i awoke thinking of her
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Fluxblog posts a fantastic cut by UK hip-hopper Ty. In the comments for that track, jeb identified the main organ sample from an Os Mutantes track. Suddenly, all I could think about was the Sao Paolo pop outfit (well, them and The Bees) - and hence today's mp3s. The songs I had planned (new Pedro the Lion, an old Eminem/Jazzy Jeff track) have been displaced into next week. Sincere apologies to those who intend to die over the weekend and had hoped to hear some more Dave Bazan before you passed on.

Os Mutantes - "A Minha Menina". Not only were Os Mutantes the definitive Brazilian psych-pop band, they were one of the world's very finest experimental pop acts. Blending electric pop with tropicalia, lofi fuzz and musique concrete, the group swung to prominence in 1968 with their self-titled debut, from which this track is culled. Os Mutantes borrow music and lyrics from many of the South American greats - Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and on this track, Jorge Ben. What we find on "A Minha Menina" is a rearing, big-hearted pop number, with doo-wop and vocal harmonies cheering above a rippling latin rhythm. For its opening few bars, the song sounds like a charming brazilian cliche - until a sopping wet guitar slides in from the rear of the soundstage, raspberrying like the favourite drunken pal. Then it dances like Bill Cosby in red suede, grooving till it falls asleep amidst the streamers.

The (Band of) Bees - "A Minha Menina". This pair from the Isle of Wight released one of the great unappreciated albums of 2002: Sunshine Hit Me is like Pet Sounds with dust in the speakers, Beck and Marvin Gaye working with The Zombies and, yes, Os Mutantes. While The Bees picked up a Mercury Prize nomination for their debut, it didn't make much of a splash. When they tried crossing the Atlantic as The Band of Bees, Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher met a similar ambivalence.

Regardless its Pazz & Jop rankings of 415 (2002) and 948 (2003), Sunshine Hit Me is pretty fantastic, and case in point is their cover of "A Minha Menina." The Bees don't quite reimagine the song, but nor do they simply rehash the Os Mutantes version. Instead, they inflate the original's giddiness, bind tighter the loose harmonic threads, and replace the sopping guitar with a fat-and-puff-cheeked electric cello. The song is beyond lovable - it's love itself - it tramps through fields, stands on fence-posts, and yells (sidekicks harmonizing from behind): "Tell everybody in the world that I love her-oh-ooh-ooh!"

Oh yes - I'm desperately trying to find the new Cee-Lo album. I loved his first one, but my sources for newly-leaked stuff are being frustratingly indie-rock-o-centric. If anyone's got some mp3s they want to point me to, my gratitude would know few bounds... (translation: pleeease, please please please!)

Posted by Sean at March 5, 2004 7:04 PM

Are you able to use SoulSeek?

Posted by Emery at March 5, 2004 7:50 PM

Try http://www.simplemp3s.com/albums/legalpopups/ceelo.htm

Posted by Scott at March 6, 2004 7:47 PM

email me

Posted by slocki at March 6, 2004 8:25 PM

Sean, I have it. I'll put it in my shared folder tomorrow

Posted by Scott Carter-Eldred at March 6, 2004 9:27 PM

I'd be curious to know what you think. I've been a big CeeLo fan since Soul Food and am VERY interested in anything he does.... Sasha Frere-Jones called it "antacid jazz" but I have higher hopes.

Posted by forksclovetofu at March 6, 2004 9:40 PM

wow - thanks to all. i'll grab it from your folder tomorrow, scott.

and yeah - i'm really excited to hear it and have an opinion. :) what bugged me on the last cee-lo album were the bits that were already out-of-date by the time i heard it (ie, references to the Matrix). so i'm looking forward to something thoroughly fresh.

Posted by Sean at March 6, 2004 11:10 PM

I loved the Band of Bees album too, and though I'm English and not one of those Metacritics I do live in the States and gave it a good review at my site. Sadly my influence is minimal and large hordes of people weren't enticed into buying it on my say-so.

Posted by Lee at March 8, 2004 10:21 AM

i thought you hated the os mutantes version.

Posted by anne at March 14, 2004 2:06 PM

what gave you that impression?

Posted by Sean at March 14, 2004 4:39 PM

maddest of props on the bees track. i first heard it walking down a city street, and now all i can think of is sidewalk when i hear that particular song. but you're right: it's a great, under-hyped album.

Posted by adam at March 20, 2004 9:55 AM

the sample on Ty's "ha ha" is caetano veloso's "alegria alegria", not os mutantes.

Posted by ¬0-0¬ at March 21, 2004 2:51 PM

you told me you hated it!! harrumph.

Posted by anne at March 22, 2004 1:34 PM

i musta been lying! or i changed my mind! sorry!

Posted by Sean at March 22, 2004 1:41 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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