February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
My dear friend Teo has studied classical guitar since the age of ten. To be precise, his mom made him and his brother Tommy study it. While Tommy didn’t stick to it, Teo slowly grew fonder of his instrument and with the years he also started growing his own tastes, until moving altogether from a classical approach to the world of flamenco. I don’t know exactly how he came to it, but I believe one of the steps that lead him toward this other form of expression and “break the chains”, so to speak, was meeting Marco Pisoni, a classical guitarist whom, for a while has been his maestro and through whom he discovered modern latin american composers such as Leo Brouwer and Heitor Villa Lobos.
Like I said, I can’t remember exactly how the story went (I will ask Teo soon and maybe add a note to this post) nor how exactly he came to know of Marco Pisoni and these modern classical authors, what i do remember is listening to Teo practicing a piece called Choro N°1 one night at his place. I was astonished: the music itself was truly beautiful, funny and enjoyable, but what really made my heart skip a beat was that I was asked to listen and watch him play. You see, the last time I had heard him playing classical guitar was a long time before, when he had just started: he wasn’t usually sharing with others the music he was studying, instead I heard him more than once playing electric guitar. It was like there was a difference between the music he liked to play and the music he had to play. Then, once again, he was preparing for an exam (I think), and for the first time it seemed that he really liked the tune and the music he was studying. Yes, as I recall there had been the odd piece of music which he enjoyed more than others, but this time it was different, it was like he had found something. And this “something” beamed through when he was playing, curved on his guitar, grunting at every small mistake he made while trying to get it better and better and truly enjoying it. And if you ever been lucky enough to hear somebody play or sing for you in the same room, you know what this means.
So yeah, I fell for this music too. I gave the Choro N°1 the nickname of “El toquiño” (you may see that on the tape card. Of course it has nothing to do with the homonymous guitarist) and I remember nagging Teo in several occasions to have him play that and other tunes over and over. Marco Pisoni was sometimes playing live with a duo called Clasico Fandango in which he was accompanied by a percussionist and we had the chance to see them play live at the local library. Teo also managed to get two of the Cds they recorded and lent them to me for a while: from those Cds I made this collection. Some years later, when Cd-burners were already a common thing he also made a mix-cd and gave it to me before I left for Norway for a year. I still listen to this music to these days, it’s beautiful music (if you care to listen you’ll find out yourself) but now I do know that I was never quite into it, as much as I was into Teo being into it.
January 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Another one from the “private library” at my uncle’s.
This tape is a selection of two vintage punk rock samplers/compilations from Stiff Records and RCA Victor entitled Heroes & Cowards and English Waves!. This was my very first taste of what English punk rock meant apart from The Sex Pistols and The Clash: these two records were the hunch I needed to start digging deeper and deeper. With hindsight I reckon they’re both quite interesting in terms of selection and quality (see for yourself by clicking on the links above) my favorite being the Stiff one: you know, we love our label… Strange fact: combining these two records you have the full tracklist to the infamous Snuff Rock EP by Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias a parody of punk rock so good it may actually be the real thing: try listening to Kill (which mocks The Damned, who mocked The Shangri Las) or Gobbin’ On Life!
As you may see by the front card, Side A & B of Gary Gilmore’s Eyes 7″ by The Adverts replaced Patti Smith‘s Piss Factory and The Heartbreakers‘ Love Comes In Spurts. These two tracks, followed by Sonic Reducer by the Dead Boys (on the tape the song comes after a ten seconds gap after Bored Teenager) were part of a compilation called Punk Collection, an early Italian attempt at describing (but mostly selling) punk rock.
December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
Click on thumbnails to enlarge titles.
NoWave mixtape I got my hand on round 1995, but it was recored ages ago as you could get from its muffled sound. It features tracks by Lydia Lunch (Queen Of Siam), Arto Lindsay, Material (Memory Serves & One Down) and Birthday Party (Junkyard). I can’t even remember where this cassette originally came from, what I do remember is that listening to Atomic Bongos (first track on side A) and all of the songs from Material I knew I wanted more songs like these to exist. Repetitive, chanting, tribal, menacing, funk and distort: that’s what I was looking for! I remember looking for infos about those tracks and those records without any result: internet wasn’t an option. A few years later bands like The Rapture and !!! came along and with it the whole no-wave/punk-funk revival: by that time I had a broadband connection and knew all about magic words such as KaZaa, Amazon or DC++. You guess the rest.
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