Monday, February 22, 2010

holiday playlist

dieWs here reporting in a bundle of emotions state. Happy, ecstatic, excited, anxious, nervous. The reason for such madness is that me and my best friend Luchicha from Boquitas Pintadas will be travelling across the ocean to the "old continent". It's a cross-country experiment: from Caracas we'll fly go to London, then to Paris (by Eurostar), followed by a trip to Stockholm and finally Barcelona. I'm still incertain about the Inmigration point (especially in Madrid) but since we have all the paperwork done, we shouldn't have much trouble.

I got to be so frantic about this vacation period that i've made a special Holiday playlist on my ipod, worth the hours of travel we'll be spending in just a couple of days. I wouldn't publish all the 500 songs on it but here are 6 of my favorites:

MP3: The Cardigans - Carnival
MP3: Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life
MP3: KiT - Animals
MP3: Palenke Soultribe - Palenke From The Jungle (Oro Remix)
MP3: Alizeé - Limelight
MP3: Radiohead - No Surprises

I'll be writing very shortly after my arrival posting some thoughts and photos.
See you all in a month!

Friday, February 19, 2010

space (and other places) oddities

It's always good to stick with the kind of music and artists that we like but I think it's always even better to discover albums or performers really unheard of, things that are somewhat in the same line of our taste. I have a few of them i'd like to share with you. Perhaps you have listened to them, but if you haven't, this is a great chance.

click on the cd's cover if you want to download it!

Having been a fan of french music for ages, I got me a trio of compilations worth a peek. First, for all psychedelic lovers, it's "Dirty French Phychedelics", a selection of 14 tracks made by Dirty Sound System. Like all of their collections, this is an album that's made to be digested from the beginning to the very end. Everything seems rare, a fantastic trip without the need of getting high (though the "enhancement" of illegal substances wouldn't mind at all). It's eerie, poppy, spacey, the way that era must have been for those who have experienced it. Then, we have "BIPPP: French Synth Wave 1979-85". The name of the album really implies what people are going to get from it, especially if you are fans of Devo, Joy Division, New Order, etc. Exciting songs and heavily synthesized. Other songs fron that era are also arranged for our next record, "So Young But So Cold: Underground French Music 1977-1983". Nothing else to it, just little known pieces of non-mainstream sonic art. You really should enjoy and expand your mind with this.

MP3: Jean Jacques Dexter - Be Quiet
MP3: Brigitte Fontaine - Il Pleut
MP3: The Act - Ping Pong
MP3: Vox Dei - Terroriste
MP3: J.J. Burnel - Euroman
MP3: Charles De Goal - Synchro

click on the cd's cover if you want to download it!

There is an other set of albums I also love, very distant from each other but also very close and also feels slightly current. "Elaste, Vol. 1: Slow Motion Disco" is an interesting choice. It can get tiresome, but overall it works as a lovely mix of Italo disco, electro disco and synth pop from the old era. A new perspective is brought by "Milky Disco" (don't be surprised if any of these songs gets played at a fancy party. This is made for that purpose). Finally I also came across a release made by one of my favorite Disco wizards, Patrick Cowley. "Catholic", an album he made with friend Jorge Socarras between 1976 and 1979, it's so rare it's scary to even hear it. It's electronic but minimalistic, proto-techno and post-punk at the same time. This is such a gift for the ages (but must warn you, this is not for ALL ears, only exquisite ones who knows good music and are not afraid for the unexpected)

MP3: Memory Control One (MC1) - Basic
MP3: Heaven 17 - I'm Your Money
MP3: Johan Agebjorn ft. Sally Shapiro - Spacer Woman From Mars
MP3: Georges Vert - Electric Bird
MP3: Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - Eddie Go To My Head
MP3: Patrick Cowley & Jorge Socarras - Burn Brighter Flame

That'll do for today. Enjoy the rest of this weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

back to basic black

I'm not a fashionista. Never have been, never will be. I could never figure out all the names of all the fashion designers, there are so many. I could never figure out all the names of all the trendy models, there are SOO many. Besides, my weight is twice the average for fashionistas. So there are several points against me. The thing is, however, I love art, all kinds of it, and I consider fashion to be a form of art when it dares to be diferent, when it uses dramatic elements that we would normally see on the runway rather than on the streets, when each and every outfit is like canvas moving (can look but can't touch unless you have the benjamins to buy them). I'm not an authority in fashion as far as I'm concerned, but I can tell good fashion when I see one. It's about open mind and open heart about all sorts of crazy ideas. That's the core of it.

That brings me to this next post. Not about music, but about fashion. Fashion and movement. Fashion and short movies. Fashion and the swinging sixties! I once thought the only people that could capture that era so well were Twiggy, Lauren Hutton and Edie Sedgwick. Their looks were out-there, so much that they've made little girls in that time fall in love with them and emulate their poses and makeup. In recent days, i've added a new/old girl to that bunch, miss Peggy Moffitt, another seminal 60s chick.

Though originally an actress, Moffitt's breaktrough was when she met photographer William Claxton, whom she later wed, as well as fashion designer Rudi Gernreich (inventor of the monokini and pubikini). When the trio began working together, the muse was in action, modelling Rudi's bold designs with an even bolder mood, enhanced by her distintive haircut (the five-point), fake eyelashes and heavy makeup, inspired by current trends as well as Japanese Kabuki theatre. The pinnacle of their collaboration was the short movie "Basic Black". When asked about the experience, William Claxton wrote:
In 1967 Peggy and I had just returned from ’swinging London’ and Paris to work in New York. We were commissioned by a small commercial production company to come up with something which would serve as my ‘reel’ in order to get hired to direct TV commercials. While sitting on our bed at the Algonquin Hotel, we collaborated in writing a shooting script that would show fashion, makeup, and hair on three beautiful models wearing the fashion designs of avant-garde Rudi Gernreich’s collection for that fall. We shot the film on a weekend, had original music composed for the sound track and ‘Basic Black’ was born. It was very well received, won several awards and has been referred to as the first fashion video
It's so nice to know these types of things will never go out of style nor they will parish through the course of time. It's ageless even if it seems dated, it's ageless.

Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

that's where I fell for the leaders of the pack...

I love bad girls. Who wouldn't love them? They make life so easier and funnier, just by watching them in their devil-may-care attitude, facing up the bad boys. And it doesn't hurt if they have great style and sing too. There has been many girls that tried to be bad, or at least sassy, but I don't think they've never pulled it off like the original bad girls of rock, the Shangri-las.

Their bad girl image wasn't exactly an image per se, they WERE bad girls and had the cred to prove it: the trio grew up in a rough neighborhood of Queens, giving them enough tough skin to set them apart from their contemporaries. They even held up rumours of risky escapades, the most famous one being that lead singer Mary Weiss (blonde one) attracted the cops by transporting a firearm across state lines. Nevermind their cred, what about their singing? They weren't exactly Maria Callas reborn but their melodramas and "death" stories were far beyond their time.

MP3: The Shangri-las - Remember (Walking in the Sand)
MP3: The Shangri-las - Leader of the Pack

Several years went by since the Shangri-las split and the bad girls were not exactly moping about themselves, but about holding their own in a man's world, which is even harder. There is where the next set of bad girls (The Runaways) came in. Though they had a relatively short career, the teen group left an impact simply because they could rock as hard and as fast as the others. They designed themselves to emulate their heroes (David Bowie, Suzi Quatro, Queen's drummer Roger Taylor, etc), formed alliances with the hottest bands around and at one point they became the forth imported act in Japan, only behind Led Zeppelin, ABBA and Kiss.

MP3: The Runaways - Cherry Bomb
MP3: The Runaways - Queens Of Noise

Ps: be sure to look up the next biopic on The Runaways, starring Kirsten Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherrie Currie. Here's the trailer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

sunshine superman and the whistleling girl

Instead of lamenting myself about being single on V-day, I spent most of the day downloading old but new music worthy of being downloaded by you too. I mean, it's always nice to discover hidden gems, and now it's your turn to discover these two very special ones...

Donovan: the scottish flower child per excelence, Donovan spent several years pulishing his Dylan-esque folk sound with a little bit of...certain illegal substances...and, at that, created some interesting and highly influential albums, the first of such being the classic Sunshine Superman in 1966. I will never forget watching the end of one of my favorite movies from the 90s, To Die For, when Illeana Douglas' role figure-skated in the frozen lake where Nicole Kidman's character is buried, dancing in a sort of biting justice, since the two were constantly fighting for attention during the course of the movie (you've got to see it). In the scene "Season of the Witch" was played and I was hooked. And we're talking about when I was 10 years old. Sinester music from a very harmless man. He's kind of old and a meditation freak at this point, but we won't get into that. Let's just enjoy him.
MP3: Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man

Minnie Riperton: She's best known for hitting those high notes on her 1975 classic "Loving You", but her catalog is so much more than that. Her songs range from introspective to funkfied to even acknowledging her own tragic fate (she died of cancer in 1979 at 31), cualities that makes her a true music wonder rather that a one hit wonder. She began as the soul sister on the hippie group "Rotary Connection" and later joined forces with producer -husband Richard Rudolph, thus creating her most famous work. If you hate Mariah Carey's octave, then she's not for you. If you're a fan of great music as I am, then be bedazzled by Miss Minnie.
MP3: Minnie Riperton - Les Fleurs

Bonus: Jean Jacques Smoothie - 2 People (Mirwais Radio Edit) (sampling Minnie's "Inside Your Love)

Sunday, February 14, 2010


It took me a while, almost a year to be quite precise but here i am again. Lots of things have happened in the past 12 months. Finished college, got graduated, made renovations in my bedroom...i guess that's that. Well anyway, this year seems brighter and brighter and to start it well, i took me some vacations and in one week time, i'll be leaving on a jet plane all the way to the first world. 4 cities. 4 countries. 20 days. Will have more on that trip later. In the meantime, me and James Brown above would like you to welcome back "Melting Pot". The estetic on the blog has been toned down (considering the look of the previous one which btw is still intact as I left it, you can still see it on its original site) but the feeling's the same. Hope you dig it.