Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"How would you rate your overall call quality?"

Tonight I rang my sister for her 28th birthday. Bursting with pride for my dear Mem over such wonderful reviews for her "tour de force" play, I was so excited to wish her happy birthday.

It´s funny how skype asks you after your calls, "How would you rate your overall call quality?"

Sometimes after calls home I think skype has it all wrong. Dont they know they are servicing those living on the lonely planet? Far away from loved ones?

The post-call question from skype should be the following:
"Exhiliarating and euphoric/Warm fuzzies/Nostalgic and sentimental/Homesick/Heart Wrenching/Just plain upsetting"

Ah. I did pick a very far away place to be.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Film clip of the year

oh oh oh oh oh I love this new album from Sarah Blasko. I am so impressed by it, by its heart, its fragility, its truth in so many ways, its strength. It´s so spot on.

This film clip is a triumph.

Arriba Sarah!!

Acto Público

On Saturday we organized a public demonstration alongside other human rights organizations in relation to the bleak impunity for human rights violations in Mexico: Torture, arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances.

Here are some graphics and photos.

So much to learn, so much to grow, human rights defense and advocacy is a long road and I´ll never stop reflecting and learning. Yeah. Peace.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oscar Chavez

On saturday night I went along with some mates to see the classic singer of Mexican trova, Oscar Chavez. I think I have referred to trova in earlier posts (political acoustic songs derived from folk traditions).

If you like trova, you love it. You crowd around with friends singing the greats: Silvio Rodriguez, Óscar Chávez, Fernando Delgadillo, Luis Eduardo Aute, Pablo Milanez, etc etc. The small amount I know from the universe of trova, I love it.
Trova is probably one of the most unique contributions to music from Latin America and Spain. It can mix in boleros, sons, rancheros and other genres into a very nostalgic, empassioned, haunting mix.

Oscar Chavez is one of the older trovadores, with a big booming deep voice, he rouses the crowds in his usual khaki get up and ponytail. Here are two of his classic songs. The first one, "Por ti" (because of you), is not advised to be taken in concentrated doses. It is a bit of a bomb, and gets the audience almost at weeping point. This is a very glammed up TV set video and not usually what Oscar looks like, but it was the best recording I could get on youtube:

"Por ti, yo dejé de pensar en el mar. Por ti, yo dejé de fijarme en el cielo..."
"Because of you, I´ve stopped thinking about the sea. Because of you, I´ve stopped noticing the sky.."...
Uff. We heard the song played by Oscar´s co-performer in the first half of the concert, and then there was an interval, and we had a tequila, and Oscar sang "Por ti" again. uuf, the effect of the song was even more potent after a good tequila.

Now, this is also a classic song of trova. Hasta siempre. SO many people sing this song, this famous poem dedicated to Che Guevara. I happen to think this version by Oscar Chavez is one of the best. Check out this video, it´s tremendously entertaining!
"Aquí, se quedará clara
La entrañable transparencia
De tu querida presencia,
Comandante Che Guevara"

"Here it will remain clear,
The loveable openness
of your dear presence,
Commandante Che Guevara"

When this song is played sometimes you´ll see the audience all silently raise their hands with a closed fisted salute.


And whilen Í´m at it, I cant help but post a song from my most beloved trovador, Silvio Rodriguez. From the most bass of trovadores (Oscar Chavez), to the most tenor (Silvio), here is Te doy una Cancion, a song I have also spoken about on this blog. And if you continue on this video, you get another really lovely song from Silvio. Enjoy!

New York Times

I thought I´d post this link to a story in New York Times a couple of weeks ago where I was inadvertedly quoted!