Tag Archives: Francisco Canaro

Guardia Vieja, or Guardia Vieja?

Off to find some music today. We are doing it piecemeal as my memory is not good enough to carry all that we have.

Our first stop was Musimundo, the music in here is in chaos. I think they are running down the music side and concentrating on white goods. We  found one CD we wanted “Grandes del Tango, Orquesta Typica Victor” a double album at thirty eight pesos, but as it was so chaotic we left it at on the shelf.

Next stop was Zivals, at least the music is in some kind of order here and if they did not have what we want, we would not have to go through every CD to find out. We found “Mi Evocacion, Adolfo Carrabelli” and also “Grandes del Tango, Orquesta Typica Victor” but it was forty eight pesos here, so we left it and just bought Adolfo Carabelli . Then we went back over the road to Musimundo for Orquesta Typica Victor. Well we saved ten pesos not to be sniffed at especially as we were going this way anyway.

We wandered down Callao and passed another music shop. Bit of a dead loss this one all the same titles but at silly prices, not a one below fifty nine pesos. Obviously they were hoping to catch tourists unawares; well you don’t catch this one. We set off again.

Now there is a little music shop further down called Notorious. I have found Cds in there I could find nowhere else and it has good coffee. As we entered there was a guy guarding the passage through to the coffee shop. It seems they had a concert on in there but we could have a coffee if we did not go straight through. Well although we could not see the show we could see the girl singing and hear some wonderful Bossa Nova. Anyway we could not sit all day we had CDs to buy. There was nothing here that I was looking for but I came across a CD of Francisco Canaro in Japan, this was news to me and I had to have it. As I said they have some unusual stuff in here.

Next stop was El Ateneo, I didn’t hold out much hope but we had to look. Again nothing is in any order so we had to go through all the shelves, list in hand Viv started at one end I started at the other. We found no more Carrabeli but did find one gem “Yo soy el Tango, Anibal Troilo and Fiorentino” I was after just one track really “Malena” if I go home with nothing else, this will make my trip worthwhile. I have it playing as I write, heaven.

We have turned down a free lunch today, because we were double booked, so from here we were heading back to Luba’s house. It was still fairly early so we elected to walk. At Pueyrredon we walked a block away from Santa Fe, this meant we were now on streets we had never walked before.

I thought it was all new but we arrived at the back of Plaza Monsenor de Andrea were we had stopped before in a previous trip (Somos Cartoneros ). We meandered along Viv complaining all the time that we must be miles away as she does not recognize any road names, but I was pretty sure of my directions. Sure enough we came to Soler and we could just follow this now until we arrived at Cebra the big toy shop opposite Luba’s house. 

We pressed the buzzer and were treated to Luba’s cheery greeting. Then we waited for the door to be openend. It wasn’t Luba who came however but Juan, our old tango teacher. I was sort of expecting this. Viv tried to go in but Juan said “No, hay algun a mostrar” and dragged us up the street. As I said I had an inkling of what was coming but I feigned great surprise at his new car. It was not a model I have seen before, it looked like a four by four but he assured me it was two wheel drive with a diff lock. He never believes that I understand and in the end I drew him a diagram to show I understood.

Luba had beer and coffee and soft drinks and so much cake. The old friends back together Luba, Juan, Marriela and we two. She put a piece of each cake on a plate for us, and when she offered me more, did the same again. I was only expecting one piece and struggled to eat it all.

The conversation went along at a jolly pace, a bit of Spanish so that Juan understood interspersed with English for Viv (and me sometimes). It all went fine until I mentioned Christina. (The Argentine president).  Now Argentines are a political lot and everything got a bit heated. The pace of the argument was just too much for me to keep up with, so I engaged Juan in a conversation about engines old and new until things calmed down.

He also spent some time trying to get me to pronounce my Spanish properly. Guardia Vieja still sounded like Guardia Vieja to me, but he thought it sounded better, so who am I to argue.

Eventually Juan and Marriela  had to go as they were giving a lesson and they offered us a lift. Well a chance to travel in Juan’s new car, how could I refuse?

We were now at a loose end we looked at all the possibilities and for some reason decided to try a late milonga at El Arranque.

But first because we had missed our free lunch we needed feeding. We have a favorite place that we often stop at on Callao 249, called Joan Miro. We have never eaten there before so it was a good time to try.

It all got a bit confusing but we ordered the special “chicken and chips” to you, I won’t try to tell you what its description in castillano was.

We were taken aback when the starter arrived (pate with toast). Then we had bottled beer and the chicken was covered in cheese and herbs, it was all delicious. I said to Viv “We don’t know the price, I think this is going to cost us” So I was surprised when we got the bill only 120 pesos.

We arrived at El Arranque at about quarter past, the door was not open and there was a queue outside. The fact that there was no one we recognized should have sent warning signs, but when the door opened we went in anyway.

The same waiter who is there in the day time smiled at us but he never warned us. We sat at our table and waited. For half an hour nothing happened. Then we had a tanda of awful tango we danced but thought better was to come. After the Cortina they played cumbia and then they played cumbia and then even more cumbia. In fact it went on for forty minutes. We stayed two and a half hours for three lousy tandas. I was ready to go but they put on some meringue so we danced that and then left.

Viv dragged me out quickly before I could accost someone and say “that is not a milonga” we set out for our bus home.

Now we were near to Rivadavia and from here could see the stop where we normally catch our 168. So we would get advance warning of its arrival. A policeman leaned on the bus stop obviously also waiting, but it did not come. The bin men came, and as they grabbed all the rubbish dust and dirt flew about all over, our policeman just stepped back.

After half an hour he had had enough and caught a taxi. He should have waited, ten minutes later our overcrowded bus finally arrived. Now emboldened I asked for Guardia Vieja and was finally understood. Shame of it was that the bus was so crowded we got off at Corrientes anyway.


Filed under Argentina, milonga, Tango

Distant Tanguera

Unusually this week we started the dance in full sun. It was nice for a change to have all the doors and windows open.

Numbers were a bit disappointing, but I suppose everyone was out with their barbeques. Still the numbers were boosted at about half eight when Candi arrived with her partner Yanis (is that the right spelling?). We had some Comme Il Faut shoes for her and she was just itching to try them out. The best thing for me about Viv bringing shoes over is I get the virgin dance almost every time. There really is something special for the ladies when they dance for the first time in their Comm Il Faut’s, so it is a real honour for me to lead these shoes into their first dance.

Candi has travelled all the way from Stoke to be with us tonight, so I am more than glad to pass on a few moves, we have to be careful though as we don’t want this to turn into a class. Another benefit of her coming is that now she realises just how far it is. I get frequent invites to Stokies and much as I would love to go, the distance makes it impractical. When I work nights, obviously it is impossible, but when I am on days I would have to leave about nine in order to get a decent sleep. I would be just too tired after work, so that leaves about one day in eight. Oh well maybe someday soon.

 Tonight we had Angel D’Agostino and Francisco Canaro as our artists. Candi quizzed me about Canaro and I am afraid my knowledge is not as good as it should have been. Part of the problem, of course, is that no one has ever quizzed me before on the artists, from now on I must swat up before the dance. It really is good to have someone who is interested, and it makes me learn as well.

Just for Candi; Canaro played Violin and made recordings from 1915-1973. (despite dying in 1964) I hope I am forgiven my lack of knowledge.

Arriving a bit later meant that she missed my favourite D’Agostino track “Café Dominguez” but I danced it with Viv and for three minutes was transported back to Confiteria Ideal in Buenos Aires.

Our practicas look less like dances with every passing one, when Candi arrived she commented that she was sorry to have arrived in the middle of our supper. I suppose the sight of everyone sat around the table eating, and no one dancing must have confused somewhat. Still we were soon up dancing again, although the draw of that fabulous Stilton was proving too hard to resist. (There was little left at the end of the night).

I must have had some sort of premonition that it would be a long night, normally I time La Cumparsita to come on at eleven, tonight though it was almost twenty to twelve and there were still four of us, eating, dancing, and talking rubbish, fuelled by Argentine wine, Ginger beer, and the last of my Gin.

I did not take much rocking when I finally hit the sack at after one o’clock, I will get these people into the Buenos Aires way, one day.


Filed under milonga, Tango