Carnaval (or Carnival) week is over in Brazil, and the judges have decided: the winning samba schools of the two main parades in the country, Rio and São Paulo, were Beija-Flor and Vai-Vai. And both chose musicians as their themes. Beija-Flor honored Roberto Carlos, known as the king of Brazilian music. From his origins in Jovem Guarda (an early form of Brazilian pop and rock'n'roll) to the adoption of romantic melodies, he is considered a living Elvis Presley. Vai-Vai, on the other hand, chose as a subject João Carlos Martins - whose life could be a MeFi post in itself. [more inside]
Conduct the Bateria. Carnival in Rio: play yourself a samba school drums section. The animation lets you conduct the samba, along with master Ciça. [more inside]
Vintage Brazilian Carnaval seen through old family album pictures. SLGallery. SFW.
On Friday night in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a banker named Ricardo Neis was driving behind a group of about 150 Critical Mass cyclist/activists who were riding en masse to promote inner-city cycling. Neis claims he felt threatened: his response to this feeling was to literally plow through the cyclists at full speed (incident begins at about 50 seconds into video). Miraculously, none of the cyclists were killed. Witnesses to the incident were shocked. Neis eventually abandoned his VW Golf before his involvement was discovered. Local cyclists doubt he will be charged with a crime.
Good morning. I know that every second of weekend freedom is precious to you so I won’t waste your time with superfluous verbiage. Or superfluous links, for that matter. So here goes: Leo Justi is a DJ from Rio De Janeiro. He has quite a few tracks on his Soundcloud page but the three that come highly recommended are: "Dunno Riddim (Kid Conga Remix Instrumental)", "Floor Crank 3.3" and (mildly NSFW language)"Blacqstar – Go Get My Gun (Leo Justi Remix of Carli’s Remix)".
Elis Regina was perhaps the biggest Brazilian popstar of her time. The clip in the first link is a single song from a TV special she did in 1973, at the height of her powers, and which has been put online in its entirety. The song, Águas de Março, was a Tom Jobim composition, which they sang together on the album Elis & Tom, which also featured such gems as Corcovado, Inútil paisagem and Triste. Over her career Elis Regina worked with a who's who of Brazilian popular music, and there's quite a lot of material out there. The best places I've found are YouTube channels elisetom1974, Eurachel and, though the Elis Regina material is mixed in with other stuff, jordaoqualquer is a treasure trove. Elis Regina died from an alcohol and cocaine overdose in 1982, 36 years of age. Last year NPR had a short appreciation of her as part of its 50 Great Voices series.
Amazing footage of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil. These tribes are threatened by the encroachment of illegal logging activites. "I know this footage is the only way to convince the rest of the world they are here."
Brazil won't extradite an Italian writer convicted for political murders in the 1970s, so a Venetian official wants his books out of libraries. Not only Cesare Battisti's works, but also those written by Italians who supported him through petitions.
The Wu Ming group is on the case (English translation), fearing this will worsen and spread to the rest of Italy. [more inside]
The Wu Ming group is on the case (English translation), fearing this will worsen and spread to the rest of Italy. [more inside]
Rhys Millen drifting his 750-horsepower Hyundai Genesis coupe up Serra Do Rio Do Rastro in Santa Catarina, Brazil. (SLYT hoon filter via.)
The Boston Globe displays some pretty spectacular pictures of the drug war in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There's not a whole ton of context available within the article, but the pictures speak for themselves.
Is Brazil, "the country of the future, and always will be", on the rise? Or does it need a dose of constructive paranoia? Two articles from The Miami Herald take a look during this election year.
São Paulo, Brazil. With a population upwards of 11 million people and a population density of more than 7,000 people per square kilometre, it is a pretty crowded place. But on July 2, 2010 during the second half of the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup quarterfinal, the streets were completely deserted.
Retratos Pintados "Since the late 19th century through the 1990s, hand-painted photographic portraits were a common feature in homes in the rural areas of the northeastern Brazilian states. At a time when black-and-white photographs were not considered dramatic enough, the retratos pintados (“painted portraits”) glamorized and idealized their subjects. Black-and-white family photos were enlarged and painted, conferring status on members of the family and portraying them as icons or saints. Using oil washes and other techniques specific to the region, local artisans embellished clothing with pattern and color, smoothed wrinkles, added jewelry or resurrected deceased relatives, illustrating the fantasies and desires of their customers."
Forró is popular dance music from northeastern Brazil. Forró em Vinil is a blog with out of catalog forró gems for download. But wait, is this legal? [more inside]
There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
16 year old Yonlu made music that ranged from bossa nova to 8-bit music from the sounds of desktop printers, never knowing that he would someday make the pages of Paste, eMusic, and Rolling Stone Brasil. He posted It's Not Another King Kong (later titled A Boy and the Tiger) to a gaming forum, where it was met with praise. More songs soon followed, which included English songs (I Know What It's Like, Humiliation), and also Portuguese songs (Estrela, Luana). Perhaps suffering from depression, Yonlu took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006, just a few weeks before his 17th birthday. His parents only learnt of his songwriting from a CD he left behind for them, with a note telling them to listen to the CD "whenever they felt sad".
Complexo da Maré is one of the oldest favelas in Rio, and a new short documentary, Te Vejo Mare, shows how, despite the headlines and violence, a community and culture manages to thrive there. As featured on today's Guardian website: Welcome to Complexo da Maré (10:16), The Samba Is Infinite (10:22), Fighting for Peace (11:00)
Floods and mudslides in Rio de Janeiro have killed over 250 people, mostly in favelas, poverty-stricken shanty-towns built on hillsides above major cities. [more inside]
Os Novos Baianos (The New Bahians) played psychedelic rock blended with regional Brazilian folk styles, heavily influenced by bossa nova maestro João Gilberto. In 1972, after recording Acabou Chorare (which went on to top Rolling Stone Brazil's list of best Brazilian albums ), the band moved to a far suburb of Rio de Janiero to live communally, play soccer, and work on the album Novos Baianos F.C. (New Bahians Football Club). In 1973, German television sent music producer Solano Ribeiro to capture their daily life on film. It's around 45 minutes, broken up in six youtube videos: 1 2 3 4 5 6. No subtitles, but you won't need them too much. The audio is spotty, but it gets better. [more inside]
Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilisation are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Some 260 giant avenues, ditches and enclosures have been spotted from the air in a region straddling Brazil's border with Bolivia. (Previously: Lost City of Z and Colonel Fawcett)
Sunday night 60 Minutes aired a segment on the state of cyber crime & cyber terror which included the extraordinary claim that unknown hackers were behind massive power outages in Brazil in 2005 & 2007. Now Wired Magazine's Threat Level blog says that's just not true. According to two studies (PDF, Portuguese) by the Brazilian government it was buildup of soot on insulators that caused the blackouts, not super-hackers demonstrating their abilities. Is the US Intelligence Community passing around false information to justify its relevance?
Os Gameboys are a band from Brazil who play only music from classic videogames. They are really, really good. (via waxy: "the best live Mario cover I've ever seen")
Seeking to be the first Green Olympics, Brazil wins its bid to be the first ever South American nation to host the 2016 games. [more inside]
On September 10th, to celebrate their initiation week, 172 communications students at the University of Quebec at Montreal decided to put on a show. After weeks of preparation, the costumed and prop-wielding crowd enacted an exuberant, complex, and flawlessly-choreographed performance of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" that sprawled through the campus's multi-story Judith Jasmin Pavilion... and they did it all in one continuous take (on their second try). The feat is just the most recent example of "lipdubbing" -- a video phenomenon where a single camera moves through a crowd of highly coordinated lip-syncers in a single seamless take, with the original recording dubbed over the finished product. [more inside]
Honduran coup regime attacks Brazil's embassy with LRAD-X Remote Long Range Acoustic Device, violating the Geneva Convention. And, to violate it a little more, they've also used a mobile cell phone jamming device.
Brazil-based agency DDB BRASIL, contracted by the WWF to make an ad which would drive a "Respect the Planet" theme home, thought that making a 9/11 themed ad would be a good idea. After the video somehow makes it to the internet (some say it was leaked by the agency itself to win an award at Cannes), outrage predictably ensues. DDB Brasil insists the commercial was nothing but a rough draft and the WWF has not endorsed the ad made in their name, although evidence exists suggesting WWF Brazil endorsed a similar print ad a while back. Stupid, bad ad and a comedy of errors? Or the latest viral ad strategy?
Brazil's new water conservation campaign: Xixi no Banho! (slyt)
Inspired by its 10th anniversary, the Earth Observatory has pulled together a special series of NASA satellite images documenting how the world has changed. From these images, Wired Science has made 5 videos, presenting convenient time-lapse views of the world changing (mainly) because of human actions. Watch the urbanization of Dubai, specifically the growth of Palm Jumeirah. See the Aral Sea dry up - once the fourth largest lake, down to 10 percent of its original size (marked by the thin black line in the video) by 2007. View the clearing the Amazon, as observed from above the state of Rondônia in western Brazil. Behold the return of Mesopotamia's Wetlands, now in the process of being restored from near total destruction under the regime of Saddam Hussein. Witness the impact of drought on Southern Utah's Lake Powell, where water level dropped from 20 million to 8 million acre-feet from 2000 to 2005.
If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos (hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
The sky is a really big place, right? So how did a Boeing 737 and a Legacy 600 private jet manage to collide head-on at 37,000 feet over the Amazon jungle in Brazil? William Langewiesche's detailed analysis of the 2006 crash--which killed all 154 aboard the 737--provides some answers. [more inside]
"For me, capitalism has never been an abstract concept. It is a real, concrete part of everyday life." President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on the future of capitalism.
First person video of Gabriel flying his model plane around Rio and landing it through the balcony of his 10th story apartment. Here's a greatest moments compilation that includes him launching and retrieving the plane from a boat, a moving train, through tunnels and around high rises. Here he is flying a plane with no engine, using only his car's windshield to generate lift. Also, RC Groups' "What to Buy For Video Piloting." Oh and Brazil is very pretty.
Further to the cover up and the initial claims the jury has reached a verdict in the De Menezes inquest. [more inside]
A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender. O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, "a man who is more than just a single man ... what we call a leader of the masses."
Brazil's Gilberto Gil, now 66 years of age, is stepping down from his position as Minister of Culture to concentrate, once again, on his music career. That's good news for his fans, and here's some more good news: a huge chunk of his recorded work is available as streaming audio for your listening pleasure. [more inside]
The Rise of the Rest. Fareed Zakaria's Newsweek article about a "post-American" world.
There was a time when it seemed that groups like Frederic Galliano presents Kuduro Sound System and Buraka Som Sistema would do for kuduro what groups like Diplo and Bonde do Role did for Funk Carioca: make it popular with hipsters in the United States. But it hasn't happened yet. Why?
Should you be attending this year's carnival in Rio, you probably won't be seeing a huge float rolling down the parade route depicting an enormous pile of emaciated corpses and a samba-dancing Hitler. But that's only thanks to a Brazilian judge's decision.
Reading the January edition of Harper's, about Brasilia, I was struck by a bit about what is apparently one of many cults in around the capital city: the Valley of the Dawn. A Jewish UFO cult? The ultimate in syncretic religions? Book your flight now.They're a lot more open to foreigners than Macumba
The Prepaid Healthcare Visa® Gift Card, for that special someone without insurance on your holiday list. Rejoice! Terry Gilliam's dystopian future is now! [via]
Favela Rising is a recent documentary exploring the AfroReggae (in Portuguese) movement and the amazing story of one of its founders, Anderson Sa. AfroReggae (MySpace page has music on) was born in the Vigário Geral favela as a way to give the community an alternative to the drug trade and to fight police oppression. [more inside]
Brazilian Ethnomapping: Inside a thatched-roof schoolhouse in a village deep in Brazil's Amazon rain forest, Surui Indians and former military cartographers huddle over the newest weapons in the tribe's fight for survival: laptop computers, satellite maps and hand-held global positioning systems. Some of the resulting maps.
Brazilian Blogger Bashing! The respected Brazilian newspaper Estadao decided to promote its new online presence by jokingly producing a series of ads with obvious misfits and asking such questions as "Is this the guy giving you dating advice?" and a video (youtube) comparing bloggers to monkeys. Bloggers are outraged "Why would you read a newspaper that compares bloggers to monkeys?". In today's newspaper, Estadao offers no apology but instead dryly recounts the facts. Meanwhile, the resulting controversy, with thousands of blogs weighing in, has driven a lot of traffic to their new site.
After growing up with opera and samba, having lived in Rio and Rome, her first album went double platinum, producing some modern classics. She didn't stop there, as has gone on to make many other great albums. Not to long ago, a one shot collaboration, with two other modern greats, turned out to be a success despite limited publicity (maybe because the songs were actually quite good). This is Marisa Monte, one of the great talents of MPB. Have a listen (thus the YouTube and Last.fm links).
He wasn't the greatest technician on earth (he only studied a short time with a teacher, as states his biography), he wasn't really famous outside Brazil, in spite of the many recordings available under his name, of his various talents (drawing, designing a new string instrument), but his playing is really endearing, and whatever the material, originals, bach or chico buarque, he made his point across easily.
Badi Assad has some incredible technique goin' on (YouTube) and charisma to burn. The 41-year-old Brazilian singer and guitarist comes from a musical family and has been signed to a pretty prestigious North-American record label. Of course these days there is the obligatory Wikipedia entry and her MySpace page. Here's an interview (from ten years ago) wherein she discusses her music. So far as I can see those hips and those lips and those fingertips don't lie. [Much more Badi Assad on YouTube]