Los Amigos en NPR

August 19, 2009 by

Los Amigos Invisibles

Los Amigos Invisibles

Los Amigos Invisibles talk with NPR about being commercial and liking it, how they got started, and about the music industry in Venezuela. The interview includes live versions of “Mentiras,” “Plastic Woman,” and “Ultra-Funk.” Click here to check it out.

Julieta Venegas Remixes Hello Seahorse!

August 8, 2009 by

Gotta thank our music-friends at Club Fonograma for this one here. Who knew Julieta Venegas had it in her to remix? Maybe it’s just that she likes and respects Hello Seahorse! as much as Mi Casa does. We don’t know, but she does a fine job remixing this track. Like the original, this remix of “Bestia” is a little dark, yet Julieta manages to bring some light into the song with hand claps and a few noise makers.

Hello Seahorse!

Hello Seahorse!

Maybe Julieta doesn’t want us to forget about Hello Seahorse! too fast in this music culture with attention deficit disorder. We sure don’t want you to. So to refresh your memory, we’re throwing in some extra tracks by Hello Seahorse!

Hello Seahorse! – Bestia (Julieta Venegas Remix) (MP3)

Hello Seahorse! – Bestia (Original) (MP3)

Hello Seahorse! – I Won\'t Say Anything (MP3)

Hello Seahorse!–I Wont Say Anything (Video (Note: music starts at 12 seconds))

Hello Seahorse!–Bestia

Ely Guerra Sings Ska

August 8, 2009 by

Ely Guerra shows a little hometown solidarity by singing a love song with Monterrey ska band, Inspector. You can find this skadorable track, “Noviembre,” in Inspector’s new self-titled album.

Inspector

Inspector

Now, I love Latino ska so much that I can admit that the genre lacks good singers. It’s okay because ska is not so much about vocals as it is about the quality of the music, the vibe, and the culture—and yes, about preserving those things. But this is why this collaboration works. Inspector lays out a nice traditional ska, while Ely gives the tune an emotional depth that makes Inspector’s music even more enjoyable to listen to. It worked for Mimi Maura, and here it works for Inspector and Ely.

Inspector featuring Ely Guerra–Noviembre (MP3)

Inspector with Ely Guerra–Noviembre (Track Video)

Bienvenida, Venissa Santí!

July 31, 2009 by

Venissa Santí describes her music as “one half Jazz and one half Cuban.”

Venissa Santí

Venissa Santí

Just a few days ago, Santí was featured in NPR’s Weekly Jazz Sampler along with established Latin-American singers, Susana Baca and Magos Herrera—deservingly so, that is. What makes Santí stand out even amongst the greats is that she doesn’t only sing in English, but she is one of the few singers who has found a way to sing in Spanish with east coast Jazz music. It’s more challenging than it seems. As NPR’s Felix Contreras points out, “you can’t just cut and paste English Lyrics over a song structure that was written in Spanish and vice-versa. It doesn’t always work out musically and mathematically.” But Santí does it and does it well. Check out her rendition of the classic Bolero, “Tu Mi Delirio.” She puts a major Jazz swing into this song, and skips around with the lyrics in a scat style I’d never heard done in Spanish. Don’t miss out! Get her album, Bienvenida, and welcome her into your casa.

Venissa Santí-Tu Mi Delirio (MP3)

Venissa Santí

Throwback Thursday: El Chicano’s “Don’t Put Me Down”

July 30, 2009 by

El Chicano

El Chicano

Plain and simple, yet extremely socially and politically significant during the 70s and yes, up to this day. Music sure has a way of keeping us honest. So this El Chicano tune goes out to all the Sonia Sotomayors and Henry Louis Gates of the world, and to everyone else fighting to be heard. Tell your story!

El Chicano-Don’t Put Me Down

Rich Medina and Bobbito Garcia Present: The Connection Vol. 1: Modern Explorations in Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin

July 28, 2009 by

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.

Rich Medina and Bobbito Present: The Connection Vol.1

Rich Medina and Bobbito Present: The Connection Vol.1

Both have a good ear for everything from Afro-Beat to Hip-Hop to Latin Jazz to Soul. And now, through The Connection Vol. 1: Modern Explorations in Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin, we get to see how they come together to compile the best from Afro-Beat and Afro-Latin. One mighty fine tune they’ve included in this compilation is Soul Jazz Orchestra’s “Mugambi.” Learn from Rich and Bobbito and play it for your own party people at your next party. (Also, you’ll find a nicely scratched and cut Salsa track by Rob Swift in the compilation. For real. No lie.)

Soul Jazz Orchestra-Mugambi (MP3)

The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba

July 28, 2009 by

Si Para Usted Vol.2

Si Para Usted Vol.2

Waxing Deep has just put out Volume 2 of Si Para Usted: The Funky Beats of Revolutionary Cuba. The folks at Waxing Deep really dug in the crates this time around to bring us some even more rare groovy tunes from Cuba’s 60’s and 70’s. Chances are you probably haven’t heard of any of these musicians before, but you’ll surely recognize the funk that’s in every song. It’s crazy how powerful music is—despite the blockade, you can hear how Cuban music was being influenced by some Rock and Soul. As a result, we get some of the most electrifying funky Cuban music I’ve ever heard. In “Vehicle” you’ll hear some of what I’m talking about—we get explosive trumpets, an organ, and a smooth Afro-Cuban feel on the drums.

Vehicle-Orquesta Cubana De Música Moderna (MP3)

Throwback Thursday: Moenia’s “Ya No Es Así”

July 23, 2009 by
Electronic pop pioneers Mœnia

Electronic pop pioneers Mœnia (the woman's not in the band)

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)


Gustavo Cerati preps Fuerza Natural, New Single

July 21, 2009 by
Gustavo Cerati's new record Fuerza Natural drops in August

Gustavo Cerati's new record Fuerza Natural drops in August

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)

David Garza’s MP3 Medly (or why this guy needs to be heard)

July 21, 2009 by
Davíd Garza

Davíd Garza

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 BrionAlejandro Escovedo, Juliana HatfieldRhett 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 – “Discoball World” (MP3)

Davíd Garza – “Float Away” (MP3)

Davíd Garza – “2 Sinners in the Garden” (MP3)

Davíd Garza  – “From A Fool” (MP3)

David Garza – “We On Fire” (MP3)

Davíd Garza (as Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom!) – “Amnesty” (MP3)

Davíd Garza and Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom! – “Amnesty” Live on KGSR (Video)