Amoeblog

Stories Of A Young Gomez, Pt. 2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 27, 2008 03:08am | Post a Comment
When I was in eighth grade, I would come home from school and this would be on the television.:



No Prince, no Funkadelic, not even metal or punk rock. A bunch of bad 80’s videos with a bunch of rich suburban kids in the audience doing that new wave dance. It was depressing, but since they took off the reruns of The White Shadow and replaced it with MV3, there was nothing else better to watch.

There was one song I wanted to like. It was Thomas Dolby’s She Blinded Me With Science. The video was so goofy I was embarrassed to like it, even though it was funky.  A few days later I went to the park and all the breakers were pop locking it to it. I figured if they liked it, it wasn’t so bad. My sister had the first Thomas Dolby record and I started to listen to it more than her. Outside of the annoying song, Europa, I liked it. Still, I kept in the closet about my love for the TB, except for a few friends.

When the second Thomas Dolby album, The Flat Earth came out, I bought it right away. I didn’t like the single, Hyperactive. It sounded like a weak attempt at The Talking Heads. The rest of the album was surprisingly chill and somewhat acoustic. It took me a bit off time to like this album, but at the end, I did. The song that hit me was Dolby’s cover of Dan Hick And His Hot Licks’ I Scare Myself. It was haunting with a slight Jazzy Brazilian feel to it. I soon went on the hunt to find the original version. When I found it I noticed that it was very different. Dolby’s version was haunting, yet calm and melodic. Dan Hicks original version sounded frantic and straight up paranoid, thus validating the title. It was a little too much for me to take at the time. Still, there was something about it that I liked.

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Pelones, Sideburns & Songs About Heatbreak

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 27, 2008 01:35am | Post a Comment

While Latin music artists based in metropolitan cities such as Miami, Buenos Aires, and Mexico D.F. get all the press, it is the Regional Mexican groups are the ones that actually sell records. Case in point, Ramon Ayala. For over 40 years, Ramon Ayala, also known as “El Rey Del Acordeon” (The King Of The Accordion), has been selling out arenas in both Mexico and in the United States. He has over 105 releases, most of which sell in the 250,000 to 750,000 units. He’s been in thirteen movies and is a multiple Grammy winner. During his sold out show at The Gibson Theatre on Saturday, Ramon packed his two-hour set with hit after hit and had the crowd singing along to every song. Ramon played a few Los Relampagos Del Norte songs, a group he had in the sixties with the late great Bajo Sexto guitarist & vocalist, Cornelio Reyna, before forming Ramon Ayala y Sus Bravos Del Norte in 1971.

I was a little lost at this show. I’m only familiar with the early Ramon Ayala solo work. It’s like if you went to see Merle Haggard but were only familiar with a couple of his songs. He played the songs I knew, such as "Un Rinconcito En El Cielo," "Chaparra De Mi Amor" and his version of "Golondrinas," all which I have on his Greatest Hits CD that didn’t leave my car's CD player for a month. Why was it in my car CD player that long? Because of heartbreak, that’s why. When the girl (or guy) you love doesn’t love you back, nothing is better than blasting Ramon Ayala and singing the words on the top of your lungs. When he went into "Chaparra De Mi Amor," I sang loudly with everyone else and relived that pain of rejection. It’s funny because the cause of my great pain and heartache was with me at the show. She is my girlfriend now. I think she takes great joy in remembering how much she made me suffer.

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Stories Of A Young Gomez, Pt. 1 - How Prince & Funkadelic Rocked A Young Mind

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 22, 2008 01:17am | Post a Comment
prince 1999
It was 1982. I was on a school bus with my classmates, coming back from a field trip. We went to one of those historical Spanish ranches that were built when California was still Mexico (or Aztlán, if you swing that way). I was in a haze, staring out the window when my classmate, Krystal, yells out to me, “Hey, have you heard the new Prince yet?” She threw me her cassette Walkman and I pressed play.

“Don’t worry, I won't hurt you. I only want you to have some fun…”

I knew "Little Red Corvette;" it was all over the radio. But by the time I got to "Lady Cab Driver" I was a full-blown fan and 1999 was my Sgt. Pepper. It took me months to figure out that this was the same Vato that sang "Wanna Be Your Lover" a few years back.

Orale! I always thought it was a woman who sang that song!

funkadelic one nation under a grooveA few weeks later, my cousin Diana had a party in Buena Park. She had a pretty big record collection. I managed to ignore all the other records and went straight to 1999. As soon as the needle hit the wax, Diana’s boyfriend, Larry, was like, “Aw hell no, Prince again?’ At that moment I remember hating Larry. Like most kids, I held every discovery sacred and I thought I knew more than everyone. Larry looked at me like he knew what I was thinking. “You want to hear where Prince got all that from?’ He went to the record collection and pulled out Funkadelic’s One Nation Under A Groove and Uncle Jam Wants You. He played each album consecutively, side a, side b, side a, side b. All those songs, "Who Says A Funk Band Can't Play Rock?!," "Cholly (Funk Gettin' Ready To Roll), "One Nation Under A Groove," "(Not Just) Knee Deep Pt.1," "Freak Of The Week." I stood staring at the speakers, digesting every song, every note, every deep bass note, every keyboard bend, every guitar solo and vocal harmony. It was as if I was trippin', way before I knew how that felt.

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What To Do on A Sunday Night in Los Angeles

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 21, 2008 12:46am | Post a Comment

"Gawd daamn!' I said to Richard, my co-worker and Amoeba Hip-Hop specialist, thinking I was Ice Cube for a moment. "This bar reminds me of...'
"The Short Stop," he replied.
"Yeah," I replied. "But when it was still a cop bar." By now the tequila in my drink hit me pretty hard.
"It's because it is the same owner...'' he answered, as my thoughts trailed. What was worse? A bar full of corrupt Rampart police or lame hipsters? To me, it's all the same.

Footie's was part of the hipster's exodus from the Silver Lake/Echo Park area and into Highland Park. The first steps occured at Mr. T's Bowl back in the early 90's, followed by such places as The Cave. The Cave is now a bar full of annoying 20-somethings that wish they lived in the 80's. The latest gentrified bar is The York, located on York near Ave 56. It is so tame and boring there that it might as well be located in Pasadena.

For all my shit-talking, I have to say I like Footsie's. It still retains some of that neighborhood hole-in-the wall appeal that it once had. DJ Ant, or
Antony Valadez, spins there every other Sunday night. He is one of L.A.'s many underrated DJ's. All the clubs know about him because he can flat out rock a club. In fact, The Little Temple has him on lock down every Friday, along with fellow Deejay Sloe Poke, for the very popular Resident Fridays. It's a mean pick-up spot if you are newly 21-years old. It's the night they play the commercial shit for the ADD generation...with a slight slant to throw them off, just a tad.

On Sundays, Antony gets to play whatever he wants. One minute he is on a Isley Brothers/Meters trip, then he is on a Sa-Ra/Bowie trip, followed by classic Hip-Hop and Reggae tracks. The genre breaking mix matches the crowd at the bar. Soon all the heads are bopping. The bartender dances with glee after every deep cut. Vato Locos, hipsters, bikers, Post Laker and Dodger game sport freaks, lost east coast girls who came to L.A. to find themselves and the Midwestern boys who love them, conjoin in one room.

Songs About Immigration, Pt. 4 - Calle 13-Pa'l Norte

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 20, 2008 12:59am | Post a Comment

Unas piernas que respiran… veneno de serpiente… por el camino del viento… voy soplando agua ardiente

El día a día ha comenzado entusiasmado y alegre

dice… Pasaporte

Tengo tu antídoto… Pal’ que no tiene identidad
Somos idénticos… Pal’ que llegó sin avisar
Tengo tu antílico… Para los que ya no están para los que estás y los que vienen (x2)

Un nómada sin rumbo la energía negativa yo la derrumbo
Con mis pezuñas de cordero me propuse recorrer el continente entero
Sin brújula, sin tiempo, sin agenda…
¿? Por las leyendas
Con historias empaquetadas en lata, con los cuentos que la luna relata aprendí a caminar sin mapa…
A irme de caminata sin comodidades, sin lujo… protegido por los santos y los brujos…
Aprendí a escribir carbonerías en mi libreta y con un mismo idioma sacudir todo el planeta…
Aprendí que mi pueblo todavía reza porque las “fucking” autoridades y la puta realeza… todavía se mueven por debajo’ e la mesa… aprendí a tragarme la depresión con cerveza…
Mis patronos yo lo escupo desde las montañas y con mi propia saliva enveneno su champaña…
Enveneno su champaña…

Sigo tomando ron…

 En tu sonrisa yo veo una guerrilla, una aventura un movimiento…
Tu lenguaje, tu acento… Yo quiero descubrir lo que ya estaba descubierto…
Ser un emigrante ese es mi deporte…
Hoy me voy pal’ norte sin pasaporte, sin transporte… a pie, con las patas… pero no importa este hombre se hidrata con lo que retratan mis pupilas…
Cargo con un par de paisajes en mi mochila, cargo con vitamina de clorofila, cargo con un rosario que me vigila… suelo con cruzar el meridiano, resbalando por las cuerdas del cuatro de Aureliano…
Y llegarle tempranito temprano a la orilla…por el desierto con los pies a la parrilla…
Por debajo de la tierra como las ardillas, yo vo’a cruzar la muralla… yo soy un intruso con identidad de recluso… y por eso me convierto en buzo… y buceo por debajo de la tierra…
Pa’ que no me vean los guardias y los perros no me huelan… abuela no se preocupe que en mi cuello cuelga la virgen de la Guadalupe…

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