Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jamandahalf Presents: Musical Pilgrimage #1

There are a few real musical pilgrimages out there. Walking across Abbey Road in London. Visiting Graceland in Memphis. The Grateful Dead house in The Haight, SF. Woodstock. These are places that will always have a deep emotional connection to us fans, as they are places where fans like all of us can feel closer to the artists that we love.

One of my all-time favorite albums is Manu Chao's Proxima Estacion: Esperanza. Released in 2000, Manu's second album is top-to-bottom jam heavy, featuring classics like "Me Gustas Tu," "Merry Blues," and "Mr. Bobby." Moodawg introduced me to Manu when I came back from my semester abroad, and in some ways, his music became the soundtrack for my last year and a half at college. Like every Manu album, Proxima Estacion is best listened to straight through, and repeats various themes, noises, and sounds throughout its seventeen tracks. Overall, its an amazing album, with a mix of influences and rhythms that showcase Manu's eclectic music.

One recurring sound in Proxima Estacion is an ubiquitous beep, followed by a man saying "proxima estacion" and a woman following up with "esperanza." Familiar to anyone who has been in the Madrid Metro, the duo announce every upcoming metro stop, and Manu Chao takes this sample of the two announcing a real metro stop and mixes it into the album, playing off of the fact that it translates directly to "Next Stop: Hope."

With my girlfriend, I made the long trek today to the "Esperanza" stop in Madrid's suburbs. After waiting for 14 stops to get there, we finally heard the sound that had been played so many times in my headphones and speakers. It was a real treat, and although for most people on that metro, the stop was just one less before they made it home, for me, it was a real musical pilgrimage.

1 comment:

  1. yo wadup big al! love the video and it is indeed the voice in the song! hope to see you in brussels at some point my friend. peace


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