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.

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Two Great Shows On Wednesday, 10/20/10

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 18, 2010 09:18am | Post a Comment
The problem with living in a town as big as Los Angeles is sometimes you have too many choices. October 20th will be one of those days.

Celso Piña's monster hit, "Cumbia Sobre El Rio" was the best song that came out of the last decade, in my opinion. Its crossover appeal makes people of all ages dance their ass off when the track is played in a club or party. It’s the first song in recent memory that was championed by immigrant culture, gangsters and by hipster Latinos. It's also said that this song was key in influencing the whole Cumbia remix, mash-ups and Digital Cumbia culture of the last several years. Celso was already one of Mexico's biggest Cumbia artists when 2001’s Barrio Bravo was released. But with the help of Blanquito Man and Toy Selectah, they gave Cumbia a new twist, adding their Hip-Hop and Dancehall Reggae influences and making Celso Piña became a household name. Celso has released dozens of excellent Cumbia albums before and since Barrio Bravo, but that was his brightest moment.

Celso returns to L.A., along with Blanquito Man (formerly of King Chango), with dj sets from the Mas Exitos Crew.

Celso Piña-"Cumbia Sobre El Rio"

Also on Wednesday and just a few blocks away is the return of the Austin, Texas based Maneja Beto. Maneja Beto continues on a path that bands from Mexico no longer follow. Maneja incorporates traditional Mexican musical influences with their Anglo and Roc N' Español influences. They are part early Café Tacuba, part The Smiths and part Texas flavored Cumbia. They write great songs and play all assortments of electric and traditional Mexican instruments. A trip to L.A. for Maneja Beto is a rare thing these days, as one of the main songwriters, Alex Chavez, has become a college professor at Notre Dame. Maneja Beto will be rocking out at Mucho Wednesdays, located at La Cita. Also performing will be a new group called Chicano Son, a mixture of L.A. and Austin Texas Son Jarocho musicians with a different take on the classic traditional Mexican music.

Maneja Beto-"Los Cerros"

My advice? Park near La Cita. Walk to the Conga room or take the metro. After Celso Piña, head back over to La Cita and catch Maneja Beto!

Wednesday, October 20th

Celso Piña w/ Blanquito Man & The Mas Exitos Crew
800 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, California
(near Staples Center)

Maneja Beto at Mucho Wednesdays
Located at La Cita
336 S. Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Gomez & Mari G At Travel Tips For Aztlan

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 10, 2009 12:44am | Post a Comment

On Saturday, August 8th, I had the pleasure of guest deejaying on Travel Tips For Aztlan on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. Travel Tips is one of L.A.'s longest running Latin Alternative radio programs. My co-host, Mari G., and I filled in for regular hosts Mark Torres and Mariluz Gonzalez, who took a much-needed Saturday night off. Hopefully we will do more fill-in spots for Mark and Mariluz in the future, as Mari G. and I have plenty of music to share. So, what did we play? We played lots of Cumbia, both traditional and remixes. We played a boat load of Toy Selectah remixes and Bersa Discos tracks. We played music from Mexico that is sadly not out in the U.S.

Below is our set list from that night. I marked certain releases that Amoeba Hollywood currently has in stock, just in case you would like to pick up a copy for yourself.

[Hour 1]

1. Das Pop - "Underground" (Busy P Remix)
2. Quantic & his Combo Barbaro - "Un Canto a Mi Tierra" (from the Traditions in Transition CD/LP)
3. Banda de Turistas - "Un Verdadero Cajon de Madera"
4. Quiero Club - "Minutos de Aire"
5. Tontelas - "En Do" (from The Greatest Hits Of G.A.M.M. vol II)
6. Sabo & S.O.S. – "Colegiala Dub" (from the Sol Selectas #7 12”)
7. Los Angeles Azules vs. Sonidero Nacional - "Como Te Voy A Olvidar"
8. Grupo Mojado - "Tonta" (Mexican Dubwiser Remix) btw..."Mexican Dubweiser" -- Mix CD coming soon to Amoeba Hollywood!!!
9. Tzochitl Soundsystem vs. Toy Selectah - "Ay Guey" (from The Bersa Discos #5 12") (background music: Sonido Principe – "Cartagena")
10. Dj Lengua - "Cumbia Squares" (from his self-titled 12”)
11. Henry Castro - "Cumbia Colombiana"
12. Rodger Mas - "Cumbia Bonita" (from his 7” on Club Unicornio Records)
13. Devandra Banhart – "Carmensita" (Toy Selectah Raverton Remix) (background music: Poncho Kingz - "Space Cumbia" (Sonidero Nacional Remix)

[Hour 2: ]

14. Dj Panik - "Te Ves Buena" (From the Bersa Discos #3 12”)
15. Santigold - "Shove It" (Toy Selectah remix)
16. Moonra y su Batallon - "Cumbia Moonra"
17. Alberto Pedraza - "Cumbia Sampuesana"
18. La Cumbia Moderna de Soledad - "Cres que soy sexy?"
19. Wganda Kenya - "Pim Pom" (From the AfroCaribe Dance CD)
20. Pate de Fua - "Triste Historia" (background music: Pate de Fua - "Super Mercado")
21. Pate de Fua - "Recontra Aventurisma en Guanatos"
22. Ginga Snaps – "Lloraras" (from the Bstrd Boots #3 12”)
23. Nortec Panoptica Orchestra feat. Javiera Mena- "Complejo de Amor" (background music: Nortec Panoptica Orchestra - "Meet Again")
24. Villa Diamante - "Juana Molina Vs. Mashup"
25. Adanowsky - "El Idolo"
26. Bam Bam - "Sin las patas traceras"

                                                                                                         Mari G in front of KPFK's entrance

Free Toy Selectah Album!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 10, 2009 12:39am | Post a Comment

If you read my blog over the last year, it's easy to tell I’m a big fan of Monterey, Mexico’s very own Toy Selectah. His official releases on Mad Decent and Bersa Discos are due to drop at some point this year. Until then, Mad Decent has put up an entire album’s worth of Toy Selectah remixes that you can download free of charge. Included on his Mex-More release are remixes from the likes of Air, Chromeo, Santigold, Molotov, Lil Wayne, Café Tacvba, Devendra Banhart and The Human League. Whether it's Ghetto-Tech, Raverton or Cumbia remixes, it's a party from start to finish.

Speaking of Bersa Discos, they are having another installment of their Tormenta Tropical nights at The Three Of Clubs in Hollywood on Friday, April 10. Guest DJ’s will be Ghislain Poirier (Ninja Tunes) and Nguzu Nguzu from Maryland. They be playing some mean Electro-Cumbia, Electro-Soca or just plain Electro. Either way, it should be loud and fun.

Also on this busy Friday will be the return of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs to Los Angeles. After a seven-year hiatus and the death of one of the original members, Gerardo "Toto" Rotblat, the band decided to reform, record and take it on the road. Their album, La Luz Del Ritmo is out now and picks up where the band left off. Their blend of high energy, Latin infused Ska/Reggae/Funk/Cumbia/Punk has been widely imitated but few have matched. Should be a great show at the Gibson.

Continue reading...

Tormenta Tropical

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 15, 2009 09:10pm | Post a Comment

Tormenta Tropical is an Electro-Cumbia club that has its roots in San Francisco and Buenos Aires. This was the second Tormenta Tropical in L.A and the first at their new spot, Guatalinda’s. The club mostly caters to Latin American immigrants, mostly from Central America and Mexico. It’s the kind of place you go to escape Americanism, even for just for a night. The waitresses, complete with the “barely there” mini-faldas, served drinks as the music blasted out of the sound system. To say it was loud was an understatement. The combination of Electro, Dancehall and Cumbia was as varied as the people who went to Tormenta Tropical. It was a mixture of hipsters, regulars and those who felt comfortable in both worlds.

Oro 11 and Disco Shawn from Bersa Discos started the evening. They played the perfect blend of Sonidero, Hip-Hop, Cumbia Villera, Vallenato that had the regulars up and dancing. Uproot Andy from New York, who followed them, was heavier on the electro vibe that night, which made the regulars sit down and got the electro crowd up on the floor. He did play an amazing Prince Nico remix that I wish I had. I think it may be one of his was my favorite song of the night. Toy Selectah was the best of both worlds. He got everyone up. I spoke with Toy briefly before his set. Looks like he will have two 12" singles coming out soon, one on Discos Bersa and the other on Mad Decent

It looks like Tormenta Tropical will happen every first Friday of the month. Despite some grumbling from the regular Guatalinda’s crowd, I think this is a good thing for L.A. Not the “same old, same old” Cumbia and not some overly douchebag electro. It was the best of both worlds.