¡Sounds Like Burning: I’ll Put My Foot On The Living Road

when i first heard her music at imix books, i knew she was special. i was given a copy of her first cd by my friend elisa. it was a simple voice, and like some simple things, it meant a lot to me. once i got in the car, i gave it a whirl. most poets offend me with their pathetic arrogance, this poetry was neither pathetic nor arrogant. in the car, the music got me, how could it not? (here, sing along with the video)

mi hija, quédate conmigo un rato
por que andas arrastrando eso desdicha?
espérame un momento y te desato
pero, qué enredo te has puesto, muchachita!

qué amargos son los hechos que adivinas!
qué oscura es la ronda de tu recuerdo!
y en cuanto a tu corona de espinas…
te queda bien, pero la pagarás muy caro…

con tu mirada de fiera ofendida,
con tu vendaja donde herida no hay,
con tus gemidos de madre sufrida,
espantarás a tu última esperanza.

haz de tu puño algo cariñoso
y haz de tu adiós un “Hay mi amor!”
y de tu ceño una sonrisita
y de tu fuga un “Ya voy! Ya voy llegando!”

mi hija, qué pena me da de verte!
dejando olvidado a tu cuerpo
muy lista, pobre boba, a dedicarte
a la eterna disección de un pecadillo.

mujer, desnúdate y estáte quieta
a ti te busca la saeta
y es el hombre, al fin, como sangría
que a veces da salud, a veces mata…
y es el hombre, al fin, como sangría
que a veces da salud, a veces mata


seemed like she had heard and felt her share of boleros, romani songs, blues and torch songs. it’s reigned in, in just the right way. in this half-growl, half-inhalation (when she spits, “¡ahora si!,” you better duck) she’ll sing:

El Desierto

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he venido al desierto pa’ reírme de tu amor
que el desierto es mas tierno y la espina besa mejor

he venido a este centro de la nada pa’ gritar
que tu nunca merecista lo que tanto quise dar

he venido yo corriendo, olvidándome de tí
dame un beso pajarillo, no te asuste colibrí

he venido encendida al desierto pa’ quemar
porque el alma prende fuego cuando deja de amar

most of the cd was like that, as was her next one. got word she would be performing (this is four years ago) on wilshire at that infamous hub of underground shows, the conga room. i had recently shared the music with my friend maira (see how that works?) and she was determined to go. as well as we knew her songs, during the performance it was also her song descriptions that had us captivated. in fact, her stories were longer than her songs. talking about her father and the bread at a certain bakery, shit was funny and sincere. it was a great show, with great musicians. i even saw elisa and her mother there, we were all smiles. i was very impressed with the guitar player. maira was fascinated by the the cellist.
when i found out lhasa bailed on the music industry for a few years to join the circus with her sisters, i knew i had found someone who brought it without hesitation. it’s in her voice. on this song, i can almost see her taking down the tent, laughing.

it’s also in J arrive a la Ville that i can hear the circus.

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Moi aussi…
Moi aussi
J’arrive les mains vides
au sud du nord
au nord du sud
J’ai un passé
Mais je ne m’en sers pas
le futur sera mieux
Tellement mieux que ca

my only complaint: on some songs, the repetition of the chorus got on my fuckin nerves! write another line, what? that voice can do so much, why have it for only four minutes? you got three tongues, give us twenty minute songs! i just want more, i always want more.

y no necesito amar, tengo verguenza
de volver a querer lo que he querido
toda repetición es una ofensa
y toda suspresion es un olvido..

took her music with me to san juan de pasto, colombia and had it on me, when i met nilsen, the owner of salud y pan. she made a great meal (you like quinoa? me too!) for me, when her friend jenny arrived. i gave lhasa to nilsen and she threw it on the restuarant speakers for a packed house of 3 (us), their appreciative silence was enough for me.
the same happened when i visited don gilberto in querétaro. this man knows a lot about music and it was great to see him share lhasa with those who walked into his store. “esta mujer… está preciosa,” he would repeat after several songs. and he was right.
she got some flak for her last, all-english release and that the name of the cd was only “lhasa.” no more de sela. was she selling out, whatever the fuck that means? look, she fucking worked in the circus, by choice!! fuck selling out, she’s the real deal, period. in fact, i now enjoy her third cd as much as the other two.

there is no end to this story
no final blow or glory
love came here and never left

now that my heart is open
it can’t be closed or broken
love came here and never left

now I’ll have to live with loving you forever
although our days of living life together
of living life together are over

there’s nothing here to throw away
i came to you in light of day
and love came here and never left

“there’s nothing here to throw away, i came to you in light of day, and love came here and never left.” i’m always impressed by those lines.

by the way, lhasa died nine months ago.

lhasa came here and never left.

**¡Sounds Like Burning is about psychos, angels and psychotic angels. who else deserves mention?

bill hicks condensed the first law of all the arts: play from your fucking heart!

the performances to be aired here are rigodamnediculous. the biblical scholar bon scott once commanded: let there be light. and there was light.

can one make the unknown known? tune in and trip out.

previously on ¡Sounds Like Burning

3 thoughts on “¡Sounds Like Burning: I’ll Put My Foot On The Living Road

  1. Lhasa de Sela was a brilliant illumination. A soul sister I never even knew about until after she was gone. We were the same age. The circus, the voice, the poetry, the music. She was indeed the real deal, a true poet and a real voice. “Con toda palabra,” “Anywhere on this road,” “Soon This Space Will Be Too Small,” all move me deeply like no other songs, but what always really hits my heart hard is “Pa’ llegar a tu lado.” Thanks for sharing.

  2. kyq+ with those whom i have shared her music, they seem to take to her quickly. she can be melancholy as all hell and then giggle like a hyena in the beginning of that last video in the post. her poetry was sincere and so many of us ran directly at it. what else do you do with such poetry? i am very appreciative of my friend for sharing this circus performer/singer/magician with me. i was going to use this beautiful performance of “soon this place will be too small” in the post but didn’t. here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVyyHrMHIHE

    V + i wish that was me. totally forgot about that class. see what the return to work can do to my membranes. i was in el sereno drinking xocolatl then got home to nap. so here is the video of me napping:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KooDBKr4uOA&feature=related

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