Trio Nordestino E O Homem De Saia
1979 Copacabana COELP41150
01. Fartura de beijo (Durval Vieira – Jorge Paulo)
02. Não sou culpado (Jacinto José – Lindolfo Barbosa)
03. Homem de saia (Enéas de Castro – Gatinho)
04. Chamego proibido (Jorge de Altinho – Lindolfo Barbosa)
05. O fazendeiro (Geraldo Barbosa – Xavier)
06. Linda sinfonia (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
07. Torrado de moça nova (João Silva – J. B. Aquino)
08. Amor demais (Jorge de Altinho – Francisco Costa)
09. Bem obrigado (Jair do Pandeiro – Severino Ramos)
10. Tá com raiva de mim? (Onildo Almeida)
11. Amor misterioso (Midiam Alves – Lindolfo Barbosa)
12. O xouxinho (João Silva)
Transfer info: Copacabana vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.
Well I had this post nearly ready to share for Saturday but other things got in the way. Although the festas juninas were officially over, there were still pockets of activity and parties going on in the Northeast through the weekend. Oh well, pé de serra has no expiration date, it’s good all year round.
The album title “Trio Nordestino and The Man In The Dress” might initially have caused me some trepidation. Northeast Brazil, for all its charms, is also a deeply troubled place and has been since the days of colonization and slavery. It bears the dubious distinction of leading the country in homicides and in violence against women. Add to those statistics a horrifying rate of violence against transgender individuals, and one could almost forgive the ham-fisted public health “discourse analysis” article I unfortunately stumbled across recently, which sought to link the lyrical representations of masculinity (and related themes of violence, homophobia, etc) to this hard data. There are, of course, all kinds of valid arguments one could make by looking at cultural production this way, but these authors chose to cherry pick the worst examples they could find (using a broad quantitative sampling technique whose criteria are known only to them), as well as some very obscure songs that had no broad social impact and were probably not heard beyond a few hundred people, and decontextualized them rather thoroughly to hammer home a very unsophisticated, knee-jerk argument that did a disservice to the very real problem of gender-based violence.
So, you can imagine my relief when the lyrics of “Homem de saia” turn out to be not just relatively harmless, but practically progressive, to use the current parlance. It’s simply about a man trying to crash an all-female social event, a party where everyone from the person working the door to the members of the band were all women, by disguising himself in a dress. He is found out, and bounced from the party. Hilarity ensues? Anyway, one could argue that Trio Nordestino e o Homem de Saia is about the role of exclusively female spaces and their necessity in a culture tainted by patriarchy, which encompasses contentious debates between women with a uterus and transwomen. Who knew Trio Nordestino would be so prescient?
And for my next trick, I’m going to make this glass of whisky disappear.
Musically speaking, this album once again shows the group in fine form and with lots of memorable tunes, even if it lacks contributions from Dominguinhos and Anastacia like the last one I posted. Não sou culpado is a catchy invocation blending proud regionalism with an assertion of the Nordestino’s brasilidade or national belonging. Linda sinfonia brings us a frevo in a forró style. Bem obrigado sounds like it was written for Jackson do Pandeiro and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him covering it in the 1980’s, it has his syncopation and cadence imitated perfectly. But what may be most striking is that the Trio has “modernized” with electric bass and a full drum kit here. Even I tend to hear the new, electric forró bands – most of which are not my cup of tea – as having little to do with traditional pé de serra. But as always, these things are more of a continuum than a sharp break. If you listen to the slightly-funky bass riffs on this album and the way the drummer plays loud, booming fills on the tom-tom drums at the end of the choruses of the album’s title track, the stuff ain’t that different than Mastruz Com Leite, arrangement-wise.
I realize that I’ve fallen into the trap of only posting about this type of music around São João season, which is a pity. I promise to do better in the future and keep them coming throughout the year.