The Worldmusic Blog (Seckou Kouyate)

Message from Brazil 1 - Vinyl Pelourinho

Tagged with: Brazil Pelourinho Bahia Salvador Planet Music Ajuda 39 MPB musica sertaneja forro samba bossa nova Caetano Veloso Ce Eterna Dimensao Zeca Pagodinho Tessa Burwood World Music

 This is the first report from our own correspondent Tessa Burwood who's currently out in Brazil.   Tess will be sending in her reports as to what she sees, muses and gets up to over the next three weeks.  In this one she's arrived in the city of Salvador in Bahia, Northern Brazil (traditionally cited as the most African of all Brazilian states) and set up base in the old slave area of Pelourinho, one of the most culturally vibrant areas of the city:

"Who said music shops were dead?"

"Who said music shops were dead? Planet Music and Ajuda 39 in Pelourinho are in a healthy state.

Avelar began working at Planet Music as a kid, because he spent so much time in there flicking through records that the shop assistant told him to go speak to the boss:

"From shop rat to boss via passion for music - I love my job!"

There's an exhaustive collection of MPB, musica sertaneja, forro, samba, everything you can think of when it comes to the music loving public that pass through Pelourinho. Apparently, the French always ask for bossa nova,

"Just as elegant as they like to think they are," says Avelar with a wry grin.

"German tourists don't like Brazilian music at all. They only buy CDs as presents for the folk back home, hardly even look at the covers or ask any questions. What can I say? They just don't dig us!"

Avelar's favourites include Pink Floyd and Kraftwerk, he knows all the dates of birth of everyone in the former, and listened to the latter when, during the Cold War the airwaves were flooded with American music, and anything deemed transgressive was contraband.

He was pleased to tell me that Caetano Veloso recently made up 500 copies of his seminal album "Ce" on vinyl for his closest 500 friends. Sony have opened a vinyl production unit down south, apparently.....

Round the corner at Ajuda 39, it's a vinyl purist's heaven - as you can see from the photos. Tekko works behind the counter by day and plays samba by night in a band called Eterna Dimensao. They're playing on Sunday in Rio Vermelho, I'm going to check them out. I asked him what was his favourite record in the whole shop, and it seemed he'd been mooning over it all afternoon! Zeca Pagodinho :)

Tomorrow, percussion class at 2pm, who knows where my rhythm's at?! "

Tessa Burwood for

[There will be more from Tessa as she moves around Brazil in the next three weeks, including a trip to the remote settlement of São Braz in Bahia state to check out a village whose entire culture has been officially protected by the United Nations.  Stay tuned.]