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Remembering Paco de Lucia

Posted by Rick Frystak, February 26, 2014 12:45pm | Post a Comment

Paco de Lucia

Today, the world lost a giant of music, as Maestro Paco de Lucia passed away, at 66 years young, from a heart attack at a resort in Mexico. “Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” said a statement from de Lucia’s family published on the websites of Spanish newspapers.

Paco took the Flamenco style and tradtition of the elders in the genre and blasted off into his own universe, to some early criticism, owning every note of his huge legacy and backing up all his moves with incredible chops and technique. I had many unforgettable chances to see Paco in person doing his thing, each a unique and unpredictable experience, except for the sheer technical mastery of his instrument always present. I also took away from these shows Paco’s palpable confidence, his air of “badass”-ness that deservedly asserted his own internal awareness of what he was doing in the moment. I lament his passing, and will miss him tremendously. Adios, Paco.

Fortunately we have much in the visual and audio realms  to see and hear Paco, and to mark the absolutely inimitable place that Paco held in the music landscape. The 2-CD set, En  Vivo Conciertos, won a Grammy and is a most enjoyable album, displaying Paco’s genius live, and represents the last tour he did almost exactly. Amoeba has some true gems of Paco’s here.

(photographer unknown)

Diego El Cigala Headlines the 6th Annual Bay Area Flamenco Festival: Festival Flamenco Gitano 2011 on 10/23

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 29, 2011 03:16pm | Post a Comment
See Diego El Cigala on October 23rd at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley at the 6th Annual Bay AreaDiego el Cigala Bay Area Flamenco Festival Berkeley Flamenco Festival: Festival Flamenco Gitano 2011

Diego El Cigala, Latin Grammy-winning Gypsy singer from Madrid, is noted as a pioneer in fusing flamenco with Latin American music forms such as the bolero, Afro-Caribbean jazz, and tango. His ability to blend different types of contemporary music with traditional flamenco has won him widespread popularity and numerous awards.

For tickets to see Diego El Cigala, click HERE! For more information on the Bay Area Flamenco Festival, click HERE!

Visit Amoeba Berkeley between October 5th and October 19th to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Diego El Cigala!! 
Festival Flamenco Gitano 2011

Acid Rumba: Spanish Gypsy Grooves 1969-1976

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 13, 2011 09:59pm | Post a Comment

Acid Rumba
It took me a long time to warm up to flamenco music. My interpretation of Flamenco music came from living in the U.S. To me, Flamenco meant those awful guitar duos with white puffy shirts playing at restaurants or soft jazz instrumentalists such as Struntz & Farah or Willie & Lobo, who played what most Americans considered Flamenco. Then, there are The Gypsy Kings; do I really need I say more? On top of that, most Mexicanos have some sort of grudge against The Spanish for being one of our many oppressors. Even though I am first generation, I still held the grudge of my indigenous ancestors.

I soon discovered that Flamenco came from Spain’s Moorish roots and not from the awful Christians who conquered the Americas. In fact, the Christians hated it. The music was mostly improvised and lyrically has lots to do with love, life, death and sex, but mostly sex. Most Mexican music I love (Son Jarocho and Son Huasteco) has the same African and Arabic roots. I soon embraced Flamenco and dove into a much needed Flamenco listening session. My taste grew and I became a fan of Manolo Caracol, La Niña de Los Peines, El Agujetas, Camaron De La Isla and Paco De Lucia. I also became a fan of the new school flamenco: Buika, Radio Tarifa and Ojos De Brujo.

But until I started working at Amoeba, I had no idea there was a movement in the seventies that merged Flamenco with Rock, Funk and Psyche. The mixture makes perfect sense to me, as there are many similarities with the music. The minute I heard it I was an instant fan. Acid Rumba: Spanish Gypsy Grooves 1969-1976 captures that moment in time in Spain where the progressive movement met its past. Every artist on this collection is immensely talented. You can tell each singer and guitarist could kill it on the traditional front. From Los Amaya’s “Bailen Mi Rumbita” to the heavy meets sweet Morena Y Clara’s “Dejé De Quererte,“ there is no denying the fusion of fuzzed-out Flamenco Rock and funky rhythms. It was also a time when established Flamenco artists stretched out, as in Dolores Vargas "La Terremoto" and El Noi’s “Zorongo Rock.”

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(Before which the author's mother visits.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 6, 2009 02:58pm | Post a Comment
Geraldine Galland
That's my Ma, milking the cow. (The cow is the one with horns.)

This past week my dear, sweet Ma came for a visit. Her time here flew by quickly; we entertained ourselves with long walks, stories from her youth, and cooking-related reality TV. I also introduced her to one of my best friends in the whole world: absinthe.

She has a new iPhone, but her fear of technology had limited her use of it to – get this – making phone calls! I mean, what’s the point of a phone if all you do with it is call people? That’s so 1990’s! So I introduced her to all the things her new phone could do: map out directions, take photos, slay red dragons, make chocolate sprinkles, cure melanoma and make other kinds of chocolate sprinkles. She was quick to learn and I expect she will soon be filling my email inbox with pictures of my nephews, her tomato plants, and chocolate sprinkles.

In honor of her visit, I have assembled the following short list of things she loves, in hopes that you, too, may find some joy in them. If you’re not interested, don’t worry – she’s very easy-going and non-judgmental, and won’t take offense. I, however, will hunt you down like a dog and slay you. With my iPhone.

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009...So far

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 4, 2009 12:29am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Hollywood World Music Top 10 For 2009

1. Zoe-Reptilectric
2. Amadou & Mariam-Welcome To Mali
3. V/A -African Scream Contest
4. Orchestre Poly Ritmo-Vol. 1- The Vodoun Effect: Funk and Sato from Benin's Obscure Label
5. Eydie Gorme Y Los Panchos-Cantan En Espanol
6. V/A-Nigeria 70: Lagos Jump
7. V/A- Vol.1-Nigeria 70
8. Rodrigo Y Gabriela -Live In Japan
9. Manu Chao-Clandestino
10. V/A- 78's From The EMI Archives: Sprigs Of Time

About some of the artists:

Zoe, a rock band from Mexico City, is on the top of Amoeba Hollywood's World Music chart for 2009. I wrote about Zoe in the beginning of this year in a blog entitled, Music Latin Music Majors Don't Want You To Hear, which was about how late in the game U.S. labels are when it comes to releasing popular Spanish rock artists domestically. To avoid being outsold by download sites, we ordered the import version of Reptilectric and sold out of all the imports we bought way before their U.S. release. Their in-store performance at the Hollywood store on 4/24 also fueled sales, far exceeding sale expectations for that evening. In short, Zoe fans came in vast numbers and Amoeba Hollywood was not fully prepared. Hey, it happens sometimes.

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