Translation, Interpreting and Multimedia Services in Oakland, California. Info@CacaoRock.com

Here at CacaoRock we have been translating technical papers, accounting and financial texts, software, immigration certificates, adoption letters, books, movie scripts and official foreign documents for a long time. We even worked translating documents for the military and creating movie subtitles! What is so special about our English to Spanish translations? Our localization skills. Besides our accuracy, we are able to apply to these translations the neutralism of standard Spanish or specific Spanish-speaking countries. For more information about our rates, our previous work experience and how can we help you, contact us via email at Info@CacaoRock.com or visit our ProZ.com profile page.

Listen To CacaoRock Online Radio, our radio station!

 

Support This Radio Station!


Via
PayPal

 

We are on Instagram , Tumblr, and We also have music on 8tracks!

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gaucho (MCA, 1980)

Steely Dan, probablemente el mejor acto de rock setentero, comprendió que había llegado la hora de un decente retiro porque sus dos principales miembros querían emprender proyectos solistas y la MCA estaba contando las horas para finalizar el contrato.

Es típico que los artistas a los que les falta un disco para finalizar contrato con una casa discográfica produzcan uno flojo y mediocre (o peor aún, uno en vivo), pero Water Becker y Donald Fagen no querían dejar un mal recuerdo a sus fans que se habían maravillado con su disco anterior Aja e hizo el mayor acto de amor y respeto hacia sus fans: grabar un excelente y elaborado álbum conceptual sobre las peripecias de uno que otro inmigrante en California.

Los músicos que participaron en Gaucho serían, posteriormente, la crema de los músicos de estudio en los Estados Unidos durante los 80 y muchos formarían parte del clan de músicos de la compañía GRP; entre ellos: Anthony Jackson (bajo); Jeff Porcaro, de Toto, y Steve Gadd (Batería); Joe Sample y Don Grolnick (Piano); Rick Derringer, Larry Carlton, Hiram Bullock, Steve Kahn y Mark Knopfler de Dire Straits (Guitarras); David Sanborn, Tom Scott y los hermanos Randy y Michael Brecker (saxofon y arreglos de vientos) y la presencia de la maravillosa voz de Patti Austin en los coros. Todos bajo la dirección precisa y exigente de Becker, Fagen y el genial productor de todos los álbumes de Steely Dan, Gary Katz. Seremos francos al afirmar que ninguno de ellos, ni siquiera Mark Knofler ni Jeff Porcaro, volverían a participar en un disco más notable e inteligente que éste; verdaderamente una obra maestra.

Gaucho es el nombre con el que se designa al campesino que, en los siglos XVIII y XIX habitaba en las llanuras rioplatenses de Argentina, en Uruguay y en Rio Grande Do Sul en Brasil. El gaucho era diestro en los trabajos ganaderos y buen jinete. Pues bien, el gaucho aventurero de este disco es un experto en los trabajos "ganaderos" de los aeropuertos y cabalga con mucha clase autos que ya tenían teléfono a fines de los 70; conquista esposas aburridas de sus frios maridos y tiene tiempo para contar como se sufría de hambre y pena en su país natal, que podría ser cualquiera al sur de México.

El Gaucho nos invita a conocer los vientos de Santa Ana en Babylon Sisters y a conquistar mujeres de mundo; aunque una diecinueveañera lo vuelva loco en Hey Nineteen y tenga que recurrir a su tequila y a sus líneas de coca para salir adelante. La canción más grande del disco, en duración y en calidad, es Glamour Profession, una descripción irónica y sutil de las aventuras del latin—lover un viernes por la noche en California. Coge su Chrysler y sale a conquistar la noche. Se menciona a una novia euroasiática —podría ser una referencia a la heroína— especialista en artes amatorias, colombianos recién llegados llenos de mercancía y Películas de motociclistas son parte de lo que ocurre en dicha noche. Con una lírica narrativa digna de Arthur Miller o Tom Wolfe, Glamour Profession es, con seguridad, la mejor canción jazz—rock—disco que he escuchado en mi corta vida.

El lado B —o las cuatro últimas canciones, si se trata de un CD— es un poco más tranquilo y reflexivo. La canción título del álbum, inspirada en un riff de Keith Jarrett que terminó metiendo su nombre en los créditos, es la respuesta del americano promedio a la amenaza del latino que viene a robarle sus oportunidades de triunfar en su propia sociedad. Es una canción seria que nos lleva a pensar hacia donde conduce la inmigración latina en Estados Unidos; a cómo se manifiesta su rechazo y qué soluciones se podrían proponer.


Time Out Of Mind es un tema sobre la adicción a la heroína, aunque suena como una canción de esas para inspirar a la superación personal. My Rival es una continuación del tema tratado en la canción Gaucho pero un poco más intimista y esta vez con un ritmo algo más bailable; esta vez el narrador se entera de que su mujer lo engaña y le pide compararlo a él con el dichoso amante, que sin duda es latino. Third World Man cierra el disco tristemente recordando las miserias que tuvo que dejar el protagonista en busca de un mejor modo de vida.

Hablar de la temática que trata Gaucho es hablar un poco de nuestros temores ante el futuro, de nuestra nostalgia ante el pasado, de nuestros prejuicios y odios; en fin, de nosotros mismos. Es, después de todo, una simple mirada a nuestro comportamiento cuando tratamos de ser adultos pero nos comportamos peor que niños, en medio de los excesos y de las limitaciones a nuestro criterio que la sociedad nos presenta.


Becker y Fagen escribieron y grabaron, utilizando casi tres años de ardua labor, una obra injustamente olvidada por los críticos; quizás porque ya habían encontrado en Aja (1977) una obra maestra y no necesitaban otra. No fue una grabación revolucionaria porque las ideas de la música rock de los 80 tomaron otros rumbos; fue mas bien el testamento de la más creativa y notable asociación de los setenta y probablemente de la historia. No volverían a grabar como Steely Dan en estudio hasta 20 años después.

Música sofisticada y una lírica irónicamente crítica pero sobre todo amigable y muy fácil de entender gracias al brioso inglés en que está cantada. Gaucho es el álbum que cualquier buen músico hubiera deseado grabar. Sobresaliente.

Steely Dan tiene más, mucho más que ofrecer que Gaucho. Pueden ubicarlos en http://www.steelydan.com/.



Gaucho is a masterpiece maybe because it was recorded in a very bad moment for the two members of SD. Fagen was having a Creative Crisis and Becker was becoming a total Junkie. Becker was hit by a car and spent several days at the hospital, not being able to record some of the tracks he and Don wrote. The best song of Gaucho, The Second Arrangement, was unintentionally erased by the assistant Engineer, and they never recorded it again. A variation of it, Third World Man, was included at the end. But, nevertheless, SD's Gaucho is my favorite album because it's a conceptual album about what we do with ourselves, being prophets in far-away lands. Obsessed with youth -Hey 19-, with Drugs -Glamour Profession-, with Art and Fashiion -Time Out Of Mind-, with Cheating -Gaucho-, and, of course, with threesomee sex -Babylon Sisters-. I could say also that Gaucho is a Political album about the end of the innocense for Western Culture. It's a neverending source of wisdom, musically and lyrically.

About "Glamour Profession" - a deep analysis

“Glamour Profession” could be, in my opinion, the best song ever recorded on analog tape. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen put in this work their peak level of creativity; musically and lyrically. In the Book Reelin’ In The Years by Brian Sweet, “Glamour Profession” is described as “yet another song about Hollywood highlife; a famous basketball star is hooked on cocaine, smuggling in large quantities from Colombia and throwing very expensive parties with the profits” (RITY, pp. 143-144).

The song is a disco attempt to reach the high levels of the Los Angeles nightlife. It sets up the mood for the beginning of a big party night on Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard. It also features, in seven minutes, some of the best instrumental works ever recorded for American Popular Music. It’s a masterpiece, and it’s my favorite song.

If I were a Universal exec, I would release it as a single. It’s amazing it wasn’t included in any of the Steely Dan’s Greatest Hits albums. This is the best Steely Dan song they ever recorded.

The Lyrics:

The narrator, a suddenly rich drug-dealer making it big in L.A., wishes desperately to be part of the glamour of Hollywood. He feels that he is already a part of the show, but in the shadows of the Illegal business. He looks good, and he considers himself also an entertainer, in a very special point of view. He “entertains the entertainers”:

Six o five
Outside the stadium
Special delivery
For Hoops McCaan
Brut and charisma
Poured from the shadow where he stood
Looking good
He's a crowd pleasing man

Everybody wants to be somebody, and in L.A., the most important "somebodies" are the movie and music entertainers, being Hollywood the self-called entertainment capital of the World. In this verse we find he is –or he wants to be- a Basketball player. “Crashing the backboard,” means he’s a Basketball player, and during that time there were a lot of drug scandals regarding basketball players; Len Bias is the most important example. “Jungle Jim” may describe, in two words, his physical appearance: white, tall, black hair, just the way Johnny Weismuller was (or probably he only wants to be like him).

One on one
He's schoolyard superman
Crashing the backboard
He's Jungle Jim again.

The song was written and recorded between 1979 and 1980, and there were no cellular phones at that time. Therefore, it took a lot of money to have a telephone connection in a car. The profits of being a drug dealer impress his dates, again.

When it's all over
We'll make some calls from my car
We're a star

The chorus describes his business and how the famous people accept it. “To shine the silver bowl” can mean a trophy –a girl, or a coke spoon-. To have fun in this town, you must have money to spend –a quarter can be also fifteen minutes, a reference to Andy Warhol’s fame time-. “If you work hard, you must have fun the hard way”, can be the moral message:

It's a glamour profession
The L.A. concession
Local boys will spend a quarter
Just to shine the silver bowl
Living hard will take its toll

This is the most important phrase of the song, compressing the entire meaning of the lyrics, so the listener doesn’t get lost:

Illegal fun
Under the sun

Second part: He goes for some sexual references describing himself as a “Carib Cannibal”, a member of a group of American Indian peoples of northern South America, the Lesser Antilles, and the eastern coast of Central America. The entire “Jack with his radar…” phrase locates our narrator in his car, having a hand-job (“Stalking’ the dread moray eel”) high on Morphine (the Eurasian Bride).

All aboard
The Carib Cannibal
Off to Barbados
Just for the ride
Jack with his radar
Stalking the dread moray eel
At the wheel
With his Eurasian Bride

“We Dress for Action” is a line borrowed from Kraftwerk’s “Showroom Dummies” (from the album Trans-Europe Express, Capitol, 1977) and it means the dealer care too much about his looks and the looks of the people he hangs around with. He talks about a recent movie -“Celluloid Bikers…” can be a reference to Marlon Brando’s The Wild One, comparing himself with the actor, as he is looked in his famous car.

On the town
We dress for action
Celluloid bikers
Is Friday's theme
I drove the Chrysler
Watched from the darkness while they danced
He’s the one.
I'm the one
It's a glamour profession
The L.A. concession
Local boys will spend a quarter
Just to shine the silver bowl
Living hard will take its toll
Illegal fun
Under the sun

Middle section: Instrumental with a piano solo by Rob Mounsey. Good moment for reflection. The Bridge is spectacular: He aggressively declares himself the real source of Hollywood Inspiration.

Hollywood
I know your middle name
Who inspire your fabled fools
That's my claim to fame

Third verse: Miguel is his partner, bringing more cocaine from Colombia. He’ll go to Mr. Chow, one of the most expensive and high-classed Chinese restaurants in the seventies- to serve his customers. He’ll be having dinner by midnight, before continuing his adventures in the night. Szechuan Dumplings can mean the code word for the cocaine packs he’s going to get. Dumped from a plane coming from Bogotá, Colombia.

Jive Miguel
He's in from Bogotá
Meet me at midnight
At Mr. Chow
Szechuan dumplings
After the deal has been done
I'm the one
It's a glamour profession
The L.A. concession
Local boys will spend a quarter
Just to shine the silver bowl
Living hard will take its toll
Illegal fun
Under the sun, boys

We are left with a brilliant instrumental fade-out recalling the initial hook. At the end of the song, one can do nothing but stand up and applause. It’s so colorful, so descriptive it can be extended to be a movie or a Broadway musical. A great but illegal adventure. A seven-minute chant. that tells us how shallow can be somebody’s life and to be proud of it, by the deep meaning of its lyrics. Illegal or not, a great experience to listen to!

That’s why I like it, because it goes way beyond lyric and musical interpretation.

The Recording: Gaucho credits

“Glamour Profession” was produced by Gary Katz, Horns Arranged by Tom Scott. Rhythm Arrangements by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen with Rob Mounsey, Don Grolnick and Paul Griffin. Recorded at: Soundworks N.Y.C./A & R Studios, N.Y.C./Sigma Sound Studios, N.Y.C./Automated Sound Studios N.Y.C./ Village Recorder, West L.A./ Producers Workshop, Hollywood. Mixdown at: A & R Studios and Village Recorder. Executive Engineer: Roger Nichols
Tracking: Elliot Scheiner, Bill Schnee. Overdub: Roger Nichols, Jerry Garszza. Mixdown: Elliot Scheiner. Sequencing and Special Effects: Roger Nichols and WENDAL

Bonus text provided by noise_floor@yahoo.com, changing the whole perspective:

Hey!

As a Steely Dan fan, I saw your webpage at glamourprofession and even followed the links back to your other webpage.  After listening to this song for years, something bothered me.  I kept reading all of the song meanings and interpretations...and while they were on the right track, they just weren't satisfying.  So I went a little deeper and came up with something else entirely.  I don't know if you're still maintaining your page(s), but let me know what you think of this:

I have read "homages to the 70s and 80s", but never seen a real analysis of this song.  Like most Steely Dan songs, it isn't as simple as it seems and a lot of the references are obscure even in the age of the internet.

Glamour Profession is about the misadventures of SPECIFIC LA folks with illegal drugs.

FIRST STANZA:

The "6:05 - Outside the stadium" verse refers to Pittsburgh Pirate Dock Ellis' no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 1, 1970.  Supposedly he had flown to LA to try LSD and came back STILL under the influence at 6:05, when the game started at San Diego Stadium. The basketball references are there to obscure just WHOM Steely Dan are talking about.  And Dock Ellis was a high school basketball star in Gardena, California.

Maybe they got Ellis some cocaine from a local dealer to get him amped up to play.  And this dealer had a type of mobile car phone (which would have used the Dial system) on the Con-Tel Bell affiliate.

So the first stanza is clearly about the ball player Dock Ellis.


SECOND STANZA:

The "Jack with his radar, stalking the dread moray eel" is a reference to Jack Carlton Reed, a pilot and distributor for Carlos Lehder cocaine transports during his heyday.  On some flights, it was said Jack would check the radar constantly to see if they were being followed or intercepted.  The flights at the time  in question would have been when Lehder was operating at Norman's Cay, and small Bahamian island he bought for it's proximity to the United States (and lack of drug enforcement presence) and then chased off the residents.

But the song isn't about Jack.  If you want more on him, read the book Buccaneer by MayCay Beeler.  It is about LA DJ Russ O'Hara.

Russ O'Hara was a popular DJ for LA radio station KROQ and well known for introducing stars as they went onstage at local LA concerts.  In 1978, he met Jack Carlton Reed and started flying for Jack in a Piper Navajo for "adventure".  At one point in 1980, he even quit being a DJ to work full time for Jack and Carlos, flying drugs into Norman's Cay.  Russ got the full 'Norman's Cay experience', even videoing Carlos and company having fun on the island.  The only thing that soured Russ on the experience was a sexual tryst he observed between his girlfriend, Reed and Reed's girlfriend Michelle.  Which (according to Steely Dan) he watched from the darkness.

After testifying against Carlos Lehder and Jack Reed, O'Hara went back to spinning records - in 1981 at KRLA.

Second stanza is about disc jockey Russ O'Hara.


THIRD STANZA:

The third stanza starts differently than the rest.  After the refrain, there is the "Hollywood, I know your middle name" part that is sung by background singers.  Fagan jumps in on the "..That's my claim to fame" line.

From that part, we know this stanza is about someone big in Hollywood.  Someone who eats (or can afford to eat) at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills and hobnob with the stars.  An agent?  A producer?  A movie executive?

In 1980, former Paramount movie executive Robert Evans, his brother Charles Evans and his brother-in-law Michael ("Jive Miguel") were set up in an FBI sting to buy and traffic cocaine.  Robert ended up making an anti-drug commericial funded by Charles as part of his sentencing.

Third and last stanza is about the movie producer Robert Evans.

So these three successful guys all get involved in the drug business when it was 'the next big thing' and glamourous...get burned and get out.

Most of the information is obscured to NOT mention these folks by name because they were BIG names when Gaucho came out.  (And who wants law suits and the like.)  What is pure genius is HOW obscured they were; I've seen posts where folks are talking about Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson and the like - when that definitely isn't the case.  Or some where they say the song just talks about the  drug culture in L.A.  

The thing about this song is that it is both incredible and credible at the same time!
(Totally awesome, right?)