Monday, October 20, 2008

Meanwhile... drumology

well the blog is back on the air. The Squad is getting ready for a gig and learning some new tricks. This one is called DRUMLOGY


You want to go Persian?

and just for fun "Christian comes down and Dani goes Up"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


PODCAST 3: In this episode we talk to SAMBA SQUAD member Kelly-Ann about music and drums and Gamelon.
Deirdra Flint sings about FOOD!
Then I wonder what's got Gili so annoyed and we close the show with a visit to Samba Kidz.

The music for the show comes from the PodShow Podsafe Music Network. Check it out at
Vita Senza Regole by ALL DAYS IN GARDEN
Food by Deirdre Flint
B Nice by phishbacher
Funk Revolution by Junkstar
and of course SAMBA SQUAD


Friday, March 7, 2008

Binaural Samba Squad Audio Documentary

Play Podcast 2

This 'cast is an exploration of the world of Binaural recording. Its best listened to on headphones.

I'm using a binaural microphone set up. 2 microphones that look like earbuds go in my ears.

The result is a listening experience that spatially transcends normally recorded stereo, since it accurately reproduces the effect of hearing a sound in person, given the 360° nature of how human ears pick up nuance in the sound waves.

Binaural recordings can very convincingly reproduce location of sound behind, ahead, above, or wherever else the sound actually came from during recording. Once recorded, the binaural effect can be reproduced only using headphones. It does not work with mono playback; nor does it work while using loudspeaker units, as the acoustics of this arrangement distort the channel separation via natural crossfeed (an approximation can be obtained if the listening environment is carefully designed by employing expensive crossfeed cancellation equipment.)

The actual show is an audio documentary: A Samba Squad corporate gig.
Play Podcast 2

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Samba Squad launches it's first Podcast and celebrates the birthday of one member and the return of another.

Play Podcast 1
Today's rehearsal was unusual. David lead it for the first half and then Rick came in for the rest. The first unusual thing I found when I arrived was Christian playing tamborim. Christian is our youngest member. He joined Samba Squad when he was 9 and today was his birthday. He is now 14 and very talented.
Cliche alert: "where does the time go!"
He is a surdo master, usually playing tercera or the surdo kit. So I watched him as he played the tamborim like a pro and asked him "where you learned tamborim?" he just looked at me with an embarrassed grin on his face and said "I just watched you".
We had a lot of new players and it was a familiar struggle. Learning the material. I've been in the Squad since the beginning and it still humbles me.
Frank once said we have enough material for 5 carnivals. And although some of us might have felt frustrated, I considered it par for the course.
I had a chance to show Rick my store at cafepress and the t-shirts designs I had come up with. It was actually a big hit with everyone. Most of the designs got the responses I wanted. Mainly laughter or "I want one!"
After break Rick lead us through some new material we are developing.
As usual, here they are warts and all.

Yesa Bata with new tam ride.

New caixa ending.

funky bells

twist fingers 3

New break

The other unusual thing was the return of Luisa. She is one of our newest members and also plays the tamborim. I wanted to find out where she had been and since we were going out to celebrate Christian's birthday, we got her to come along.
I recorded our chat as an impromptu podcast so I'll let her tell you herself.
Play Podcast 1

If you want to subscribe to the podcast using Itunes, this the URL:

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Year's Eve with the World Renown Samba Squad!

I got the video from Rick. It came to me as a dvd and after a bit of tweeking and tinkering, I posted it online. I decided not to go with youtube video because that quality is pretty low, so I'm using a site called STAGE 6. It uploads AVI files. It's best watched on FIREFOX with the DivX Web Player. If your browser can't play it, go to STAGE 6 and get the DivX Web Player.
After you get it all together, it will be worth watching.

Hey that's pretty cool. And you can also go FULLSCREEN by switching the settings on the control bar. Check it out.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Funky Ride

Well we're back into samba. I guess most of us took an "unofficial" break after the success of the Lula Lounge gig. Not all of us since Rick continued showing those who showed up last Sunday, new breaks. There were a lot of new faces mainly in the caixa section. good to see them.

This is the new ride for our funk.

And for the samba 2 new breaks. No names for them yet but here is what they sound like for now. warts and all.

and also

"Khawuleza, mama, Khawuleza"

The gang all went to check out Hugh Masekela on Friday. I have to confess i didn't know the first thing about him. But we've been having an amazing musical journey (with one missfire: DRUM!) and I was hoping for the best.
Dani told me this was the music her mum would listen to when Dani was a kid, (which really raised the coolness level of Dani's mum to another level.)
Hugh was born in South Africa in 1939. That makes him just shy of 70 yrs. But watching him on stage performing just confirms my belief that music keeps you younger. For the 2 hours that he played for us he was either blowing the trumpet, playing tamborine, scratcher or singing.

My favorite song was Khawuleza. As Hugh tells it, in those days it was illegal for blacks to drink in South Africa and because of this, the shebeen was born. Shebeen is the name for illegal drinking houses. And whenever the police would raid the townships, little kids would run around yelling "Khawuleza mama" which means "hurry mum don't get caught".
This other version is by Miriam Makeba recorded for Swedish TV in early 1966.