I made to a club that was touted as strictly a mating ground. It was called “Show Bar” and it turned out to be hip hop night, which meant lots of black people. If you’ll allow me to jump into Jimmy the Greek mode for a moment, I really love the way that Brazilian blacks, and Brazilian black women in particular, look. There’s apparently an infusion of local Indian blood that gives them (as well as many meztizos) very soft facial features, but the booty remains intact. Glorious.
The music at Show Bar on hip-hop night, was pretty lame. It was more R&B than rap, which I think is lame. Beyonce, when you can only hear and not see her, is lame. I tired of the caterwauling of various Mirah clones because they are lame. The most interesting musical moments were instances of Brazilian hip hop. When one song came on I had the following exchange.
“Oh, this music is what we would call ‘crunk.’”
“Hmmmm. The lyrics are completely meaningless.”
“This music is what we would call ‘crunk’.”
Apparently the law that, the hotter the girl, the worse her taste in music will be holds in Brazil. The crappy hip hop at Show Bar does draw hot women, and provides polls for them to climb in order to shake what Jesus gave them. I accidentally zoomed in too close and wound up with a bunch of pictures of ass.
My favorite spot, perhaps because it was the most different from what you’d find in the US was a samba bar called O do Borogodo. This place was jammed. It was one of the only clubs I had to wait in line for but was worth it. There was a fantastic live band and an audience around them but most people were milling about, talking or lining up next to me at the bar. I wish there was more to say, because I really enjoyed the place.
Being a grown up punk rock type, I felt most at home in Sao Paulo’s rock clubs. The first one I went to is called Fun House–in English. There are similar clubs elsewhere in the world, but I really liked the way things were laid out. There’s a bar area for socializing standing up and for buying alcoholic beverages. There’s an upstairs, meant to relax a bit more with couches and a juke box. I’m not wild about the juke box because you’re at the mercy of whatever latter day Fonz asshole wants to stand there feeding coins into the thing so he can his impose his tastes on you. The final room functions as a dance floor/stage depending on if there’s a live band or a DJ.
Fortunately I was there to catch a brilliant performance from a local band called The Post. I bought the singer and guitarist, Michel a beer after they finished up. I asked if it was fair to call them an emo band. He guessed so. I understood his reservations, because being emo now means getting your hair cut like The Monkeys and acting like a bitch. I told him The Post reminded me of the birth of emo, when Jawbreaker and Unwound combined the energy of punk rock with a new level of emotional power. He said that was pretty much his aim, but he had never heard of Jawbreaker or Unwound. Michel appeared to be at least half Asian, so I asked him about his ethnic background. 25% Chinaman, 50% Japanese, 25% some flavor of white. Had he ever felt like an outsider in Brazil? When he was younger he had, but he blamed that on the insularity of the Asian communities. As he grew older and circulated more freely, he said other Brazilians had rarely, if ever made him feel different. This was the first rock show I had been to in Brazil and I couldn’t help but notice how fucking lame the audience was. The concert room was jammed, and people seemed to be enjoying an explosive performance, but they stood like drunken muppets. I asked Michel if this was due to the pernicious influence of Monkey Emo. He didn’t really know because he had separated from “the scene” years ago. I didn’t like the scene either. Michel didn’t know where I could get some blow. The Post have a CD coming out and Michel was planning to hang it up and do some traveling after that. I encouraged him to give it one more year. He’s only 25 and it would be a shame for a band this rocking to fail to hit some kind of pay dirt. Here’s their myspace. I went back on a much slower night and saw a very solid surf-core band called Netunos.
I also went to Milo’s. Marina and I got there at 2:30am on a Saturday and had to wait in line for about half an hour to get in. I hate lines but if I must wait in one, it’s pretty sweet to do so a half hour after closing time back in Los Angeles. The DJ here actually mixed in some dance music, which doesn’t bother me. I’d sort of been hoping for some Descendants though, thinking that the club might be named after their singer. Maybe some Misfits or Black Flag as well. Instead it was Rage, Beastie Boys a ton of indy rock that I didn’t recognize because I am getting to old for this shit and the aforementioned smattering of dance music. If I had come a couple of nights earlier, I could have seen Igor Cavalera from Sepultura DJ. Yes, I appreciate how Martian that sentence was, but it’s also accurate. There’s an open air bar in the back which was a fun place to hang out, but I felt sympathy for the residents of the apartment building I was looking up at.
Marina warned me that A Loca was “very mixed,” meaning that a lot of gays went there. True enough. They might even have been in the majority, but the female patrons were above average, even by the lofty standards of Sao Paulo. I’d become used to Sao Paulo’s clubs being a bit over crowded by this time, but this was the first case where I was actually nervous. A Loca is shaped like a horseshoe at the entrance and exits, with long, narrow rooms leading back to the dance floor. The place was absolutely jammed, and the bar was in one of the narrow parts so people were packed in, with several patrons literally sitting on the bar for lack of room and I kept thinking that if there was a fire everyone would be dead. Fuck, if someone let out a really bad fart it could trigger a lethal stampede. There was absolutely no margin for error. All that was missing was Great White.
There is no Portugese word for “fire marshal.”
So, cons: 30% chance of being killed. But here are some pros. It was at A Loca that I heard the first guy I would actually describe as an excellent DJ in Sao Paulo. It was supposed to be rock night, but I hardly minded as he played really rocking, heavy techno of some variety. He was also active, skillfully manipulating the tracks rather than just playing records or playing and arbitrarily scratching records, as the hip hop DJ at Show Club had done. Also, I liked the atmosphere. There were stone walls, a weird statue with illuminated, red eyes and a “Super Friends” on an unfortunately unphotographable projection screen. I had a really nice shot of Wonder Woman surveying the debauchery.