Friday, October 7, 2016

The Durutti Column - Amigos em Portugal

I'm reading Philip Roth's The Plot Against America at the moment. As well as some clear overtones with the current political situation in the U.S., you get some lovely passages like this, where the narrator describes his artist brother:

[He] was known throughout the neighborhood for being able to draw 'anything' - a bike, a tree, a dog, a chair... -  though his interest of late was in real faces. Kids were always gathering around to watch him whenever he would park himself after school with his large spiral pad and his mechanical pencil and begin to sketch the people nearby... All the while his hand was working away, he'd look up, down, up, down - and behold, there lived so-and-so on a sheet of paper. What's the trick, they all asked him... as if tracing - as if outright magic - might have played some part in the feat. Sandy's answer to all this pestering was a shrug and a smile: the trick to doing it was his being the quiet, serious, unostentatious boy that he was.

I like to imagine Vini Reilly in this manner, with his light touch and penchant for baroque filigrees of delay'd clusters, bringing to life the emotion of a memory out of the seriousness of silence. His music always impresses in the strongest sense of that word - it burdens me with the power, the force of its gentle insistence.

Amigos em Portugal is one I'd forgotten about, but a real gem from his early days. Indeed, insistence is a keyword here - even the production seems more upfront, stripped down than usual, his voice cutting through the mix from "Wheels Turning" on with unusual clarity. Some songs that I'm sure will become favorites of mine from his catalog. A find for any DC fan.


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