tirado/thrown


28 Days of Sonido Americano
February 22, 2010, 3:53 pm
Filed under: Chicano, Latin America, Latinos, Music | Tags: , ,

Over at Super Sonido, nuestro carnal aural Joseph Franko is indulging his visitors with digitized cuts from his massive collection of forgotten, though tenderly curated, Latin American and Latino music.  Franko’s latest blog project, 28 days of 45s, has him and guests such as DJ Lengua posting–among other things–yeh-yehs, Chicano beats, cumbias, metal riffs, rebajadas, psych freak-outs, and Tejano Soul throughout February.  What proceeds is an intensive course on the sounds of Our America(s).

Image: Pedro Lasch, Latino/a America, 2003/ongoing [Pedro Lasch, con gracias al Profesor Mignolo]



Very Short Cinema: Echek
August 5, 2009, 11:22 am
Filed under: Latinos, Music, Rock, Video | Tags: , , , ,

From Adan Jodorowsky, son of auteur and tarot authority Alejandro, is Echek, a tiny portrayal of love’s enchantment. The short’s compact format calls to mind the description of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” as a ‘pocket symphony’.   It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this a piece of pocket film.

Noting the intersection of film and music in this post, it’s perhaps worth noting that Adan Jodorowsky is a musician and actor in his own right.  According to very preliminary research, he’s released records with the band Hellboy and  some more under the solo moniker Adanowsky. His film debut was in his father’s 1989 film Santa Sangre, which despite the obvious nepostism, is still not too shabby to claim.  And yes, that was him discussing the demerits of a certain female pubic hair style with Adam Goldberg in 2 Days in Paris. (0:55 in the linked clip)

As usual, posts to the blog will continue to be sporadic, but thanks for sticking around. We’re contemplating some possible changes, but nothing certain yet. There’s still the matter of getting out of the grad school application weeds.   Stay tuned for updates.

In the meantime, tirado/thrown will be paying attention to Adan’s work.  Here’s another short tidbit of Jodorowsky, singing his track “Estoy Mal” (I’m Ill) in the midst of the swine flu outbreak, respirator and all.



This Blog Also Plays Records in Public: Weekly Wax with DJs Tirado and Manny, 6/29/09
June 24, 2009, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Latinos, Music, Places to Go | Tags: , , , ,

June 29 Weekly Wax Flyer

Radio silence could best describe the recent state of affairs here at tirado/thrown headquarters. Your staff has been negligent in its thinking and typing duties, and instead brushing up on high school algebra, cramming vocabulary, and learning strategies to tackle the monster known as the Graduate Record Examination. All this preparation, of course, is in the service of mounting a pending graduate school application campaign in the fall.

However, we’ve managed to cut through the thick wall of static generated by anxiety, study, exhaustion, and the repeated multiple choice questions to assemble some tracks and offer them up for the listening pleasure of the kind people who come to River Gods. On Monday June 29, as a part of the Weekly Wax series, DJ Tirado (yes, of this here tirado/thrown) will be teaming up with fellow traveler DJ Manny to showcase rolas from America Latina and Latino America spanning the decades. Inspired by the efforts of L.A.’s unparalleled Mas Exitos, we’ll be dispatching sounds like descargas, ballads, cumbias old and new, funk, psychedelic, and perhaps some electronic. All of it will come from Nuestra America.

Do come and join us for the dinner, drinks, and beatdowns that River Gods promises its patrons on Monday nights. The fare and the bar’s offerings are outstanding, and the locale is the perfect venue for a listening party. The sounds start at 8 p.m. and go on until midnight. Feel free to hit us up in the comments section for more information.

*Image: Hat tip to Joseph Franko at supersonido.net for the amazing pic. We couldn’t pass up using it for the flyer.



Late Winter Video: Waiting for the Gift of Sound and Vision

Here at tirado/thrown, we heartily anticipate the end of the winter.  With the clear light and the cold air, we’re slowly attempting to shed the frozen snow that stubbornly sticks to the ground here in Boston (but not before the upcoming Agamben post, though).

The Sea and Cake’s cover of David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” is the perfect song for this time of year.  They take on Bowie with a blast of cold Chicago air and fashion a tempered interpretation that does not threaten the original version’s excitement and buoyancy.

In an issue of loud paper a number of years ago, The Sea and Cake’s lead singer Sam Prekop professed his love for the work of Mies Van Der Rohe.  Lines, glass, light, and steel, Van Der Rohe’s architecture trades in the very basic terms of experience and dwelling. 

It’s not entirely surprising then, that the video above marshals high-modern experimental animation to offer a visual expereince well-coordinated with a song that is about experience, broadly conceived: wonder, awakening, anticipation, becoming alive, the senses sparkening and opening to the world.  The above video is vitalism wrapped in the guise of a collected, though vibrant, formalism.  Here’s to ushering the end of Winter.

UPDATE: A far better version of the video is up on Pitchfork.tv, which I recommend over the video I posted above.



2008 Music Wrap Up

 

With the year quickly coming to a close, here’s tirado/thrown’s list of albums/songs/tracks that made their way into regular listening rotation over the last year.  While most of the titles below were released in 2008, your dear author/editor cannot pretend to scoop up new records and love them as quickly as a number of people picking up records and writing about them.  At times, he wishes he were so adventurous.  Be that as it may, the list follows:

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  • Crystal Castles, Self-Titled, Last Gang Records: A record of 8-bit-inspired madness teetering at the point where self-control and its loss become difficult to distinguish.  It is music to the tune of neurons alternately seizing up and firing at various intensities, making shards and blobs of circuitry-toned noise for your pleasure.

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  • Anavan, Self-Titled, GSL: Manic, tight, post-punk.  Danceable and disciplined, this record will mercilessly cut you right down the middle.

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  • TV on the Radio, Dear Science, Interscope: As close to a perfect album as you can get.  Just. Go. Listen.

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  • El Guincho, Alegranza, Young Turks/XL Recordings: Dense, infectious, rhythmic loops of joy.

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  • Las Malas Amistades, Jardin Interior, Psychopath Records: The record (and band) I’ve been waiting for to offer Latin America’s response to Sebadoh’s Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock.  Not quite new, but it was a 2008 discovery here at tirado/thrown.

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  • Nobody, Presents Blank Blue: Western Water Music, Vol. 3, Ubiquity Records: Lush, slow burning, deep grooves from L.A.  Oftentimes Nobody’s psychedelic arrangements move the music along like fog moving at the boundary between air and water, smoother and cooler than an iced bong hit.  

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  • Chico Sonido, Various Mixes, available at www.chicosonido.com:  Outstanding mixes of vintage Latino tracks that just teem with soul.  He’s an outstanding selector, and part 2 of a set he recorded for dublab in 2006 is proof.  Finding records under pyramids indeed.

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  • Various Artists, The Roots of Chicha, Barbes Records: Irresistible late 60’s cumbia drenched in reverb-laced guitars.  Inspired by the wave of psychedelic cumbia rocking South America (esp. Zizek) as of late, I somehow managed to come across this ancestral document.

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  • School of Seven Bells, Alpinisms, Ghostly Records:  Most of what I read about them invokes the term shoegaze or dreampop, which I find a pretty lazy analogy.  Said genres don’t carry a groove or run vocals the way SVIIB’s Alpinisms does deftly mixing the sonic landscapes of Spiritualized and rhythms of late 80s freestyle to entirely original results:  earnest, serious, groove-laden, and striving for a level of feeling in songwriting that treads perilous musical territory and comes away glowing.

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  • Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Daytrotter Sessions, Available here.  There’s a fragility and vulnerability in Robinson’s voice and songwriting that is just arresting.  The four songs featured on the Daytrotter sessions are rather magnificent in themselves as well-performed pieces of rock.

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  • Baltimoroder/Die Young, Cat/Back Around, Dopamine Records: A slick but downright grimy track coming from Boston’s finest DJ, Baltimoroder.  It’s much like something you’ll hear him spinning during peak dancing time at one of the many nights he’s a part of.   

A few more records from this year were in the running, but in the name of a measure of integrity, they’re excluded them from the list since said author/editor hasn’t listened to them. They are worth mentioning as records that are eagerly awaiting listening:

  • Flying Lotus, Los Angeles, Reset, 1983, Warp Records/Plug Research
  • Abe Vigoda, Skeleton, Post-Present Medium
  • Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, Self-Titled, Say Hey Records

I’ll leave with a little piece of pre-holiday cheer that came my way from tirado/thrown favorite Caro at Sound Taste.  It’s Gael Garcia Bernal getting his norteño on in with a rendition of, well, you’ll recognize it, by you know who, as part of an upcoming film, Rudo y Cursi.  Judging from the trailer, the song gets its work in. Were I Bun E. Carlos, I would be impressed.



TVOTR: Golden Age

Among the things that make TV on the Radio’s music so rewarding to listen to are the currents of intense, uncontanable energy running through it.  In my opinon, their music’s the closest thing that comes to an original, radical intervention in contemporary Ameican popular music.

Daniel Hernandez points out the band’s merits as an outfit who infuse the cosmic into the everyday. He’s right. I would add to his point that TVOTR do so in a way that George Clinton and the Digital Underground (who made no secret of their desire to emulate Clinton’s stylings) were only hinting at with their experiments in playing with images, figures, and live performance.

TVOTR’s video for “Golden Age” attests to an adroit sense of production, fusing visual, lyrical, and musical elements and leaving a thematically potent package of insights left at the viewer’s door. It’s also a philosophic treasure trove. View the video a few times and you just have to wonder whether the band’s been reading Giorgio Agamben, Nietzsche, the Judeao-Christian Bible, and watching the Care Bears as sources for useful references. A few examples:

  • Scenery evoking, among other references, the revelation atop Mount Sinai, the transfiguration of Christ, and the mountain retreat where Nietzsche first introduces us to Zarathustra: These are elevated spaces where its dwellers are transformed by a gift or bestowal of some sort: of the law, glory, wisdom, or light. We can also say that these are sites of experiences that occur at the limits of experience, language, and comprehension.  In the case of the video, it is quite possible to interpret it as taking place in a state of exception.

 

  • The use of halos and auras as indicators of potentiality, the exposition of identity-shifting figures over and against the figures of sovereign power (the police), and the use of figures fusing the animal and human are found in various works of Giorgio Agamben: Not to belabor the point, but reading The Coming Community, Homo Sacer, and The Open opens up a sensitivity to these themes being played out in cultural products, music videos included.  The nexus of magic, genius, and play at work in the video might also offer examples that point to items that Agamben works with in Profanations as well. 

 

  • In the process of a face-off between the band as figures of humanity and the police as agents of the state, there is quickening of pace, a heightening of tension, and an anticipation of an unknown event.  Hints of Heidegger’s accounting of anticipatory resoluteness and the moment of vision in Being and Time linger within scene.  In the process of transformation to a quickening beat, the police officers no longer operate as agents of the state in the face of a humanity reconciled with its animal nature.  The police’s gestures no longer direct energy towards reservation, distraction, or repression but towards humanity in dance, where gestures are made artful (useful) and traverse the chasm separating spectacle and spectator.  The scene brings to mind a quote from The Coming Community: “The novelty of the coming politics is that it will no longer be a struggle for the control of the state, but a struggle between the State and the non-state (humanity), an insurmountable disjunction between the whatever singularity and the State organization” (84)   Golden Age’s video offers a visual rendition on a variant of such a struggle that Agamben addresses above.

 

I’m sure there are other philosophic themes and references at work in the video (Plato comes to mind), but these stood out most immediately. References aside, “Golden Age” is very succinct rendering of the band’s political mytho-theology, condensing mysticism, mythical symbolism, liberation, redemption, transfiguration, illumination, music making, collective struggle, pop culture, and political emancipation in three minutes.  After all, are these not the promises the holiday season offers to its celbrants, aside from food, companionship, and the prospect of staying in all day? 

It’s fantastic what an outstanding music video can do, especially when the visuals and audio complement each other so well. Enjoy; or rather, be jilted, provoked, distressed, even moved to explore the yet unknown and unspoken possibilities the video offers its viewer.



Week in Review: Among Other Things, Writing is Difficult

A quick survey of items summoning bits of time and attention over the last week: