Last Fa! of the year, the happening of Mex Urtizberea: love, politics and that chaos that some call life
We Argentines talk about politics. It’s part of our small talk. Some talk about the weather; We love to get dirty with the mud of politics. “How are you,” a thirty-something guy says to a friend who has just arrived. “Disgusted,” replies the other, “I can’t stand politics anymore.” And immediately and against all logic, he begins to give his opinion on the elections, the names in motion for the ministries, the first measures that the elected president should take.
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The scene is real. It was eight o’clock at night on a weekday, we were in the garden of a house in Caballito, and the two friends—one blonde and tall, the other dark-haired and tall—were drinking beer from plastic cups. They weren’t the only ones talking about politics. It could be said that in each small group in that garden: near the pool, on the grill, next to the stairs, in the covered space, at the rate of once a minute he mentioned it to Javier Milei.
There was good music—Virus, Charly, all the national rock—, a pleasant climate, a lot of laughter. The pool had balloons and a neon heart. From the bottom came the smell of the grill. But everyone talked—we talked—about politics. Until it started. And then politics was left aside.
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The last meeting of the year for ¡Fa!, the happening organized by Mex Urtizberea, dealt with love. We Argentines talk about politics, but also – tango knows this well – we are passionate about talking about love.
Mex Urtizberea, host of each of these meetings
Maybe I’ll forget about you, maybe you’ll forget about me
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What is Fa!? The presentation says that it is a cycle of live music, talks and reflections shared from Mex’s house, which can be seen on the YouTube channel Esto es Fa.
The truth is that Fa! It’s an experience. You arrive at eight at night —“Punctual!”, the invitation said; which, in other words, means that you have to be there more or less before eight thirty—you drink something, you eat something delicious, you talk to people, you go back to drinking and eating, you meet other people, and at some point you end up around a long table where musicians, actors, journalists, writers, celebrities and Mex speak. You have to go, you have to experience it. You have to let yourself be enveloped by that chaos that some call life.
FA! It started in April 2022; a year or so ago. Each meeting has a thematic axis. They talked about football, magic, wine, friendship, books, the Falklands and even student day. And they participated from Mercedes Morán to Nacha Guevara, from Joaquín Levinton to Gabriel Rolón, from Paulina Cocina to Santiago Motorizado.
Yes: the video of Santiago Motorizado singing “You won’t be able to” is from ¡Fa!. Because after spending time at the table, we all go back to the garden to listen to music.
Group photo with all the guests of the last ¡Fa! of the year
What are they going to talk to me about love?
There are always many guests at the table; This time there were about fifteen. From many different places: Cecilia Roth, Elena Roger, Tamara Tenenbaum, Martín Kohan, Marico Carmona, REP – who did not speak but drew -, Costa, Charo López, Fede Bal, the Airbags, Acru and Emiliano Brancciari, the singer of NTVG.
Since there are so many of them and they talk about so many issues, the conversation never dies down. But neither does a topic finish rounding off. Perhaps because that is precisely what they seek to avoid.
“My first love was my mother,” Mex said, “and at six I fell in love with Miss Sylvia. As a teenager I had urgent passions.” That was followed by a conversation that went back and forth around the table debating how many loves one can have in life. Costa, much more histrionic than the others, sang and recited with an unbeatable memory classic verses from the Golden Age—and also some apocryphal verses by Borges. For Martín Kohan the answer is clear: love always works as if it were unique and eternal. Each love is absolute, and absolutes follow one another. “My beloveds will continue to be loved,” Roth said.
“The idea that love will solve your life and resolve personal anguish and emptiness is false,” said Cecilia Roth.
The question about time affected some. Fede Bal said that love should last seven months. Someone, perhaps Charo López, brought up the seventh-year itch, and Emiliano, who lives a love from a distance—his partner is in Neuquén—said that this way allowed him to combat the routine and maintain the love. And the loneliness? “The idea that love will solve your life and resolve personal anguish and emptiness is false,” said Cecilia Roth. “How difficult it is to be alone,” Kohan said. “People are obsessed with love,” said Tamara Tenenbaum, “in a bar all the people talk about love.”
But what do we talk about when we talk about love? The topics of the table included love and negotiation (Charo López), love and desire (Guido Sardelli, from Airbag), love and freedom (Marico), love and fidelity (Fede Bal), love and honesty (Elena Roger). It could be said that, in all cases, each one spoke of the second term. Love has an elusive condition.
Emiliano from NTVG played “Altadirt” and Acru joined with a freestyle
a little french love
The ice broken, the fire remained. The guests got up from the table and we with them. And the set was put together for the music. Once again the friends had a moment to meet outside and line up to eat a turkey sandwich, a slice of pizza and some cheeses, but no one talked about politics anymore. Could it be that love ends controversies?
When everything was ready, Mex at the piano first invited Elena Roger, who is on the bill with the musical Piaf, and with pristine elegance she sang “La vie en rose.” The song is such a classic that, after listening to it so much, it seems transparent. And yet, it was like hearing it for the first time. Roger gave it an amazing polenta; The only bad thing was that she did that one song and left.
Next was Emiliano from NTVG and, once again, the miracle. He sang two songs, one by Charly and the other by Calamaro, bringing together two traditions that should never have been separated: “I am not a stranger” and “High dirt.” It is very difficult for things to get as far as they did in a single trip. In “Alta Suciedad”, Acru also joined in, improvising a freestyle above the solo, but, due to a distortion in the speaker, what he was saying could not be fully heard.
On Monday, December 18, Mex and company have a new party at the Art Media Complex
And the Sardelli brothers closed. “I played with the Airbags!” Mex shouted after an infernal version of “Ala Delta”, Divididos’ song. With a classic power trio + piano scheme, they also covered Spinetta and Led Zeppelin.
Fa! It does not finish. On Monday, December 18 at 8 p.m. —on time!— Mex and company have a new party at the Art Media Complex (Corrientes 6271). With DJs, guests and live music. Tickets are on sale through Passline.