In the previous post Smokestack wrote about the excellent pairing of Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and a cold beer. Well I couldn’t help but follow that up with another great combo – Guacamole Con Chile. Sounds simple enough. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten someone’s guacamole and there’s no chile in there. Criminal! So here we have Chicken Y Su Comandos (who else would sing a song just about guacamole?) of Mexico’s Yucatan to set everyone straight. In fact it’s so direct and to the point the only words to the song are “gauacamolito con chile”. Nothing wrong with that. However, what really makes this song so incredibly tasty is that they paired their usual tropical guitar cumbia sounds with marimba. Without fail every time I hear this song it has me craving tortillas, frijoles, pollo asado… and of course a cold beer. I’m off to the fridge. ¡Bien provecho!
Guacamole Con Chile by Chicken y Sus Comandos
Guacamole Con Chile
It’s 2:00pm on a Saturday afternoon and I’m contemplating whether or not I should crack open a beer. It’s a beautiful weekend and I don’t have to work tomorrow, so I guess I can afford to indulge so early in the day. On the other hand, I did make an especially long to-do list for the day and don’t want to sidetrack myself with any drunken tangents. I decide to throw on a record as I deliberate this familiar predicament. Top on the recent arrivals stack is Gendarme Si We – a highlife-inspired pachanga tune by Benin’s hard working Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.
A recent trade with Taran over at Fat Headphones, Gendarme Si We and the afro-beat flipside Ahou Gan Mi An is a perfect example of the legendary band’s versatility (often featuring 2 distinctly different genres on their 45s) not to mention a perfect compliment to this gorgeous day. About a minute into the song I’ve made up my mind – it’s a perfect time for a cold beer! Please join me as I enjoy this delicious pairing. And afterward, if you want another helping check out Fat Headphone’s recent Poly-Rythmo afro-beat/rock 45 feature.
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo – Gendarme Si We
Gendarme Si We
The other night us Pelangueros got together at my families place to catch up from recent travels and a hiatus from Pelanga’s newly redesigned site (let us know what you think!). As we were talking Papicultor’s eyes fell on my copy of The 60’s Sounds of S.E. Rogie. With a distance gaze, he asked if this album had “that” song. He told me that years ago he heard an incredible song by Rogie on a local radio show that haunted him for 2 years and hasn’t heard it since. Sheepishly I admitted that I had only given the record minor attention and only remembered one simple, but beautiful melody. I put on the one song I knew and Fede and myself smiled, each of us celebrating our own reunions with the memorable recording – Please Go Easy With Me.
This palm wine guitar classic is prominently featured as the lead in track of this 60’s compilation of the legendary Sierra Leoenan guitarist. This particular album is released on the Rogiphone label, a project of Rogie during his stay in Northern California during the 70s and 80s. Interestingly enough, the graphic layout and production is done by Mr. Emory Douglas, original Black Panther and also the person responsible for the parties iconic political posters and print media.
According to Gary Stewart’s liner notes Please Go Easy With Me is based on a conversation overheard between two lovers at a dance and was recorded in 1960 at Rogie’s makeshift home studio. Here you go Fede – now you can listen to this any time you want!
S.E. Rogie – Please Go Easy With Me (1960)
Please Go Easy With Me
I couldn’t help sending this live performance as well…so so good!
For many decades now Summer has been the season for music festivals. Long before Cochella and Bonaroo there was the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Newport Jazz Festival in the US. Both started as showcasing exclusively Jazz music, but by 1970 Montreux began opening up to all styles of music while Newport has for the most part stuck to purely Jazz. 1n 1978 one legendary group from Cuba played at both festivals—Irakere. A ton has already been documented about them (here’s a great piece at Jazz Profiles) so I won’t go too deeply here. This was their release the following year that documented their international tour at these two festivals. After 35 years their fusion of afro-latin folkloric rhythms with jazz, rock and funk still hits hard as ever, not to mention the album art is still one of the best you’ll find.
Aguanile – Irakere
Unfortunately, one thing we don’t see as much with festivals is the larger grand mission. At best the aim of any festival now is trying to showcase new musical talent. Nothing wrong with bringing new artists to the masses, however there was once a time when organizers were attempting to build international solidarity and peace with their festivals. You may be thinking I’m heading toward Woodstock, not quite. This live record Le Blé Et Le Mil by Toubabou lead me learning about Le Festival international de la jeunesse francophone, la Superfrancofête. (The International Festival of Francophile Youth, Super-French-Party) that was held in August of 1974. It’s goal was to build international solidarity with citizens of the many French speaking countries of the world. Over the course of 12 days the city featured many invited musicians, visual artists and even held sporting events. Superfrancofête was attended by more than 800,000 people in total and on the closing night the local Quebec band Toubabou teamed up with invited musicians from Senegal. Like Irakere, Toubabou were pushing the envelope of fusion by using traditional rhythms in more a modern context of electric instruments with layers of jazz and funk. They may never have attained the international acclaim of Irakere, but they were definitely onto something. Have a listen…
Yama Nekh – Toubabou
Doudou N’Diaye – Toubabou
If you’ve listened to our promo mix you’ll know that the inspiration for La Pelanga was born at a summer music festival in Cali, Colombia. Hopefully we’ll all get to return to Festival Petronio Álverez again soon, but in the meantime let us know what other great music festivals are out there. Do you have a favorite?
Here’s to great live music,
La Pelanga 2.0 is finally here! This past winter we got word that our blog host Posterous was shutting down. This actually was a blessing as it forced our hand in finally upgrading our site that was over 4 years old. For the past 4 months we’ve been working on creating our new space that can better feature this music that we love. We are really happy with the new design and we hope you like it as well. Please let us know what you think. We’re not quite finished yet, and there’s still a few more tweaks to the design to make, but WE ARE BACK!
So lets kick off the new site with a summer scorcher from La Perfecta who hail from the French Antilles island of Martinique. I’ve actually just returned from vacationing on this gorgeous island for my honeymoon, and while traveling in Montreal the week before synchronicity must have been at work as I came across La Perfecta’s 1978 release La Divinité. The French Antilles is a special place for music. In any given space you’ll likely hear Zouk, Dancehall, Salsa, Soca, Reggae, Kompa and of course Kadans (Cadence). La Protesta was one of the most popular Kadans groups to come from Martinique in the 70s and they are still going strong.
La Divinité was one of their biggest hits and it’s definitely one of my favorites. This song is as pure feel good music as you’ll find – divine is right!
La Divinité – La Perfecta
Flipping the record over and you have another great scorcher to keep you bouncing.
Baille Chabon – La Perfecta
This is just the first of many great records that we have lined up to share here – and after 4 months away we got lot piled up. Keep checking back or better yet subscribe below as we’ll be updating regularly again. Also, expect an announcement soon for our next Pelanga party.
~jacobo / dj pozole