Friday, May 20, 2005

According to Eric Matthews's website, Cardinal's only album will be re-released by Empyrean Records on June 11 with a disc of extra tracks, including demos and tracks from the long out-of-print Toy Bell EP.

On another note, I've been listening to Tim Maia's superb and weird Racional Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 albums from 1974 and 1976. Maia was a tremendous pop star in Brazil (literally) with an aesthetic pitched somewhere between Barry White's disco, Al Green's soaring sex-starved soul, George Clinton's psych-funk, and Caetano Veloso's tropicalia-pop. He joined a strange cult in the mid-70s and released these two albums, which have Portuguese and English lyrics that attempt to raise awareness about his new beliefs. Since my Portuguese is downright lousy, I'm not quite sure what those beliefs are, but I know that they have something to do with universal rationality (which isn't that bad of an idea on its surface) and probably involve giving lots of money to some long-dead con man. Anyway, the funk and soul on these albums is raw and pure, and Maia was never better than here (although much should be said for his previous albums, which have that inimitable Sao Paolo Does Memphis sound down). Unfortunately, Maia put Racional Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 out on his own short-lived label and, when he left the cult in the late 70s, refused to ever discuss them again, let alone re-release the albums for mass consumption. Even more sad, Maia seemed to have lost his edge afterwards. His post-cult output was slick and corporate, and he never again regained the raw passion of these two albums. Other than the mind control (and this point may be arguable), cults are the same as any religion, and the sound of a man on fire with newfound conviction is a sound hard to ignore. Worth seeking out.

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