Venissa Santí describes her music as “one half Jazz and one half Cuban.”
Venissa Santí describes her music as “one half Jazz and one half Cuban.”
El Chicano-Don’t Put Me Down
Rich Medina and Bobbito Garcia are successful DJs because they’re brave DJs. In a career where you’re constantly faced with having to please a crowd, both Rich and Bobbito dare to step out of the mainstream to introduce only the freshest music to their listeners. They have so much confidence in the music they love, that they aren’t afraid to challenge the expectations of club crowds.
This week’s Throwback Thursday we’re going pop with Mœnia. The electronic band have often been compared to their English contemporaries Depeche Mode. However, don’t let the synths and drumbeats of much of Moenia’s catalog deter you. Moenia have spent more than fifteen years crafting some of the most engaging Latin pop music. What has always made Moenia one of the most successful bands in Latin America is their ability to record music that receives mainstream acceptance yet manages to challenge listeners with experimental compositions and arrangements otherwise unheard of in Latin mainstream pop outside of Aleks Syntek and more recent years Ms. Julieta Venegas foray into pop. Moenia was initially a quartet before original co-founder and lead singer, Juan Carlos Lozano, left the band soon after their 1997 self-titled debut. Alfonso Pichardo picked up the vocal duties on their sophomore and one of their most critically received album, Adición+ in 1999. “Ya No Es Así” is a standout electro pop song reminiscent more of Kraftwerk, Yaz, and Erasure than Depeche Mode. In fact, Mí Casa believes that Moenia often out-modes Depeche Mode. “Ya No Es Así” is also an excellent example of this Mexican band’s influence on the current revival of Electronic Latin pop. It’s simple, we wouldn’t have Mexico’s Belanova, Argentina’s Miranda! or even Chile’s indie electro pop princess, Javiera Mena if it wasn’t for Moenia. Enjoy “Ya No Es Así” and two extra vids, “Molde Perfecto” and the Moenia’s contribution to Amores Perros.
Moenia – “Ya No Es Así” (MP3)
Moenia – “Molde Perfecto” (Video)
Moenia – “Lado Animal” (Theme to Amores Perros) (Video)
Argentine rocker and former band member of Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati has recorded a new album. Fuerza Natrual will be released in late August. His first single, “Déja Vu” can be heard exclusively on his official website. You can also read the lyrics to his new song on his website. Fuerza Natural is Cerati’s fifth full-length solo work preceding perhaps his most critically acclaimed work, 2006’s Ahí Vamos. An album that saw Cerati leaving his electronic-sophisticated pop orchestrations (I think he might have given those to Shakira‘s last record, albeit with some serious mixed results) behind for a direct guitar rock approach. That record, unlike his first three, spawned five hit singles all over Latin America and earned him a few Grammy nominations and spots on year-end lists. Quite long overdue, I think, as Cerati has spent the last few decades earning respect for his long body of work outside of the shadow of his legendary band. It doesn’t matter if you prefer sophisti-pop Cerati over rocker Cerati, or even prefer Cerati pre-solo work, listening to “Déja Vu” (or any new work) makes Mí Casa news, and our day! Note: what’s with Requiem For A Dream look? We’re unsure if this is his album cover. Note 2: Check out pre-solo work Cerati here.
Gustavo Cerati – “Déja Vu” (Video)
The first time I heard Davíd Garza I was eighteen years old, a college freshman, and studying late at night while listening to KVRX. I had just moved to Austin, Texas and made my first trips to venerable Austin hangouts such as Mozart’s, Spiderhouse, Emo’s, Ruta Maya, and even ventured into the long-gone Black Cat Lounge. I was relatively unaware of the city’s cool-factor until I heard the kitschy keyboard break beat intro to Garza’s “Discoball World.” On “Discoball World” I began to understand how Garza’s lyrics (the “blissed out brothers”, the “dreadlocked white girls”, “extra virgins” and the “laptop loners”) rang true. It wasn’t that Garza was just singing about my stomping grounds in Austin, but it was his voice, a mixture of late-90’s hipster cool, pop eclecticism, and Robert Plant-esque vocals (that falsetto) that one falls for. It’s also not just his talent but his long standing recognition of his Mexican-American heritage and traditions that have made Davíd (it’s Dah-veed people, not David, get it right) Garza a superstar in Austin. Yet, the man, his music, is hardly known outside of his 1999, highly underrated major label debut, This Euphoria or his conributions to soundtracks like Great Expecations or Veronica Mars. Granted, the man is getting his music out there, but little do many know how incredibly talented David Garza truly is. If he’s not recording an full-length album or EP, he’s a session musician, producer, and collaborator with musicians such as music legend, Jon Brion, Alejandro Escovedo, Juliana Hatfield, Rhett Miller and Fionna Apple, or contributing his work to Dagoberto Gilb‘s Hecho En Tejas anthology. A few years ago, Garza took his music to L.A. then returned back to Austin where I used to watch him ordering coffee while I hid behind my laptop at the now defunct East Austin hangout, Dandelion Cafe. I never went up to him and told him how much I loved his music or more importantly how he was paving the way for other Mexican-American musicians much in the way Alejandro Escovedo had done before him. Instead, I remained a laptop loner and watched him as he walked out. Today, in celebration of Garza’s latest record, Dream Delay (Cosmica Records), and his contribution to Texas music, Mí Casa features a medly of Garza’s tunes. Enjoy!
David Garza performs a FREE show at Club Congress (Tucson, AZ) tonight, before heading to L.A. You can find more tour info here.
David Garza’s new album is available at CDBaby.
Davíd Garza and Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom! – “Amnesty” Live on KGSR (Video)
National Public Radio has been busy talking to two Latin alternative artists. This week Morning Edition featured Mexico City’s Camilo Lara, founder and well, only member of El Instituto Mexicano Del Sonido, otherwise known by many English language music fans as the Mexican Institute of Sound. Earlier this year, Lara released his third full-length, Soy Sauce on Nacional Records. You can stream, listen and buy Lara’s new record on NPR’s Music website.
Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s Latino USA recently spoke with Austin-based singer-songwriter Davíd Garza about his new album, Dream Delay. You can listen to Hinojosa’s interview with Garza at the Latino USA website or click on the direct link to her podcast here. David Garza is currently on tour of West Texas and will grace Tucson’s Hotel Congress as well as L.A.’s The Mint. Check out tour dates here. And an upcoming Song of the Day from Niño Diamante’s fellow Austinite. In the meantime, buy Garza’s new record on CD Baby.
And Brooklyn Vegan recently reported that Hawthorne, California band, dios (malos) are going back to the original band name that made them famous: Dios. For those of you who don’t know, Dios is a indie rock band that began getting notoriety for their self-title record before Ronnie James Dio (Black Sabbath, Dio) forced them to change their name legally citing that Dios was remarkably similar to his metal band, Dio. Um, ok. It appears as Spinner reports: ” [Dios member] Morales says that, even after the  letter, he was still opposed to changing the band name [from Dios to something else], but went with Dios (Malos) after a long, arduous process in which Dio’s lawyers shot down many proposed alternatives. “I thought we should’ve used the silliness of the whole thing to get our name out more, maybe not even change the name at all and let him sue us,” says Morales. “It would’ve been hilarious and would’ve been a good story. But there were too many [wimps] in Camp Dios at the time, so no one wanted to go to war with me.”
The newly re-christened Dios will be releasing a new album, ‘We Are Dios,’ later this summer.
Today’s Song of the Day came to me from a friend who thought I was still spinning Electro/Indie/Dance. I don’t anymore, but I’m glad he thought I did, because what he brought to my attention is actually pretty good. What he gave me was a couple of tracks from Chilean Indie-Rock/Electro group, Astro.
Astro-Hongo Atomic (MP3)
She’s not the girl you want to take home to mom (unless you want to give your mom a heart attack), but she’s fun. Yeah, I’m talking about Amandititita—the queen of Anarcho-Cumbia. The vulgarly honest singer is back with a song for all her haters that dare to insult her. And how does she get back at them? With her own insults, of course…and cumbia.
Amandititita-Cerebro de Caca (Video a la bootleg)