Monday, August 17, 2009

And she said Ooh I'd do anything for you 'cause you're a ROCKER!

I´ve noticed recently that now that I don´t get to listen to my music all the time like I do back home, I appreciate it more. Nobody really listens to good ole rock and roll here. It´s almost always tipico with some salsa or club jams thrown in every once in a while. It´s good stuff for sure, but definitely not what I´m used to, coming from a blues tradition. Now that I´m starting to make sense of the Panamanian beats and getting into that, my own tunes seem urgent again, like good rock or hip-hop or blues should. Electric guitar sounds dangerous when compared to the tipico accordion!

There is a desperation to rock that tipico doesn´t have. Even when the lyrics are about desperation itself, losing a mujer usually, the songs just sound sad, not impassioned. I´m not saying that tipico is emotionless, in fact, the gritar can be very emotive. I think the bottom line is that, in the songs I´ve heard, tipico is afraid to be ugly. Apart from gritaring there is very rarely anything dissonant or uneasy about the rhythms or melody, which makes sense considering it´s dance music. You can´t change up the rhythm too much when people are trying to dance to it. I had a bunch of Radiohead songs come on my music player and they serve as a perfect example. What makes most of their songs so interesting is that they give you something really pretty to hook your ear but then the rhythms and melody always sound like they are about to fall apart but they never do. I´ve missed that tension.

On the other end of the spectrum, I´ve missed the swagger of old school rock. T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, and Immortal Technique all drove that home for me. They make themselves sound dangerous not so much because of tension but because of pure attitude. Tipico definitely has a difference attitude, a different worldview. Tipico is about keeping tradition and the past alive and strong while rock is about punching it in the face. Both very important projects.

Well, thanks for putting up with that. Let´s talk about work. I had a general "so what do you want Peace Corps to do for you" meeting since I last wrote. Way more people showed that I thought they would. 21. Wah! Nothing too surprise came up, people are scared (with good reason) that investors are going to steal all their land. People say they REALLY want English classes. Looks like I´ll be actually IN a classroom about 16 hours a week. With the time I need for planning lessons I´m not sure if that´s asking too much or not. Doesn´t sound like it but on the other hand I´m not here to teach full time. We´ll see how it plays out. I´m very excited to have something to keep me busy.

I thought I had killed all the trees we want to sell for the vivero but they are recovering from being transplanted. The worm compost idea went over well so that´s another thing to wark towards. The last thing that came up was and artisan´s group. I´m not really sure who all wants to do that yet. We´ll see.