when I was a teenager
before I had status
and before I had a pager, or email, or facebook, or twitter, or gps, or blogs…
I recently celebrated my 38th birthday, which is always a good time to reflect back on one’s life. I have plenty to be grateful for: loving parents, a beautiful wife, inspiring friends, etc, but I’m also grateful to have just been old enough to have been a young adult before the last 15 years of technology. I say grateful because before all this “interconnectedness”, when there was something great going on right in front of you, there was nothing to do but connect with it.
We see it all the time now. At every live show there’s people with their illuminated faces looking downward at their phones and tablets while scrolling, texting, tweeting, deciding which filter to use for their Instagram photo with amazing music going on right in front of them. Contrast all that with this live footage from 1981 of Ti Mano and Gemini All-Stars recorded at a gymnasium in Haiti, and tell me who has it better?
Be sure to keep watching through the 2nd part of this long video with Ti Mano performing with the D.P. Express at the Château Royal (10:15 mark). More amazing music!
As always enjoy and don’t ever forget how to lose yourself in music.
Nice one, Pozole! Since you’re taking it to Haiti, let’s keep it there for a bit.
This is another one of those long jams that just keeps getting tastier and tastier. You have no idea where they’re taking you, but you know it’s gonna be good. All kinds of goodness here, but my favorite is the riff at 2:45, which anyone with even the faintest exposure to (any Latin American country’s) “Amor Estéreo” in the 80s will probably recognize.
I had to look this up; maybe you all knew this, but I didn’t. I guess it all starts with a smoooooth early 70s Italian jam by Ciro “Zacar” Dammicco, “Soleado”.
I’m pretty fascinated by how different people hear the same song. Not to stereoytpe, but on YouTube, the Brazilian calls it “é balsamo para a alma e p o coração, bellísima”, the little Chicana says “I love this song I am going to dance it in my quinceañera” and homeboy says it “makes me feel like im in a funeral”.
For the American crooner it’s a Christmas song:
while Spaniard Manolo Otero makes it into a creepy, dramatic “love” song, the same one that both soothed and terrified this 10-year old, trying to learn about love from his mom’s radio:
No doubt I’ll go with the Haitians!
At our last Pelanga this past Saturday at La Peña we teamed up with Chicano Batman for an incredible night of music and dancing. We had a blast combining our sounds and crowds. Many thank you’s to all of you who came out!
At one point while I was deejaying I saw fellow pelanguero, DJ Papicultor give me his “oh hell yes!” look while dancing which lets me know I’m playing something special. It’s also a good indication I should be featuring it here at lapelanga.com. The song is called O.S.S. Merengue by Original Shleu-Shleu. OSS was one of the many offshoots from Les Shleu Shleu and also the most popular. Lead by maestro Tony Moïse on sax they would eventually evolve into
What I love most about this song is that it starts off in one great place, but then ends up in an entirely different place that is even better. First we get a hard hitting conga break that then flows into a classic sounding merengue, but then hold on because before you know it you’re off to San Francisco with Edouardo Richard playing a great Santana inspired guitar solo. And if that wasn’t enough they bring it all back to some Haitian rumba with sirens going off letting you know—this shit is on fire!