1. Os Mutantes - Haih Or Amortecedor
2. Rodrigo Y Gabriela - 11:11
3. V/A - Panama! Vol.2
4. Nelly Furtado - Mi Plan
5. V/A - A Orillas Del Magdalena -- Coastal Cumbias From Colombia's Discos Fuentes (LP)
6. Mario Ortiz All Star Band - Mario Ortiz All Star Band Tributo 45 Aniversario
7. V/A - Black Rio Vol.2
8. V/A - Psicofasicos De Bolivia
9. V/A - Sound Of Wonder!
10. Ruben Blades - Cantares del Subdesarrollo
Fueled by a great instore performance, Os Mutantes' latest release, Haih Or Amortecedor tops Amoeba Hollywood’s World Music chart for September. Hot on its heels, though, was the latest by another group of former Amoeba instore performers, Rodrigo Y Gabriela. 11:11, Rod y Gaby’s new release, comes with a DVD of live performances and even some instructional footage for the up and coming Flamenco guitarist in you. Nelly Furtado's first all Spanish album, Mi Plan, is starting to pick up some steam as well, coming in at number four.
At number five is a vinyl only release from the Domino Sound label out of New Orleans entitled A Orillas Del Magdalena -- Coastal Cumbias From Colombia's Discos Fuentes. Domino Sounds goes a bit deeper in this compilation than Soundways' excellent Colombia! compilation (both labels licensed tracks from the Discos Fuentes catalog), adding personal favorites by the likes of Andres Landero and Nafer Duran. I highly recommend this LP for anyone who wants to know where the true roots of Cumbia come from.
Now that the new edition of Amoeba’s Music We Like guide is out, I expect to see some past releases making their way back to our top sellers list. In fact, the Panama! Vol. 2 compilation is a direct beneficiary of the Amoeba guide, moving back up to the number three slot. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Music We Like, a guide to the Amoeba staff's favorite music and movies over the last six months. It’s free at every one of our stores, or you can read a short list of reviews online by going to Amoeba.com.
There were some surprises on the chart. Amoeba Hollywood shoppers once again went gaga over older South American rock music! The Psicofasicos De Bolivia compilation features 60’s garage and Psychedelic Rock mastered from the original seven-inch vinyl. Some may complain about the mastering, but hey, they don’t call it garage rock for nothing! Also, many Salsa music websites gave glowing reviews to the Mario Ortiz All Star Band, which had Salseros out in droves to get this new release. Salseros haven’t been this excited over a release since La Excelencia’s Mi Tumbao Social, which came out earlier this year.
Finally, at number ten is the latest by Ruben Blades. Earlier this month I got to speak with Ruben Blades about his album when he came into the store. Ruben decided to release his latest album, Cantares del Subdesarrollo, independently, after years of working with major labels. He spoke to me about the release and how proud he was of it. I have to say it’s a great album. It’s not for the dancers, but it is what you expect from Ruben Blades, lyrically rich and full of stories in a Cuban Son form. It is his first release in several years.
Still, what impressed me the most about him is that he was out in retail and hustling, asking staff what he could do to help sell the album -- this coming from a man who once ran for President of Panama (he lost), then was the Minister of Tourism of Panama from 2004-2009. He holds law degrees from the University of Panama and Harvard Law School. He has sold millions of albums worldwide and has won several Grammies, not to mention his a brief acting career! I know many local bands that just sit around waiting for opportunities to come to them. Ruben Blades could rest on his laurels, but there he was, asking me questions about how to sell his new album, which is what local bands should be asking me. Then again, this is the same man who left his career as a lawyer in Panama to work in the mailroom at Fania Records so he could be in the mix of the Salsa world. You've got to hand it to Ruben. In a world full of pretenders, he is the real deal!