Of all the hair-brained schemes I’ve concocted, the one I am about to lay out is the one that makes the least sense to people. This one seems to supersede:
1) Donning an ape suit and attempting to foment a Bigfoot hoax Easter Sunday of 1991.
2) Tossing a second “pop fly” ball into a scrimmage game.
3) Calling Mr. Rogers on the Larry King show, and asking him if he “ever overfed the fish.”
4) Writing Mother Teresa, attempting to convince her to have Snapple Iced Tea, sent to her tent in Calcutta. (She wrote back)
I did all of those things. And yet, the caper that has generated the most “um . . . WHY?” consternation is a simple foray to South America. A trip to see ONE band in concert: Oficina G3.
Of course you haven’t heard of them. They are Brazilian. They sing in Portuguese. They also don’t answer the phone when you try to find out anything from them. Theoretically, I am going to see them play in Sao Paulo, IF I can ever figure out when they are playing. This requires them to answer the phone.
My friend Yohan, lives in SP, and contends without a doubt that “Brazilians don’t care.” In fact, as I write this, he’s telling me that the annual Carnaval festival going on right now only solidifies every one of his contentions—that pure, unadulterated hedonism coupled with a deep philosophical paradigm known as “not working for five straight days” creates the laissez faire thing he was telling me about.
Plus, a drunk, naked old man outside his window apparently likes to sing.
But Oficina G3 is a progressive metal/praise/Christian band, forged in the crucible of the Petra/Stryper heyday. Their lead singer, Mauro Henrique, is on FaceBook right now, eating BBQ and not getting pasted up on the streets, and excoriating his amazing vocal cords with pointless, enraged bellicosities like the Gadarene demoniac—shirtless edition.
That endears me to them. Any Christian that hunkers down with hot dogs and mustard during the Five Days of the Golden Calf has my vote. But they also play ridiculously good music. Melodic, complex, and with virtuosity on tap.
I can hear even Mike Portnoy giving that drummer props. If you want to hear Mauro Henrique do what he does best, go to the 5:00 mark, and let it play. I’ve chosen a mellower song, to keep the faint of heart from dropping out of the road march.
So . . . down the Portugese rabbit hole I go . . . . did you have any idea that it is possible for song lyrics to rhyme in a language other than English? I did not. Partly because I’ve only really ever messed with two other languages—Hungarian, and Sign language, and . . . .well . . .the latter seems to have a dearth for requests for 4/4 time calibration.
Of course, we can also attribute my noxious ignorance to some nasty, xenophobic underpinning I got from watching Korg, 70,000 BC on Saturday morning cartoons, when I was a kid. Blame television.
Anyway, despite the fact that my friend claims to not listen to any Brazilian bands, I happen to like them a lot. And for some reason, I am able to navigate the umbrage directed to me by my children when I play the last two albums back-to-back on road trips in the car:
“Dad, I don’t like this.”
“But what about the music?” I say.
“But I don’t understand the lyrics.”
At this time, I might actually give in to them and play their music. But now that they’ve plowed the road of logic, I am now laying the rhetorical IED.
“Girls, I can’t understand what Skillet is singing,”
I’ll leave you to guess the logical cobweb waiting for them. Then, I switch it back to Oficina G3.
So . . . wait I do. Waiting to find out whether or not I can get these rogue musicians to give me fair warning about their concert dates. I have a plane ticket to buy. It’s bad enough, worrying about getting killed by the Favelas in Rio. I can deal with that possibility but when the guy in that dark alleyway is named Indifference, it’s anybody’s game.