Malo Zouk and More

Malo dominates this mp3 collection of world music. I was a big Santana fan (still am) & thanks to that developed a liking for latino music. Malo is a Spanish group out of San Francisco . I have Uno, Dos, Evolution, Ascención, & Celebracion (singles). The first two I had when they were first released. The others added much later when it was time upgrade from lp to mp3.

Not as ‘acid’ guitar driven as Santana & with horns I love this band. More traditional & laid back they were a good introduction to world music. The lps progressed but never deviated far from their roots. Sometimes political but mostly romantic & always interesting. If you aren’t familiar start with Uno.

In this collection are The Boyoyo Boys: Back In Town (1982). The Boys are a four-piece band from Soweto, South Africa. Their sound is Mbaqanga music which  blends jazz and African musical traditions. Think bouncy & energetic. Similar is found on Hurricane Zouk: 1992 Zouk is a musical movement in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. I don’t recall how I come across Boyoyo but I found Zouk on the $1.00 shelf as the 2nd hand record/book store that used to be around the corner from the Greenwood Subway station. 

Joan Manuel Serrat is a Catalan musician. here is his 1992 Utopia. I was introduced to his music when I was manager at the Lab On Britain St. (now gone). A theatre collective of guys from Mexico, Argentina & Brazil used ‘real’ latin music before their shows. The guys were sweet & the music was wonderful. Serrat is more mellow but enjoyable. Less mellow is Vox Dei (Argentina). A prog-rock band & here I have their concept lp La Bible (original version). When we get to ‘V’ you’ll hear more about them.

Finally on this cd is Homeland: Black South African Music. A fun collection that is a mix of tribal, pop & jazz. I found this first at the library & love dit enough to eventually down load a copy for myself. It is a great collection & also a fine introduction to African world music. I often wonder if American pop is considered world music in South Africa or Brazil?

Their Dreams Unfulfilled

I went back up to my room. Parents can be so weird at times, even though I had changed, they had left it pretty much what it had been like when I was in high-school. Maybe that was when they were happiest with me. When I was still the boy who would grow up to eagerly fulfill their dreams of the perfect heterosexual son.

I had taken much of my furniture with me when I finally left home for university in Toronto. They merely dragged back what had been stashed in the basement – the desk I sat at when I slaved over my homework, my old narrow single bed.  What a fight we had when I wanted to get rid of it for a larger one. Mom was sure a bigger bed would take up too much of the limited space in the room. She was right but at the time I wasn’t giving in an inch. 

The oak frame had a new mattress on it though. The old frame had been sanded lightly but some of my carving still remained as reminders of time frittered away. Initials of girls I now don’t remember, in little hearts, with mine. Maybe some boys though, as then I didn’t know better, or maybe couldn’t admit what I sort of suspected.

DM had to be Darla Matheson. The only reason I remember her or even went out with Darla was because her older bother, Mitchell, mesmerized me with his smile. I could still see his face so clearly while her’s a blur in a yearbook.

“We’re shutting the water off.” My Dad called up to me.

“Okay.” 

I’d arrived a two days ago. After driving non-stop for almost 24 hours I’d slept most of the next days and I wanted a day of vegging in the old homestead before taking on the city but this was pushing me out sooner than I’d planned. 

Outside I looked over the house, the garden. It had been over five years since I’d been home last. Trees were bigger.

“You want a lift anywhere?” My Dad opened the car door.

“No. thanks. I’ve had enough driving for awhile. Think I’ll just take a stroll.”

“Enjoy. Some of us have to work you know.” He laughed.

I watched from front steps as he drove away.

I walked to the corner and stood for a minute to look in each direction. One way was the walk to my grade school, another direction to my high-school and a third, the direction towards downtown. Which set of unfulfilled dreams did I want to tackle first?


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African Guitar Summit

Next on my ‘pop’ shelf is African Guitar Summit. Clearly not pop fodder but my world music is mashed into pop – too many subdivision for me to want start making more categories than I ready had: pop; electronica; jazz; classical.

poppop: ABC to Moby Grape

I bought this at HMV – can’t remember the last time I went into a cd store looking for anything. I sort of miss flipping through those racks, the click of plastic protective armour so one could steal a cd. I miss more flipping through lp covers though. But not enough to even bother going into a second store on a hunt.

toquetouque jam

I think Summit won some awards & I bought it a year or so later when it was on sale. The music is bouncy, appealing and fun to write to. A one off, I was hoping more interplay amongst the various guitarists involved. Its on the CBC label so I got to support our recording industry at the same time as actually enjoying the music.

crystaliced crystals

I enjoy music that takes me out of the lock step of our culture. Not sure where this goes back to – If with African Sanctus ; or maybe it was Osibisa? (more about them as they come up in the alpabet.) So my collection ranges from Jacques Brel  to Merecedes Soca.  From one hit wonders Music Machine to never heard of (in North America) wonders Vox Dei.

samples

Memories

It was as if I was throwing away my past, discarding memories of people, places and things. Yet I knew I couldn’t continue to carry all this stuff – material things – possessions that no longer served a useful purpose expect for what they reminded me of – and did I need all those reminders?

That t-shirt X gave me when I directed the show he was in. Too bad his memory was so bad the other actors were always afraid to be on stage with him. They never knew where he would jump to or which of their cues he would drop.

That t-shirt gone to Goodwill. X had hoped somehow the t-shirt might make it possible for him to do more work with me but that once was enough for me. But not for him. He was pretty pissed to find I had decided not to use him as lead in a later show even though I had mentioned he might be considered. I lied.

Now that t-shirt is gone, the memory hasn’t, yet. But when I don’t come cross it in the piles of clothes over the next few years I expect the memory is holds will fade, to make room for something more positive.

Moving memories out – the past being unencumbered by the objects that hold me to it – old photographs I haven’t looked at in over ten years, people in photos whose names I don’t remember. Books I enjoyed, but now after thirty years it doesn’t look as if I’ll be getting back to reading them again.

Gone. Making space, Empty shelves. Making me wonder why I held on to the them. The dust they collect isn’t the interest that pays the bills.

Funny, that once the first book, t-shirt, photograph, Lp, has been culled the others become easier. Then it becomes a sudden flash flood that washes clean & takes the debris away with it to leave a sadly empty space.

The challenge becomes to leave it empty. To see the emptiness as a positive, as room to breath, as opposed to empty and worthless. The objects seem to have held a value beyond memory, a weight of fact. The weight of them, the smell of them and without that, it’s as if I have nothing.

The empty shelf becomes an emptiness of spirit. I know that it isn’t, but for the first few lingering seconds it feels like that. Like the sudden shock of a totally new hair cut – is that me? Where is the old me – where is that familiar face – it’s there all right, but takes a few glances in the mirror to get use to.

Shaking out the dust of years, looking in boxes not opened since they were sealed before the dawn of time, or so it seems. Small surprises but mostly, oh now I can let go. I’ve seen it one last time. I’ve heard it one last time and it’s now ready to become a part of someone else’s life.

To seed new memories for someone else.

So farewell to you old t-shirts, old photographs. Thanks for the time we’ve had and enjoy your new homes. 

pridetattered pride