Me according to Last.fm

According to Last.fm this is the top 10 of my most listened songs. How do they know? When I’m not too stressed out or tired I listen to music on my laptop while I’m working and the last.fm Winamp plugin feeds that information back to their site. Usually when I’m in form and working alone I listen to music most of the time, mp3s or online radios. Last.fm knows about 13.000 tracks I listened to going back to 2006, so by now the creepy prying thing has formed an opinion about me. However, I don’t recognize myself in this top 10; if I were to choose my favourite 10 songs none of these would be in the list. Probably these are more played because they blend in better with the way I work.

Well, here they are; I added some videos from YouTube, most are live versions and not what I really listen to. I notice now that the first two are composed to the words of Champions League poets. Not surprising, since words are what I listen to in a song.

  1. Antony and the Johnsons – The Lake

    I always like Antony, but this is the song that really brought me into his world and made me understand him and all his music. You may have known a slightly different version of this poem.

    Poe:

    In youth's spring, it was my lot
    To haunt of the wide earth a spot
    To which I could not love the less;
    So lovely was the loneliness
    Of a wild lake, with black rock bound.
    And the tall trees that tower'd around.
    But when the night had thrown her pall
    Upon that spot-- as upon all,
    And the wind would pass me by
    In its stilly melody,
    My infant spirit would awake
    To the terror of the lone lake.
    Yet that terror was not fright--
    But a tremulous delight,
    And a feeling undefin'd,
    Springing from a darken'd mind.
    Death was in that poison'd wave
    And in its gulf a fitting grave
    For him who thence could solace bring
    To his dark imagining;
    Whose wild'ring though could even make
    An Eden of that dim lake.
    

  2. Susan Graham – L’ Heure Exquise

    And Susan in number two. She could sing Abba songs and still be on this list. I’m not the kind of person to develop a fetish about a singer since I fell out of love with Jim Morrison in 1984, but her voice connects directly to the place I go when I dream.

    Verlaine:

    La lune blanche 
    luit dans les bois. 
    De chaque branche 
    part une voix 
    sous la ramée. 
    O bien aimée. 
    
    
    L’étang reflète, 
    profond miroir, 
    la silhouette 
    du saule noir 
    où le vent pleure. 
    Rêvons, c’est l’heure. 
    
    
    Un vaste et tendre 
    apaisement 
    semble descendre 
    du firmament 
    que l’astre irise. 
    C’est l’heure exquise!
    

  3. Susan Graham – When I am laid in earth

    And here she is again at #3. This is the first aria I heard of her; not the version on the video below, but the one conducted by John Eliot Gardiner; I still remember the emotion I felt, standing up in front of my tuner listening to Antena2 and hoping that they would name the singer in the end. They did.

  4. Arcade Fire – Wake Up

    I lost a decade of music starting from the middle 90s. I’m not sure why, maybe I got old. 2004 was the year when I was in tune with music again, busily discovering new music on KEXP and WFMU and the Arcade Fire were a big part of that. Maybe now I’m becoming insensitive to their music, but here they are at number 4 and 5.

  5. Arcade Fire – No Cars Go

  6. Patrick Watson – The Great Escape

    Nothing to say about these lovely guys, except “Obrigado Maggy!”.

  7. The National – Cherry Tree

    It is only logical that this song would end up here, it is asking to be played on repeat on the background while I’m doing something else and not paying any attention to it.

  8. Susan Graham – L’ Enamouree

    Sorry, I couldn’t find a video for this one…

  9. Editors – Escape the Nest

    And here are the Editors, the greatest average band in the world… My appreciation of this song is heavily influenced by their concerts; they are a moving band live, transparent even in their affectation.

  10. The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone

    It was quite hard to find a video for this one on YouTube. I am a great fan of the punk revolution of the 70s. It brought democracy to creating music: everyone can create meaningful music, without regard to their natural abilities. Everyone, even the less gifted player or singer can make music worth listening to. Everyone? No! It is impossible to listen to Ian Brown singing outside the protective shell of a studio. But he was a master clown and this would be the only song of this list that I could pick for my personal top 10. It’s also one of my favourite driving songs; yes, I can appreciate the irony.

    “Amateurs! Amateurs!”

Julieta Tango

Julieta Tango, vaidosa e tagarela
o olhar errante, fútil e letal

a voz demasiado explícita, rouca e masculina
vibrante de canto
de distorções abruptas

um desejo bestial; ou inumano – inocultável.

[Mais aqui sobre uma das grandes paixões da minha vida…]

[poema escrito num bilhete de cinema]

lisboa, o espectro do inverno
já não cabe na garra aberta do vento
sobre nós, os desta cidade, timoratos
precipitadamente se deita a chuva

o frio caiu, com amor e violência
empurrado do céu: escondes-te agora
água de fevereiro, muda de medos;
rápido como granizo se destrói todo pensamento

City of Liverpool

Navio vermelho que a ferrugem persegue entre Felixstowe e Walvis Bay
deixa o Tejo ao tempo e aos obscenos pombos
aos dias impotentes que não deixam a foz
deixa as águas que levam corpos
cansados até à morte
perseguidos e imóveis como Cristo
O rio esconde-se numa capa mole
escura como o dorso de um tubaṛo Рviste-o?
deixa atrás só a água que se abre
como o baralho de cartas atirado sobre a mesa
agora que todo o dinheiro e sono foi perdido
navio, levanta-te e anda, é noite ainda.

Poema antigo, talvez de noventa e cinco? O navio chamava-se City of Liverpool entre noventa e cinco e noventa e sete, quando foi rebaptizado African Senator. Começou a vida em oitenta e dois já se chamou Campania (várias vezes), Red Sea Equinox, Arbitrator, CGM Languedoc e agora é o DD Success e já não é vermelho. É verdinho. Mas ainda é perseguido pela ferrugem, a ferrugem nunca dorme.



Não sei se é o mesmo City of Liverpool que foi atacado pelos rebeldes Tamil do Ceilão há uns anos. Hoje, nove de Julho de 2010 está ancorado no Mar Amarelo (mais propriamente no Mar de Bohai), perto de Pequim, longitude 119.1441, latitude 39.14851. Curioso leitor, podes seguir as andanças deste velho cargueiro aqui.

Obrigado à Anne-Marie pela foto.

[continuo a gostar deste poema]

Bebedor de sonhos, os dentes cravados
no barro amargo da taça que se volta agora
bebedor de grandes tragos, a boca cravejada
de pérolas
a taça voltada no mármore
és tu agora
quem derrama o vinho
navio emborcado na lama da foz
não renoves a mão, todo o gesto de erguer a taça

Akureyri Revisited

Subia por uma rua íngreme e pedregosa, levava um saco pesado de serapilheira grossa que me me arranhava as costas. Cheguei a uma casa branca com um muro alto e um grande portão de ferro verde. Lá dentro um jardim: plantas altas, árvores, um lugar sombrio com um laguinho central. Uma escada subia para a casa. O lago tinha muitas tartarugas de todos os tamanhos; tentei escolher uma para levar à Dulce, mas quando me decidia por uma ela conseguia sempre escapar-me.

Berglind, Karen e outra rapariga desceram e e disseram-me que a Andrea estava fechada no quarto e não me queria ver nem receber o saco que lhe trazia. A Karen tinha um vestido branco, ria sem parar e parecia diferente. Estava loura, como quando era criança. A Berglind vestia um fato-macaco laranja estranho e sujo; disse-nos que estava a trabalhar nas plataformas de petróleo. Decidimos que era melhor levar o saco para a casa da Berglind [que por alguma razão não vivia na mesma casa da irmã]. De repente era de noite e tinhamos de nos apressar porque a casa de Berglind era no outro lado de Akureyri.

Caminhámos por uma estrada de terra que rodeava uma colina. Viamos Akureyri lá em baixo, uma cidade enorme com muitos edifícios altos em ruas paralelas. Eu disse que era muito bonita com todas as luzes acesas. Nesta altura a Karen tinha de novo o cabelo preto, mas parecia muito gorda e alta.

Tinhamos de descer e atravessar uma ponte sobre o rio. Era perigoso porque ali viviam os portugueses, todos eles marginais e traficantes de droga. Sobre a ponte um homem muito alto, muito escuro aproximou-se; queria o nosso saco. Agarrou-me, mas a Karen e a Berglind fugiram com o saco. Segurava-me, tinha de olhar para cima para o ver, tinha duas vezes a minha altura. Puxou de uma grande seringa com uma longa agulha e apunhalou-me no peito. Lutámos, caímos no rio.

Então estava perdido em escarpas junto ao mar. Tinha de encontrar a estação de caminhos de ferro para apanhar o combóio para Portugal (para a Moita) e pensava que ia ter fome numa viagem tão longa. A falésia era amarelada com arbustos e rochedos redondos. Debaixo de uma pedra algo se movia: pequenas tartarugas marinhas. Fui agarrar uma para levar à Dulce, mas correu para o mar. De repente já não era uma tartaruga, era um sapo. Pensei “é um sapo bonito, mas a Dulce não o vai querer” . Voltei à rocha e vi que só havia sapos, uma massa negra, confusa e viscosa de sapos.


[então o telemóvel tocou e acordei. eram 4 da manhã e alguém se tinha esquecido das chaves de casa]

[poema escrito numa cisterna em 1994]

porque vais fugindo na noite
como um ladrão?
Fugindo da montanha da lua
onde a tua sorte foi revelada
para a noite em que nada aquecerá o teu coração.

Escutaste no escuro as rumorosas vozes do futuro
e é um lugar onde já estiveste
a casa construída e abandonada
habitação de medo

Cristiano Ronaldo and other anomalies

a mask by Hande CavusIt was obviously a bad day at the world and I was not the man to solve it’s problems, I realize it now. However, just a few minutes ago I was a politician in the midst of an election campaign and I was explaining reporters how I was the right man for the job. I’m not shure what the job was: I was campaigning near my own street, so it could be for mayor, but immediately before that I was having a nice day at the beach and was worried about the papparazzi following me; so, prime-minister, perhaps?

Marques Mendes, the portuguese opposition leader was there at the beach with two lesbians. The paperazzi came to sit beside me in the sand to eat their cheese sandwiches and told me how they were unsure about publishing the photos of Marques Mendes. He joined us, reeking of tobacco and beer, smiling and showing his yellow teeth.

Then I felt the ground shaking and I heard the sound of loud music: bad heavy metal straight from the 70s. There was a thick smell like if the whole world was rotting. I was near a tall and unfinished building. There was a muddy street going down until the place where I was and at the other end I saw a dozen monstrous cows coming towards me. They were black and red and had huge horns. I was shaken by fear. The ground floor of the building was a tall space with naked concrete pillars and surrounded by crooked iron bars. I tried to escape inside, running over puddles of mud.

There were more people running and trying to get over the iron fences, all were football players dressed in their club’s outfit. I could not recognize all, but Cristiano Ronaldo was there and Ronaldinho, Edgar Davids , Alan Shearer, Drogba too and many others in many different colours.

Then we were all inside and all the cows were roasting in a long row of gigantic spits, turning slowly over bright fires. It was very hot and all the football players were doing a barbaric dance, shouting and stamping their feet on the muddy ground.

[poema preferido]

voam com exagerado esforço os corvos-marinhos
como quem insiste em agradar
em fila errante, mágoas que se perseguem
deitando-se quase na cama revolta do rio
corações de espanto em negras penas envoltos
fogem aturdidos da felicidade.

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