Wassup Rockers

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the funk 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?


In Case You Were Curious, Which You Most Likely Were Not.

(1) I decided recently that Roy Orbison is fucking brilliant.  I find his voice quite strange.

(2) A couple of weeks ago I went to the Virgin on Times Square and found out they were closing.  Got some cool shit.  My biggest find was a fucking Man Recordings 12″ that features Deize Tigrona.  I chortled to myself at the fact that no one had bothered to buy it and I was giddy that I had the pleasure to do so.  I was so excited, in fact, that I kinda didn’t want to listen to it, because I was so fucking sure I’d be disappointed.  But I listened anyway.  And let me tell you something–now, I know you’re going to laugh, but I wish you wouldn’t–after listening to it, I was thrilled, but I also couldn’t figure out if I’d listened to it at the right speed.  I know it makes me sound like a moron, but I’m telling you, both sides of the single are so fucking weird, so many miles away from what I recognize as funk, that I am still kinda disoriented about it.  At the same time, this disorientation makes me feel even more excited about the 12″.  The A-side in particular is off the hook.  Hee!  I think it’s gonna be one of those songs, like “Ni Fu Ni Fa,” that I’m gonna listen to years from now and still think that it’s ahead of its time.  Seriously.

(3) I also bought a copy of Scratch half price, and thank the lord cos that shit was mad expensive originally.  I started watching it today, and I couldn’t finish it cos my parents told me to stop hogging the teevee.  I’m telling you, though, it’s really fun and just watching the footage of all those DJs slouched over their turntables is so beautiful.  Okay, the sounds, I don’t care much about the result of the sounds, but fundamentally, I find it really inspiring, because you know that for them to create the music that they do, they need to go crate-diggin’ for the most beautiful sounds to their ears, and they need to learn every element in a song intimately, and I’m awed by the dedication and discipline and pure love of music they show in doing that.  I know that I don’t hear music the way they hear music, and I’m fascinated by it.  I also think it’s amazing how they take a pre-existing work and they really reinterpret it, not unlike a singer covering someone else’s song.

(4) I bought a collection of poetry by Jose Garcia Villa (v. v. hard to abstain from adding accents in his name since I’m so used to it, but he’s filipino and I’m not sure if they use them over there).  I’m only telling you this because it’s National Poetry Month and I’m enjoying the book a lot.  I didn’t know of his existence until recently, when the AAWW had an event about him.  Like Tseng Kwong Chi later on, it appears that Villa was one of those cool kids hanging out downtown who has become nothing more than a footnote in pop culture history, even though both Villa and Tseng were serious artists with significant contributions to the scene.

Anyway, reading the book and enjoying really makes me wonder why I don’t read more poetry.  The dumb and easy answer is that I don’t get it, and I find a lot of other people telling me they don’t get poetry either.  I really feel like we’re not taught poetry very well.  The whole population can’t be averse to poetry–we must have been taught that somehow it’s lesser than other writing forms.  And that fucking annoys me!  In one sense I understand that times change and that different writing forms fall out of vogue.  For example, I’d say–without any scientific proof or naught, but still–we’re transitioning out of the era of the novel and more into some weird sort of non-fiction/memoir era (and I think blogs are helping this!), but it still bothers me that poetry is ignored because I think there’s still a lot that could be said and done with poetry.  Poetry came before the novel and I feel that the less literate people are in poetry, that means that works from hundreds and hundreds of years ago will become lost…  Seguro que yo sueno histérica, y yo sé que lo poesía no morirá por completo, pero me molesta que hay tanta tradición, tanta cultura y arte que la gente no aprecia y lo toman todo por idioteces solo porque alguien (some higher up) decidió que la poesía ya no importa tanto como otros géneros, y así es que las generaciones más jóvenes no aprenden el valor que tienen los poemas…  Bah!  Me duele la cabeza.  And so I make my exit.

WFMU Record Fair 2008.

HOLY SHIT!!!  I OWN THE CHANDRA ALBUM.  To clarify, I did not buy the original Transportation EP.  I bought a rerelease from this new label called Cantor and it actually has 4 extra songs (!!) and comes with this extra booklet with an essay on Chandra Oppenheim and lots of pictures including one that confirms Kate was a real girl!  And I’m like, “Why would Chandra write such a mean song and then fraternize”–sororize?–“with this girl.”  But I’ve watched Mean Girls, so I know all about this frenemy thingamajig…  Anyway, the LP cost me a lot (a lot = $15), but the record was just calling my name.  You know how it is.  First I walked away and figured I’d look at all my options before buying any records, but I only lasted like, 10 minutes before I swung back again and just bought the record.

I talked to the dude who runs the label, Aaron.  I didn’t think to ask him whether he already has distro for this release, which is the first on his label, or if he was ~*DEBUTING*~ the LP at the fair.  He did look like a proud papa holding the record in his hands.  I asked him about Chandra and he told me he’d mostly been in contact with her through email and phone; he’d only met her for the first time very recently, and he also told me that she was still making music.  AWESOME!

I also bought Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Vol. 2, and Roy Orbison’s In Dreams.  I mean I was really conflicted whether I wanted to get Del Shannon’s Runaway or the Roy Orbison, but I finally went with the latter because I wanted to hear his take on “All I Have to Do is Dream.”  Those three album are it, I didn’t have enough money for anymore purchases, which is sad when you consider that these two other albums cost me a total of $11.  I saw this Nikki Giovanni record that looked really cool but I passed on it.

I’m surprised by how much it pains me, but I passed on this Tim Maia record, too.  The dude who owned it was like, “Very good prices!”  But I’d already bought my three records by this point and zapped my dinero so all I could do was grimace in return.  I’ve never even listened to Reencontro, the record in question, but it’s not like you see a mothertouchin’ Tim Maia LP everyday.  Veloso and Jobim and Getz, there was plenty of that shit, but Tim Maia?  Pfft.  I also saw that first Last Poets album and it was $40 but I didn’t have $40 to spare.  That one pains me a bit too, but not as much as the Tim Maia.  Ugh…

When my Token Twee Friend and I got to the fair, DMBQ started a seriously raucous set.  It was pretty right on, at least if you like noise music.

The rest of the fair was really wonderful.  I’d waited for it all year and finally being able to go was just such a great experience.  And getting to buy the Chandra record, I feel like I can die a bit happier now.  Everyone was so friendly.  Some dudes from Wax Poetics were there and they were funny.  Made me like that magazine even more.  The last DJ spinning music at the fair was awesome, he played lots of oldies.  Also, they had some kid come on stage and “sing” “Beat on the Brat” and then he encore’d with “Sheena is a Punk Rocker.”  I couldn’t see what the kid looked like but hearing him made me LOL.  It was a great way to end CMJ week.

I have all these things lined up to write about, cool things I’ve done and read and seen and experience, but it always takes me like a year to write one miserable post, it’s ridic.  Maybe I’ll catch up eventually, but not tonight.

LAMC 2007 Bands + Upcoming Shows

Edited July 8: I added some in-store sets happening at the Apple Store (Soho). You can also go to the official LAMC site for full show + panel details – click the “schedule” tab.

I was at the LAMC site and they have a graphic that gives the acts that have confirmed for the conference. This includes Café muthafuckin Tacuba! Me voy a desmayar!!!!! I can’t figure out the details for when they’re playing—in fact, I can’t find the details for a lot of the bands. But here is what I’ve figured out so far. I’m sure these details are bound to change, since the conference is still a couple of months away. Also, I got no clue which shows are open to reg’lar folks and which are just for badge-holders and GMI’s (Gente Muy Importante). I would appreciate it if anyone could help me out in fleshing out this list. I’m just praying to god los Tacubos play at Central Park for free.

Austin TV
Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge
Thurs 12 July – 8 pm – SOB’s

Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge
Thurs 12 July – 8 pm – SOB’s

B Side Players
Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge

Café Tacuba
Sat 14 July – 3 pm – Central Park SummerStage – GRATIS
(+ Joselo is participating in a panel, but you probably need a badge for that)

Ceci Bastida
Thurs 12 July – 8 pm – SOB’s

Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’s
Fri 13 July – 7:30 pm – Celebrate Brooklyn (Prospect Park) – GRATIS

Thurs 12 July – 8 pm – Museo del Barrio – GRATIS

Cuarto Poder
Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge
Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’s
Sat 14 July – 8 pm – Not sure of venue, but it’s for the LAMC closing night party

Federico Aubele
Tues 10 July – 7 pm – Central Park SummerStage – GRATIS

Gustavo Laureano

Gonzalo Yañez – couldn’t find a link!
Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’s

La Mala Rodríguez
Wed 11 July – 12 am (?) – SOB’s
Thurs 12 July – 9 pm – Bowery Ballroom

La Sista
Sat 14 July – 3 pm – Central Park Summerstage – GRATIS

Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge
Thurs 12 July – 8 pm – SOB’s

Los Rumbers
10 July to 13 July – 8 pm – Bowery Ballroom

Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’s

Pacha Massive
Thurs 12 July – 2 pm – Apple Store (Soho) – GRATIS
Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’s
Sat 14 July – 3 pm – Central Park SummerStage – GRATIS

Thurs 12 July – 9 pm – Bowery Ballroom

Thurs 12 July – 9 pm – Bowery Ballroom

Pinker Tones
Fri 13 July – 2 pm – Apple Store (Soho) – GRATIS
Fri 13 July – 7:30 pm – Celebrate Brooklyn (Prospect Park) – GRATIS

Thurs 12 July – 6 pm – SOB’S
Thurs 12 July – 9 pm – Sputnik
Fri 13 July – 2 pm – MisRolas.com booth (?)
Fri 13 July – 10 pm – Baggot Inn
(FYI: I’m not sure if these are all LAMC events)

Thurs 12 July – 9 pm – Bowery Ballroom

Tues 10 July – no venue
Wed 11 July – 8 pm – Mercury Lounge
Thurs 12 July – no venue
Fri 13 July – 11 pm – Baggot Inn

Volumen Cero
Thurs 12 July – 4 pm – SOB’s
Sat 14 July – 8 pm – La Oveja Negra

Wed 11 July – 2 pm – Apple Store (Soho) – GRATIS
Fri 13 July – 7:30 pm – Celebrate Brooklyn (Prospect Park) – GRATIS

A note to most of these bands: your MySpace pages are disgusting. They’re cluttered, poorly laid out, completely impossible to navigate. These pages are supposed to have pertinent info for crying out loud, especially if you don’t have a real website! So get your shit together and make it a little less offensive to your visitors’ eyes.


Los Amigos Invisibles are playing at the Bowery Ballroom this Saturday (May 12); Todosantos are opening!! Venezuela’s best, though apparently Todosantos moved to NYC!

Balún are playing at Pianos May 22 and at Crash Mansion. I actually like Arturo en el Barco, which is the solo project of one of the band members in Balún. Her name is Angélica. I guess she’s more busy with Balún though.

And don’t forget Manú Chao is playing at Prospect Park on June 26 and June 27. Not a free show though.

Quero Amor Sincero.

Oh shit, I was so excited about writing one of those “I’M BACK BITCH(ES)” posts that I forgot about the really exciting song that has entered my life and made it marginally happier.

So there’s this dude, Tim Maia. If you’re Brazilian you probably know about him already. Or if you’ve watched Cidade de Deus, you’ve heard his music.

I heard the soundtrack to the movie way before I watched the damn thing, and once I heard his song, my mind was blown! On the soundtrack it is titled “No caminho do bem,” and it comes right at the end, so I pretty much waited the entire movie to hear the song. (Er, the movie was awesome too, of course, in its own soul-sucking sort of way.)

Recently I got an itch to know more about this guy, I seriously thought he was someone like Seu Jorge, making his mark in the music world NOW, but I realized Tim Maia has been around a long time. Like, he’s been around for so long that when he first showed up in the scene, “funk” meant like American funk and not like “funk carioca” (or what Americans generally call “baile funk”), the latter of which is mostly a phenomenon out of Rio.

My method of researching this dude meant that I went on Soulseek (I know, I’m terrible) and instead of downloading his millions of albums, I just chose the ones that had interesting titles. I learned that “No caminho do bem” is the wrong title; it’s “O caminho do bem,” but I think it’s written incorrectly on the soundtracks so I don’t feel so bad. Plus it totally does sound like, “no” instead of “o.”

WHATEVER, the point is that one of the songs that piqued my interest was called “Não quero dinheiro (só quero amar).” I thought it was a cute song title. But once I listened to the song, I couldn’t stop pressing play again. This is really a song that needs no translation: it’s rare when the words and the music to a song fit each other so well. It’s so uplifting and happy I can’t take it. I just want to play the shit out of this song it’s so damn beautiful.

Ummm. No, I don’t think I’m overreacting. Give it a try.

Tim Maia – “O caminho do bem

Tim Maia – “Não quero dinheiro (só quero amar)

On a semi-related note, go to this awesome post from Motel de Moka for some hot Brazilian jamzzz. Good shit.