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Tia Chucha's Benefit #2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2008 07:56pm | Post a Comment
Early last year, Tia Chucha’s Café, a café and independent bookstore run by author Luis J.Rodriguez and his wife Trini, was force to shut its doors in the city of Sylmar because their landlords tripled their rent. That summer a fundraiser was held at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood to help pay for a new center to open in the San Fernando Valley. This year, another fund raiser was held on Sunday to help with the cost of buying a building.

Tia Chucha’s isn’t just a bookstore or a café, but a cultural arts center for the people of the San Fernando Valley. According to their website, they hope to “promote the continued growth, development and holistic learning of our community through the many powerful means of the arts. The Centro provides a positive space for people to activate what we all share as human beings: the capacity to create, to imagine and to express ourselves in an effort to improve the quality of life for our community.“
 
The benefit was held once again at The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. On the bill was a diverse yet unified group of artists, including community activist Nobuko Miyamoto, comedian Ernie G, and the drop-dead funny political satire of Opening People's Minds. The mostly Asian sketch comedy group had me in tears with their dead on interpretations of immigration and differences in culture. If you have a chance to check out their work please do; they were worth the price of admission alone.
 
They were followed by the legendary Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, who played all the hits, including "Express Yourself," "Love Land," and "Tell Me What You Want Me To Do." I stood in awe backstage watching the band go from hit to hit without as much as a break! 

I was there that day to back up my friend Olmeca on the bass. We went on after Charles Wright and Olmeca’s energy was so abundant he got the whole audience to rush the stage. I have to admit, I had trouble keeping up. It’s been a while since I played a show with this much energy.

The Return Of Anda!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 6, 2008 06:38pm | Post a Comment
After a brief hiatus, we are back with Anda! Fans of Cumbia, Retro Salsa & other Worldly music rejoice!
This week's Anda! features a DJ set from Amoeba employees Ray Ricky Rivera, Gazoo & yours truly and an extra special live performance by the group Cava. Check out Cava's myspace page to listen to their great music. Hope to see you there!

Warren Mayes - Keep on kickin it

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 5, 2008 08:26pm | Post a Comment
Warren Mayes Warren Mays
In the mid-1980s, though hip hop was still primarily an east coast phenomenon, it was quickly spreading to other locales like the musically rich bottom of the map, New Orleans. In 1984, Mannie Fresh, Mia X, DJ Wop and New York-transplant Denny D formed New Orleans' first rap crew, New York Incorporated. Two years later, The Ninja Crew (ninjas being hugely popular then) released the first N.O. rap recording "We Destroy" on 4-Sight, the Ft. Lauderdale bass label. The Ninja Crew included Gregory D, Sporty T and DJ Baby T (aka DJ Lil Daddy). 
  
After those acts broke up, other local rappers began emerging in a rapidly expanding field including MC J' Ro J'Tim Smooth, 39 Posse and the subject of this blog, Warren Henry Mayes III.

Warren Henry Mayes III (often spelled “Mays”) was - along with Ann, Lisa, Travis, Eldridge, Bernell J, Melanie , Izell, Stella "Sunshine" and Renaldo – one of Melba "Ann” Mayes and Warren “Swingin’ Gate” Mayes's many children.  Warren Jr. was a songwriter and dancer. The large Mayes family lived in the 4th ward's Iberville projects.

SPACED: THE COMPLETE SERIES DVD A HIT WITH US AUDIENCES

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2008 03:01pm | Post a Comment

American fans of Simon Pegg and his movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are obviously quite happy now that Spaced, the wonderful British television show that predated and influenced both these big-screen action/comedies, is finally available on DVD as the nicely packaged Spaced: The Complete Series (BBC Video). 

The British TV situation comedy ran for two seasons back in 1999 and 2001 and has more recently been shown in the US on BBC America. The new DVD set is available at each Amoeba Music location, including the Hollywood store where, according to Rigo in the DVD department, "it has been selling briskly since it was released two weeks ago."

Featuring many of the same players in Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, Spaced was also directed by Edgar Wright, and was written by and stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (formerly known as Jessica Stevenson). Spaced also stars Pegg's movie sidekick Nick Frost, as well as Julia Deacon, Mark Heap, and Katy Carmichael. The witty, fast-paced, sci-fi based comedy TV show that ran for just two seasons -- seven episodes each -- nine and seven years ago, is packed with references from pop culture and movies (including Resident Evil and Star Wars) and is given to veering off into surreal scenes in which its main characters become action movie or video game or comic book style heroes. 

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Canadian For 'Yes!': FM's prog clearance masterpiece

Posted by J. Mark Beaver, August 5, 2008 12:00am | Post a Comment
In a recent edition of the L.A. Weekly’s Ask a Mexican column, someone asked why it was that so many young Mexican kids seemed gaga for Morrissey. The columnist thought the better question was why so few children of the imperialists (white kids) weren’t as equally gaga about some of the excellent music made by Latino musicians. Granted, as I hear my neighbor drive up blasting his stereo beyond what could possibly be comfortable for him inside the nuclear heart of that volume, I have to admit that much of what he plays for the neighbors sounds pretty good. Not necessarily something I would run out and buy, but I was far from hating it.

What’s that got to do with Canada? Good question, but in some ways, it's obvious. Canada is the Mexico of the Great White North, dont’cha know? It has only been the fact of a more-or-less common language that has allowed the very few Canuck rockers to break USA radio charts that have so far. Neil Young, Bare Naked Ladies, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Steppenwolf, Rush, Leonard Cohen; there aren’t many that spring to mind and most of them are not in my personal collection, but they built careers with American money without being AmericaFM Black Noisen or British. Good job, guys!

So, trawling thru the Red Sea of Clearance, I happened upon an album cover that has haunted me since my childhood. The vacant stare of the half-man/half-mannequin surrounded by the glowing hoop and splash of light has taunted me from Clearance bins for as long as I can remember being conscious of music. “Now’s the time,” I declared and grabbed it.

FM's Black Noise was in Clearance due to some condition issues, but it was there and cheap, so I took it. FM formed in Toronto in 1976, and Black Noise is their first album, from 1977. I hear a lot of Fragile-era Yes in their sound, some Jean-Luc Ponty, a splash here and there of Jan Hammer and a lot of the prog that defined the reigning Canadian supergroup of the day, Rush.  Perhaps it was the curse of the also-rans, the stigma attached to coming later than first with any particular sound that kept FM from being heard, or maybe we had already filled our Canadian quota for 1977. I certainly don’t mean to give the impression that FM were copy-cats, by any means. There’s enough Buggles in their sound to tilt them towards what was becoming known as New Wave and a bit away from the pack of dyed-in-the-wool proggers. Their drive is provided by fuzzed guitar, virtuoso drums and the central wail of Nash the Slash’s electric violin.

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