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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Joao Kartoshka is off on vacation.
Mattinho is on permanent vacation.
до встречи!

Mattinho is often scathing in his criticisms of my musical tastes. He dismisses the soothing rhythms as ‘cruise ship music’- to quote him-‘on a cruise ship there are two things you have to watch out for, food poisoning and the bossa nova’. I enjoy watching him lapse into torpor on the sofa when I am listening to a lovely record by Joao Gilberto or Tom Jobim. But of course he is right, Bossa Nova isn’t everything.
So here is a record from Mattinho’s immaculately catalogued collection:

Slum Dunk Presents Funk Carioca mixed by Tetine

The music of choice in the favelas is ‘Rio funk’. A hard-edged dance style of screeching rap and booty-shaking beats, this is the bastard child of Miami bass, which arrived here in the mid-1980s and went native– Alex Bellos


More than 50% of adults in the USA wear glasses. Apparently in some countries the % is higher- South Korea= 80%! Joao Kartoshka wears glasses. the only time this bothers him is during the summer, when the sunglasses come out.

The problem with contact lenses is that you just can’t sleep whenever you want to, and there’s nothing as good as falling asleep in the afternoon. So Joao sticks with the spectacles. Of course, the best bet is to get light sensitive lenses- otherwise the only option is prescription sunglasses and you have to carry a pair of plan spectacles as well, for when you go indoors (unless you want to look like Roy Orbison).

In fantasy world Joao would have 20:20 vision and just pop on a pair of sun glasses whenever the fancy took him.Look at this Ray Ban ad from 1979- they reckon everybody needs six differebnt types of ‘sunglass’… well, they would, wouldn’t they?

Remember Richard Davalos in Cool Hand Luke? Loved those glasses.

I still haven’t seen the movie 300– I have the DVD case but no disc- something that often happens in the disordered world of Kartoshka 167.
But I have memories of this, the 1963 version. Pa Kartoshka would give me a small tumbler full of brown beer when we watched TV movies on a Saturday night. He cleverly always poured it so it was really frothy and i would try to drink the froth before it dissappeared.

Remarkable, the Chrysler Corporation introduce a record player for the car!
I found a list of the curious discs that were produced especially for this gadget, and a good write up on this and similar innovations.
I have no idea how well this hi-fi phonograph would have performed on the dirt tracks of yore.
Maybe someone out there remembers listening to a Highway ?

Lovely classic from Joao Gilberto first released in 1973- very bare sound, almost hypnotic at times- Joao’s voice and guitar- percussion by Sonny Carr.
Sometimes referred to as The White Album.


It’s all about goals, and how is this for a goal scoring record: appearances- 357, goals -357.
A goal a game over a 13 season playing career- not bad, particularly as the team in question is Barcelona.

Philippines born Paulino Alcántara was the first Asian to compete in top level European football. He made his first appearance for Barcelona as a 15yr old in 1912 and scored a hat trick on debut, earning the nickname El Rompe Redes (the net breaker).
In 1916 Alcántara returned to The Philippines, spending two seasons with Bohemians FC.
On his return to Barca he was played as a defender, but this didn’t last long!
Having previously represented The Philippines and Catalonia, Alcántara made 5 appearances and scored 6 goals for Spain between 1921 and 1923. His international career was curtailed by his medical studies: for example, he declined the opportunity to play in the 1920 Olympics. In a match vs. France in 1922 Alcántara lived up to his nickname, literally shooting through the net.

Alcántara later coached the Spanish national team.

There was a period during the mid 1960’s when Joao Kartoshka harboured fantasies of being Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin. As time has progressed he realises that he is actually more like Napoleon Solo- but that is another story for another day.
At about the same time Kartoshka had one great love- Nancy Sinatra. Miss Sinatra was unaware (and to this day remains unaware) of young Joao’s devotion to her.
So, here is a special photograph:

The Man From U.N.C.L.E, season 3, episode 16:The Take Me to Your Leader Affair , first aired December 30th, 1966 . Nancy appears as scientist’s daughter, Coco Cool.

From what I can tell this LP is a reissue of material from the Brasil 65 era of Mendes’ career.
This is pretty straight Bossa Nova, rather than the lush pop of Mendes’ later material, when he became synonymous with the easy listening Bossa Nova that was exported as cool cats’ lounge music in the swinging sixties.
Mendes was based in the USA from 1964 onwards, but the sound here is as Brazilian as anything you could care to mention. Wanda De Sah provides fantastic vocals.
Gorgeous LP, gorgeous sleeve.


Bobby Fischer (white) vs Fidel Castro (black)?

In the the XVII World Chess Olympiad in Havana (1966) Castro was actually playing against Filiberto Terrazas of Mexico- however, when Soviet player Tigran Petrosian began to assist the Prime Minister , Terrazas asked the passing Fischer for a bit of help.

Here Prime Minister Castro is playing against Petrosian , in a simultaneous challenge.