Monday, August 28, 2006

Back to school tomorrow. I went out and got all my supplies today. Very curious to see what we’ll be using all those Ziploc storage bags for!

One class will be held at the Harold Washington Library and the other will be at Dominican proper in River Forest. Like most things these days, heading back to school snuck up on me. My parents were here this weekend and I found myself having several conversations about Thanksgiving plans. We discussed turducken, which contrary to popular belief, wasn’t invented by the supremely avuncular John Madden. Where did August go? Where did the summer go? It seems only natural that having a child would cause time to pass with even greater rapidity. How is Abby already 8 months old tomorrow?

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s current Minister of Culture, recorded his album 1971 that very year while living in exile in London. I’ve only given a couple close listens to the album (I wish I had more time for close listens. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate during commutes to and from River Forest for school are the opportunities they give me to closely listen to a couple albums) so I’m still connecting and familiarizing myself to the songs (his cover of Windwood’s Can’t Find My Way Home is nice standout) but I’m really enjoying the supremely relaxed feel of many of its cuts. The track, Mama, for example, is a gorgeously breezy ballad that, like the rest of the album, comes soaked in a warm bath of silky reverb and casually saunters barefoot under a late August moon while Gil strums his acoustic (accompanied by the subtle bass playing and backing vocals of Chris B and laments Mama’s (Brazils?) desire to hold him too close to her apron strings. How else to read lines like, “I wanna kiss your face again/Am gonna go my way, mamma/ Don’t worry, don’t cry, don’t complain/Don’t try to hold me down”?

I wish I knew more about the specifics of the anti-government hi-jinx Gil and Velosa were up to that originally got them thrown in jail and eventually led to their exile. What little I do know about the military’s rule of Brazil from 1964 to 1985 was that there were, at least in the late 60’s and early 70’s, many within the military, especially during the time of Brazil's enormous economic expansion, who believed they had to strongly curtail any cultural/populist sentiment that questioned their authority. This included torture, disappearing and indiscriminate arrests. I’m guessing that they saw in Gil and Velosa, already hugely popular Brazilian pop stars, a couple of cocky upstarts who were not so covertly looking to subvert the authoritarian rule they found themselves and their music living under.

You can listen to every single one of Gil’s albums here on his amazing website.