Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Dear fonogramaticos have a nice Halloween, dress well and please give away good candy, don’t be cheap! Niños y Niñas beware of adults and careful with your candy. If anyone is throwing a party, post it in the comments, we’ve been invited to The Horror-Gore Show in Mexico City (Descartes a Kant & Hong Kong Blood Opera performing) while Babaluca is throwing a free party in Tempe (AZ) so get your costumes ready!
I’ll be a cat… TIGER POWER!
People of the good auditory world! We come before you, to present LA ROCOLA #6, that's right! The sixth playlist of Club Fonograma and let me tell you, this one is on fire. During October we had a lot more access to music, our daily visits tripled! and hopefully you are enjoying our convenient shorter reviews, and of course, my essays on some albums where I just can't handle myself. Since the most commented inclusion on our last playlist was on "Mentiras" by Daniela Romo, we now bring you Angelica Maria, probably my favorite voice of the 60s. Again, this is our best collection of songs so far, many of these songs are already on contention for our Best of the Year special that we'll post by the end of the year. This is the first time we use MixPod, as Playlist.com is insanely insufficient lately, the playlist will be stiff for a couple of days before I switch it back to shuffle mode. Turn it up!
La Rocola #6
“Eddi Eddi”, Angélica María
“Get the Rec”, Monareta
“Plastic Caramelo”, Plastic Caramelo
“El Idolo”, Adanowsky
“Electro Movimiento”, Calle 13
“Luz Verde”, Beat Buffet
“Rancho”, Pato Machete
“Amor Cubico”, Niza
“Sastre del Diablo”, Nortec Presents Hiperboreal + Clorofila feat. Adrian Rodríguez
“Bestia”, Hello Seahorse
“Shrimpy Comes. Paul Laughs”, Margarita
“El viaje de Teo”, Ely Guerra
“Like a Child”, Bufi
“Muñequita Sintetica”, Jessy Bulbo
“El Bombo”, Choc Quib Town
“Sonic Sex for All”, Jovenes y Sexys
“256 MB of Love”, Nuuro
“El Vestido”, Juana Molina
“Un Party”, Plan B feat. Arcangel & Ñejo y Dalmata
“Cuando vuelvan los que ayer corrian”, Domingo en Llamas
“Escuela de Zebras”, Joe Crepusculo
“Veneno”, $6MD Weirdo!
“Sintiendo Rara”, Erik Couts
“Para que celebren todos”, El Guincho
“Que Bonito”, Babaluca
“Cuando Cuando”, Niña Dioz
“Pajaritos”, Ximena Sariñana
“Genuino”, Chino Nyno feat. Tego Calderón
“Verano Fatal”, Prietto Viaja al Cosmos con Mariano
“Running too fast”, Natalia Lafourcade
“Chica Virtual”, Arcangel
“Nada”, Juan Son
“Blas y las Astrales son fenomenales”, Blas y las Astrales
“Killing Joke”, Hong Kong Blood Opera
“Hasta Quemarnos”, Kinky (No Somos Muchos Pero Somos Machos Remix)
“No lloro por ti”, Nacho Vegas y Christina Rosenvinge
“Cumbia del rio”, Picadientes de Caborca
Presented by Cinema Tropical in collaboration with The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
A quirky and stirring film series featuring some of the most representative Mexican sci-fi films made during the forties through the sixties. Can a Mexican scientist invent a rocketship? Can a local boxer disarm a nuclear bomb? Can El Santo, the wrestling superhero par excellence, save Mexico City and thus the planet, from Martian conspiracy?
For you lucky bastards in New York, don't miss EL FUTURO MAS ACA. Starts today!
La Nave de los Monstruos (The Monsters' Ship, 1959)
El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras (Planet of the Female Invaders 1965)
El Santo vs La Invasion de los Marcianos (El Santo vs The Martian Invasion 1966)
La Momia Azteca contra el Robot Humano (The Azteca Mummy vs the Human 1957)
Find a lot more info @ Cine Latino en Nueva York
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
EMI, México ***
By Carlos Reyes
If there is such a thing as a guilty pleasure, Moderatto would be my guiltiest pleasure. I'm not afraid at shouting the world my admiration to any artist, but Moderatto goes across the line with their influences and are musically and in appearance not very original. Somehow, Moderatto has won me over even if they are covering songs from fruitless artists like Cristian Castro, Thalia or even Los Tucanes de Tijuana; sum the Christmas album they released last year. They sound a bit too much like Twisted Sister and try too hard to evoke Queen. But in the middle of their pretentious lies an energetic sense of rockstar prosperity that is fun and even complex, a tough one to resist. I didn’t pay attention to their first three albums, but their successful GRRR was pretty awesome and their latest Queremos Rock is flawed, but overall a fine pop album. Moderatto is just like Miranda!, a love it or hate it explosion of attitude, glam, costumes and kitsch. For their first single they decide to risk it with a ballad, “Mil Demonios” which can be too lousy for those misguided by the title of the album. The band performed “Ya lo veia venir” at Los Premios MTV show, this should have been the first single as it is the catchiest track here and is splendidly produced. Don’t be surprised if suddenly you begin to recognize that this is pure Latin pop influenced by the 80s, like a hardcore Timbiriche. Most Mexican rockers resist to admit it, but Moderatto is far superior to the big lineup of mediocre punk rock bands, but of course, they are too commercial to be taken seriously. Or should we take them seriously? I sometimes do, even in their exploded versions of the already exhausted “Oh Mama! (Ella me ha besado)” or “Vamos a la playa.” I can already see some of my friends infuriated and a lot of you hating a song like “Mi Papa” which is pure “Bohemian Rapsidy”, but it doesn’t bother me as I take it as pure entertainment, one that explodes the original material and has fun with it, like the grindhouse movies.
Our great friend Jose Luis Mercado from Rock en las Americas wrote a flourishing series about Latin Rock and Latin Alternative Rock. Straight from Peru, he offered an extensive special on the changes and historical movement or Iberoamerica’s rock. The last post in the series is a top 20 list that recollects this genre in all its forms; it covers a big bunch of classics, newbies and some unexpected choices. All music videos for the following list are available at his original post here.
- “Esa Noche”, Café Tacvba
- “Señor Matanza”, Mano Negra
- “El Matador”, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
- “Clandestino”, Manu Chao
- “Oye como va”, Santana
- “Pachuco”, Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio
- “Mala Vida”, Mano Negra
- “Sube a nacer conmigo hermano”, Los Jaivas
- “Bolero Falaz”, Aterciopelados
- “El Muerto”, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
- “Sarri Sarri”, Kortatu
- “Cumbia de los Muertos”, Ozomatli
- “Gente que no”, Los Autenticos Decadentes
- “Perfume”, Bajofondo Tango Club
- “Pobre de ti”, Tijuana No
- “Fundamental”, Puya
- “Tu forma de ser”, Los Autenticos Decadentes
- “Los Delincuentes”, Veneno
- “Dejenme si estoy llorando”, El Gran Silencio
- “Llegale a mi guarida”, Calle 13 feat. Vicentico
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Independiente, Mexico **1/2
By Carlos Reyes
Consider this a collapsed review for the discography of Mariachillout, a one of a kind trilogy proposal to recreate the classics by the all-time favorite Queen, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Yes, these are instrumented with Mariachi, thankfully not vocalized as the translations would’ve been tragic. Hardcore fans see these albums as collectibles; they were initially only available at selected libraries but quickly became fire on the internet. Because of the circumstances, these are obviously objective albums and trying to pick a favorite might give some a headache. To me, the answer is simple, Queen will always be one of my true favorites, and this homage is irregular but unexpectedly charming. Listening to “Another One Bites the Dust” with Ranchero instrumentation was a bizarre experience, but nonetheless an interesting one. Production values are very cheap, no wonder this trilogy is on the Wal-Mart’s Karaoke shelves. The volumes on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are quite mediocre, there is very little elegancy as it refuses to break from the formal ranchero genre, so I couldn’t stand up completely, just a few chunks here and there. They did however fabricated a delighting homage to Queen, perhaps because there was an easier transition at the time of adapting all the arrangements. Overall a well intentioned series of albums that works better as an idea than an actual product.
Monday, October 27, 2008
HONG KONG BLOOD OPERA
Noiselab, Mexico ****
By Jean-Stephane Beriot
The awesome blog Brooklyn Vegan posted about this hard rock Mexican band a few months ago and I was magnetically attracted right away. Later on, our guru Carlinhos sent me a physical edition of The Critical Paparazzi, their first and exceptionally confident EP. Unlike most of the bands we get from our friends down the border, they don’t come from Monterrey, Guadalajara or Mexico City; they are from Hermosillo which I suppose is a smaller province city. Hong Kong Blood Opera has quickly become my second favorite hard rock Latin band after my beloved Descartes A Kant. They apparently won some sort of rock contest sponsored by a cell phone provider; I don’t know what the dynamic of that contest was, but what an unconventional winner anyhow. We have also found another amazing producer in Mexican rock, his name is Yamil Rezc (Le Baron, Subdivision, and Chetes) and I would put him in the level of Emanuel del Real (Natalia Lafourcade, Ely Guerra and Austin TV). The Critical Paparazzi is almost an alien in Latin Rock, and straight up an essential for the most aggressive rock there can be. I’ve heard great things about their live shows in New York and can’t wait to see them live. This is definitely not for everyone; some would never be able to digest it, but this is one of the edgier albums we’ve talked about at Club Fonograma, even harder than Triangulo de Amor Bizarro. A total of five extraordinary tracks that live and breathe rock, highlights include “Killing Joke” and “Crazy Mexican Scientists." We shouldn't have to wait too long for a full offering from this great breakthrough.
Our artist this week officially released a few months ago one of the biggest hits in Reactor 105.7 (my favorite radio station), a hit titled “El Idolo.” Adan Jorodowsky is Adanowsky, a Chilean/French/Mexican solo act that released in 2006 his debut album Etoile Eternelle a great production mostly in French that is finally getting attention in Latin America. For us film cinephiles we might recognize him for his great performance in Santa Sangre (1989), the last movie his father Alejandro Jorodowsky directed. This is some great pop with touches of cabaret niche and magical lyrics. We look forward to a full album in Spanish very soon, I’ve included his hit “El Idolo” here, the song isn’t included in the original release of his album but you can also find at official website of Reactor in the “zona de descargas” section, which always has great free legal downloads.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Unsigned, Venezuela ***1/2
By Carlos Reyes
Theatrical music is too often misinterpreted as folk, but Fledermaus unites both of them in a pastoral high-quality album. Domingo En Llamas is a remarkable one-member folk act from Venezuela that doesn’t even have a label to back him up. I love getting lost in MySpace jumping from one page to another and one day I noticed how his profile picture followed me everywhere, once I click I was grateful to do so. He brought memories of Tom Ze and Beirut right away and his understanding of music is undisputable. According to his website, Domingo En Llamas began in 2004 and already has already done six LPs, we’re talking about music hunger and he is a great chef. Going through his website I found yet another two awesome aspects about this artist, all his albums are available for free download and he apparently worked on Bruno EP, the little gigantic jewel from Jovenes y Sexys. Fledermaus is very acoustic and spontaneous, all together fits perfectly in the new lo-fi from South America. The leading track “Cuando vuelvan los que ayer corrian” is a puzzle of words perfectly instrumented and comfortable in its usage of figurative language. Another key piece is “Trabalenguando”, an experimental folk track that among other things feels very religious. Incredibly, sometimes the album sounds very circus-like, although there is not a wide variety of instruments here. “Leonora” feels like one of those tracks Kevin Johansen makes that somehow makes us dance. Make sure to add Domingo En Llamas to the list of great Latin folk, if you’ve enjoyed my persistent recommendation on Lisandro Aristimuño and Chak, you’ll love this. Although the album is free, I’ve decided to extract some key tracks so you can taste it first.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
LOS DE ATRAS VIENEN CONMIGO, CALLE 13
Sony International, Puerto Rico
By Carlos Reyes
Calle 13’s vision is a bit more complex than how it appears; sure the music is fun and explicitly delicious, but overlooking its direction signifies passing on an ideal product of lyricism and mediation. In the track “Que Lloren” Residente says his music is not intended for the clubs but the brains. It almost feels contradictory, but just like Flamenco dancers do, Residente doesn’t make music for others, not even for the fans, an artist’s great talents are best appreciated when trying to fulfill himself. The lyrics convey satire at all times, with precise humor and lyrical explosion backing up multilayered tracks for the open minded. Residente o Visitante is a flawless masterpiece and my favorite album of this decade, their latest may not be as brilliant and unexpected, but it their most personal production yet. The intro of the album tells the story of Residente taking over the body of Rene Perez; it manages to be a beautiful fantasy story that is at the same time very violent, much like Guillermo del Toro’s El Laberinto del Fauno.
First single “No hay nadie como tu” features Café Tacvba in a sublime romantic song hard to catalogue in any specific genre. Journals across the country that had the opportunity to listen to the album a few months ago sensationalized “Que Lloren” as a direct attack on Ivy Queen, but it is so much more than that. We're talking about a direct attack on plastic music, on the manufactured products around (not just within the urban genre) and especially those reggaetoneros hating on Residente and Visitante for damaging the urban genre. Residente goes beyond and tries to lesson its colleagues by defining Urban. Another great highlight is “Ven y Criticame”, a nu-jazzy invitation where we are supposed to criticize them, but it serves as a self conciliation between their ultraego and accomplishment. Superstar Juanes does a very fine job making his guitar cry on “Esto Con Eso” while PG13 is dazzling in the chorus. The intervention of Ruben Blades here is masterful; “La Perla” is seven minutes of celebrating the pueblos and Blades iconic career that keeps taking risks.
An apparent single “Electro Movimiento” is a tricky one; I found it erratic on first listening, but it has quickly become a favorite. It’s Timbaland with edgier personality. The song mentions its will to go back to the 80s to that time Madonna was a virgin and John Travolta was spinning his dance moves, going back to a decade of stability and a generation of dancers that would had been electrified by Calle 13. “Fiesta de Locos” is on fire, a club banger with some great male vs. female chorus, controversially religious and spiced up by the great infectious humor Rene Perez is known for: “I’m sorry if my words are dirty, but my mind is flexible like a Russian gymnast.” The most political song that gives the title to the album is hard on drums to give it a look of army-like force where the barrios are following each other to protest. While “John El Esquizofrenico” is creepier than the perverse innocence view of Guillermo del Toro and Tim Burton combined. It’s a tragic song where Rene Perez and Eduardo Cabra shine at their best. Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo another addition to Calle 13’s league of their own.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
TARAS BULBA, JESSY BULBO
Nuevos Ricos, México
by Carlos Reyes
In the intro of “Estampa Polinesia” Jessy Bulbo questions “should I do a Patti Smith shot?” Let me get it straight, Taras Bulba is the best Latin rock album I’ve heard this year so far. Jessy Bulbo is the wildest girl in Mexico’s music, a rare tour de force with full control over her savage musical vision. Some may remember this hot wonder as the leader of Las Ultrasonicas; she decided to go solo and released the notable Saga Mama in 2006, but that record was no more than a fancy collage of noise and attitude, unlike this new album that really gets it right. Under the guidance of producers Martin Thulin from Los Fancy Free and Dandy de Tacubaya from Titan this is one of the most grateful knockouts of the year.
The first single “Muñequita Sintetica” is a cover from underground 80s rockero El Haragan, an irrational love song about a man’s testimonial on his crack head girlfriend. He calls her his ‘synthetic doll’ but not in a sexual sense as many would think; see Latin America is so poor that addicts (especially street kids) inhale strong kinds of glue that are affordable and easily available, so he is embracing her metamorphosis physically and mentally while maintaining an eye on a violent reality. The album’s jewel is “No escuches mas a tus ídolos”, a self-fulfilling, self-promoting song where she asks us to stop listening to our idols and start playing her music. “those rhymes touting your way, are nothing but a word play with no virtue, they have an issue and expire date, you’ll forget them by fall, you’ll see.”
First track “Comal” is a round travelling of a subject replacing another subject and their role as a dependant or consequence: “comal for the tortillas, tortillas for the tacos, tacos to eat, eat to live, live to die, die for the sand, sand for pot, pot for the flowers, flowers for the girls, girls for the boys…” Bulbo understands roundness in a cynical contemplation where she is able to tackle and make existence seem so ridiculous. “Leche Agria” is a mystical chorus-based track that sounds a lot like Los Fancy Free and bravely talks about a woman’s smell to ‘sour milk’; about the realization and eventual redemption of the female gender towards age. Taras Bulba is all about confrontation but carries a revolutionist sensitivity, just like Patti Smith’s three-chord punk rock albums during the 70s and 80s (from Horses  to Dream of Life ) that confronted conservatism.
I included “Sexo sin amor” from Saga Mama as one of the best songs from this year and there is an equally volatile track here, “La Experiencia Critica” also works on disfiguring the strings and drums to destroy any sort of musical patterns. Jessy Bulbo is willing to transmit whatever she wants the way she wants, so don’t be alarmed if at the middle of a song she starts to scream uncontrollably. Her delicate voice suddenly undresses its innocence and puts a raspy mind-blowing explosion of vocal manifestation. The album consists of nine splendid tracks in an album titled after the historical short story by Nikolai Gigol. In her words: “este álbum contiene ocho piezas de rechupete que se perfilan para redefinir los parámetros del buen gusto alternativo.. the biggest surprise about this album is finding out I can sing.”
Numeric Rating: 89
♫♫♫ "La Experiencia Critica"
MySpace (Full album available for streaming)
Key tracks: "Muñequita Sintetica", "No escuches mas a tus idolos" and "La Experiencia Critica"
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
We have pleasantly reviewed, played or mentioned Los Fancy Free, Nuuro, Todosantos and Maniqui Lazer; well, this is the chance to know why we like them so much. Get the chance to see a bunch of cool people in the coolest city of the U.S., of course New York City. This is part of the CMJ 2008 (Music Marathon & Film Festival) and will also feature other multicolored acts for our pleasure.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Discos Laptra, Argentina ***
By Carlos Reyes
We are witnessing a moment of enlightenment and constellations in several music regions in Latin America. It’s almost as if a musical wave had crashed into towns proclaiming interpreters to go back to prime colors. 107 Faunos joins fellow Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos Con Mariano and El Mato A Un Policía Motorizado as the leading evangelists of this movement in Argentina. All three bands not only share nationality but also peculiar laziness in the vocals. It almost seems like 107 Faunos is staring at conventionality and trying to defy it, the outcome isn’t extraordinaire or even concrete, but it’s like the weird favorite cousin we all love because of his distinctiveness. This is their debut album and while they are no where near the complexity of the trip Prietto and Mariano offer us, this album is said to be a key production on the emergence of a rock independent scene in Argentina, and that’s why I’m taking the time to review it. Sounds denigrating, but if I had a cat and that cat liked music, this is the kind of laidback songs he would be listening to. The instrumentation is at times very eloquent, especially on songs like “Constelaciones” and “John Henry”, designed for the garage. The most exciting song here is “Pequeña Honduras”, is the only song that truly conveys a sense of irrationality as opposed to effortless music. While the song “Nenes de Mama” sums up the entire proposal of the band, an instrumental song with a plain and simple interference of a male’s voice reflecting “We are mama’s boys, with time and madness, we will make our wish come true and we are willing to do what it takes.” This might be a bit too hard to digest, give it time and it might have an impact on you, I myself struggled with it, but at the end I found a cute little musical exercise that I would have preferred as an EP.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Rio by Aterciopelados & Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo from Calle 13 will both be official releases in a few hours. We can't wait to get our hands on them.
We'll hopefully have reviews of both albums by the end of this week, it sucks not having connections so we could get these releases earlier and have them analyzed by the time they hit stores.
Rene "Residente" Perez and Andrea Echeverri say cheers!
Artist: J. Balvin
Genre: Reggaeton / Urban
The Best of luck to a career that just takes off and it deserves the achieve international recognition.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
"Oh My Love" is the new single from the album "Logo" by the great Kevin Johansen. We could not fail to overlook this release as it presents together two of the most important icons of the latin alternative music. In addition, it brings another innovation, and it is that Andrea Echeverri, the lead singer of Aterciopelados sings for the first time in English a big part of a song, and apparently she doesn´t even care that people can criticize her diction in that language. A beautiful love song in two voices of worship, which serves as a prelude to the upcoming release of "Rio", the new album by Aterciopelados.
Oh my love, my love, I´d like to tell you something…
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Nacional Records, Colombia ****
By Carlos Reyes
Picotero is as fun and unexpected as Coconot’s Cosa Astral, but spicier, and as colorful as En Ventura’s EP, but spicier. This is how we love our alternative music; Andres Martinez and Camilo Sanabria make a gold solid third album with pure confidence and control over their fusionist proposal. Fusionism not in political terms but musically, because in Picotero we find a musical freedom where airs of innovation and airs of traditional music manage to coexist. This is the most recent release by Nacional Records, which has proven to be today’s most dynamic alternative label. Monareta joins the target audiences of fellow Nacional artists Mexican Institute of Sound and Nortec Collective. Picotero is infectious dancehall music with Caribbean personality and some very entertaining verses that don’t interrupt the fun a bit. “Matanza Funk” is immediately memorable because of the informational samplings in its introduction and its cool rap verses that serve as ammunition throughout the album. It is great to hear Monareta’s explosive tribal sound floating around a computerized space of encounter. “Raimundo llevate al mundo” is simply adorable; the world can go to hell as long as I get to know Emily & Margarit. The best song in the album also has the breeziest title “Domingo Lovin Style”, a song that doesn’t let anything to get in its way and says it how it is, while songs like “Todo el voltaje” and “Break Tocaima” will get you naturally doped. I’m not sure what the whole biking image is about, but it sure is a fun ride not to be missed.
♫♫♫ "Me voy pal mar" (RCRDLBL)
Friday, October 17, 2008
Bebe, the 2005 Latin Grammy winner for Best New Artist is making Club Fonograma suffer. We’ve all been waiting for a sophomore album enough, but she seems to be chasing a profession as a movie actress. There are rumors circulating around the web about a new album in the works for a couple of years, the album was supposed to be ready last June but nothing concrete just yet. She only visited the recording studio while collaborating on the new album by Ana Belen, which we can’t wait to hear, it might be a fulfilling pass-by dosis of Bebe’s amazing talent. “Siempre Me Quedara” is seriously one of my all time favorite songs and one must chase the genius behind it. Not included on her debut album Pafuera Telarañas is one of her most celebrated songs at her concerts: “Mi papa tiene una silla electrica” (My dad has an electric chair). A song where she characterizes Barbara Bush, who is presuming her dad’s throne-like chair of heat, one that burns even the heart. We are weeks away until George W. Bush ends his theatrical attempt to be a legit President, make your voice be heard by voting!
Note that this song has never been recorded professionally, but fans have been fancy enough to record it at concerts, so the quality is very poor. But don’t let that stop you from listening to one of the great satire songs made for Bush and one of the most acid protest songs I’ve heard.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Expect reviews of the new albums by Monareta, Calle 13, Aterciopelados, Jessy Bulbo, Buena Vista Social Club & Carnegie Hall among others very soon. Mid-term exams are a little crowded right now and they prevent us from taking care of the blog as much as we would like. But today will be an exciting night at Los Premios MTV Latinoamerica. The ceremony is usually entertaining, except for the appearance of the very superficial international artists that MTVLA programs. I’m still shock why ultraplastic artists like Tokio Hotel, Hillary Duff, 30 Seconds to Mars, or the pathetic music of French heartthrob Alizee are the biggest sensations in Latin America. While MTV Tr3s in the states is trying to get its viewers acquainted by programming the nominated videos and artists in the last two weeks, this channel has never been so invaded by pop and rock, it is great to take a break from reggaeton and bachata.
The worst thing about this year is the new category that will award Fan Clubs, such an annoying and harmful base that only takes away from the awards voting process. Of course, everyone has the right to vote, but it gets annoying when you have these groups clicking as if they would get a dollar for every click. Another complaint would be the fact that once again, Los Premios will be hosted in Mexico. We understand the main MTV LA head squares are located in Mexico, and that it is easier for bands to get there, but this is one of those occasions when they should learn from the Ms Universe contest. Spread the wealth.
The nominees themselves are very good; the round of nominations is very healthy. There are representatives from all around the continent. The list is indeed a bit too Mexican and too Argentinean, but it’s probably because those are the two countries with the most broadcasting sharing, and therefore those responsible for voting go for what MTV is playing. For example, someone from Venezuela gets the Mexican broadcast, and someone from Uruguay would get the Argentinean broadcast, there is a bigger chance for them to vote for a Mexican or Argentinean artist since they are bombarded by them on their TVs.
Los Premios are supposed to be for the youthful Latin America, and we celebrate that. But this is still a popularity contest, otherwise why would Mana be winning Best Artist of 2007? Also very interesting is how Los Premios are getting a lot of attention from Latin Grammy voters, now that they have their ballots we’ll see how much they embrace the winners here, both nomination lists looked quite similar. The Show: The lineup is attractive; first there will be a pre-show segment which will feature the bubblegum teens from Don Tetto, the great Emmanuel Horvilleur and The Kooks. The performers list is as follow: (in bold the ones we look forward to watch)
Belanova * Calle 13 * Juanes * Julieta Venegas * Katy Perry * Kudai (ugh) * Los Fabulosos Cadillacs * Metallica * Moderatto * Nortec Presents Bostich + Fussible * Paramore (ugh) * Tokio Hotel (triple ugh) * Ximena Sariñana & Zoe.
The host of the show has yet to be revealed, perhaps there is none.
Enjoy the show on MTV Tr3s.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So we had told you we would have a guest Latin Grammy voter revealing his choices to us, this morning I got an email from another brave voter willing to also participate. Both are however, doing it anonymously for obvious reasons. Of course, please don’t go out and bait on these choices, it’s only two voters out of thousands, and take our choices even lighter. But please voters, take responsibility and listen to all the nominated records before submitting your vote. Note that voters only vote on certain categories, depending on what their credits are. They have allowed us to give a little bit of basic info about them. We will call them Incognito #1 and Incognito #2.
Occupation: Leader of a Latin Grammy nominated rock-pop band.
From: Puerto Rico
Occupation: Pop singer-songwriter
Monday, October 13, 2008
EMI, Spain **
By Carlos Reyes
So yeah, Bunbury has a great singular voice that we will probably never differentiate from legendary Heroes del Silencio, but he has never been a music genius like many claim he continues to be. Just like I like Gustavo Cerati better solo than with Soda Stereo, Bunbury is a lot more sober when working alone. Truth is, I’m never been a fan, but it came pretty damn close when he joined the underrated Nacho Vegas some years ago. Helleville De Luxe is already being accused of plagiarism by several writers, Bunbury acknowledge using some verses but doesn’t consider that to me morally wrong. Whatever the outcome is, this album isn’t sustained by any extraordinary lyricism or melody for that matter. When the titles of the songs are the highlight of an album, it really shows how uninspired and empty the album is. His previous offer El Viaje a Ninguna Parte was at least classy enough to self-title its purpose. We’re not asking Bunbury to renovate himself, but perhaps he should extend his playlist so we don’t get the exact same album over and over. The best we’ve heard Bunbury in the last decade is featured in Lila Down’s Shake Away, he is brilliant in the track “Justicia.” Bunbury always accentuates his guitar arrangements, a landmark of traditional rock that’s best presented in the first single “El hombre que delgado que no flaqueara jamas.” Helleville De Luxe is like the recent recycled works by Julio Iglesias or Roberto Carlos, just wearing a cool leather jacket and dark sun glasses. Okay, fans will not like me comparing him to pop artists, so I’ll compare it with the new album by Oasis, to groove and boring.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Genre: Folk, Rock, Pop, Acoustic
Chak is no ordinary artist, so I’ll just do a list to try to honor him.
01. Because his debut album Lo Que Vino is a five-star album and among my top 10 favorite Latin albums of this decade.
02. Because he carries his indigenous roots with pride and embraces them poetically through his music.
03. Because when I first listened to his album I almost had an orgasm.
04. Because he is the single most underrated artist in Mexico and deserves international attention.
05. Because he is a male Lila Downs meets Kevin Johansen meets Cabas.
06. Because the song “Lo Que Vino” reflects Latin America’s current state of multilayered fear.
07. Because every time I listen to him I take out my albums of Mercedes Sosa, Toña la Negra, Ibrahim Ferrer, Caetano Veloso and Susana Baca.
08. Because my iPod says Chak is one of my most listened artists, and already a reference when evaluating music.
09. Because he makes me travel to so many different untraveled lands and wanting to visit so many others, hopefully soon.
10. Because he is one of the reasons I’m blogging about Latin music; to spread the word on great discoveries like him.
Austrohungaro, Spain ****
By Carlos Reyes
Hidrogenesse is yet another great band from Spain’s current indie scene. Their music might be too hipster for many, they are known for alienating the purists and putting a big smile on the experimental followers. They sing in Spanish and Catalan (Spain’s second language) and sometimes they just let the music communicate their thoughts. They were virtually unknown until their last album Animalitos (2007), which I found unusual, bizarre and simply uplifting. Bestiola is a continuation of Animalitos and way more experimental than any of their previous works. The album itself presents very little new material but does a solid job making a cohesive album full of color and roundness. The kind of album that works perfectly when playing it on Windows Media Player and its chromatic visualizations. Genis Segarra and Carlos Ballesteros are simply unique, sometimes they seem to have child-like personalities, and other times they’re simply weird. First single “Schloss” is full of lasers and groundbreaking clashes of bytes. The song reminds me of their anthem hit “Vuelve Conmigo a Italia” (also included here), songs designed to be perceived as audiovisual pieces. My favorite track in the album is “Fuig Llop Fuig Llop Fuig”, a playful song that brought the best and the worst of my childhood. Hidrogenesse really doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard before, perhaps because their biggest influences come from Euro countries such as Germany and Hungary. In their last album they wrote about many animals, including ponis and tigers, the title of Bestiola refers to “the little beasts”, to the disfigurations they have made out of their previous versions. They make fantastic videos too; I’m still magnetized to their colorful Disfraz de Tigre video. Don’t make Bestiola your first experience with Hidrogenesse; I suggest you first digest Animalitos and have Bestiola as a dessert.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
The Poni Republic, Venezuela *****
By Carlos Reyes
The very best EP we’ve heard this year comes from this Venezuelan duo who promises to become huge (indie standards of course) in a close by future. Bruno EP consists of four enchanting tracks that were developed by female vocalist Loocila in Distrito Federal (Mexico) and Cheky in Caracas (Venezuela). They send material back and ford and found common ground in this astonishing debut. Jovenes y Sexys give us a great acoustic album that really steps up what it is to be an indie artist. They recorded the album with limited equipment; we can actually hear external noise in the background, capturing the atmospheric sounds of Caracas as a capital burg. An album of pure gentle approach, finds in simplicity a delicate but groundbreaking way to say so much. “El Reloj” is introduced by the sound of clicking and then the always engaging cuckoo sound that welcomes a beautiful voice that will later be accompanied by handclapping and sparkling instrumentation. “Suerte” shows influences from Juana Molina and is all about escapism and finding a midpoint to digest the toxics around us. Next is “Divine Hammer”, a clincher that right away became a favorite as I find The Breeders to be an amazing band. It is precarious to accept, but I confess I like this cover better than the original, as it is younger and sexier. The final track “Gold Day” features Joeiejoiejoie (Clement Marion) another great French artist signed under The Poni Republic. All four tracks are magnetically orgasmic and majestic in so many levels. Lo-fi pop with touches of folk and brushes of cheerful cosmos enhancing the greatness of a tiny project. This has an assured spot on my year’s top 10 albums for sure, close to the peak along with Juana Molina’s Un Dia and Arcangel’s La Maravilla. If you don’t download this album, which is FREE, you are nuts. I also include a brand new song titled “Sonic Sex for All”, which is a cover of the Mexican band Maniqui Lazer; it is not included on the EP but available for download at this MySpace page.
by Jean-Stephane Beriot
Very early this year Carlos had raved the first album by a young and quirky actress that was unknown to most of us. Very few weeks later she became a favorite on internet radio and a favorite of MySpace. However, the bomb didn’t explode until we experienced one of the best performances an artist has given at the Latin Alternative Music Conference. She had wowed me and every artist, producer and general attendees. That performance followed a wave of rave after rave, from The New York Times referring her as a new Fiona Apple and Edith Piaf, others found a new Astrud Gilberto and a lineup of jazz singers that clearly influenced this new promising artist. It’s rare, but she is one of the few artists that first got attention from the big media and now is finally getting the attention from the indie scene. Rolling Stone was impressed; giving the album the highest rating they have given a Latin album in many years. Latin pop radio stations don’t play her, but it’s not sad as she is getting regular programming on so many indie stations across the U.S., reminds us of when Ely Guerra amazed us all with her masterful Lotofire, one of the best albums in Spanish I have ever heard.
The British act Metronomy, one of the coolest electronic bands in the world, even made a remix for "La Tina". A hard worker now getting many nominations at both the Latin Grammy and MTV Latin-American Awards. The album is no masterpiece and doesn’t fully capture her marvelous voice, but it is one of the most accomplished albums of the year. Her performance at Morning Becomes Eclectic (KCRW) was simply astonishing. Now Ximena has been featured on NPR, which is HUGE for any new artist, such a big cultural institution of the media and especially of music. I had no idea she was so fluent in English, we will be listening to a full English album very soon, people are already asking for it. I’m not sure if Mediocre will be getting an special edition as it did in Mexico, but I’m loving a new song by her called “Pajaritos” which is an English and very cute. I will leave you with links where you can hear her session on KCRW and her great interview at NPR. Also, a majestic performance of Ximena before recording Mediocre, she is covering the classic song “Volare”, her most popular video on YouTube and watch-or-die kinda thing.
Just as a note, my favorite songs on Mediocre: "Sintiendo Rara", "Normal", "Un Error", "Mediocre" and "Gris."
Nacotheque makes me dance, did you know I ALWAYS (once a month) clean my room listening to their awesome mixes? Reminds me of the Tropi-rollo cassettes my mom used to play while cleaning the house. Try them, they are way better than a RedBull when it comes to giving you energy, it’s all natural, they get into your senses no matter what. Nacotheque throws the best parties in New York; we all know that, they are so kind to give us some great compilations to download. Are you tired of your parents, tios and tias taking control over the music on your birthday parties? Tell ‘em to give you a break or send them to watch their telenovelas and play Nacotheque 8.0 loud and louder, they’ll come back to dance, it’s irresistible!.
2. Panico Ramirez - La Banana
3. 60 Tigres - Dentro De Mi Cuerpo (santi edit)
4. La Casa Azul - No Mas Myolastan
5. $6M Weirdo - Love Transmission
6. De Falla - Popozuda Rock N Roll
7. La Vacazul - Vuelo
8. Hidrogenesse - Vuelve Conmigo A Italia
9. Pastilla - A Marte
10. Los Romeos - Mi Vida Rosa
11. Amandititita - La Muy Muy
12. Afrodita - Morena
13. Julio Voltio - El Mellao
14. Vanexxa - Desheredada
15. Acuario - Rema, Rema, Marinero
16. Los Pico Pico - La Pinata
17. Divina Gloria - Desnudita Es Mejor
18. Babasonicos - Microdancing
19. Sara Da Pin Up - Mi Codo
20. Righeira - Vamos A La Playa
21. Los Mustang - Tan Felices (santi edit)
22. Alive - Discusiones Bizantinas
23. Gaby Vex - Palpito Papito
24. Ruby Y Los Casinos - No Te Conosco Muchacho
25. Alaska - El Rey Del Glam (huracan mexicano)
26. J y M Capuano - Molino Al Viento Charito
27. Elis Paprika - Hasta Que Te Conoci
28. Adicta - Lo Que Enferma
29. Jaime Sin Tierra - Auto
30. Abrentaora Pop - Ramo Verde
31. Raphael - Ahora