When in Portland, I had dinner with my friend Nev with whom I worked at Intel several lifetimes ago. We would occasionally swap CDs in the office. I lent him Michelle Malone (this obsession is not new) and he lent me Nazan Oncel – kind of a Turkish analog to Michelle, at least on Sokak Kızı which is the album I heard back then.
Nev is in some ways my hero. He quit Intel about a year or two after I did, but has managed to go a big chunk of a decade without needing a day job. By day trading and selling some of his Intel stock, he has stayed afloat and occasionally dabbled in entrepreneurial pursuits. Being a dork, though, one of his projects was to digitize his entire CD collection. He did that, and when he had dinner he gave me a DVD that he had burned for me with hundreds of CDs worth of Turkish pop MP3s, including several Nazan albums. Thank you Nev! Hell, I might even play a little of this on upcoming clambakes. I can’t understand a word, but I dig it. The one time I met Bruce Sterling in person at a book signing, we talked briefly about Turkish pop culture. He has a great love for Turkish Cypress.