Friday, May 27, 2011

Life is good

Lol, I had some strong reactions from my friends when I wrote about my Top 10 contemporary musical acts. For some, apparently due to a few strange nationalistic reasons (he he he). That's just a snapshot of my taste for the moment. One of my earlier favorites was the Irish band U2, the background music of my younger days, but it came to a point I don't wanna hear them anymore. At least, for the moment. My musical taste is evolving- the rock musicians are now balanced by the trance music of the Netherlands & Germany, but when I want to focus on music for its sake, I want a synergy of extraordinary sounds that you won't get from the rest of the pack, & that's where the rock-flamenco-rumba fusions of Spain come in. I am a fan of the rock nacional of Argentina, & I actually have an extensive collection of the various acts, from the earlier years to the present (if suddenly I got the itch, I follow Argentine rock via WIFI thru my Android radio app wherever I am in the world so I'm actually updated). I love many Italian acts, in fact, the artist with the most album in my collection is Francesco de Gregori, more than 30 of them (albums, live, compilations) but though Jovanotti & Zucchero are great, they try to copy American sound too much (dai, non avete sentito mai alla parola "knockoff"?). French is good for slow romantic rock ballads but French rock isn't at par with the rest. Contemporary Spanish is my flavor of the moment though trance music is the background music of the fun parts of my life (muziek voor de lul). I am what Armin van Buuren calls a "chair-raver"- while I attend big raves if I have time, trance music has become the soundtrack of my days lately- waiting in airports, along the road, reading the news, reading a book, having sex, buying fruits, doing surgery, analysing my investment portfolio, making idle talk to friends, toilet time, bedtime, etc. Only the volume varies with each activity. I didn't include Armin in my Top 10 list because he's mostly a DJ- but I should have. Mea culpa. He should have been number 1 in the list!

I just bought a new HTC Flyer tablet. Here's a list of the first batch of music I copied into it, a combination of old (whose appeal lingered for some reason, though some are too old, even dead, or the band has disappeared) & new ones. About 30 GB. All the albums of each act. I mean, ALL.

Armin van Buuren
De Poema's
Dash Berlin
Ferry Cornsten

David Garrett
Markus Schulz
Paul van Dyk

Christophe Mae
Francis Cabrel
Gerard de Palmas
Alan Stivell
Jean Pierre Massiera (The Maledictus Sound)

Francesco de Gregori
Alex Britti

Taylor Swift
The Killers
Kings of Leon
Secondhand Serenade
Bruno Mars
One Republic
Breaking Benjamin

Arcade Fire
Coeur de Pirate

Aphrodite's Child

Led Zeppelin
The Last Shadow Puppets
Mumford & Sons
Arctic Monkeys
Sweet Billy Pilgrim
Paolo Nutini
Lighthouse Family
Paul Oakenfold
Ministry of Sounds Chillout albums
Gareth Emery

The Sticks
The Villagers

Ojos de Brujo
Jarabe de Palo
Fondo Flamenco
El Canto del Loco
Dani Martin
Mago de Oz
Pablo Alboran



Arnaldo Antunes
Victor & Leo
Luan Santana

Rata Blanca
Gustavo Cerati
Soda Stereo
La Renga
Indio Solari
Charly Garcia
Luis Alberto Spinetta (Almendra/Invisible/Jade/Pescado Rabioso)
Patricio Rey y sus redonditos de ricota
Sui Generis
Seru Giran
Enanitos Verdes
Las Pelotas
El Otro Yo
Catupecu Machu
Los Tipitos

Que te va gustar

Sunday, May 8, 2011

GODS OF BULLFIGHTING: Jose Maria Manzanarez & Jose Antonio Canales Rivera

Jose Maria Manzanarez

These days, I'm fascinated with Spain because I can see that it's becoming the laboratory of how the coming economic overlords will influence Europe ( if ever the prediction that the East will trounce the economic superiority of the West before the end of the decade is true, that is).

Spain is becoming more & more a Latin American republic by the day- you know the type, a few pseudo-intellectuals at the top posturing as modern & hombres de estos tiempos while a big swathe of the country is becoming Third World economically (the Spain outside the foreign touristic enclaves, that is). Ask your informed Briton friends how much Spain benefited from its inclusion into the EU & their mouths will bubble (at least, Ewan's does), Spain got the biggest largesse which it used for infrastructures to make itself look modern. Unfortunately, it's not expecting any crumbs anytime soon from the usual faucets, & the crisis exposed how shallow its economy is because it racked up an unbelievable 20% unemployment immediately. It's clear it simply doesn't have the economic muscle to back up its dreams of being modern & all that jazz. So it turned its eyes away to China while its "modern" pseudo-intellectuals are mouthing human rights somewhere else. These types are so bent into being "modern" (however they define that word which they throw around liberally, btw) that they are actually bent on erasing even the things that mark them as Spaniards in the first place. Does anybody outside even believe that the Spaniards are known as modern? Pretentious perhaps, I'll be the first to agree. But does everybody know that corrida de toros are Spanish?

Yup, the toros, because some clowns wanted to be so "modern" they don't want to have anything to do with that "medieval" sport. Modern is acquiring new meanings in Spain- "ridiculous" readily comes to mind, next comes "social climber". In Barcelona, where they banned bullfighting, you can get a university student for 10 euros- no, not the Brazilian or Eastern European sex workers you read about. The locals are cheaper if you have the courage to approach them. Greg got six students coming home from a basketball game at 10 Euros each (he met them while jogging near the university), but because he suddenly developed nausea when he thought every fag in town must have tasted the cheap guys, he didn't dare touch them, he just told them to fuck each other & he just watched. Five years ago, I couldn't get for 300 euros a decent university student & I had to sweet-talk him a lot (probably, they still had money from the EU then). A big discount indeed! That's how "modern" Spain has become.

Reading supposed-to-be serious Spanish publications is becoming more & more like reading their usual prensa rosa- entertaining. The excuse is democracy, being modern (again, the word), & you're supposed to be impressed how free they are in espousing counterproductive propositions which are degrading their country. Autonomy issues, sexuality issues, even the vaunted & delicious Latin machismo (supposed to be not modern... again, the word), etc. All the centrifugal forces aren't helping the country any despite vociferous pretensions of democracy. Because that's just it mostly- pretensions. If the prediction that the Western economy will be eclipsed by the Eastern countries in less than a decade comes true, just to bring itself to reality, I suspect Spain will be the first to return to dictatorship. I bet, give it ten years.

There are three things that I find great about Spain: its history, its music & its corrida de toros. Needless to say, I loved the toreros. Especially this one. I'm writing this piece before I start the second phase of my sexual conversion program tomorrow- the complete desensitization of all my sexual feelings to a man, that is. I can safely say, the last straight man in my mind before I finally subject myself to the procedure is Jose Maria Manzanarez. I regard the torero as the ultimate sportsman, facing death at every appearance just to entertain a few harried souls, doing it as if he's dancing it the way it has been danced for centuries.

Some things you don't entrust to theories or to delusions of a few pseudo-intellectuals. The torero is timeless.

Hep, the last one is fake.

celebrating straight boy Jose Mari:





the video frontal: