Lisa Said's second solo album Missed Connections is available now though on Tall Short Records. The record was co-produced by Lisa and Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Nilson Dourado, in Portugal. Featuring seven songs addressing the complications of communications across different cultures and languages... Lisa is a third-culture kid - born and raised in Tennessee to Egyptian parents. The album meshes the United Nations of contributors with an elegant elan, oh man! hear that understated percussion, organ and guitars coalesce around Lisa's voice, resulting in a gorgeous and at times esoteric resolution to a delicate and rootsy Americana. Confidence can't be feigned and Missed Connections is a confident record for sure.
Lisa decamped from Washington DC to Portugal moments before the pandemic and the attendant lockdowns began. She found herself scurrying around Lisbon to secure a guitar just to play as she waited, and waited for her instruments to arrive from the US. Becoming acclimated to Portugal in the pandemic, caused some more extreme version of the isolation so many felt around the globe at the time. There was a new language barrier to overcome too, and yet Lisa is now well established amongst a group of like-minded musicians from Europe, Brazil, the US, and African-Lusophone countries, who have become her local family. Here's Lisa's five things, great and slight that matter...
TRAIN LINE TO CASCAIS
Lisbon is the first city I’ve lived in with easy access and public transportation to the beach. Other than NYC — I never went to the beaches when I lived there except for Coney Island for SirenFest 2001 and some other hipster adventures. I love taking public transport to some of the beaches here, it’s really a treat to be able to go and come back on the same day. I had to see it to believe it before I moved to Lisbon a little over 3 years ago. Since then, I’ve been a bit excessive with going to the beach as often as I can in the summer. The only thing is about the Atlantic Ocean experience here that is very different from the East Coast is that the water on the Portugal side is quite cold.
This saved me my last 2 years in Washington, DC. I had a lot of daily anxiety, especially when driving, and this helped me mellow out, distance myself from situations if they became too intense. For example, CBD oil helped prevent potential road rage. I don’t drive anymore, though I still take some thought. Fortunately, I don’t have to depend as much as I used it.
https://radio.garden “explore live radio by rotating the globe”
I love this application, it’s basically an aggregator of all the internet radio stations put on a globe interface that you can hop around on. It’s what I use every day in the morning when I’m waking up to listen to Portuguese news radio to learn the sound of the language. Also, I love to go globetrotting to different countries — mostly in Southern Europe and North Africa. It’s just fun to scan around and hear what people are playing in different countries, what people sound like or what their music sounds like. I used to have a shortwave radio that I would travel with just to hear radio from around the world — that was exciting about 20 years ago, though disappointing with bad connections. RadioGarden is definitely a better version of that. (Sadly UK users are now restricted to UK stations only)
ELECTRIC FLY SWATTER
I learned about this electric fly swatter within my first 6 months of living in Lisbon from my friends from South Africa. In buying one, I also learned about the wonders of “loja do chinês” (Chinese store) in Portugal —everything store kind of like a dollar store in the US, though they don’t sell food or edible items, and it has so much randomness to offer. This electric fly swatter been a savior for the times of year flies decide to make habit of coming in the open window. I know some people think it’s cruel, though I don’t care. Sometimes when I zap one fly, five will fly out of the window on their own. So, overall it’s effective at saving some flies lives. Truly, it’s a sanity saver when a fly or three decide to get comfortable in your home.
DeepL is what I consider AI for good. It’s an online translator that uses machine learning to hone into the nuances of grammar and modern languages, and it is so much better than other online translators. A friend of mine from France that lives in Lisbon introduced me to it after using it to go between French, English, and Portuguese. It doesn’t work for all languages, though it’s very good with Latin languages, especially for Portuguese from Europe which is not as common as translators for Brazilian Portuguese. There have been countless times when I just use DeepL to help learn the language better when I text with friends in Portuguese. It also helps translate longer emails and texts when I just need to know what is being communicated, quickly.
Lisa Said's Missing Connections is available now from Bandcamp here⇒