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Three New Cumbia LP Releases, Via Colombia, Peru & England

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 7, 2012 12:30am | Post a Comment
Three very interesting Cumbia vinyl releases are now available at Amoeba. Each one with it different takes on the Latin Music genre that only seems to get stronger as others start to fade into obscurity.

Los Jharis

From Peru, we have Los Jharis, Los Creadors Del Sonido De La Carretera Central, out on Masstropica Records. These gems by Los Jharis reflect a period in the eighties when Cumbia had the time to travel outside of South America and returned as Sonidero, with its Sound System shout-outs and echo effects that reminds me of the great Jamaican Sound Systems. With this newer element, Los Jharis sound is straight from outer space, with all the Cumbia rhythms and surf twang that one expects from a good Chicha release.

Also included with the LP is a bonus seven-inch of Sensacion Shipibo, playing what they called Masha music, a Peruvian style of Cumbia from Pucallpa, where the Shipibo-Conibo people are located. They are the indigenous people that lived along the Ucayali River in the Amazon rainforest. The two tracks on the seven-inch are in Spanish but usually the group sang in the Shipibo language. Whether intentional or not, listening to this, I can see the connection between early Chicha and the likes of people like Ecuador’s Delfín Quishpe are doing today.

Los Mitico Del Ritmo When I play tracks from last years Quantic Y Los Miticos Del Ritmo, Hip-Hop En Cumbia during my DJ sets, it still blows some club goers minds. To hear Dr. Dre or Missy Elliot in an authentic traditional Cumbia style is a mini- mindfuck. Some people have asked if perhaps those Hip-Hop artists borrowed those licks from old Cumbia songs! That is a testament on how well England's own Will Holland (Quantic) pulled it off.  Here is another collection of traditional Cumbia from Los Miticos Del Ritmo, this time along with covers of Queen, Michael Jackson and The Abyssinians are some original songs that sound like they could have been made in the Discos Fuentes studios back in the day. The combination of great Colombian musicianship and Holland's vision makes for another club classic. (Not to mention that Holland is becoming a mean accordeon player himself) This is not another mash-up or remixes of classic Cumbia tracks. Los Miticos Del Ritmo will do for retro-Cumbia what Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Hepcat did to revive Soul and Rocksteady.

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Upcoming Gomez Comes Alive Shows For April 2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 15, 2012 11:43pm | Post a Comment
Tumbe 2 Year Anniversary

Thursday April 19th

Tumbe' 2 Year Anniversary at The Virgil (formerly Little Temple)

I will be joining my friends and resident DJs Mando Fever & Jose Marquez to celebrate their 2 year anniversary of their monthly party called Tumbe'. Also joining us will be the awesome Cumbia/Merengue/Punta group, Buyepongo. Lots of hot Afro-Caribbean action for a Thursday!

Tumbe' happens every 3rd Thursday at The Virgil
4519 Santa Monica Blvd L.A. 90029
9pm-2am/21 & Over
&5 before 10/$7 afterwards

radio sombra

Thanks to all who listened to my radio show, Discos Inmigrantes last week as we explored the Chicano influence around the world. On April 24th, Discos Inmigrantes returns for another edition as we continue explore the Chicano influence on the rest of the world with a special guest from Japan. Shin Miyata is the owner of Barrio Gold Records in Japan and is responsible for bringing Chicano cultura to Japanese people. He will play some great Chicano gems from his vast collection of 7" singles

You can hear Discos Inmigrantes live on April 24th from 8pm-10pm PST on radiosombra.org

Céu - Caravana Sereia Bloom

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 2, 2012 07:30am | Post a Comment
Céu - Caravana Sereia BloomCéu has been the darling of the farmers' market-shopping, Starbuck-drinking, Tom Schnabel-listening set since 2007. Despite that, I always liked her work. Céu’s music has been a guilty pleasure of mine. Her latest release, Caravana Sereia Bloom,  is her best work to date. In just over forty-minutes (the ideal length of an album, in my opinion), Céu pulls all her influences together into a cohesive, short-but-sweet collection of songs. Bits of nostalgia bring to mind some of the great Brazilian artists over the years, such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Jorge Ben, and Os Mutantes. Yet what I like about Caravana Sereia Bloom is that Céu also recalls her lesser-known Brazilian contemporaries such as Nação Zumbi and DJ Dolores who, much like her, use their Jamaican influences as a base. The result is that the Tropicalia- influenced “Falta De Ar” and 70’s groovy Samba “Contravento” feel right at home with the Jaimaican Rocksteady of “You Won’t Regret It” and “Asfalto E Sal.”

I’m not sure to what extent producer Gui Amabis influences Céu’s music, but he seems to give her room for her imagination to run. The instrumentation is organic and there is less of that laid-back, Electro-Brazilian fusion that people living in Los Angeles have dubbed “The KCRW sound” (although there are a few moments). Caravana Sereia Bloom has exposed everything that I loved about Céu’s voice and music, and guilt-free.

La Santa Cecilia's El Valor & Selena's Enamorada De Ti

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 26, 2012 07:51am | Post a Comment
La Santa CeciliaIf you couldn’t make it to La Santa Cecilia’s record release party at the La Fonda over the weekend (especially those under 21) you have another chance. La Santa Cecilia will be doing an in-store performance at Amoeba Records Hollywood on Monday, March 26th at 7pm in celebration of their latest release, El Valor.

El Valor finds the band interpreting songs by such artists as Caifanes, U2, Lhasa De Sela, and Soft Cell. Each song is given the La Santa Cecilia treatment: part Cumbia, Mariachi, Bolero, Ranchera, and Latin Pop. Much like one of my favorite cover albums, Café Tacuba’s classic Avalancha De Exitos, El Valor is sincere without the trappings of being ironic. Each song is an attempt not only at reinterpretation, but a challenge to top the original.

La Santa Cecilia musicianship is sublime, without a doubt. Still, it would be hard not to single out their lead singer, La Marisol. She is often quoted as being the soul of the group. Her sound is unique in that one can hear generations of influences yet she manages not to sound derivative. When I hear her voice, I feel like a cook trying to guess the ingredients of a great dish only to come to the conclusion that the food is great.

Selena Enamorada De Ti On Tuesday, April 3rd, a new collection of reinvented Selena will be released to commemorate what would have been her 40th birthday. The songs that make the Enamorada De Ti album are some of her biggest hits redone with modern pop artists, including Samo from the group Camila, Don Omar, and Selena Gomez. According to the producer, Selena’s brother and main songwriter A.B. Quintanilla III, it was a way to imagine what Selena would be doing musically if she were alive.

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Surrealist Women, Martha Gonzalez & Quetzal's Imaginaries & The Politics Of The World Diva

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 12, 2012 08:46am | Post a Comment
Frida Kahlo Surealist PaintersI couldn’t help but think while viewing LACMA’s new exhibit, In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, How many people spent more time at the paintings made by Frida Kahlo than any of the dozens of excellent surrealist artists featured at the exhibit. Certainly, Frida is the rock star. Her artwork is used in advertisements for the exhibit that are plastered all over Los Angeles. So much so that I heard at least a dozen people refer to the exhibit as “The Frida Kahlo Exhibit” and were disappointed over the fact that there were only seven pieces of her work in the show. Still, it didn’t stop the multitude of women in rebozos wearing ethnic jewelry and posing for pictures in front of Kahlo’s artwork, sharing in Frida’s pain and heartbreak.

I don’t want to sound like a hater, because I do appreciate Kahlo’s artwork and to not acknowledge what she has meant for women artist and the art world in general would be unjust. Not only was she a great artist but also her artwork was superior to many of her male counterparts. Her art forced the inclusion of her and many other great female artists that weren’t given much respect beforehand. But as I continued through the exhibit, marveling over the great surrealist art of Maria Izquierdo, Remedios Varo, Dorothea Tanning, Gertrude Abercrombie and Francesca Woodman, it was evident that people for the most part, were more hung up on Frida’s biography than the art.

This is who we are as a society. We love our icons. We like our revolutionaries handsome and strong and we like our suffering artists to be tragic. You can’t be a multifaceted. You can’t be a tragic icon who met someone nice and settled down. You can’t be a revolutionary that decided, “Eh, I rather get a steady job” We admire them because unlike many of us, they are all or none and they are who they are until their death. Even if it is a perceived notion, we want our icons to make us think they are not like us. Nothing speaks volumes than modern pop music. Was 2Pac really a thug or a very talented rapper/actor who made us believe he was harder than he was?

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