FUNK DEL MEXICO

Los socios
LOSLAZOS

Los Socios Del Ritmo: Frijol Con Puerco
From S/T (EMI, 1971)

Los Lazos: La Rola
From Como Has Hecho (Orfeon, 1970)

I’m not saying, “if you see a record by a Mexican band from the early 1970s where the band members are standing next to or leaning against a wood paneled wall, you should definitely pick it up.”But really, what do you have to lose?

Just be forewarned – with both these LPs, the two tracks I […]

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PRIVATE PILE: TEXAS PRISON MUSIC

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There’s albums recorded in prisons – think Johnny Cash’s famous At Folsom Prison or Eddie Palmieri’s Live at Sing Sing albums – but then there are prison albums recorded by prisoners. These seem to coincide with the heyday of custom album-making (since most of them were recorded remotely, at prison) as well as, perhaps, pre-“War on Crime” era prison policies were music was seen as one pathway to rehabilitation.

That was certainly the idea behind this prison LP issued in 1965 by the Texas Department of Corrections, with help from […]

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’60S POP EN ESPAÑOL

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Los Freddy’s: Vuelve Mi Amor (Never My Love)
From 7″ (Peerless, 196?)

Los Xochimilcas: Y La Amo (And I Love Her)
From Cumbias y Dengues (Eco, 196?)

I recently got the Los Freddy’s in…I always did love the original version by The Association and the Los Freddy’s pull off a pretty loyal cover musically. I could be wrong but doesn’t this sound like a bunch of teenagers? Either that or the lead has a naturally “young” sounding voice.

The Los Xochimilcas’ cumbia flip on “And I […]

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FROM COMMON TO THE FANIA ALL-STARS

Cross over

While I am a fan of salsa and of the Fania All-Stars more specifically, I’m not such an aficionado as to be a completionist of their catalog. As a result, I never bothered to pick up Cross Over since I assumed (both rightly and wrongly) that it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, especially coming so late in the 1970s. However, I recently came across it while sample-hunting for the source of this track:

Thanks to the sleuths at Soulstrut, it turned out to be this song:

Fania […]

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NA NA HEY HEY, BREAKS BREAKS

For real…I thought I didn’t like this song much, (mostly) because A) it’s overplayed way too much at sporting events and B) much as I like “the hook = the song” this pushes things a bit too far. But that said, “Na Na Hey Hey” has a delicious backstory that I’m still not 100% clear on except to say that the group “Steam” never really existed outside of this song and supposedly, it was built from a drum track from a previous single by one of the core songwriters.1

The thing is though…I totally forgot that the song […]

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SINGLE SERVINGS: FIEBRE DISCO, COGERLO!

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Banda Fiebre: Fiebre Nocturna (Fever Night)
Que Tan Grande Es Tu Amor (How Deep Is Your Love)
From 7″ (Musart, 1978?)

The Bee-Gees may have been the first musical group I have any memory of. Disco fanatics can debate whether the group propelled or ultimately helped kill disco but I still have a fond place for their tunes which I still think stand the test of time as good pop songs even if they weren’t the pinnacle of disco saber. Speaking of which: recently came across this 7″ out […]

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IN THE JUNGLE, BABE

My latest KCET piece is on the new spate of record stores that have opened in L.A. over the last few years, many of which are out in my neck of the woods on the eastside. Of the batch, my favorite has been the Record Jungle, Andy Perez’s spot out in Montebello. As I suggest in the piece, it’s got an old mom-and-pop feel to it but Andy knows his soul, funk and Latin records on par with the best, upper-end boutiques. His is like the best of all worlds and over the last […]

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THE GHETTO BROTHERS

Gbs

I review the long-awaited, official re-release of the Ghetto Brothers’ Power – Fuerza album for NPR.

Don’t get the fishy reissue from a few years back; the deluxe edition has incredible liner notes by Jeff Mao plus a plethora of photos of the crew, back in the day.

Big up to Truth and Soul for putting this out the right way.

And speaking of T&S, check out the new single by their new act, Lady:

SLAUGHTERHOUSE: CUTTIN’ LOOSE WITH AVERNE

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Slaughterhouse: Cut You Loose
From S/T (E1, 2009)

Harvey Averne: You’re No Good
From Viva Soul (Atlantic, 1968)

Total late pass for me but I love the original enough that, even 3 years later, still worth posting. Nice flip by Mr. Porter here.

CHICANO BATMAN WANT TO GET THEIR 10″ ON (OH MY!)

One of my favorite local bands, Chicano Batman, have a new EP out: “Joven Navegante” You can download the EP for free(!) but they’re trying to raise money to press a vinyl version up on 10″.

Won’t you help them?