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LA 4 PK Benefit At Anda 9/4/2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 1, 2010 03:55pm | Post a Comment
LA 4 PK Anda flyer
It’s been disheartening to see the lack of coverage the floods in Pakistan have been getting in L.A. The relief efforts have been slow, and contributions to relief organizations have been much less than one would expect for a disaster of that magnitude. Surely the media's bias against Muslim countries doesn’t help. Add a depressed economy and other variables and most relief groups will tell you that funds are not rolling in to help the millions affected by the floods.

But how about the people that seem to champion every worldly cause? You, know, the ones that seem to Tweet or send Facebook links about global warming or “Haiti: One Year Later?" When local deejay Kutmah was deported, people came from all over the city to donate and help out, especially those not privy to immigrant rights issues. He is only one person and look at the effort that went to help him! It's amazing what people can do when focused. In Pakistan, there are 20 million people affected by the flooding. You would think there would be an uproar about the lack of aid and humanity.

How bout those artists that seem to write a song about any social issue in the media? There are no “We Are The World” style songs for Pakistan. I guess if the media isn’t covering Pakistan, then there will be no coverage for a song about Pakistan. Like the expression goes, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" So why bother writing that song, right?

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Los Lobos at Amoeba Hollywood 8/25 Reviewed by Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 29, 2010 11:21pm | Post a Comment
los lobos amoeba
I admit, even though I love Los Lobos now, it took me some time to get into them. When I wrote a blog about their album Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance, I admitted that as a 15 year old, their music “was the kind of music that could be easily digested by the readers of Rolling Stone as being adventurous.” There was no way I could understand Los Lobos as a kid. They were adults. They were men who were married and had children. They had been part of the East Los music community for years by the time their records on Slash were released. Los Lobos isn’t one of those bands you grow up with. It’s a band you appreciate when you are older.

Sure enough, as I got older, I not only began to appreciate them, but I feel that now I fully understand them. Their lyrics had the same artistry as other Chicano visionaries such as writer Rudolfo Anaya or painter Patssi Valdez, coupled with their ability to make art that was both personal and universal. Hearing the song “La Pistola Y El Corazon” is like having a shot of tequila when heartbroken. "One Time One Night" makes me think of all the people I have lolos lobos amoebast. I saw my childhood in “Kiko And The Lavender Moon.” I saw my own past fly before my eyes in “Oh Yeah.”

This past week's event was Los Lobos’ third in-store appearance in nine years at Amoeba Hollywood. They started with “Burn It Down,” a song from their excellent new album, Tin Can Trust. The song has lots of Alt-Country flavoring with a blistering David Hidalgo guitar solo that was part Richard Thompson, part Thurston Moore. They followed it up with “Don’t Worry Baby” from Will The Wolf Survive? That song is an instant jump-up number that can get any crowd going. But it was the new songs, such as the title track, "Tin Can Trust," and the standout “Jupiter And The Moon,” a song with shades of Traffic’s “Low Spark of the High-Heeled Boys” that shined the most. Those two songs easily fit with the other Lobos classics they played that night, such as “Will The Wolf Survive” and “Shakin' Shakin' Shakes.” They played two of Cesar Rosas' signature Cumbias, “Yo Canto” from the new album and “Cumbia De La Raza” from the album This Time. Both had many people dancing in the aisles to their East L.A. Cumbia rhythm.

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Songs About Immigration By Los Tigres Del Norte

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 19, 2010 01:04am | Post a Comment
Los Tigres Del Norte Amoeba Blog
With the recent SB 1070 debacle in Arizona, many musicians have come out in support of the immigrant movement. Whether it is boycotting concerts in Arizona, or being part of the pro-immigrant marches going on across the U.S., I am proud to see that many have been behind the movement. However, there have been a number of well-intentioned artists who are writing and releasing songs in support of the Anti-Immigrant movement that are sub-par at best. The songs may come from the heart but most of them are full of clich├ęs and slogans, mostly from those who have not gone through the immigration experience themselves. I don’t want to insinuate that these artists are opportunists, but if you haven’t been writing about immigrant issues since before all this madness in Arizona, you are probably a little late to the party. Besides, would you really want to rally a pro-immigrant song written by the likes of Taboo, probably the least talented member of the pop group The Black Eyed Peas?contrabando y tracion

Los Tigres Del Norte have been singing about immigration issues for the last forty-something odd years. They themselves immigrated into the U.S. in the late sixties, relocating to San Jose, Ca to try to make a living as musicians. In 1972, Los Tigres scored their first hit, "Contrabando y Traicion," a song that made them a household name in Mexico as well as among Mexicans living in the U.S. The song was considered the first Narcocorrido to become a hit and thus started the Narcocorrido boom that continues to thrive today. Over the years they have written many tunes, including some great songs critical of both the Mexican and U.S. government. But it’s their ability to write about the immigrant experience in the U.S. that sets them apart from most groups. As each immigrant experience is different, so is each song. Below are some of my favorites that Los Tigres Del Norte have recorded featuring different spectrums of the immigration experience:
Vivan Los Mojados
“Vivan Los Mojados”
(Long Live The Wetbacks) from the album Vivan Los Mojados

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ZZK On Tour: An Interview with Grant C. Dull (El G)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 4, 2010 07:25pm | Post a Comment

A few short years ago, a man came to the buy counter at Amoeba Hollywood to sell a new release to the store. It was ZZK Sound Vol. 1 - Cumbia Digital. Just before that I had been reading about a club in Buenos Aires, Argentina called Zizek Club, where deejays/producers were playing mash-ups of Cumbia, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Electronic Music. It sounded cool and I wished I could be in BA so I could check it out. Turned out the guy was Grant C. Dull, a former Texan now living Buenos Aires and one of the co-founders of the night as well as the label. That day, the ZZK crew was in town for a show and Amoeba Hollywood turned out to be the first store in the U.S. to carry their product!

We kept in touch and he sent the store releases by Fauna, El Remolon and Chancha Via Circuito before the label had U.S. distribution. The ZZK label and its artists soon became known worldwide, performing in Europe, Mexico, Canada and all over the U.S. The latest tour has dates in San Francisco, Echo Park and Hollywood. I caught up with Grant (Aka El G) over the phone and asked him a few questions about the tour and what is up with ZZK in general.

So how is the tour so far?

Grant: It's going really well. We started in New York and have been making our way west for the last two weeks. The reception has been great and this has been our best tour yet.

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Amoeba Hollywood's World Music Top Ten For July 2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 2, 2010 09:54am | Post a Comment
Saigon Rock & Soul Amoeba Hollywood
1. Enrique Iglesias-Euphoria
2. V/A-Let’s A Go-Go
3. Seu Jorge- Seu Jorge & Almaz
4. V/A-Pomegranates
5. V/A-Afrosound Of Colombia Vol.1
6. Sloepoke-Fiesta Tropical
7. V/A-Saigon Rock & Soul
8. V/A-World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria
9. Yuri-Inusual
10. Marc Anthony-Iconos

July’s top ten includes five retro world compilations, three releases by iconic Latin Pop stars, a release by one of the coolest Brazilian to ever walk on this earth and a local deejay who's got a Cumbia collection like no other.

Enrique Iglesias topped the chart this month, a slight surprise considering his last few releases didn’t do much in the store in the past. Two other iconic Latin Pop singers, Marc Anthony and Yuri, sold well enough to take the ninth and tenth spots.Enrique Iglesias euphoria Amoeba Hollywood

A welcome change is the increase of retro releases from Southeast Asia. Saigon Rock & Soul is a vinyl only release from the Sublime Frequencies label that will soon be sold out, even before this blog is up. The funky psychedelic Vietnamese rock certainly has people willing to pay the almost thirty bucks for this double LP, but I’m sure there are not many complainers in the end. Don’t have a record player and/or don’t want to spend 30 bones? Another option is to go with the Let’s A-Go-Go compilation, which is from 1964-1969 and includes bands from Singapore as well as all over Southeast Asia. Let's A Go-Go Amoeba Hollywood

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