Thursday, April 12, 2007
Flamenco Guitar = Audio Sex
Yes, you read that right. And I’ll stand by that statement.
I recently blogged about the sex appeal of music, and quoted from John Mellencamp’s song “Play Guitar”...well, I’d like to amend that post and suggest to you men who really want to attract women: learn how to play flamenco guitar. I find it hard to imagine a guy ugly enough not to seem sexy if he were playing this lovely Latin stuff.
Okay, so here’s the back story: A week ago I was driving home from work, listening to the local jazz station, and had one of those experiences when you hear a song for the first time and all the while its playing, you’re praying the DJ will tell you the name and performer afterwards.
He did. It was “Mario Takes a Walk” by Jesse Cook. And I am officially in love with Jesse Cook.
The guy is a Paris-born Canadian (he’s Canadian! Another plus, if you’re a canuckophile like me) and has been recording for many years. Happily, he has a most excellent website with lots of audio and video clips on it, all of which I listened to last Friday at least ten times apiece until I was convinced I need to get every CD he’s ever done.
Is Jesse Cook good-looking? I’ll be danged if I can tell you. He looks hotter than hell to me, but then, how am I to distinguish the real truth when he’s playing that...that...that music. Ye gods.
The rhythms and melodies that come from Jesse’s fingers just assault a person like someone kissing you and touching you in the most expert manner. Sometimes it might as well be that he’s touching you there. And when the music isn’t all sexual and arousing, it’s tender, or teasing, or pining, or something you’ve felt in the most acute throes of romantic love.
Up until I found Jesse, I had been giving thought to trying to blog about the tango, both the dance and the style of music. To me the tango is pretty much sexier than sex itself. Actually, a number of Latin styles of dancing are, and if you haven’t seen “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” then I recommend you make a beeline for Netflix and put it on your queue. Andrew Blake can eat his heart out, he’s never made a porno movie as hot as those dancing sequences with Diego Luna. Swoon.
But flamenco guitar is like distilled tango to me, the pure and uncut stuff, because there’s nothing to distract you from the music. Nope, it’s not the moves of the dancers, it’s not how hot the guy tangoing looks in those tight pants. It’s just the melody, rhythm, harmony making you feel this way.
I suppose I can’t speak universally on the subject of flamenco guitar. But to my credit, I used to watch the video of Sting’s song “Fragile” at least once a week. (Did I mention Jesse Cook covered that song?) Anyhoo, all I know for sure is Jesse Cook makes it happen for me: He “rhumbafies” a lot of pre-existing tunes and imparts them with sexual fervor. He utilizes a sort of African tribal percussion a lot (another wonderfully sexy technique). And he just seems to imbue every song with so much raw emotion you can hardly bear it. I give him all kinds of credit, but then, some of this must simply be inherent in flamenco guitar. I suspect Jesse might say it’s the nature of the beast, and if you play this stuff properly, women will melt for you. (Jesse, if you google yourself and find this, I hope you’ll comment!)
All this and he probably likes hockey too.
Do I feel I’m cheating on my other beloved Canadian guitar player, Les Stroud, by carrying on so about Jesse Cook? Nah, I think Les would understand: it’s not the man, it’s the music.
And what’s a girl to do anyway? It’s flamenco guitar!