It’s Covered: Brazil

Long weekends get me to thinking about taking a real vacation. Either that, or i’m really coming up short for a better segue for today’s It’s Covered.

Today’s track is Brazil, written in 1939 by Ary Barroso. Go figure, it’s a pretty beloved track in Brazil, where it was penned and goes by the full name of “Aquarela do Brasil.”

But, of course, that’s not what i’m here to talk about today. i’m going to tell a little story about my vacation down there a few years back. My second youngest brother, The World Traveler, and i moseyed down for Carnival. That brother has an ever expanding list of Things To Do, and i decided to tag along for that one.

We stayed in Ipanema, and yes, most of the locals were of Deity-like beauty. Other than that, i was not impressed. i’ve been more than a couple of places, but i’ve never been approached by more hookers and pan handlers in my life. In and of itself, OK, these things happen, it is practically a third world country, after all. If you’re going to try to sell your body for ducats, though, can we all agree that there are things that are appropriate and things that are not during your sales pitch to me? Honestly, i’m not into working girls, but i see no reason why it should be illegal. That being said, i’m fairly confident no John wants to hear about your kids in the opening monologue. As if that weren’t an uncomfortable incident to last me the entire vacation, it remains to this day the one time i actually saw a condom floating perilously close to me in a goddamn ocean. And i lived in South Jersey for a lot of the 80s, so that’s really saying something. We had dolphin AIDS, for chrissakes, and i never once almost got flacked by a jimmy cap whilst doing some body surfing.* Finally, while it may seem nectar-like when you are first offered it by the natives, i’m telling you right now that caipirinha actually is the devil’s semen. Pardon my French, but that shit will fuck your day up. i just referred to them as chupacabras and every single bartender knew immediately what i meant.

And that’s enough pain med-induced rambling about that, i do believe.

Today’s sample platter includes the following lunchtime specials:

1. Arcade Fire’s version, which might be most least fave here. Don’t get me wrong, AF is one of my top 10 bands of the past decade, but this one kind of just falls flat on my ears. i dunno. You tell me.

2. Conversely, Asylum Street Spanker’s take might maybe be my most fave on this small smattering. That clarinet, quite frankly, is just money. And their old timey, small club jazz vibe simply nails it for me.

3. If ASS’s version doesn’t deserve top billing here, Pink Martini’s does. They blow it up much larger than any of the others here, nearly opting for the big band route. And to further belabor my clearly mismatched and possibly contradictory use of metaphors, they, too, knock it out of the park.

4. Last but certainly not least, Geoff Muldaur’s take from the movie of the same name by Terry Gilliam. Damnation, but i loves me some Terry Gilliam. For those of you not in the know, this is the second movie in his life of man trilogy, along with Time Bandits, this one and closing with The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. While they weren’t billed as a trilogy as such, the way i heard it, each movie is meant to depict man in a certain stage of his life (youth, middle-age or “grown up” and old age. Seen in that lens, his already trippy works seem that much more incredible).

And that’s all i gots for now. We’ll see what happens after i take my next does of meds.

*Ed. note–i saw to Tummi Gummi, such a thing as dolphin AIDS existed. i had to do a report on it in the 8th grade. It’s wasn’t actually AIDS, but it was similar enough in symptoms and transmission that that’s what the local media called it. Of course, Google is not backing my ass up at all here. Bastards. Just remember, though, your Uncle Terrible would never knowingly lie to your face. So there’s that.

mp3: Brazil (Arcade Fire from Rebellion (Lies) Single)

mp3: Brazil (Asylum Street Spankers from Spanks for the Memories)

mp3: Brazil (Pink Martini from Sympathique)

mp3: Brazil (Geoff Muldaur from Brazil Soundtrack)
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