Amoeblog

Carla Morrison and Bomba Estereo Now At Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 18, 2013 07:25am | Post a Comment

Carla Morrison Dejenme LloraraFirst off, a belated congratulate to Quetzal and Lila Downs for winning Grammy awards last week. I wrote about both their albums, Imaginaries and Pecados y Milagros last year. I've also written in the past about the other nominees, Ana Tijoux, Los Cojolites, Sistema Bomb and Carla Morrison. Speaking of Carla Morrison, you can now order her album, Dejenme Llorar from the Amoeba website. Amoeba is one of a handful of stores carrying the physical copy of her album. Dejenme Llorar was in 

demand months before it was released and subsequently is one of Amoeba Hollywood's biggest Latin Music sellers over the last two months. 
 



Bomba Estereo Elegancia TropicalAnother album that has been in demand has finally arrived as a domestic release.
Bomba Estereo latest, Elegancia Tropical, was just released by Soundway Records. Elegancia Tropical was originally supposed to be released earlier last year by Warner Brothers before the band was dropped from the label. Unlike their previous album, Blow Up, which I loved instantly, Elegancia Tropical takes a few listens before sinking in. Once it does sink in, its a great listen, with a developed global sound that wasn't fully realized in their previous release. Unlike Blow Up, I tend to gravitate to the non-dance floor songs which are quite beautiful. However, the newer Kuduro influence dance tracks are pretty hot and I can see a completely sweaty dance floor erupting once these tracks are unleashed on the dance floor.  
 
It's funny how Soundway Records, a label out of England, has become the "it" label for progressive World music, with excellent releases from Chico Mann, Batida, Bomba Estereo, Meridian Brothers, Ondatropica and Los Miticos Del Ritmo. as much as I like the reissues, it's always great to hear new sounds.

 

Japan Tour 2011: Part 1, By Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 31, 2011 12:56am | Post a Comment
Gomez from The DJ Booth
Sundaland Cafe, taken during my set

A few weeks ago I went to Japan. This was my third time in Japan and my second as a DJ. The first time I went it was in 1994 when I played bass briefly with the artist, Beck. The second time was in 2006. It was for a Chicano/Japanese cultural exchange with the band Quetzal and the writer, Luis J. Rodriguez, author of one of my favorite books, Always Running. Each trip was a different experience. The Beck tour was a straight-up rock tour, with nice hotels, chauffeurs, backstage food & drinks and on occasion, girls waiting in lobby for the bands. The second time was about experiencing Japanese Lowrider culture and how the much Chicano culture and Japanese culture have influenced each other. It was honor to be in the company of Luis and Quetzal on that trip and I was honored that I would be asked to attend. In Los Angeles and even in my own community, most of us feel like we have to bend over backwards just to get a gig. To say that the Japanese have been very good to me is an understatement.

This time around I was to play in three different shows. The biggest by far was an opening DJ set for the legendary
Joe Bataan. The budget for this tour was much smaller then past tours. There was to be no hotels and I took the train to most places. My friend Shin Miyata, who has released several of my albums on his Barrio Gold/Music Camp label, was my host for the tour. We stayed at his apartment while he tended to Joe Bataan, who also has a few albums on Music Camp.

Best Of The Summer Outdoor Concerts

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 6, 2008 01:24am | Post a Comment
Summer is almost here, which means Los Angeles will have a barrage of outdoor concerts. Venues Like The Greek Theater and The Hollywood Bowl have already kicked into gear. Nothing is better than seeing a show outside of a dank, dark club that smells like fifteen years of spilled alcohol and overflowed toilets. My picks center around World Music because that's what I like. Some of the artists are folkloric but most are modern musicians pushing the envelope of modern music beyond what we can see right now. On top of that, most of these shows are free.

Here are my picks for June:






Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
June 20 2008
8:00 PM @ Grand Performances
Free


Seun Kuti is the youngest son of Fela Kuti. Much like his father, his lyrics are politically charged and the Afro-Beat rhythms the band creates are just as infectious as they were in pop's days. His highly anticipated release, Many Things, is due out in June.









Quetzal
Jun 28, 2008
8:00 PM @ Levitt Pavilion (Pasadena)


Los Angeles suffered a major blow late last year when Quetzal moved to Vera Cruz. However, they are back in Los Angeles for the summer and this show promises to be a great welcome home. Their mixture of Son Jarocho, Cuban Son and rock is coupled with one of the best singers ever, Martha Gonzalez. If you haven't bought their last album, Die Cowboy Die, you're missing out. It's the best album to come out of East L.A. since Los Lobos' Kiko.

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Goodbye Quetzal - At Least For Now

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 24, 2007 01:14am | Post a Comment

This was in the L.A. Times on September 8th. Another severely underrated Los Angeles band is gone, at least for now… I was fortunate to catch their last show at Macarthur Park before they quit. It was a good little fix until their eventual return. If you haven’t bought a copy of their last album, Die Cowboy Die, you are missing out on an East L.A. classic and one of the best albums that came out in 2006.

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Quetzal breaks for a busy sabbatical
By Agustin Gurza, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


Quetzal, the ground-breaking Chicano fusion band from East L.A., is on sabbatical. Bandleader Quetzal Flores and his wife, lead singer Martha González, left last week for a nine-month sojourn in Veracruz to study the work of women in son jarocho, the fabulous, Afro-folkloric music that has long inspired them. This is primarily Martha's mission. She received a Fulbright fellowship for the trip, which could yield a CD of original works by the women of the fandango scene. Afterward, she and Quetzal, with their toddler Sandino, are headed to Seattle, where she plans to enroll in the doctoral program for women's studies at the University of Washington.

Quetzal will be busy too. He plans to form an acoustic quartet with fellow guitarist Ramon Gutierrez-Hernandez of Son de Madera, one of Mexico's best new son jarocho groups. And he continues to produce for other bands, including the recently released CD by San Diego's B-Side Players and the upcoming album by L.A.'s Monte Carlo 76, with new vocalist Marisa Ronstadt.

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The Farce Of July Festival - Live @ Self-Help Graphics 7/4/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 9, 2007 01:45am | Post a Comment

The Farce Of July, Xicano Records & Films' annual anti-colonialism celebration, was held at Self Help Graphics. Started by the group Aztlan Underground, The Farce Of July is an alternative celebration of freedom without buying into faux-patriotism. Many East Los bands, deejays and poets have performed for free each year, providing the community with entertainment beyond firecrackers and alcohol. Muralists usually create art on the spot and various independent vendors sell jewelry, clothing and alternative books that you will not be able to find in any mall.

The musical line-up varies from year to year. This year the festival included festival organizers Aztlan Underground; Olmeca, a conscious rap artist who just returned from a extended stay in Chiapas with the Zapatistas; recently reunited 80’s East L.A. punk legends, The Brat; and Quetzal, in one of their final performances for several years. The co-leaders of Quetzal, Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores, are moving to Vera Cruz for a year, then to Washington State while Martha finishes her PHD. They will be sorely missed, not only for their music but for their work in the Chicano community as well.

The highlight of the event was the performance by Geronimo. They are like a modern day Goblin. For those who don’t know aboout Goblin, it was a 70’s –80’s Italian prog group that were responsible for many eerie soundtracks to Dario Argento’s horror movies. Geronimo captivated the audience with their minimalist noise and keyboard swells to go along with a heavy rhythm section. Think Sly & Robbie if they played in the Swans. Horror filmmakers should really check out this band. Geronimo has just signed to 3ONEG, the label run by the members of the band The Locust.

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