Monday, January 16, 2006

Priests gone bad and more

16jan 06

Things are perking along here in sambaland. Not as wild as usual and I attribute this to the conspicuous absence of our friend Xuxa. Remember he´s the guy who threatened to use foam rubber in his drag costume a couple of years ago. Getting Xuxa wound up and listening to his one-liners makes for great copy. He´s the man with his finger on the pulse of Rio. The `X` factor as it were.

We miss you Xuxa Bob.

The Bambas do Catete met for the first time yesterday. It was just like we never left. Great group of people on the street corner playing samba. I cannot say enough about street corner culture here. People are out on the street playing, singing and dancing with friends instead of watching TV or something. Thank God most people here still don´t have a computer. The bateria was full of little kids playing and dancing instead of killing cops in a video game. Big fun. We´re definitely part of the neighborhood.

In a "bar da esquina" recently opened by our friend Lica, I met one of the directors of Cacique de Ramos. He invited me out any Sunday to the pagode they have. It´s where all the big name pagodeiros got started and honed their chops. Unfortunately, it´s at exactly the same time as Bombas. I´m here to play.

I will make an exeption tomorrow. I usually go to Estacio for the Tuesday technical rehearsal but, tomorrow Marcos Suzano and Durval Pereira are playing with Pife Moderno at the CCC downtown. I´ve never seen Suzano live. Durval is a bad, bad, bad dude on the zabumba. Pife Moderno is sort of like forro flute.

I started a zabumba class today with Durval at the Maracatu Brasil around the corner. Great class. If you´re ever here this time of year, check out the oficinas de verao. Cheap and great. They say that if you learn new hard stuff as you get older, it keeps you from getting Alzheimer's. I´m good to go cause, baby, that left hand bacalhao stuff is funky. Durval can force you to dance with only his left hand. The dude is bad.

The once very cool sambadrome rehearsals have been discovered in a big way. They now cause traffic jams all over the area. It's still worth it but you have to go early and just plan on staying for a while. Friday we´ll have Viradouro, Salgueiro and Vila Isabel. I'll be there.

Speaking of Viradouro, they had to move their usual Sunday street rehearsal. It seems that a group of idiot drug traffickers from the morro nearby had a problem with their colors. Red and white are a rival gang´s colors. What is up with that ? Savages.

In the news of the weird department, a Bahian priest refuses to lay low. Last week he made the news when it was found that he was giving mass in various costumes. Dressing like a woman, dressing like Iyamanja and others. Needless to say, "The Church" took a dim view of the whole thing and sent him on vacation to the interior of Bahia. Somehow he let it be known that he was being courted to come out in pictures in several magazines. One can only imagine which ones. He was seen in the paper today with a cute little skirt and some high heels.

Maybe if Jerry Falwell got himself some high heels and a little lipstick he would lighten up a little. Laugh a little Jerry. Jesus loves you.

Tonight is forro with Xaxados e Perdidos at Severyna. Nice little scene with great Forro Pe de Serra. Just 3 guys laying it down hard with acoustic instruments. j