Monday, March 29, 2010

Friday, March 20, 2009

So it beging. So it begins.

So it all begins when I fly back to Los Angeles from Rio. This is 2006, November. I can remember the last morning before my flight. João, Fernanda and Julio were with me… We took the long way to the airport, wrapping around the Botanical Gardens and through the São Something or another Tunnel. The skies were grey and the humidity was fresh. I sat up front with my hands folded on my lap. I had them like that because that’s all I could do really. I didn’t want to go back. I was scared, sad and my stomach was as spoiled as a banana. I was in no mood to celebrate such an amazing drive to the point of my departure. It felt like some over passionate and surreal Vietnam film. I was going to war I quietly murmured to myself every so often during that long, quiet drive to Galeão Airport, Antonio Carols Jobim terminal. Tam airlines flight #I forgot for São Paulo (8 hour layover) and a LAN peru flight to LAX via Lima Peru. Lima. Lima, Lima. This whole story begins in Lima as well. Not just here. And before Lima the story can also begin in San Francisco, or, better yet, it can begin in Pasadena California. For now, I will begin from Rio de Janeiro. The day I flew back to Los Angeles and bought a ticket for a ride I didn’t ask for. Such is life… such is life.

We arrived to the airport at around 11 am. My flight was at 12 noon. Usually when I fly back to LA out of Rio the flights all leave in the evening. Roughly at the same time flying out to 4 major US cities, Frankfurt, Barcelona and Portugal. Since this was a Chilean airline I was dealing with, the only airport it flies out of is via São Paulo. At 11pm for that matter. I had been on a Brian Eno binge for that entire week so I felt a repetitious cleansing through “Music for Airports” was due. What the hell! My defense mechanism began to trump up as soon as I checked into the TAM counter. João, Fernanda and Julio all stood off in the corner along the Varig check-in, which, earlier that year went bankrupt. I was in Rio for the plug pulling on such a National Icon called Varig Airlines. Within seconds on the day the Brazilian Government grounded the flights, all Varig related flap messages spindling up in the big schedule board read CANCELED next to its respective destination. Sad. As was I on that November morning…….and I couldn’t show it to them. I needed them to know I would be back. I looked over my shoulder to consider them in the distance. They stood side by side. I took a deep breath and made myself a little excited for the plane ride and the layover, hoping to block any need to well up. I looked up at the giant message board for no reason at all as I made my way back to them, maybe just to lift my eyes off the immediate reality I dreaded.

My flight was on schedule and there was no delay. Gravity had begun taking hold on those sweet slow emotions of parting. I gave Julio a tight hug and moved on to a sobbing Fernanda, breaking her tears with laughter I was trying to in instill on all of them. Lastly - the hardest part - João. He is the little brother I never had and the best friend one can only shoot a gallon of heroin to feel the comfort I feel in knowing he is my friend. But that comfort wasn’t enough. My stomach relayed the Vietnam War mental trip back to my eyes and ears and everything began to muffle out as I closed my eyes and placed my hand on his shoulder. I took a deep breath and looked right at him, confident I would see him again. He whispered in my ear, “it doesn’t get any better than this.” I looked at him and smiled. He didn’t smile as much as there was some kind of rush now pushing into the moment. Yes, my flight. I had to catch that plane. Facing him I took several steps back to let Julio and Fernanda come back into my vantage. João slowly began to step back as well. I turned away to hand the ticket clerk my boarding pass. From there I would walk into the hallway that divides the travelers from the rest. This divide has always been such a dynamic ever since a child, airport walls dividing me from the beginning and end of a trip. I took a look back at the three of them before a wall would eventually eclipse the terminal out of sight. Another deep breath and there I was, pointed Northbound to Los Angeles. God I didn’t want to go back.
I took out a bottle I had not opened since leaving San Francisco approximately a year ago that morning. I was sitting at the gate in SFO airport waiting for my flight to Lima and remembered a friend of mine gave me 4 high doses of vicodine to help me sleep on the flight. Now I was sitting at the gate waiting for my flight to São Paulo, popping the third pill from the bottle. I washed it down with some water I had stuffed into my backpack. There was only a meager sip left but it helped dignify the swallow. I took a deep breath and woke up in São Paulo.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Originally uploaded by boriscollage
Here is a character who resides in Bob's consignment store here in San Clemente California. He will be a mascot in a keep the vibrations up.

Stay tuned for my San Francisco work coming in the next week.

Knew or Not

Knew or Not
Originally uploaded by boriscollage
In the height of the current recession and the "who's in charge?" attitude floating around here in California I would like to introduce a new element to my blog. "Who's in charge?" is just what I am after right now and I intend to visit this them through many angles. Here is a photo of a struggling business in San Clemente Ca. The owner is a dear friend of mine who is nothing short of a GENTLE man. Bob. Bob has given me carte blanche to photograph his store both inside and out - sharing to you all the small details this business has to offer.

I will be setting sail to San Francisco tomorrow for an outright crusade to re-visit with friends, and write a spread on some varying dimensions and how they are affected by the elusive current state of affairs.

keep tuned.


Boris Collage

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hanna Tanios Atallah


Hanna Tanios Atallah
5/15/1928 - 9/3/2008

Hanna was very fond of San Clemente...he found his private heaven on earth and shared it all with us. Corresponding from San Clemente and living through his words that "this is paradise."

-Photo by João Atala

If anyone who is in the Los Angeles/Orange County area and would like to attend his ceremony of respects please refer to the schedule below:

Sunday September 7th-

Viewing @ Lesneski Mortuary between 5pm and 9pm

640 South El Camino Real, San Clemente CA 92672
(949) 492-1717

Monday September 8th

There will be a Maronite Catholic Mass held @ Our Lady of Fatima Church 10:30 am

105 N La Esperanza
San Clemente, CA 92672
(949) 492-7320

----- Funeral Procession to

Ascension Cemetery and Mausoleum

24754 Trabuco Rd., Lake Forest, CA, 92630
(949) 837-1331

Saturday, September 15, 2007

MARISA MONTE:Exterior Interdependence - Innocence at homeBO

She is divine. She is dark. She will hypnotize and lead you to relinquish your innermost fears to seek freedom. Her music is a capsule of magic, Bossa Nova, Brazilian folk and an open road into your unknown. Into the Particular Infinity.
She is Marisa Monte.

Infinito Particular (In-fee-nee-toh par-ti-koo-lar)

Released in 2006 this album lends itself to the true poetic nature of Marisa Monte. Without a cusp of shallow Starbucks Marketability this collection of songs takes the listener into a forgiving well of darkness and truth. The sun just can't help but beat down while a ladder is constantly in close reach. The ladder my friends is the voice that can make anyone reflect.

As mentioned from my Jorge Ben Jor write up, colloquial wordplay and esoteric candor fetters the ears to participate in a collective of emotions. Marisa is gentle and exquisite, and even bold enough to cover The Velvet Underground's classic Pale Blue Eyes. Song not on this album but I will display it in this post, just so you can feel the reach all the way down in Rio de Janeiro. And if I can say, this is a brilliant cover played so so gentle in keeping the spirit of the song alive. Her voice has a long expanding quality to it which puts the MPB (Musica Popular Brasil) seal of approval for those quiet taxi rides through rio at 6 a.m; so majestic. You can catch this Lou Reed cover on her album titled:

EMI Odeon, 1994

Solitude is the new committed relationship. Check out this track titled Dança de Solidão. Note the black magic influence and how the song takes you into your love and personal beauty. Gilberto Gil backs her up with afro-Brazilian chants to welcome and set the tone for this thick and wavy piece. Her cadence follows an up and down slope traveling through a bossa tambour and spanish flamenco hints. A nouvelle yet modest Jazz-Tango bolts the bridge between chorus and dreamy abstractions of the drum and bass. Take a trip with this tune for you will definitely want more. Check out my ...[MOG]... page to listen to more tracks like this:

If you aren't already, you will not be disappointed if you're not familiar with Marisa Monte. Aside from her voice, her musical back up is varietized catering to many genres, sub-genres, and alchemic variations that spark the listener into a dream like state. There are many Brasilian divas that have preceded and benefited from her talent. Namely the likes of Astrud Gilberto, Elis Regina, Ana Gabriel, Maria Bethania, Gal Costa, Zizi Possi, and of course the pinnacle of Brasilian female caress Cassia Eller. I'll do a write up on Cassia soon so please stay tuned for that one.
It's not by accident Brazil is jam packed with innovative musical mavens and players. If you have ever been, regardless of which region you visit, one will be surprised to see that Brazil is not all about catchy samba like rhythms and breezy (I know I have used this adjective already) bossa nova guitar filler. Not that there is anything wrong with the two. They are important and noteworthy in their own right. Though Brazil is a manifestation of influence right from the get go. And if you notice from Marisa Monte's mystical experimentations you can get a clear glimpse of what Brazil has to offer. From folk music to bluegrass Brazil has its underrated stamp in the music world. African influence crossed with lofty European imagination congealed literally thousands of genres which influenced south america all the way up to the Tennessee Waltz. Brazil's bragging rights are just as passive and modest as it's people.

Innocent and living in a musical gold mine. Like Sir Thomas More's Utopia,
it is a country build and infested with gold and the outside world cannot help but faint in the eyes of its brilliance whilst the habitants of this magical land see music as simply a part of life - o alento dá vida (the breath of life).

Teddy Roosevelt crossed the Amazon with plenty of near death experiences. Mark Twain spent nearly a year in Brasil to document his bewilderment, and even Marie Curie straightened her scientific complications along the beaches of Ipanema. Do not underestimate the power of Brasil, the energy of the country is truly truly based on innocence. A New York avant guard, chess playing, Charles Mingus worshiping NYU tenure bound dandy man could find innocence and humildade (humility) just like these historical figures did. And all the mushrooms in the world couldn't give you the kind of sober magic Brazil has to offer, through ahem! the music thankyouverymuch. Raw, sexual, contained and playful, Marisa Monte is simply a humble guide to what Brazilian musicians preserve about their country. Politics aside of course.
Though, as I said before, Brasilian artists absolutely love and need the influence from the "exterior". The interdependency of exterior creativity is a historical precedent which is not going anywhere. Here is an excerpt from my Jorge Ben Jor article of Brazilian dependency on the "exterior":

If there is one thing Brazilian artists do is fall in love with the "exterior". In portuguese "exterior" has several meanings.
In portuguese pronounced EX-TER-EE-OH.
In a social sense, "exterior" is everything outside of Brasil. So, I would say, "God I really love music from the exterior, it makes me feel closer to my dreams." And that is exactly how most Brasilians carry an attitude of the "exterior".

And this is exactly what Monte Evokes. The journey like melodies carry the traditional Brazilian chords and colloquial flavor of her lyrics. Other artist who have worked with Monte include Carlinhos Brown, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Antonio Carols Jobim, Rita Lee, Ana Carolina and the folk master Nando Reis. Ok, i'll stop right there and let you breathe with this tune titled "Enquanto Isso". Here you can taste the Folky Mama's and the Papa's/Jefferson Airplane influence blended with a powerful country flame thanks to Nando Reis. Let your audiotisical lungs expand on this (warning, you might fall in love):

With Love...
Until Next Time.
For B.S