Wassup Rockers

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the covers category.

WFMU Record Fair 2009.

I went to the record fair today, a nice closing punctuation mark to CMJ.  Not that I did anything CMJ-related this year, whereas I seriously waited all year long to go to the fair today.  Thinking I’d learned my lesson last year, this time I decided to budget myself and also made a mental list of things I wanted: God Is For Real, Man, Del Shannon and Roy Orbison, and maybe some Carter Family shit.

So how did I end up dropping $40 on just two records?  Obviously it’s not that much, but I was really hoping to find a shitload of beat up $5 records, so an average of $20 per record is a little much.  I just entered the place and was immediately overwhelmed, as usual.  After sweeping up and down the aisles, I decided there were definitely some things I wanted (and could afford, cos God knows how much shit I really really wanted and couldn’t pay for it).

I specifically want to bitch about this Ska Au Go Go album that I wanted.  I saw it, noted in my mind to come back to it, and kept looking for other cool shit.  (Leonard Nimoy reading HG Wells, anyone?)  Anyway, when I finally finished making my round of all the exhibitors about 20 minutes later, I went back to the spot and looked all through the crate and… it wasn’t there!  No–it was in the hands of some guy standing right next to me.  So I kinda waited a couple of minutes to see if he was gonna let go of the record so I could swoop in on that shit.  Alas, he held on to the LP pretty tightly.  Damn you, dude!!  Heh, just kidding.  I understand how these things go: you snooze, you lose.  That’s okay, I was mostly intrigued that there was a track called “I Should Have Known Better.”  Well I just downloaded that shit, and indeed, it’s a cover of the Beatles song.  Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.  Sigh, if only that record was in my hands…

Well, the more expensive one is a double LP, which inconveniently doesn’t even come in a gatefold sleeve.  It’s just a greatest hits called A Arte de Tim Maia.  It’s hilarious, almost every song sounds fine except for “Não quero dinheiro,” which skips a bit.  I imagine that whoever owned the record first played the shit out of that song, and who am I to blame them?  My dad looked at the record and pointed out that title, to which I asserted, “THAT’S THE BEST SONG IN THE ENTIRE THING!!” even though this statement might not be true.  Anyway, I felt kinda wack about having paid “so much” for the record when I’d gone into the Metropolitan Pavilion looking for deals, but by the time I got to side B of the second LP, I was just crying and crying from the thrill and the honor of getting to hear this seriously beautiful music. In conclusion, it was totally worth the money and I’m very happy with this find, even if it’s a minor Best Of.

The less expensive (but still kinda costly) record is a compilation of Chilean jazz from the first half of the 20th century.  I haven’t listened to it and I’m kind of scared to.  The seller had several records that seriously caught my eye, including a nice copy of a Joe Cuba Sextet record that cost less than the Chilean jazz one, but I wondered, “Which album is more likely to be here next year?”  I understood that Chilean jazz ain’t as in demand over here as, say, bugalú, but at the same time it’s more rare to see a record of Chilean music at all, so I decided to go with it.  Plus, the Chilean record is sealed!  Do I dare open it?  Of course!  I can’t wait to see what treasures it contains.

I don’t know that my experience was wild as previous years–for some reason the whole affair seemed a bit more muted today, did I imagine it–but I still had a lot of fun.  The best genres to check out were the kids’ albums.  My friend and I found a Topo Gigio record!!  He was da bomb.

I’ve been all right, just listening to a lot of this and that.  One of my classmates burned me a copy of The Saturdays’ Chasing Lights, which is surprisingly excellent.  So many of the songs could have been major singles, really!  I’m smarting from the Sugababes breakup fiasco, so at least it’s nice to see that there’s a new generation of pop tarts bringing cute escapist ditties to the masses.  They don’t write their own songs, but they do sing live!

Also, I’ve gone back to obsessing over Zoé.  Mostly because I randomly developed a crush on Sergio, their guitarist?  Mostly because I get the feeling that he’s one of those betas who could really be an alpha if he wanted, but he can’t be bothered because he already knows he’s fucking awesome and doesn’t need that validation?  Regardless, I’ve been going through their old stuff and I’m loving it.  I found an episode of Verdad y Fama on YouTube featuring the band and they pretty much verify that the band members, especially León, are pretty much fried out of their minds, not that it was too hard to tell.

Dude, watch that video!  It’s not even their best song, but look at the way people are singing along.  It’s a huge fucking crowd and they all know all the fucking words.  It’s amazing.  I love this band so much, I wish they’d come to NYC more often.

I’m finally looking forward to stuff, too, after a long funk of not caring about what was next.  First, I can’t wait for the new Shakira, which seems like it’s becoming an unmarketable dud for her label.  I can’t believe “She Wolf” hasn’t really taken off, “Loba” is doing pretty well on MTV Tr3s and I personally fucking love that song. Awooooo…!!  The last English album of hers I bought was Laundry Service, which in hindsight I find a bit blah, but this single has me really excited and I’m totally gonna buy the new album.  I also found out that Gustavo Cerati, god bless his Jewfro’d self, just released a new album and I can’t wait to track it down and listen to it.  Not only that, Javiera Mena is finally gonna release her second full-length (about time!!) and apparently she did a song with Jens Lekman!  Hope it turns out well.  She’s also busy at the moment opening for Kings of Convenience, who also have a new album out and I’m trying to decide whether I want to hear it.  My undying crush on Erlend tells me to do it, but half of the time I find their shit beautiful and the other half I find it boring.

Y’know what I mean?




(1) That is Gael García Bernal.
(2) He is singing a cover of “I Want You to Want Me.” In Spanish. Norteño-style.

Is my mind blown? My mind is totally blown. I’m also glad to finally see a trailer of Rudo y Cursi, which has been in production for a very long time. (The music video is some sort of promo for the movie.) Anyway, I found this video on Remezcla, and you can find a trailer for the movie, too. It looks like a comedy so now I’m kinda looking forward to it. But enough about the Gael/Diego film reunion. When is Gael getting back with Ludwika Paleta, that’s what I wanna know. Then again, girlfriend should probably stop doing the whole trashy telenovela thing.

Actually, if you read the credits in the video above, you’ll see Diego Luna’s name in there, too. I think Gael and Diego met on the set of El abuelo y yo. And yes, I used to watch it when I was little and I had no recollection of Gael, so you can imagine the shock of finding out Gael was in that novela. At that point I only watched the show for Ludwika, who was so so pretty and who was well-known among my age group since she had been in Carrusel, which was an incredibly successful kids’ telenovela.

Yes, in Latin America they trained us to become telenovela fiends from a very early age.

ANYWAY. Seeing the norteño version of “I Want You to Want Me” reminded me of another Gael movie with an awesomely weird and unexpected cover, El crimen del padre Amaro. Okay, in that movie, I heard this really great version of “One Way or Another,” and so I tried desperately to seek my soul, but I finally gave up after like a month or two. It’s one of the few songs on which I’ve given up. Another notable song I haven’t found successfully is Ray Charles’s version of “Bein’ Green,” as heard on an episode of The Cosby Show. Argh, remembering my downloading misadventures makes me want these songs even more.

Also, I’m suddenly itchin’ to listen to more norteño shit. It’s that polka bounce… it’s too catchy to be true…

Short shorts.

(1) This dude re-did “American Boy” into “Caribbean Girl” which is painfully forced and uncreative (some would say faithful). Even worse, just a few changes in the words changes the entire context of the song. It’s more about ~*O HEY MAMI CAN I MACK ON YOU*~ and less of a fun, escapist, ephemeral summer jam, which is how I viewed “American Boy”. Una tragedia, yo digo. I got the sense that this dude is totally in love with his own voice, cos he sure likes to show off how suave he sounds.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!

(2) Finished reading Las películas de mi vida. The idea was interesting but Fuguet didn’t follow through as effectively as in his other stories. I have to say, however, a lot of times he catches me off guard and I’m hit with some massive emotional punch.

(3) I was having issues with Soulseek–that is, I was too impatient to wait for Soulseekers to stop banning me for not sharing–so I went out and bought the Amandititita album. It was cheaper than most CDs. Yay for being on a major, huh? The album kinda lags in the second half, but it’s still kinda fabulous.

(4) New York mag asked a number of people–including RZA, Kim Gordon, and Albert Hammond, Jr.–to contribute summer playlists, which were turned into muxtapes. One of the Pistolera members participated and filled the muxtape with some great tracks. Here is the link to the muxtape. Speaking of which, I updated my muxtape.

(5) Albums I really really wanna check out:

Julieta Venegas’s MTV Unplugged, which features fucking Marisa Monte (!!!) as well as La Mala Rodríguez. You can check out the version of “Eres para mí” with La Mala at La Onda Tropical. (BTW, congrats to La Onda on their 3rd anniversary and on their mention on Latina.) I love this new version but I absolutely love the rap in the original that Anita Tijoux does. Anita’s lines flow beautifully with the rest of the song and include my favorite lines in the entire song: “el corazón es un músculo/si no late, revienta.” Besides, if I hadn’t heard this song I never would have known about Makiza which is one of my favorite hip-hop groups. Pero bueno, nothing like reinterpretation… right?

I’m also seriously jonesing for Håkan Hellström’s latest album, För Sent för Edelweiss. I don’t know what it is about him, he’s seriously one of the funnest pop musicians I’ve heard. And I’m glad he’s not a Swede who sings in English, obviously living in an English-speaking country, most of the Swedes who come our way tend to perform their music in English, and I’m sure it’s the reason Hellström isn’t well-known here. But his music’s solid! It’s unfair that he shouldn’t get the same exposure.

(6) I’ve been trying the beta version of the new Last.fm and I think it’s swell. Accessible, easy-to-navigate, fast, and easy on the eyes. Seriously, a pretty layout is crucial. It almost makes me wanna pay for a subscription.

(7) Rewatched Dogfight for the first time in years and had a good cry.  Good movie.

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.

Totes Random.

Well, I just sent these songs to myself (from my desktop PC to my laptop), but I think it’s a waste to be the only one to download these ~*HOT JAMZZZ*~ so I’ll share.

(1) The first is that song that plays in a loop on the Amores Perros DVD menu that you’d think would drive you crazy but it’s so damn good and fierce and aggro and if there’s one song that truly represents the movie, it’s probably “Sí señor.” It’s not “Me van a matar,” which is more of a “Hey, Julieta Venegas sorta had cred back in the days (lol)” song; it’s not “Aviéntame,” which is more of a “Yay, Meme gets to sing” song. Oh wait, I guess “De perros amores” is the most representative song, cos it has the Control Machete grit in contrast to Ely Guerra’s vulnerability. But it’s like, these three songs I just mentioned aren’t in the movie actually. “Sí señor” is, and used in a fantastic way.

(2) The other song is just a cover of “Whip It.” En español. By Los Prisioneros. Doesn’t that sound awesome? To be honest, it’s mostly awesome because it’s faithful to the original.

Control Machete – Sí señor

Los Prisioneros – Azota

Tourette’s is Just One Big Lifetime of Tag, Really.

This is the post where I fess up and tell you that I have a thing for novelty records. Like that one blog that posted up Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs a long time ago? Oh yeah, I totally downloaded that shit before the blog got into legal trouble and had to take it down. But that’s beside the point.

My point is that I was at the Salon site recently, a site I don’t check out too often, and as I was browsing through their Audiofile section, I noticed these “great literary podcasts” on the right column. And then I gasped because (a) they had an excerpt of Motherless Brooklyn, and (b) THIS EXCERPT IS READ BY STEVE BUSCEMI. Basically, I almost died. And then I downloaded the mp3 and listened to it. And then I really died. And after dying I replayed it like 20 thousand times. 20 thousand petit morts, I guess we could say.

Except it won’t show up on my Audioscrobbler! I’ve only been listening to it during my commute to and from school. Cos it just sounds better to have an awesome NYC actor reading an excerpt from an awesome NYC novel in the awesome NYC subway, y’know?

Another thing, I totally didn’t realize that Stylus’s Singles Jukebox changed into a blog format. I’m so out of it. The only thing I’ve read at Stylus recently was their Cure vs. Depeche Mode feature. I really liked that feature, mostly because the kid who wrote it (who also happens to be a friend of a friend!) is totally Team Depeche Mode, and I am too. Ugh, off to another tangent. What I meant to say is that I don’t know what to think of the new Singles Jukebox. It’s good, but it’s not the same. On the other hand, who cares, it’s one of the indie few places where pop songs are taken seriously!

You should definitely go to the Salon website and download that Steve Buscemi shit, it’s the most exciting thing I’ve heard in the past couple of weeks. And heeeeeere’s Johnny Cash, who I guess was on Team Depeche Mode, too:

Johnny Cash – “Personal Jesus


Well, it’s not like you asked, but I’ll tell you: The Starting Line‘s cover of J. Lo‘s “I’m Real” is nowhere near as good as their cover of Björk‘s “Big Time Sensuality.” Why am I even surprised? It’s not like the original “I’m Real” was any good.

In other news (it was news to me anyways), I totally thought that Kano the grime rapper did a song called “I’m Ready,” but it ended up that it was Kano the italo disco group. The song is still awesome, though. I was just disappointed because I think Kano the grime rapper is a QT3.14. BTW, I have no idea what the fuck “italo disco” means, I’m only using it cos every other blogger is using that term. Maybe you can find out for me what it means. What exactly makes Italian disco unique? Is it meaninless like saying “Swedish rock”?

Kano (the italo disco kids) – “I’m Ready

Kano (the grime rapper) – “Boys Love Girls

The Starting Line – “I’m Real

The Starting Line – “Big Time Sensuality