If anything shows the true diversity of Brazilian music its Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges’ “Clube da Esquina”, released in 1972. Another bonafide classic this album highlights the growth of influential music that Brazil could produce outside of its normal region of invention, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo. Hailing from the Minas Gerais region, a much less tropical and more arid region, both Milton and Lo were raised in a locale where jobs were extremely few and far between, just getting by day to day required actual work many in the rest of Brazil wouldn’t dream of doing. For those two kids, and a couple of their musical friends, music was their release and opportunity.

 

Both of them were uniquely gifted in that they learned by ear, how to play from a young age the complex chord progressions and rhythms that made them gain their early connections that brought them out of their boroughs. In a way, even they saw it themselves, their lives mimicked and were informed by the lives of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They truly had distinct styles Milton’s was more abstract and free flowing, his early records were works of samba characterized by his unique vocal work that would cycle in range throughout a whole song. Lo was the McCartney of the group, his own work had very airy pop melodies and tender harmonies that could be best described as dreamy. At one point they struck on the idea to combine their forces and see if they could match or top their own influences.

 

It was obvious to them that it would be their own background, found distinctly in the western region of Brazil, that could let them add a progressive pop feel that most any listener hadn’t quite encountered before. This is the sound you hear throughout this record, rather than copy the Beatles, they took the collective feeling and sound that touched them as kids and reconfigured it for their time. The album has vignette updates of songs like “Sun King”, “Julia”, or even “Arnold Layne” from the Floyd. As a listener its obvious where some of the inspiration comes from but the way they tweak the existing formula is just damn brilliant. By injecting their own regional musical influence into the music of their idols, they found a way to attain that success. I mean this in album that even spawned a museum in Brazil just dedicated to the history behind its creation.

 

To this day, songs like “O Trem Azul”, “Clube da Esquina 2”, “Saidas e Bandeiras”, or “San Vicente” just startle because of how modern they sound. Its a testament to their whole collective finding a way to make a new kind of statement. For a lot of the members of the collective this would be the totem they could use to strike out new monuments…more of that soon. Just so you know, the album cover isn’t of them as kids, they were just two kids they saw and took pictures while driving around their neighborhood (the cover served as a way to remind themselves of where they came from).

 

World Cup Predictions for the Day:
– Argentina v. Iran: Argentina (Winner)
– Germany v. Ghana: Germany (Winner)
– Nigeria v. Bosnia/Herzegovina: Bosnia (Winner)