The fixit guy

Today was a full day.

Boxing as usual. The weekends excesses became evident an hour into the session. A few new faces. My back a bit sore after the session as I used mitts and not full gloves when on the bag.

Next up off to a Spanish lesson – I’m 5 mins late and blame Google instead of correctly blaming myself for not leaving enough time for the walk. I meet the teacher who has got the script that I want to do an hour of song pronunciation and an hour of conversation. We kiss and I notice that as she pulls away she has a spodge of the the coldsore cream I have been using on her cheek. Oops. The lesson is good and we spend 1 hour and 40 mins on the songs and 20 minutes on cartoons. I get homework on the differences between men and women and thankfully her hair has rubbed off most of the cream by the end of the lesson.

Next stop is a fixit guy recommended by my translator. Every record I have done abroad (India, Greece, USA, Egypt) needs a fixit guy to sort out musicians, schedules, studios and make sure I don’t get ripped off too much as a foreigner. They are a crucial Rosetta Stone when you are airdropped into a music scene. We talk for a whole two hours with his wife helping translate. He is connected and has worked on a tonne of stuff from classic bossa nova, ambient Michael Jackson Tributes right through to electronic gay tango. They are both good people and he loans me an old nylon guitar. He will get back to me once he sounds out the musicians. Hooray for some movement on personnel.

I get back to the apartment and notice that the billboard across the road, visible from my balcony, with naked calendar ladies around the piano has been replaced by a Harlem Globetrotters poster for their showbiz jaunt at Luna Park.

Some Skyping, practise songs, dinner and then do most of homework late taking a little evil pleasure in giving some controversial answers.

The condor has landed…

After a two month tour of Latin America I have now settled in an apartment in Buenos Aires in the Almagro area. I will be here for 5-6 weeks rehearsing and building up to a Spanish language recording of some of my songs from the past 8 albums as well as some new ones.

There is a lot to do not least of which is finding the musicians that can play on the recording and help me bend some of the arrangements to have a more latin feel and punctuation. I am looking for three key players to work with me : a piano player, a flamenco guitarist and a bandoneón player. The bandoneón is the accordian variant favoured by tango players.

My girlfriend leaves tomorrow and the project rehearsal will begin in earnest. In order to keep my ying and yang balanced I’ve already joined the oldest boxing club in Buenos Aires and have been going for the past 4 days or so. The place is wonderful and full of atmosphere, history and sweat and I am the only gringo there which suits me fine. I chose to live in Almagro because of the Almagro boxing club , which my lyric translator and B.A guru advised me of, and as it is only 3 minutes away it allows me to start the morning with gusto. Almagro isn’t one of the tourist barrios (barrio is the term used for a district) but it is perfectly located to get anywhere in the city. Tango’s home is said to be in Almagro and the Carlos Gardel (poster boy for tango) museum is in the Abasto section of Almagro.

Lots of work needed from me….singing in Spanish, morphing songs into Flamenco rhythms will be a head bender, getting the tango-like punctuations and pushing beats on thirds of beats is all new to me. Wish me ‘suerte’.

I’ll try and keep this diary regular.

Other music news : multiple mixes of my house track ‘Garden With You’ should be ready in a few weeks!