Thursday, September 06, 2007
The Smoldering Accordion Player - Episode 6
It's due time that I put some serious effort in to describing the unique musical experience that was my trip to Venezuela. Of course it's a different country, with a different language, a different culture, different food, water you can't drink or bathe in safely, and along with all that - different music. At the start of the trip we got on a bus, and the bus driver cranked up the radio. The music was pretty salsa-esq, with an occasional hip-hop-ish tune thrown in - all of which was accompanied by Spanish lyrics (go figure). I guess about an hour or two in to the ride (lets not forget how it took us a good 4 hours to get from Caracas to Valencia on the way in), I actually recognized a song. It was a Madonna song, and initially when it started to play I assumed it would be a remake with Spanish lyrics. I was extremely surprised to find that it was, in fact, Madonna singing; however, the song had been "salsaed" up just a smidge. From there I also heard some Roberta Flack and at least one other American song, though I neglected to write down the artist and/or title. This was highly entertaining to me. and after the brief detour in to American-esq music, it was right back to the hard core salsa stuff. Now, fast forward a few days to my morning breakfast meeting with JK. I was on a pretty straight schedule - much to my dismay - of getting up around 6:30ish every morning. I would get ready, grab my kit and head down to the restaurant for my breakfast of a croissant-looking roll smeared with melocotion (which is actually a really good honey-fruit-jelly sorta stuff). At some point I did try the chicken also, but then they replaced it with some scary looking beef (and one day what appeared to be vienna sausages) - from that point on I passed on everything but the roll. Anyway, JK would always be sitting down there by himself at 7-something every morning, so we came to be breakfast buddies. One morning, as we're sitting there, I noticed the big screen in the bar area was playing music videos. Since the songs were all in Spanish and were, of course, something I'd never heard - I paid little to no attention. I did happen to look up at one point and actually watch the video. Now, here in America, we've got no short supply of hot boys singing their hearts out in to a microphone on screen (or playing the guitar, beating the drums for all they're worth, playing a piano - whatever.... you get my drift). The same thing applies in Venezuela too - except that they're possibly a little more musically diverse than we are when it comes to instruments. So, as I'm gazing at the screen I see the typical steamy guy singing his heart out in to a microphone right up in the camera lens. Behind him; however, is not a guy making love to his guitar, piano, or drum set - no, no, no. The guy behind him is steamy, smoldering really, and playing his heart out oh so passionately on...........you guessed it.........an accordion. I nearly fell outta my seat because this was so unbelieveably hilarious to me. Can you see it? Perhaps you should try and search for it on YouTube. JK, I'm sure, thought I'd lost my mind - and doubtfully for the first or last time that week. Hell, by the end of the trip the entire team probably thought I was completely bonkers - but that's ok. Nonetheless - I felt it sincerely important to relay this to the rest of you. We're really missing out up here. All we get are stringed instruments as the object of our rock star's desire, but there's a whole other world down in Venezuela.