Amoeblog

Best Of 2007, Part 6 - 13 Suggestions For Christmas Gifts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 20, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
Best Of The Latin American Compilations
                                                           
THE ROOTS OF CHICHA: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peruroots of chicha
Colombia!: The Golden Years of Disco Fuentes -
The Powerhouse of Colombian Music 1960-1976
Si, Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba, Vol. 1
Bachata Roja: Acoustic Bachata From The Cabaret Era


Latin Influenced Electronica
Up, Bustle and Out- Mexican Sessions
Nickodemus -Endangered Species Remixed (2007)
Geko Turner- Chandalismo Ilustradomexican sessions
Mexican Institute of Sound -Pinata


Fresh Blood in Old Genres
Jose Conde y Ola Fresca -(R)evolucion
The Budos Band-The Budos Band 2
B-Side Players Fire In The Youth
Antibalas-Security
Sharon Jones And The Dap Kings 100 Days and 100 Nights

Best Of 2007, Part 5 - Joe Bataan Live @ The Montebello Inn 6/15/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 18, 2007 12:44am | Post a Comment
joe bataan
It was straight out of a George Lopez comedy skit. It was Vatos with their ironed Pendletons and bushy moustaches, Rucas on their arms sporting painted eyebrows and short skirts, which some would say weren't "age appropriate." It was a tough looking crowd, to say the least. We waited in line outside The Montebello Inn to see the legendary Joe Bataan, The Afro-Filipino Latin King. In the 60's and 70's he released some of the best Boogaloo and Latin Soul albums on the infamous record labels Fania and Salsoul. Although Joe is from New York, he has been supplying the soundtrack to the slow and low culture of East L.A. since before I was an embryo.

The Montebello Inn is a straight-up dive, the kind of dive you only see on the outskirts of Los Angeles. All the cleaning in the world couldn't wash away the stains and memories this place has seen. My friends and I quickly got a table in the back. We didn't want to dish out the extra thirty bucks to sit in the V.I.P. area, located a mere 15 feet away from us. So, we ordered a round of the strongest margaritas I have ever had; in fact, it's a good thing smoking is banned in clubs, otherwise we would have been lit on fire every time we took a sip.

After a mediocre opening band, Joe Bataan quickly came onstage. A fifteen-piece band backed him up and I prayed they would retain that old school flavor. He and the band did not disappoint. They started off with "I Wish You Love Part 2" and launched into hit after hit. He played "Ordinary Guy," "Subway Joe," "Gypsy Women," "Latin Strut" and his version of  "Shaft." Joe sounded pristine. He hasn't suffered any deterioration in his voice that usually comes with age.

Quite buzzed, I continued to yell out my request for a recent Joe Bataan song entitled "Call My Name." I don't think that the oldies crowd was familiar with this gem, released on the Vampisoul label in 2004. My guess is that they were thinking, "Why does this guy want Joe to call out his name?"

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Best Of 2007, Part 4 - Los Poets Del Norte...Anywhere They Performed in 2007

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 17, 2007 03:40am | Post a Comment
LOS POETS DEL NORTE - PT2


Game Over - Eric Gagne and The Mitchell Report

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 14, 2007 04:21am | Post a Comment

It was the only time I ever liked hearing Guns & Roses. It was the ninth inning in the spring of 2003 and Dodger Stadium was alive. The Dodgers were winning by one run with the two men on and one out over our hated rivals, The San Francisco Giants. Two of the Giants' best hitters were coming up; one was Jeff Kent, the good ol’boy from Texas, sporting his trademark porn stash under his nose. He looked, as it was said in the movie, Serpico, like “an asshole with dentures.” After him, the most feared hitter in baseball, Barry Bonds, was up. Bonds was all “juiced up” and ready to break fifty thousand screaming Dodgers fans' hearts with one swing of the bat.

“Welcome To The Jungle” blasted through the Dodger P.A. The bullpen doors swung open and out came our hero. Last year, Eric Gagne was an average pitcher at best. He would be lights out for about three innings and then it looked liked he either became tired, bored or both. At that point, Gagne's concentration would collapse and it became batting practice for the opposing team until they pulled Gagne out of the game. Anytime I checked the newspaper to see who would be the probable pitchers that night and Gagne was listed, I knew the Dodgers were in for a long night. Not anymore. Over the off-season Gagne morphed into a hulk-like relief pitcher with absolutely no fear. As Axel Rose started to scream, the video screen flashed a cartoon of Gagne’s face with the words flashing underneath: “GAME OVER.” Then the crowd went bananas! Gagne jogged slowly to the mound, almost intentionally, to start his warm-up tosses. He was the cleaner; he was the assassin that would be sent to clean up the mess when everything went awry. I sat in the cheap seats on the top of the stadium with my fellow Mexicanos, mixed in with the Koreans and Ronnie Barnett, laughing to myself. This couldn’t have been more Hollywood.

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Best Of 2007, Part 3 - Son De Madera and Los Cojolites Live @ The Hollywood Cemetery 10/27

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 9, 2007 09:14pm | Post a Comment
I wasn’t expecting much other than a good time. It was The Hollywood Cemetery’s annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration. I wanted to check out the altars, have some Champurrado, a shot of tequila and some Pan De Muerto. As I walked in the cemetery I soon found out that two of the best Son Jarocho groups were going to perform that evening. Son De Madera and Los Cojolites, both from Vera Cruz, Mexico, are the Beatles and The Rolling Stones or the Biggie and Tupac of Son Jarocho. Trouble was that they going to perform on two different stages at the exact same time. Oh man, what to do?

Son Jarocho is traditional Mexican music that fuses indigenous, Spanish and African styles. It originated in the port towns of Vera Cruz, a region of Mexico located off the Gulf of Mexico. The instruments that are used for Son Jarocho are also used in other Mexican music with the addition of various percussion instruments with roots in African and Spanish/Moorish culture. It is music based on improvisation, both musically and lyrically. Imagine a rapper free styling verses while improvising on the guitar.

I had seen Los Cojolites earlier this year at Self-Help Graphics in East L.A. Their short set was absolutely jaw dropping. However, in the spirit of community, Los Cojolites relinquished the stage to other performers who were not up to par with the group and I ended up leaving early. Son De Madera was one of those groups I had always wanted to see but never got around to. Because of that, the battle of the dueling stages was won by the stage with Son De Madera on it. Son De Madera are traditionalists to a point. One of the Requintos (an acoustic guitar used for playing the lead guitar parts in Son Jarocho music) is put through an amp with effects pedals, which creates a washy, dream-like sound. Also included in the group is a stand-up baby bass, compliments of East L.A. native Juan Perez and Zapateado supplied by the beautiful Rubí del Carmen Oseguera. The minute they played their first note I was lost in their world of improvisations and melodies. It had the earthiness of the Mexican culture mixed with the seduction of the Moorish culture. None of that was lost, even with Son De Madera's modern take on their traditional sound.

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