Copa América 2011

28483737-Nino con Pelota

I come from that generation of peruanos who’s never seen Peru win anything in fútbol: we last made the World Cup in 1982, when I was five, and last won a Copa América in 1975, a couple of years before I was born. But there’s always hope. South America’s soccer championship starts tomorrow, and though we have a tough group (Chile, Mexico, Uruguay) right now, as I type this: we’re all tied for first place.

So I’m posting this sublimely patriotic track from Arturo “Zambo” Cavero, “Y se llama Perú”, to inspire fans and players alike to dream big, or at least lose with dignity. My guess is Papicultor is as optimistic about Colombia’s chances, as I am about Peru’s; and that Posoule is smug and confident after Chicharito et al won the Gold Cup in impressive fashion.

May the best team win.



Y Se Llama Perú by Arturo Cavero

DJ Smokestack presents: P-Way’s “From All Angles”


Editor’s note: It’s our great pleasure to present another excellent guest pelanguero: our homie and goalkeeper

DJ Smokestack. Smokestack is an Oakland based B-boy, DJ, and avid funk connoisseur, and if you haven’t already heard his compilation of Bollywood disco, Shitala, you need to ask somebody. Along with crews Forever We Rock/Horsepower, Smokestack represents a rich tradition of b-boying fundamentals in Northern California. You can read about his record-digging adventures here:

For even the infrequent reader of La Pelanga, it’s clear there’s only one rival to the “Pelanga” flavor they bring – the beautiful game of futbol! Of course, on this first guest post I want to keep that flavor going, but gotta first pay homage to what initially connected me with the folks – playing pick-up ball in the park.

Though basketball is the undisputed champion of the hip hop aesthetic in the US, there is definitely a voice for those who, like me, like to juggle a soccer ball to the sounds of the Dungeon Family or Hieroglyphics. Professor Whaley of San Francisco’s Bored Stiff crew is one such voice. Waley, a veteran in the Bay Area’s public school classrooms and rap scene, rhymes with much swagger, while also possessing some often missing ingredients in today’s hip hop charts – a real grassroots commitment to social justice and integrity (ouch!). 

While P-Way’s  2000 “From All Angles” full length is quality straight through, my attention today goes to “Copa Mundial”, the first song that truly merged my love for futbol and rap music. I may not have grown up playing ball in the Bay Area, but Copa gives me the chance to reminisce on my own teenage glory days in Texas and imagine what it would be like to grow up having your style of play influenced by such cultural diversity! 

P-Way lays it down simply…”more people play soccer than football, basketball, and baseball combined”. While this is just cold fact, sadly in the US there still lingers an ignorant soccer-hating mentality, bred from latent american-centrism. Though it’s clear the sport continues to make advancements in the popular and collective conscious of the US, there is much ground to cover in order to foster a true sense of love for the game in the country as a whole.

All that aside, the music itself is solid, blending a nice mix of conga, afoxe, and other latin percussion with tinges of P-Way’s own dubbed-out trumpet playing and a bass heavy hip hop production style. If you’re feelin’ it, there’s a free download online along with the full album and other Bored Stiff productions…

Millonarios será campeón.

Not bad, Tunda, but check this:

A heartfelt tribute to El Ballet Azul!

I loved this team so much that I decided to be a conservative during my early childhood, because conservatives were Millos blue and liberals were Santa Fe red. It seems that people still pick their politicians like I used to.

Ok, ok, it’s a bit risky to post this just hours before the mighty Millitos, 13 times World Champion (oh wait, only Americans get to call their national champions World Champions), is likely going to be eliminated from the Colombian national league, for the 31st championship in a row.

We’ll beat Alianza Lima for sure, though.


“Cumbia a México”, Combo Moderno


Everyone here at La Pelanga has been a little caught up with the World Cup, so we haven’t been posting all that much. Watching six hours of fútbol a day gets in the way of a lot of things. Having said that, the best of the tournament still lies ahead, including the last matches of the group round, which begin tomorrow. High drama, people. I’m dedicating this Pelanga post to the Mexican national team — EL TRI — who play tomorrow morning (Cali time) against Uruguay, and who showed mad huevos last week against France.

This track from El Combo Moderno says it all: Cumbia a México!


Cumbia A México by Combo Moderno

Cumbia A México

— juancho

Fútbol on the radio

9969839-Renato futbol

La Pelanga is, technically, a music blog, but the World Cup starts tomorrow, and seeing as all the pelangueros are fútbol fans, I thought I’d post this. Last week, I wrote a piece for The New Republic about my father’s brief career as a radio broadcaster, calling soccer matches back in Arequipa, Peru when he was still in his teens. I also recorded this interview, and asked him to try his hand at it again. So, toward the end of this podcast, you can hear my father, Renato, calling a game between Peru and Brazil, a match that actually took place in the 1950s, memorable because we actually won. (By we, I mean Peru, of course.) My father hadn’t called a game like this in some fifty years, so I’d say he sounds pretty great.

Mil gracias, Pa! Saludos to all the fútbol fans out there. I’ll be writing about the tournament on the The New Republic’s Goal Post blog. You can read my first post, about how hard I’m finding it to root for Maradonna here.

The photo shows a team my father coached, Corazón Independiente, circa 1955. He’s standing, second from the left, with his arm around my grandmother. Next to her is my aunt Vilma.

Enjoy the World Cup!

Interview With Renato Alarcón I by Renato Alarcón

Interview with Renato Alarcon

— juancho