Right Reading

concept to publication

Category: music

Lhasa de Sela

The great Montreal-based singer Lhasa de Sela died January 1 of breast cancer at the age of thirty-seven. Lhasa was born to an American mother and Mexican father in a small town in the Catskill Mountains. As a child in the U.S. and Mexico she lived the life of a nomad in a converted school bus (she had nine siblings), and as an adult she continued to travel widely, living for a time in Marseilles. Life, she said, is “a road constantly changing and, being on it, you change too.” Her music is trilingual, freely mixing English, Spanish, and French. I love it.

These are the lyrics of “Con Toda Palabra,” the song performed in the video above.

Con toda palabra
Con toda sonrisa
Con toda mirada
Con toda carici

Me acerco al agua
Bebiendo tu beso
La luz de tu cara
La luz de tu cuerpo

Es ruego el quererte
Es canto de mudo
Mirada de ciego
Secreto desnudo

Me entrego a tus brazos
Con miedo y con calma
Y un ruego en la boca
Y un ruego en el alma

Con toda palabra
Con toda sonrisa
Con toda mirada
Con toda caricia

Me acerco al fuego
Que todo lo quema
La luz de tu cara
La luz de tu cuerpo

Es ruego el quererte
Es canto de mudo
Mirada de ciego
Secreto desnudo

Me entrego a tus brazos
Con miedo y con calma
Y un ruego en la boca
Y un ruego en el alma

Here’s a quick, rough English translation

With every word
With every smile
With every glance
With every caress

I come to the water
Drinking your kiss
The light of your face
The light of your body

Loving you is a prayer
The song of the mute
The gaze of the blind
Secret nakedness

I surrender to your arms
Fearfully, calmly,
A prayer in my mouth
A plea in my soul

With every word
With every smile
With every glance
With every caress

I come to the fire
That burns everything
The light of your face
The light of your body

Loving you is a prayer
The song of the mute
The gaze of the blind
Secret nakedness

I surrender to your arms
Fearfully, calmly,
A prayer in my mouth
A plea in my soul

Lhasa, you will be missed.

A message from Mr. D.

So What

Over at Tom’s Book of Days I had Miles Davis’s birthday as May 25. But in Ted Gioia’s History of Jazz he gives May 26, so I’ve updated the listing.

So What:

It seems so right somehow

Cheney video set to Radiohead’s “Creep.”

My Sweet Lord

my sweet lordLooks like the Roger Smith Hotel in New York has caved in to demands from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights to remove the art piece My Sweet Lord by Cosimo Cavallaro. A six-foot-tall representation of Jesus on the cross made of chocolate, the piece has apparently offended the League more by its nudity than its calories. (Cavallaro, by the way, has also worked in the demanding medium of ham and cheese.)

All of which is just an excuse for the link below to Tom Waits singing “Chocolate Jesus.”

Mambo de la Luna

Lately I’ve been listening to Kirsty MacColl’s Tropical Brainstorm … mostly at work, however, as folks at home are getting a little tired of it. Click below for a sample.

Why we need music

Nerve impulses are based on sound not electricity.

Cousin Kerry, Master Alpine and Western Yodeler

cowboy kerrySista Annie will like this one. I figure Kerry Christensen must be someone’s cousin, even if not ours. Click the groovy photo to hear samples of his yodeling artistry.

For more information, visit the official Kerry Christensen website.

Drum Machine

Generally speaking, I’m not a big fan of flash animations. This one isn’t bad, though.

drum machine

Another Volley in the War on Christmas

The Martrydom of Nicholas, by Francisco de Goya and Thomas Christensen

The Martyrdom of Nicholas,
by Francisco de Goya and Thomas Christensen

Top Ten Seasonal Songs That Don’t Mention Christmas

As a public service to those who will be entertaining Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Jews, and the like this holiday season, I offer this list:

1. Deck the Halls
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Gloucestershire Wassail
4. Happy Holidays
5. Jinglebell Rock
6. Jingle Bells
7. Let It Snow
8. Pretty Paper
9. Sleigh Ride
10. Winter Wonderland

The list is alphabetical. If ranked for best lyrics, the award would go to “Gloucestershire Wassail,” for these stirring sentiments:

Wassail, wassail all over the town!
Our bread it is white and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl, it is made of the good maple tree;
From the wassailing bowl we’ll drink unto thee.

Come, butler, and fill us a bowl of your best,
And we hope your soul in Heaven may rest;
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
Then down shall go butler and bowl and all.

Come here, sweet maid, in the frilly white smock,
Come trip to the door and trip back the lock!
Come trip to the door and pull back the pin,
And let us jolly wassailers in.

Wassail, by the way, is a spice punch drink. The name comes from the Old English/Norse “to be in good health.” I’ll drink to that.

Reg Kehoe and His Marimba Queens

marimba queens
click to view

via Spodinvark via Serpent Factory.

Ukes in the News

Apparently there was a uke performance last night on a show called Boston Legal.

The uke player was “an insane male kidnapper who spoke exactly like Katherine Hepburn.”

Nice to see ukes getting some press.

Ukes for troops

tropical blogging, beachside

A work trip brings rightreading to Waikiki this week, so posting will be light.

After a short time here I observed that Waikiki is evidently Hawaiian for “place of pink skin.” Weather on arrival was pushing 90, with 80 percent humidity — so humid even the locals were complaining. But the haole to a man (and woman) stripped off most of their clothes and stretched out on beach chairs, amassing in greatest numbers in the hottest part of the day. They looked like pork loins roasting on a grill. You could hear the sizzle. Futile sun screen oozed off of them in greasy puddles.

(On a side note, one of the wires in my laptop screen also seems to have got fried. I’m trying to think of the thin vertical line that now seems permanent as a design element, on the principle that if you can’t fix it, it’s a “feature.”)

Rightreading has logged some time in the tropics over the years, so here’s some good advice (certain to go mostly unheeded). First, from about 12:30 to 2:30 or 3:00, favor the shade. Mornings and evenings, OTOH, are great times for walks on the beach. Second, don’t overdo. Take it slow and easy — in the (not so) long run, slow and easy will beat crash and burn (and I mean burn literally), trust me. Third, every so often stop and have a drink. The experts will tell you that alcohol will just dehydrate you even more, and I’m sure that’s true in some theoretical sense (like, if you’re actually dying in the desert, maybe a shot of vodka isn’t what you really want). But in the real world, based on my years of experience, I can assure you this is false. Screw the scientists. Have a beer. You’ll feel better.

Some photos after the jump . . .

Read More

Blog anthem

Listen to the blog starters’ anthem here.

Some rights reserved 2017 Right Reading. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (attribution, noncommercial, no derivs: 3.0) License (US), although some of the work this blog incorporates may be separately licensed. Text and images by Thomas Christensen unless otherwise noted. For print permissions or other inquiries please request via rightreading.com/contact.htm.