Once again, it’s that time of year when the cherry trees go full blossom riot in the old town of Bonn, and many of the local residents and others stick their bric-a-brac on fold out tables outside their front doors for the rest of to wander round and gander and poke at. A lot of it is kids or their parents selling clothes and toys they’ve grown out of – my wife’s the expert at snuffling out worthy truffles in that area, so I leave that to her, and I wander off in search of cheap books, DVDs and CDs.
Each year I wonder if it’s worth it – few books will be in English, and in these days of streaming audio and video, is it worth cluttering up valuable home space with plastic of uncertain quality? But it can be interesting to rummage through people’s collections that they are dumping – who knows if it’ll be more than just best sellers and greatest hits?
This year, partly because of the sudden shower of hail (?) which led to hasty covering up with plastic sheets, there was very little on offer and I almost went home empty-handed. But then I saw a solitary CD looking lonely and the vendor said it is really great, so I bought “The Kooks-Junk of the Heart”. (I just listened to a few tracks and it isn’t. I can’t stand the vocals and the songs are bland). Heartened, I stopped off to pick up two more for a Euro (Henry Cherry – Man & The Style Council – Confessions of a Pop Group), then ended up at my favourite stall – run by a guy who has a Latin American food shop. About 20 CDs, almost all of which were by artists I’d never heard of – fantastic! The fact that one of the only ones I recognized was by one of my all time favourites – Fluke – gave me very positive signals. Here are some of the names:
Akasha, Super Seven, Soon E MC, Josh Roseman Unit, Daniele Mercur, John Beltran, Strata Institute, Yohimbe Brothers, Harry Sokal, Caetano Veloso, Holy Fuck, Juryman.
The 3rd, 5th, 8th and 11th of those were intriguing and I’ll be investigating them more, but it was Caetano Veloso who was the revelation. Beautiful music, so evidently loved by his audience, and possibly incredibly famous in Brazil and beyond, but new to me. Such grace, such confidence, such joy!