1977 Cotillion Records SD 9918
Free And Happy 5:20
I Believe In Music 6:46
Being Here 6:20
We Love You 0:40
Keep My Heart Together 3:58
Cosmic Lust 5:53
People Get Up 5:43
Bass – Kevin Douglas
Drums – Ricardo Williams
Keyboards – Tyrone Williams
Lead Guitar – Rodney Phelps
Lead Vocals – Larry Marshall , Tiny Kelly
Percussion – Emanual Redding
Rhythm Guitar – Coy Bryant
Saxophone – Gregory McCoy
Trumpet – Otis Drumgole
Producer – Ed A. Ellerbe
Engineer – Dave Whitman, Michael Frondelli
Design [Logo] – Gerard Huerta
Mastered By – Dennis King
Photography By – Anthony Loew
Art Direction – Abie Sussman
Produced for Pepper Productions
Recorded & mixed at Electric Lady Studios, New York
Mastered at Atlantic Studios, New York, N.Y.
Manufactured by Atlantic Recording Corporation
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
I know I am badly overdue for some Brazilian posts, but I feel a responsibility to write stuff and give half-informed commentary on those, and I’ve been just barely treading water in real life and unable to give the kind of TLC that the blog deserves. So I’m opting to post one or two things that are just good fun while I catch up on work. I don’t know why I’m worried about making sloppy half-assed posts of Brazilian music, since the Olympic committee doesn’t seem too stressed about things like preparing rooms for the athletes or non-toxic shit-free water, but let’s not get off track here. Except that I will take the opportunity to say, if any Olympians are reading this, I have a friend with a kitchenette to rent out in Rio, right in the Copa a few blocks from the train. He’s a really great guy. Gymnists are preferred, not because of any fetish or anything, but because y’all are small and he can fit more of you in there. Just call +55 21 2224-4607 and ask for Eduardo.
Now on to this record from this ten-piece band from Virginia. Any “disco sucks” people who stumbled on this blog can just click through this and move on, unless of course you are willing to open your mind and trust me that this record will neither turn you gay nor black (the root fear of most disco-phobia). Mass Production was also a solid funk and soul outfit but they had their own approach to rescuing dance music from the blahs, and that was to show ’em how it’s really done. A couple of these cuts are unarguably disco, and they jam so much you’ll want to call them Smuckers. I don’t know if maybe its the difference between a band playing a disco groove, and a bunch of session musicians assembled by a producer, but I like it. On this record Mass Production reminds me of Gary Tom’s Empire on the upbeat cuts and maybe Frankie Beverly & Maze on the mid-tempo material (their Firecracker-era stuff often gets compared to Brass Construction). Singer Tiny Kelly adds a nice touch, especially to “Being There”, salvaging a schmaltzy ballad with genuine feeling (“long as you’re here/nothing matters” is wonderfully succinct). She’s no Minnie Ripperton, and tends to go off pitch when reaching for some of the high notes, but in this age of Auto-tuned everything, this imperfection is actually kind of refreshing. Note: I’m referring to the original use of the Auto-tune plug-in, and not the modulated effect that sounds like a malfunctioning Vocoder that was on every modern R&B song for a while. The actual purpose of Auto-tune was to correct the pitch of vocalists in the studio, to greater or lesser degrees depending on their skill and on just how sterile and slick a production was desired. I’m only some anonymous voice on a blog, but to my ears, when literally everything sounds “perfect” all the time, I find myself profoundly bored in about two minutes flat. So, bring on the slightly sharp or flat high notes, Tiny Kelly, and remind me that you are all living and breathing humans making these glorious sounds. I can handle it.
Most people are going to gravitate to the rump shakers on the disc, though. I am pretty sure the first track, Free and Happy, was the inspiration for one of Weird Al Yankovic’s early pastiche singles, Gotta Boogie. The secret weapon of this album is the instrumental cut called “Cosmic Lust,” which nowadays sounds like it could be a brand of synthetic cannabis (melon-flavored and with aphrodisiac properties), but in 1977 was actually a hit single off this record and huge club favorite. Love these warbly analog synths from the space age, and the saxophone solo by Gregory McCoy (who wrote the song) is nice too.
Mass Production’s first album was in 1976, but the idea for the band was actually hatched during some house parties thrown by Frankfurt school theorists Max Horkheimer (d.1973) and Theodore Adorno (d.1969). The two were renowned for throwing wild get-togethers involving Hollywood celebrities, music luminaries, piles of cocaine, and stag films on 8mm. Reportedly after hearing Eddie Kendrick’s 1973 solo album, Horkheimer confessed from his death bed that one of his main regrets in life was that he was about to miss one of the crowning achievements of human creativity, the efflorescence of disco funk. Entrepreneur and producer Ed A. Ellerbe, a regular attendee of the Frankfurt exiles’ bacchanals, assembled the group Mass Production in his honor.
Funkadelic – America Eats Its Young
Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | FLAC and mp3 | LP Artwork (sans gatefold)
Funk/Rock| 1972 | Westbound/ 4 Men With Beards ~ 4M179 ~ 2010 180-gram reissue
A1 You Hit The Nail On The Head
A2 If You Don’t Like The Effects, Don’t Produce The Cause
A3 Everybody Is Going To Make It This Time
B1 A Joyful Process
B2 We Hurt Too
B3 Loose Booty
C2 America Eats Its Young
C3 Biological Speculation
C4 That Was My Girl
D2 Miss Lucifer’s Love
D3 Wake Up
Distributed By – Janus Records (original release)
Produced For – Westbound Records (original release)
Recorded At – Manta Sound
RCA Studios, Toronto
Toronto Sound Studios
Artie Fields Studios
Mastercraft Recording Corp.
Pressed By – Mastercraft (original release)
String and horn arrangements – Bernard Worrell (tracks: B1, D2 to D3)
String and pedal steel guitar arrangements – David Van De Pitte (tracks: A2 to A3 , B2, C2 to C3)
Produced, arranged, cover concept by– George Clinton
Vocals arranged by Bernard Worrell
Bass – William Collins, Cordell Mosson, Prakash John
Cello – Peter Schenkman (2), Ronald Laurie
Guitar – Eddie Hazel, Garry Shider, Harold Beane, Phelps Collins
Steel guitar – Ollie Strong
Juice Harps – James Wesley Jackson
Keyboards, Melodica – Bernard Worrell
Percussion – Frank Waddy, Tiki Fulwood, Tyrone Lampkin, Zachary Frazier
Alto Saxophone – Randy Wallace
Tenor Saxophone – Robert McCullough
Trumpet – Al Stanwyck, Arnie Chycoski, Bruce Cassidy, Clayton Gunnells, Ronnie Greenway
Viola – Stanley Solomon, Walter Babiuk
Violin – Albert Pratz, Bill Richards, Joe Sera, Victoria Polley
Vocals – William Collins, Clayton Gunnells, Diane Brooks, Ed Hazel, Frank Waddy, Garry Shider, Harold Beane, Phelps Collins, Prakash John, Randy Wallace, Ronnie Greenway, Steve Kennedy
Vocals [Uncredited] – Calvin Simon, Fuzzy Haskins, George Clinton, Grady Thomas, Ray Davis
Written-By – B. Worrell (tracks: A1, A3 to B1, C2, D3), G. Clinton (tracks: A1 to B3, C1 to D3)
Artwork [Cover] – Paul Weldon
Artwork [Poster] – Cathy Abel
Concept By [Cover] – Ron Scribner
Coordinator [Album] – Mia Krinsky
Engineer – Lee De Carlo
Engineer [Assistant] – Rick Capreol
Supervised By [Producer] – Bob Scerbo
A PARLIAFUNKADELICMENT THANG
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair, manually auditioned, and individually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
America is on a bad trip, y’all. The Empire is crumbling and in flames. And I’d say that’s mostly a good thing. Sure it’s depressing and scary. Don’t worry though, Funkadelic is here to help you pull through another day in the 240-year-old genocidal nightmare of white supremacy and capitalist greed. Just don’t expect to feel much better when the record is done playing, though.
This one probably should have come with a warning label on it in 1972, cautioning listeners to only mix it with mind-expanding substances under supervision of a professional. Sure there were a lot weirder records out there – Funkadelic’s three records prior to this one, in which recording sessions were reputedly fueled by manic acid binges, were more “far out” than most of what graces these grooves. And they were peppered with meditations on death and Armageddon. But this one has always seemed more sinister and strange to me. It was one of the last of their classic early records that I got into, preferring the releases that bookended it (Maggot Brain and Cosmic Slop) instead. Lots of people describe this record as “transitional” and bit all over the place, a reflection of the dissolution of the original band lineup and the presence of over thirty musicians participating on it. But I think there is more than just an aural confusion that makes the album dense and inscrutable at first. It is also ideologically and spiritually incoherent, and in that sense perfectly captures where the band – and, hell, most of the world – was at in 1972. If I take each song individually, this is classic Funkadelic, top notch material with a couple of near-misses, but taken collectively all at once they have me reaching for a Thorazine injection.
Critical reception seems split between people who panned it as being “over-indulgent” (that favorite word that critics use for anything ambitious that they don’t immediately fancy), or those who want to recover it as the groups great neglected “grand statement,” like in this story on the site The Quietus that I think is kind of mediocre but still worth a read for those interested. But whatever your take on it, there is no denying that this was an album of important “firsts,” with the departure of much of the original lineup and the inclusion of new players who would come to be major figures in the P-Funk Empire, most notably Bootsy Collins but also Gary Shider, Catfish Collins, and the funkiest Indian-Canadian around, Prakash John. As usual, George gets (or is it “takes”?) all the credit in that Quietus story, but as this Wax Poetics feature argues persuasively, Bernie Worrell was in many ways the key to P-Funk’s genius, and this is the record where his contributions were really allowed to shine and blossom. He arranged many of the songs, put his classical training to good use in arranging strings and horns, and his keyboard textures point the way forward for the next decade of P-funkateering. A Joyful Process is really a showcase for this. This cut was actually released as a single in a shorter edit (which is included with the Westbound CD version from the 1990s). For me, one of the great things about the great, recently-departed Worrell is that his genius could be a subtle one. On that song, as well as the B-side Loose Booty, attention to tone and rhythm helps his keyboard work to blend in synergistic harmony with the guitar work. You can find this kind of musical camouflage throughout his career all the way to his collaborations with Talking Heads: whenever Worrell was on stage, if you closed your eyes you would probably have trouble figuring out what sounds came from where and who was making them. And the string arrangements on this album are pretty brilliant. They seem so natural that it might it take a few minutes to sink in that “hey, there’s a string section on a Funkadelic album.” That is,if you hadn’t been around at the time reading interviews where George Clinton was citing Sgt. Pepper and Tommy as inspirations for this ambitious double-album. Hearing this eighteen years or so after it was released, the prog-rock allusions were not so pronounced or obvious to me. Likewise it was hard to see how anyone expected this to be “shooting for the mainstream”. Yes the songs are tightly composed, with none of the freeform freakouts found on the last two records, and a few tracks are rather epic in length and have multiple parts. Perhaps George had thoughts of college kids putting this record on after Thick As A Brick left their turntable. But even the sludge-rock crunch of “Balance” is funkier than anything you’ll find on an ELP record, so I prefer to ignore what the critics and maybe even George have to say about what the album was trying to achieve and just listen to what’s here. That, and maybe look at what the band had been doing rather than saying, which is to say sharing bills with other Detroit upstarts like the MC5 and Iggy & the Stooges, with whom they shared a kind of anarchistic, agit-prop aesthetic. Even their ad campaigns for this record were confrontational.
Speaking of sludge, this is the first Funkadelic record where you can clearly hear everything going on in the mix. Clinton once again accepts credit for this, as this was the first album where he was in charge of mixing, and apparently did many remixes until he arrived at the sound he was seeking. But that may be less a function of him being “in control for the first time” as it is a reflection of the haphazard, spontaneous nature of the preceding Funkadelic records. Multiple mix-downs of a record in any genre, especially with this many players on it, is actually the rule rather than the exception, and it would probably be more accurate to say this was the first time they actually started to care how the end result sounded.
There’s some steel guitar on this record from Ollie Strong. It’s not the first time they’ve incorporated the weepy country-and-western instrument – it also appeared on the one-off Invictus record by Parliament, Osmium, on “Little Ole Country Boy” (which you might recognize from a certain ‘Potholes In My Lawn‘ twenty years later). Osmium (aka Rhenium) had some other first-appearances related to this one. “I Call My Baby Pussycat” (here retitled simply ‘Pussy’) was the opening cut on that LP. In its incarnation on America Eats Its Young, the tempo is slowed way down, the lyrics nearly incomprehensible, the vibe lascivious. In a live setting they often combined both approaches, as heard on the archival release “Live at Meadowbrook” that appeared in the mid-90s. Compare and contrast if you like.
Personally, I don’t think the album is quite the magnum opus or Great Statement it strives to be, but it is still a classic, and certainly doesn’t merit the more negative assessments that some short-sighted critics gave it at the time. There is an undercurrent of malaise and unease, no doubt tied to the sociopolitical circumstances of the darkest years of Vietnam, the fracturing of the civil rights and peace movements, and the dissolution of the optimistic utopia found in Sly Stone’s upbeat Family vision as he traded it in for the wonderfully paranoid claustrophobia of There’s A Riot Going On. Oh and there is the matter of the band’s own heroin consumption at the time. One has visions of them snorting lines of smack off the mixing console during this record. But at least some of the malaise comes from its flirtation with the Left Hand Path. For years I ignored the spaced-out diatribes in the liner notes attributed to The Process Church of the Final Judgement on this album and Maggot Brain — I had assumed it was a fictional thing in the P-Funk universe, named after a hairstyle. But it was in fact a real organization (which may well have had an influence on that other Family, the one presided over by a certain Charlie Manson), so you also get this pseudo-occult, chic satanism bubbling up between the grooves that contributes to the hazy incoherence of it all. Now, I’m actually an aficionado of any music tied to weirdo cults from the 60s and 70s, whether its Tim Maia’s Racional period, Father Yod’s commune, Incredible String Band’s cryptic Scientology paeans, your run-of-the-mill Hare Krishna or TM-influenced artists, or musical invocations of that wickedly bald mountain-climber Aleister Crowley. (Edit: I forgot to add Prince’s “Rainbow Children” record to this list, which I shamefully just kind of listened to once when it came out and didn’t pay much attention to… it’s a solid and ambitious effort, albeit uneven). I’m certainly not bothered on religious grounds by these kind of antics. But there is something just icky about Funkadelic’s relationship to the Process Church and I’m relieved they didn’t continue down that road. In any case, that entity has swapped out its bodily vessel and now exists as an animal shelter in Utah.
Even the exhilarating, upbeat stuff here is not what it seems. I remember the first time I heard “Loose Booty” and assumed it was a song about shaking your ass on the dance floor, only to be slightly disturbed when I began to pay attention to the lyrics, eventually learning that it was slang for a junkie, a reference to their occasional inability to control their own bowel movements (loose butt!). And yet there are also songs of delicate beauty here, like the lovely “Everyone Is Going To Make It This Time.” The ballad “We Hurt Too” is a throw-back to the groups’ roots in doo-wop. It doesn’t quite work, but it works better than throw-away “That Was My Girl,” which is some sort of convoluted parody of The Temptations or Motown or love songs or something. Bootsy’s one songwriting contribution, on which he also sings lead, is a 60’s-style soul rave-up, and surprisingly unfunky. America Eats Its Young may be an ambitious Concept Album but it seems kind of rudderless and bereft of a clearly-articulated Concept – in short, a perfect representation of their spiritual and musical transmogrification in ’72. I for one am glad that it doesn’t have an explicit narrative like The Who’s Tommy or an Alan Parsons Project record, because it lets the album age a little differently and survive like a kind of musical Rorschach ink blot. One thing I think the Quietus piece gets right is that this record does sort of set a template for how Clinton & Co. would approach making records for the rest of their run. There is usually an over-arching Big Concept, increasingly populated with figures and icons of their own mythological universe. But unlike the majority of high-concept albums, it isn’t really necessary to fully immerse oneself or even pay much attention to any of those embellishments to fully enjoy the great music they contain. And there is a lot here to enjoy.
Where has the time gone? Pretty soon this blog will be sneaking cigarettes and looking at girly magazines. I never expected it to survive this long.
Sometime around the 7th of July, 2008, I decided to start Flabbergasted Vibes. It didn’t really have much of a master plan or identity at the time, as I’ve recounted here on the ABOUT page of our new home – which my metrics tells me has only been visited by a handful of people, so take a moment to read it if you’re interested.
According to my records, the first post commemorated the second anniversary of the death of surrealist poet and pop-star-for-a-minute, Roger “Syd” Barrett (shown above in his London flat), who has now been deceased for ten years after walking away from the spotlight in 1974. Other posts from the first week or so of existence included records by Bridget St. John, the first ‘Black Rio’ compilation, a Joe Gibbs compilation, The Rail Band, Joyce, and Cassiano. Most or all of those are set to “invisible” now because they don’t really fit with the style of presentation that has developed here. After a while, I also started up the under-nourished ‘Flabbergasted Folk’ blog where I could post about acoustic music. I’ve had several requests to revive that idea but maintaining two music blogs isn’t really feasible for me. Maybe I’ll just start posting the occasional pastoral folk record here, as long as it has some vibes to it.
I don’t really have a proper anniversary / birthday post in terms of highlighting a particular record today, so how about I just post this video of David Bowie covering Syd Barrett, in what was probably the most interesting track on his ‘Pinups’ record:
It’s missing some of the spontaneity and fun of the original, but it’s still pretty neat. I remember reading somewhere that Bowie claimed Barrett was the first pop singer he had heard who didn’t try to sound American, or at least try to make themselves less English. Apparently this was a huge revelation to him, giving him the inspiration to sing in his natural voice. Fellow cosmic glam-rocker Marc Bolan reportedly used to hang around the office of Floyd’s management, chatting up the secretary, just for a chance to catch Barrett in the hallway and soak up some of his mojo. It’s unfortunate that the pressures of sudden fame, a Swinging London lifestyle, and the stigma of what was most certainly a congenital mental health issue (schizophrenia’s favorite victims are males in their 20s) would cut his musical career short, but I’m glad for the handful of records he left behind. A visual artist before he turned to music, he still continued to paint after his “early retirement”, and occasionally burned his canvasses in the garden.
So here’s to perseverance in the face of obscurity, and with luck there may even be a 9th and 10th birthday for this blog. Thanks to the small but loyal readership for keeping me engaged.
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; ClickRepair on “Girl” only, set to “1”; clicks and pops removed individually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
It’s almost Independence Day in the USA. So, a twenty-one minute jam on the funkiest single from the Around the World In A Day, because why not. Playing until the tape reel ran out, there are some fun solos from Prince and Dr. Fink, but the group had yet to incorporate the horn parts that would become part of the instrumental workout on the road, and so this is probably less interesting than it could have been. As the tempo never varies, I’ve found this makes a good track for when you need something epic to power a good run or workout of your own (and those versions of “A Love Supreme” or “Echoes” you have your iPhone usually result in you standing still and staring off into space). You can hear the live treatment that this song got, which was about half as long as this, on any number of high-quality bootlegs. They mostly seem to follow the pattern in this video clip, minus the somewhat sloppy drum solo played by P.
Being a godless commie my own self, I always wanted to think of this song as an ironic comment on patriotism. Given what we now know about his truly deep religious convictions (which he insisted were sincere from the beginning), I’m not entirely sure any more. It seems possible he may in fact be implying that Jimmy failing to pledge allegiance to the flag has some causal relationship to him now living on a mushroom cloud. Little sister, making minimum wage and living in a one-room jungle-monkey cage, may still be better off than those Reds, who most definitely didn’t have anything this fun to dance to. Taking it all at face value, this has to be the funkiest Cold Warrior anthem you’re likely to hear, at least until James Brown released “Living In America” in December of 1985 and sang the pugilistic praises of all-night diners and black coffee. Prince obviously drew a lot of inspiration from James, especially on this song (and especially specially on the live rendition). Was everyone just feeling particularly red, white, and blue in 85, or was there some sinister CIA program to accelerate Perestroika by covering the globe with feverish funk celebrating capitalist freedoms? There’s a history dissertation idea in there for some of you grad students out there, you can thank me later in your acknowledgements.
“Girl” is not my favorite B-side from Prince, but it’s certainly not terrible either, and the extended version makes the track more, um, charming. Dig, if you will, the picture of Kraftwerk abducting Barry White, forcing him to breath through a helium tank, and ordering him to compose and perform an erotic proclamation of lust for their new record (“Please Barry, show us how you humans make with the sexy music”), and you’ll have some idea of “Girl.” Well, except that the mechanical rhythm that chugs along underneath the track is generated by a couple low notes on a Hammond organ rather than a synth. The spoken parts of the extended tune, which simulate one half of an intimate conversation of some kind, are Prince at his most blush-inducing. It features the line, “”All I have to do is think about you, and I can have an orgasm. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Marry me.” Just like the track Temptation from this same album, it’s stuff that’s so over the top that only he could pull it off without appearing completely silly. Okay so maybe a little silly, but we know the man could laugh at himself, because he apparently approved of Dave Chappelle’s depiction of him dry-humping a basketball.
The extended mix also features collaborator and love-interest Susan Melvoin reciting the lyrics backwards with “boy” switched out for “girl.” It is only just barely audible with all the other stuff going on in the mix, and so for fun I’ve isolated it for all those people who have trouble playing digital audio backwards. This is just the right channel (where her voice is) and with EQ applied to accentuate just the voice.
So whether you are enjoying beers and barbecue in the Land of the Free or just enjoying yourself in one of the lesser countries of the world, here’s a little extended paisley magic for your collection.
Abdias – “E Seus Sambas de Sucesso”
Released 1971 on CBS/Entré (104194)
01. Pra não morrer de tristeza (João Silva – K. Boclinho)
02. Minha ex-mulher (Severino Ramos – José Pereira)
03. Prefiro a Bohemia (Osvaldo Oliveira – Ayrão Reis)
04. Mocidade que perdi (Laurentino Azevedo – Zito de Souza)
05. Ninguém gosta de ninguém (Antonio Barros)
06. Seu dia chegará (Geraldo Gomes – Anatalicio)
07. Pra não me matar de dor (Anatalicio)
08. Vou doar meu coração (Antonio Barros)
09. Fraguei (Osvaldo Oliveira – Dilson Doria)
10. Nunca mais hei de beber (Elias Soares)
11. Não posso lhe perdoar (Jacinto Silva – Sebastião Rodrigues)
12. Tarimba de bambú (Serafim Adriano – Zito de Souza)
Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; ClickRepair, adjusted manually; clicks and pops removed individually with Adobe Audition 3.0; resampled using iZotope RX 2 Advanced SRC and dithered with MBIT+ for 16-bit. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
The day of São João (June 23) is long gone and yesterday was technically the last day of the festas juninas cycle, but there will still be a few stray parties, which some people have taken to calling festas julinas . I really dropped the ball on sharing any forró records this year and I apologize to all of you for it. On the bright side, I did fix a bunch of old links that had been killed by Blogger. I’m still feeling restless and edgy, man, like it’s all about breaking boundaries and stuff with me, you dig? So this record only tangentially fits into the holiday cycle, because these are all sambas, but performed with instrumentation associated with forró and baião. Abdias (full name, José Abdias de Farias) had quite a career in forró, producing records by Trio Nordestino and Jackson do Pandeiro, and played an important role in the career of Marinês, to whom he was married at one point. He has some arranging and songwriting credits (including one number co-authored with João do Vale, “Balancero da Usina”), but on this disc his repertoire is entirely composed by others. These are all mostly sambas lamenting broken hearts and doomed love, but (as samba often does) they manage to sound pretty upbeat throughout all the heartache. A couple of these are credited to an Antonio Barros, who – if this is the same individual – was a colleague of Luiz Gonzaga, who played triangle in his band (yeah that’s right, the triangle, you wanna make something of it?) and wrote at least a couple dozen forró tunes. One of my favorite tunes here is from Jacinto Silva and Sebastião Rodrigues, “Não posso lhe perdoar,” in fact I liked it so much that I included it on Flabbergasted Freeform No. 14.