carlos gardel

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CARLOS GARDEL: The voice of Argentina

CARLOS GARDEL: The voice of Argentina

Just as there is no English-language equivalent of Jacques Brel (suggestions anyone?) or Edith Piaf, so there is no equivalent to Carlos Gardel (1890-1935) who became the voice of Argentinean folk-tango. At a guess we might say Gardel was akin to an implosion Irving Berlin/Lennon-McCartney/Hank Williams with a touch of (unhelpfully) Brel and...

THE VISUAL ARTS IN BUENOS AIRES (2010): Out in the street

THE VISUAL ARTS IN BUENOS AIRES (2010): Out in the street

You can’t help notice that the skin of Buenos Aires is heavily tattooed: not just with graffiti, but by large and vivid murals, and spray-on stencil art. You can spend a lot of time looking at the walls of Buenos Aires. Many murals are clever and colourful but the graffiti -- mostly just tagging -- is as absurd and incomprehensible as...

Vayo: Tango (Pantaleon)

Vayo: Tango (Pantaleon)

Every journalist-cum-travel writer who goes to Argentina writes about the seduction of tango, the sensual poetry of the dance and so on. To be honest, having been there, it's hard not to. Like Venice and gondolas, Buenos Aires and tango just go together and invite words. But fewer people write about the music of tango (as opposed to the...

NELLY OMAR: The restless soul of Argentina

NELLY OMAR: The restless soul of Argentina

Sometimes it is possible to feel some sympathy for the aging Rolling Stones, and not because they are aging -- but because that has become an issue. It must be extremely tedious for Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood to see in just about every article written their ages added up to some collective number, as if that had something to do with their...

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (LightintheAttic/Rhythmethod)

Serge Gainsbourg: Histoire de Melody Nelson (LightintheAttic/Rhythmethod)

As with the great Jacques Brel, there is no easy shorthand into the French singer, songwriter, actor and cultural icon that was Serge Gainsbourg (1928-91). Gainsbourg -- much revered in France by many -- was undoubtably a roue and in these rather more sensitive times many would doubtless disapprove of his serial sexual encounters, love of...

Gotan Project: Tango 3.0 (XL)

Gotan Project: Tango 3.0 (XL)

After their double live of 18 months ago some might have thought this slippery trio (and guests) who have made tango-cool albums a life-style accessories would have exhausted their self-invented genre. And while this album is no huge re-invention for those who are ho-hum about them (this writer), the dub elements, more pronounced...

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg: Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg (Light in the Attic)

Sex sells. It certainly sells the idea of maturity when former popettes decide to ditch the little sister look and get into barely-there leathers. Adults of course find this tasteless and the kids being manipulated, but it's nothing more than sex selling a product just like any other. Sex gets people hot under the collar (as in outraged) and...

BRUCE COCKBURN PROFILED (2010): Poet with a rocket launcher

BRUCE COCKBURN PROFILED (2010): Poet with a rocket launcher

Most people looking at the life of Bruce Cockburn come away saying the same thing: “You mean he made music as well?" Canadian singer-songwriter Cockburn has his biography punctuated by stories about being in Mozambique while snipers were out, getting drunk in Kathmandu, travels through nervous Central and South American...

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn: Small Source of Comfort (True North)

Bruce Cockburn – whose sole skirmish with chart success was Wondering Where The Lions Are in 1980 – is the Richard Thompson of Canada. And if you don't get the reference that's the point. Both are respected and influential folk-rock songwriters/guitarists, but their gifts go largely unacknowledged beyond admiring musicians,...

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Juanes: La Camisa Negra (2005)

Unless you follow Latin pop then La Camisa Negra/The Black Shirt might be the biggest hit you never heard by a global star don't even known about. Juanes from Colombia has sold 15 million albums, won 17 Latin Grammy awards and one Grammy. The album Mi Sangre (My Blood) which included La Camisa Negra (The Black Shirt) debuted at...

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