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Best Of The First Half Of 2011 BY Gomez Comes Alive!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 15, 2011 11:51am | Post a Comment
We have almost reached the halfway point of 2011 and once again time is just flying by. The rest of the year promises some great new World Music releases and live performances. Here are a few great moments and releases that have inspired me so far this year:



Chancha Via Circuito
Rio Arriba

I got this release almost a year ago at a ZZK Records showcase. I wanted badly to write about it but this is a blog about what you can get at Amoeba, right? In March, the CD/LP release of Rio Arriba became available in the U.S. and I couldn't be happier. Chancha Via Circuito explores the world of South American folklore, blending his hypnotic beats with the revolutionary past of South America. The result could be considered another sub-genre of the digital Cumbia movement…perhaps Digital Nueva Trova?? Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful and organic electronic records released in some time.

Celso Piña Live At Amoeba Hollywood

When we usually get Latin artists to play at Amoeba, it usually fits into two categories: The Latin Alternative set: (The Nortec Collective, Ozomatli, Aterciopelados and pretty much anything on Nacional Records) or Salsa/Latin Jazz artist. Having Celso Piña play in the store was a big deal for me for two reasons. He is a Cumbia artist, a music that is more popular in Los Angeles than people in the Latin Music industry will have you believe. The second reason is Celso appeals to our many Mexican, Central and South American immigrant customers who frequent Amoeba Hollywood on a daily/weekly basis. Next up for Amoeba Hollywood? How about a legitimate Regional Mexican artist to play the Amoeba stage? Then a Bachata group? a Punta group….

Pachanga Fest In Austin Texas

This was a festival that I had to attend. On the bill was almost every artist that I ever wrote about on this blog; Some of the highlights included deejay stage that featured some of the best in so co called "Neo-Cumbia" movement, Toy Selectah, Mexican With Guns and The Peligrosa All-Stars. On the smaller stages was Austin’s best kept secret, Maneja Beto, back from a brief hiatus but sounding stronger than ever. Chico Mann performed solo and still managed to keep the audience dancing. Even Chino Bling, who I considered more of a gimmick rap artist, had a fun show. The main stage had yet another Adrian Quesada project, called The Echocentrics, whose live show only added more dimension to an already great album.  L.A. represented with East L.A’s Chicano Son and homies from L.A., Ozomatli, as the headliner. Everyone was legitimately into each other’s music. Going from deejay tent to watching a Ska group to some psychedelic rock. Austinites really have a good time. In Los Angeles, people are hard on each other. We are judgmental and because there is so much competition we are constantly trying to define and differentiate ourselves from another genre of music. In Austin (and I imagine in a lot of other cities) people just have fun and enjoy the many flavors that come their way. In a way, I think it makes us musicians and deejays in Los Angeles work harder because it’s too hard to be the big fish in a small pond because we don't live in a pond, we live in an ocean! Still, at the same time, we never sit back and appreciate what we already have.

Buying World LPs Online Via The Amoeba Website...Just Too Cool!

Can’t make it to Amoeba every day to see all the new and exciting LP wall items we have up on the store? Missing out on those limited edition LPs? Can’t seem to find rare and out of print CDs? Now you can buy them online. Click here for more info


Because It Feels So Good Being Right


Before L.A. Records Magazine, The L.A. Times or The L.A. Weekly included them in The Best Of L.A. People 2011, Amoeba have been supporters of the group, Chicano Batman. We carried their CD since 2009 and we still do, along with the Uniconio LP they released in 2010. They were #17 on the 2009 Best Of World Music list and are still one of my favorite listens. You can still get their vinyl and CD at Amoeba Hollywood.

Comments? You can now add me on Twitter!

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For April & May 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 5, 2011 10:12pm | Post a Comment

1. Mana-Drama Y Luz (CD & CD/DVD)
2.V/A- Bossa Nova And The Rise of Brazilian Music in the 1960s (CD/LP)
3.V/A- Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk 1970-1978. (CD/LP)
4. Zoe-MTV Unplugged (CD/DVD)
5. V/A- Bossa Nova And The Story Of Elenco Records (CD/LP)
6.V/A- Cartegena! (CD/LP)
7. V/A-Nigeria 70 Vol.3 (CD/LP)
8. Ceci Bastida- Veo La Marea (CD Only)
9.V/A-Fania Records 1964-82(CD/LP)
10. V/A- Cult Cargo Salsa Boricua De Chicago (CD/LP)

Mana was Amoeba Hollywood’s bestseller for the last two months thanks to their massive in-store autograph session on April 12th. It was pretty nuts, even for someone like myself who anticipated that the in-store would be huge. There were plenty of people leaving the autograph line either shaking or crying after they met the band. To those in L.A. who do not understand how big Mana is, they will be playing four nights at The Staple Center in June…that’s between 70-80 thousand tickets!

Alt-Latin darling Ceci Bastida landed in the eighth spot after a well-received in-store performance. Speaking of Alt-Latin darlings, Zoe’s MTV Unplugged CD & DVD put them at the number four positions. The rest of the slots when to various world compilations from Brazil, African and Latin America, all 1960 to 1980 retro collections.

Summer is a great time for African music. Out now in our African section is the reissue of Orchestre Poly-Rythmo De Cotonou  First Album and Funky Rob Way by Rob, both on the Analog Africa Label. The domestic release of Youssou N’Dour’s Dakar-Kingston will be out June 7th and more Touareg rock from Terakaft, entitled Aratan N Azawad will be out on June 14th. Seun Kuti will be releasing his latest, From Africa With Fury: Rise on June 21st. We currently have the vinyl version of Seun Kuti’s latest on LP.






On the Latin side we have Joaquin Claussell’s Hammock House: Africa Caribe, which are reinterpretations of classic Fania tracks by the legendary House Music producer. From Soundway Records we have the LP & CD version of Michi Sarmiento and Y Su Bravos, Aqui Los Bravos. A must get is the Peruvian compilation, El Sonido De Tupac Amaru, an LP only release with a scorcher of a 7” single included. Fans of the Roots Of Chicha compilations will love this LP, which is limited to a numbered 500 copies. This is some massive heat coming from the Mass Tropicas label. Speaking of LP releases, the Secret Stash label will have a few new releases, The Rhythms of Black Peru, which features plenty of traditional Afro-Peruvian gems.

Another interesting release to check out is Los Tigres Del Norte’s MTV Unplugged, which has the band performing many of their hits with Latin America’s most known Pop & Rock artists, including Paulina Rubio, Juanes, Residente of Calle 13, Andrés Calamaro, Diego Torres and Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine. There are two versions, CD only and the CD/DVD combo.


 

Heavy World Rock, Funk & Blues Available On LP

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 29, 2011 01:07pm | Post a Comment
V/A-Persian Funk

The latest release from Secret Stash contains more pre-Ayatollah Khomeini madness from Iran. Although there are a few repeats from the excellent Finder’s Keepers release, Pomegranates as well as the Rak Rak Rak compilation, Persian Funk focuses on rare soul and Disco cuts and less on the psychedelic rock. The Middle Eastern Percussion and string arrangement separate itself from the pack of eastern groups doing western influenced dance music, in fact, on can argue that western artists were trying to get that Middle Eastern sound in Disco but couldn’t nail it, but that’s another argument for another time. Nevertheless, drop some of these tracks at your next party and watch everyone on the dance floor go, “Ruh?”

LP release only

Jokers-S/T

Speaking of Iran, this gem of Iranian psychedelic blues comes from a 1972 recording with just a few mics and no overdubs. Originally, no one wanted to touch this sludge feast so it’s only now that this album is seeing the light of day. The four songs that make the Jokers album are heavy; in fact, calling this release “heavy” is not doing it justice. Only 500 LPs were made and on most websites they are out of stock, but we have a few left. For fans of Blue Cheer, MC5, Stooges and Jimi Hendrix. Also available on CD

V/A-Thai Dai: The Heavier Side Of The Luk Thung Underground

Again, we have another dose of World Psyche heaviness, this time from 1970’s Thailand. Tai Dai features artists in the Luk Thung (song of the countryside) scene, a mixture of Thai folk music and western music heard in the clubs of Bangkok. The result was Thai musicians mixing the sounds of Black Sabbath, Santana and Chicago and making it their own. These aren’t covers as much taking some of those aforementioned rock groups’ classic riffs and making it into their own, much like Hip-Hop and modern R&B does today. Most of these tracks comes from 45’s released in Thailand, most being the forgotten b-side tracks that makes western crate diggers today dance in a frenzy. Also available on CD.

So What's New With You? The Shameless Self-Promotion of Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 10, 2011 11:33pm | Post a Comment
A few people have wondered why I don’t use the Amoeba Blog to promote myself, so here I go. I promise to return to World Music and Amoeba Hollywood on my next blog.

As a deejay I’ve had some great gigs recently. I have performed with the likes of Celso Piña, Very Be Careful, B-Side Players and Buyepongo. Anda! A monthly retro- Cumbia/Salsa/Merengue party that DJ’s Juan Lennon, Gazooo, Mando Fever and I started three years ago is still going strong. Our Next Anda on May 7th will have DJ Nu-Mark as our guest. If you haven’t heard Nu-Mark’s latest mix, “Take Me With You” on the Mochilla label, you are in for a treat. It is a mixtape of Jurassic worldly proportions, to say the least.




I have a new residency at the Grand Star in Chinatown, joining the Intensified crew every second Saturday of the month. Intensified features great Reggae, Rocksteady and Latin sounds with The Lawless One and King Steady Beat. I am very happy to be joining them. Speaking of King Steady Beat, we will be releasing an all-vinyl Cumbia mixtape as The Mucho Lucho Sound System. That will be released in May. Artist Lalo Alcaraz did the artwork for the CD. He is the creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip "La Cucaracha” and it’s an honor that his art will be on the CD.


On the radio side, I continue to be a part-time contributor to 90.7 KPFK’s Travel Tips For Aztlan (Saturdays from 10pm to 12am), although with the frequent weekend gigs I haven’t had much of a chance to contribute as of late. I did, however, get a chance to record my first set for Dublab, which you can download by going here. My set was a tribute to the Mas Exitos crew. I really miss them spinning every other Tuesday at the Verdugo. Many thanks to Frosty for letting me play on the Dublab spaceways. April 15th I will be doing a set on Kill Radio.org from 4-6pm on the show An Urban Manifesto. For more info, click here.



As a musician, I will be playing keys with the band Chicano Son on April 17th at East Side Luv. Due to the DJ gigs and the writing, I haven’t been playing much music of late, so this will be fun. I do plan to record over the next few weeks, so who knows what will transpire. 

Speaking of the writing, I continue to write for the Amoebblog. Los Angeles Me started as a blog about Los Angeles but I felt that there are many people that write about Los Angeles much better than I. L.A.M. now features reviews on new World Music releases and what World Music the people of Los Angeles are currently into. In the coming months I will be interviewing more World Music related artists and fans of the genre. I really love that so many people are starting to explore music from other countries that they never would have before. I also enjoy that immigrants and first generation Americans are rediscovering their roots through music.

So far 2011 has been good to me. I enjoy that at part of my income comes from writing and deejaying. I never expect to get paid for the things I love to do but I’m always pleasantly surprised when I do.

Upcoming Shows

Friday April 15th
Live DJ Set on An Urban Manifesto on Kill Radio.org
4pm-6pm PST
Listen in on www.killradio.org

Sunday April 17th
Chicano Son At Eastside Luv
1835 E. 1st Street
Boyle Heights, CA, 90033
9pm-1am
21&Over/Free

Saturday May 7th
Anda! W/ DJ Nu-Mark
Mal’s Bar
2331 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA
21 And

Amoeba Hollywood World Music Best Sellers For March 2011

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 4, 2011 12:41am | Post a Comment

1. V/A-Cartagena! (LP & CD)
2. V/A- Brazil Bossa Beat! — Bossa Nova And The Story Of Elenco Records, Brazil (LP & CD)
3. V/A- Bossa Nova and the Rise of Brazilian Music In The 1960s (LP & CD)
4. V/A- Those Shocking Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard Psyche (LP & CD)
5. Cristian Castro -Viva El Principe (CD Only)
6. Zoe- Musica De Fondo / MTV Unplugged (CD & DVD)
7. Gloria Trevi-Gloria (CD Only)
8. Celso Piña-Sin Fecha De Caducid (CD Only)
9. Gustavo Galindo-Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar (CD Only)
10. V/A-Pomegranates (LP & CD)

 In the battle of World Music compilations, Soundway Records’ latest Discos Fuentes collection, Cartagena!, just outsold Soul Jazz Records' two Brazilian collections and Now-Again Records' Indonesian Psyche comp Those Shocking Shaking Days.  All four compilations are available on CD and LP formats, with the vinyl matching CD sales or, in some cases, surpassing them. The later part of the top ten featured a diaspora of Latin Rock & Pop artist. For the 16-24 Latin Alternative demographic we have Zoe’s MTV Unplugged. For the 55 years and older ladies we have Cristian Castro’s tribute to singer Jose Jose, Viva El Principe. For the gay set we had the latest from Gloria Trevi, Gloria. For the Cumbia set we had Celso Piña and newcomer Gustavo Galindo seem to appeal to well, his extended family, who all came at different times to buy copies of Entre La Ciudad Y El Mar.  Way to support your family, Galindos!

April will bring many new releases from the likes of former Heroes Del Silencio singer Enrique Bunbury, Persian fusion artist, Azam Ali, son of Fela, Femi Kuti, the legendary Cachao and Mexican rockeros Maná, who will also be signing copies of their latest release, Drama Y Luz, here at Amoeba Hollywood on April 12th. For more info, check out the Amoeba website.

Here’s a list of some of the new releases coming in April:

April 5th

Machito-A Man and His Music
Jose Alberto-Original
Cheo Feliciano-Cheo (reissue)
Johnny Pacheco & Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez-Tres De Cafe Y Dos De Azucar (reissue)
Sonora Poncena-Fuego En El 23 (reissue)
Hector Lavoe-Comedia (reissue)


April 12th

Maná-Drama Y Luz
Azam Ali- From Night to the Edge of Day
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo- Cotonou Club
Femi Kuti-Africa for Africa 
Ebo Taylor-Life Stories

April 19th

Enrique Bunbury-Gran Rex
Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco-Tremendo Cache (reissue)
Cheo Feliciano-Estampa (reissue)
Orchestra Harlow-Live In Quad (reissue)
Bombino- Agadez

April 26th

Olga Tañón- Ni Una Lagrima Mas
Roberto Carlos: Millon De Amigos Y Doce Mas (Roberto Carlos Tribute)
Cachao-The Last Mambo
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