Ronnie Von – A Misteriosa Luta Do Reino de Parasempre Contra O Império de Nuncamais (1969)

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Ronnie Von
“A Misteriosa Luta Do Reino de Parasempre Contra O Império de Nuncamais”
Original release Polydor (Brasil) LPNG 44.037, 1969
This reissue 2006 Discos Mariposa, Argentina

1- De como meu herói Flash Gordon irá levar-me de volta a Alfa do Centauro, meu verdadeiro lar
2- Dindí
3- Pare de sonhar com estrelas distantes
4- Onde foi “Morning Girl”
5- My cherie amour
6- Atlântida “Atlantis”
7- Por quem sonha Ana Maria?
8- Mares de areia
9- Regina e o mar
10- Foi bom
11- Rose Ann
12- Comecei uma brincadeira “I started a joke”

BONUS TRACKS
13. Meu Bem
14. O Pequeno Príncipe
15. Meu Mundo Parou
16. Paraíso

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Here’s some more  pós-jovem guarda psychedelia  (or is it psychejovem guardelia-iê-iê?)  from former teen-idol and past and present TV star and show host Ronnie
Von!  Pretty heady stuff for such a heart-throb: the title translates as “The Mysterious Struggle of the Kingdom of Forever Against the Empire of Nevermore.” And this record was made before that North American whats-her-name made absurdly long and silly album titles trendy!   Of his three psych albums from the late 60s-early-70s, this only narrowly loses out to the third one as my favorite.  Mostly because it has one too many ‘cover songs’ of contemporary hits on it.  In particular, the rather odd choice of My Cherie Amor just doesn’t fit.  A Brazilian-Portuguese version of Donovan’s “Atantlis” is a campy highlight though, and his version of Jobim’s “Dindi” is just plain great.  I like his version of The Bee
Gee’s “I Started A Joke” even  if I prefer the original.  It’s got a very fuzzy guitar and everyone is accenting the down stroke (even the piano player!), giving the tune an unexpected headiness (or is it heaviness?) and it makes  a good closer for the album.  (Everything after that track consists of bonus cuts).

This record is best when it’s at its most psychedelic, which also happens to include most of the tunes co-written by Ronnie.  The opening cut is great, so is “Pare de
sonhar com as estrelas distantes”, features a sound collage bridge very much inspired by the Fab Four.  Von first got his start in music by way of a friendship with a group called The Brazilian Beatles and appeared on their TV show in 1965 singing “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” so it is only natural that his sound followed the instincts of their idols.  Although this kind of stuff was vociforously attacted by the reactionaries of the day as being an agent of imperialism and a “mass culture” threat, Von’s music isn’t nearly as derivative as all that.  He doesn’t attempt to ape Beatle-esque harmonies, and the approach to arrangements has its fair share of blue-eyed soul (or is it green-eyed soul?) and is just as inspired by contemporaneous Roberto Carlos.  In other words, he might have been heavily inspired by The Beatles – along with, um, pretty much everyone else recording pop music in 1969 – but there was far more derivative stuff being produced by pop and psych-pop contemporaries in the anglophone world.  There is quite a bit of originality here, and if I were to complain it would be that the record doesn’t have enough of Von’s own compositions.  He fixes that on his next record, however.

The track “Rose Ann” manages to squeeze English, Portuguese, and French into the same tune, briefly breaking down into an accordion-driven bit of chanson.  There’s some very nice vibraphone on this too.    Ronnie was really gifted at doing spoken parts in between his sung vocals.  I would like to hear him read an entire audio-book.  What great works of literature should we suggest to his agent?  Please leave your suggests in the comment suggestion.  Meanwhile, “You’re love will be, like summer to me.”

One of favorite tunes on the album is “Regina e o Mar,” which has a perfect blend of a groovy bass line and rhythm guitar, loose drums, creative string arrangements, Ronnie’s soulful vocal, and just the right amount of tape delay.  This tune is followed by an unexpected and equally groovy tune penned by Benedito da Paula, which adds horns to the previous winning combination.  No tape delay, though.  Oh well, it’s good to be sparing with it anyway.

Tagged at the end are some bonus tracks, including yet another cover (The Beatles’ “Girl”), which if the liner notes here are correct he managed to record without crediting them,  and Ronnie’s signature hit tune, “O Pequeno Principe”.  “Girl” / “Meu Bem” has a pretty wicked tremolo-surf guitar part.

This release on Mariposa Records (Argentina) is a needle-drop, and not a particularly good one, but it gets the job done.  Since my birthday is coming up soon, feel free to send me original vinyl copies as a gift.  Thanks!

Oh and I almost forgot – the bilingual booklet is a wonderful example of what happens when you use Google Translate to convert Brazilian Portuguese to English.  Fun!!

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Grifters – One Sock Missing (1993)

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GRIFTERS
One Sock Missing
Released 1993
Shangri-La Records 004

1 Bummer 2:53
2 She Blows Blasts of Static 4:04
3 Shark 4:16
4 Teenage Jesus 3:02
5 ‘Side 2:50
6 #1 1:16
7 Tupelo Moan 5:06
8 Wonder 1:20
9 Corolla Hoist 4:02
10 Encrusted 2:19
11 The Casual Years 3:19
12 Sain 2:28
13 Just Passing Out 3:21
14 I Arise 4:35

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So here is something you don’t see everyday on this blog. I’m too tired to write much lately and so this is sort of a cop-out post. Pulled this off the shelf the other day and was surprised how much it still tickles my eardrum. Did the Grifters have vibe? You bet. Could their music melt the faces off of any current-day skinny-pants ‘indie’ band? Hells yeah. These guy were ‘lo-fi’ when that term did not signify an affected, contrived aesthetic choice, but an economic one where musicians creatively pushed the limits of whatever recording gear they could get their hands on in the days before every schmuck with a computer had a studio at home. Plus they were from Memphis, where ‘vibe’ is included with your zipcode. These guys could lurch vertiginous from dirty, scuzzy, noisy rock to moments of undelicate beauty, sometimes in the same tune. One of my favorite musically bipolar choices of the era. While the band’s songwriting would develop and sophisticate itself rather quickly and pleasingly in the albums to come, this one boasts the spontaneity and messiness that they would lose somewhat around the time they got picked up by Sub Pop and then had their career crash and burn. You know, like all those other bands. Along with ‘The Eureka EP’ this is one of their better hidden pleasures. Partially recorded in a flower shop, partially at Easley Studio, it sounds the way it ought to.

Oh, I had actually prepared this to share elsewhere but a CRC-mismatching error on the fourth track made it ineligible there, so that’s another reason why I am breaking form a bit and featuring it here. What the hell, it’s the holidays. Just an FYI for those of you who crave 100% error free audio extraction, this isn’t one of those..


in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

look mom, no password this time

Novos Baianos F.C. DOCUMENTARY (Solano Ribeiro) 1973

Novos Baianos F.C. (1973)
Directed by Solano Ribeiro
co-produced with TV Bandeirantes with German TV (?)

Another Carnaval is over and I am free to write about non-Brazilian music but I’d been thinking of posting this for months and months now, so here it goes.

This 30-minute documentary filmed at Novos Baianos’ own commune in the western part of Rio de Janeiro, a place they called the ‘Sitio de Vovô’ in Jacarepaguá, is a riveting glimpse into this once-in-a-universe band at the peak of their creative and musical powers. A musical band deciding to ‘drop out’, go “off the grid” or whatnot, and live communally is not in itself unique. I refer the reader to any of the coveted albums of Father Yod and The Source Family. However while those albums are mind-blowing in their utter unworldliness, with some of them falling squarely in the ‘outsider artist’ category and verge on sheer unlistenable excruciating aural abuse, Novos Baianos made some of the most coherent, flexible, and just damn beautiful music you’re likely to ever hear. They were all top notch musicians with a profound knowledge of and respect for their musical predecessors in Brazil, but expanded on those roots with all the splendor of a sprawling jaqueira or pé de manga tree. Perhaps one that’s been injected with 1000 µg of LSD-25.

Although this documentary made the rounds at some film festivals a few years ago, I have yet to know about an official release of this valuable relic. So instead I am presenting here the full documentary in the same quality you can find on YouTube, sadly, but at least here it is all in one place for ease of viewing. And the sound is pretty decent as well.

There are some interested interview segments but the highlights are the musical performances. Even though the segue from futebol into an ‘impromptu’ performance of ‘Preta Pretinha’ seems utterly contrived and staged to me, I still think it’s cool as hell and some great film-making. Incidentally, the film ends (after the final credits) with a full-tilt acid rock jam that as far as I know never appeared on any albums and which I suspect may not even have a name. It wouldn’t sound out of place on an Amon Duul album. It’s pretty jarring, with some bizarre still shots of the band hanging around doing nothing particular besides sitting in window frames or behind potted plants or other oddities.

Oh yes, I have to mention that I find Baby Consuelo incredibly sexy throughout the entire thing. Even though she seems to have ingested a half pound of Psilocybin before filming, and I suspect I would probably have had a hard time finishing a conversation with her, I don’t really care. She was beautiful and completely unique, just totally charismatic in the way she seemingly just didn’t give a shit about how an MPB star or rock singer was supposed to comport themselves. Also, she is from another planet, which is always a turn on for me.

Novos Baianos continued to make great music during the rest of their existence as a band, but this is a truly special document of a time before egos and business got in the way of it all.

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in AVI FORMAT

*note that some sources (including the overlay on this file itself) put the date at 1975. Perhaps that was the broadcast date but I have no doubt that was filmed around 1973.

Karma – Karma (1972) {O Terço, Arthur Verocai)

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Karma
“Karma”
Released originally on RCA-Victor 1972 (103.0046)
This reissue Selo Cultural 2010

01. Do Zero Adiante
02. Blusa de Linho
03. Você Pode Ir Além
04. Epílogo
05. Tributo ao Sorriso
06. O Jogo
07. Omissão
08. Venha Pisar na Grama
09. Transe Uma
10. Cara e Coroa

Jorge Amiden – vocals, “tritarra” (3-neck guitar), 12-string electric guitar, nylon and steel-string acoustics, 12-string ‘viola’, electric and acoustic guitars, arrangements
Luiz Junior – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars
Allen Terra – vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, 12-string “viola”

with
Oberdan Magahlães – flute
Gustavo Schroeter – drums
Bill – drums
Ian Guest – cravo
Rido Hora – harmonica

Arrangements and orchestrations by Arthur Verocai

Album cover – Bartholo

Recordgin technicians – Emiliano, Eugenio, Dilson, Ademar
Mastering and acetate cut by Milton Araújo

Reissue supervision, research, and liner notes by Charles Gavin
Remastered from the original tapes by Ricardo Garcia at Magic Master (Rio)

A decent review in Portuguese from the extinct blog “Som Barato”

Quote:

Esquecido num sítio na periferia do Rio, o compositor, guitarrista e fundador de O Terço e do Karma, Jorge Amiden, tenta recuperar a saúde abalada pelo uso de drogas e das (pouquíssimas) viagens que fez com LSD no início dos anos 1970. “Foram muito boas, mas custei a voltar delas”, diz o nosso afável Syd Barrett. Jorge é o compositor da inesquecível ‘Tributo ao Sorriso’ (em parceria com Hinds) e de tantas outras canções geniais do repertório de O Terço (1970 a 1971) e do Karma (1972). Era ele o principal arquiteto dos vocais harmoniosos de ambas as bandas. Além do mais, gravou um antológico LP com o Karma, participou do disco ‘Sonhos e Memórias’ de Erasmo Carlos e integrou a banda de Milton Nascimento. Depois, com o cérebro golpeado, se afastou dos palcos. Seguiu-se, então, um longo e indesejável ostracismo. Mas Jorge quer voltar, quer a música “viva” de volta a sua vida. E nós, órfãos de sua brilhante musicalidade, torcemos para que ele encontre o fio da meada, a luz no fim do túnel, a glória de um final fez.

Após romper com O terço, Amiden logo encontrou novos parceiros. Com Luiz Mendes Junior (violão e vocal) e Alen Cazinho Terra (baixo e vocal), irmão de Renato Terra, o guitarrista daria início a sua trajetória de pouco mais de um ano como líder do Karma. Ramalho Neto, da RCA, não teve dúvidas em contratar a banda antes mesmo de ouví-la. Reconhecia o talento de Amiden e antevia um belo disco do Karma para a RCA.

E foi o que aconteceu. Pouco tempo depois, a RCA distribuía na praça o LP homônimo do Karma, uma obra antológica que merece constar de qualquer lista dos melhores discos da história do rock brasileiro. Com uma sonoridade predominantemente acústica servindo de base para a primorosa vocalização do trio, ‘Karma’ é recheado de canções brilhantes, como ‘Do Zero Adiante’ (Amiden e Mendes Junior), ‘Blusa de Linho’ (Amiden e Rodrix) e a revisitada ‘Tributo Ao Sorriso’ (Amiden e Hinds). Esta, levada quase até seu final em a capela, servia para realçar ainda mais a força vocal do conjunto. Vale destacar a participação do baterista Gustavo Schroeter (então integrante da Bolha), que ajudou a abrilhantar o disco com sua batida sempre consistente, arrojada e precisa.

E foi com Gustavo na bateria que o Karma fez o show de lançamento do disco no Grajaú Tênis Clube. Lamentavelmente, este pequeno tesouro concebido por Amiden jamais foi reeditado. Possivelmente hiberna nos arquivos da RCA desde o seu lançamento, em 1972, como hibernam tantas outras obras importantes nos arquivos das gravadoras brasileiras.

Em sua curta vigência sob a liderança de Amiden, o Karma ainda participou do VII Festival Internacional da Canção Popular, em setembro de 1972. Foi quando defendeu ‘Depois do Portão’ (Amiden e Mendes Junior). Em 1973, nos primeiros meses do ano, durante um show no Clube de Regatas Icaraí, em Niterói, depois de misturar bebida com drogas, Amiden perde o controle do próprio cérebro. O solo de guitarra parece interminável… Depois, sentado à beira da praia com Mário, se perde em plano existencial paralelo, vagando inseguro e solitário pelo lado escuro da lua.
Jorge só encontra a saída do enovelado e desconhecido labirinto no dia seguinte, quando percebe que o mundo não é mais o mesmo, o Karma não é mais o mesmo, a música não é mais a mesma…E nem sua vida seria mais a mesma. Dos palcos, se afasta…para na calma do tempo, quem sabe uma luz como guia, em dado momento, conceda algum dia seu retorno sereno.

In a musical universe where psychedelic, progressive, and psych-folk “lost gems” are unearthed on a fairly regular basis, I may have found myself growing complacent and, yes, even skeptical about such discoveries and the praise heaped upon them. But this record is worth every superlative, hyperbolic, histrionic descriptor that has been thrown at it over the years. Long available as crappy mp3s around the interwebs, I am finally delighted to own a legitimate and great-sounding copy.

I enjoy the early O Terço albums just fine, but they didn’t prepare me for this. To my ears this is on a whole other transcendent level. It is also the swan-song of co-founder Jorge Amiden, who put together this band after leaving O Terço only to record this one album and then basically retire from music. The review above in Portuguese, although well-written and respectful, plays on the ‘acid casualty’ legend of Amiden, comparing him as ‘our’ Syd Barrett, and relating an apocryphal tale of a famous final show in 1973 where Amiden mixed heavy drinking with unspecified drugs (presumably of a psychedelic variety) that resulted in one endless guitar solo and a night spent sitting on the beach traveling to other dimensions upon return from which he would never be the same. Well, ok. That very well might have happened but honestly it doesn’t concern me much. People quit playing music for all kinds of reasons. Other people love to tell stories about why they did so. Some of them are true. Some of them miss the point. In some cases we never know the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of it. All I know is this is one HELL of an album. And Charles Gavin, whose taste is impeccable and who tends to base what he writes on actual research and factual knowledge, attributes the end of the band to internal differences and conflict within the band. Obviously that’s not mutually exclusive from drug-related issues but it relocates the emphasis.

Jorge Amiden plays the “tri-guitar” all over this record, an invention of his own that was a triple-necked guitar with varying numbers of strings and tunings, as well as a hell of a lot of other instruments. From the rather cheesy album-cover, you would think this group was a trio. Officially that’s the case but they had a lot of help from some fine musicians. Oberdon Magalhães gives a fantastic flute solo on “Blusa de linho.” One other particular stand-out is drummer Gustavo Shroeder, who manages to play HEAVY in a delicate way — I can’t really articulate it, but somehow he manages to balance on the high-wire of these delicate, melodic songs without crapping all over them, and he has a drumming style that is very individual. And I love the way the drums are recorded. The bass of Allen Terra is also very well articulated here, punchy (Rickenbacher?) and melodic. The whole album is recorded and mixed extremely well, and the arrangements of strings are top notch — all of which can be credited to the presence of Arthur Verocai in the studio.

The songs mix angelic harmonies (often Beatle-esque) with a hypnotic acoustic passages some rocking as well. The album is sequenced almost, but not quite, like a type of song-cycle – the transitions between the tunes on the first half are breathtaking, deliciously moody, and near-perfect. By which I mean, can someone who owns the original vinyl tell me if the two notes at the beginning of “Você pode ir além” as they appear here are a TRUE false-start, or is this a mastering error? I’m curious because it throws off the rhythm of what would be a triumphal transition from the previous tune, but then again I can find that kind of charming as well. A very angular, progressive “Epilógo” gives way to “Tributo ao sorriso” (Tribute to a smile) that is sung as a cappella harmony for two-thirds of is length before drifting into a lush, wordless, full-band coda replete with relaxed, strummy guitar melodies (I hesitate to call them solos), astral plane string arrangements, and harpsichord. Less stalwart bands, such as any band without Arthur Verocai around to help them, probably would have resorted to mellotron on this track. Which would have sounded pretty damn cool, in truth, but having real strings only adds to the velvet tapestry here.

I am running out of hyperbolic superlatives here. The rest of the album continues at the same level of transcendent bliss. They even manage to pull off an intense instrumental, “Transe uma” that pushes the psychedelic envelope without tipping the balance they’ve struck with the rest of the compositions, before going out on one final melancholic song with full vocal harmonies.

Perhaps Jorge Amiden just managed to trascend samsara while creating this masterpiece and step off the wheel of karma, thus eliminating the need to keep recording music. Well, that is MY story and I am sticking to it.

Can this even be called a “lost” gem? It was praised in its time by critics and public alike (as Gavin states) but the bands demise and changes in musical fashion have made the original record all but impossible to find and given it legendary status. Big kudos to the Selo Cultural label (run by the bookstore Livraria Cultura in partnership with Sony) who have made this available again. Enjoy!

in 320kbs em pé tré

in FLAC LOSSLESS AWDIO

Paulo Diniz – Quero Voltar pra Bahia (1970)

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PAULO DINIZ
“Quero Voltar Pra Bahia”

1970
Odeon
MOFB 3664

1 – Piri Piri

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

2 – Um chope pra distrair

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

3 – Ninfa mulata

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

4 – Quero voltar pra Bahia

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

5 – Felicidade

(Lupicínio Rodrigues)

6 – Marginal III

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

7 – Chutando pedra

(Nenéo)

8 – Chega

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

9 – Canseira

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

10 – Ponha um arco-íris na sua moringa

(Odibar – Paulo Diniz)

11 – Me leva

(Nanuk)

12 – Sujeito chato

From cliquemusic

Nascido no interior de Pernambuco, foi para Recife trabalhar como crooner e baterista em casas noturnas. Foi locutor e ator de rádio e televisão, em Pernambuco e no Ceará. Em 1964 foi para o Rio de Janeiro, onde trabalhou na Rádio Tupi e passou a compor com mais freqüência. Sua primeira gravação saiu em 1966, com a música “O Chorão”. Quatro anos depois lançou dois LPs, e em seguida dedicou-se à tarefa de musicalizar poemas de língua portuguesa de autores como Carlos Drummond de Andrade (“E Agora, José?”), Gregório de Matos (“Definição do Amor”), Augusto dos Anjos (“Versos Íntimos”), Jorge de Lima (“Essa Nega Fulô”) e Manuel Bandeira (“Vou-me Embora pra Pasárgada”). Suas músicas foram gravadas por Clara Nunes, Emílio Santiago, Simone e outros. Entre seus sucessos destacam-se “Pingos de Amor”, gravado por vários intérpretes, “Canoeiro”, “Um Chopp pra Distrair”, “I Want to Go Back to Bahia” (uma homenagem a Caetano Veloso, então exilado em Londres) e “Quem Tem um Olho É Rei”, todas em parceria com Odibar.

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The first time I put this record on I thought to myself, “Groovy, man, groovy…”, and my second thought was, wow, this guy has a voice like a Brazilian Neil Diamond with a less emotive voice and more restricted range. Now, it depends on your personal taste whether or not this is a good thing, but I have a soft spot for Mr. Diamond and so kept an open mind. The album cover is much more psychedelic than anything you will hear in its contents, a visual tribute to the hit title song which was intended as an homage to then-exiled Caetano Veloso. Musically the record is in some weird plane of existance where Jovem Guarda, Tropicália, and Brazilian soul music, and harpsichord-laden baroque pop mingle and mutate. I can imagine Raul Seixas — who had yet to realize a solo album at this point — grooving out to this record. I think the main flaw in this record is that Diniz sings virtually every single tune the same way, with an overly-blown out belting that doesn’t have the nuance his own songs sometimes call for. It’s probably because of this that he is better known as the author of songs made famous by others. But this obscure little gem is rewarding for any fan of Brazilian music or early 70’s psych-inflected pop-rock. In addition to the title song, other highlights include “Felicidade” (not the bossa nova tune, but a reworking of Lupicínio Rodrigues), “Chutando Pedra”, and the gorgeous “Chega.”

Paulo Diniz – Quero Voltar pra Bahia (1970) in 320 kbs mp3

Paulo Diniz – Quero Voltar pra Bahia (1970) in FLAC LOSSLESS AUDIO

Nelson Angelo & Joyce (1972) 320 kbs

Nelson Angelo e Joyce
Released as Odeon SMOFB 3734 in 1972
Reissued in 2006 on Discos Mariposas, Argentina

This is a beautiful, haunting album. It captures the dreamy, wistful saudades of the Clube da Esquina album with its bucolic, pastoral stroll tinged with psychedelia. And no wonder — it features a great deal of the same people. Nelson Angelo wrote a lot of stuff on that record, along with Ronaldo Bastos and Marcio Borges, both represented here too. In all the hipster attention to Brazilian music that erupted since the late 90s, most attention has been payed to the Tropicalistas, a scene involving mostly Baianos working in São Paulo and then spreading to Rio. The Clube da Esquina hailed from Minas Gerais and gets sort of neglected, in spite of Milton Nascimento’s later fame as a ‘cross-over’ jazz-fusion-pop sensation. Between 1970 and 1976 this group of musicians all played on each other’s records and created some of the most effecting, textured sounds coming from anywhere in the world. I can’t recommend this enough, for fans of the Nascimento/Lo Borges “Clube da Esquina” record, for fans of Joyce’s body of work, for fans of Brazilian music in general, and just for lovers of other-worldly music from the early 70s! It’s short and sweet, and so is this description — I wish I had the time, or the words, worthy of this record. But it’s been ‘in the cue’ for a while and I just want to share it already…

Note: I made full art scans of this record, but I did it a long while ago at some resolution higher than 600 dpi, which means the art folder is 190MB… Most people don’t care that much, I think. If anybody really wants it, leave a comment and I’ll upload it and/or resize them down to 300 dpi for more manageable size (but you’ll have to wait about 3 weeks…)