Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Cap'n's Cabaret #9: Flying Down to Rio (Triple Feature!)

Boas-vindas, and All Aboard for a first class luxury flight to that grandest and most glamourous tropical hot spots, Rio de Janeiro!  And the Cap'n has definitely outdone himself today, because he loves you.

 Yes, sun, sand, and some of the world's most beautiful women await in this great aviation and maritime crossroads! Catch the Clipper, catch a Zeppelin, catch some rays, catch a local lovely, or just have a few cocktails and enjoy the music. Be warned, there's a reason Rio never gets cold, and it's more than just latitude. So tonight for you good folks, since everything in Rio is BIGGER, tonight's Cabaret is bigger too. In fact, it's three times grander than normal - yes, folks, it's a Triple Feature!

First, our cartoon, courtesy of the great Walt Disney ("Saludos, Amigos", 1942), featuring a softer traditional work by one of Rio's grand master musicians, Ary Barroso. His masterpiece, Aquarela do Brazil (the Watercolors of Brazil) sung two way. In America, you may know it simply as Brazil [and for our time-traveling guests, you may remember it from covers by Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, or even, more disturbingly, from Terry Gilliam's movie of the same name]. Tonight, it is covered by two people: legendary tenor Aloysio Oliveira and by the lovely and unforgettable Carmen Miranda herself (footage from The Gang's All Here, 1943).

 

(this work was edited by Doni Sacramento, who well deserves a shout-out for it)

Next, our Feature Presentation, two(!) breathtaking scenes courtesy of the good folks at RKO Pictures. They come from their new musical extravaganza Flying Down to Rio, featuring Gene Raymond and the gorgeous Dolores del Rio, who is sure to be the greatest starlet the world has seen. Also introducing a talented young couple of dancers named Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire!

Enjoy first, a dance almost too hot to post (you've never seen such racy moves, I'm sure!), the Carioca!  

Wow, what could possibly top that?  How about the Carioca in the Air? Yes, how about the aerial acrobatics of those flying beauties from Flying Down to Rio? We're talking about wing walking lovelies, dozens of them, showing exactly the fast and fearless future that the Age of Aviation will provide!

 

(Who loves you, baby?)

 

And wow, after all that, nothing goes down like that great Brazilian master cocktail, the Caipirinha!

Caipirinha Cocktail

- 1.5 oz Cachaça (a Brazilian sugar cane spirit; if unavailable, substitute white rum)

- 1/2 Lime, quartered

- 2 tsp sugar

Muddle lime and sugar in an Old Fashioned glass. Fill glass with ice and add Cachaça. Garnish with a small piece of sugar cane.

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Comment by Dexter Go-Grandski on October 24, 2011 at 6:17pm

Bom dia! MMmmm delicious, thank you Cap'n for another great virtual trip ;) 

Comment by Cap'n Tony on October 23, 2011 at 5:10pm

Sounds like you've lived an interesting life, John! I haven't yet made it to Brazil either, but it's definitely on the list.

Thanks for the background info on the cuica, I didn't know about those.

Comment by John L. Sands on October 22, 2011 at 7:41pm

I have not yet been to RIO, but thanks to you Cap'n Tony, it just went to the top of my list. I saw Saludos Amigos when it first came out. I was three years old and still remember the colors. The music is haunting and the best classical rendition of "Brazil" is from Terry Gilliam's movie by the same name.


The strange gasping instrument in the background of "Tico Tico" in the cartoon, is a cuica.


The body of the cuíca is normally made of metal, gourd or synthetic material. It has a single head, normally six to ten inches in diameter (15–25 cm), made of animal skin. A thin bamboo stick is attached to the center of, and perpendicular to, the drum head, extending into the drum's interior. The instrument is held under one arm at chest height with the help of a shoulder strap. To play the cuíca, the musician rubs the stick up and down with a wet cloth held in one hand, using the fingers of the other hand to press down on the skin of the drum near the place where the stick is attached. The rubbing motion produces the sound and the pitch is increased or decreased by changing the pressure on the head.

No other instrument makes this indescribably exotic sound that is so Brazilian.

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