Tag Archives: Karina Buhr

Lucas Santtana at the Sonoridades Festival in Rio de Janeiro

23 Feb

Hey, I just saw my review of a Lucas Santtana gig is up at the Rio Times website. You can read it HERE. This one will be in the print edition in March also. Somehow it went a bit corporate that review, but it’s a hard publication to write for. They are very serious generally, maybe because they’re always looking for advertising and don’t want to upset anyone.

Anyway, I actually had a point about this concert. There is a very common practice in Brazilian concerts which is to have “convidados” or special invites whenever possible. What this basically means is that the main act will play a few songs, then a special guest will come on for a couple of songs, then they will do a couple more just with their normal band, then another special guest will come on, and so on, and so on, depending how famous the main person is or how many records they are hoping to sell (if the concert is going to be made into a DVD they will probably have at least 5 or 6 “special” guests (but how special can they be when there are so many of them is questionable!).

Ultimately this results in annoyingly disjointed shows where the main act spends half the time telling the audience how good their special guests are, and where the band never really get the chance to get juiced up as they have to spend half the concert just standing there. On the flip side, the promoter knows that all the internet people will send loads of excited tweets saying how excited they are that ? and ? and ? and ? and ? are all going to be playing, that they will get loads of photos of musicians together looking very happy. Somehow the quality of music at the show seems less important than these two things.

I watched Karina Buhr perform last week. It was an unbelievable show; amazing band, great performance, really good songs. At the Lucas Santtana show she played one of her songs, sang back-up on one of Lucas’ songs and then danced around at the back during one of the others. What a waste!

As if to prove I also can’t resist a cheap promo shot, here’s Karina with Lucas at the show (photo by P Eduardo):

A taste of the music scene in Sao Paulo

12 Feb

So, after two failed attempts at arriving at film premiere-style arrangements it seems that music really is my thing. The last three nights have heralded three concerts, all of which I actually managed to find and found before they had finished. First up was the double bill of Lulina and Dudu Tsuda.

Dudu was a bit of a strange cat. He had one of those wispy beards, like he’d taken an uppercut from an angry candy floss, that only Asian people seem to get away with. His music was an interesting melange of general avant-gardeness that never really went anywhere. I got the impression that he was some kind of conceptual mastermind, and I was most definitely not in on it. Here he is performing “Le Jour que Erik Satie a Rencontré Stereo Lab,” which in name alone speaks volumes:

I’m not really sure why I started off with my least favourite video, that didn’t make much sense. Anyway, we shall persevere. Lulina was great! Most definitely in a Jeffrey Lewis vein. I’d been listening to her last two albums and they are good without being great, however live she is spot-on. Track after track of pure pop gold, coupled I’m sure with ascerbic wit which I struggled to really get to grips with. This is “Balada de Paulista,” i.e. ballad of a Sao Paulo-dweller.

Friday night was all about Karina Buhr, whose “Eu Mentí Pra Voce” has been one of my favourite records over the last six months. Dressed in a gold-sequinned catsuit she danced around the stage, grinding whenever an opportunity arose, writhed on the floor in an attempt to disrupt the guitarrist, turned her mic stage into a weapon and set loose on the audience. She was ridiculously good, especially considering she was being backed up by some of the best musicians in Brazil (including Edgar Scandurra and Fernando Catatau) and those great songs off her debut album. This is her performing “Telkphonen,” a strange percussive kraut-rock piece that never gives up on the intrigue.

Tonight I went to see Cerebro Eletronico, an interesting band who have been getting a lot of hype in Sao Paulo, featuring highly in many of the Best of 2010 polls. Without being particularly innovative they are a band that seems at ease producing track after track of 80s New Wave full of funky synths and rousing choruses. This is “Pareco Moderno” which is probably one of my favourites.