Friday, August 15, 2008

Bajofondo / electrotango

I just heard that Bajofondo is playing Central Park Summerstage tonight! I think it's free. Awesome. Actually i've never seen a central park summerstage show (based on a suspicion that it would involve too much waiting-in-lines) nor have i seen Bajofondo play live but anyway, I have a few of their cd's and I like their music. It's more or less electro-tango, i think it's really easy for anybody to enjoy.
Buenos Aires is s totally saturated in tango music and culture, it was weird moving here and knowing nothing about tango. At least half the time people hear my american accent they ask me "oh, did you come here to study tango?" At first all the tango everything (cds, stage shows, street performers, tango schools, tango shoes, tango apparel, tango murals, tango vacations, tango museums, etcetcetc!) struck me as touristy and schlocky but now I am totally filled with awe and respect for this intense tango culture and tradition that's all around Buenos Aires all the time. And I've realized how much I love accordions.
During the military dictatorship in the 1970's, tango dancing was outlawed (like most other types of public gathering). So tango culture became less popular and started to die out. It became an old-peoples' culture, just a throwback to old times... but now there's a whole new interest in tango, tons of young people are learning to dance and in addition to the milongas filled with old people dancing tango, there are now other milongas filled with young people dancing tango. I love going to a place where you can see everyone, young and old, twenty-five-year-old hipsters and ninety-year-old guys with suits and neatly greased hair, crowded together and gliding around the same dance floor. And although you can pay US$300 for a big tango dinner show, you can also go to the community center in any neighborhood and pay $2 to dance cheek-to-cheek with the local senior citizens, if you know how.
Anyway, i'm obviously neither expert nor purist when it comes to tango music; I totally love all of this electro-tango music: Bajofondo, and Gotan Project, Carlos Libedinsky, Tanghetto, ummm, i think there's more but i can't remember, i'll check my ipod and post more later...

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