UPR!SE is a blog dedicated to The Shrine's Patron Saint and inspiration, Fela Anikulpo Kuti.

The blog focuses on music, fashion, art, design, politics and culture. It is a celebration of trailblazing souls who rise up without compromise.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rogerio Duarte and the Tropicalia Movement

Recent exhibition of Rogerio Duarte’s work at the Narrows Gallery

Rogerio Duarte is a Brazilian graphic designer, musician, poet and philosopher. He is also considered to be one of the founding fathers and the main intellectual force behind the Tropicalia movement in the late 1960s. During this period he designed album covers for many of the great names of Brazilian popular music, such as Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, João Gilberto and Jorge Ben. His covers are among my all time favorites, not to mention the records themselves!

Lifted from GRAIN EDIT

Angola Soundtrack – The Unique Sound Of Luanda 1965 to 1976

Analog Africa comes through with another batch of rare tunes. This time the focus is on Angola in the 60s and 70s! As with all their comps, the liner notes are as deep and stellar as the music. "Distorted Semba" and Psychedelic Merengue?! Hell yes!!!!!



As the big, bad modern world marches on, more and more things change. Nothing wrong with the that, but some change is just a bummer. The record store has become nearly obsolete, with most folks buying all their music online. Ironically, vinyl outlasted the CD, but gone are the days of perusing the racks for tough-to-find gems, or hearing a track and rushing to the counter to ask the uber-snotty sales clerk, "what is this?" Remember when you actually had to go outside to buy music? Maybe you don't...

Modern Sound was an institution in Copacabana + Rio de Janeiro for 45 years. I remember buying records at a flea market years ago that had the Modern Sound sticker on it. Years later I moved to Rio and went to the store. They had long since stopped selling records (they would later return to wax...), but the store was a revelation! It was a giant clean white space, which oddly enough, did not play music. The sales staff was ridiculously knowledgeable and friendly. You could find the most obscure titles in any genre. Personally, I was buying all the Brazilian re-issues I couldn't track down on vinyl. Later on, when they started selling vinyl again, I pulled some amazing titles out of there on a regular basis.

Even cooler, was the store had Bistro Allegro, which hosted live music nearly every night of the week. The food was great, too! Simple Brazilian bar food, cold draft beer, cocktails, coffee... I saw countless shows there. I remember seeing J.T. Meirelles on the schedule and nearly falling over. I caught his sets every week for months! A few shows I can remember off hand are Leny Andrade, Osmar Milito, Dom Salvador, Claudette Soares and Marcos Valle. Countless contemporary artists as well. There was always an album release show going on. Great crowd, young and old. All music lovers. Simply put, one of my favorite places of all time to 'bate papo' - chat - and hear great music.

My fiend cried when I told her it closed December 31, 2010. Lots of folks had a similar reaction, including me. Getting misty as I type. I spoke with the owner, Pedro Sr., and asked him if there were any plans to re-open a scaled back version. He was uncertain. Well, we can only hope. I know it won't be the same, but at least the tradition would continue.

So in the meantime, hats of to Pedro Sr., Pedro Jr. and the whole Modern Sound family. 45 years of bringing the finest music to Rio and the world! THANK YOU! OBRIGADO!


'The marvelous city' or 'city of splendor 'in 1936. Video is a bit dated, but that's the charm. Rio de Janeiro has changed a lot in the past seventy seven years. Still beautiful as ever, and undergoing quite a lot of changes with the World Cup and Olympics on the way. Was just there for holidays and it isn't the travel bargain it was a few years ago, but still as magic as ever. Everyone should go at least once. Caution! You may not want to come back. Miss the old home town... Ah saudades....!!!!


If you were lucky enough to be in Lagos of late, you may have caught the Jazz Festival. Nice interview with singer Somi, who talks the creative possibilities of jazz music.