AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1)

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AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1)

Post by Stephan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:20 am

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona
Sussie 4 - Escapar

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:17 am

The Spotify playlist with 5/8 songs of this part 1.
The clip of Chavela Vargas' "La llorona" is the one I posted on the nomination thread and comes from a 2002 version for the movie "Frida". Stephan, it's OK for me to keep this version available to everyone because it's absolutely amazing with the string arrangement and Chavela's screaming at the end. But if you want to hear the original (and more spare and subdued) 1961 ve rsion with the Cuarteto Lara Foster go to the Spotify playlist or to this You Tube clip
Same with "Canción Mixteca". Please keep on the thread that moving scene from Win Wenders' "Paris, Texas" (it's the best way to appreciate the beauty of this song) but if you want to listen to the vocal version (sung by Harry Dean Stanton) go to the Spotify playlist or to this You Tube clip

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Stephan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:04 am

Thanks Honorio, I did make the consideration for Ry, but I wasn't aware of the different versions for La llorona.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Honorio » Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:04 pm

Bracket 2.3.1
Orchestra Harlow - Cari Caridad (USA, 1972)
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua (Belize, 2008)
Larry Harlow's pray for charity is an obscure gem from the 70s Fania catalog, part of "Hommy: a Latin Opera", an ambitious album that tried to be the Latin answer to The Who's rock opera "Tommy" but instead met with general indifference. On the other hand, "méRua" is a delicious song that benefits of a pleasant Caribbean groove and rich arrangements. Talking about music from the Garifuna people of Belize I would have preferred the gorgeous Wátina by the late Andy Palacio, anyway my vote goes to Belize.


Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento (Mexico, 2003)
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca (USA, 1985)
So sorry, Miguel, I would have liked to vote for Julieta (for the ones that can read Spanish I recommend Miguel's review of "Limón y sal" from 2006). I like her music a lot especially this charming "Lento" ("Slow") with a beautiful accordion part. But I simply cannot vote against "Canción Mixteca". That moving scene from the movie with Harry Dean Stanton nervously squeezing his hands at the sight of her and the happy times they shared in the past is simply too good. And the images of the beautiful Nastassja Kinski turning round and round on the beach is one of the simplest but more powerful and precious images ever shot. And what about the music? Both the instrumental and vocal versions are absolutely awesome, both exquisite and intense. Probably I should not post it if you just listened to the Ry Cooder version, but you may like also Nic & Hon's version, with yours truly on guitar, Esteve on accordion and Nicolas doing a superb vocal part.


Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas con el Cuarteto Lara Foster - La Llorona (Costa Rica/Mexico, 1961)
Sussie 4 - Escapar (Mexico, 2002)
No doubt here. Chavela made her own this traditional ranchera to the point that now it's impossible to think of a better performer despite having been written to be sing by a male. The first version by a young Chavela (it was featured on her very first album in 1961) is remarkable in its bareness showcasing her impressive vocal range from the very beginning of her career. But the latest version with the voice macerated in tequila of an elderly Chavela projects a tragic halo that makes it even more impressive.


Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible (Costa Rica, 1997)
Rubén Blades y Seis del Solar - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andrés [/color] (Panama, 1984)
Another easy decision. The Rubén Blades song is an excellent sample of his trademark style, taking social issues to a music usually designed only for dancing. In this case Blades gave his view about the "liberation theology", a movement inside the Catholic church in Latin America that tried to fight against social injustice and, doing so, generated the opposition of both the Vatican hierarchy and dictatorships regimes. The most moving part of the lyrics came from 3'08" to 3'52" (taken from Blades official page):
"War found the priest one Sunday, in mass
handing out communion with his sleeves rolled up
Half way through the Lord’s Prayer the killer came in
and without confessing his guilt fired at him
Antonio fell holy bread in hand and without knowing why
Andrés died at his side without ever meeting Pelé
and between the screams and the astonishment, agonizing again
was the wooden Christ nailed to the wall.
and no one ever knew who the criminal was
who killed Padre Antonio and his altar boy Andrés"

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Dan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:34 pm

Honorio wrote:Probably I should not post it if you just listened to the Ry Cooder version, but you may like also Nic & Hon's version, with yours truly on guitar, Esteve on accordion and Nicolas doing a superb vocal part.
Beautiful. Seriously.

Nice work on the guitar, Honorio (it's clear from your playing that you have a strong affection for this song). But special mention to that voice that pleases the ears from 01:45 onwards. Having such control over your voice AND being so expressive at the same time is no mean feat. :music-singing:
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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by nicolas » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:37 am

Thank you Dan, recording that song was great. I hope I'll find the time to play this week because I have a big translation job to do but I'll do my best

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Dan » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:04 pm

Nic & Hon, I know you are both very busy at the moment and don't have much time for posting, but I (like others, I'm sure) was wondering how it happened that you recorded this song, and why you chose this song specifically?
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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Stephan » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:30 pm

Absolutely fantastic take on A Canción Mixteca Honorio and Nicolas! Really makes me wish I'd learned to play an instrument when I was younger.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Honorio » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:39 am

Many thanks Stephan and Dan for your kind words (hey Dan, I was hoping you are going to like it).
Dan wrote:Nic & Hon, I know you are both very busy at the moment and don't have much time for posting, but I (like others, I'm sure) was wondering how it happened that you recorded this song, and why you chose this song specifically?
Well, Dan, it all began in an old thread on the Forum about favourite cover versions that Miguel ignited. “Canción Mixteca” showed and I did some comments about it (to my shame I just re-read it and without trying I almost reproduced it in this thread, I don't know if it's a sign of good memory or of lack of imagination). The conversation led to a proposal of an Acclaimed Band but some of the posters then (Paul or Anthony for instance) were not so interested. So Nicolas and me were the ones that finally recorded a demo but separately, I recorded my part in Spain and Nic in France (we shared our parts by means of e-mail and mp3). When we met in March of 2010 in Valencia we did the mix together in a recording studio. Other songs we recorded (all covers) were:
- Vic Chesnutt's Guilty by Association: I played acoustic guitar, bass and three tracks of E-bow (trying to reproduce the original string quartet). I recorded also a lead vocal part (with Nicolas singing the original Michael Stipe part). But finally we realized that the lead vocals by Nic were much better so we deleted my part.
- Georges Brassens' La marine: I played Spanish guitar and a midi guitar (sounding like a music box) and nicolas sang beautifully.
- Bruce Springsteen's Reason to Believe: me on guitar, slide, tambourine and handclaps and nicolas on vocals, harmonica (great!) and handclaps. Those handclaps were the only part we recorded together while doing the mix.
Hope you like it. We posted it at the forum back on 2010 and the reception was quite warm.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by nicolas » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:04 pm

you've said it all, Dr hon :text-goodpost:

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Henrik » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:49 am

Honorio wrote:We posted it at the forum back on 2010 and the reception was quite warm.
Well, how could anyone not like that? :greetings-waveyellow: But, these recordings really deserve a wider spread.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Miguel » Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:24 am

Honorio wrote: So sorry, Miguel, I would have liked to vote for Julieta with a beautiful accordion part. But I simply cannot vote against "Canción Mixteca".
I have to admit that "Canción Mixteca" is the song that really deserves to go to the next round but ... I cannot help but vote for Mrs. Venegas :|

Bracket 2.3.1
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas con el Cuarteto Lara Foster - La llorona

Bracket 2.3.4
Rubén Blades y Seis del Solar - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andrés

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:22 pm

Honorio wrote:
- Vic Chesnutt's Guilty by Association
- Georges Brassens' La marine
- Bruce Springsteen's Reason to Believe

Hope you like it.
We do. My opinion is probably a little biased because these songs are performed here by two of my soul mates, but there are plenty of objective reasons to like these songs. Springsteen’s Reason to Believe is the last song on his bare and rather depressing Nebraska. The song’s lyrics are mostly gloomy, but like some other songs on the album there is also a sense of hope (“people find some reason to believe”). I like it how this recording of the song makes the sense of hope more pronounced. You only have to listen to the first two bars to realise that it’s more polished and upbeat than Springsteen’s original. Yet there is an honesty in Nicolas’ vocals that keeps the song rooted to reality in a way that is truthful to Springsteen’s tone on Nebraska. As for La marine, the combination of Spanish guitar and midi guitar was an inspired idea – it works superbly. And listening to Nic & Hon’s version of the song reminded me again of the reason for loving early chanson: if it is done well, it has a simplicity that is just so fucking beautiful.

Anyway, my votes this week...

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

I really like the subtle blend of African and Caribbean rhythms in the Garifuna Women’s song.

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca

The sweet and sunny Latin pop from Julieta Venegas is very nice, but last year I became a big fan of Ry Cooder because of Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, and listening to A Canción Mixteca this week has pushed Paris, Texas to the top of my list of albums to check out by artists in this game.

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona
Sussie 4 - Escapar

I listened to both versions of the Chavela song, and initially I much preferred the more subdued 1961 version. At first I felt as uncomfortable listening to the 2002 version as I did when I listened to Billie Holiday’s Lady in Satin album: how can a voice once so majestic be reduced to something so broken and harsh? But after repeated listening the sheer guts of the vocal performance in the 2002 version grew on me.

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

Musically, neither song blew my socks off, but the stirring lyrics of the Ruben Blades song (thanks Honorio) gets my vote.
...will keep us together.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Michel » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:21 pm

Bracket 2.3.1
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

Bracket 2.3.2
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona

Bracket 2.3.4
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Greg » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:35 pm

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento

Bracket 2.3.3
Sussie 4 - Escapar

Bracket 2.3.4
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by nicolas » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:03 am

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad 4+
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua 4
I love the special sound of New Yorican salsa

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento 3
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca 5
No match

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona 4+
Sussie 4 - Escapar 4

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible 3
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres 4.25
No match

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Jirin » Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:49 pm

When's the deadline for this again? I may not have time this week.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Kingoftonga » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:42 pm

Backet 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona
Sussie 4 - Escapar

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

Winners in blue.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Jirin » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:08 am

Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad 7
The Garifuna Women's Project - Merua 9

Julieta Venegas - Lento 6
Ry Cooder - A Cancion Mixteca 5

Chavela Vargas - Llorona 5
Escapar - Sussie 4 9

Ghandi - El Invisible 6
Ruben Blades - El padre Antonia y el monaguillo Andres 8

A lot of low scores from me this week, because I'm not hugely into the melodrama.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Stephan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:50 am

My own votes:

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona
Sussie 4 - Escapar

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Stephan » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:53 am

And the results:

Bracket 2.3.1
Larry Harlow - Cari Caridad - 3
The Garifuna Women's Project - méRua - 6

Bracket 2.3.2
Julieta Venegas - Lento - 3
Ry Cooder - A Canción Mixteca - 6

Bracket 2.3.3
Chavela Vargas - La llorona - 7
Sussie 4 - Escapar - 2

Bracket 2.3.4
Gandhi - El Invisible - 0
Ruben Blades - El Padre Antonio y el Monaguillo Andres - 9

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Honorio » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:41 am

Dan wrote:We do. My opinion is probably a little biased because these songs are performed here by two of my soul mates, but there are plenty of objective reasons to like these songs. Springsteen’s Reason to Believe is the last song on his bare and rather depressing Nebraska. The song’s lyrics are mostly gloomy, but like some other songs on the album there is also a sense of hope (“people find some reason to believe”). I like it how this recording of the song makes the sense of hope more pronounced. You only have to listen to the first two bars to realise that it’s more polished and upbeat than Springsteen’s original. Yet there is an honesty in Nicolas’ vocals that keeps the song rooted to reality in a way that is truthful to Springsteen’s tone on Nebraska. As for La marine, the combination of Spanish guitar and midi guitar was an inspired idea – it works superbly. And listening to Nic & Hon’s version of the song reminded me again of the reason for loving early chanson: if it is done well, it has a simplicity that is just so fucking beautiful.

Sorry for not replying before, Dan, but many thanks, I appreciate a lot your kind words (and Henrik’s too). In fact the main reason why I posted again the songs is because your were not around the first time. I’m really glad you liked it.

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Re: AM Foreign World Cup: Round 1 - Northern America (Part 1

Post by Dan » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:36 pm

Hey, Honorio, I wasn't expecting a thank you, but thank you for your thank you and for posting those songs. This thread is a nice place to hang out. I'm really enjoying this experience of discovering great music and reading people's comments about it every week.
...will keep us together.

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