Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Music: Brazilian B-Sides

Miss Fifty Foot took a break last Sunday. To those who contacted me to ask what was wrong, thanks for checking in! Truth is, I was dog-tired, and for some reason hadn't listened to music the previous week. I work at a university, so some of this can be attributed to the regular Fall quarter overload. And, as winter approaches, every day is shorter and darker than the last. It's been a struggle to awaken at a normal time. My doctor recommended I buy a therapeutic light for seasonal affective disorder. The use of therapeutic light to stabilize circadian rhythms, and thus stabilize mood, is backed up with good research.

My 10,000 lux Apollo BriteLite arrived on Wednesday. To give you an idea of what we miss during winter: overcast daylight is about 10,000 lux, while bright sunlight ranges between 32,000 to 130,000 lux. Despite being only as bright as a cloudy day, the fixture produces one of the most blazing white lights I've ever experienced from an artificial source. To get the best results, I sit next to it for 30 minutes in the morning. Although it's too early to deliver a final verdict, I do feel more alert after awakening.

On Friday, I went to a concert featuring Brazilian musical legend Milton Nascimento, and the Jobim Trio. Nascimento, whose recent work seems to veer toward jazz/bossa nova fusion, is not one of my top picks from his era. I favor his early stuff from the late 60s and early 70s, as did the audience, which appeared to be nearly every Brazilian living in the tri-state area. Later, I waited in the inevitable post-concert restroom line, the only gringa, it seemed. Amid the flock of stunning birds-of-paradise, I felt like a common house sparrow. Wearing a hoodie and track shoes was definitely a mistake. A couple women continued singing choruses from their favorite songs. "Al-la-la, Al-la-la,la la la..."echoed from a stall as one lady did her business.

I have little familiarity with recent Brazilian pop music, with the exception of Cansei de Ser Sexy ("tired of being sexy"), an electropop band with a handful of international hits. That's why this playlist from the Brazil Travel Blog is much appreciated.*

Folkloric rabeca (fiddle) from Antonio Nóbrega.

"Instinto Coletivo" by O Rappa, with animated capoeira.

Real, live capoeira. Unbelievable! [Link]

Top Ten: Brazilian Music (B-sides) [Link]

*It's a little dated..just up to 2001. Still, new territory for me.

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