Bat Makumba

Bat Makumba

BandWorldLatin

Bat Makumba has been packing houses in the West Coast and beyond. This eclectic, World/Brazilian band mixes the equatorial beats of Brazil with the punk, rock and funk influences of the US. You don't want to miss this kinetic, percussive sound... join the renegade carnaval party that is Bat Makumba!

Biography

The brainchild of Brazilian natives Alex Koberle and Emiliano Benevides and Americano bassist Carl Remde, Bat Makumba is the crossroads between the equatorial beats of Brazil and the punk, rock and funk influences of the U.S. and Europe. Locals to San Francisco, Bat Makumba's show is a hip renegade carnaval party full of tropicalia tinged ska, punk influenced forro, and rock infused samba.

Since their debut in 2000 Bat Makumba have garnered critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base throughout the West Coast. Winners of a California Music Award for Best Latin Alternative Album and a SF Weekly Music Award for Best World Music Band, Bat Makumba have been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of Five Latin Bands to Watch, and their debut album was named one of the Best Records of the Year by the East Bay Express.

Incorporating the varied influences of horn player David Gibbs, keyboardist Jason Moen and drummer Noah Waldman, Bat Makumba's live show brings together an international palette of musicians and instrumentation (including accordion, zabumba, megaphone, clarinet and alfaia). Named after the 70s classic Tropicalia song by Caetano Veloso + Gilberto Gil (popularized by Os Mutantes), "Bat Makumba" loosely translates to mean the mixing of Brazilian traditionalism with international pop culture.

How would you describe the sound of this CD?
‘Boteco’ is an artful mixture of neo-futuristic traditional Brazilian rhythms with the right quantity of the best North American spices. It is funk and rock boiling and baking with samba, maracatu, frevo and baiao.

What are the main influences for the CDs?
Chico Science, Samba Schools (from the warm sunny street Carnivals of Brazil), Lenine, Brazilian Modernism and Tropicalism, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Zappa, Serge Gainsbourg, Chico Buarque among many others.

What is the significance of ‘Boteco’?
Think about the French Cafés where all the intellectuals would meet, the PUB (Public Houses) in England and Ireland or a San Francisco, North Beach Beatnik café or bar.
A boteco is a small bar or pub in Brasil were you can find dealers and philosophers, pimps and doctors talking about life, writing poems or theatre plays, sharing ideas about soccer and politics or simply celebrating or lamenting their lives. They are usually the last bars you find open (if they ever close), so it is where a bohemian can finish the night or start the day.

What makes Bat Makumba unique?
Put Pele and Mohammed Ali in a fictional mix machine. Now add Frank Zappa, Sergio Mendes, Tom Jobim and Roger Waters and fuse into one. What a mix eh?
Bat Makumba is this fusion, multiplied by 2.

Don't miss this kinetic, percussive music... join the renegade carnaval party that is Bat Makumba!

Lyrics

Que Nada É Peixe

Written By: A.Koberle

Translation follows.

QUE NADA E’ PEIXE
(Letra e Música: A. Koberle e E. Benevides)

Que nada é peixe, rapá.
Que nada é peixe.
Você me disse que tava fazendo nada
Que nada é peixe, rapá.
Que nada é peixe.

Me enrosquei cuma cavala
Me mordeu que nem traíra
Jurou que eu era o seu jaú
E ela, o meu pirarucu.

Piraputanga desgraçada
Ela era um peixe sem escama
Peguei ela noite passada
Com um tubarão na minha cama.

Que nada é peixe.

Confrontei essa moréia
Com meu bom ferrão de arraia
Ela falou que o jurupoca
Tava mais prá lambari

Sua corvina libidinosa
Não me venha com essa prosa
Fica quieta senão tu apanha
Que tu não passa de uma piranha.

Que nada é peixe. WHAT SWIMS IS A FISH
(***see footnotes)
(Lyrics and music: A. Koberle and E. Benevides)

What swims is a fish, man.
What swims is a fish.
You told me you weren't doing anything
What swims is a fish.

I got tangled with a cavala
She bit me like a traíra
She swore I was her jaú
And she, my pirarucu.

That damned piraputanga
She was a fish with no scales
Cause I caught her last night
With a shark in my bed.

What swims is a fish.

I confronted this morey eel
With my trusty sting ray stinger
But she said that the jurupoca
Looked more like a lambari

You libidinous corvina
Don't give this crap
Shut up or you're gonna get it
Cause you're nothing but a piranha.

What swims is a fish.
This translation needs some footnotes:

The Portuguese title of this song (Que Nada é Peixe) is a common Brazilian idiomatic expression using the fact that the word nada has two meanings: as a noun it means nothing, as a verb it means swims. So, say you suspect someone is up to no good and you ask them
"What are you up to?"
"Nothin'," they'll probably say, which in Portuguese would be Nada.
"Yeah, right," you might reply in English. In Brazil, we'd say "Nada? Que nada é peixe" meaning "Yeah, right. You're full of it."

So we had the idea to write a song based on this exchange, using the names of Brazilian fish, many of which are used in Brazilian vernacular to describe certain types of people. Some other fish names suggest other Portuguese words that may be applied to the situation at hand:

Cavala: a type of small tuna, used to describe a buxom woman
Traíra: a fierce fish with sharp teeth, suggesting the verb trair, to betray.
Jaú: a large docile fish
Pirarucu: the largest fresh water fish in the world, the word cú meaning ass.
Piraputanga: a useless little fish whose name may be rearranged to say puta pirada meaning crazy whore.
Jurupoca: a fish with an impressive name
Lambari: a tiny little silver fish
Corvina: a fish with a female sounding name
Piranha: pirana; in vernacular Portuguese, a slut.

Trabalha

Written By: A.Koberle

Translation follows.

TRABALHA
(Letra e Música: A. Koberle)

Trabalha, come, dorme (que)
Trabalha, come, dorme (que)
Trabalha, come, dorme (que)
Trabalha

Vai bater o ponto na segunda-feira
Trabalha todo dia pra ganhar migalha
Passa o dia sentado numa cadeira
Pensa que é dono do maracangalha

chorus

Se sente mutito grande por que tem um carro
Fala com muita gente pelo telefone
Se sente muito sexy fumando um cigarro
E comandando a massa pelo megafone

chorus

Terno italiano na Viera Souto
Cospe num moleque pedindo trocado
Moleque sai de banda assim meio maroto
Pensa se matar esse cabra seria pecado

É, pois é.

É, moleque da turma do ralé
Jogando bola de chinelo e soltando buscapé
Pela idade devia tar chupando picolé
Mas pra controlar sua furia só mesmo tomando mé

É pois é.

Tem cada uma que nao da pra acreditar
A gente vira a outra face esperando eles cansar
Mas em caso de amnesia a cura mesmo é apanhar
Mas em caso de amnesia a cura mesmo é apanhar WORK
(Words and Lyrics: A.Koberle)

Work , eat, sleep
Work , eat, sleep
Work , eat, sleep
Work.

Go punch the clock on Monday morning
Work all day to make crumbles
Spend all day sitting on a chair
But think he owns the whole world

Chorus

Thinks he’s the man cause he’s got a car
Talks to lots of people on the telephone
Feels very sexy smoking cigarettes
And commanding the masses with a megaphone

Chorus

Italian suit on Vieira Souto
Spits on a boy begging for change
The boy skips away full of jive
And thinks if killing this guy would be a sin.

Yeah, that’s right.

Yeah, a brat from the dirt poor gang
Plays soccer in flip-flops and plays with fire crackers
In his age he should be having a popsicle
But to control his rage only drinking booze.

Yeah, that’s right.

There are some things hard to believe
We turn the other face waiting for them to tire,
But in case of amnesia, the cure is to get beaten
In case of amnesia the cure is to get beaten.

Uma Gota

Written By: A.Koberle

Translation follows.

UMA GOTA
(Letra: A. Koberle, Música: Bat Makumba)

Uma gota de água na poça de lama
Uma gota de pinga no caco de vidro
Uma gota de sangue na ponta da faca
Uma gota de compaixão nos olhos de um tira.

Uma gota de dor no beco da rua
Uma gota de mel nos lábios da moca
Uma gota de chuva na beira do rio
Uma gota de pilha no grama de pó.

A DROP
(Lyrics: A. Koberle, Music: Bat Makumba)

A drop of water in the puddle of mud
A drop of booze in the shard of glass
A drop of blood in the tip of the knife
A drop of compassion in the eyes of a cop.

A drop of pain in the dead end street
A drop of honey on the lips of a girl
A drop of rain on the river shore
A drop of energy in the gram of blow.

'Ça Minina

Written By: A.Koberle

translation follows.

'ÇA MININA
(Música e Letra: A. Koberle)

Essa minina ta' me dando mole tá me dando mole tá me dando mole
Essa minina tá me dando mole, olha lá que eu sei que ela tá me dando mole

Ela tá sempre me olhando com seus olhos de turquesa que sabem como me provocar
Sem dar na cara ela me manda uma calorzinho com seu jeitinho bem maroto e continua a rebolar
Eu sei que um dia eu vou morder seu pescocinho vou lhe dar dez mil beijinhos vou fazer ela gritar
Mas por enquanto a gente fica nessa onda nesse jogo de cintura que se chama paquerar

chorus

Essa vontade de correr pro lado dela de agarrar sua cintura de tirá-la pra dancar
Me dá um friozinho na barriga um medo de ser inadequado um receio de ela num me aceitar
Mas ela segue me olhando me mandando um calorzinho me encorajando a tentar lhe conquistar
Que acho até que vou ter que criar corajem vou deixar de ser criança e vou ser homem pra encarar

chorus

THIS GIRL
(Music and lyrics: A. Koberle)

This girl is flirting with me, flirting with me, flirting with me
This girl is flirting with me, yes i know this girl is flirting with me

She is always looking at me with her turquoise eyes that know how to provoke me
Without being obvious she sends me some heat with her flirty ways and shakes her hips
I know one day I'll bite her neck, I'l give her ten-thousand kisses, i'll make her scream
But for now we go on with this game of give and take called flirting

chorus

This desire to run to her side, to grab her waist, to ask her to dance
makes my soul run cold, afraid of being inadequate, that she might turn me away
But she goes on eyeing me, sending me this heat, encouraging me to come to her
That I think I'll have to get some courage, grow up and face her like a man.

chorus

Meu Caminhar

Written By: A.Koberle

translation follows.

MEU CAMINHAR
(Letra: A. Koberle, Música: A.Koberle, C. Remde)

Minha saudade daquelas divinas tardes que eu passava viajando os sertões do meu pensar.

Sonhava ser mais que humilde ser humano a pisar o chão daqui dessa terra.

Hoje me encontro num cruzar de desencontros mais perdido no caminho que escolhi a caminhar.

A cada passo mais decido a caminhada vale mais que o lugar adonde se há de chegar.

Vou carregando a lembrança de tudo que já se foi e uma fome imensa do que inda virá.

E não me esqueço que o futuro há de trazer muita surpresa e que no fim o que será de mim, será.

MY WALKING
(Lyrics: A. Koberle, Music: A.Koberle, C. Remde)

My nostalgia for those divine afternoons that I spent travelling the backlands of my thoughts.

I dreamt of being more than a humble human being walking the grounds of this land.

Today I find myself in a crossing of crossroads more lost in the paths that I chose to walk.

With each step I decide the walk itself is worth more than the destination.

I carry the memory of all that's gone and an immense hunger for all that's to come.

And I don't forget that the future will bring much surprise and that in the end what will be of me will be.

Resolução

Written By: A.Koberle

Translation follows.

RESOLUÇÃO
(Letra e Música: A. Koberle)

Tem uma tristeza no ar
Me fez vir até aqui te buscar
Olhei me abri te dei meu coração
E mais uma vez encontrei desilusão

Amor no começo é sempre flores
Coisa de louco como vem chegando as dores
Devagar pequenina vai se acumulando
Prá depois de um tempo deixar os dois chorando

Eu resolvi que não vou mais amar
Deixar que me embalem os ventos da paixão
Vou deixar esse pranto de lado vou fazer um samba bem gozado
Eu quero mais é saber de gargalhar

Amor, xô, xô vai simbora daqui
Não quero mais saber do seu ti-ti-ti
Amor, xô, xô vai simbora pro além
Não quero mais saber do seu nhém-nhém-nhém.

Fiz até promessa num bar
Não vou deixar nada disso me abalar
Mandei baixar uma gelada pro santo
Peguei a viola e logo entoei um canto

Amor hoje em dia é uma palvra fútil
Usada demais acaba se tornando inútil
Tanta tristeza no meu coracao
Que achei melhor fazer essa resolução

chorus

RESOLUTION
(Words and lyrics: A. Koberle)

There is a sadness in the air
It made me come here to find you
I looked, I opened my heart
And once again I was disillusioned.

Love in the beginning is all flowers
Crazy thing how the sorrows start to come
Slowly, small, they accumulate
And after a while leaves both crying.

I decided not to love again
Not let the winds of passion blow me around
I will leave this crying aside, I will make a funny samba
What I really want is to laugh outloud.

Love, shoo, shoo, get out of here
I don’t want any more of your nagging
Love, shoo, shoo, go and leave me alone
I don’t want any more of your whining.

I even made promises in bars.
Not to let any of this rock my world
So I asked my saint for a cold one
Grabbed the guitar and started a song.

Love these days is a futile word
Used too much it ends up being useless
So much sadness in my heart
That I thought it better to make this resolution

chorus

Siding

Written By: Lyrics-Alex Koberle, Music-Bat Makumba

Siding

Stuck in a siding by the railroad tracks
I got a monkey with a silver spoon scratching my back
I got an old copper time piece and a glass mind’s eye
I gotta couple of minutes before I die.

Out in the distance I can hear the train whistle
I was up to no good so now I’m like a thorn thistle
When I gave you my love you looked it in the mouth
And said “I’m sorry but I got somebody waiting down South.”

Hey well now you come knocking on my door
Saying “Sorry I was wrong he was not what I was looking for
I guess I should be glad but to tell you the truth
I got a bit of pride left so it’s a tooth for a tooth.

Standing in th corner by the station
Feeling lonely going nowhere
One step at a time
But I know the journey shall remain the final goal...

Stuck in a siding by the railroad tracks
I got a monkey with a silver spoon scratching my back
I got an old copper time piece and a glass mind’s eye
I gotta couple of minutes before I die.

Nação Francisco

Written By: Lyrics-Benevides/Koberle, Music-Bat Makumba

Nação Francisco

Vim de lá, já cheguei
Toda Nação Francisco eu chamei
Vim cantar pra voces
Esse baque virado em Ingles

Muito longe daqui eu nasci
Sou de lá mas tambem sou daqui
Sou daqui mas tambem sou de lá
Tenho um pouco de todo lugar.

What is it, I am quem eu sou
Qu’est que je suis I don’t know
Here and there I am from everywhere
Qu’est que tu m’appele, I don’t care.

Natureza

Written By: Lyrics-Alex Koberle, Music-Bat Makumba

Natureza.

A cidade, o asfalto, a fumaça
O rebuliço de uma selva de pedra
O grito urgente da urgência da caça
A força bruta que todos nos engedra

A maravilha da brilhança das luzes
A buraqueira da calçada de pedra
O dedo em riste no gatilho dos arbuzes
O tiro seco que secas vidas encerra

Os automoveis nas arterias de asfalto
Redes nervosas atravessam o planalto
As linguas vivas em total sutileza
Sabedoria que transmite certeza

O ser humano continua o processo
Da grande roda do saber do Universo
Inteligência do fantasma na máquina
Ve um oceano numa gota de lágrima

São tantas caras, faces, olhos, cabeleiras
Tantas bocas, tantas línguas, idiomas, indigências
Tantos medos, ódios, forças exigindo obediência
Mas também nessa loucura vejo um passo no progresso
Da visão da natureza.

Gaia me falou numa noite de luar
“Esse meu amor nunca há de se acabar,
Quando tudo mais se for vou poder recomeçar
E de tudo que passou ninguém há de se lembrar.”

Discography

BAT MAKUMBA - BOTECO
The second, full length CD released 11/07

BAT MAKUMBA
Self-titled, debut CD released 06/03
"Outstanding Latin Alternative Album" - California Music Awards (winner 2004)
"One of the Best Records of 2003" - East Bay Express

Both CDs can be heard on World/Brazilian radio programs and streaming on the internet.

Set List

Sets range from 60 to 120 minutes. Mostly original music, some covers with original arrangements.

Workshops on Brazilian percussion, music and culture can also be arranged for groups of all sizes, ages and musical proficiency.