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SOUNDTRACK: CANDE Y PAULO-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #205 (May 5, 2021).

I chuckled to myself when I saw how skinny Cande Buasso was.  She plays the upright bass, one of the largest, shapeliest instruments.  And there’s Cande, rail thin, probably weighing half as much and  easily hidden behind this mammoth thing, but still playing deep effective notes.

Vocalist and upright bassist Cande Buasso and keyboardist Paulo Carrizo are from San Juan, Argentina, a very small town nestled by the Andes close to Chile. I like to imagine that the secluded location contributes to the magic and nuance of the very personal musical language the two have developed since forming the duo in 2017.

Things kick off with the magic turned up to 11 with Leonard Cohen’s “Treaty.”

The duo has a light jazzy feel, with Cande’s voice coming in delicately but passionately as she plays the gentle melody.  She’s yet another person who sings Leonard Cohen songs better than Cohen.  Paulo starts playing the piano while muting the strings with his left hand before opening up the piano fully.  Santiago Molina adds very tasteful drums.

The duo’s introduction to the world was a heartbreaking YouTube performance of “Barro Tal Vez” by the Argentine rocker and songwriter Luis Alberto Spinetta, and their performance of it here is no less haunting and captivating.

Paulo plays a kind of slinky organ sound as Cande sings in Spanish.   Midway through she starts bowing the bass while “ooohing,” which creates a haunting moment.  The beautiful theater in San Juan is way too bright for a torch song like this.

“Limite En Tu Amor,” a cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love,” is a preview of one of the tracks that will be included on their upcoming album of covers, produced by Grammy-winning producer Larry Klein.

This song is really fun to watch as Cande plays upright bass chords and then a slow, funky riff while Paulo plays some muted piano chords.  As the song starts properly, he switches to the organ while Cande plays a lead bass line.  Her voice sounds so sultry through this song.

And they seal the deal with “Tuyo,” a nod to one of the most unheralded singer-songwriters in Latin America, Rodrigo Amarante of Brazil. Tuyo translates to “yours” and it’s a fitting close to the briefest of introductions, but one strong enough to make Cande y Paulo one of our favorite discoveries of 2021.

This song feel the jazziest of the set.  You can practically smell the cigarettes as Cande sings and the bass rumbles while Paulo plays a lovely jazzy piano.  The wonderful difference between this and an old school jazz club is that Cande is not only singing she’s playing the bass too.

[READ: June 1, 2021] “Summer of ’42”

The June 11 issue of the New Yorker had several essays under the heading “Summer Movies.”   Each one is a short piece in which the author (many of whom I probably didn’t know in 2007 but do know now) reflects on, well, summer movies.

Of all the writers of these Summer Movie essays, Charles D’Ambrosio was the one I didn’t know.  But he made me laugh with his opening.

He says that he rarely went to the movies as a kid, but he did see the movie Summer of ’42 which looked back–way back–to the summer of 1942.  He says

I believe the movie is famous for a funny scene about buying condoms, but perhaps all summer movies feature some amusing scene with condoms I wouldn’t know.

He grew up in a family of seven where making plans took as much time as executing them and no plan pleased everybody.  It was exhausting enough to eat dinner together every night and to get to church on Sundays. (more…)

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