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Monday, 7 May 2012

Dia Das Maes 2012, Chega de Saudades

Mum's the word...

So - I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got the chance to write about the same thing twice - but right here, right now I'm feeling like its about time I put it out there.

Mother's day is not just for mothers. Its for everybody. Its for supermarkets and florists and restaurants and Dads and kids and pets. Difference in Brasil is that, like many celebrations, it comes with a sprinkle more heart on the sleeve.

In a recent beer-fueled verbal ramble with a Brasilian mate, things were getting a somewhat overly philosophical regarding those subtleties of our mother-tongues that go beyond plain words. That's why we have sayings and gestures after all - so that we can communicate with heightened sophistication when emotional gravitas is called for. (and I don´t mean flashing your headlights and indicating with your right hand that the driver in from is inclined to play with himself from time to time).

Anyway. I digress. Our conversation settled for a while on what I reckon might be the most beautiful word of them all. - Saudades. It means to miss. Although when I say that I mean that it means to miss someone (or something) with an inexplicable pang of emotion, the only way to begin to understand, is to have felt yearning so subtle and painful, that words fail to describe it. Every time.

Anyone can have saudades - its not an exclusively pissed up Carioca sentiment. The point is, I suppose that I reckon the Brasilians are the only people who actually have a word to describe what they are.

My little man and his mum will be back from their travels in time for the onslaught of paper roses and cut out love hearts. Right now the dullness in my world and the bubbling excitement in my bones that is stopping me from concentrating might qualify as saudades - I just dunno.

One thing I do know is that losing my Mum 15 years ago, on Dia Das Maes makes me a bit of a miserable bastard around this time of year. But I know the sheer joy she would have felt as she watched her children and grandchildren  grow. Now that kind of knowing I reckon might qualify as saudades. Anyway, enough. I'm off for a pint.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Can´t get enough, of that funky stuff

I'd buy that for R$1!

A few of cool musical things have happened to me recently. A colleague needed a last minute replacement for a gig at Teatro Carlos Gomes and I was in the right place at the right time.

The gig was for 70s carioca funk outfit, Gerson King Combo and the vibe was great. Can't believe how much I've missed this style of music, and the chance to play with these guys at a busy theatre gig was certainly not to be missed.

Click here to hear what they are up to - what staggered me was the sheer diversity of the crowd - hip twenty somethings to proper old dears. Great way to spend the early evening. - And the best thing was that the Prefectura subsidised the event so that punters paid a mere R$1 to get in! - Fantastic. All part of the campaign to hold some of the commuters in the city until the congestion dies down. Are you listening Mr Mayor of London? (whoever you happen to be right now....)

Band is available as a 9 piece + gringo at no extra charge

So, with a rekindled desire to be attacked by phat funk, combined with the need to embark on wholesome and boozy outings while I'm home alone, lead to me going to see Band Black Rio at Casarão Ameno Resedá. This legendary funk outfit also delivered, and this time in a really cool venue near Catete metro, that makes you feel as if you've just walked onto the set of a Bacardi advert.

Can't recommend this place enough and R$40 seemed pretty fair given the quality of the venue and the calibre of the band.  I would definitely get over ther and shake your booty before the world and his funky dog starts queueing around the block to get in. (the restaurant downstairs looks good too). Not sure about the after show DJ though. Erm, actually I am. He was bollocks.

Maria Fumaça - A Staple of Brasilian Funky Stuuf - uuuuuhuu!

Now I just need a mortgage for the Maceo Parker tickets in June..... 

Mind Your Tongue In Laranjeiras

I remember going round to my Grandma's house and doing all sorts of things that seem really strange now that I'm looking back at them. But sometimes those memories come flooding back, triggered by random things that happen by surprise.

It happened last night. I went out for a million or so beers with a couple of friends in Bar Serafim in Rua Alice, Larangeiras, and of of them ordered tongue and onions for us to share. The memories of Grandma's sandwiches returned and I couldn't help but smile. Who would have thought that all these years on, and so far away, I would be pondering my bickering grandfolks and getting the beers in. - It really was excellent, although I have to admit not something I would have plumbed for myself. Must remember to remain more adventurous in my menu perusal.

Anyhow if Lingua Cebolada is not your thing, then the rest of the Portugues menu is also superb and the location is smashing. I´ll be back.

Did you just stick your tongue out?

Try one of these....

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