Karina Buhr, Brazil’s Own Patti Smith Releases New Album

From the folklore-rich Northeastern Brazil where pungent marshes meet the bluest of seas comes “Longe de Onde”, Brazil’s punk bard Karina Buhr’s latest album.  Her birthplace, the port city of Recife,  is home to some very unique musical and cultural forms and a distinctly hard dialect, a Liverpool of sorts in the easternmost part of Brazil.

Drawing from  this rugged cultural landscape, Buhr creates  her youthful punk rock rebellion, a symbiosis of Patty Smith, Nina Hagen and “Manguebeat”, or “Marsh Beat”, an underground  music scene that sprung from nightclubs in the now fashionable  red light district of Recife.

While faithful to her roots, Buhr has become a national sensation, perplexing Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo’s un-shockable audiences with her  wild woman of the  Northeast style performances on national TV.   Buhr’s a-typical appearance and electrifying performances make her  stand out in a  country that constantly produces endless numbers of husky voiced, Bossa-Nova female singers like Marina Silva, Marisa Monte and Bebel Gilberto to name a few.

“Longe de Onde, ” which roughly translates into “Far From Where,” is yet another of Buhr’s clever, philosophical play on words that can leave your head spinning with more questions. That is, if you speak Portuguese and are enjoying a head banging session in her crowded concerts where Buhr’s whirling devilish dancing follows the rhythm of her poetry.

Buhr said she draws much from a musical style from a rebellious period in Brazil in the late 60s and mid 70′s known as the  so-called “Lead Years”,when a military junta ruled  the nation, jailing and torturing artists and political dissidents.

The decade-long crackdown on artists, many who suffered severe torture,  produced some of Brazil’s greatest artists such as “Os Mutantes” and other highly influential, avant-garde bands revered by musicians like Beck and The Talking Heads’ David Byrne.

One of Buhr’s top hits, “Cara Palavra”, translates literally into “Face Word”, but could be interpreted in too many ways. Is it the face value of words? Or the face of a word? Those questions are yet another excuse for  conversation and endless rounds of Brazil’s Antartica beers.


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