Wassup Rockers

Hidden Gems.

I’m not going to lie, I have developed a lack of respect for the commodities I’m privileged to be able to afford and acquire. Like when Tower Records closed last year? I still haven’t listened to the So Solid Crew album I bought, and that was one of the albums that I was really happy to grab onto during those last few days of chaotic deep discounts.

Which is why I’m so happy to be hearing, for the first time, the Trini Lopez album I bought at the WFMU Record Fair a few months ago.  As terrible as it is to put away my LPs and CDs without ever listening to them, it’s nice to forget about them and suddenly encounter them.

I originally bought the Trini Lopez album for the kitsch factor.  The only song of his that I’d ever heard was “America,” which I first heard at age 7-ish in my Estúpido Cúpido soundtrack.  As I mentioned a few posts back, I used to watch a telenovela in Chile called Estúpido Cúpido that was superpopular and set in the 1960s and which spawned a really popular soundtrack full of awesome songs.

Anyway, at 7 I obviously had no idea of the history of “America” as part of West Side Story.  When I first saw the movie, already in high school and already fluent in English, I was surprised by the words of the song.  Then again, you should have seen my reaction to The Sound of Music‘s “Do Re Mi” when I finally understood the lyrics… I was like WHOAAA CRAZY PUNS!!! I know, I’m an impressionable individual. Anyway, yeah, I feel weird whenever I watch the “America” sequence in my favorite musical. I think the thing that bothers me most are the over-the-top accents. I just want to tell them “Jesus, reel it in, folks!”

I wonder why Trini Lopez chose to cover this song.

As I mentioned earlier, I just bought this record for shits and giggles, but there are some real priceless gems. This album is damn good for a live album recorded back in what? The 1960s? My favorite is “If I Had a Hammer,” mostly because I’d never heard the song and never cared to because in theory I thought it was a whiny commie song. But wow, what a great song! That melody is so beautiful!

Okay, enough about my dark past as a fan of musicals.  Actually, I still like musicals, but y’know, I’ll totally understand if you tell me you hate fans of musicals.  You’re right, they can be really intense.  But I still feel a bit bad for all the Rentheads, since it was just announced that Rent is fiiiiinally closing.  RIP!  The show opened so long ago I’ve never known a NYC without Rent.


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