Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lost in MySpace

Lost in MySpace Latin Music Molotov Andy Palacio Kinky Circo Jiggaton
(Another update below, 21/08)
Life after the separation: Molotov found a very original solution to their recording obligations. Every band member made a 4-song solo EP, and the EPs combined are sold as 'the final Molotov album', called Battle of the Band. As usual everything is bathed in irony - band members repeatedly appear in the press trashing the other member's songs. The battle will be decided at the Molotov MySpace, the song getting the biggest number of plays there will be promoted to the radio. I'm going for "Dejate Algo" by Paco Ayala!

An artist I've been wanting to share with you for a long time is Andy Palacio.This Belizean talent brings the story of the Garifuna, a unique people descending of African slaves, living on the coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. For his latest record Watina, he dove into Garifuna language and culture, and the result is a pure and warm album, hovering between blues and afro, a true tribute to Garifuna music. Be sure to spend some time on his (gorgeous) MySpace, and if you want to read more there's loads at SoundRoots, MondoMix and Fly.

Kinky and Circo are two alternative rock bands riding on the MySpace wave of the last few years (especially Kinky, take a look at their number of plays!). Both mix 80's electro through their poppy riffs, which can be both very entertaining on saturday night, and very irritating on sunday morning. You decide!

Did you ever wonder what reggaeton would sound like in English? Neither did I - it just can't be the same, right? Production crew The Presidentz thought otherwise: they gave some rap tracks starring Jay-Z, Pharell Williams and Kanye West the reggaeton treatment. The result leaves me kinda indifferent. The songs are quite solid, but I miss the Spanish edge and the references to latino culture. You can preview the whole album (called Jiggaton) on their MySpace.

UPDATE: Mexico's favorite alternative rockers Café Tacuba have posted a new song on their MySpace. "Volver A Comenzar" is a 7-minute epic teaser for the 2 October release of Sino, the first Café Tacuba album in over four years. The Grammy winners have once again opted for Gustavo Santaolalla in the producer's seat (who doesn't, these days?). We're already looking forward to it!

2nd UPDATE: In response to police violence in Puerto Rico, Calle 13 released a smokin' hot tirarea (diss) at the PR police force, and the 'colonial' government in general. "Tributo a la Policía" can be found on their official MySpace, or downloaded at their website. This is not the first time, Calle 13's very first single "Querido FBI" was another powerful middle finger towards the US and PR governments, also released after a dubious killing.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rock: Inmigrantes, El Cuarteto de Nos

Two latin rock tracks for the young and trendy!

Inmigrantes - Golpe de Suerte - Turistas en el Paraiso - Argentina Latin Rock
Inmigrantes consists of twin brothers Carlos and Pablo Silberberg, Argentinean youngsters who have been playing music together since they were 11 years old. They have a lot of live experience, playing in the (huge) bar scene of Buenos Aires, but "Golpe de Suerte" is their very first single. Energetic and enthusiastic are the first words that come to mind, with that catchy bass riff opening the song. What follows is flawless guitar/drum interaction, revealing the boys' talent. Maybe their voices lack some maturity, but their youthful spontaneity is very contagious indeed!

El Cuarteto De Nos - Ya No Se Que Hacer Conmigo -  Raro - Uruguay Latin Rock
The always interesting Crisol de Musicas put me on to El Cuarteto De Nos, a latin rock band from Uruguay that's been around for 27 years already. Guitarists Roberto and Ricardo Musso are brothers - get the link with Inmigrantes? ;)
"Ya No Sé Que Hacer Conmigo" is the latest example of their complexless funrock: witty lyrics are alternately supported by a southern-sounding acoustic guitar and tearing distortion. They rock like 20-year olds, only the theme of the song (changes in life) gives away their true age. And the way they still try to rhyme every sentence is just priceless. Be sure to check out the very 'designer' video too (below)!

Inmigrantes - Golpe de Suerte mp3 buy@Amazon
El Cuarteto De Nos - Ya No Sé Qué Hacer Conmigo mp3 buy@Amazon

Inmigrantes - Golpe de Suerte

El Cuarteto De Nos - Ya No Sé Qué Hacer Conmigo

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Holiday Report: Jarabe de Palo, Daddy Yankee

We're back! And yes, even on holiday we're soaking ourselves in latin music. Spending that holiday in Spain or Mexico helps a lot of course ;) Here's what we've been up to.

Járabe De Palo plays a home match in Castejón de Sos
Jarabe de Palo Adelantando Gira Concierto Concert Tour Castejon de Sos
Chapín saw Járabe de Palo perform in their home area in Spain, a unique concert for both the band and the locals. You might know Járabe de Palo of (international) hits like "Bonito" and "La Flaca", and they've just released their 6th album Adelantando, with "Olé" as first single.

Castejón de Sos is a tiny mountain village in Alta Ribagorza, the region where lead singer Pau Donés lived for most of his life. And with tiny, I mean tiny: the 1000 attendees momentarily tripled the usual population of Castejón. As it was raining most of the day, many feared the (open air) concert would be canceled; in addition, Castejón is reached only by treacherous mountain passes not suited for tour buses and trucks loaded with speakers and instruments. So the greater was the relief when eventually the group entered the stage (which was moved indoors) to kick off this special concert.

I always thought JdP songs suffered from being too radio-friendly and too much the same (compare "Bonito" and "Olé" above). But the mere enthousiasm of Donés and his band, together with funkier arrangements, lifted this concert way above the quality of the CDs. The band seemed to know exactly where the songs needed to be spiced up (or mellowed down) to work on stage, even the songs I hadn't heard before sounded like latin pop classics. Guitarist Jordi Mena deserves a special mention, his impressive solos rocked the show. Also, the chemistry between Pau and his audience was extraordinary. He made fun of his friends, talked about his growing up in the region - all in the local Aragonese dialect - and got the audience on his hand from the first minute. The big hits were sung along word for word, and a bis round with "La Flaca" made the place go completely wild. A unique concert indeed! I still blame myself for not having a digital camera around...

(More dates for the Adelantando tour at the official JdP site.)

El Guïri meets Daddy Yankee
Daddy Yankee Loves La Onda Tropical
El Guïri had the luck to interview film writer Guillermo Arriaga (of Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel) at a Mexican TV show. And backstage he bumped into none other than Daddy Yankee! Yankee said he's a long time fan of La Onda and checks back here every week, but he's a little shy to comment online. He didn't have time for an interview, but of course we could call him 'anytime' for VIP concert tickets and stuff like that.

(Or maybe that's not true, and all we got was the lousy quality picture above! ;) The white guy on the right is El Guïri himself, if you hadn't guessed.)

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