Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: April 2010

Sanjuro- Samurai proto-cowboy.

Cowboys can crop up anywhere, not just in The Old West.
During the 1950’s and 60’s Western Movies began to draw on other sources. Japanese director Akira Kurosawa was particularly influential. Toshirō Mifune frequently appeared as a solitary, nameless hero upholding traditional values of justice against morally dissolute foes.

Sukhov- Red Army Cowboy.

Discussing his Soviet cult classic The White Sun of the Desert director Vladimir Motyl acknowledged the influence of Stagecoach and High Noon . He described the film as being a “cocktail” of Russian folktale and a Western. Visually, with it’s stark landscapes , the film resembles the work of Sergio Leone.

This used to be a hell of a good country. I can’t understand what’s gone wrong with it…

In Easy Rider Wyatt (as in Earp -Peter Fonda) and Billy (as in The Kid– Dennis Hopper) ride through familiar Western landscapes on their motorcycles.

Mrs Kartoshka is coming! So I give up cigarettes for a month-starting today. It’s a part of our relationship. If we travel I don’t want to spend hours on a train or an aeroplane itching for a smoke, so I give up about a fortnight before, convinced that by the time she’s here the craving will be ‘out of my system’.

In truth I’m already looking forward to the nauseating rush of smoking my next cigarette on the 16th May.

I keep my music on hard drives and memory sticks. Thousands of LPs in a space the size of a small loaf of bread. The records themselves, once ripped, are stored away. But the magic of handling the discs, of placing them gently on a turntable and listening in anticipation to the warm hum and slight crackle before the music begins remains as exhilarating as ever…

The 1994 World Cup Finals started and ended with dreadful penalties- the first was taken by soul diva Diana Ross at the opening ceremony, the last by Roberto Baggio in the final itself. Both sailed harmlessly wide of their target.A great tournament but a not so great final.
141 goals were scored at an average of 2.7 per match, but none in the final for the only time in World Cup history.
Bigger stadiums allowed an average attendance of 69,000, breaking records that had stood since 1950. The total attendance of almost 3.6 million remains the highest in World Cup history.
Oleg Salenko of Russia became the first player to score five goals in a single World Cup match as Russia ran out 6–1 winners against Cameroon.
Only 3 of the 15 knockout phase matches went to penalties- sadly the final was one of them.
Themed goal celebrations appeared when Bebeto marked the birth of his baby with his ‘cradle’ celebration, (along with Romário and Mazinho) in the game against the Netherlands. The Brazil players also made a memorable spectacle when they took to the pitch hand in hand.
The U.S.A v Switzerland match in the Pontiac Silverdome was the first to be played indoors in World Cup history.
Before the tournament Pele predicted that Columbia would win the World Cup , but they were a waning side plagued by domestic problems and went out at the first stage.
Maradonna made his final World Cup appearance- suspended for drug misuse he left fans with memories of outstanding brilliance and plenty of controversy.

An iconic image, taken from a blimp above the stadium, Taffarel ecstatic, Baggio despondent.

I would like to dedicate this post to Niall, whose generous praise is greatly appreciated.

A happy life?
Born in a favela in Rio in 1937, Elza was raped when she was 12. Because she became pregnant she had to marry the man who raped her. Her first three children died as newborns, but she was a mother of four by the age of 25. Elza had her first taste of success on Ary Barroso’s radio show when she was still in her teens. Soares became popular with her first single Se Acaso Você Chegasse, on which she sang Louis Armstrong style scat with her trademark husky voice, combining samba and jazz .
After finishing her second LP, A Bossa Negra, Elza went to Chile to represent Brazil in the festival that accompanied the 1962 FIFA World Cup. It was there that she met Mané Garrincha. Of course, we’ve had posts on Mané Garrincha (1933-1983) here before, and there will be more in the the future- the most talented individual ever to play football- as Alex Bellos wrote: Pelé was admired, Garrincha was adored.

According to tradition Elza entered the dressing room where the players were celebrating and embraced the naked Mané, who had made a tremendous contribution to Brazil’s success throughout the tournament.

At the time Mané still lived in the same abject style as when he had been a textile worker. He was married to Nair Marques (married in 1952, they divorced in 1965), a factory worker from Pau Grande with whom he had eight daughters. He also fathered two children with another Pau Grande girl, Iraci, whom he ‘kept’ in Rio, as well as a son by a Swedish girl he had met whilst on tour with Botafogo. By the time of his death he had fathered at least 14 children.
Mané and Elza married in 1966; as Elza had also been married before, the Brazilian press were critical of the marriage.
The couple were harassed by neighbours in the upmarket Rio suburb where they lived; when they visited Pau Grande they were attacked. The public resented the apparent wordly influence that Elza exerted over Mané- for example he began to negotiate more just contracts with his club. In the past he had been content to sign blank contracts and allowed his earnings to rot away in drawers in his house. As Mané’s famously crooked legs began to give out and he played less he succumbed to alcoholism, and their relationship became increasingly stormy. Shortly after the 1966 World Cup Mané crashed his car, killing Elza’s mother. His record with cars was not good- he had previously run over his father and Elza had had some teeth smashed out in another prang* . Mané was also sexually insatiable, and had affairs. His virility, and his large penis, were the stuff of legend- in 1959 a song in his praise was suppressed because the line Mané, who was born in Pau Grande sounded very much like Mané, who was born with a pau grande, which is slang for big dick.Ruy Castro, his biographer was sued by members of Mané’s family for asserting that his manhood was 25cm- the judge booted the case out- how could it be libel to say that a Brazilian man was well hung? Strangely no one took offence at Castro’s revelation that Mané’s earliest sexual experience had been with a goat…apparently not unusual in Pau Grande in those days.
Mané and Elza separated in 1977, when she left him after he struck her. (In the notorious psychometric testing prior to the 1958 World Cup Mané had scored zero for aggression).

Elza Soares remains active in the world of music, and she is not afraid to move with the times. There are a number of her records available to download at Loronix, from the early jazz-samba through to the samba-soul sound of the 1970’s.In 2000 the BBC gave her a Singer of the Century award.
Here is 2004’s Vivo Feliz album , which mixes samba and bossa with modern electronic music and effects, and features collaborations with a number of leading techno/hip-hop/ artists (I’m never to sure of the terminology for the modern stuff. Anyway- it’s a great sound).
Here’s the link:

* this bad luck with cars would haunt the family into the next generation-
In 1985 Mané and Elza’s son Garrinchinha died in an auto crash on the same stretch of road on which Elza’s mother had died. His son (with Iraci) Nenem, who played for Fulminense, died in a car crash in 1992. His grandson was run over and killed in Pau Grande in 2001.

The following books were invaluable in the preparation of this post:
Estrela Solitária – Ruy Castro
Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life -Alex Bellos

Often cited as the best of the James Bond movies Goldfinger(1964)represents the zenith of the 1960’s espionage adventure genre.
Three movies into the series the James Bond concern was becoming a complex marketing package.
The theme song was composed by John Barry (b.1933), with lyrics by Anthony Newley (1931–1999) and Leslie Bricusse (b.1931).
The definitive version that was used for the movie was recorded by Shilrey Bassey (b.1937) and produced by George Martin (b.1926).
Some trivia- Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley wrote the score of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, based on the story by Roald Dahl.
Dahl wrote two screenplays that were adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming; the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Desmond Llewelyn ( Q /Mr. Coggins)and Gert Frobe (Auric Goldfinger/ Baron Bombast) appeared in both Goldfinger and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Here we have Anthony Newley’s version of Goldfinger, along with the more familiar Shirley Bassey recording.


I just noticed that the Caetano Veloso post of his 1968 album was inadvertently taken down the other day. I’ve now restored it…

A couple of posts ago I made reference to an Airfix battle. When I was a boy Airfix models were an important part of my life. I collected the soldiers.In fact I still have a sweet jar somewhere full of them. I was never very good at building the ships, aeroplanes, tanks etc but I did have a few.
Airfix was founded in 1939 by a Hungarian businessman Nicholas Kove,initially manufacturing inflatables. In 1947, Airfix undertook their first ventures in injection moulding, producing pocket combs. The first models,for the promotion of Ferguson tractors,appeared in 1949.The model was sold in kit form by Woolworth’s .
In 1954 Airfix produced a model kit of The Golden Hind. The first aircraft kit was released in 1955, a model of the Supermarine Spitfire.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the company expanded greatly and The Airfix range expanded to include all manner of things; soldiers, knights, cowboys, animals…

Between 1966 and 1968 NBC produced a TV series of Tarzan, in which Ron Ely played the King of the Jungle. There was, however, no Jane, but Diana Ross did make a guest appearance as a nun!

The series was filmed in Mexico and Brazil, but for those fans who wished to re enact the drama in dense jungles of their own back gardens, Airfix came up with the following set:

Ron Ely

Various Africans

Scenes of mild peril…

Good guys…

Cheetah and Jai

No idea

A statement of the obvious: Brazilian music is a big part of life here at Kартошка 167. I’m sure that we all have our own idea of what the greatest recordings are. In October 2007 Rolling Stone Brasil published a list of the top 100 Brazilian LPs- a good reference list to check off your collection against or maybe as a guide as you go through the various blogs devoted to Brazilian music in order to assemble a collection.
I was going to post just a list of the records, but then I got to thinking- wouldn’t it be good to compile a list of links to blog pages where you could download these LPs (one of the blogs on the list actually seems to present the entire top 100- but that was not my object- I wanted this to be as much about the international blog community that is devoted to Brazilian music as about the music itself).
Many links are to blog pages in Portuguese – if you don’t read Portuguese don’t let that put you off- you’ll recognize the titles and artist names. You might get a pleasant surprise if you try and read the text- it’s not a hard language to read.

The ultimate respect of course to the original authors of the various blogs who ripped the music, uploaded it, created the images and shared their views with the world. Also to the artists themselves.
All the links appear to be safe (according to McAfee) and all were working as of 16.04.10.
So here is the list and the links:

1. Acabou Chorare – Novos Baianos (1972) –

2. Tropicália ou Panis et Circensis – Vários (1968)-

3. Construção – Chico Buarque (1971) –

4. Chega de Saudade – João Gilberto (1959)-

5. Secos e Molhados – Secos e Molhados (1973)-

6. A Tábua de Esmeralda – Jorge Ben (1972)-

7. Clube da Esquina – Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges (1972)-

8. Cartola – Cartola (1976)-

9. Os Mutantes – Os Mutantes (1968)-

10. Transa – Caetano Veloso (1972)-

11. Elis & Tom – Elis Regina e Antônio Carlos Jobim (1974)-

12. Krig-Ha Bandolo – Raul Seixas (1973)-

13. Da Lama ao Caos – Chico Science & Nação Zumbi (1994)-

14. Sobrevivendo no Inferno – Racionais MC’s (1998)-

15. Samba Esquema Novo – Jorge Ben (1963)-

16. Fruto Proibido – Rita Lee (1975)-

17. Racional Volume 1 – Tim Maia (1975)-

18. Afrociberdelia – Chico Science & Nação Zumbi (1996)-

19. Cabeça Dinossauro – Titãs (1986)-

20. Fa-Tal – Gal a Todo Vapor – Gal Costa (1971)-

21. Dois – Legião Urbana (1986)-

22. A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado – Os Mutantes (1970)-

23. Coisas – Moacir Santos (1965)-

24. Roberto Carlos em Ritmo de Aventura – Roberto Carlos (1967)-

25. Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1970)-

26. Expresso 2222 – Gilberto Gil (1972)-

27. Nós vamos Invadir Sua Praia – Ultraje a Rigor (1985)-

28. Roberto Carlos – Roberto Carlos (1971)-

29. Os Afro-Sambas – Baden Powell, Quarteto em Cy e Vinícius de Moraes (1966)-

30. A Dança da Solidão – Paulinho da Viola (1972)-

31. Carlos, Erasmo – Erasmo Carlos (1970)-

32. Pérola Negra – Luis Melodia (1973)-

33. Caymmi e Seu Violão – Dorival Caymmi (1959)-

34. Loki? – Arnaldo Baptista (1974) –

35. Estudando o Samba – Tom Zé (1976) –

36. Falso Brilhante – Elis Regina (1976)-

37. Caetano Veloso – Caetano Veloso (1968)-

38. Maria Fumaça – Banda Black Rio (1977) –

39. Selvagem? – Os Paralamas do Sucesso (1986) –

40. Legião Urbana – Legião Urbana (1985)-

41. Meus Caros Amigos – Chico Buarque (1976) –

42. O Bloco do Eu Sozinho – Los Hermanos (2001)-

43. Refazenda – Gilberto Gil (1975)-

44. Mutantes – Os Mutante (1969)-

45. Raimundos – Raimundos (1994) –

46. Chaos A.D. – Sepultura (1993)-

47. João Gilberto – João Gilberto (1973)-

48. As Aventuras Da Blitz– Blitz (1982)-

49. Racional Volume 2 – Tim Maia (1976)-

50. Revolver – Walter Franco (1975)-

51. Clara Crocodilo – Arrigo Barnabé (1980)-

52. Cartola – Cartola (1974)-

53. O Novo Aeon – Raul Seixas (1975)-

54. Refavela – Gilberto Gil (1977)-

55. Nervos de Aço – Paulinho da Viola (1973)

56. Amoroso – João Gilberto (1977)-

57. Roots – Sepultura (1996)-

58. Antônio Carlos Jobim – Tom Jobim (1963)-

59. Canção do Amor Demais – Elizeth Cardoso (1958)-

60. Gil e Jorge Ogum Xangô – Gilberto Gil e Jorge Ben (1975)-

61. Força Bruta – Jorge Ben (1970) –

62. MM – Marisa Monte (1989)-

63. Milagre dos Peixes – Milton Nascimento (1973)-…/milton-nascimento-milagre-dos-peixes.html

64. Show Opinião – Nara Leão, Zé Kéti e João do Vale (1965) –

65. Nelson Cavaquinho – Nelson Cavaquinho (1973)-

66. Cinema Transcendental – Caetano Veloso (1979)-

67. África Brasil – Jorge Ben (1976)-

68. Ventura – Los Hermanos (2003) –

69. Samba Esquema Noise – Mundo Livre S/A (1994)-

70. Getz/Gilberto Featuring Antônio Carlos Jobim – Stan Getz, João Gilberto e Antônio Carlos Jobim (1963)-

71. Noel Rosa e Aracy de Almeida – Aracy de Almeida (1950)-

72. Jardim Elétrico – Os Mutantes (1971)-

73. Angela Ro Ro – Angela Ro Ro (1979)-

74. Õ Blésq Blom – Titãs (1989)-

75. Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1971)-

76. A Bad Donato – João Donato (1970)-

77. Canções Praieiras – Dorival Caymmi (1954)-

78. Gilberto Gil – Gilberto Gil (1968)-

79. Álibi – Maria Bethânia (1978)-

80. Gal Costa – Gal Costa (1969)-

81. Psicoacústica – Ira! (1988)-

82. O Inimitável – Roberto Carlos (1968)-

83. Matita Perê – Tom Jobim (1973)-

84. Qualquer Coisa/Jóia – Caetano Veloso (1975)

85. Jovem Guarda – Roberto Carlos (1965)-

86. Beleléu, Leléu, Eu – Itamar Assumpção e Banda Isca de Polícia (1980)-

87. Verde Anil Amarelo Cor de Rosa e Carvão – Marisa Monte (1994)-

88. Nada Como Um Dia Após O Outro Dia – Racionais MC’s (2002)-

89. Carnaval na Obra – Mundo Livre S/A (1998)-

90. Quem é Quem – João Donato (1973)-

91. Cantar – Gal Costa (1974) –

92. Wave – Tom Jobim (1967)-

93. Lado B, Lado A – O Rappa (1999)-

94. Vivendo e Não Aprendendo – Ira! (1986)-

95. Boces Bárbaros – Gil, Bethânia, Caetano e Gal (1976)-

96. A Sétima Efervescência – Júpiter Maçã (1996) –

97. Araçá Azul – Caetano Veloso (1972)-

98. Elis – Elis Regina (1972)-

99. Revolução por Minuto – RPM (1985)-

100. Circense – Egberto Gismonti (1980)-

Whenever I post pictures of women on this blog Mrs Kartoshka becomes agitated. Why? It’s not jealousy – not one of them can hold a candle to her. It’s because they are usually brunettes. Mrs Kartoshka is a blonde. The contempt with which blondes regard brunettes is monumental.

So- I have selected this picture for two reasons: because like Mrs Kartoshka she is a blonde, and because like Mrs Kartoshka she is a Russian Venus. I should point out however that Mrs Kartoshka is about 50kg with her hat and coat and boots on, whereas this lady is more generously built.

The painting is Русская Венера (Russian Venus) by Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (Борис Михайлович Кустодиев:1878– 1927).
Kustodiev, who was known for illustration, stage and graphic design as well as his paintings, provides the link between traditional Russian realism and the classically influenced realism of the Soviet era. He studied under the great Russian painter Repin, who wrote I have great hopes for Kustodiev– praise indeed.
Kustodiev’s political awareness was awakened by the 1905 Revolution, and he produced satirical works in response to those troubled times.
Themes of traditional Russian life filled his work, indeed the times that Kustodiev spent away from Russia (he studied in France and Spain and later went to Switzerland for medical treatment) strengthened his love of his homeland.
From 1916 onwards Kustodiev was paralyzed from the waist down by spinal tuberculosis.