc, Chico Buarque, Jorge Ben, Baden Powell, Caetano Veloso and Rita Lee. She possessed an exciting voice and superb intonation, and excelled at up-tempo numbers and ballads under the banner of MPB. Her nicknames were “furacão” (“hurricane”) and “pimentinha” (“little pepper”).
She sometimes criticized the Brazilian dictatorship which had persecuted and exiled many musicians of her generation. In a 1969 interview in Europe, she said that Brazil was being run by “gorillas”. Her popularity kept her out of jail, but she was eventually compelled by the authorities to sing the Brazilian national anthem in a stadium show, drawing the ire of many Brazilian Leftists. She was later forgiven because they understood that, as a mother and daughter, she had to protect her family from the dictatorship at any cost. Along with many other artists, Elis was living each verse of Geraldo Vandre’s political hymn: Yet they make of a flower their strongest refrain, And believe flowers to defeat guns.
Her rendition of Jobim/Vinicius’ song “Por Toda A Minha Vida” appeared on the soundtrack to the 2002 movie Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her) directed by Pedro Almodóvar and her song “Roda” appeared on the soundtrack to the 2005 movie Be Cool.
When Elis Regina succumbed to an accidental alcohol-temazepam overdose in 1982, at the age of 36, she had recorded dozens of top-selling records in her career. Her death swept the country in mourning. Elis Regina has sold over 80 million albums.
I highly recommend getting your hands on her dvd show Programa Ensaio Elis Regina (released in 2004), originally shown on TV Cultura-SP in 1973. It contains many of her songs and an interview (in Portuguese). Also her daughter has achieved musical success in Brazil, whose musical name is Maria Rita.
Mariana Aydar is one of Brazil’s many new divas on the rise. She grew up in a musical family, always backstage, sleeping in dressing rooms and accompanying composers and singers to the studio. After studying music in Brazil and in Boston, she spent a year in Paris where she met Seu Jorge (see Brasis the Song), who had her as the opening act on his European tour. She has sung beside many famous singers, including Seu Jorge, Elba Ramalho, Dominguinhos, Arnaldo Antunes, Toni Garrido, Samuel Rosa, Daniela Mercury, Céu, and João Donato, among others.
Her 1st CD, Kativa 1, came out in 2006. Deixa O Verão (below) is a single from that disc.
Save the Summer
While I was escaping, you invented
Any apology for us to stay
And just like that, we didn’t leave
This sofa is just great
Save the Summer for later
Música Popular Brasileira, or MPB, literally “Brazilian Popular Music”, designates a trend in post-Bossa Nova urban popular music. It is not a discrete genre but rather a constellation that combines original songwriting and updated versions of traditional Brazilian urban music styles like samba and samba-canção with contemporary influences, from folk to rock and pop. Signifying much more than the sum of the three words would indicate, “MPB” is a contemporary trend that has brought the world many renowned Brazilian artists. The term can mean either any kind of music with Brazilian origins or a voice and guitar style that arose in the late 1960’s.
MPB, loosely understood as a “style”, debuted in the mid-1960s, with the acronym being applied to types of non-electric music that emerged following the advent, ascension and evolution of bossa nova. MPB artists and audiences were largely connected to the intellectual and student population, causing later MPB to be known as “university music” c. 1970.
As much as bossa nova, MPB was born out of an attempt to produce a Brazilian “national” music, thus revitalizing traditional styles. MPB made a considerable impact at that time, boosted by several televised music festivals, where the acronym was popularized. The beginning of MPB is often associated with Elis Regina´s interpretation of the mysterious Arrastão (mass assault on people or as a style of fishing), by Vinícius de Moraes and Edu Lobo. In 1965, one month after celebrating her 20th birthday, Elis appeared on the nationally broadcasted Festival de Música Popular Brasileira interpretating this song which won the first prize Gold Medal and Elis won the singing prize. Elis recorded Arrastão which became the biggest selling single in Brazilian music history at that time and she became the number one singer, literally overnight. These events officially thrusted MPB as a form before the Brazilian national audience and it was accepted by the public and elaborated on by many artists that followed the trend over the years.
This video, taken from a Brazilian soap about the 1960’s, shows Arrastão being sung at the 1:30 mark.
The earliest MPB borrowed elements of the bossa nova and often relied on thinly-veiled criticism of social injustice and governmental repression, being based on progressive opposition to the political scene characterized by military dictatorship, concentration of land ownership, and imperialism. A variation within MPB was the short-lived but influential artistic movement known as tropicália or tropicalísmo.
The conjuncture that created the MPB movement ceased to exist after 1969, but the acronym has survived, albeit with a less specific meaning. Transforming from a left-wing musical movement, MPB became the core of Brazil’s urban middle-class music, and the term still indicates a certain aesthetic quality in modern Brazilian music.
There’s a golden voice dawning on the Brazilian horizon…and it belongs to beautiful newcomer Roberta Sá! Her songs bring to light a new Bossa Nova, a spice to the Samba and a renewed & refreshed definition to MPB – Música Popular Brasileira (Brazilian pop music). Her voice, which resembles the instruments she sings over on her songs, sweetens the air and the atmosphere where ever she plays.
Her discs ‘Braseiro’ and ‘Que Belo Estranho Dia Pra Se Ter Alegria’ come with the highest of recommendations. She’s def. a force to be reckoned with.
Watch her here as she sings during an interview on the show Sem Censura.