So Wednesday I was standing next to the Habana Libre waiting to cross the street and someone "ssss"ed at me and it was Tirso Duarte and his little chamaca. We went and had a beer and talked about timba and music in Habana - he's recording with Juan de Marcos, as he told me he would be when I interviewed him in Australia in April. It was good to see him, and great to rave about timba with him. He was asking my opinions about various singers and we more or less agreed about everything. Hope I haven't dropped him in anything, seeing as how my opinions are all over the place. He mentioned going to see Adalberto at Miramar that night, but I got a migraine about 11pm, so that was the end of that.
Spent the whole day in bed - cancelled a dance class and everything - so I could be spry for Manolito at Cantante. And ... well it wasn't as good as last week. How could it have been? Still I was grateful. Another two weeks and I'll be back home with no Trabuco at all, let alone one that does the songs I'm not crazy about. And even those have their moments: a nice rap from Mayami or a shake or two of his hips. Where was I? Oh yeah.
It didn't start as I would have liked: with Comunicate instead of La Raspadura. And OK, so familiarity is making me picky; but Raspadura is the perfect curtain raiser - a ball of energy and melody, laden with sassy horns, that always threatens to overshadow the rest of the show. Trabuco, of course, have more great songs to back it up, but even so, I was disappointed that they didn't start with it; and when they did it halfway through the show, I was ecstatic, but still, it sounded weird: "ya la orquesta comenzó, y viene dura/ya la gente comienza llegar". Huh? Hadn't the orquesta already been playing hard for 40 minutes? Didn't we arrive like, an hour ago? Jajaja. Getting picky, like I said. So they followed Comunicate with Guiro, Calabaza y Miel. Which just sends me to heaven. If you never got into that song, get out Se Rompieron los Termometros and listen to it again.
The male singer from Bamboleo got up to sing Ya No Hace Falta, but it wasn't in his key and Indio had to take over. That was weird. Daniel Amat (I think that's his name) spent a fair bit of time playing piano, leaving Manolito - who I realise I haven't actually mentioned much in my blog reports - standing in front of Riverón (the god of drums), conducting. The group has been doing long sets at these Cantante gigs, that's why it's worth it. Even if they do some songs that you don't like (Marilu), you know they have plenty of time to deliver the good stuff (Hablando en Serio).
So today I went to the CubaDisco fair at Pabellon Cuba which is, ahem, a little on the lame side, though I did manage to get a real copy of Hablando en Serio which is cool. Interesting to see who wrote what. And also the two video vlips are a nice bonus: I'd never seen the Locos por mi Habana one before, and even though I would put it in the same category as the fair, it's still good to have it. And of course it's my favourite Trabuco album after Se Rompieron. My remaining wish for this holiday is that Calunga joins them next week at Cantante. (Did I already put that in here somewhere?)
Bumped into a couple of Yumas there and also Yoko, a sweet, bubbly Japanese girl who is here for about ten days and seeing two bands everyday. The farandula is all set to see Paulito FG on Sunday at Morro Cabaña, but I have tickets for Maravillas de Florida. If I can do both, I will.
I'm addicted to Paulito en vivo at the moment. Even though I stand by my assertion that the album fully sucks. I don't know if it's just the production - it just sounds so lame compared to the grunt of his live gigs. Though actually it sounds quite good booming out of the bar downstairs on Belascoain (where it is playing for the third consecutive time right now), so maybe you just need a kickarse stereo.
© Gabriel Wilder 2006