A couple months ago, my homey Jeroen started a blog called stupidtelligent. This fact is exciting to me because, for all the nymphomaniac groupies and corporate endorsement deals that it has brought me, blogging is in my estimation some lonely shit. But it seems a little less so when you have friends to link with. Jeroen and I have worked together many times in the past and, though he does not share my neo-conservative political views, on issues of culture we share much in common. So now that he’s officially blogmatic, it might be cool every once in a while to split a topic between our sites. Who knows how or if that will work, but fuck it these are uncertain times…

Anyway, a couple of days ago he posted up some info and a bunch of awesome songs by Tim Maia, the legendary musician who helped bring soul music to Brazil in the late ’60s. The focus of the post was on a period in the mid ’70s when Tim was overwhelmed by, what is stupidtelligently described as ‘an infatuation with the religious/philosophical sect called Cultura Rational (Rational Culture)’. So anyway, the post is mostly about the (amazing) music he made during that period, but I figured to support I’d provide a little of the back story. Here’s what I found in an old issue of The Fader magazine:

Following a particularly heartbreaking parting with a girlfriend, Maia’s lyricist friend Tiberio Gaspar introduced him to Rational Culture, a marginal religious sect with beliefs that involve UFOs, extraterrestrials and more. His conversion was nearly instantaneous. Maia gave up his personal possessions, cut his Afro and stopped partaking in drugs and booze–an impressive move considering his talents as a world-class abuser. Nelson Motta, music impresario and friend, recalled the results on Tim Maia Vol 1 & 2 to Brazilian magazine Trip, “Tim was at the top of his game as a singer. Strong and healthy, without smoke in his lungs, nor cocaine or alcohol in his blood, he was colossal! His vocal performances on these two albums are some of the best of his career (and of Brazilian pop music).”

WTF is Rational Culture (bka Cultura Racional) you ask? In a review of Racional Vol 1, the first of 3 albums Tim made about Rational Culture, I found this little rundown:

Cultura Racional was founded by Manoel Jacinto Coelho. He was born in 1903 in the Tijuca quarter of Rio, and it is said that at the moment of his birth, a comet or cosmic mass landed in his neighborhood and entered his body, thus supplying him with knowledge heretofore hidden from the rest of mankind.

Despite his many messianic qualities, he never claimed that Cultura Racional was a religion or that he was a god, he was simply a bringer of the truth of truths which he outlined in his series of books, The Universe in Disenchantment. Among some of the truths he elucidated was that human beings are parasites and that the arrival of an extraterrestrial race of creatures on Earth was imminent. To that end he even built a motel for their lodging at his estate in the suburbs of Rio.

It all fell apart eventually – rumor is that after a couple of years watching the skies for aliens and after having converted his entire band to Cultural Racional Tim left the sect and never performed any of the songs he recorded about them ever again. They only started to see re-release after he died in 1998.

So there it is, for whatever it’s worth, a footnote to THIS POST that you should immediately check because it has many many great songs in it.

Here’s a sample to groove to:
Imunizacao Racional

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Also, you can download all the Racional albums from Música pra quê?, an admirably random music blog from which I jacked the above photo. I strongly recommend this. I’ve been bumping Vol 1 all day. Haven’t even been able to get through to Vols 2 & 3….

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