Los Lobos at Amoeba Hollywood 8/25 Reviewed by Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 29, 2010 11:21pm | Post a Comment

I admit, even though I love Los Lobos now, it took me some time to get into them. When I wrote a blog about their album Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance, I admitted that as a 15 year old, their music “was the kind of music that could be easily digested by the readers of Rolling Stone as being adventurous.” There was no way I could understand Los Lobos as a kid. They were adults. They were men who were married and had children. They had been part of the East Los music community for years by the time their records on Slash were released. Los Lobos isn’t one of those bands you grow up with. It’s a band you appreciate when you are older.

Sure enough, as I got older, I not only began to appreciate them, but I feel that now I fully understand them. Their lyrics had the same artistry as other Chicano visionaries such as writer Rudolfo Anaya or painter Patssi Valdez, coupled with their ability to make art that was both personal and universal. Hearing the song “La Pistola Y El Corazon” is like having a shot of tequila when heartbroken. "One Time One Night" makes me think of all the people I have lost. I saw my childhood in “Kiko And The Lavender Moon.” I saw my own past fly before my eyes in “Oh Yeah.”

This past week's event was Los Lobos’ third in-store appearance in nine years at Amoeba Hollywood. They started with “Burn It Down,” a song from their excellent new album, Tin Can Trust. The song has lots of Alt-Country flavoring with a blistering David Hidalgo guitar solo that was part Richard Thompson, part Thurston Moore. They followed it up with “Don’t Worry Baby” from Will The Wolf Survive? That song is an instant jump-up number that can get any crowd going. But it was the new songs, such as the title track, "Tin Can Trust," and the standout “Jupiter And The Moon,” a song with shades of Traffic’s “Low Spark of the High-Heeled Boys” that shined the most. Those two songs easily fit with the other Lobos classics they played that night, such as “Will The Wolf Survive” and “Shakin' Shakin' Shakes.” They played two of Cesar Rosas' signature Cumbias, “Yo Canto” from the new album and “Cumbia De La Raza” from the album This Time. Both had many people dancing in the aisles to their East L.A. Cumbia rhythm.

David Hidalgo dedicated their cover of The Grateful Deads “West L.A. Fadeaway” to the 15th year anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death. Los Lobos toured with The Grateful Dead in the mid-eighties, a daunting task for any band due to the dedication Deadheads had for their beloved band. In a lot of ways, Los Lobos are more like the Grateful Dead than many of their knock-offs. For instance, the writing team of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter serves the same role as the Hidalgo/Perez team, and likewise with songwriters Cesar Rosas and Bob Weir. Rosas and Weir’s songs are the ones that everyone gets up to dance to. The Garcia/Hunter and Hidalgo/Perez team wrote all the songs that everyone quotes. Both bands have strong ties in roots music, The Dead with Bluegrass and Los Lobos with Traditional Mexican music. On top of that, each band has great musicianship, including two distinctive lead guitar players. The comparisons are so deep that even Robert Hunter has started collaborating with the Los Lobos of late.

Lastly, one of the best things said about The Grateful Dead was that they weren’t the best at what they did -- they were the only ones who did it. The same could be said about Los Lobos. Their blend of bilingual Classic Rock, Blues, Tex-Mex, Son Jarocho, Cumbia and East Los Soul rivals the eclecticism that The Dead brought into the world five decades earlier. Sure, there are many groups that may have one or two flavors of each band’s sound, but never the whole dish.

To see all the pictures from the Los Lobos instore, click here!

Ride On!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 8, 2010 01:50pm | Post a Comment

Free fridays at Santa Anita racetrack start today and continue for the next few months. I highly recommend a trip out to Arcadia to sit in the bleachers and smoke, drink and bet-- or you can just pretend to bet like I often do. Of course, there are "exclusive" box seats and all that, but to me the bleachers make for a much better bit of people watching and a much more relaxing time. Dollar beers, dollar hot dogs and a stunning view of the San Gabriel Mountains make the trek out east a worthy one.

Santa Anita Park
285 W Huntington Drive
Arcadia CA 91007


Posted by Billyjam, August 31, 2009 11:04am | Post a Comment
Grateful Dead "Don't Ease Me In" from Festival Express, Toronto, June 1970

Last week kicked off the highly recommended free Amoeba's Monday Movies series in Hollywood, CA at Space15twenty with a screening of the Hurricane Katrina themed film Trouble the Water -- a Festival Expresswonderfully produced documentary, albeit with an unsettling subject matter. In contrast, tonight's screening of the fun, must-see music documentary Festival Express, which captures a magical slice of time and rock history from almost forty years ago, is much lighter in its content.

The film was shot in the summer of 1970 over a period of five days on a cool custom made train with some very talented passengers on board, including Janis Joplin, The Band, the Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy, and Sha Na Na. The train trekked its way across Canada from Toronto, to Calgary and to Winnipeg, with its crew stopping to perform concerts along the route.

What makes this film so unique and so endearing is just how candid everyone comes across in their intimate portrayals. I love this film and was so moved when I first saw it six months ago, especially by Janis Joplin's role. Her great performances  tragically would be some of her very last, since she died within a few months of this trans Canadian tour. I wrote an Amoeblog about Festival Express and Joplin back when I first watched the film.

Continue reading...

Men In White

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 4, 2008 10:35am | Post a Comment
Well, here they come...The men in the white suits...and sweaters and horses bodies and whatever the hell Menudo is wearing. Kinda looks like a karate uniform mixed with PJ's. Maybe that's what they had to wear for the band slumber parties...

The Employee Interview Part VII: Ben Tuttle

Posted by Miss Ess, July 6, 2007 12:02pm | Post a Comment
Ben Tuttle
3+ years employment
Sound Man Extraordinaire

Q:  So Ben, what music did you listen to when you were a kid, like before you could pick yourself?  What was playing in your home?

BT:  My dad used to listen to the Beatles, I remember that.  Probably Rubber Soul and I remember listening to Chuck Mangione and Slim Goodbody.  He was an informative performer for kids and he wore a full body unitard that showed the inside of his body.  I saw him perform in Oakland when I was a kid, my mom took me.

What was the first music that really struck you and made you a big music lover?

George Gershwin "An American in Paris" and "Rhapsody in Blue" and Led Zeppelin.  Those were the first tapes that I ever listened to that I remember.  My brother turned me on to Houses of the Holy.

What's the first instrument you picked up?  Whatall do you play now?

Piano.  That was the first thing.  My mom made me take lessons when I was 5.  I didn't learn the music and I just did it by ear cause I figured out how to do it like that.

Now, drums, guitar, keyboards, vibes, saxophone.  Those are pretty much all the instruments I play on a regular basis.

What was the first live show you ever saw?
Slim Goodbody was the first show I remember but he didn't have a band or anything, so I guess the first live show I ever went to was the Dead.  My brother took me to see the Grateful Dead and while I enjoyed the new experience I ended up falling asleep.  I was a kid, I was 12 maybe.

Wow!  Where was it?

Oakland Coliseum.

Did you like the Dead?

I was not, like, a fan; my brother was waaaay into them and him being the older brother, I was definitely intrigued.

How did you get involved in sound engineering?

Originally through 4 tracking my own music in my bedroom and then going to many shows with bad sound and knowing that I had the ability to make it sound good!  Then I got thrown into the fire.


Lawrence, Kansas, the world famous Bottleneck, which is still kickin' it today.

Were you scared the first time you did sound?

It was a little nerve wracking but overall it was successful.

What was the music scene like in Kansas?

Um, it was incredible when I first moved there, tons of new music and live bands bands like Shiner, Boy's Life, Vitreous.  This is like 1993/95, something like that.  But that's how I ended up meeting Kori and Jason of Mates of State and we played in bands together in college.  I got to meet a lot of really great people.

Was there a good sense of community there?

Definitely.  Small town, midwest, nothing to do but drink beer and play music.  But the thing about Lawrence is there's nothing else out there between St Louis and Denver, nothing else cool.  Lawrence has great juke boxes.

  So bringing it back to SF, what is your favorite local band?

Ooooh that's a tough one.  I'd say it's between the Hooks, Kelley Stoltz, also Triclops and RF and Joanna Newsom.  I can't say just one.

What projects are you working on right now?

The Life on Earth, The Sheep Return and what else am I doing? I've got a surf rock band with two Canadians I am playing drums in.  No name yet.

What is your favorite local venue to see a show at?!

Great American and Bottom of the Hill, of course. [Ed's note:  Ben did sound at Bottom for years.]

Best show you saw this year?

Probably Blonde Redhead at Bimbo's-- that was magic--  but I haven't seen Rush yet, that's August 1.

Of course.

Cause that'll probably top the list.

Favorite instore ever?

Rush, in my dreams.  And since we are on the topic of dreams Joanna Newsom also, playing with Rush!

But for real, Lymbyc Systym when I did sound with them cause there was no one else to do the sound and I was in their band too so I mixed em until it was my turn to play and then I walked up on stage and just started playing.  It was so fun!

What's your favorite record right now, first one you think of?

Ooooooh crap. Field Music, Tones of Town.  That's like my new jam.  I did sound for them at Bottom [of the Hill] and we got on real good.

What else have you been listening to lately?

Rush's new album.  Um, Metallica Kill Em AllBjork VoltaJoe Henderson, some jazz sh*ts.

What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?  Why?

That's tough.  Right off the bat, "Black Crow" from Hejira cause it's got Jaco [Pastorius]on it and it triggers a specific time in my life, a certain very awesome free, ignorant part of my life.  Those were some good times!

That song "This Flight Tonight" does that for me.  All of side 2 of Blue really.  She kills me.  So, who is your favorite record producer? 

Jon Brion.

I love Jon Brion!

He's my favorite of the contemporary producers.

He's so tasteful .

He's got chops for days, but you know,  Nigel Godrich, his production on Paul McCartney's last album was very tasty.

Jon Brion was friends with Elliott Smith.

Yeah totally and my friend Travis is friends with him, so I have a one man claim to fame!

What's your best find here at Amoeba?

All my friends that work here! No seriously, that's a tough question, prolly the dvd for Driver 23.  It's an insane documentary that every musician should watch.  Look for it!

What's your favorite part of working here at Amoeba?

All the mad hugs I get.  That and getting to say that I work sound at Amoeba.  Just being exposed to everything here.

Thank you for  your time.
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