.
Welcome back, my friends, to the "Battle" that never ends.
We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!


This is
'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' ('BOTB') where you listen to different recordings of the same song and vote for the one you like best. Two "Battles" per month, on the 1st and 15th. Six days later (the 7th and 21st), I place my own vote, tally 'em all up and announce the winner.

Friend? Foe? Stranger? No matter, ALL are welcome. So pull up a chair, pour yourself 24 oz. of 'DOG BITE High Gravity Lager' (or the poison of your choice) and turn it up to Eleven!

[NOTE: Links to the first year of 'BOTB' (#1 - #24) can be found at the very bottom of this page.]

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I LIKE A SPICY CUBAN DISH (IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS)

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(From the STMcC Archives: 2007, March 18th)

Below is a review I wrote for a music compact disc in 2007. Everyone (except for one good friend) absolutely hated it. Hated it! That alone told me it must be pretty good. One stranger left a comment saying in part: "Typical, however of the prevailing recurring phenomenon of arrogant Americans taking something beautiful like music and cheapening it by selfishly using it for their own base sexual inadequacies or insecurities." She called me an "imbecilic moron" (not just an imbecile, and not just a moron, but BOTH), said my review was "trash" that "conjures up images of the song 'Midlife Crisis' by Faith No More... A 47-year-old 'man' claiming to have been christened (likely self-christened) 'Mr. Intense'... Pathetic."

Damn! It's like she'd been reading my mail and my mind.

For the record, it was my old friend Pooh (General Poohregard) who nicknamed me Mr. Intense

A few weeks ago my friend FAE ('Far Away Series' - the first BOTBer) read this review for the very first time and told me she thought it was really funny. So, if you hate it too, like them others do, blame FAE for me having posted it here and subjecting you to it. (But, you know what "tongue-in-cheek" means, right?) 


 [I first became conscious of the strange phenomenon when I was about 15 years old: I ordered something to eat in a little fast food Mexican joint on Venice Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to the young Latinas working behind the counter, the very next person to place his order was my Pa, and when he joined me at a table, he related to me how one girl said to her co-worker after I walked away, “That guy was cute,” and the other agreed.]

Good Friend Melanie gave me the IBRAHIM  FERRER album of Cuban Jazz as a gift the Christmas before last. (I had mentioned beforehand that I have more music than time to hear it, but she listened to me about like men listen to women. No one’s to blame for the communication disconnect between the genders, really, because we have such disparate origins: A woman is from Venus and a man is from a woman’s “Monologue.”)

[Including my ENTIRE life, I can count on two fingers how many White, Black, or Asian women have had me and the “Mystery Dance” occupying the same thought in their mind. But Hispanic women have always found me to be irresistible, and I don’t know why. I am a very ordinary looking but extremely analytical individual who tends to mentally dissect everything in order to comprehend why and how such and such is so. But I’ve yet to concoct even the most rudimentary theory to explain the Latin woman’s attraction to me.]

I almost gave up on the IBRAHIM  FERRER recording because I just couldn’t seem to warm up to it for the longest time. At one point, I considered posting a Two-Star review on a music website which I thought to title, "I'LL HAVE THE NUMBER THREE COMBINATION PLATE AND A MARGARITA, PLEASE." The music just made me feel like I was sitting in a booth at a Mexican restaurant. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, but tunes for home listening? And since Good Friend Melanie wasn’t too crazy about Bright Size Life – the Pat Metheny disc I had given to her – we even considered trading, and each of us keeping the item we had purchased.

[The brilliant and world-renowned South American sociologist, Yoey O’Dogherty, once observed that, “Hispanic women are especially drawn to the warm magnetism of masculine intensity; just as conversely, snowmen are drawn to frigid climates.” And in my youth I was sometimes known by the nickname, “Mister Intense.” Perhaps this accounts for why Latinas are so susceptible to the energy of my aura?]

I finally decided that I would play nothing but IBRAHIM  FERRER whenever writing on my computer until either my ears became educated enough to enjoy it, or until I could stand it no longer and gave it away to Lupe, the waitress at Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy who always gives me extra guacamole and a wink.

[You know how women can give men “the once over” without tipping their hand to the guys, while men just ogle openly? Well, these spicy Hispanic gals sometimes lose their highly refined skills around me, unable to extinguish the hungry flames in their orbs. Even at my advanced age of 47, wearing spectacles, and with plenty of grey cohabitating with the brown on my scalp and in my goatee, I still sometimes catch ‘em eyeing me.]

Well, to my great surprise, I not only eventually came to differentiate between all of these melodies, but came to embrace them as if they were part of my own culture. The tremendous blasts of brass; the lively, intricate percussion work; the sparse but soulful guitar touches of Ry Cooder; and the emotional and romantic Spanish vocals really move me … and they make my writing move, too. I’ve found that IBRAHIM  FERRER puts some added zest into my words – really gets the creative juices flowing. (Can’t you tell?) Because of its dancing rhythms, it’s become maybe my very favorite disc to play as background music while writing anything.

[I once had a sweet and shy Mexican girl tell me about a week before her wedding that all along it was me she had been hoping to catch. And less than twelve months ago, this 18-year-old hot Hispanic thang let it be known that she was interested in me. (She went by Wendy, but I’m pretty sure her Mama named her Maria.) She was a real cutie and had an absolutely OUTRAGEOUS body to go with that face: all the curves in just the right places and very well pronounced like: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain!” To borrow from The Commodores, she was truly built like a “Brick OWse!” The night I had to turn her down, pointing out that at my age I was nearly old enough to be her grandpa, I drove home gnawing on my knuckles and chanting over and over again, “There had better be a Heaven! There had better be a Heaven!”]

As if the music alone wasn’t reason enough to purchase IBRAHIM  FERRER, the song MARIETA contains one of the funniest lyrical passages ever. Translated into English it says: “My wife was suffering from an illness of the heart in Havana. So the doctor came one morning to examine her. He took off her dress, her p*nties, too. And her slip. But when I saw that indecency I said: This isn’t good; I really don’t think my wife’s heart is that far down.” Imagine that, a song about a doctor “playing doctor.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgBJg7vWJ8k

[So, you’re wondering why I told you how attractive Latinas find me? Well, it just so happens that I wasn’t talking to you, dude; I was trying to send a discreet message to your hot, Hispanic girlfriend. But you know what? To heck with subtlety: Hola guapa, llamame cuando tu novio esta fuera.]

~ Stephen
 

18 comments:

  1. You're probably right. It's the intensity that pulls them in. I noticed that when visiting Miami and South Beach. Not like us cool Canadians, even one like me, transported from the hot south US. I couldn't stand the heat, so I left the kitchen. . . my hubs likes Cuban music somewhat, me not so much. The review? I take it you didn't like the music that much. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DAMN GLAD HUDSON ~
      No, the music grew on me quite a bit! One reason I didn't give up on it quickly is because I recognized right away that there WERE elements in it that appealed to me. But it took awhile before my mind could wrap itself around the whole package.

      Part of the problem early on may have been the foreign language which somewhat hindered my mind from quickly recognizing the subtlety in many of the melodies.

      As I type these words, I am listening to the video I included - 'MARIETA' - and I like it a lot! It really stands out as distinct from the other songs on the album because I gave it enough time for my mind to catch up to it.

      By the way, I still find that this 'IBRAHIM FERRER' album is the ONLY ONE I can listen to while doing some serious writing without it interfering with my train of thought or else being simply blocked out and not heard at all.

      Thanks for coming by, my cool Southern U.S. Canadian friend.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. Fae is right - this is one funny review. > [" A woman is from Venus and a man is from a woman’s “Monologue.”]

    It's possible That I've heard "Marieta" in a restaurant I frequent. I ponder, was Ferrer related to Carlos Santana?
    I enjoyed this song, and having the lyrics revealed was a bonus.

    I can't imagine why anyone hated this review. It was a telling of events as they occurred for you , and equating that to music you'd not yet embraced. Seems time has changed your attitude, but hopefully the magnetism continues. There's nothing like great service at a restaurant, or other business establishment. (smile)

    "Mr. Intense." I can 'see' that. That's cool. Enjoy your week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DIXIE POLKA ~
      Thanks! You mean I'm not really an "imbecilic moron"?

      At the time I wrote this, I wondered how many (if any) readers would understand that line about "a woman's Monologue". I read a lot - and a lot about controversial topics - and little bits and pieces get stuck in my pale grey matter and sometimes reveal themselves at unexpected times.

      I don't think the magnetism still exists. But I'm too old to act on it anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter. (I sure do miss the extra guacamole though.)

      No, Ferrer is not related to Carlos Santana, but I think Marieta may have been Santana's madre.
      ;-)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
    2. Come on, ~DFensDogg...

      >[You mean I'm not really an "imbecilic moron"?]

      Absolutely not. But then, you know that, you're Carnac, right?

      Hang in there. Find a nice restaurant after you get moved. It's worth the extra guacamole!

      Moving on - another time - DP.

      Delete
  3. I refuse to pass judgment on this until I hear what Ibrahim himself has to say about it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think I might have mentioned at some other time how I became enthralled with Cuban music back in the 60's when I used to listen to Radio Havana on my shortwave radio. When they weren't dishing out communistic propaganda (which was the majority time) they'd play some of the most wonderful music. I was hooked after that.

    I've owned this album as well as the DVD of Buena Vista Social Club for many years now. It's been a while since I've listened. (Well, actually I don't listen to any CD's much these days.) Maybe I need to break this one out again--also watch that DVD again.

    Were the deleted comments under the review yours? I'm guessing so. Interesting how Amazon left the review up but created the one-sided conversation.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

    ReplyDelete
  5. -------- MICHAEL --------
    You're free to LOVE this review because I have already heard from Ibrahim and he said he thought it was the funniest thing he's ever seen. He added that since it was written in English he didn't understand a word of it, but his sixth sense told him it was hilarious.

    At least that's the English translation I got when I copied his Email and pasted it into Google Translate.

    -------- LEE --------
    Oh, when Amazon banned me from their comment sections and with one push of a button deleted every comment I had ever posted there on any subject over the course of 4 or 5 years (and flat-out REFUSED to tell me what they were banning me for), they DID NOT delete ANY of my reviews and DID NOT ban me from writing and posting any more reviews. In fact, they even encouraged me to write more reviews for their website. (No, thank you!)

    Oh, Amazon loved my reviews because they helped that dishonest, left-wing company (BigBitch.com) sell more product. They just didn't want me debating commie Democrats (or even Big Government Republicans) in their comment sections because I was just too good at it and their commie brethren on the Left and the police state buddies on the Right were losing every exchange with me.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
  6. StMcC -

    this music is awesome! I loved it. I'm going to have to get myself a copy. I don't know that I'll like the rest of the songs on the album or if MY mind will have time to catch up to them, but it seems worth the try.

    I've never had any interest from Latinas at all. The only women that seem naturally attracted to me are Norwegians. Perhaps it is because I smell of lutefisk and smør.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~

      >>... Perhaps it is because I smell of lutefisk and smør.

      I don't know what lutefisk is, but Smores smell pretty good.

      If you liked 'MARIETA', I am sure you will like plenty (s)more songs on the album. It may take awhile to wrap your mind around them. But then again, you liked 'MARIETA' right out of the chute, so you may actually "get" the other songs faster'n I did.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  7. I think I'm on the same no-fly list that Cherdo mentioned herself as being on, because your posts no longer show in my dashboard feed. I just had a strange itching feeling to come here and see if there was anything new.

    My Grandpa would have approved of this song. This is exactly the kind of music that would be playing at his house when we came to visit. Brings back great memories.

    Also, I know the feeling about being loved by the Messican wimenz because of my intensity. Really, I'm just not the type of guy to take any chit. And my wife would try to give me chit and I'd dish it right back at her (and then some). That apparently made her fall for me like mad since no guys had the 'juevos' to do so prior to that.

    After seeing my wife intimidate just about every guy she's ever worked with, I still laugh when I'm at a party with her coworkers and they see me trade banter with her, and they act like I'm some kind of tough guy for having the balls to stand up to her. Because, you know, a little 5 foot tall, 25 year old girl with purple hair is is so scary.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 6-B ~
      Well, you know, Blogger will be Blogger. If you're expecting things to work, you need to have your head examined. (Or else you're just not sufficiently lubricating your brain with IPA.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  8. Like some of your other ardent followers, or maybe it's just be (because we all know blogger hates me), my dashboard has been screwed up for quite some time. I see nuttin' (course, I do think that maybe I started pushing buttons I had oughtn'e and that's what caused the problem.

    Glad to see, at least so far, that nobody is going to show up at my door with a torch and pitchfork. they all seem to like the review and the music. And, what's not to like.

    BTW, I have the Netflix version of Buena Vista Social Club sitting in front of my TV, as I type this. Now if I could just find the time to watch it. I should have stayed home Saturday night instead of going to party across the street where I drank a little too much, and ended up debating French ex-patriots on the merits of Mr. Obama (those guys love him; thing must be R-E-A-L-L-Y bad in France). Give me a break.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FAE ~
      Well, other than for you and a couple others, I'm not sure the review is going over as humorous but nobody seems to be on the warpath, so I think you're safe.

      Gee, haven't the libby French done enough to mess up their own country? Now they gotta come over here and help our libs mess up the USA even worse than it already is?

      THAT'S IT! I'm gonna stop drinking Grand Marnier in protest!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  9. FAE's right. That IS a funny review. Not sure about the music, though. I didn't hate it, but it didn't blow me away, either. Might take more than one listening for me to "get" it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, SUSKI. Glad ya liked it.

      I think for a lot of people the music is an acquired taste. Just like hot chile sauce in a shot of tequila is.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  10. I agree with FAE, Susan and the rest of your fans! This was very funny, and I'm glad you dusted it off for us! I wish you included a photo, so we could see what all of the fuss was about. Since you had a goatee, I'm picturing you as a combination of a young Jeff Bridges and a living Burl Ives! I'm
    proud of you for showing tremendous restraint with that 18-year-old. Great song lyrics, and very clever "monologue" line! Sorry I didn't see this sooner, Stephen!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. GEM JULIE ~
      Thanks for stopping by and for liking. (Did you click the little "Thumb Up" image to show you liked it? You didn't click the "Middle Finger" image to show you disliked it, did you? Ha! That's what it should be: Instead of Thumb Up and Thumb Down it should be Thumb Up and Middle Finger Up. May we always point skyward, even in our disgust.)

      Jeff Bridges and Burl Ives (Sam The Talking Snowman)? Uh... Hmmm... I don't think so. More like an awfully worn-out, underslept, baggy-eyed John Savage with a little grey stubble around the chin area and between the nose and upper lip.

      Yak Later, Friend Julie.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete

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