For this podcast we decided to try something we have never done before — set out to do a show without any records from our collection. Instead we went to a local record swap meet with a set budget of $50 each to create our playlist for the day.
North Oakland record swap meet—time to start digging
Arjuna (DJ Smokestack) is in his happy place
May-Li (DJ China Tu Madre) previewing a possible winner
Jacob (Dj Pozole) scrutinizing each track
Federico (DJ Papicultor) sampling West African treasures
After a full afternoon of digging through many boxes of records from all over the world we headed straight back to La Sala to see if we spent our money wisely. We think we did pretty well, but have a listen and let us know what you think.
Fela Ransome-Kuti and Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – Let’s Start
20th Century Steel Band – Heaven and Hell is on Earth
Monarco – Silenciar A Mangueira
Avohou Pierre Et L’Orchestre Black Santiago – Makoba Houi Dé O
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.
Those of you who are fans of cumbia and live in or around Oaklandia are probably already up on Cumbia Tokeson. Over the past year when groups like Bomba Estereo, Celso Piña, and Cafe Tacvba’s Ruben Albarrans have come to town it’s been Cumbia Tokeson who have been heating up the stage with them. The first time you saw them you probably thought, “Wait, I know these dudes”. That’s because they consist of members of tex-punk-cumbia heroes Fuga and Oakland’s La Colectiva. With Tokeson you’ll hear hints of those former groups, but with a fresh take—mixing up Peruvian Chicha, Colombian Cumbia and Mexican Sonidera.
Of course La Pelanga loves digging for 30+ year old records, but make no mistake discovering new music is just as exciting. Here are a couple of blazing tracks off their debut EP, Los Chuchos Vol.1 For info on their upcoming shows and future releases checkout their FB page.
Next month — May 22, to be exact — will mark the fifth anniversary of the passing of world-famous oud player Hamza El Din. Born in southern Egypt, he studied in engineering in Cairo before tdevoting himself completely to preserving Nubian musical traditions. He played all over the world, recorded with everyone from the Kronos Quartet to the Grateful Dead, and eventually settled here in Oakland, California. I hope El Din’s many local admirers and collaborators are planning a musical tribute to conmemorate his passing. In the meantime, here’s a track from his 1964 debut of Vanguard Records, “Hoi to Irkil Fagiu”, performed with Ahmed Abdul Malik on the string bass.