Kabir Vega Castellanos

HAVANA TIMES — Cuarteto de Nos is an Uruguayan rock band that made a very powerful first impression on me with their music video – the only one I’ve seen, in fact – for the song Ya no se que hacer conmigo (“I No Longer Know What to do With Myself”), from the album Raro (“Weirdo”).

The song describes the dilemmas faced by a person who has explored everything society offers to the last consequences: being rich, poor, famous, religious, vegetarian…being a race car driver, reading, traveling or lying. The result of this is indifference and a feeling of emptiness. For the character in the song, everything has become equally futile.

In my family, showing the music video to everyone who came over to our house became something of a ritual. Even though I was a child and couldn’t grasp the magnitude of the message, the band appealed to me greatly and, some time later, I made a point of finding out what I could about them.

In addition to listening to some of their other albums, like Bipolar and Porfiado (“Stubborn”), I learned that they are very popular in Uruguay and that they are liked by people of different ages, from children to the elderly.

In their songs, they are very sarcastic and show a great sense of humor. Like Chaplin, who combined humor with social criticisms in his films, the quartet surprises us with messages that make us smile (an even laugh) while inviting us to reflect on the contradictions individuals face, the hypocrisy of society and the existential angst that stems from it.

I have made a habit of listening to their songs, and I often ask myself why the band is next to unknown in our country.

I feel their well-elaborated and meaningful music could be very appealing to young people in Cuba. The band should at least appear as one of the official options (they are, after all, Latin American and sing in Spanish).

Below are the lyrics of the first song by the band I ever heard, so as to give you a sense of the kinds of things they express.

I No Longer Know What to do With Myself

I’ve already been forced to go to mass, I’ve already played For Elisa on the piano
I’ve already learned to fake a smile; I’ve already walked across a cornice
I’ve already moved my bed; I’ve already done comedy and drama
I was to the point and went off in a tangent, I’ve already played the nice guy and had bad press

I’ve already been ethical and erratic, I’ve been a skeptic and a fanatic
I’ve already been indifferent and methodic, I’ve been prudish and chaotic
I’ve already read Arthur Conan Doyle, I’ve had my share of gas oil
I’ve already read Breton and Moliere, I’ve already slept on a mattress and sommier
I’ve already dyed my hair, I’ve already been against and in favor
What once brought me pleasure now brings me pain, I’ve already stood on the other side of the counter

 And I hear the senseless voice that says: “You’re always changing, you’ll never change again.”
And it’s all more of the same, I no longer know what to do with myself

 I’ve already made a mountain out of a molehill, I’ve already planted coffee trees in Nicaragua
I’ve already tried my luck in the United States, I’ve already played Russian roulette. 

I’ve already believed in martians, I’ve already been a healthy vegetarian
I was the man who stayed put and was a gypsy, I was calm and had it up to here 

I took a course in mythology, but the gods were laughing at me
I tried my hand at goldsmithing, and here I am trying to keep things rhyming
I’ve tried this and that, I’ve smoked, I’ve drunk, I’ve quit, I’ve signed, I’ve traveled, I’ve struck
I’ve suffered, I’ve ducked, I’ve fled, I’ve taken it on, I’ve left, I’ve come back, I’ve faked, I’ve lied
In the midst of so much falsity, some of my lies have become truths,
I was quick to make enemies and got bogged down in trivial details

 And I hear the voice that rightly says: “You’re always changing, you’ll never change again.”
And it’s all more of the same, I no longer know what to do with myself 

Inside… 

I already had a facelift, I’ve already got a piercing, I went to see the dream-team and there was no feeling
I had Che Guevara tattooed on my bum, above the words “Baby”, so that it wouldn’t rub off
I’ve already laughed and cared nothing about things and people that frighten me today,
I’ve already fasted needlessly for this and that cause, I’ve already had my fill of pollo al spiedo
I’ve already gone to the shrink, I’ve gone to the theologist, I’ve gone to the astrologist and the oenologist
I’ve already been an alcoholic and a creep, I’ve already been anonymous and dieted
I’ve already thrown stones and spat at the place where I now work
And my file clearly says I both behaved and was depraved

And I hear the voice that rightly says: “You’re always changing, you’ll never change again.”
And it’s all more of the same, I no longer know what to do with myself
And I hear the senseless voice that says: “You’re always changing, you’ll never change again.”
And it’s all more of the same, I no longer know what to do with myself

Kabir Vega

I am a young man whose development in life has not been what many might consider normal or appropriate, but I don’t regret it. Although I am very reserved, I dissent strongly from many things. I believe that society, and not only of Cuba, is wrong and needs to change. I love animals sometimes even more than myself since they lack evil. I am also a fan of the world of Otaku. I started in Havana Times because it allowed me to tell some experiences and perhaps encourage some change in my country. I may be naive in my arguments, but I am true to my principles.

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