03 December 2008 by Published in: entertainment 3 comments

So do you remember about eight or nine years ago, when I was obsessed with bhangra music? Oh, right, that was before I had a blog. Some of you have known me for that long, though, and know what I’m talking about. Anyway, for you newcomers, I went through this phase where I was totally obsessed with bhangra. My daughter’s Sanskrit middle name is a gift of that era. I finagled my way into an Indian wedding reception just to hear the stuff and dance. It was awesome. I still love it, even though I’m not obsessed with it the way I used to be.

Now I’m completely obsessed with electrotango instead. I mean, yeah, this makes a little more sense than my earlier bhangra obsession because tango originates in a place I’ve lived and a quick check at my last.fm tells you I listen to Thievery Corporation more than anything else except TMBG, and I’ve liked Gotan Project for some time as well. But I didn’t know there was more than Gotan Project. I thought Gotan Project was an outlier, a lone band kind of doing its own thing. Turns out there’s a whole genre there! And I LOVE it.

So in the last month, I’ve been listening to tag radio on last.fm. A tag radio is a series of tracks that have all been tagged by users with the same tag. It’s a good way to get a solid mood listen, when you need a certain consistency in what you’re listening to. Or when you’re obsessed with a certain sound.

The tag I’ve been listening to is electrotango. I LOVE this stuff with intense singlemindedness. Tanghetto, Bajofondo, Supervielle, Federico Aubele, Bulevard Tango Club, San Telmo Lounge…I could (and do) listen to it all day. I wish I’d known to look for this stuff when I was in Buenos Aires last year.

The electrotango radio was in heavy rotation during the composition of both “Kenosis” and “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” and I believe they are better stories for having that musical backdrop. “Kenosis” in particular has been liked by almost every critiquer who has read it, and that sort of thing never happens to me. By and large, my stories are not well-liked, and never universally. (Some might wonder why, in light of that, I continue to write them, but that would be a question for another day. This is not the writing angst post. This is the electrotango is fantastic post).

The pinnacle of my obsession is “Perfume” by Supervielle. If you have a Last.fm account you can hear it; it’s one of their free tracks. I love the lyrics, so dramatic and intense. You can rely on “Like water seeks thirst” being a blog title at some point. Listen, do you hear the tango? The sea? It sounds like Buenos Aires, that weird mix of nostalgia and anticipation: the wind and the water and the memories. Say it: “el impulso antiguo y sutil del eco de tu perfume”. Feel it in your mouth. It’s totally lovely and wonderful to say.

Right, I did say I was obsessed?

Ok, a music post deserves a scorekeeping update:

  • 2 points Sunjunkie
  • 2 points Jerm
  • 6 points Lanfaedhe
  • 2 points Dave Lartigue

WTG, Lanf, leaving all the other participants in the dust! But it’s not too late for folks to catch up, so keep playing.

If you’re wondering what the scoring is about, I give two points to the first person who comments with the line following on the one I give in my blog post title, when my titles are lyrics (which is often, though sadly, not today). There are unclaimed entries since I started the game back in July, if you’d like to dig through the archives and play along. Some day there will be a prize. I don’t know what and I don’t know when, yet. But it will be fabulous, in the style of the prizes awarded in Dave Lartigue’s leaf bag contest. I promise. (BTW, Dave, you are the first link under a google search of leaf bag contest. You must be so proud!)


Jean-Lanf Picard
Thu 04th Dec 2008 at 8:45 am

Electrotango! "Computer! Access last.fm, sub-category electrotango. Begin playing. Also, tea. Earl Grey. Hot."

Thu 04th Dec 2008 at 9:28 am

I *love* electrotango!! I’ll have to check out the bands you list. You know my taste in music – any in particular you think I should download from iTunes?

Thu 18th Dec 2008 at 11:48 am

My recommendations are as follows: Supervielle "Perfume" and "Miles de Pasajeros", Alacrán "Reflejo de Luna" and anything Gotan Project. I don’t know how much of that is available on iTunes. Really, I recommend just make yourself a Last.FM account and listen to the tag radio. It’s a good way to sample lots of bands. Also, I’m thrilled you like electrotango, too. It’s not just me!

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