Amoeblog

The Last Holiday: A Memoir

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 5, 2012 02:18pm | Post a Comment
The Last Holiday: A Memoir If you are looking for a tell-all autobiography about the tumultuous life of Gil Scott-Heron, chances are you are going to be disappointed by The Last Holiday: A Memoir. What Gil Scott-Heron gave us were selected memories, the ones that resonated in his mind before his death. He is a man full of inspiration and controversy, but chose to reflect on his accomplishments and share the memories of people who most inspired him most.

The autobiography jumps around in the beginning, from his tour stories from his 1980 tour with Stevie Wonder to his upbringing with his grandmother in Tennessee. Gil writes eloquently about being raised in the south and being one of the first black students to integrate into an all-white school public school. After his grandmother’s passing, he moves with his mother to New York, in which his mixture of book smarts and street smarts ends up going to a private high school mostly reserved for students of privlege. From there it covers his college days, in which he takes a leave of absence to finish his first novel, The Vulture. From there, he returns to school and starts on a path as the musician the most people know him as.

Gil never dwells too much on his accomplishments. For instance, Gil spends more time writing about his appreciation how other artists covered his songs off his excellent album, Pieces Of A Man than he does about writing the songs himself. Much praise in the book was given to the people that he felt helped him along the way, such as his family, instructors, musicians as well as guys such as Bob Thiele and Clive Davis, who both released his albums and helped make him the icon that he became.

Gil Scott-Heron & Stevie WonderThe most praise and perhaps could have been a book on its own, was Gil’s stories about tour with Stevie Wonder in 1980. The significance of that tour was that Stevie Wonder used the tour to help spearhead the campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr. day a national holiday, with a show at the Washington Monument, the very spot were King gave his infamous, “I Have A Dream” speech. Gil admiration for Stevie, who though blind, was keen in every other sense. He was a person who could say exactly what was needed to be said and do what was needed to accomplish his goal of a Martin Luther King Day, an accomplishment that was achieved during one of the most conservative governments in U.S. history. It is also noteworthy to add that Gil was supposed to do a few selected dates on the tour, as Bob Marley was the opening act. But as it was, Bob was diagnosed with cancer and had to cancel the tour.

Continue reading...

Tu Cárcel: A Tale Of Working Men, Los Bukis and Lila Downs

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 29, 2012 11:59pm | Post a Comment
Los BukisMy guiltiest pleasure in Latin music has to be the songs written by Marco Antonio Solis during the years he was fronting Los Bukis. There is not a time when a Bukis song comes blasting out of a car or jukebox in a Mexican restaurant/bar where I don’t smile inside. Solis was the master of the balada, or ballads. Although Los Bukis music will forever be dated by their matching suits and that stock 80’s Latin Pop sound, the core of his songs were brilliant.

I didn’t always feel that way. One of my first jobs out of high school in the late 80's was working at a warehouse that custom cut various pieces of foam for Aerospace companies. It was there I discovered a few things. The first thing I discovered is that manual labor sucks. The pay was bad and so were the early work hours for someone who was in the mist of his partying years. The upside is that I had no stress. I lived cheaply and the hours of mindless repetition of cutting and rolling foam around a tube left my mind free to be creative. I wrote songs and stories frequently in my head, sometimes writing my ideas quickly on any scratch piece of paper during my fifteen-minute break.

Los Bukis Album I discovered that this foam we had called Temper-Foam, was great to sleep on. It was used for the Space Shuttle for shock absorption. We used it to nap on during our half an hour lunch break. I would immediately knock out once I laid down on it. If I had a late gig the night before I wouldn’t have time to sleep. I’d go straight to work and that 30- minute nap made me feel like I slept all night. We now know it as Tempur-Pedic, the company that makes expensive beds and pillows.

Continue reading...

Taking Discos Inmigrantes on the Road

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 15, 2012 11:43pm | Post a Comment
Discos Inmigrantes, my radio show on Radiosombra.org returns on Tuesday, January 17th at 8PM-10pm PST. My guest this week will be Arshia Haqqani, aka Aruna Irani from Discostan, playing nostalgic LPs from her native India and other worldly treats. As always, Discos Inmigrantes is all analog, all LPs and 7’ singles. To check out the show or to listen to past shows, go to radiosombra.org/discos-immigrantes.
Discos Inmigrantes On The Road

On Saturday, January 21st, I’ll be taking Discos Inmigrantes on the road. First, with an in-store DJ set at Amoeba San Francisco in celebration of the compilation, Juan Lennon Presents: 213 Cumbia Vol. 1. I’ll be playing tracks off of 213 Cumbia as well as vintage Cumbia. My set will be from 2pm-4pm.

Later that night I'll be at Brick and Mortar at the 213 Cumbia Release party with my L.A. homies Buyepongo and San Francisco’s own Cumbia Tokeson.  Brick and Mortar is located at 1710 Mission St., San Francisco. Show starts at 9 pm
Tokeson Buyepongo

Once I return to Los Angeles, I have two shows. The first is in Boyle Heights for a Radio Sombra fundraiser called Transmission. Myself, along with fellow Radio Sombra DJ’s Reyes (Arts & Grooves) and Libre (Radio Merkado Negro), will be broadcasting live from the M Bar. The M Bar is at 1846 E. 1st Street In Boyle Heights.

Continue reading...

Best World Music Releases of 2011, Part 2: The Best of the Rest

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 25, 2011 11:18pm | Post a Comment
Brazil Bossa BeatBest Artwork:
V/A: Brazil Bossa Beat-Bossa Nova & The Story Of Elenco Records

Best World Music Album Title:
Joan Sebastian-Huevos Rancheros

Best Of The World Music Releases That NPR Likes:
Tinariwen-Tassili

Best World Fusion Album:
Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal-Chamber Music

Best Retro World Release:
V/A- Chicas: Spanish Female Singers

Best New World Release On LP
Frente Cumbiero- Frente Cumbiero Meets Mad Professor

Best World Music Box Set:
V/A-Opika Pende: Africa At 78 RPM



Bazzerk Best World Music Compilation:
V/A-Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque

Continue reading...

Best World Music Releases of 2011, Part 1

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 18, 2011 05:39pm | Post a Comment
Bomino AgadezBombino-Agadez CD/LP

My first experience with Omara Mochtar (Bombino) was on the Sublime Frequencies release, Music from Niger: Guitars from Agadez, Vol. 2, which was recorded live and sounded like something recorded in a juke joint in Mississippi. On Agadez, Bombino recorded in a studio where all the richness of his guitar tone comes through, making this the guitar album that all guitar players should own from 2011. Much like their contemporaries Tinariwen and Group Inerane, this album is heavy on the Toureg blues, with trance-like guitar drones that conjures the sound of many lonely desert nights in Niger. Soulful without effort, Agadez has led Bombino out of the desert and hopefully into your stereo.

Adanowsky AmadorAdanowsky- Amador CD/LP

With the rep of being the son of filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Santa Sangre) and being a kid that hung out with members of The Beatles, you would expect Adanowsky to be either the second coming or some spoiled kid with talent and nothing to say. (i.e. Sean Lennon) Well, Adanowsky is neither. Is Amador a psychedelic masterpiece? No. Is Amador some over-indulgent dribble? Far from it.  Amador is a heartbreak record. It’s full of pain and letting the heartbreak of broken relationship take over. From the heartfelt piano ballads to the tequila-fused Rancheras, it all stages of a post break-up. Much like John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band, it’s very minimal in instrumentation and lets emotion carry the songs. In the end, I can’t imagine Adanowsky being single for that long. Amador is too charming of an album to let that happen.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  >>  NEXT