For all those who have requested to be on our mailing list you already know that tomorrow night, Friday, February 25 we are bringing La Pelanga to our friends at La Peña in Berekley, CA. (3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA). From 9:30pm – late we’ll be transforming their bar/lounge area into our musical kitchen to bring you the hottest bailables in the Bay. If you’ve been to our parties before, you know what we like to cook up—a tasty stew of cumbia, salsa dura, soukous, reggaetón, samba, plena, coupé decalé, merengue, champeta, konpa, funaná, currulao, …  in fact here’s a little taste


Majando by Tatico Henriquez Y Sus Muchachos

So bring your favorite people and come work the dance floor!
$5-20 (All Pelanga proceeds will fund the flood relief efforts in Colombia.) 
see more info on our Face Book page.




Tabu Ley Rochereau – Nalali Mpongi

Maan! Since I posted Tabu Ley Rochereau last week, I’ve probably gone back to hear that post at least twice a day. The man is a genius! I think we oughta listen to him some more.



Nalali Mpongi by Tabu Ley Rochereau

Nalali Mpongi


This is a live recording from the 2nd Festival Mondial des Arts Negro-Africains in Nigeria in 1977. (The 1st was in 1966, the 3rd was two months ago. Anyone out there know if there are plans for a 4th anytime soon?)




Orquesta Dicupé / Sabor y Control

We’re beginning to get our crates ready for Friday’s Pelanga at La Peña, which gives us an excuse to get on the computer and send some good music your way.

We’ve already told you plenty about the kind of salsa you are more likely to hear at a Pelanga. (Here it is!) Today I bring you another choice cut from the Orquesta Dicupé, a sick Nuyorican band from the early 70s that should have recorded more than twice! (Apparently, if you’re in NY, you can now hire them to play at your wedding! Do it!) I gotta thank the dealer of pirate cds in San Victorino who turned me onto them.


Inferidious by Orchestra Dicupé


Fans of the rough Nuyorican and Colombian sound like to complain that there are no salsa bands worth listening to since the 70s. We are big fans of that sound, no doubt; but can you really hate on a whole generation of musicians? Here’s Sabor y Control, a crew of savage Peruvians who know how to play that hard (three trombones? check! gangster lyrics? check! a cumbia bridge, for good measure? check!) and they push that sound even further. If you dig “Pharoah Sanders goes Latin“, here’s some saxophone work that might interest you.


Cuchillo En Los Ojos by Sabor Y Control

Cuchillo En Los Ojos

(Sorry for the blurry pictures. Cloudy sky -> cloudy pictures.)


South to North, Cumbia Mexicana


La Pelanga, the blog, has been up and running for well over a year now and with great respect we have to acknowledge some of the great music blogs out there that have influenced, encouraged, and better informed our musical awareness. One such blog is Super Sonido which is wonderfully curated by our East Bay neighbor Joe Franko (sonido franko). Of the many record collecting blogs I traffic his by far is one of the best and one which we highly recommend visiting if you like ours. Last year I picked up an incredible Yucatan record (Baile Con Chicken y Sus Comandos by Chicken Y Sus Comandos) that I now play at every Pelanga due to first getting turned onto them by this post on Super Sonido. Those familiar with the original version of Cumbia Candelosa by Edmundo Arias will immediately pick up on how these Yucatecos really take this song into whole other gear by putting some serious swing into it. I never get tired of the call and response between the sax and keys, then the chorus comes in to seal it all up.

Cumbia Candelosa by Chicken Y Sus Comandos

Cumbia Candelosa


From this record I have since discovered more of these great early Mexican cumbia groups like this hopping record Mas Cumbias De Pegue by Hermanos Martinez de Allende, N.L. Take a listen to a really fun song Bailando en Shorts. Despite this group hailing from much father North (Nuevo Leon) near the cumbia hotbed of Monterrey it carries a very similar interpretation of cumbia Colombiana as Chicken’s — heavy swing with that back and forth between the horns and keys. Cumbia has taken may diversions within it’s time in Mexico, but this early style is one of my favorites.

Bailando En Shorts by Hermanos Martinez De Allende, N. L.

Bailando en Shorts

If you haven’t gotten word yet. We’re throwing una Pelanga en La Peña in Berkeley, California on Friday, February 25 (see all the info here) to help raise money for the flood relief efforts in Colombia. Come through and shake up the dance floor with us!



Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe

Another reason to love living in the San Francisco Bay Area: Stepping into a taxi on a warm, lazy Sunday morning (in December – hello, Boston!) and being greeted by the music of the Doctor of Hypertension, Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe. (Thank you for that, Okei!!)


If the Chief feels he needs 19 minutes to tell you what he’d like to tell you, we’re not gonna be the ones to stop him.

Makojo / Egwu Ogolo by Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe

Sure, you might say this could happen to you in AmsterdamDublin, or Barranquilla. This is true. But was your taxi headed to the African Orthodox Church of St. John Coltrane, where the entrance procession is an hour-and-a-half rendition of A Love Supreme?


By the way, Rev. Wanika hosts a wonderful radio show of Coltrane’s music every Tuesday 12-4pm on KPOO, 89.5. You can tune in online here.


DJ China Tu Madre y papicultor