Amoeblog

Luis Alberto Spinetta 1950-2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 8, 2012 04:33pm | Post a Comment
Luis Alberto Spinetta DeathOne of my greatest joys when I was picked to write a blog for Amoeba was that I was able to write about music that I truly loved. It was within my first few blogs that I wrote about my love for the music of Luis Alberto Spinetta. Sadly, Spinetta passed away today. A few months back he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died with pulmonary cancer complications. He had just turned 62.

My love for Spinetta’s music grew with my relationships with customers and some fellow employees who encouraged me to delve deeper into his music. Once I did, I found myself doing the same with others. Although a legend in Argentina and for that matter, with most Latin American rockers, he was still a bit of an unknown in mainstream society. I often wondered why other Latin American rock & psychedelic artists got more hipster cred when Spinetta’s volume of work was far superior to others.

His early groups, Almendra, Pescado Rabioso, Invisible and Spinetta Jade where some of the best rock, psyche, progressive rock and folk ever to come out of Latin America. As a solo artist, he released over twenty albums, all of them relevant to the time it was released. To be fair, not all of the solo albums were great but he never wallowed in nostalgia. He attempted to be contemporary without sounding like a dinosaur. If anything, sometimes he was too far ahead of the pack and people needed time to catch up to him.

As a well-read musician, his lyrics were both profound and abstract. I imagine even the most literary Spanish language types needed time to stop and analyze his lyrics. He was inspired by the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Carl Jung, Freud, Nietzsche, Carlos Castaneda and Antonin Artaud, which inspired his greatest album in my opinion, Artaud. Fellow music enthusiast, Gustavo Delanuca, described Spinetta as, “Hip, ahead of his time and never an old man trying be young”

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Tu Cárcel: A Tale Of Working Men, Los Bukis and Lila Downs

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 29, 2012 11:59pm | Post a Comment
Los BukisMy guiltiest pleasure in Latin music has to be the songs written by Marco Antonio Solis during the years he was fronting Los Bukis. There is not a time when a Bukis song comes blasting out of a car or jukebox in a Mexican restaurant/bar where I don’t smile inside. Solis was the master of the balada, or ballads. Although Los Bukis music will forever be dated by their matching suits and that stock 80’s Latin Pop sound, the core of his songs were brilliant.

I didn’t always feel that way. One of my first jobs out of high school in the late 80's was working at a warehouse that custom cut various pieces of foam for Aerospace companies. It was there I discovered a few things. The first thing I discovered is that manual labor sucks. The pay was bad and so were the early work hours for someone who was in the mist of his partying years. The upside is that I had no stress. I lived cheaply and the hours of mindless repetition of cutting and rolling foam around a tube left my mind free to be creative. I wrote songs and stories frequently in my head, sometimes writing my ideas quickly on any scratch piece of paper during my fifteen-minute break.

Los Bukis Album I discovered that this foam we had called Temper-Foam, was great to sleep on. It was used for the Space Shuttle for shock absorption. We used it to nap on during our half an hour lunch break. I would immediately knock out once I laid down on it. If I had a late gig the night before I wouldn’t have time to sleep. I’d go straight to work and that 30- minute nap made me feel like I slept all night. We now know it as Tempur-Pedic, the company that makes expensive beds and pillows.

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Taking Discos Inmigrantes on the Road

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, January 15, 2012 11:43pm | Post a Comment
Discos Inmigrantes, my radio show on Radiosombra.org returns on Tuesday, January 17th at 8PM-10pm PST. My guest this week will be Arshia Haqqani, aka Aruna Irani from Discostan, playing nostalgic LPs from her native India and other worldly treats. As always, Discos Inmigrantes is all analog, all LPs and 7’ singles. To check out the show or to listen to past shows, go to radiosombra.org/discos-immigrantes.
Discos Inmigrantes On The Road

On Saturday, January 21st, I’ll be taking Discos Inmigrantes on the road. First, with an in-store DJ set at Amoeba San Francisco in celebration of the compilation, Juan Lennon Presents: 213 Cumbia Vol. 1. I’ll be playing tracks off of 213 Cumbia as well as vintage Cumbia. My set will be from 2pm-4pm.

Later that night I'll be at Brick and Mortar at the 213 Cumbia Release party with my L.A. homies Buyepongo and San Francisco’s own Cumbia Tokeson.  Brick and Mortar is located at 1710 Mission St., San Francisco. Show starts at 9 pm
Tokeson Buyepongo

Once I return to Los Angeles, I have two shows. The first is in Boyle Heights for a Radio Sombra fundraiser called Transmission. Myself, along with fellow Radio Sombra DJ’s Reyes (Arts & Grooves) and Libre (Radio Merkado Negro), will be broadcasting live from the M Bar. The M Bar is at 1846 E. 1st Street In Boyle Heights.

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Best World Music Releases of 2011, Part 2: The Best of the Rest

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, December 25, 2011 11:18pm | Post a Comment
Brazil Bossa BeatBest Artwork:
V/A: Brazil Bossa Beat-Bossa Nova & The Story Of Elenco Records

Best World Music Album Title:
Joan Sebastian-Huevos Rancheros

Best Of The World Music Releases That NPR Likes:
Tinariwen-Tassili

Best World Fusion Album:
Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal-Chamber Music

Best Retro World Release:
V/A- Chicas: Spanish Female Singers

Best New World Release On LP
Frente Cumbiero- Frente Cumbiero Meets Mad Professor

Best World Music Box Set:
V/A-Opika Pende: Africa At 78 RPM



Bazzerk Best World Music Compilation:
V/A-Sofrito: Tropical Discotheque

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The Choice Bin's Choice-y-er Buy Counter Scores of 2011

Posted by Rick Frystak, December 18, 2011 07:08pm | Post a Comment
As the year 2011 flies to a close, I've gathered some of my favorite scores from the past year together to reflect upon how much great stuff gets traded in at our used buying counter. All this art came in over Amoeba's trade-in counter but didn't make it past my "gotta check this out" sensors-in-overdrive...lots of stuff maybe not have been released in 2011 but plucked from the ocean of "keepers" and brought ashore, as the relevance and quality make it so, and the joy of reconnecting with a reissue or another format.  Our "Insurance Return" policy keeps the good stuff coming in as well.  And I've forgotten more titles than I've remembered...

Vinyl
LPs


John Adams

Harmonium

ECM 1984

I've owned this on a compact disc for ages, and then I see the magnificent film, "I Am Love" with the great Tilda Swinton and I see a vinyl copy of it and my head goes, "BUY THIS"!  This record was cut up and used as the score in such a wonderful, effective way, swooning, tilting and fanfare-ing the scenes making the picture so much more intense and sentimental. Bravissimo. The wax sounds amazing, too, as is the ECM tradition.



Havergal Brian

Complete Piano Music
Cameo Classics 1981

Amazing moods and very sound writing for piano. Think Debussy, Copeland, Ravel, Mozart, Haydn, Bryars and Gershwin and all this rolled into one fellow born in the U.K. in 1876. The great sound on this disc makes it so enjoyable, and being a wonderfully produced U.K. pressing with a brilliant performance by Peter Hill seals the deal.

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