Wassup Rockers



Current Jams.

Some stuff I’ve been listening to:

1. The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru

Sit down, my chillun, let me tell y’all a story. So on leap day, my token 90s friend and I went for an early dinner to Yaffa Cafe, which is located on St. Marks next to that odd-smelling but otherwise way cool used bookstore next door. So here we were, having dinner early like two old ladies, not many folks around so that the waiters were all kinda chillin’, hangin’ back. There was this Latin shit playing in the background pero yo no sabía lo que era. And it was hilarious, too, one of the tracks was like this Latinized version of “Für Elise.” Can I get a LOL, anyone? So when my friend and I finished eating our din din, I asked the waiter what the album was. He said he didn’t know but he’d check the iPod for me. He did so, telling me it was this album of chicha jams. Actually, he wrote it down and even specified that I could buy it at Other Music. Well, imagine that. I really appreciate that the waiter took the time to help me out.  Is that great service or what?

My friend and I had nothing to do after dinner, so we just sashayed our way to Other Music and I bought the CD. It’s really fun! If you bum around the website of the label that released the album, you’ll see they are planning to release another chicha-happy album in a few weeks. I’m definitely gonna have to check it out.

I know that for kids who read the more well-known music blogs, “afropop” is probably a buzzword maintenant (god bless Vampire Weekend!). But with the hispanoablantes, I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a resurgence of cumbia. Por ejemplo, check out this feature from NYRemezcla. This is totally delightful for me, since I think I was born to dance to that shit.

2. Infame, Babasónicos

Well, I’ve been digging this band for a while, but I’ve been obsessing lately. I keep wondering if it’s some morbid fascination with the fact that their bassist died last month, y’know, like having some nostalgia that never belonged to me in the first place. After all, I really have no idea who’s even in the band. They’re just one of those bands where I’m more wrapped up by the music itself than knowing everything about every person in the group.

It’s really shocking how powerful this album can be. Mostly I’ve listened to Jessico, but I was rereading Lechner’s Rock en Español and he was all like, “ZOMG I love Infame,” so on the same evening I bought the chicha album, I somehow drifted into the world music section of the Virgin at Union Square and once I grabbed onto Infame, I couldn’t let go. I know it must sound silly to want an album that I already have and have listened to on my computer, but it’s really not the same. I’ve been listening to Infame on my CD player and it’s been pretty great. On Saturday I was home listening to it alone and during the chorus of “Putita” I just started crying. It wasn’t over Gabo, though I do want to make it clear I think it’s fucked up that he died at such a young age. It’s just that the melody and the lyrics meld beautifully in this song. I wonder if all the band members are proud of all the music they’ve created through the years. I think they should be. ¿No les gustaría haber escrito esa canción? Y cuando oyen canciones como esta, ¿no les parece un honor de ser capaz de oir? This is the kind of song that reminds me to take care of my ears so I won’t go deaf…

3. Multiply, Jamie Liddell

I’m just mentally preparing myself for the release of the new album. He’s playing a couple of shows at the Bowery Ballroom in June. They should be pretty wild.

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  1. Babasónicos @ Highline Ballroom, 6/26 « Wassup Rockers pingbacked on 9 years ago

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