David Byrne on Caetano Veloso

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Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 11/09/2006 - 18:29
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David Byrne has been listening to an advance copy of Caetano’s new CD, . "It’s another radical shift of direction for him," he reports. "This time I guess you could say it’s an immersion in the land of experimental indie rock. And it’s probably the best indie rock record to come out this year. He may disagree with that categorization, but though not completely accurate it gives some idea what the record sounds like."

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By David Byrne

Been listening to an advance copy of Caetano Veloso’s new CD, . It’s another radical shift of direction for him—every recent record has been different than the one before—this time I guess you could say it’s an immersion in the land of experimental indie rock. And it’s probably the best indie rock record to come out this year. He may disagree with that categorization, but though not completely accurate it gives some idea what the record sounds like. Distortion pedals, drum kit drums rather than typical Brazilian percussion, live in the studio performance rather than tracks built up on a computer. He had help from his sons—I think they produced the record and played on it and brought in their friends to play on it. Sort of a tribute that anyone’s sons would even want to be involved in their dad’s work—and that a dad would place his creative output in the hands of his kids. Imagine the possible Freudian mess, but it doesn’t sound like dad micromanaged the record, but rather it sounds like a real meeting of generations and sensibilities—his melodies and vocal approach married to their guitar pedals and funky drumming.

I can make out some of the lyrics, but my Portuguese isn’t good enough to sort out what the songs are about yet. Mauro in my band says the words are good. One song is called “Waly Salomão”—who was a great songwriter and cultural force of nature that I met when he ran a center in Salvador. I was filming Ilê Aiyê, a doc about Candomble at the time, and I interviewed Waly to get a poet’s POV of that religion—he didn’t disappoint. His reply to a question turned into a poetic dance. A few of these songs are a little “noisy” for my taste, but most will join the ever-lengthening CV playlist on my computer.

David Byrne's most recent release on Nonesuch is My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Caetano Veloso's will be released in January 2007.

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Caetano Veloso color horiz
  • Thursday, November 9, 2006
    David Byrne on Caetano Veloso

    By David Byrne

    Been listening to an advance copy of Caetano Veloso’s new CD, . It’s another radical shift of direction for him—every recent record has been different than the one before—this time I guess you could say it’s an immersion in the land of experimental indie rock. And it’s probably the best indie rock record to come out this year. He may disagree with that categorization, but though not completely accurate it gives some idea what the record sounds like. Distortion pedals, drum kit drums rather than typical Brazilian percussion, live in the studio performance rather than tracks built up on a computer. He had help from his sons—I think they produced the record and played on it and brought in their friends to play on it. Sort of a tribute that anyone’s sons would even want to be involved in their dad’s work—and that a dad would place his creative output in the hands of his kids. Imagine the possible Freudian mess, but it doesn’t sound like dad micromanaged the record, but rather it sounds like a real meeting of generations and sensibilities—his melodies and vocal approach married to their guitar pedals and funky drumming.

    I can make out some of the lyrics, but my Portuguese isn’t good enough to sort out what the songs are about yet. Mauro in my band says the words are good. One song is called “Waly Salomão”—who was a great songwriter and cultural force of nature that I met when he ran a center in Salvador. I was filming Ilê Aiyê, a doc about Candomble at the time, and I interviewed Waly to get a poet’s POV of that religion—he didn’t disappoint. His reply to a question turned into a poetic dance. A few of these songs are a little “noisy” for my taste, but most will join the ever-lengthening CV playlist on my computer.

    David Byrne's most recent release on Nonesuch is My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Caetano Veloso's will be released in January 2007.

    Journal Articles:Artist Essays

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