The Music of Floripa, Brazil

The august Wax Poetics' latest issue is dedicated to the music of Brazil, and though I haven't scooped up a copy yet, the interviews teased on the site make me want to drop my deadlines and go get one now. Besides an intellectual curiosity in the contents, I also have personal reasons for wanting to crack open the handsomely bound pages of the journal. It's a nostalgia thing. I lived on the near-Utopian Brazilian island of Florianopolis (aka, Floripa) for two months in 2007. All the guide books told me India would present an overwhelming array of sights, sounds, and smells, and while my experience of New Delhi certainly fit the bill, Floripa ought to have that designation, too, especially when it comes to live music.

One could step out into the humid night during the summer and encounter a reggae band, its members' eyes as red as flares, lazily playing their instruments to an anomalously hyped crowd. (The sexual energy on the island is palpable, so maybe that's the reason even the slowest of songs makes people jiggle and wiggle as if electrified.) Or you could climb the rickety wooden steps of some lamentable roadhouse-style shack expecting to find a clutch of recently divorced fishermen hammering themselves into oblivion, and instead find yourself in the midst of a forró dance party. I could go on, but I'm getting misty. So, instead, I'll leave you with a few Brazilian artists I got turned onto while living there: Cidade Negra, Dazaranha, and Afro Reggae. It's all reggae, and all good.

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