Amoeblog

Manu Chao Listening Party @ Nativo 8/29 - La Radiolina out September 4th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 30, 2007 12:40pm | Post a Comment
I have never liked the idea of listening parties, just because most of the listening parties I’ve been involved with have come off as being insincere marketing ploys by record labels. So, when it was suggested that Nativo, the club that I spin at, was to host the Manu Chao listening party, I was optomistic about the turn out. First off, this is Manu Chao’s first album in six years and fans have been waiting for this for a while. Manu Chao’s fans are generally open-minded and like a diverse variety of music. So, I hoped that we wouldn't have one of those listening parties where you play the album and everyone sits around and gets some cheap label promotional item.
manu chao
Myself, Mexican Dubweiser and Mando Fever took turns deejaying that night, playing Cumbia mash-ups, Latin Alternative remixes and some Brazilian House. After the crowd had a few drinks in them the dance floor started to come alive. Around 11:30 we decided to play Manu’s new album, La Radiolina. I watched  the Manu fans hearing the CD for the first time with a shared excitement. It’s been a while since I have been so into an artist I was excited about hearing a new album for the first time. The Manu fans were dancing as if they were at one of his concerts.

Nacional Records & Amoeba, who were sponsering the listening party, gave us some dope giveaways, including a $50 gift certificate for Amoeba Records that we raffled off during a slight intermission while playing the album. That gift certificate was a big hit! After the album was done playing, I expected most people to leave but people stayed until the end. Mexican Dubweiser played a straight-up Cumbia set and I finished the night with some Baile Funk. I enjoyed playing that stuff at the end of the night because people were so wasted by then that they started to dance pretty crazily!

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Lo Mato @ Amoebapalooza 2007 - Punk Rock Salsa?

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 15, 2007 02:53pm | Post a Comment

I never suspected Matt Polley to be a Hector Lavoe fan. He’s a kid from Indiana and well…he looks the part. So when he asked me to perform with him at this year’s Amoebapalooza covering Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon songs, I was a bit surprised. Amoebapalooza is fun as far as seeing your co-workers live out their rock and roll fantasies, but it’s usually just that -- rock band after rock band with a smattering of folk, experimental music and Electronica. Salsa at Amoebapalooza? I’ve always been a punk at heart, so playing Salsa at Amoebapalooza would be more punk rock than actually playing punk rock.

Matt and I talked about it for weeks before Amoebapalooza. We signed up as "Lo Mato" and then went combing the store for people who would want to perform with us. We found two people. Cashier Ricky Ray Rivera was down, as was Erick, who works in the Reggae and Hip-Hop section. Erick and Ray were to play percussion as well as sing the chorus...so that meant me on bass, Ray and Erick on percussion and Matt Polley as Hector Lavoe.

Paul Vasquez, who works in the World Music section, wanted to get in on the action. He told Polley he had a trombone and although he hadn’t played in a while he would start practicing. He had not picked up a trombone since elementary school. For Paul to pull off the Willie Colon parts would be nothing short of a miracle! Most professional trombone players would find the task difficult. So it meant a rusty trombone player as Willie Colon.

Weeks went by and we hadn’t practiced once. Amoebapalooza was a week away and Matt was in a slight panic. He had found a piano player and a drummer and by then Paul had backed out, so we had no horns. I called my friend Pat Hoed to take over for me on bass. He is a huge Willie Colon/Hector Lavoe fan so he knew all the songs already. I switched to the keyboards and got my friend Jeremy Keller on guitar to help me play the horn lines. We learned the horn lines an hour before our first and only rehearsal.

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10 Suggestions For A Summer Mix - Gomez Comes Alive! Favorite tracks of 2007 (So Far)

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 12, 2007 02:45am | Post a Comment
track                                         artists                                                    album title

Cumbia De Los Aburridos     Calle 13                                                 Residente o Vistante
Oración Acere                          Spam All-Stars                                     Eletrodomésticos
Para No Vivir Desesperado  Mexican Institute Of Sound                Pinata
Mundo Insólito                         Toy Selectah & Up Bustle & Out       Mexican Sessions
Tifit Hayed                                 Wganda Kenya                                   Colombia!
Tambo Iya                                 Ricardo Eddy Martinez                      Si Para Usted
Grande de Cadera                  Sonidero Nacional                             Tributo A Los Mas Grandes
Crazy In Kingston                    Beatconductor                                     The Greastest Hits of GAMM
Café Con Sangre                    Jose Conde Y Ola Fresca                 Revolucion
Nuestras Demandas               B-Side Players                                    Fire In The Youth

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Frankenstein Cumbia - Last Of The Broke Back Blogs

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2007 08:47pm | Post a Comment
So my back is almost healed. It’s probably at 70%, a passing grade to most, but I feel 100 times better than I felt just a few weeks ago. One of the things I could not do, besides sit or stand for long periods of time, was go dancing. During that time I went to see Calle 13 in concert and I had to stay perfectly in place or experience more pain than I already had. It was a hard task. Calle 13’s band is amazing! They had three percussionists and a horn section. Residente and Vistante of Calle 13 are step-brothers and they had their kid sister (P-13) as a their back-up singer. She looks like a b-girl but sounds like Toto La Momposina, the Afro-Colombian singer. The Calle 13 album, Residente o Visitante, is still one of my favorites of this year. I wanted to dance, even with the pain in my back, but when I tried to dance it looked odd. Imagine Frankenstein dancing to Cumbia and that is what I looked like. (My girl probably still thinks I dance like that, even when I don’t have a bad back.) I appreciated that no one laughed at me. The people at the show had class. Not what I’d expect from a Reggaeton show, but then again, this is Calle 13, one of the more intelligent groups out there.

Class is something that some people severely lack. I hate to generalize but some of the most awful displays of low class that I’ve seen have come from affluent people. People with money and success can act the most “ghetto,” as they like to call it. The funny thing is that you can’t get away with that kind of an attitude in most barrios, otherwise someone would put you in check. Last week after I finished my DJ set at Zanzibar (insert shameless self-promotion here) in Santa Monica, I sat with my lady to have a drink. There was an older gentleman that was way into the music we were playing that night. He looked like he could have been someone’s Anthropology professor. He had a little bit of an Australian outback look to him. Anyhow, he was dancing by himself, a little strangely, but harmless. A group of drunken West Side peeps came into the club during Mexican Dubweiser’s set. One Paris Hilton knock-off noticed the guy and immediately started taunting him by dancing just like him. The guy stopped dancing, perhaps conscious of the fact that she was making fun of him. I quietly fumed as I continued to watch the bitchy Paris Hilton knock-off prance around the club.

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Brokeback Blogs, Part 3 - Thoughts On Latino Hollywood

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 30, 2007 02:04am | Post a Comment
During the 80’s and early 90’s, there was an effort by Hollywood to make movies about Latinos but rarely did you see Latinos actually played by Latinos. During my back injury I watched a slew of movies from that era, including Scarface and Carlito’s Way. In Scarface, Al Pacino played a Cuban refugee with F. Murray Abraham as a Cuban as well. In Carlito’s Way, Pacino played a Puerto Rican. In each role Pacino had a terrible accent. I also watched Altered States with Thaao Penghlis, a Greek actor from Australia, playing the role of Prof. Eduardo Eccheverria, a professor from Mexico. In the movie, Thaao doesn’t try to hide his Aussie accent. I guess Hollywood figured his dark skin would suffice. To top it off, I watched Lou Diamond Phillips play Ritchie Valens in La Bamba and Angel Guzman, a former Chicano gang member turned math wiz in Stand And Deliver. Phillips is everything but Chicano. He, according to his bio, is American of Scotch-Irish, Hawaiian, Cherokee, Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese descent.

During that time period, it seemed like no effort was made to use Latinos in staring roles, even if the movie was about Latinos, unless you were James Edward Olmos. Olmos played most of the big roles during that era. He played Jaime Escalante in Stand And Deliver, Abraham Quintanilla in Selena, police Lieutenant Martin Castillo in the television series Miami Vice and starred and directed the prison gang classic American Me. This led to the classic joke by La Cucaracha’s satirist Lalo Alcaraz,
“He’s in Olmos every movie!”

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