Friday, May 22, 2015

2015 Week 20: This Party Leads to Lament

Every day, Shayera's Spotify playlist gets better. I'm genuinely surprised by the range of things she asks me to add to it. She's got pretty much all bases covered. This week alone, she had me add Elvis Costello's "Miracle Man," Charles Aznavour's "La Boheme" and Bombay Bicycle Club's "Always Like This." That's some range, right there. Especially when you consider she'll shuffle this on her tablet later and you'll hear "The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Theme" followed by Hank Williams or Ana Tijoux. It's almost to the point where I won't mind playing her list in the car. Almost.

lagrimas negras
Do it.
This week I was reminded of how great Diego El Cigala is. I first heard of him years ago when my mom was playing a copy of his CD with Bebo Valdez, Lagrimas Negras. She knew I'd love it and was right. Old boleros, played simply, with just piano, upright bass and maybe a cajon for light percussion and unexpectedly, sung in a gypsy flamenco style that somehow makes perfect sense. El Cigala's voice is the epitome of that style which gives voice to every inner ache and longing in a way that is almost too much.  There's also a full length concert of Bebo y Cigala, shot in beautiful black and white, that I later saw on PBS. Do yourself a favor, grab a nice bottle of wine, turn off the lights, put this concert on and just be there for an hour or so. It's on YouTube, here. But what got me thinking about him was that he was on NPR's Tiny Desk recently. Check it out, for a more condensed version of why he's awesome.

So, this week's playlist doesn't have much rhyme or reason to it. It actually came together over 2 weeks since I dedicated last week's to B.B. King. This starts with a party and gets kinda heavy in the middle, before hitting on some drama and ending on a Portuguese fado, a style I've been meaning to explore for a long time. Already I'm finding that it has a lot in common with the bolero. So this party leads to lament, and that's the name of the playlist, then. Enjoy.

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