Having a dreadful time in Brazil as you can probably tell. People keep giving me nice things to eat, taking me to interesting places, and getting very excited about my research. It’s a terrible ordeal… ;)
But as it’s Saturday today, it was time to go record shopping – which is secretly the main reason I’m in São Paulo (not really, but it’s certainly an additional ulterior motive).
Eduardo and Rosana from the University, both of whom I met for the first time yesterday, picked me up at 9 o’clock at the hotel and we went straight to the Galeria do Rock – a six story shopping mall devoted entirely to rock music, underground culture and hip hop.
Of course – among all of the CD stores, there was one large long-established shop that sold plenty of Brazilian vinyl and I bought all sorts of wonderful stuff.
I was able to narrow my selection down from hundreds to just a handful or two, and was also able to barter the price down to a reasonably manageable number, despite walking out the door with over 20 records…
Somehow, I also ended up with a few CDs and a DVD – including some Brazilian hip hop and reggae just to be on the safe side.
There were a few I’d missed that Eduardo thought I should definitely own, so he bought me a few as well, which was very nice of him.
Of course, as soon as we got outside the mall, we noticed that there were a lot of other ways of purchasing music, and some that seemed extremely (and suspiciously) cheap. For about £2 you could pick up the entire discography of some very popular recording artists.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the moment a police car loomed into view, the street malls suddenly vanished – packed up and hidden behind cars and in doorways until the coast was clear.
All very exciting to be in the middle of… but I was pleased to have been able to give my money to a man who both owned an independent record store – and had set up a record label to release young local rock artists as well.
Next we made our way to a flea market at Benedito Calixto Square. Some amazing old stuff to look at and buy – but not as cheap as I’d hoped. Those portable record players were R$500 – nearly £200!
I did bump into some fellow vinyl shoppers though. I got chatting to David Ralicke from the band Dengue Fever, who are touring here at the moment. He was rummaging through one of the vinyl bins, guided by his Brazilian host.
I may have talked him into buying some things that I would have bought myself, simply to get the vicarious pleasure of record shopping using someone else’s money. Hope he enjoys them as much as I suspect I would have if I’d bought them myself.
I did all right though. There are three box sets (one containing 8 LPs) in that lot there.
Suffice to say that the Tropicalia night at the Bulls Head in Moseley just got an injection of fresh vinyl, and I’m looking forward to spinning it on my return.