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Amazing Lyricists From Spain, Brazil And Beyond

Miguel Campello.
Courtesy of the artist
Miguel Campello.

English / Spanish

Sir Francis Bacon once said: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." This week on Alt.Latino, we listen to new work by musicians who don't just have amazing voices, but also create lyrics as touching and thought-provoking as a good read.

We kick off with Miguel Campello's flamenco-infused voice, which on its own is full of desire and despair; add to that some lyrics so poetic they'd make his fellow Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca proud. Campello tells the story of a man who wanders the world aimlessly, picking up the trinkets and junk passersby leave behind. It's a melancholy tune with violins that suggest doom, but in my favorite line, he stoically asserts that he'll be wandering "as long as my heart boils."

From Spain we jump to Brazil, another country known for great lyricists. This week we premiere two tracks from the upcoming Red Hot + Rio 2, a tribute to tropicalia (Brazilian psychedelic rock from the '60s and '70s). In this compilation, some of my favorite Brazilian lyricists are covered and they collaborate: poets of different generations and walks of life, from Caetano Veloso to Seu Jorge and rapper Emicida. My favorite is Veloso's song "Leaozinho" ("Little Lion"), an ode to a ferocious love. Redone here by American indie band Beirut, the song becomes even deeper and dreamier and deeper through throaty vocals.

We here at Alt.Latino are all about the music, but the songs we feature in this show are like well-spun tales. So sit back, relax and let us tell you a story ...


English / Spanish

Esta Semana En Alt.Latino: Poesía Para Tus Oídos

Sir Francis Bacon alguna vez dijo: "Algunos libros son probados, otros devorados, poquísimos masticados y digeridos." Esta semana en Alt.Latino, escuchamos nuevo material de músicos que además de tener increíbles voces, componen letras que son tan bellas y entretenedoras como un buen libro.

Esta semana empezamos el show con la voz flamenca del español Miguel Campello, que de por si esta llena de deseo y desesperación; como si eso fuese poco, compone unas letras tan poéticas que su compatriota Federico García Lorca se sentiría orgulloso. Campello nos cuenta la historia de un hombre que deambula por el mundo sin rumbo, recogiendo chatarra, lo que dejan atrás los demás. Es una balada melancólica con violines que sugieren un terrible final, pero mi frase favorita, es cuando Campello asegura orgullosamente, que continuará "mientras que mi corazoncito hierva."

De España nos vamos a Brasil, otro país conocido por sus grandes composiciones líricas. Esta semana estrenamos dos canciones del próximo álbum Red Hot + Río 2, un tributo a la música tropicalilla (rock psicodélico brasilero de los '60s y '70s). Este compilado tiene covers y colaboraciones de algunos de mis cantautores favoritos del Brasil: poetas de distintas generaciones y géneros como Caetano Veloso, Seu Jorge, y el rapero Emicida. My canción favorita de este compilado es "Leãozinho" ("Pequeño León"), de Caetano Veloso, una oda a un amor feroz. Y gracias a la suave y ronca voz del vocalista de la banda Beirut, logra ser aun más fantasiosa que la versión original.

Aquí en Alt.Latino, somos amantes de la buena música, pero las canciones que oímos esta semana son más bien como bellos cuentos y poesías. As que siéntate, relájate, y déjate que te cuente una historia...

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Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.