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The State Of Reggae En Espanol - An Interview With Eric Vidal

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 15, 2008 12:53am | Post a Comment

Last year around this time we were asked to make predictions for the upcoming year. One of my predictions had to do with Spanish Reggae. The popularity of Spanish Reggae in 2007 led me to believe that 2008 would be its year. Sadly, to fans of the genre, more of the same happened. Good Spanish Reggae releases went under the radar with poor distribution and very little press. However, Spanish Reggae still boils in the underground. There were some solid releases by some groups and last summer witnessed one of the biggest Spanish Reggae and Ska festivals ever to hit Los Angeles, with groups coming all over Latin America to perform at it.

I spoke with Amoeba employee Eric Vidal, who works in Amoeba’s Reggae section, about what he thought about the current state of Spanish Reggae and where it’s heading.

So was this the year for Spanish Reggae?

EV: Yeah, more people are into it, not huge amounts of people, but more people than before.

What are the new people like?

EV: Definitely more Raza is into it, especially the younger conscious crowd. Older Spanish rock heads are into it, coming from artists like Manu Chao and Todos Tus Muertos, and Raza who are into hip-hop and obviously people who are into Jamaican Reggae.

Who were your favorite Spanish Reggae artists this year?

EV: Alika, for sure. The new Gondwana was pretty tight. I also like the CD from Riddim. Locally, bands like Quinto Sol, Pachamama and Umoverde held it together, mixing Reggae with like Cumbia and Salsa. It makes it easier for people who cannot identify with roots music unless it’s fused with music that Raza is familiar with.

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Favorite Band Alert #3

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 15, 2008 12:16am | Post a Comment
Wil-Dog Abers, bass player and one of the O.G. members of Ozomatli, loves Mexican Banda music. He loves it more than most Mexicanos. So what to do with all that love of Banda music? Start your own Banda!

Here are some pics from the band's show at Anda!, a club I do once a month at Mal's Bar with fellow deejays Gazoo, Ray Ricky Rivera and Mando Fever. The show was a lot of fun and the banda blew the roof off the bar!

Wil-Dog Y Su Banda La Juvenil starts off the show with a banda version of Mr.Vegas' "Heads High."


Banda La Juvenil maybe young but they play like a banda twice their age.


The tuba player


They did everything from El Coyote to The Clash.


The audience dug it, of course.

Band La Juvenil gig all over town without Wil-Dog. Bandas make bank playing everything from large concerts to weddings. All of you who ditched your tuba after your band geek days lost your calling, and lots of money.

Music Latin Music Majors Don't Want You To Hear

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 14, 2008 08:41pm | Post a Comment
Every day there is another release by a Latin Rock artist that will not be released domestically. The Latin major labels, after a few great years of experimentation, have returned to their practice of repackaging greatest hits by their established artists or releasing god-awful pop artists. The public yearns for and deserves better. As I mentioned in past blogs, I feel that Amoeba is the great equalizer. This is the store where imports from groups as Zoë or Porter will outsell rejects from La Academia Nuevo Generacion, even with all their stadium tours and television time. The following are imports that Amoeba Hollywood carries that I feel that the majors should release domestically...That is, if they didn’t have their collective heads up their asses.

Austin TV-Fontana Bella

This instrumental band from Mexico D.F. are more akin to groups such as Slint, Joan of Arc and Sigur Ros than anything currently on Univision. This five piece rocked all over the U.S. this year, including an appearance at Coachella that had many people asking, “Who are these guys?” If Juana Molina can be successful on a label like Domino, there is no reason why a strong indie can’t do well with Austin TV. The fact that they are from Mexico is irrelevant for marketing this group. Would one market Can or Kraftwerk as German Pop? Didn't think so.


Enrique Bunbury-Hellville En Deluxe

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Damned River

Posted by phil blankenship, December 14, 2008 04:51pm | Post a Comment
Damned River vhs cover  Damned River directed by Michael Schroeder

Damned River plot synopsis

CBS Fox Video 4767

THE NEW NUMBER ONE: SHOES ATTACK ON BUSH CLIP

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2008 04:44pm | Post a Comment

And this just in -- the new number one video clip of 2008 will shortly become the above clip of the televised incident earlier today in which George W. Bush, during a press conference from his unannounced visit to Iraq, had a pair of Size 10 black leather shoes thrown at him by an Iraqi TV journalsit. Bush reacted instantly, ducking and avoiding being hit by either shoe, but clearly he was as surprised as everyone else in the room.

Now, if you have been watching TV or have been online on news sites over the past few hours you will undoubtedly have seen this gripping piece of footage, but over the next few days & weeks you can be sure it will fast become the number one most replayed video of 2008 online as well as on TV. I bet that during all the george bush and a shoeyear end wrap up shows on television it will upstage every other video clip of the past year -- one rich in symbolic eye catching stories, including even Sarah Palin's Thanksgiving Turkey clip. 

In the meantime it will no doubt fuel editorial rantings from the likes Bill O'Reilly on one side as well as the legions of Dubya haters on the other side for some time. Furthermore, this incident will forever mark or bookend the last days of the Bush presidency in the history books unless something else even more shocking happens to, or is brought about by, Bush before he leaves office.

Additonally, It will also undoubtedly inspire conspiracy theories galore. For starters, in Arab culture the sole of a shoe is the ultimate insult. The above picture, courtesy of the TImes in London, is of a Shia protester last month striking an image of President Bush with his shoe as an expression of contempt during a rally in central Baghdad. Plenty to go on there, but some will take it further. Some conspiracy theorists will dwell on the meaning of the size of the shoe or the color of the shoes or the order (left, right) in which they were thrown.

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