Amoeblog

In Which Gomez Only Writes About One Grammy Category

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 9, 2009 12:38am | Post a Comment
I figured I can only write about what I know. I couldn't tell you what deserved album of the year, record of the year, song of the year, best rap/singing vocal or most anything nominated, because truthfully, I never bothered to listen to 99% of the albums nominated. There, I said it.

When I went down the list, there was only one category in which I had heard every album that was nominated, "Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album," so here's what I thought:

Jaguares is one of those legendary Spanish Rock bands that is painfully dated. So dated that their Grammy winning album, 45, sounds like they finally tried to modernize. Now they sound like they reached deep into the future…to the year...1994! Dated or not, this is the first Jaguares record I could finish all the way through. This album reminds me of U2’s back to the basics, How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, from a few years back. Better than previous releases, but more like a lifetime achivement award for Saul Hernandez. It wasn't quite a Jethro Tull winning over Metallica. It was more like Saul Hernandez, The Color Of Money.

I thought The Nortec Collective would give Jaguares a fighting chance. Their Tijuana Sound Machine album was in many top ten lists of 2008 (mine included) by both Anglo and Spanish press. Plus, they had the best plea to the academy to vote for them. With all the violence that has been happening in their hometown of Tijuana, MX, Nortec felt that winning a Grammy would be good for the image of Tijuana.


Locos Por Juana
was the token Latin fusion group, a mixture of Spanish Reggae, Cumbia, Dancehall and lots of fun…and that’s why they had no chance. Doesn’t mean you can’t have yours though. They are playing this Thursday at AfroFunke at Zanzibar.

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TECHNO IS BLACK!

Posted by Mike Battaglia, February 2, 2009 11:00am | Post a Comment
       Larry Levan at the Paradise Garage        Ron Hardy at the Music Box

Even five short years ago, many clubbers, ravers and dance music fans would be hard pressed to recognize the names Ron Hardy or Larry Levan (above, R-L), let alone acknowledge African American influence on the music they get freaky to on the weekends. Even in the black community, whole generations seem The legendary Paradise Garagecompletely oblivious to this part of their musical heritage. Thankfully, that's changing. With a renewed interest in disco, 80's uptempo R&B aka boogie, techno and early house music over the past few years, knowledge of dance music's history and the role blacks (and gays and latinos) played in its inception is growing. Nightclubs where the music was allowed to evolve, like Levan's Paradise Garage (right) in New York, Hardy's Music Box and Frankie Knuckles' Warehouse in Chicago (the latter being where the name House Music was coined) and Detroit's Music Institute remain legendary not because of the venues themselves or the people who owned them, but due to the DJ's who made those places immortal by performing an aural alchemy that transformed the American soundscape.

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