Amoeblog

Songs About Immigration By Los Tigres Del Norte

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 19, 2010 01:04am | Post a Comment
Los Tigres Del Norte Amoeba Blog
With the recent SB 1070 debacle in Arizona, many musicians have come out in support of the immigrant movement. Whether it is boycotting concerts in Arizona, or being part of the pro-immigrant marches going on across the U.S., I am proud to see that many have been behind the movement. However, there have been a number of well-intentioned artists who are writing and releasing songs in support of the Anti-Immigrant movement that are sub-par at best. The songs may come from the heart but most of them are full of clich├ęs and slogans, mostly from those who have not gone through the immigration experience themselves. I don’t want to insinuate that these artists are opportunists, but if you haven’t been writing about immigrant issues since before all this madness in Arizona, you are probably a little late to the party. Besides, would you really want to rally a pro-immigrant song written by the likes of Taboo, probably the least talented member of the pop group The Black Eyed Peas?contrabando y tracion

Los Tigres Del Norte have been singing about immigration issues for the last forty-something odd years. They themselves immigrated into the U.S. in the late sixties, relocating to San Jose, Ca to try to make a living as musicians. In 1972, Los Tigres scored their first hit, "Contrabando y Traicion," a song that made them a household name in Mexico as well as among Mexicans living in the U.S. The song was considered the first Narcocorrido to become a hit and thus started the Narcocorrido boom that continues to thrive today. Over the years they have written many tunes, including some great songs critical of both the Mexican and U.S. government. But it’s their ability to write about the immigrant experience in the U.S. that sets them apart from most groups. As each immigrant experience is different, so is each song. Below are some of my favorites that Los Tigres Del Norte have recorded featuring different spectrums of the immigration experience:
Vivan Los Mojados
“Vivan Los Mojados”
(Long Live The Wetbacks) from the album Vivan Los Mojados

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Amoeba Hollywood's World Music Top Ten For July 2010

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, August 2, 2010 09:54am | Post a Comment
Saigon Rock & Soul Amoeba Hollywood
1. Enrique Iglesias-Euphoria
2. V/A-Let’s A Go-Go
3. Seu Jorge- Seu Jorge & Almaz
4. V/A-Pomegranates
5. V/A-Afrosound Of Colombia Vol.1
6. Sloepoke-Fiesta Tropical
7. V/A-Saigon Rock & Soul
8. V/A-World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia in 1970s Nigeria
9. Yuri-Inusual
10. Marc Anthony-Iconos

July’s top ten includes five retro world compilations, three releases by iconic Latin Pop stars, a release by one of the coolest Brazilian to ever walk on this earth and a local deejay who's got a Cumbia collection like no other.

Enrique Iglesias topped the chart this month, a slight surprise considering his last few releases didn’t do much in the store in the past. Two other iconic Latin Pop singers, Marc Anthony and Yuri, sold well enough to take the ninth and tenth spots.Enrique Iglesias euphoria Amoeba Hollywood

A welcome change is the increase of retro releases from Southeast Asia. Saigon Rock & Soul is a vinyl only release from the Sublime Frequencies label that will soon be sold out, even before this blog is up. The funky psychedelic Vietnamese rock certainly has people willing to pay the almost thirty bucks for this double LP, but I’m sure there are not many complainers in the end. Don’t have a record player and/or don’t want to spend 30 bones? Another option is to go with the Let’s A-Go-Go compilation, which is from 1964-1969 and includes bands from Singapore as well as all over Southeast Asia. Let's A Go-Go Amoeba Hollywood

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Charanjit Singh- 10 Ragas to a Disco Beat Reviewed by Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 14, 2010 12:55am | Post a Comment
Charanjit Singh
There has been much talk about 10 Ragas to a Disco Beat! People have been debating whether Charanjit Singh’s 1982 release predated Acid House or was influenced by it. There was also talk that perhaps it was a modern group posing as “obscure” Indian artist. (Aphex Twin was rumored to be behind this.) The worst thing I read was from a guy who couldn’t possibly understand how someone from India could possibly could get all those synthesizers and drum machines that he used to create this album. I can answer that: It was simple, he was a successful musician and he bought them…and yes, India has electricity, too!

These are the same arguments the imperialist mindset tends to have about indigenous people -- for instance, the argument that intelligent beings from another planet must have created the pyramids because indigenous people couldn’t possibly done it on their own. The truth is that Indian musicians have always been some of the best musicians and most complex composers. They deal with time signatures, scales and overall talent that the Western world cannot comprehend, so the fact that 10 Ragas To A Disco Beat predates some important firsts in the electronic music world does not surprise me one bit.
Charanjit Singh
Much of what appears on this album are Indian Ragas set to Giorgio Moroder inspired arpeggiated synth lines with the same primitive drum programming that was the norm at the time. Again, one can argue that India’s pop world was behind the West, but perhaps because the Western world is so quick to abandon any musical movement for the next big thing. The disco sounds of Moroder might have exploded on a baseball field in Detroit back in 1979, but to the rest of the world his importance was still being felt. Even Brits such as Duran Duran and The Human League, who in 1981 were considered cutting edge, were still worshiping at the altar of Moroder.

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Anda! 2nd Anniversary with Very Be Careful

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 3, 2010 01:43am | Post a Comment
Anda Cumbia Salsa Very Be Careful
When Juan Lennon and I started Anda two years ago, it was all about fun. We were two guys with an ever-growing vintage Salsa & Cumbia LP collection but with nowhere to play the records! Juan knew a spot called Mal’s Bar. I thought it was in downtown, but it turned out to be in the industrial part of town closer to the campus of USC. I admit, I had reservations about the location, but soon I came around. Mal’s is the last of the true neighborhood spots in Los Angeles. It is a throwback to bars that existed in L.A’s past, full of locals and native Angelinos. It doesn’t have valet parking or V.I.P. lounges. It lacks hipster credibility and it’s not the place to be if you want to be “seen.” It’s a neighborhood bar without pretensions. You drink, you dance, you meet people, you hook up (or don’t) and at Anda you get to hear dope Latin music from our residents DJ’s (Gazoooo, Mando Fever, Juan Lennon and myself) and either a band or guest DJ. It’s that simple. We have been blessed to present some of the best talent L.A. has to offer: La Santa Cecilia, Cava, Quinto Sol, DJ 8bits, Buyepongo, Wil-Dog Y Su Banda Juvenil, Rani D (Soul In The Park), Chico Sonido, Ganas (Mas Exitos), La Santa Maria, Reyes (Eclectica), Agua Dulce (actually from San Diego), Sloe Poke (Sonido/Descarga), Ervin Arana (Root Down), Concepto Tambor and, of course, Very Be Careful, who will be performing at our 2nd Anniversary show on Saturday, June 5th.
Very Be Careful Escape Room anda
Until recently, Very Be Careful was the only Vallenato/Cumbia game in town. Now you have the young upstarts Buyepongo (who played our first Anda ever!), Mr.Vallenato (re-located from Texas) and new up and comers La Chamba, who play Peruvian Chicha music via East Los Angeles. VBC continues to the beat of their own drum. They have half a dozen albums out; they have played to audiences in Japan, Europe and South America and their audience stretches from immigrants to punkers, bike-riding hipsters, tias y moms, Ethnomusicologists, dancers and Soul & Hip-Hop heads. If you have lived in Los Angeles over the last dozen years or so, chances are you have seen these hooligans perform. Sometimes they play drunk or just plain wasted on god knows what, but they are always a good time. Most accordion based Cumbia groups seem to worship at the house of Andres Landero (which is cool, I can’t knock that), but VBC’s love for Alejo Duran shows in their songs, full of romanticism and wit, especially on their most recent release, Escape Room, out on Barbes Records. Tales of regret and heartache are mixed with some real Vallenato burners, as if Nick Cave and Lisandro Meza made a record together. But it’s their live show you have to experience. The sweaty dance floor, the drunkenness and the rawness that is Mal’s, Anda and Very Be Careful…a match made some where between heaven and hell, South and East Los Angeles.

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Mas Exitos On The Move!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 19, 2010 11:33pm | Post a Comment
Mas Exitos Footsie's
One of my favorite nights in Los Angeles for the last few years has been Mas Exitos. Every visit ensures that I will hear a gem that only a devoted digger would find or a lost classic that most wouldn’t think to drop. I dare you to find another pachanga that marries dirty Cumbias with East Los backyard freestyle jams, 60’s Mexican Beat, lost Chicano rockers and driving Boogaloos. My personal favorites jams are what the Mas Exitos crew, DJ Lengua, Ganas and Enorbito, call “paisadelic-psychedelic freak outs,” usually a single cut from a Regional Mexican LP that dipped into the psychedelic sounds of the time. You would never guess these nuggets would have come from guys that look like a wedding band from the 70’s, but it just goes to show you how important it is to dig!

Thursday, Mas Exitos will have their first night at a new location. Mas Exitos will now be a monthly at Footsie’s Bar in Highland Park. They have also moved from their Tuesday slot to a Thursday. Footsie’s also houses another great night in Rani D’s excellent Soul In The Park, which happens every other Wednesday. Between those two nights, you might as well camp out in the HP! They also get a pretty good selection of guest deejays that come through to drop some deep cuts. Guests in the past have included Cut Chemist, Quantic, Roger Mas, Tropicaza and countless others. If you haven't been in a while, come on down and dig the new scene. If you have never been, you are in for a treat.

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