Amoeblog

Hispanic Heritage Month - Anglo America in Latin America

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 18, 2011 05:24pm | Post a Comment
For Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15), the focus naturally tends to be on Latino experiences and contributions in the US. The US is a nation of immigrants (founded by illegals, some would argue) and currently the largest group of immigrants arriving are from Mexico (followed by China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Canada and Korea). 

Individuals' reasons for coming to the United States vary but behind general trends there's frequently the specter of American involvement in the politics of their native countries that have made conditions less bearable at home whether it be the funding of right wing death squads, corporate exploitation, economic imperialism, secret anti-populist wars, CIA-backed coups and assassinations, or the American peoples' insatiable appetite for marijuana, meth, cocaine, rubies and gold.

I've already written a blog entry about documentaries dealing with American Latino subject matter so here's a list of films dealing with Latino-American subject matter that also relate to American foreign policy.


    
 
   American Experience - Fidel Castro                            Aristide                                Fidel Castro - El Comandante

    

Che Guevara - Where You'd Never Imagine Him   CHE - Rise and Fall                                         Cocalero

    

   El Che - Investigating a Legend                     The Fall of Fujimori                            Fidel - The Untold Story
    
    

                The Good Fight                               
Castro - The Survivor                          The Spanish-American War

    


              The Hugo Chavez Show                 Pablo Escobar- The King of Coke        Pancho Villa - El Angel y el Fierro

    

       Pancho Villa - Outlaw Hero                       The Panama Deception                        Pictures from a Revolution

    

              Roses in December                                     La Sierra                                                Yank Tanks


*****
Become a fan of Eric's Blog on Facebook!

3Ball Pursuit - An LA Weddo in King Kumbia's Kourt

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 12, 2011 04:58pm | Post a Comment
STUMBLING ONTO A SCENE


Three years ago I went to a party in Echo Park at a friend's home near the New Hope Mission Methodist Church. I don't remember what my friends were playing but outside the downstairs neighbors were bumping some amazing dance music. It was a variety of Cumbia, which I've always loved since being exposed to Carmen Rivero y su Conjunto's Cumbia LP as a child. I don't just like traditional Cumbia either; from the creative, unsteady "Cumbia Sobria el Rio" by Celso Piña, Control Machete, and Blanquito Man to the straight up cheese of groups like Los Temerarios, I like it all… and the album covers make me happy too.




Anyway, the DJ kept playing tune after amazing tune and, whilst three generations of friends and family danced, I was transfixed by the music. It was fast and almost completely synthesized. I don't think I had Shazam on my phone but I'd bet all of it would've come up unrecognized anyway. I figured I'd just go into Amoeba the next day and hit up the helpful folks in the World section. I was pointed in the direction of some hip Chicha collections which, though interesting, were not at all what I was looking for.



This music was fast like modern Merengue with the aggressive energy of Crunk… the kind of thing cultural watchdogs won't accept for another forty years. I tried to make a Pandora station but it just turned into the Baja Fresh soundtrack. I pretty much gave up until I caught a VBS.TV segment called "Mexican Pointy Boots" about Mexican dance crews and their favored impractical footwear. The soundtrack to the program was the music I'd heard years earlier and never since.




In the "suggestions" column were several videos described as being "Tribal" or "Trival" or "3ball." I was hooked. Mix after mix of amazing music that you can't find on the ridiculously over-hyped Spotify (which, as far as I can tell, is basically Youtube minus the videos and with about 3% of their catalog).


THE HISTORY AND ROOTS OF TRIVAL



 
The roots of the Trival scene stretch back to 2004, with Tribal House artists like Antoine Clamaran, Alma Matris, DJ Fist, Mario Ochoa (Drumma), Tribal Taranted, and Mats Tribal, who were popular in Latin America. A Mexican producer, Ricardo Reyna, had the idea of adding a pre-Hispanic influence to Tribal House and created the hit, "Danza Azteca." Around the same time a DJ then calling himself Tanke (and now going by Xookwanki) had a hit with his Tribal-Cumbia hybrid called "La Cumbia." Hits by DJ Sobrino, Mark Albardado, DJ Antena, Chilango Drums and others in a similar vein followed and came to initially be marketed as "Tribal Hispanic."



Toward the end of 2005, DJ Mouse and other Mexican DJs began incorporating the rhythms and bass lines of Cumbias and Guacharacas, creating what came to sometimes be known as "Tribal Guarachero" or "Tribal Guaracha." Early the following year, DJ Mouse and DJ Manuel Palafox released the Tribal Guaracha hits "Folklore," "El Sonida de Arpa," and "La Guitarra." Over the course of the year, Tribal Guaracha spread in popularity across the dance floors of southern Mexican states including Guerrero, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, and Veracruz.

El Arcoiris MTY

Meanwhile, in the north, Tribal began being played in Monterrey's influential Arcoiris Club. The northern clubgoers, unfamiliar with the theretofore southern phenomenon and as unsure of what to call it as I was at the Echo Park party, simply began referring to it locally as "Musica Arko." Soon, other clubs around Nuevo León began spinning "Musica Arko" as well.



Back in the south, in 2007, "Tribal Costeño" was created by DJ Tetris, a DJ in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca who incorporated elements of his region's traditional music. Examples of this style included "La Tortuga del Arenal Remix," "Revolucion Costeña," and "La Azteca Remix."



In 2008, DJ Mouse, DJ Manual Palafox, DJ Shaggy MTY, and DJ Alan Rosales took Tribal Guaracha in an increasingly electronic direction, replacing flutes with dinky synthesizers, and sampled African and Afro-Cuban vocals with their own -- often synthesized. Roberto Mejia's "Con La Mano Arriba Todos," DJ Shaggy and DJ Kokis's "Pompi Cadera & El Alacran," DJ Vampiro's "LA Culebritika," and LDS's "El Parrandero del Barrio" exemplified the new direction.



At the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, Monterrey DJs DJ Erick Rincon (formerly DJ Shaggy MTY) and DJ Sheeqo Beat collaborated on Colectivo Tribal Monterrey (3Ball MTY), which mixed the style of Tribal Guarachero with earlier Tribal Prehispanic. Back in Oaxaca, DJ Tetris and DJ Remses had Tribal Costeña hits with "La Zandunguita," "La Tequita," and "Bailando y Gozando," while new southern talent including DJ Chombo and DJ Mando also joined the fray…



Today, newer Trival artists include DJ A.B., DJ Baldomero, DJ Gecko, DJ Guero, DJ Jezzy, DJ Lunyboy, DJ Tripa, and many more. So if you like Trival like I like Trival then head to Amoeba and ask them to get some for you. There's also Cumbia Trival page on Facebook where people frequently post videos and new mixes.

*****

Guerrilla Street Artist Ron English Takes Risk with Daring US/Mexico Border Art Prank

Posted by Billyjam, April 7, 2011 09:11am | Post a Comment
      One piece in the three-part April Fool's Day on the Border art prank by Ron English

Last Friday, April 1st, guerrilla street artist Ron English was down in Texas, where he spent the early afternoon posting his art on both sides of the US/Mexican border (McAllen, TX & Reynosa, Mexico) as part of his grand scale and very risky (even by his illegal art standards) April Fool's Day on the Border art project. Since the 1980's Ron English has been risking getting arrested (many times actually getting arrested and jailed) for sniping his large scale, anti-corporate & anti-estabishment faux-advertising street art on roadside billboards, bus stop ad spaces, & various other highly visible public spaces.

Ron claims he is the first street artist to ever do something like this on the wall separating the US/Mexico. The Popaganda artist risked not only getting arrested but also the wrath of the notoriously vigilant US border patrol & Homeland Security forces. And on top of all that, the veteran street artist literally risked his own life by entering the territory of trigger happy Mexican drug thugs.

"Very close to where we were at on the Mexican side doing the billboard [was where] all those people got shot. It was scary," said English, referring to the six latest casualties in Mexico's bloody drug war who got gunned down & killed just the day before he crossed the border for his April Fool's Day on the Border stunt.

Continue reading...

Cruise to Mexico: Part 8

Posted by Job O Brother, December 13, 2010 02:09pm | Post a Comment

(A lady raises her pinky.)


Day 5 (Part 1)

Friday. September 16, 2010

AT SEA




The best part of mornings on-board a cruise ship is waking up to the scent, sight, and sound of your ship at sea. The Pacific Ocean has a myriad of blues in her pallet, all of them are mesmerizing and crushable. For real. If the Pacific Ocean were a lady, I would totally marry her.

The worst part of mornings on-board a cruise ship are the breakfasts. It’s as though they were prepared by contestants on Top Chef who were given the challenge to “make as many things as possible using only white flour and remember – no fresh ingredients!”

By the episode’s end, my tummy loses. Bacon that remarkably resembles fried leather shoes, eggs that looked like they came from a chicken’s leukemia ward, fruit salads that seemed so depressed you’d think they should be sprinkled with Prozac, not sugar – and since I couldn’t bring myself to eat any of these aforementioned items, I was left with the option of pancakes covered in waffle cupcakes, drizzled in biscuits with a dash of bagel. One bite of this, and coffee became my only morning meal.

"I just feel like I'm never gonna accomplish anything that matters."

There are so many invalids on-board, trudging slowly, hunched over stainless-steel canes or walkers, oxygen tanks everywhere underfoot – you can easily forget you’re on a luxury liner, not a retirement home. The greatest danger is not that the ship will sink, but that you’ll get run-over by a Rascal Scooter.

Faces of Death: Cruise Ship Edition

By lunchtime I was ravenous – the coffee that became my only breakfast was, in turn, making a meal of my stomach lining. By Day 5, I decided to try lunch in the main dining room. Up till then, most of my days were off-ship so I could eat from vendors at the ports. I was curious to see if formal lunch was as good as the formal dinners.

It wasn’t. I ordered a salad in which each separate ingredient somehow tasted like water. Put them all together and you get, well, a whole lot of water, but with texture. Despite this disappointment, there was a singular joy in my lunchtime: it was the first meal there where I didn’t have to hear the staff singing “Happy Birthday” to someone. Yay, God!

Continue reading...

Cruise to Mexico: Part 7

Posted by Job O Brother, December 6, 2010 11:37am | Post a Comment


Day 5 (Part 2)

Thursday. September 16, 2010

PUERTO VALLARTA



As the boyfriend, his father, Fred, the sweltering heat and I walked home along the quaint, plank-board sidewalks along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, I was all the time keeping a look-out for a keen thank you gift for Smithy, who’s house-sitting for us had caused her such difficulty after the devious plotting of the demon spawn we call “our kitties.”

You’d think that a tourist trap like Puerto Vallarta would be ideal shopping, but I couldn’t imagine Smithy exactly swooning over a miniature beaded palm tree statue or a Hard Rock Café tank-top.

Then, at last, I saw just the sort of boutique that catered to the refined taste of my dear,lady friend: a tequila specialty shop. Hypnotized by the variety of tans, camels, and caramel colors that shone through the many-angled bottles, I floated in and got real thirsty. The vendor – who’s name I never got, so I’ll call Graggenhauserfrauschembaur – practically materialized from out of my shadow, eager to exchange some of his wares for the far-less delicious bills I kept in my wallet.

“This,” I thought to myself, “Is gonna be a great relationship.”

It was. At Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s insistence we sat at a tiny portable bar and were lined up shots after shots of tequila tasters. It was like being a college freshman girl at her first date rape. Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s salesmanship was bar-none; how brilliant to get your customers drunk! And the tequila was, truly, lekker. My personal favorites were a coconut-crème tequila and a tamarind liqueur that made me wanna be an alcoholic again for the first time. I purchased some booze for Smithy, and some for myself. I bid Graggenhauserfrauschembaur a bittersweet farewell, and he scolded the boyfriend and I for coming from Los Angeles and not being able to speak Spanish.

Continue reading...
BACK  <<  1  2  3  4  5  >>  NEXT