It is with great joy that I start a new column here on the site. “Bookcase” will be a weekly column in which we will do a review about the books we read and that we are reading. I’d like suggestions and I hope you enjoy it.
On this initial post is presented the book “Verdade Tropical” (Tropical Truth) written by Caetano Veloso. Why? Add that undeniable passion by Tropicalism and Brazilian music to the comments that has been made in the media about the movement. These comments, motivated by the recently release of the documentary “Tropicália” directed by Marcelo Machado, the released of Tom Zé’s new album “Tropicália, Lixo Lógico “ and the celebration of 70 years of Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.
Assuming the story is told of Tropicalia by someone who not only lived but was one of the main pillars of this, you can not expect little of the book. And Caetano And Caetano does not disappoint.
In a nearly autobiographical narrative the musician unpacks the movement. Starting with its influences not only musical but cultural and artistic and consequently those of his younger sister, the renowned singer Maria Bethania. Passing through the birth of the group in Salvador, the first experimental presentations, exchanges and philosophical conversations bar. And landing in the splendor of tropicalia, in Rio de Janeiro after the military coup.
The naturally as Caetano talks about the masters of his generation (mostly close friends) is amazing and transports the reader into the center of that cultural effervescence. is also the natural way transitions between art (Cinema Novo, Opinião, Arena Theatre) and connects them. it is clear that none of them would exist outside this political context but Caetano makes us realize that none of them would exist without the other, especially Tropicália.
Tropicalism was nothing more than a refounding in Brazilian music, seeking its origins and the coalescing friendly external influences. The musical cannibalism. Originated from Brazilian modernism of Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropophagic Manifest while it protects, it modernizes on the songs/protests by Tom Zé, Caetano, Mutantes, Gil, Novos Baianos … . The name itself, Tropicália, emerged from a modernist work of Hélio Oiticica. And Caetano lets the Anthropophagic and Modern tendency appears, coming to mentions it a few times in the book.
In a narrative that gets to confuse itself with the history of the country, the author constructs a book that by his own words “is not too complicated for those approaching a book on popular music nor too close to the popular music for those willing to read complicated books. “
It would be pretentious to say it is the best book about music I’ve ever read. But for those who like to highlight the most important parts of a text, well, my copy is somewhat scribbled.