February 09, 2003

Yesterday's trip to Kim's yielded, among other things, the new installment of Normal Records' Love, Peace & Poetry series -- Brazilian Psychedelic Music. The series focuses on obscure psych from around the world: They've done America, Latin America, Asia, Japan, and Britain (I know, Japan is in Asia, but obviously they had enough J-psych for an entire compilation, and you can say the same w/r/t the Brazil and Latin America comps) (and obv "America" means "non-Latin America").

The only other album I have in this series is the J-psych one from 2001, and I listened to that with equal parts disappointment and discomfort -- the former because most of the selections weren't very good, the latter because everything about it (the cover photo of a blonde white woman posing seductively on a bed, the Engrish song titles, the way it was getting promoted and big-upped as some sort of what-the-fuck coffee-table novelty item for L-train unemployables) felt like dilettantish look-honey cultural tourism.

I get a better feeling from the Brazil comp. The music is that good (although I question how "psychedelic" some of it is -- a few tracks are straight-up LSD-less Brit Invasion and jammy Stones bluze-foak). Also, I think Americans are over seeing stuff like Mutantes (who aren't on here and don't need to be) as an exotic curiosity; it's real, respectable, canonical music, and no one really condescends to Brazilian rock music's derivation from American and British forms.

(NB: The blonde white woman is still on the cover. Here it's a little more believable.)