“Food is music to the body, music is food to the heart.”
– Gregory David Roberts, author
It has been awhile since I’ve been out “clubbing” – and I don’t mean the disco (are they still called discos?) – I just mean going out to a club. Of any sort. It’s not really my thing, and here in BA, given that they generally don’t open until midnight-ish, let’s just say that’s outside of my timezone. Henry’s a regular at a variety of sorts, and particularly likes going to what are called peñas – dance halls with, usually, folk music of some sort, often ramped up for a bit more spirited bopping about. There’s one that he likes quite a bit, Peña Los Cumpas (cumpas is slang for compañeros, or companions), which takes place just one Saturday eve a month, and features musical performances from Jujuy, up in the northwest of Argentina. We had a recent Saturday night free, and since the event starts around 9:30, I acquiesced.
Like most things here, there was no chance it would start on time. First off, turns out that the live music isn’t scheduled to start until 10:30, the first hour is recorded tunes and eating…
…which is pretty basic – humitas, tamales, empanadas, and locro. We sampled a little of each. The empanadas were a trifle burned, but other than that, everything was actually decent, and the prices aren’t bad – respectively for the four items, 12, 4, 7, and 18 pesos…
…they even have their own wine, or at least their own label. It apparently comes at random in varietal, since there’s nothing listed on the menu for selection, we got a bottle of Syrah, the next table over got a Cabernet, someone down at the other end of our table got a Malbec.
Now, not surprisingly, the 10:30 start time for the band of the evening was optimistic. They didn’t even arrive until 11:15, and then had a beer or two, and then around 11:45 started doing sound checks, and finally got going around 12:15, after first taking another beer break. I stayed for about 20 minutes, called it quits, and left Henry and his friends on the dance floor to move smoothly about to the rhythms. I’m not much of a dancer to begin with, and some of these folklore dances are way beyond anything I want to attempt.