Open Call To Arms

Ok, I think we can mostly agree that the majority of what is coming out under the convenient moniker of "music" these days is junk. Accordingly, ferreting out the gems that are keepers is one of the greatest thrills I know. It's work, though, and I propose that we pool resources. Recently, I've had a couple of friends come and visit from South America (Chile and Argentina) who are genuine music lovers, and we spent literally hours on end trading favorites. It was a great opportunity to open windows into a world of music that I otherwise would have missed and reap the cream of the crop. So, in the interest of getting a little something going, I'll offer up a couple of personal winners from the Ibero-Latino scene and hopefully encourage folks to contribute. First, Malingo-Tangos Bajos (and he released a new one a couple of weeks ago that I am dying to get my hands on): this fella merits some intro. The tango, these days, has the flavor of refinement and elitism. However, it was invented in the whorehouses of La Boca (original Italian barrio of Buenos Aires) as a means of the whores entertaining horizontally in order to entice folks to partake vertically. An ad campaign for prostitutes. Sex--pure and simple. Along comes Malingo, lives in an insane asylum by choice, checks out to record and play shows, sings in a Tom Waitsian I-can-sing-drunker-than-you-can-stand vein, and on-officially proclaimed the guy that is putting the whorehouse back in the tango. Worth a listen. Also of merit, Manu Chao (formerly of Mano Negro, the French-Spanish super group) and Gustavo Cerati (formerly of Soda Estero, the Argentine? super group). Finally, if you're into the idea of clasically trained opera singers turned sex-pot Brazilian divas (which I have a particular soft spot for), try Marisa Monte. I could go on, but have for long enough already. (I trust that none of these are in the least remarkable to anyone in the know regarding what I'll call musica latina--it's just that I wasn't one of them). The challenge: share those gems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, for whatever reason...or none at all.
With respect to the Tango, did you mean entertain vertically in order to entice folks to partake horizontally? Or am I doing both the wrong way? Patricia Barber has been mentioned on this forum already. Not unnoticed, but certainly below the radar screen compared to the offensively commercial and less talented Diana Krall. Split is, perhaps, her least well known CD but I think the best.
Ha! Yep, I got it backwards. I was thinking of it in terms of vertical entertainment (the dancing) with the purpose of enticing folks into a paid horizontal entertainment arrangment. (Yes, I am not above shameless sexual innuendo in an attempt to get folks to discuss music). I've been meaning to check out Patricia Barber for a while, and now I certainly will. Cheers
Mezmo wouldn't agree the majority of new stuff is junk however it's virtually impossible to be original these days. I'm sure whatever kind of music you are into then there will be some decent new artists (or old)about. What kind of stuff do you like and I may or possibly may not be able to point you in the direction of some things.
I think there is probably more great music out today than ever, but finding it is difficult because of the sellout of most radio stations. Patricia Barber is great, Bela Fleck is phenomenal, Lyle Lovett and Sade's new ones, to name a few are all great sonically and musically (and I like rock). Mike
Depends what you like. Latin American music is quite varied, and the range expands if you open it to world music in general. For example, I love Mexican mariachi's, and the best recordings I've found of this genre are by none other than Linda Ronstadt (spelling?). "Canciones de Mi Padre" and the follow up "Mas Canciones" are absolutely stunning from both an "audiophile" POV and (for me) a music content POV. It helps if you understand SPanish and can follow the lyrics, of course. Another genre is "Nueva Trova", the South Americna version of singer-songwriter genre - try Silvio Rodriguez from Cuba, Soledad Bravo from Venezuela, etc. if you cna follow th lyrics. As for the newly popular Afrocuban Jazz, try any of the recent CD's from Cuban bassist Cachao, reissues of music by the Orquesta Aragon, anything by Irakere (Paquito D'Rivera's and Arturo Sandoval's old Cuban jazz grop), older recordings of Celia Cruz (before she wnet 100 % salsa), earlier Tito Puente, and so on and so on. In Spain, try Joan Manuel Serrat, Miguel Rios, Ana Belen, Luis Eduardo Aute, Corcovado or Victor Manuel. In Italy, try Eros Ramazzoti, Zucchero, Neri Per Caso, Pino Danielle. And there is of course Jacques Brel from Belgium and Edith Piaf or Mireille Matthieu from France.