Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Practilonga del Centro playlist, 11/17/14

The first hour+ really sapped my mental energy, it's a pain to play good music when no one attends - I should have just played experimentals and non-danceables, in hindsight. The first couple hit the floor during the experimental alternative music stretch of three two-song subsets, but then people started showing up one after another and the practica ended up running about half an hour beyond its scheduled time.
01. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental  "Tigre viejo" 1934 3:01
02. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental  "Pimienta" 1939 2:52
03. Osvaldo Fresedo - Instrumental  "La clavada" 1933 2:23
04. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental  "El recodo" 1941 2:20
05. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental  "La trilla" 1940 2:21
06. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental  "Catamarca" 1940- 2:23
07. Pedro Laurenz - C. Bermudez y J. Linares  "Mendocina" 1944 2:35
08. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Del Campo  "Caseron De Tejas" 1942 2:45
09. Pedro Laurenz - Juan Carlos Casas "Mascarita" 1940 2:53
10. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Me voy a Baraja" 1936 2:30
11. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Lagrimas" 1939 2:50
12. Edgardo Donato  - Romeo Gavio y Lita Morales "Yo Te Amo" 1940 2:50
13. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental "El flete" 1936 2:58
14. Juan D'Arienzo "El Cencerro" 1937 2:40
15. Juan D'Arienzo - Enrique Carbel "Paciencia" 1937 2:32
(skipped milongas for $&$%#^^ lack of dancers)
Eendo. Have you listened to them yet?
16. Carlos Di Sarli - Roberto Rufino "Pena Mulata" 2:27
17. Ricardo Tanturi - Enrique Campos "Oigo Tu Voz" 1943 3:07
18. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "Madame Ivonne" 1942 2:18
19. Ricardo Tanturi - Enrique Campos "Que Nunca Me Falte" 1943 2:42
20. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Llorar por una mujer" 1941 2:51
21. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "En la buena y en la mala" 1940 2:26
22. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Danza maligna" 1940 2:27
23. Goran Bregovic - Iggy Pop "This Is a Film" 1999 4:14
24. Eendo  "Eshgh e Aasemaani" 2011 3:31
25. Otros Aires  "Sin Rumbo" 2005 3:53
(that's the same percanta who dumped the protagonist of Gardel's "Mi Noche Triste" - and the lines are sung by, who else, Gardel himself)
26. Otros Aires  "Percanta" 2005 5:01
27. 17 Hippies  "Time Has Left Me Ma Belle (Vals) aka Manchurian Hills" 2004 3:56
(to my surprise, I haven't played "Until" yet after starting this blog! What you can discover by searching your own playlists :) I haven't seen the movie but the basic idea of its plot may be something every tanguero might daydream about ... the dance time machine, the escape to the age when our dance ruled ... would we revel in this Golden Age - of hand-washed clothes, of lack of antibiotics and ibuprofen, of no Internet? You think of it :) )
28. Sting Rolfe Kent "Until" 2001 3:09
(first couples are dancing; transitioning back to classics by adding Pugliese's best vals after the alternative waltzes)
29. Osvaldo Pugliese "Desde El Alma" 3:03
30. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Nada más" 1938 2:43
31. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "La bruja" 1938 2:13
32. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Pensalo bien" 1938 2:20
33. Francisco Lomuto - Jorge Omar  "Nostalgias" 1936 3:05
34. Francisco Lomuto - Fernando Díaz "Quiero verte una vez mas" 1940 2:29
35. Francisco Lomuto - Jorge Omar  "Caricias" 1937 2:52
36. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Sacale punta" 1938 2:16
37. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "La Milonga Que Faltaba" 1938 2:24
38. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Ella Es Asi - milonga" 1938 2:35
A tanda with "Buscandote" is always a challenge but I decided to stick to the basic recipes this time and just add more Fresedo-Ruiz:
39. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz  "Buscandote" 1941 2:49
40. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz  "Cuartito azul" 1939 2:45
41. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ricardo Ruiz  "Y no puede ser" 1939 2:26
42. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podesta  "Alma de bohemio" 1943 2:43
43. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podesta  "Todo" 1943 2:37
44. Pedro Laurenz - Alberto Podesta  "Recien" 1943 2:43
45. Rodolfo Biagi - Teófilo Ibáñez  "Viejo porton (vals)" 1938 2:27
46. Rodolfo Biagi - Teófilo Ibáñez  "Teófilo " 1938 2:12
47. Rodolfo Biagi - Andres Falgas  "El ultimo adios (vals)" 1940 2:09
More lush Donatos, after his rhythmic records I played earlier in the evening:
48. Edgardo Donato - Lita Morales - Romeo Gavio  "Mi Serenata" 1940 3:02
49. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales y Romeo Gavio "Sinfonia de Arrabal" 1940 3:07
50. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "El Adios" 1938 3:09
51. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Recuerdos De Paris" 1937 3:12
52. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Invierno" 1937 3:25
53. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida  "Ciego" 1935 2:57
A rarely played foxy tanda in place of the milongas. As I mentioned before, the orchestra of Enrique Rodriguez billed itself as a band of all rhythms, the one which could have provided live music for an entire night where normally two bands would alternate, one playing tango, another so-called "tropical" genres. The three foxtrots here all exotically themed and yet unmistakably rooted in the sound of Argentine tango - fun!
54. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Noches de hungria" 1942 2:57
55. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "La hija de la japonesita" 1941 2:30
56. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Por las calles de Estambul 1944(Foxtrot)" 2:54
57. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Que te importa que te llore" 1942 2:44
58. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Jamás retornarás" 1942 2:31
59. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Al Compas Del Corazon" 1942 2:48
now we are past scheduling time and the crowd begins to dwindle, and I dash to Puglieses and the old Cumparsita with three abbreviated "sets of two" instead of real-length tandas:
60. Osvaldo Fresedo - Roberto Ray  "Canto de amor" 1934 3:25
61. Osvaldo Fresedo - Roberto Ray  "Isla de Capri" 1935 3:16
62. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores  "Fru Fru (vals)"  2:57
63. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores  "Los Piconeros (vals)"  2:47
64. Alfredo de Angelis - Instrumenral "Mi dolor" 1957 2:51
65. Alfredo de Angelis - Instrumental "Pavadita" 1958 2:55
66. Osváldo Pugliese "Remembranzas" 1943 3:41
67. Osváldo Pugliese - Roberto Chanel  "Rondando tu esquina" 1945 2:48
68. Osváldo Pugliese - Instrumental "Gallo ciego" 1959 3:33
69. Pedro Láurenz y Pedro Maffia - Instrumental  "La cumparsita" 1926 3:01
70. Erskine Maytorena Qtango  "Milonga Triste" 2011 4:17
(70 total)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Milonga Sin Nombre de Hojas de Otoño playlist

Having pre-announced plans to play loads of Canaro and De Angelis (and even Raul Kaplun, who was also born in November), I found myself in a stronger bind than I expected. I only have real taste for very late, very rich tangos of De Angelis ... and a fair-quality tanda of Kaplun may in hindsight be a "mission impossible". Worse yet, I planned to play many eternal hits in the tail section of the milonga, but ran out of time and nixed Lomuto, Laurenz, and most of Pugliese :(

Many of the planned experiments worked well, but nevertheless I ended up with a feeling that I need to cut some on the experimental stuff / educational materials in the playlists, and to concentrate more on the stuff which just simply works :) Maybe tomorrow?

I already played tons of 1950s Di Sarli instrumentals for Irene's paradas-and-embellishments class before the milonga, could have skipped the first planned tanda (which usually helps to transition from a class to a milonga with beautiful but at the same time accessible music)
01. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental Carlos Di Sarli "El ingeniero" 1952 3:25
02. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental  "Milonguero viejo" 1955 2:48
03. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental Carlos Di Sarli "El amanecer" 1951 2:30
04. Goran Bregovic  "Old Home Movie" 1993 0:25
05. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "El internado" 1954 2:35
06. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "El irresistible" 1954 2:31
07. Juan D'Arienzo  "El Chupete - Instrumental - 1955" 2:33
Is this instrumental intro from the Russian original underworld classic of an escape from the Odessa slammer too danceable? The song, which we only knew as a street ballad in our childhood years, is irresistible on so many levels, from its inimitable Odessa Jewish accent to its tale of a fallen mobster and the betrayed dreams of the ex-fighters of Ukraine's brutal and messy Civil War of 1918-1920 - a supposedly solemn tale yet narrated with hilarious "only in Odessa" flourishes. For those in the know, let me add a modern stanza :)
Товарич, товарич, за чо же мы сражались, за чо ж мы проливали свою кровь? За резвенькие ножки, за энти комильфошки, за музычку сороковых годов"
08. Leonid Utesov "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1932 0:22
09. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Milonga Brava" 1938 2:35
10. Francisco Canaro - Ernesto Fama  "Milonga del 900" 1933 2:55
11. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida  "Larga las penas" 1935 3:09
12. Goran Bregovic  "Old Home Movie" 1993 0:25
13. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Danza Maligna" 1940 2:27
14. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno  "El encopao" 1942 2:34
15. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "Como has cambiado pebeta" 1942 2:37
16. Anzhelika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
17. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante, Julio Martel  "Pregonera" 1945 2:48
18. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "Remolino" 1946 3:06
19. Alfredo de Angelis - Julio Martel "La vida me engañó" 1946 2:48
20. Leonid Utesov  "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1935 0:22
I mentioned the story of Canaro's different orchestras (including two quintets) a few months ago, and where the names "Pirincho" and "Don Pancho" came from. Here is a vals tanda by Quinteto Pirincho (and a rhythmic tango tanda of Quinteto Don Pancho follows soon)
21. Quinteto Pirincho (Francisco Canaro) "Francia (vals) " 1943 2:40
22. Quinteto Pirincho (Francisco Canaro) "Maria esther (vals)" 1943 2:31
23. Quinteto Pirincho (Francisco Canaro) "Vibraciones del alma (Vals)" 1956 2:53
24. Anzhelika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
Raúl Kaplún (born Israel Kaflún to a family of Jewish immigrants from today's Moldavia on Nov. 11 1910) was a virtuoso violinist, famous for performing arrangements which literally no one else could master. Raúl Kaplún played the first violin with Calo and Demare, before forming his own tango orchestra. Several of his very romantic tango compositions were performed by Demare's orchestra - let's dance to these three, before moving on to a tanda of Kaplún's own orchestra:
25. Lucio Demare - Roberto Arrieta  "Cancion de rango (Pa' que se callen)" 1942 3:04
26. Lucio Demare - Raul Beron  "Que solo estoy" 1943 3:04
27. Lucio Demare - Raul Beron "Una emocion" 1943 2:42
A special inserted here - a birthday vals, Klezmatics' "Goldene Pave". And on to another brand of Canaro's:
29. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental (Francisco Canaro) "El flete" 1939 2:55
30. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental (Francisco Canaro) "Zorro gris" 1938 2:46
31. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental (Francisco Canaro) "El garron" 1938 2:27
32. Leonid Utesov  "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1935, 1935 0:22
33. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "Pena Mulata" 2004 2:27
34. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "Zorzal"  2:40
35. Carlos Di Sarli Roberto Rufino "La Mulateada"  2:22
36. Goran Bregovic  "Old Home Movie" 1993 0:25
A Guardia Vieja tanda. I was totally spellbound by Di Sarli sexteto's "La estancia" (which John Miller matched with "Chau pinela" in Albuquerque ... also sung by Ernesto Famá but IMVHO a bit too fast to fit well). These early hits are hard to mix, of course. Here I tried adding Ernesto Famá with a different Guardia Vieja orchestra (possibly a tad too slow), then capping with another hard-to-match hint, a Firpo instrumental. You be the judge.
37. Sexteto Carlos di Sarli - Ernesto Famá "La estancia" 1930 3:25
38. Osvaldo Fresedo - Ernesto Famá  "El carrerito" 1928 3:09
39. Orquesta de Roberto Firpo  "Una Noche En La Milonga" 1929 2:56
40. Anzhelika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
Orquesta Raúl Kaplún
The unlucky tanda of Raúl Kaplún, the only Jewish fiddler to lead an Orquesta Tipica. Listening again and again, I imagined a genius who would insist that he's right and the dancers are wrong. Raúl Kaplún can be described as D'Arienzo detractor who fought for the Tango of pure emotions and romanticism, and sort of lost the fight. I mean you don't necessarily need humility to strike it with the dancing crowd; of course a combination of talent and persistence may substitute ... but there are simply too few surviving records of Kaplún's. Three pieces? I started to get cold feet but couldn't figure out how to convert it to a mixed-band tanda. In the end the compact dance floor of the North Church was pretty full, and a tanda of vals hits which followed quickly recharged the dancers energy - whew!
41. Orq Raul Kaplun  "Tierra Querida"  2:38
42. Orquesta Raul Kaplun  "Estaño - Instrumental" 1950 2:48
43. Orquesta Raul Kaplun  "Tierrita - Instrumental" 1950 3:03
44. Leonid Utesov  "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1935 0:22
45. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante, Julio Martel  "Soñar y nada más" 1944 3:08
46. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante "No vuelvas Maria" 1950 2:53
47. Alfredo de Angelis - Floreal Ruiz "Mi novia de ayer (vals)" 1944 2:36
48. Anzhekika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
49. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Condena (S.O.S.)" 1937 2:39
50. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Ojos negros que fascinan" 1935 2:51
51. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida  "Mi noche triste" 1936 2:45
52. Goran Bregovic  "Old Home Movie" 1993 0:25
53. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortiz  "Humillacion" 1941 2:38
54. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortiz  "Indiferencia" 1942 2:36
55. Rodolfo Biagi - Teófilo Ibáñez  "Gólgota" 1938 2:33
56. Leonid Utesov  "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1935 0:22
Alberto Castillo, from todotango website
A different take on Aces de Candombe. Listen to the vocal in Demare's Carnavalito, its folksy fused and missing syllables ... I'm told that the nosy Porteños don't appreciate this way of talking... but I do. Alberto Castillo may have excelled in the downclass / provincial / Afro sound of words even better, and people always linked his hoarse voice to his poor-barrio upbringing. But at the same time he was one of the few tango performers who were successful professionals by the day - as Dr. Alberto De Luca, a gynecologist. There was a persistent rumor that some of Dr. De Luca's patients were actually Castillo's fans ... and after he married, he had to drop his medical career. Castillo may have been the first tango musician to pick the Uruguayan beat for candombe, and to add black dancers to the performances, and it became an instant success. The one Castillo candombe I included in this tanda is recorded more than a decade later ... can one resist a song full of meowing and purring cats?
57. Lucio Demare - Raul Beron  "Carnavalito" 1943 3:16
58. Alberto Castillo (Jorge Dragone, Dir.) "El Gatito en el Tejado" 1957 2:37
59. Romeo Gavioli y su orquesta típica  "Tamboriles" 1956 2:56
60. Anzhelika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
61. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "Manana zarpa un barco" 1942 3:22
62. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "No te apures, Carablanca" 1942 3:29
63. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda "Malena" 1942 2:59
64. Anzhelika Varum  "Autumn Jazz"  0:20
65. Carlos Di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Junto a tu corazon" 1942 3:00
66. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá  "Lloran las campanas" 1944 2:58
67. Carlos Di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Tu!...El cielo y tu!" 1944 2:59
68. Leonid Utesov  "S Odesskogo kichmana (cortina)" 1935 0:22
69. Edgardo Donato - Hugo Del Carril  "El vals de los recuerdos" 1935 2:18
70. Edgardo Donato - Félix Gutierrez "La Tapera - vals" 1936 2:54
71. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Con Tus Besos" 1938 2:23
72. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Quién será? - vals" 1941 2:15
73. Goran Bregovic  "Old Home Movie" 1993 0:25
and an abbreviated crescendo...
74. Alfredo de Angelis - Instrumental  "Mi dolor" 1957 2:51
75. Osvaldo Pugliese - Roberto Chanel  "Rondando tu esquina" 1945 2:48
76. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "La cumparsita" 1951 3:49
77. Damour Vocal Band  "SWAY - Damour Vocal Band"  3:49
(77 total)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tango addiction - a metaphor or a Dx?

Rémi Targhetta. "Dans la Musique"
Discover magazine "craziest and funniest research" section has just reviewed a scholarly paper about the addictive potential of Argentine tango. And of course it's now cited and shared all over the tangoverse. 

We like, occasionally, to muse about our "tango addiction", just like some others may play with the badges of "political junkies" or "snowboarding addicts". When you enjoy your fav activity, and spend much time doing it, and it just happens to be an activity only appreciated by a minority of your relatives and neighbors, then the metaphor of "addiction" always comes handy. The weirder the better. (They wouldn't talk much about "hamburger addicts" or "laundry junkies" because eating burgers or house cleaning are supposed to be everybody's normal things to do).

At the very least, the tanguero was simply seen as "possessed", depicted as a vampire in TangoClay's / Arturo Newman's "movie plot" or as a hollow-eyed skull-calavera in the classic letras of Trasnochando (translated here by late Alberto Paz).

But here we have a study which claims that "tango addiction" isn't just a poetic metaphor - that it is an actual clinical diagnosis. You can see the paper (published a year and a half ago) here. The authors (one of whom, Rémi Targhetta, is an old tanguero from Nîmes, France, and a pulmonologist professionally interested in tobacco and other addictions) tried to look at tango the way the researchers look at videogame addictions, compulsive shopping, or exercise dependence (NOT drugs). Dr. Targhetta was inspired by meeting a guy who left his job and his country at 52 to dance tango every night, and who haven't missed a milonga during a 10-day tango event both of them attended, a case which is undoubtedly an extreme outlier. To conduct the study, they quizzed subscribers of a tango ezine, obviously drawing from a group of outliers. Despite this IMVHO extreme selection bias, the majority of the test-takers turned out to be NOT addicted. And what are we told to read in this? Yeah, right.

In any case, my statistician alter ego was starving for the actual data from the much-overinterpreted (and paywalled) paper, and I found some in Rémi Targhetta's other publication, written in French for the tango folk at www.toutango.com & illustrated with Rémi's breathtaking photographs. Here are a few tidbits translated from the French article for your enjoyment:

The first question of the Questionnaire was, "How often do you dance tango?"
0.4% = Never
22.0% = Occasionally
10.1% = Less than once a week
22.4% = Once a week
32.1% = Twice a week
23.5% = Three times a week
9.4% = 4 to 5 times per week
1.7% = 6 to 7 times per week

(Rémi interpreted the observation that his sample represented frequent and infrequent dancers and looks kinda Gaussian as a "proof of lack of bias of selection". Really. Not like we really know how the distribution should look for the randomly selected tangueros ... but obviously nearly 40% of the test-takers danced A LOT, and were counted towards the supposed addicts)

In reality the tangueros were drawn to the study because of their subscription to the online magazine, and their keen interest in the study of the addictive nature of tango. Fully 39% of the study subjects described themselves as "addicts" (surely in the metaphoric sense of the word), and they left hundreds of detailed comments to the questions as a further proof of their deep interest in the topic of the study.

Rémi Targhetta. "Balade dans l'imaginaire", with the survey-takers' comments
The average "tango age" was 5 years (female) and 6 years (male). 60% of the respondents were female. The subjects' average "actual" age was 49.5 years (SD, 13.1 years).

There are no universally accepted criteria for behavior dependence, notes Rémi. So they lifted the substance-dependence criteria from DSM IV and replaced "substance" by "behavior" throughout the text. (Except they dropped the criterion #4 from the questionnaire, that's where DSM asks about persistent / futile attempts to break the habit)

The "withdrawal" signs were measured using fairly silly questions such as "do you feel missing something important when you don't dance for several days" (when it's clear that most tangueros go to regularly scheduled calendar events at least weekly, so of course they miss, at the very least, adherence to their social groups' calendars?) or "do you want to dance when you feel you're missing something". Typically, high-scoring withdrawal is observed in 80% smokers (who are asked about a time scale of hours rather than days anyway); 16 to 35% tangueros scored high in these arguably confounded questions.

"Loss of control" / "unplanned binge dancing" wasn't typical for the tangueros (and in fact a separate question about hours spent at a typical milonga made it clear that the dancers didn't go, uncontrollably, for every available minute of tango time). But they often scored high in the amount of time spent on tango indirectly (travel, dressing, rest, sleep) and in displacement of other leisure and social activities (with three questions, "Will I dance even if I have other things to do?", "Did I have to reduce other social / family / recreational activities for tango?", and "Do I structure my vacations or holidays around tango?") (I would guess that all enthusiastic social hobbyists tend to score higher on indirectly expended time and on displacement of non-hobby activities? But in any case, no more than 1/3rd of the tangueros scored high on this section)

"Pursuit of the activity despite knowing its negative effects on one's body and soul"
In this section, Rémi asked about injuries and pain, as well as about negative consequences for psychological condition, family, or professional life, but less than 7% of the quiz-takers had any ill effects of any of these sorts. In hindsight, one could have also asked about one's sense of accomplishment vs. bitter regrets about discovering tango, or about eagerness to recommended tango to the friends and dear ones ... I'm confident that the answers would further underscore sharp differences between the attitudes of the addicts and the tangueros.

So, let's summarize: tango didn't score anywhere like a drug addition on withdrawals, binges, loss of control, or pursuit of a high regardless of its known destructive effects. Tango scored higher by the measures of time spent for it, both directly and indirectly, and by its extent of displacement of other social and recreational activities. Ergo, we end up with a proof that dancing tango may take up a lot of your time, and give you a lot of joy, but it has little in common with addictions such as substance abuse, alcoholism, or smoking.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Active Followers: Theory and Practice Assignments

"I like quiet protoplasm ... but I also like lively protoplasm"
Robert Sheckley. "The Last Weapon"

Translation from Russian. Originally posted on Aug 20, 2014, by AlientoDelTango

In my personal gallery of tanguero types you may find
 - authoritative leaders (a man in this category leads so confidently that you just can't stray, it sort of hypnotizes you, suspending all thoughts)
 - pleasers (provides you with a foundation so you can relish yourself, while he beholds, enjoys, and compliments you)
 - team players ("Let's invent an airplane together! What configuration should we chose for the wings?")
 - dialog leaders ("so he told her this? - then she told him that?")
 - fill-in-the-blank leaders (he "tells his joke" with hints and omissions, you add the little missing words-notes he is waiting for, and both of you blissfully laugh at the completed story).
There may also be "lazy leaders" ("you guess what I want") but I don't keep them in my collection.

As for us followers, one very nice tanguero came up with a sweeping generalization: "an active follower is like a ball which started to play with a kitty on its own". 

Translator's note:
Personally, I am not sure if N.'s types behave just as stereotypically with  every partner. My own feeling is that I change gears depending on what I hear and sense. 
I dance with great but extremely shy and self-doubting chicas, whose every move may evoke a reflection, "was it right? the right direction? the right speed? the right length?" (occasionally, even, "was it the correct leg? how about I panic and change weight?" which sort of stops being great). My instinct would be to lead confidently, incessantly, not because I'm naturally a control freak authoritarian, but because I don't want to leave too many t's uncrossed when my follower is low on confidence.
I dance with tangueras whose moves suggest a dynamic and a texture of the dance very different from my intuitive take on it. Often, I'm impressed, and compelled to cooperate to build a team style.
If a music repeat allows a "now I interpret this - now you interpret this" kind of a dialog, then it's totally fun & I can't resist looking for more.
And if I feel that my partner is uninterested / distracted / unresponsive / tired / not in the flow and it can't be helped, then I may turn into a lazy leader. It's not like I can't convey what I want anymore - it's just what I want is for the tanda to end sooner.
In short, the ratio of control vs. cooperation, of command and its execution vs. mutual understanding and sensitivity really differs.
Not all guys are always happy about it. The authoritarians are distracted by any interference to their grand plan. The collaborative team players may be irked when instead of their wings, you offer some ideas about wheels. The fill-in-the-blankers won't have any fun when you complete the moves automatically, hurriedly guessing, like, "I know, I know what you were going to say, move on". And even someone who seemed to have eagerly played along with the follower would rather linger with another gal, with a tanguera who treats him like a cool guy and a boss.

Yet any "kitty" is aware that the "ball" here is another human being, with aspirations, emotions, physical properties (possibly even a "she-cat", only pretending to be a mouse). Here we shall try to control these physical properties as needed for our aspirations and emotions. And you guys may eavesdrop, it might be useful - N.

Practica assignments for the followers (from the Yuri Verderevsky's "eTango" multimedia blog-book) :

1. Learn to control embrace. Make the embrace comfortable for yourself. Too close? Then gently, but insistently transition to open. The partner is walking feet-first? Increase the distance. Etc. During the caminada / walk, try continuously changing the properties of the embrace: transition to open and close again, make the embrace stiffer or more feather-light. Mirror partners' actions, or try to make him mirror yours. It is a very interesting game for a practica, really.

2. Learn to control the energy of the dance. The simplest approach is to make yourself lighter or heavier in the embrace. It affects the partner quite substantially. For example, if he's maniacal, add some of your weight on him. He didn't get it? Add more. Now it's more like the energy level you like? Then become lighter. You want a more energetic dance, then move all your body with more energy. You want a more tranquil dance, then become more stretchy with plasticity. And so on.

3. Learn to control the tempo of the dance. For starters, here is a very simple rule: to slow down the tempo, start delaying foot collection in a step. For accelerating the tempo, collect your feet ahead of your partnet. It sounds kind of strange, but this technique works in most cases. A more advanced approach is to change the quality of your moves through the whole body. For a more rhythmic dance, become more abrupt, for a more lyrical experience, become stretchy. It is harder to describe, but the general idea is clear: adopt the tempo you want, and a good partner will adjust to your wishes, or at least take it into account. If he cares, of course :)

4. Learn to control pauses. A follower can initiate a pause herself, maybe for (those stupid) embellishments, or to prevent a collision withoutresorting to "emergency breaks", or just for the musicality sake. All she needs to do is to grow a bit taller at the moment of transition of weight. Kind of like to inhale chest full of air. To signal the end of the pause and your readiness to continue movement, exhale.

One thing you shouldn't forget is that if the follower suggests a variation, but the leader rejects it, then it's better to yield to the leader - he's the skipper and the navigator and ultimately responsible for everything. You might think that he's just being a jerk but he may simply be trying to get you out of danger of being hit.
(a video of Mariela Sametband & Guillermo "Elpeque" Barrionuevo
illustrating fill-in-the-blanks more at AlientoDelTango blog)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Practilonga del Centro playlist, Oct. 27 2014

A night of tango in the beautiful Squatters loft again.
01. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental "El ingeniero" 1952 3:25
02. Carlos Di Sarli  - Instrumental  "El Once" 19542:48
03. Carlos di Sarli - Instrumental  "Champagne tango" 1958 2:47
I just read a story of Joaquina, the tale of passion and dance culminating in the 1898 murder of a tango dancer, on El Bardo's, and couldn't resist playing this tango. 
"La China" Joaquina Marán started her dancing career at Mamita's, a block North of Avenida Corrientes. She was reputed to have been the queen of a dancing-and-prostitution establishment on Avenida Alvear in Recoleta. The scandalous murder there is often mentioned when people talk about the murky roots of tango in the 1880s-1890s. Joaquina, and her longtime companion "El Maco", and the young lover shot by a rival, are all celebrated in tangos, some of which are rumored - but never proven - to have been composed in those decades. The story of "a very interesting brunette" and her suitors is fairly well documented in the contemporaneous sources, of course, but was it really a tango story - or just a city legend celebrated in the tangos of the century which followed?
04. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "Joaquina" 1935 3:01
05. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "Jueves" 1937 2:33
06. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "El irresistible" 1954 2:31
The old sound of the valses!
07. Orquesta Tipica Victor - Lita Morales "Noches de invierno" 1937 2:47
08. Roberto Firpo "El Aeroplano (vals)" 1936 2:14
09. Los Provincianos, Alberto Gomez  "Samaritana (vals)" 1932 2:58
10. Rodolfo Biagi - Andres Falgas  "Cielo" 1939 2:32
11. Rodolfo Biagi - Andres Falgas  "Son cosas del bandoneon" 1939 2:44
12. Rodolfo Biagi - Andres Falgas  "Queja indiana" 1939 2:24
13. Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas  "Sólo compasión" 1941 2:58
14. Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas "Mano Blanca" 1944 2:43
15. "Ángel D'Agostino - Ángel Vargas "Ninguna" 1942 2:59
16. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "Milonga vieja milonga" 1937 2:41
17. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "De pura cepa" 1935 2:41
18. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "El esquinazo" 1938 2:34
Rhythmic, uplifting Donatos, rather than the more lyrical and dreamy ones I usually play
19. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Fue mi salvación" 1940 2:29
20. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales, Romeo Gavioli "Triqui trá" 1940 2:34
21. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Gato" 1937 2:42
22. Ricardo Tanturi - Enrique Campos "Que Nunca Me Falte" 1943 2:42
23. Ricardo Tanturi - Enrique Campos  "La Abandone Y No Sabia" 1944 2:47
24. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo  "Así Se Baila El Tango" 1942 2:34
A less frequently played vals selection from the master of valses:
25. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "No vuelvas Maria" 1950 2:53
26. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "Mi carinito" 1949 2:27
27. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "Flores del alma" 1947 3:05
28. Pedro Láurenz - Alberto Podestá "Nunca tuvo novio" 1943 3:14
29. Pedro Láurenz - Alberto Podestá "Garua" 1943 3:09
30. Pedro Láurenz - Alberto Podestá "Todo" 1943 2:37
Late, complex D'Arienzo - possibly a tad too soon in the lifecycle of a practilonga? The rich complexities are generally "served for dessert", right?
31. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "Inspiracion" 1967 3:14
32. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "Canaro en Paris" 1967 2:39
33. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "El internado" 1954 2:35
Another shot at a candombe-inspired milonga selection (the middle track may not quite share the rhythm but IMHO shares the vibe):
34. Francisco Canaro - Carlos Roldán "Candombe criollo" 1942 2:52
35. Francisco Canaro - Carlos Galán "Negrito" 1934 2:48
36. Romeo Gavioli "Tamboriles" 1956 2:56
37. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Lloran las campanas" 1944 2:58
38. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "No esta" 1942 2:45
39. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "La capilla blanca" 1944 2:55
Time to conjure up the winter with "Invierno" :)
40. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida  "Recuerdos De Paris" 1937 3:12
41. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida  "Ciego" 1935 2:57
42. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Invierno" 1937 3:26 
43. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortíz "Lagrimas Y Sonrisas (vals)" 1941 2:41
44. Rodolfo Biagi - Jorge Ortíz "Por Un Beso De Amor (vals)" 1940 2:44
45. Rodolfo Biagi - Andrés Falgás "Dichas Que Vivi (vals)" 1939 2:16
46. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "En la buena y en la mala" 1940 2:26
47. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno "Tu...El Cielo Y Tu" 1944 2:51
48. Enrique Rodriguez - Armando Moreno  "Que lo sepa el mundo entero" 1943 3:32
A shot at vocal tangos of De Angelis ... but I'd rather dance to Racciatti's "Gloria"
49. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "Fumando espero" 1956 3:24
50. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante  "Gloria" 1950 2:42
51. Alfredo de Angelis - Carlos Dante, Julio Martel  "Pregonera" 1945 2:48
A classic trio ...
52. Orquesta Tipica Victor - Mariano Balcarce "Milonga De Los Fortines" 1937 2:52
53. Orquesta Tipica Victor - Carlos Lafuente "Cacareando" 1933 2:45
54. Emilio Pellejero - Enalmar De Maria "Mi Vieja Linda" 1941 2:26
... and now towards the crescendo, beginning from Donato's lyricals: 
55. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "El Adios" 1938 3:09
56. Edgardo Donato - Lita Morales - Romeo Gavio  "Mi Serenata" 1940 3:02
57. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos, Lita Morales y Romeo Gavio "Sinfonia de Arrabal" 1940  3:07
58. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón  "Corazón no le hagas caso" 1942 3:00
59. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón  "Tristezas de la calle Corrientes" 1942 2:46
60. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón  "Jamás retornarás" 1942 2:31
61. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores  "Salud Dinero Y Amor (vals)" 1939 2:39
62. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores  "Tengo Mil Novias (vals)" 1939 3:08
63. Enrique Rodriguez - Roberto Flores  "Los Piconeros (vals)" 1939 2:47
64. Alfredo De Angelis - Instrumental "Mi dolor" 1957 2:51
65. Alfredo De Angelis - Instrumental "Felicia 1969" 2:48
66. Alfredo De Angelis - Instrumental "Pavadita 1958" 2:53
67. Osvaldo Pugliese - Instrumental  "Recuerdo"  2:54
68. Osváldo Pugliese Osvaldo Pugliese "Farol" 1943 3:22
69. Osvaldo Pugliese - Roberto Chanel  "Rondando tu esquina" 1945 2:48
70. Juan D'Arienzo - Instrumental  "La cumparsita" 1951 3:49
71.  Goran Bregovic - Kayah "Tabakiera"  4:15

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Empanadas Rusas from the Halloween Milonga

Brian Salibury, Daniel Diaz, and David Peterson trio!

By special request from Daniel Diaz, the bandoneon king of our Intermountain West: Version 2 recipes of the "Classic Argentine Empanadas Rusas" :)

Relleno de pollo

Whenever I tried to prepare trad relleno de carne, the results always came short of expectations.  I reasoned that it's hard to get Argentine-good results with American ground beef. You'd face the twin problems of grease and loss of tenderness if you keep the ground beef on the skillet longer to drain fat more successfully. The v.2 solution is to get rid of beef, or of anything ground - let's go with pre-fried chicken meat instead! Yes, the minced chicken turned out to be tender and juicy just like I wanted, and peas are a nice texture contrast to the meat!

24 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 medium onions, chopped
8 oz frozen green peas
1 cup pre-cooked basmati rice
2 teaspoons ground cumin-coriander mix
Two dozen green olives.
Salt, black pepper, olive oil.

Remove fatty portions from chicken meat, season (using some cumin-coriander and leaving the rest for mixing in later) & pan-fry using small amount of olive oil, on high, them medium-high heat, until they thickest parts aren't pink on the inside anymore. Set aside, let cool until meat can be comfortably handled, and mince. Sautee onions on high heat till lightly golden brown. Mix meat, sauteed onions, dd remaining spices, rice, and peas (no need to cook them, they'll thaw in the remaining heat of the frying pan and that's all you need to do with them). The olives (small whole or halved) are added to individual empanadas during wrapping. Makes 30 small empanadas. 

Relleno de bananas

If you frequented Milonga Sin Nombre, then you may have witnessed the evolution of our banana empanadas. I started with oatmeal-thickened peach-banana "porridge" fillings, then learned to evaporate the juices & to thicken the fruit  on a large non-stick frypan, and then substituted passion fruit juice instead of lime juice. The latest iteration is an apple-banana-tropical empanada

4 apples, chopped in fine pieces no more than 1/4"
4 bananas, cut in circles
1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of passion fruit juice
2 tablespoonful of sugar
A dash of olive oil

Steam chopped apples in a covered pan with oil and water for 10 minutes, add sliced bananas and sugar, open the lid and simmer down and until the juices evaporate. Add passion fruit juice. Makes 2 dozen banana empanadas

Relleno de espinaca

Taiwanese spinach works!
Makes 30 small spinach empanadas. Like the earlier version, this recipe doesn't actually contain any spinach. It isn't exactly the classic Argentine empanadas de espinaca, but we may consider it a spicier version. Regular spinach is substituted by amaranth (Taiwanese spinach) because it settles down less when it wilts in the heat. You'd need a much taller pile of fresh spinach to get the same end volume, and it may be too hard for me to stir enough of it to fill so many pastries!

Thumb-size chunk of ginger root
1 medium onion, chopped
24 oz Taiwanese spinach (amaranth, Amaranthus gangeticus), carefully washed and cut into half-inch pieces, stems and leaves but of course no roots. 
1/2 pack firm tofu, cubed (1/4-1/2 in pieces) (9 oz)
2 tablespoonfuls of extra light olive oil
two fits-sized spools of sweet potato thread noodles
sauces per description

Finely chop ginger, sauté until very lightly browned, add onions and sauté until golden brown, mix in tofu and amaranth, add soy sauce, and your fav flavorings such as oyster sauce, a couple drops of sesame oil, a few drops of Sriracha, and stir-fry for a couple more minutes until wilted. In the meantime, cover sweet potato thread "glass" noodle spools with boiling water in a pot, briefly bring to boil, drain, and chop with scissors. Mix undercooked chopped noodles to the spinach stir-fry and set aside for a few minutes. The noodles will soak all the remaining juices. A possible suggestion for the future is to add pine nuts to the recipe?

The secret of the dough

Like a properly lazy tanguero, I don't make dough from scratch. Yes, I buy frozen jumbo white rolls dough in a store. My fav brand is local, Terrel's Country Bakery. Set them on flour-dusted trays in a reasonably warm place, under cover such us cut-up plastic bags (to prevent the doughsurface from drying), for 2+ hours. Once they thaw and rise some, divide each roll into 4 parts for a small empanada (that's 3/4 of an ounce per pastry), or 3 parts for a biggie (an ounce per pastry)

Shape each piece into a ball and let them rise, on flour-dusted trays under plastic cover, for another half an hour. Now it's time to roll (palm size for smallies, two palms for biggies) and fill. Rope-pinch the edges and place on buttered baking trays with the rope-pinch edge facing up. For the bright golden color of the crust, brush them with egg yolk before baking (a yolk of just one egg, combined with two teaspoons of water and whipped in a cup with a fork, may be enough to "paint" up to 4 dozens pastries). Bake at 350 F. For a pliable crust, smear the empanadas with a softened stick of butter immediately after baking right on the tray, then transfer the still-hot pastries into bowls lined, and covered, by towels. The best way to reheat the pastries, if needed, is a few minutes in an oven (generally meat empanadas are the best when warm, but it may not be important for the dessert ones)