From the Archives: Ric Befara Reviews Traditional Indian Music

Greetings, all. Ric Befara here. Ready to roast your rump, broil your bong, fry your fang dangly dang.

For the past few months I’ve been dating this 18 year old girl and sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. Back in the day, when I was young and limber in the late 70’s, any girl could get into any club if she was by my side– young, old or otherwise. And this girl’s gorgeous, but now I’m some overaged frang dangly dang and all the clubs are owned by earring wearing, color-haired bastards trying to look like the latest superstar of stage and screen.

They haven’t heard of Ric Befara, let alone my contributions to the world of underground culture. They don’t understand the style of a light blue Thunderbird that doesn’t always start. They zip around in their champagne colored Mercedes, ponytails flyin’ high in the breeze, souls rotting away from the inside.

I was supposed to see the Beta Band, the already overhyped weirdos who used to wear costumes to interviews, and were in the middle of a short North American tour. I called the club like three times trying to get press passes, but was told that it was too late, and finally, to “quit fuckin’ calling. We’ve never heard of Ric Befara.” I would have paid the cover I guess, but my girlfriend couldn’t get in– it was a 21+ show.

Enough of this shit anyway. On to the world of music, which has me in a politically active mode. This MP3 bullshit going is just typical of what’s wrong with corporate music. Big labels need to chill out. Cool down their bang bangly dangs. I’m sick of major label music anyway. You think your ancestors listened to music through all thick layers of filtration and 58 different sound altering devices? No, they sat around under the stars banging on drums made of animal skin and trees and plucking at dried intestines tied at the ends of a wooden bowl.

Which leads me into the latest Ricrec. This is for the musically pure out there, the throwbacks whose technology doesn’t extend beyond a wind-up Swiss watch they got from their grandfather and that doesn’t always “work”. And don’t worry, you can afford this CD.

I just bought it for $5.97. That’s 597 cents and that’s 20 songs. That’s a little short of 30 cents per song. If you get even the slightest enjoyment out of this collection, it’s paid you back in spades.

What’s this great CD you say? Chill your rang bangly stangs for a second. The caption on the cover reads: “Hypnotic Rhythms and subtle melodies from the great sub-continent.” My own addition to that, if I were in charge of the cover, would be this: “Sounds of your primitive being, thousand year old tunes of unparalleled beauty, costing less than 35 cents each.”

It’s the oldest marketing trick in the world, hook ’em with the heart and soul, snag ’em with the discount.

The album: “World of Music: India.” 20 songs, most of which aren’t even copyrighted. The musical line-up consists of sitar and tablas and voice. This is music like a bowl of rice, simple and nourishing. Unadorned beauty and wisdom. Hard charging, emotional sitar and heart pounding tablas. Wordless music in a language everyone understands. Chaos out of order and order out of chaos. This is an album full of mystery, wonder and love.

And we did love it. You don’t need any ID to sit in a park on a warm summer night with some traditional drums and a little Aiwa blaster, listening to centuries old music under the stars, sippin’ on your King Fischer out of a wooden cup, slappin’ away on your drum, and exchanging love with your woman while the world starts and stops in its infinite, ancient rhythm.

USOUNDS | 1999

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