Brokeback Blogs, Part 2 - Almost Better

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 30, 2007 12:23am | Post a Comment
So I’m back after a small hiatus. First, my back kept me in bed for a week. All I could do was lie on my back and watch endless hours of T.V. After my back got a little better, it was time to hit the studio with my band, Monte Carlo 76. We have been writing our second record for close to three years now and to finally hit to the studio is a welcome relief. During this time it has been painful to sit for long periods of time. Even as I write this I am on my knees with my laptop on my bed rather than sitting at my desk. I still managed to check out a few bands (Calle 13, Ely Guerra and Manejo Beto…more on them later) and I recorded all my keyboard tracks. I just had to do all this while standing up.

If you are under 25 and you are reading this, remember this: Take care of yourself because the older you get it becomes so much harder to recover from injuries, especially if you don’t take care of yourself. I will recover, but like I said, it’s taking a lot longer than it used to.

Brokeback Blogs, Part 1 - Persian Films & Baseball

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 19, 2007 05:35pm | Post a Comment
On Sunday I threw my back out and I’ve been in bed ever since. I haven’t been able to do much other than lie on my back and watch endless hours of TV. I watched endless hours of movies and baseball. Flipping back and forth from Blue Jays v. Yankees, Red Sox v. Royals, and Angels v. Devil Rays games put me fast asleep. Nothing is better than a baseball game nap! To me, it’s a part of the ritual. I spent a good part of the games snoozing. The combination of the games, summer heat and the softness of the bed made me forget the oppressive pain in my back that has been running my life for the last five days. It was the best sleep Itaste of cherry’ve had in years.
It reminded me of when I saw the movie Taste of Cherry. A few years ago, on a whim, I rented Taste of Cherry. It took me several days to watch it. It was story about a man who wanted to kill himself and was searching for someone who would either bury him or save him. The movie, shot in Iran, had these long gorgeous shots of the hills outside of Tehran. The pace was beyond slow. Each night I’d pop the DVD into my player before I went to bed and I would fall asleep after a few minutes. It took me many nights to finish the film. The movie wasn’t boring -- it put you in a dreamlike state, thus leading one into slumber. When I finally finished the movie several evenings later, I watched an interview with the director, Abbas Kiarostami. He said he purposely made his movies to be like a dream and that the highest compliment would be if someone would fall asleep during one of his movies.

I can imagine the highest compliment Abbas would like to receive would not be the applause of the audience after his movie had been shown. Rather, it would be the snoring of the audience members, in deep sleep, only to be awoken by the ushers once the movie was done.

Wrong Lyrics Exposed! Transformers Expose Youthful Mistakes

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 13, 2007 03:50am | Post a Comment
transformerMy friend and sometimes host for 90.7 KPFK's Travel Tips For Aztlan Mari G confessed to mistaken lyrics on her myspace page. Because of all the latest hype about the Transformers, it was exposed that she had been singing the wrong lyrics to their theme song for years. She thought the Transformers song went: “Transformers, robots in the sky!” Rather than “Transformers, robots in disguise!” She also mentioned that her brother thought that "Red Red Wine" went, “Reg-gie White,” maybe because the late great NFL football player was all over the news when that song was out.

Along the same sports theme, when I was a kid I thought the lyrics to The Commodores song "Easy" went, "Why in the world would anybody Wilt Chamberlain?" rather than, "Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?” Don't ask me why, it's just what I heard. When that song was out Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was in L.A. and Wilt had long split the scene and was no longer in the news.
Also, for some reason, in Santana’s version of "Evil Ways," when they sang, “You got to change your evil ways, baby!,” I heard it, "Que hijo de tu (p*nCh#) madre, David!"

Maybe because my pops muttered that under his breathe to me all the time!

Got any mistaken lyrics of your youth you'd like to share?

El Cantante - The Hector Lavoe Made for Television Story

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 13, 2007 02:29am | Post a Comment
el cantante
Thanks to director Leon Ichaso, I got to see an advance screening of the film El Cantante. Ichaso found out that I’m a huge Hector Lavoe fan, so he invited me to see the film. To me, the Willie Colon albums with Hector Lavoe singing rank up there with such albums as Sgt. Pepper’s, Pet Sounds, What’s Going On?, Innervisions, London Calling, Straight Outta Compton, Nevermind & Low End Theory. They are that good.

Lavoe’s story is legendary. His voice captivated a generation and pushed Salsa into the forefront. In the Fania Records heyday, the artists were filling up concert halls all over the world, including selling out Yankee Stadium. There were many talented musicians that were responsible for making Fania a giant in the record business, but Hector was Fania’s rock star. With that came his tragic rock star life.

In the movie, Marc Anthony has the daunting task of playing Hector Lavoe. For not being a Marc Anthony fan I think he does adequate job of it. During the film, especially during the live sequences, it's easy to forget Marc isn’t Hector. The same cannot be said about J-Lo. Jennifer Lopez plays the part of Lavoe’s wife, Puchi, and she never stops being J-Lo, perhaps her biggest downfall as an actress. There are very few moments when she slips out of the J-Lo role and is somewhat believable. Most of the film is done as a narrative from Jo-Lo’s character's point of view, a la a Behind The Music piece. It would have been better to skip that all together and perhaps develop a better script that gave the characters more depth. The rest of the cast is only serviceable, just enough to keep the story moving along. Besides the script never allowing the supporting cast room to develop, it never showed the development of the revolutionary style of music called Salsa. The way the film portrayed the origins of Salsa was as if the style developed overnight. rather than showing it was music that developed through time. The movie's pace seemed better suited for a T.V. movie. I wanted more from this movie than it could ever give me. levoe

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Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike…Ralphy & Johnny Gill Too! New Edition At The Gibson 7/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 11, 2007 01:55am | Post a Comment
new edition
Never in a million years did I think I would ever go to a New Edition concert. But there I was, at the Gibson Amphitheatre all in the mix with the New Edition fans. The audience looked what I imagined what my twenty-year high school reunion would look like. I was in junior high when “Candy Girl” came out and in high school when “Cool It Now,” “Mr. Telephone Man” and the other NE classics came out. I've told my young friends who are into the whole 80’s retro culture and were lucky to be no more than a child during that era that the eighties were not kind. Not only were the clothes, haircuts and the music hideous, growing up in the conservative Reagan era was no fun at all. It was Punk Rock and Hip-Hop that got me through the eighties, because for me, 80’s pop culture was as Joe Strummer called it, a "hamburger culture.” I felt I was force-fed mass marketed pieces of garbage and told it was nutritious. During the eighties, I felt empty and hungry for more, much more.

Still, I had a soft spot for NE because buried underneath the 80’s gobble-goop production there were great R&B songs. Their songs I imagined could have been performed by the likes of Smokey Robinson or The Temptations. Even when Ralph Tresvant would break out into his primeval raps, it wasn’t much different from the breakdowns of the Motown and Stax artists of the past. The fruit never fell too far from the tree as far as NE was concerned.

It was the complete line-up for New Edition at the Gibson, the OG’s and the replacements. For the most part the guys looked great and sounded flawless. All the guys hit the stage running, minus one Bobby Brown. Everyone was anticipating the unpredictable Mr. Brown’s arrive. Was he going to be performing tonight? No one seemed to know. In my mind if he didn’t show he wouldn’t have been missed. Johnny Gill, who replaced Bobby Brown back in 1987, sounded better than Bobby in his prime. They did all the NE big hits in the beginning, before they broke into Bell Biv DeVoe songs as well. It was then that Bobby Brown came out. The audience went crazy. There was a 40ish women seated behind who let out a big scream when he came out, like as if she were in junior high again. Her friends laughed at her when she did this. She screamed to her friends:

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