Have you heard that we’re starting a monthly Pelanga party in La Mision at the Brick & Mortar?
That’s right! We’re kicking things off Friday July 31st with West Coast-bred Boogaloo Assassins. These twelve latin soul brothers have steeped their rich Los Angeles roots with the often emulated sounds of New York’s Spanish Harlem to make Old Love Dies Hard (2013) – a six song EP on the Sicario/Fania labels, that’s guaranteed to bring your whole family to the dance floor. Old Love Dies Hard combines three of the group’s original recordings with covers of several perennial tracks, including a seamless, montuno-drenched version of Dawn Penn’s dancehall classic, You Don’t Love Me (No No No). Boogaloo Assassins — No No No
For the long time lover of latin soul, Boogaloo Assassins will take you on a walk through the familiar musical landscape of East Harlem in the 60’s and 70’s. Think of boogaloo, salsa, and soul classics on storied labels like Allegre, Fania, and Tico – but with a sunny infusion of laid back California swing. For the uninitiated, simply ask yourself the question – do you wanna dance? If the answer is yes, then we’ll see you at the show! Or if you’re on the fence about it, reconsider as Boogaloo Assassins reframe the question with their original composition and instant party starter – Do You Wanna Dance.
Hosts Arjuna (dj smokestack), Jacobo (dj pozole), Federico (dj papicultor), and May-Li (dj china tu madre) welcome special guest Daniel French from one of the hottest bands from East LA Las Cafeteras to La Sala. Our vinyl journey begins with classic sounds from Egypt then continues onto Tanzania, Zaire and Colombia before returning to California to connect the old with the new.
3 or 4 years ago I went to Berkeley’s annual Hip-Hop in the Park and there was my fellow futbolista and friend DJ Treat-U-Nice (aka Dominic Villeda) selling shirts he designed and printed up. It read “Kill a hipster, save your hood”. My reaction at the time was, there’s Dom being Dom. I didn’t realize just how bad the epidemic would grow. My neighborhood in Oakland, (a huge mix of working class people, mostly of color), hadn’t been taken over yet. Soon though they were living next door and my hood started to resemble something far too close to this video by SF rapper/poet Watsky alongside our local friends DJ Treat-U-Nice and playwright/educator Chinaka Hodge.
It’s crackin’ this summer for many of our compañeros here at La Pelanga! Just a week after futboling, singing, dancing, and breaking bread with Las Cafeteras on their recent trip to the bay for all the Copa Communidad festivities, the good homie Bardo rolled by the house to update me on the latest Chicano Batman project – Joven Navegante.
After a hiatus filled with their individual travels and musical wonderings, these four Chicano soul brothers will be reuniting in their hometown of Los Angeles later this month to promote the recent release of their new four track EP Joven Navegante through a series of live shows and the filming of a music video for the EP’s title track.
While at times their new recordings are reminiscent of their first full length self titled LP, as a whole Joven Navegante offers an even more exploratory effort, layering drunken wah wah guitar with psychedelic organ vamps, bouncing reggae bass licks, exceptional drumming throughout, and of course Bardo’s inspired vocals. Some true ear candy for the auditory freak and a perfect fit for any car trip to the sun! Check the EP’s title track below.
To satiate the vinyl cravings of folks like myself Chicano Batman has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for a proper 10″ vinyl pressing. Take a moment to watch their Kickstarter video and hear about what they’ve been up to. Real talk – they have some of best gifts I’ve seen on Kickstarter. To my folks in Southern California – pledge $250 and have Chicano Batman come thru for a pop-up beach party con music and fresh fruit!
Sometimes I like to kick start my mornings with a nice strong 6 8 rhythm. My theory is that it’s good for circulation, since I can feel my blood accelerate while I listen. Son Jarocho and Joropo are my two favourite cousins of 6 8 time: Son Jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico, and Joropo from the plains of Colombia and Venezuela.
Over Memorial Day weekend we were incredibly blessed with a visit and spontaneous performance by L@s Cafeter@s from Los Angeles, who came to visit us from LA and play some fútbol. Juancho posted a live recording of their show that night, and I’d like to share another, from their live CD. Definitely keep your ears open to the footwork (zapateo) in the recording, because more fancy footwork awaits you in the Joropo post below. The music also features a marimbol – bass and mbira in one instrument! I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those…
Look for L@s Cafeter@s at the Eastside Café in El Sereno, Los Angeles, contact them for classes on how to play, or find more info here
(Note: a very different version of this same song was posted by Juancho here)
They say you haven’t truly heard maracas (called capachos in los llanos de Venezuela and Colombia) until you hear Joropo. And perhaps you haven’t really seen a harp being played until you see one of these rockstars pulling their crazy harp antics –playing above their head and even behind their back. Here’s a little treat we picked up in Colombia for you:
A couple weeks ago I was down in L.A. and so I popped into the Amoeba Records (the largest independent record store in the world). It was a real treat as DJ Spinderella (formerly of Salt-N-Peppa) was mixing all soul/funk cuts (a lot of the samples of classic Hip-Hop), and I was having good luck digging through their calypso/soca section. After she had finished I was still digging and to my surprise when I looked up she was looking at records right next to me. Luckily I beat her to this great album by Carl McKnight.
The liner notes suggest this Trini steal pan band leader by way of Los Angeles had his music rejected by numerous record labels so he just decided to self publish his calypso-funk manifesto with revenge in mind. Thumbs down (as in the days of the gladiators) to those we have dealt with in the past, may we write your epigraphs, while you dig your own graves, for such dwellings are appropriate to your cause. He isn’t playing – The Devil’s Out Tonight. Enjoy.