You’re no good

21 05 2017

One of the big names of young Brazilian music, Mallu Magalhães, is back with a lovely, summery and surprisingly traditional-sounding bossa nova number, Você Não Presta (You’re no good). The song also prompted me to go back to one of my old favourites of hers, Velha e Louca, below:





Fever dream

21 05 2017

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“Fever Dream” is the woozily disorienting, and quietly terrifying, English language debut by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin. A five star read.





Summer beat

10 05 2017

Miss that tacky Latin pop.





Aline Frazao : Ao Vivo

19 04 2017





Cholet!

12 02 2017

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Travel magazines are a guilty pleasure. Utterly disposable and laughably transparent, they are purely devices to stimulate spending. To this aim, everything always has to be “new!” – all the time. “The new Paris”, “The new New York”, “Hottest new destinations for 2017” (are they really going to be so different from the hottest destinations of 2016?), and so many “extraordinary” new hotel properties, yet all offering overpriced variations on a well-worn theme…a room and a swimming pool. Got it.

And yet, I like them. They are pure escapism and a very cheap way, for an hour or so, to feel rich, idly leafing through the pages and deciding which of these places I would (will?) go to.

Conde Naste Traveller, with its well-executed Instagram-inspired art direction (above) is a particular favourite.

This weekend I read an article in it on “South America’s New Hippest City” which was – to its credit, surprisingly – La Paz. But the article put a strong case and I learned something about the city I had never known before, namely that it has sparked a new architectural trend dubbed “cholet”, a portmanteau of “Chola” (Andean native) and “chalet”. Apparently a sign of greater indigenous affluence under President Evo Morales, the buildings have been commissioned by the indigenous nouveau riche from a riot of influences: art deco, street art, Transformers and traditional Aymara culture among them.

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You can read more about the cholet movement here.

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Johnny Hooker

25 01 2017

Recife’s Johnny Hooker has taken Brazil by storm with his re-imagining of the gender-bending 70s and early 80s rock years. In one interview he called David Bowie the Father, Madonna the Mother and Caetano Veloso the Holy Spirit, his personal trinity, although the glam trappings of Ney Matogrosso and Cazuza are also easy to detect.





The art of Belkis Ayon

25 01 2017

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Afro-Cuban symbolism in the art of Belkis Ayon, who sadly took her own life at the age of 32.

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