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Restos de Colecção II

Por incrível que pareça já andamos nestas andanças faz agora 24 semanas, ou seja é altura para mais um Restos de Colecção. Uns punhados de músicas indispensáveis mas que a força das regras que decidi impor às M4we obrigaram a ficarem de fora da escolha nessa semana.

Da M4we #018 Dai! Basta! Smettila! onde andei a passear pela pop italiana escolhi Pierfilippi a cantar Tu Sai Chi Sei, versão que os Montefiori Cocktail fizeram de On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever), escrito em 1965 por Burton Lane e Alan Jay Lerner para o homónimo musical de sucesso. A versão mais conhecida é sem dúvida a interpretação de Barbra Streisand para a variante cinematográfica do êxito da Broadway em que contracenava com Yves Montand. Imensas versões existem da canção: por vários membros do Rat Pack; Dame Shirley Bassey e Blossom Dearie; Lou Rawls, Matt Monro e Jim Nabors; versões instrumentais por Martin Denny ou o Winston Turner Quartet (destas há que destacar a brilhante versão dos The Quartette Três Bien que é absolutamente fantástica). No entanto é a versão gravada em 1969 pelos Peddlers, proeminentemente utilizada no episódio Hazard Pay da quinta época de Breaking Bad, que cria a matriz para qualquer arranjo mais actual.

J’ai dormi chez des prélats 

Entre deux doigts d’arnica 

Trois bons mots, une caresse 

Au vicaire et sur les fesses 

Je suis le pouvoir d’achat 

Je suis celui qui décomplexe 

Je suis le dernier réflexe 

Qu’on n’est pas près d’oublier 

Bernard Lavilliers a cantar Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’un Billet de Banque lembra-nos como a cantiga é mesmo uma arma, embaraçante para os sem escrúpulo enquanto que redentora fortaleza dos inocentes. Canção poema que abre o seu terceiro album Le Stéphanois datado de 1975, faz exactamente “o que está escrito no rótulo da embalagem”: é papel-moeda a falar na primeira pessoa, enquanto relata algumas das suas “verdades” mais inquietantes. Fun fact: o inveterado anarco-comunista Lavilliers que em 1970 tinha gravado um 7” sob o nome de Edgar de Lyon viria a casar-se no principio dos anos 80 com Lysa Lyon, pioneira do bodybuilding feminino e modelo americana que posou para Helmut Newton e Marcus Leatherdale enquanto servia de musa a Robert Mappelthorpe.

Que devia ter feito parte da M4we #015 Protest Songs é facto consumado mas Shipbuilding, canção que Elvis Costello ainda cantou mas escreveu a pensar na voz de Robert Wyatt, tinha mesmo de acabar por estar presente neste Restos de Colecção. Quando o produtor Clive Langer tocou para Elvis Costello uma melodia de piano com uma certa inflexão jazzistíca e para a qual ele tentava encontrar uma letra adequada, o conflito de 1982 entre a Grã-Bretanha e a Argentina pelas Ilhas Malvinas tinha acabado de começar. A letra de Costello considera as repercussões potenciais do conflito na áreas tradicional da construção naval no Reino Unido, então já em declínio. A canção pondera se “esse bafejo de sorte” para os estaleiros pode de alguma forma justificar as perdas potenciais em termos de casualidades provocadas por um conficto bélico. “Vale a pena? / Um novo casaco de inverno e sapatos para a mulher / E uma bicicleta no aniversário do menino?”, inflectindo sensivelmente nas escolhas que as pessoas fazem quando estão de mãos atadas “É tudo o que sabemos fazer / Estaremos a construir navios”.

Quando fiz a recente playlist dedicada ao ano de 1978 falei de como na minha primeira ida a Londres “quase” tinha visto o Frank Zappa ao vivo, num espectáculo cancelado pelo próprio com um “vocês ingleses são uns merdas” ao fim de duas músicas. Amplamente documentada na sua autobiografia The Real Frank Zappa Book (a leitura do qual recomendo vivamente), Zappa havia “desatinado” com o cancelamento de ultima hora de uma das grandes orquestras inglesas em relação a gravar num disco dele com a desculpa do maestro em como as letras não eram adequadas ao prestígio e reputação dessa instituição. Após publicar a M4we #022 1978 recebi um comentário da Sara Sezifredo, com quem trabalhei nos meus tempos da publicidade, a dizer-me “❤️ a ouvir!! só deitei uma lagriminha por não ver o Zappa na lista 🙂😘 obrigada!” Ao que lhe respondi que “Não chores miúda. O Zappa até editou nesse ano, Studio Tan, um disco talvez considerado menor mas que eu adoro”. Por isso e em dívida para com ela deixo aqui o brilhante Lemme Take You To The Beach, de um disco que só contem mais 3 faixas: The Adventures Of Greggery Peccary (com mais de 20 minutos de duração é um dos lados do disco, REDUNZL e Revised Music For Guitar & Low Budget Orchestra. Esta ultima talvez seja resposta ao incidente contado um pouco acima.

Quem acompanha isto já sabe que esta semana só escolhi trinta e nove canções porque essa trigésima nona é enviada a um criador de moda que depois escolhe a ultima. Neste caso enviei ao Nuno Gama o hit Da Ya Think I’m Sexy de Rod Stewart, canção de 1978 envolvida num litígio autoral com Jorge Ben que sempre declarou esta como um rip-off do seu Taj Mahal que fechava o album Ben datado de 1972. E o Nuno escolheu como ponto final parágrafo um hit intemporal da música portuguesa. Ouçam até ao fim e digam lá se não é uma boa escolha…

NOTA: vou a banhos e volto só em Setembro e por isso pelo desculpas… a música segue já dentro de duas semanas.

Que este fim de semana seja de mergulhos no oceano.

#staysafe #musicfortheweekend

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I’ve always been fascinated by the music produced in the British Isles. I may have grown up on a sonic diet of crooners and classical music but since my first encounter with that “license to kill” demonstrated by the English pop I have surrendered to the chords and strumming of Her Majesty’s subjects. I think it must have been Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and I Want You, both on the Abbey Road album found one day at home. The fanfaresque side of one and the long crescendo of the other caught me immediately and possibly served as a blueprint for my appreciation more focused on the dramatic effect that pop music can aim for in it’s moments of excellence.

The English have always been unique in their way of being. However, there was always a huge charmed attraction towards all things American hidden there, hand in hand with the desire to excel in this transatlantic market as to prove who was in charge in the world of popular music. In this dualistic way of living with the ethos of an art and the international charts (and with some help from the specialized press), the “beefeater” pop made several “invasions” concerted in converting everyone around the world to the gospel according to britpop.

I start with an album considered as minor in Joe Jackson’s career but which, in my opinion, is a genuine and successful tribute to Duke Ellington’s boundary-breaking mastery who always preferred a more freewheeling relationship with his material and hence the choice of Perdido in a portuguese version voiced by Lilian Vieira, singer of the Zuco 103 collective.

And then I move on to the golden boy Tom Misch, who played the violin from the age of 4 and then studied music technology at Langley Park School for Boys and jazz guitar at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich but from where he left after six months to focus on his art. South of the River is from his Geography album but this year he has already published What Kinda Music in partnership with drummer Yussef Dayes. Misch is a prodigy and I know he will surprise me a lot more in his career that I hope to be prolific.

Continuing on the britfunk path, I teleport to 1980 with London Town by Light of the World, a collective that incorporated Beggar & Co that played brass in Spandau Ballet’s Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On), moving on to Stay, the most wobbly song ever recorded by the Thin White Duke. The character Bowie invented for his “Philly Soul” phase that culminates in Young Americans and Station to Station evolved amid much controversy, with accusations that Bowie was sympathetic to the Nazi cause with the press describing him as “emotionless” Aryan aristocrat zombie ”. Bowie for his part confessed in an interview to the Daily Express in 1976 that when acting as one of his characters “I’m Pierrot. I’m Everyman. What I’m doing is theater, and only theater … What you see on stage isn’t sinister. It’s pure clown. I’m using myself as a canvas and trying to paint the truth of our time on it. The white face, the baggy pants – they’re Pierrot, the eternal clown putting over the great sadness ”.

In 1993 David Sylvian recorded The First Day with Robert Fripp and I moved to London as we say in Portugal “with weapons and luggage”. Until then, I went there regularly and was always watching and listening attentively to this bittersweet transgression that made English music so special in a seductive mix of post-colonial colloquialism (the butter pie invoked by Mccartney and his Linda may be enrolled in a number one 7” on the Billboard charts but it’s an expression only understood in Lancashire) and a sense of redemptive innovation, a moving forward towards whatever uncertain situation the future might bring us… If I stop for a moment to compare the functionality of music today, heard as a sound “wallpaper”, easily accessed anywhere and anytime and those times I could conclude that pop was an affectionate punch that linked us to life, to everyday life but also to the revelry of the intangible, in a prognosis in which the doctor has already left the building a long time ago and is now at a party in Mile End listening to jungle music without really understanding how to dance “this mess around” but letting himself be infected by the jovial environment and the puckishness of said situation.

I’m here, you’re there

I’m here, here’s your share

Take your share

Just in case… just in case

My oldest friends in London were the PPQ posse. Neo-mods, some of them original from the Isle of Wight, the ancient kingdom of Wihtwara that until 1995 had a Governor representing the English Crown. They organized fantastic evenings, where the Sixties and electronics came hand in hand. But the cherry on top of the cake was when they managed to get the Friday night at an off-Regent Street club that they managed to reopen after being closed since the “Profumo affair”. There I attended the first Moloko concert in London and danced like crazy the night that best portrayed the old Albion at the time. Theirs is the Time 3 theme under the nick St. Jude. I still communicate today with one of them, to whom I send my M4we religiously and to whom I only have one thing to say: Godspeed.

Music was in a constant process of renewal, much more instrumental both in design and in the literal absence of vocals, Fila Brazillia and Boards of Canada are both included in this selection.

On sale last week, the first album by Billy Nomates, artistic aka chosen by Tor Maries, serves to illustrate one of the emerging states of the current English pop. Recorded in Bristol with the help of Geoff Barrow from Portishead it is not by accident that I chose the song No just after Jolly Fucker by the Sleaford Mods. It was out of a depression that Maries went to a concert by the Nottingham duo and felt inspired to return to writing songs.

Inspired songs are not lacking in this selection. Be it Damon Albarn’s second single in Gorillaz mode or Parachute by The Pretty Things, “an obscure underground classic” in the words of Stephen Holden from Rolling Stone magazine. I left out Prefab Sprout (maybe in the coming M4we) and I have to admit that within a range of 40 some good people had to stay out. But I included things that could only have happened in this island: John Baker of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop created by Daphne Oram and Desmond Briscoe playing The Invasion Muzak, OST for the televised Marmite that is the Doctor Who series, an aquired taste almost only understood by English folks; Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers in the comic duet Goodness Gracious Me telling an Italian lady who confronts an Indian doctor with her “heat”; actor Peter Wyngarde “saying” It’s When I Touch You or Jake Thackray with the story of Old Molly Metcalf and her yan tan tether mether pip of counting sheep. All in all a good crop of panto that could only have appeared in England.

How many Christmas Pantos delighted me when I lived in London. Pantomime is derived etymologically from Greek to “imitate everything” but for the English it is a true oxymoron since it is not even mute, on the contrary it requires a mastery of the language that Shakespeare left them. Based on the tradition of burlesque, it’s possible maximum exponent is my choice for this week’s final with Douglas Byng, the most risqué of the comic “cowardesque” performers.

Without Byng, countless times censored by the beeb, we might not have had a Julian Clary or a Dame Edna Everedge (the latter an Australian import but who made a career in the UK).

The choice of I’m One Of The Queens Of England is pretty fair because it demonstrates well the richness of sexual innuendos and double entendres that studded his songs like a royal crown.

His epitaph was written by himself while still alive:

So here you are, old Douglas, a derelict at last.

Before your eyes what visions rise of your vermilion past.

Mad revelry beneath the stars, hot clasping by the lake.

You need not sigh, you can’t deny, you’ve had your bit of cake.

He died on August 24, 1987 at the age of 94 and his ashes were scattered outside his former home in Brighton, where there is still a bus named after him.

May your weekend be punctuated by originality and a strong willingness to change.

#staysafe #musicfortheweekend

Wings – Let ‘Em In

Stargard – Three Girls

Montefiori Cocktail – On A Clear Day (Tu Sai Chi Sei cantata da Pierfilippi)

Bernard Lavilliers – Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’un Billet de Banque

Gianni Mazza – Sospesi nel Traffico

Julie London – Fly Me To The Moon

Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding

David Sylvian – Pop Song

Cinderellas – Good Good Lovin’

Huerta – All Wild Things Are Shy

The Rah Band – Messages from the Stars

Bruno Nicolai – Allora il Treno

Cory Daye – Rainy Day Boy

Frank Zappa – Lemme Take You To The Beach

Sophia Loren – Soldi, Soldi, Soldi

Ed Bentley – Bentley Boogie

Lio – Le Banana Split

Urfali Babi – Disko Kebap (Baris K Edit)

Acos CoolKAs – Lazy Moon

Lulu – The Boy Next Door

Fernandel – Ignace

Warpaint – Ashes to Ashes

Prefab Sprout – Moving the River

Los Marcellos Ferial – La Casa del Sole

Piper – Hot Sand

A.C. Band – Good Feelings (Vocal)

Aztec Camera – Walk Out to Winter (Extended Version)

Serge Gainsbourg – La Javanaise

Peter Gabriel – Don’t Give Up ft. Kate Bush

Tindersticks – Rumba

Ultravox – My Sex

Tony Madrid – Bodies in The Night

Quiet Village – Pacific Rhythm

Fun Boy Three & Bananarama – It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)

Vick Lavender – Rocket Ship (The Sophisticado Master Fusion Mix)

Boris Vian – Je Bois

Aura Safari – Saturn and Calypso

Wolfgang Käfer – Fly and Spider

Rod Stewart – Da Ya Think I’m Sexy (Special Disco Mix)

António Variações – …O Corpo É Que Paga

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