Spinetta and The Desert Partners
The number of songs on an album has always depended on a strictly physical reason, which is the limited amount of content that the continent supports; be it vinyl, cassette, or CD, the three most popular sound recording formats. Thus, the discs have had, more or less, a historical extension of between 35 and 80 minutes, which would come to be, in general, from seven to 18 songs, obviously depending on their duration. With the advent of digital distribution in the music industry, this limit formally disappeared. Nothing now prevents the release of a three-hour phonogram, which would surely be cataloged as “XXLP”. However, the ceiling has continued as a drill, and the new publications that have been arriving after the revolution continue to have an average of 12 tracks. This happens for several reasons. One of them, the one I am interested in highlighting now, is that our hypothalamus has already gotten used to it —although Spotify does not believe it, and considers it perfectly normal for a human being to be able to download almost 300 minutes and five CDs that make up The salmon by Calamaro without blinking, and present the album as an endless collection of songs, forgetting its original format of box set. It's hard for me to listen to two albums in a row by the same artist. When it's a double, I usually put something else in between: the cheerleaders come out, the team mascot clowns around, and I go over the highlights of the first half before the players return to the field. Well, forget about that when it comes to Skinny.
this, the Spinetta and The Desert Partners —the debut record of the band of the same name, released in 1997 by Columbia—, has two CDs in the trunk, 33 tracks in the extremities, and in the head the shortest 125 minutes that can be haggled over time. It measures more or less a hundred kilometers, the distance that a bus covers to take you to Matanzas or return you to Havana; calculated. If you put on your headphones not long before the Yutong starts to leave the terminal, and as soon as you adjust the air conditioning vent above you, you already hear the riff tasty from checks; if later, when the driver stops the bus at the bus stop of his choice so that people can go to the bathroom and buy Pelly, you don't pause the playback and stay seated because you urinated before leaving and you don't smoke anymore; then, when the vehicle goes down the hill just before entering the city of Faílde —while the view of the bay surprises you again and you become deeply moved, as if it were the first time you saw it— you should be listening to Luis, in the penultimate cut of the second album, sing: “And there your heart will stay playing, already awake, with the beads of a necklace”.
When I think of the sea, the image that comes to mind is the one between Havana and Matanzas, and the sound that accompanies it is this album. That is the most beautiful piece of sea in Cuba, with everything and the thermoelectric plant of Santa Cruz del Norte and the oil hammers, and with the forgiveness of the glorious Caribbean that you see on the right when you leave Guantánamo and advance looking for La Farola, or the one between Cienfuegos and Trinidad, with those rivers flowing into it, those tibaracones making fine sand, turning the river into a beach. I bundle on the driver's side towards the yumurina city, and on the other towards the capital.
Once, on the way to the Malecón and the Capitol, I was listening the endless shore, the theme that closes the first part. The Straits of Florida on the right, my surrendered jevita on the left, and Spinetta in my ears saying, rhythmically: "Today at last, on the seashore, what will it be like to be able to love you?" During the four minutes that the song lasted I looked at the water, I looked at my little girl, then at the water again; and well, not much more happened than that, but what else does one expect to happen? So it is with this album. Let no one expect to find much adornment.
Few rock bands have achieved the character that Los Socios del Desierto achieve on this album, that austerity and rawness grungy from the late '80s, when Seattle's interesting formations were many things, but before, in the finishing zone, they were everything that wasn't glam metal Californian. There is not much to look for in transparency. Here there are three types, voice, guitar, bass, drums, some occasional keyboard, and a heart, a sensitivity, a pump and a swing the size of the Argentine pampas.
It is the absolute record; the album of “Ya. What comes after this? I put it among the two or three that I like the most in Luis Alberto's entire career, and this is saying a lot, in the case of him, and in the case of me. It has everything: delicious rock and roll (checks, nasty people); others heavy as anvils, with long Neil Young-style guitar solos (bosnian, the light left you); rumor funky and slippery fingers (account in the sun, Oh! Magnolia); accurate riffs bass everywhere and a very cool solo in my dream today; tenderness, intimacy and loving whispering (Diana, Jasmine), sincere garage jams between three friends who, at the time, have a band and record albums (wasabi flash); and in general, a jazzy air sweeping both CDs, which has its limit in rock, although this limit does not have the restraining force, nor the irrevocability of a dam, rather it exists because Spinetta, Marcelo Torres and Daniel Wirtz have wanted it that way. . Jazz comes in and out of rock when they feel like it, which makes the limit an illusion: now you see it, now you don't.
The Thing has no name. He is a guy who cannot be believed. He does everything well. Violero like no other, top composer, shitty lyricist, extremely in tune, a unique living entity specialized in making molds to later break them, musician, poet, madman, singer and fruit eater; He even drew the bastard. To me, I swear, what excites me the most about Luis is none of this, neither his songs, nor his eternal bands; it is its very existence, the little room it occupies in the neighborhood of culture. They say "Flaco" and before I hear anything I have watery eyes.
There is no other (in Argentine rock, so that no one is offended, but later we will speak privately) with his regenerative capacity, with his vocation for restlessness. It was not enough for him to be among the bunch of founding musicians of the genre in Spanish; it was not enough Girl, nor later put together what was perhaps the first band rock hard from language; he was not enough Artaud (Talent/Microfón, 1973), created Invisible, made it difficult for the record store employees, who spent several minutes standing in front of the “jazz fusion” and “progressive rock” shelves, deciding where they would put the record. bleeding peach (CBS, 1975); he threw away the label with Jade: that nobody knows what it is; he got bored with the group and made an acoustic album, a troubadour; then he grabbed a synthesizer and hit a super mega hit. None of this was enough for him. When almost everyone was throwing away their last cartridges, he appeared with this bandaza, this neighborhood rock, which at the end of the century placed Almendra's grandfather, a fan, at the same concert, the father who in 1982 opposed the Malvinas war and his skin prickled Buenos Aires Summary with the "(...) usually only bodies float at this time", and the adolescent born with democracy who was finding out everything at that time.
Luis Alberto is not cool nor is hey; he lives one floor above that nonsense. cheo and cool they are apparently opposite concepts but in reality it is not like that, they are on the same side of the mirror. It cool is nothing more than a qualified condition of the hey. It is hey who's trying to be cool and they discover it; or similarly, cool is who tries not to be hey, without achieving it. As long as no one says anything hey and the cool they will believe to be always cool. Here even the most painted has been in that place, including Skinny, what happens is that hunting him down for one of those moments is the Indian's job.
As hey and cool they are absolutely subjective notions, the only way to avoid them is that you don't care about one or the other. I don't know how that is done, but Spinetta knew very well. Only someone who goes beyond these two ideas can throw away, in 1997, this line: "The immensity of your eyes, barely sustained by the invisible stars, that long for my silence, as the night longs for the day." He is the only one who sneaks in phrases like “lethal toxicity”, “infinite shore”, “sweet echo” or “inclement times”, and you so cool; the only one who makes a song to the April moon and, at 30 years old, makes you sing: “She shines and shines. He doesn't know how to sleep." It doesn't hurt to get into those bounce; What's more, he doesn't even know what he's getting into. Don't be afraid of words. not afraid to be hey, because it is not intended to be cool.
I don't think that the most refined poetry of El Flaco can be found on this album; however, the music comes flying in like a superhero, grabs her hand and places her on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper. You add salt, pepper, garlic, onion to the meat, and it is delicious; but if you add a little bit of rosemary that takes another category. In Spinetta, the words are the meat and the music is the rosemary. Luis became a great poet along the way, but he was born a musician. For Indio Solari, for example, it happened the other way around.
This phonogram was one of the first things I heard from the Núñez neighborhood, and my favorite songs, like me, have changed over time. At first they were Waves and January 2. There was a time when my stupid motto at the beginning of the year (and at the beginning of anything) was: “I grab my books. I burn all my false words.” I then changed to people garden, and when I fell in love, then it was Diana. Later I got hit hard So you'll never find the sea and above all, account in the sun, which said: “You have a better place. / You have a better sleep. / You no longer have an account in the sun”. Before I sat down to write this, I listened to it as I hadn't in a long time: lying on the sofa, without thinking about anything else, paying attention. I noticed that I knew by heart two songs that I didn't know: turned into the night and the wait. I leave you to finish an image of each of them, in that order; but don't stop at words, they don't go anywhere by themselves, look for the record, scratch it.
“The afternoon concert / is reflected in mute buildings, / against the sky that hides / in the twilight like an animal. / Crosses the strands of air. / Cuts the moon without forms. / It is a dark and wandering bird. / It became, oh!, in the night”.
“Do not reject this sun, even if it hurts, / even if it is not your awakening, Oh, no! / Don't stay in pain anymore. / Don't be afraid to heal. / There is nothing left of waiting.”