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Porto’s record shops, part 1​

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rua da conceição 80 – loja 2 – tel: 220 945 501, official site & facebook

rock (all types and most of it), jazz, funk & soul.
its name is a tribute to ‘london calling’ by the clash, and for sure you breathe a nostalgic british air at the store that gave it a friendly atmosphere inviting you to go there many times. it’s mostly rock, but exploring all the shelves you will get more than that. recent records and old gems can be found at this record shop somehow hidden from the main street and headed by a nice guy that really knows what is selling.

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rua do almada, 307 – tel: 222 010 384, official site & facebook

everything & everything
one of the oldest and still open record shops at porto. the place at almada’s street (there’s also a store at the portuguese capital), has a nice aura and you can find a bit of every type of music, from old bargains to the new trendy album. the last entry rack is perfect to find the most recent edited electronic, alternative and hip-pop records.

 

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tubitek
praça d.joão I, 31 – tel: 222 034 132, official site & facebook

all kind of music, maybe more alternative
a historic record shop at porto that re-opened a couple of years ago. the place is small but very distinct, its bright yellow walls and perfectly designed shop windows with contemporary art are not easy to escape when you walk by the street. their catalog appears to be very generalist, but there’s a predominance of alternative music and new editions of old kings of music. employees are helpful and always ready to guide you at the store or even place an online reservation for some records that are not physically available.

to be continued with more record shops

Bjork – Vulnicura

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vulnicura is the eighth studio album from our beloved icelandic singer, björk. for a very long time i was waiting for an album so truthful like this. she told in some interviews that she wrote the album while her marriage was collapsing and so the album was constructed in a way to express her fillings for every stage of that painful event.

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“our love was my womb
but our bond has broken
my shield is gone
my protection is taken
i am one wound
my pulsating body
suffering being

my heart is enormous lake
black with potion
i am blind
drowning in this ocean”

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in this album we can find amazing songs with beautiful videos like “stonemilker“, “lionsong“, “black lake“, “not get” or the visceral “mouth mantra“.

vulnicura, björk 2015

Primavera Sound Porto 2017

porto’s primavera sound may be the younger brother from the barcelona festival but he captures its essential in a beautiful venue – the city gardens by the sea. we tried to catch up with the full (as just one festival) line-up, trying to get here what we missed at barcelona.

due profissional duties we intentional skipped day one.

day two: angel angel was for some the best actress, but at the stage she got more noise that we were expecting. bon iver remained with the good acting from barcelona, nonethless the encore with all the group was not so good. like that justin vernon couldn’t delivered all its anger. hamilton leithauser with all his dreams made everyone happy and with a smile. nicolas jaar was the king of the night on a unxpected performance alone at the stage with his minimalist electronic atmosphere on improvised beats and samples. he could be playing just for him, he could be playing for 30 thousand people. he was always him, always honest with his music.

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day three: sampha was as good as at the barcelona festival, its never enough to listen him, daydreaming at sunset. this good feeling was continued by the friendly and generous performance of weyes blood. natalie mering left everyone in love with her. the canadian rock by japandroids was a disappointment but it lasted few moments. by the end of the night, the psychedelic lights and the insane acting of aphex twin left everyone stunned wondering about what of that was earthly.

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porto, portugal | june 2017

Primavera Sound BCN 2017

primavera is more than a music festival. its dreamy sunset atmosphere at the industrial parc del forum is the perfect conclusion for a day as a continuous space to the frantic and colorful barcelona. it was the third year in a row and still, there were mysteries to unveil. this edition was a greedy one, even with frank ocean cancelation.

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day one:  the gorgeous glowing solange as sovereign of the main stage proving out she deserve all the lights on her, followed by the dark and noisy bon iver showing how intricated was their last album. for the encore, an angry and resentful justin vernon’s version of ‘skinny love’. there was also time check kevin morby and miguel. yeh, we did miss the surprise show by arcade fire (damn! to our roaming wifi).

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day two: the low profile sampha at rayban stage by the sea delivered his amazing and soulful music, it gets bigger every time we listen to it. the xx appeared to had grown in stage with time; we had seen their concert at the porto primavera some years ago and was somehow tedious, contrary to all we saw this year on the amazing line up they put with magical voices of romy and oliver conducted by the perfect jamie xx.  speaking of it, he was funny enough to start his set with frank ocean’s ‘white ferrari’, but following it we would prefer that he had explored more his ‘in color’ rather than a disco revival. there was also time to check whitney and the insane strip and armpit burnt show by mac demarco.

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day three: what a blast we had with grace jones. she turned us slaves of her rhythm from start to end with an indefatigable performance on diversity and joy, climaxed with that neverending hula hula. impressive! and, finally arcade fire on an epic show making the delights of a loud sea of fans almost in a sing a long. they literally put the stage on fire. at some instances, the fog was so much that we could see where we are. we guess that their perfect moto was everything there! there was also time to peak on angel olsen and metronomy.

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barcelona, spain | june 2017

Pico, the magic mountain

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pico is the youngest island of the archipelago and, of course, its youth reveals an explosion of uniqueness nature in the middle of nowhere. a perfect communion between the dark and naked basalt, the vineyards in the rocks, and the peaceful and lively blue of the atlantic.

nothing is simple here; its an island of hard and lonely workers and was the set of brave fishermen that for years feared the whale hunting as a way to survive in the isolation of times. nonetheless, it’s a land of dreamers; a characteristic of all insular men and women growing up with the companion of a perfect horizon, trying to discover what is beyond that line.

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up! to the magic mountain
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wine and lava in our blood
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the faithful companion (view from terra alta)Processed with VSCO with c2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c2 preset

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the youth hostel at são roque do pico, an old convent rehabilitated, is a good choice. not a luxury place, but the view from our room to the fields and sea offered us unforgettable awakenings and sunsets.

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pico was, probably, the island where we had the best meals. at são roque do pico, casa âncora, by the hand of the chef timur abuziarov, is a modern restaurant using fresh produce from local fishermen and farmers. amazing how he managed to seize the azorean flavor in a unique and creative way. a must to do at the island, with the restaurant and lounge just by the sea. perfect at sunset. at madalena, across the canal, a huge sperm whale lies in the rocks, resting for long time in the atlantic. cella bar, winner of 2016 hospitality architecture award, combines the pico’s tradition on whale watching, long days whale fishing and the dark basalt landscape on an exquisite design bar/restaurant. nice flavors with some unusual twists of local food and contemporary tendencies accompanied with local wines. also at madalena, ancoradouro a classical seafood house by the sea had the best fish cataplasma we ever tried.

the map

São Jorge, the lonely one

we woke up early to get the first boat to são jorge. due weather forecast we had to short our stay there for one day and cut some of the sightseeing we wanted to, otherwise, we could get blocked on the island some days. rosais and the unique azorean coffee plantation at fajã dos vimes were some of the spots we regretted not visiting.

amazing view arriving at the island – from afar the island of são jorge looks like a long reptile resting in the ocean, hiding mysteries, and old prohibited lovers.

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arriving by boat, we can see that there are some strips of land that enter the sea at the base of the cliffs caused by ancient landslides. the so-called fajãs. one of them, fajã do santo cristo (holy lord christ), remains a sacred place. unrivaled in its distance for the world  (see the full post about this fajã here).

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we were dazzled by the mixture of gross dark green nature and the calm of the lagoon followed by the infinite atlantic. the ecosystem is unique there, even with the presence of exquisite bivalves that no one really knows how they got there. the chapel of the holy lord christ, a constant in the fajã’s skyline, could be our home at the end of the world.

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after a quick lunch at the local bar, unfortunately, it was full of tourists that day, we set sail for one of the most remote ends of the island. after passing the mysterious fog of the central massif, almost deserted, we arrived at the peaceful village of topo, resting by the sea in love with the peculiar islet-plain.

são jorge is well known for its curated cow cheese. we arrived a little after the cheese factory had closed, but the friendliness of one of the staff members allowed a small guided tour of its operations and method of manufacture. we finished the tour with a taste of cheeses cured at different times. it will not be easy to find but the 3-month cure is supremely good (maybe even better than the easily marketed 6 and 9-months).

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we returned to velas, the largest village on the island, to catch the boat. we strolled a bit through the streets while we waited for the boat and took the opportunity to snack at the central cafe. finally, we bought the famous espécies and ate all of them! we do not know how, but we could not find photos of that late afternoon.

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time goes fast and at sunset, we had a new boat to get and return to faial before the weather turns. the storm was arriving even if the day was so beautiful and sunny. guess this was the perfect example of the unpredictable microclimate of azores.

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to eat
the clams of the fajã of santo cristo are obligatory on a visit to São Jorge and can be found, with quality, in many local restaurants such as fornos de lava, o amílcar,  o manezinho and o borges. this last one at the fajã do santo cristo, usually full of tourists in summer; leave you to note on the wall or cartoon on the ceiling or while you wait for the meal entertain yourself reading the messages of other travelers. fish cataplans and limpets are also are specialties of the island. são jorge cow’s curated cheese is perfect for every meal as an entree or as a dessert with jam, for example. try to find a 3-month cure; the 6 and 9-month are a bit of spicy for a newbie in this kind of cheese. a final highlight (again) for the espécies, this particular spice cakes of secular flavor that contain secrets in their preparation that leave anyone fascinated when tasted.

to stay
the youth hostel in calheta is always a safe option. alternatively, explore some local or new lodgings such as casa dos moinhos, aldeia da encosta, the intact farm and são jorge spot.

the map