there was a roadside bomb that killed two people and injured five in kabul today. one of the men who were killed and one of the injured were close relatives of mine.

moreover, it’s being reported that eighty nine were killed and over forty injured in a suicide attack in paktika which is in eastern afghanistan.

idk man, please keep those killed, those injured, and all those affected in your prayers.


Hector Carlos Villa Lobos, Bachianas Brasileiras #5, as sung by Amel Brahim

I like what Ms. Brahim does with this; it is very different from the other half-dozen divas who’ve offered it up in the past fifty years; Amel makes it very human, very simple.

The first time I heard this, (1964iish) the LP stereo phonograph of Victoria de los Angeles’s version was considered the very best interpretation available. Her version too was human, of course, but far more emotionally giving than that of Brahim, and sorta dangerous too. (You never knew what she would do next or what force would hit you from deep in her heart.)

I played her record almost daily in college, whether studying, or writing, or reading, or making l… well- yeah, doing everything. I wore that record down to where it was nothing but grooved scratches, and I still loved it. Carried it with me whenever I moved, and as an actor, moving was often. That recording of BB5 by VDLA was one of only three possessions which I kept close with me: that record, a manual typewriter from the 30’s, and Neitzche’s Spracht, hardbound, in German. The rest was easier to leave behind than lug across the country.

Since then of course there have been many artists offering meritorious recordings of this poem by Villa Lobos–Kiri comes to mind- but for my money Victoria is still tops. She knew what she was singing, and she gave it all to us, lovingly and bravely and fully, every time.

Then why, you may ask, didn’t I just give you HER version?

Cuz my record gave up the ghost in the nineties, and I can’t find the lady V online to share with you, and mostly cuz I only buy recordings by artists of today, alive now. (They have it fairly rough, you know especially if they are the whole label, such as Zoe Keating or Vijay Iyer. So I would rather pay the young folks for their work, than dead people.)

Besides, `If you got em, smoke ‘em,’ as the saying goes. And I gots Ms Brahim. 

Hope you like her.

Peace in