The Tropicalia travelling art show's in town, and that gets me thinking (not that I need an excuse) of Gal Costa, one of the original musical participants of that radical moment in the life and art of Brazil. However I'm not here to give you a Tropicalia history lesson (try The Internet for that); no, I'm here to talk about Sex. The sex in Brazil does seem particularly good! When my pal Doug Schulkind & I discuss some newfound fave from the "America" of South America, Doug will often remark: "It's not sexy... it is Sex." Indeed.
So here's video for you: Gal Costa, a conga solo, and sex, from Gal's 1973 tour in support of her album "India", which really is a terrific album, don't let that cover distract you. Or do. Better yet, jump the flip to let the back cover distract you! Just remember that this really is a fantastic album.
Gal Costa, "Milho Verde" (mpg video, 35megs)
Just about halfway through the song (a Gilberto Gil adaptation of a Portuguese folksong, which you can hear here), the conga player takes a solo, while Diva Gal performs for (well, upon) him a dance that reminds me of, why yes, the scene in Mel Brooks' "History of the World Pt 1" where they test for eunuchs. (youtube link). This conga player is clearly no eunuch, at one point he even gulps; but he soldiers on with what would seem to be the most important conga solo in the world, fully determined to keep his job.
Jump the flip for a few Tropicalia-related links, and scenes from the back cover of Gal Costa's 1973 album "India".
There is the contingent that evaluates Tropicalia as leisure-class bourgeois navel-gazing. Alexandre Matias, writing for Perfect Sound Forever, seems to consider the jailing and exile foisted on movement leaders Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil as not quite as badass as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Enjoy "The Dark Side of Tropicalia"