Monday, April 30, 2007

Puerto Rican Top 40

A couple Fridays ago me & my pal Raquel went and saw Ricky Martin.

Or shall I say, RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRicky Martin! (Make sure you roll those R's.)

Raquel & I Heart Ricky. This was actually our second time seeing the bon-bon shakin' singer; the first time was 9 years ago on the 'Vida Loca" tour. We had 13th row floor seats.

This time, we were stageside. My roommate used to work for the concert promoter and got us last minute tickets which allowed us to have that particular view. It was amazing. Not only could we see up Ricky's right nostril, but we could look around the entirety of the jam-packed Staples center and witness weeping women, dancing gays, and lots of Puerto Rican flags.

The BFF used to always get annoyed with Ricky because "he is a fat gay man trapped in a think straight man's body." Well, Ricky's bulked up a bit since then, so maybe he's on his way to discovery? Ricky also was a bit of a hippie, prone to rambling between songs about things like the beauty of the earth and the special wonder of children and his gratitude towards all things on the planet and stuff. Hmmm... the last time we saw him, he was more concerned with keeping his balance while dancing on top of a Ford Mustang.

Not to say that the stage spectacular was not in evidence here. The backing of the stage area was ripped off from the Chicago jailhouse scenes - fire escape-ish bridges and ladders ready made for dancing on the ceiling. Drop out in the floor made for quick appearances and disappearances of the dancers. There were a couple costumes changes, audience flirtation, and a glorious moment when all the dancers emerged only to run around the stage with lit flares puffing massives amounts of pink smoke. Yes, PINK smoke.

Oh yea, the music. Well, I've never been crazy into pop, but I do love the Latin stuff, so Ricky gets away with it in my book. But really, when he gets all Puerto Rican and brings in the crazy percussion and sings in Spanish (which he did most of the night), it's quite good. I'm not kidding. There's a reason why Ricky Martin launched Latin pop on the world when he performed 'La Copa De La Vida" at the Grammy's so many years ago... Because he is truly vivacious, charismatic, fun, and has an awesome voice.

He is, however, kind of a lousy dancer. The first time around, we noticed that he shook his ass alot and let his dancers run around him, creating the illusion that he could dance. This time, he incorporated some capoeria moves, but still pretty weak on the dancing front. Still loads of ass-shaking.

Well, as my mom says, if you want singing AND dancing, try Chayanne. Now HE can dance!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hallelujah, I Love Them So!

Sooooooo, guess what the House of Representatives went and did yesterday? From broadcastlaw blog:

The Internet Radio Fairness Act was introduced in the House of Representatives today, proposing several actions - most significantly the nullification of the decision of the Copyright Royalty Board raising royalty rates for the use of sound recordings by Internet radio stations.

See what a little petition signing and letter writing can do?

So, along with that news, Little Radio will NOT be going off the air anytime soon. Yay!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Shake Your Bon Bon

Little Radio went vinyl only tonight... unless you had a laptop to plug in, which I don't. I'm old school (or a total Luddite, whatever). So since my vinyl collection kinda stops around 1988, it's alot of classic rock and new wave. But somehow the show didn't turn completely into that...

Little Radio Playlist

Starfish & Coffee - Prince
Jesus Is Just Alright - Doobie Brothers
Union Street - Thelonious Monster
Left of the Dial - The Replacements
Going Down to Liverpool - The Bangles
Stone in Love - Journey
Just Another High - Roxy Music
Gentlemen Take Polaroids - Japan
Lady Don't Tek No - Latyrx
It Ain't What You Do - Fun Boy Three w/ Bananarama
Me & My Miniskirt - Minnie & the Kneebones
Keep On Running - Spencer Davis Group
Life From A Window - The Jam
Pony Express - The Pioneers
The Mixed Up Cup - Mark Holder
Pull Up To The Bumper - Grace Jones
D'yer Maker - Led Zepplin
Janie Jones - The Clash
I've Just Seen a Face - The Beatles
1969 - Iggy & the Stooges
Crystalator - Dimmer
Moonlight - Congo Norvelle
Alone Again or - The Damned
The Real Sheila - Game Theory
I Woke Up In Love This Morning - The Partridge Family
Twist & Crawl - The English Beat
Too Much Pressure - The Selecter
Found Someone of My Own - Horace Andy
California Soul - Marlena Shaw
Do It Again - Steely Dan
Fool's Gold - Stone Roses
Make Me Smile - Duran Duran

To download podcasts and stuff, check out the website. We've got pictures now! Yikes!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No Pussy Blues

Talk about the pampered pooch:

Well, they make sweaters for dogs too...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tell Me What'd I Say...

So here's what went down last night (and if you missed it, check out
the podcast here):

Little Radio Playlist for April 19, 2007

I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats
God Is A Bullet - Concrete Blonde
McGee & University - Actionslacks
Get It On - Grinderman
I'm Not Invisible - Rocket From the Crypt
Stronger Than Dirt - The Mummies
(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone - The Monkees
You Can't Hurry Love - The Concretes
Ballad of the Lonely Argonaut - Beulah
Spy's Spice (Mon Espionne) - United Future Organization
Suavecito - Malo
I Wanna See Your Face Again - Uni & Her Ukelele
Wouldn't It Be Nice - The Beach Boys
Moth In A Cloud of Smoke - All Smiles
Say - Cat Power
Nowhere - Paula Frazier & Tarnation
Carey - Joni Mitchell
Son of a Gun - The La's
Black Wave / Bad Vibrations - Arcade Fire
Breathless - X
Wild Wild young Men - Ruth Brown
Baby How Long - Howlin' Wolf
Bold Soul Sister - Ike & Tina Turner
Hard Times - Baby Huey & the Baby Sitters
We Gathered in Spring - Midlake
Born in the 70's - Fruit Bats
Halah - Mazzy Star
Ghost Songs - Tim Rogers & the Temperance Union
I Go to the Bard Because I Like The - Band of Horses
She's In Parties - Bauhaus
India - Psychedelic Furs
Gravity's Rainbow - Klaxons
Tender Years - Eddie & the Cruisers / John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band

That's all folks... Eddie lives!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

On the Speakers

Have you tried to SAVE INTERNET RADIO yet? Please do... the final nails are quietly being hammered into the coffin, and we need to stop it!


Well, Scott Ford is going above and beyond the call of brotherly-in-law duty, and helping his lovely sister-in-law Gwen to get a date. I've never met her, but I've met her sis (the beloved of Scott) and she is such a wonderful person that I have no doubts about Gwen. So tune in to Scott's show today fom 1-4 PST, and play to win! Here are the rules:

1. You MUST live in Los Angeles or be prepared to fly in.
2. Be between the ages of 21 and 40.
3. Your submission MUST include a MySpace link.

Submissions are to be emailed to by April 28, please put 'contest' in the email title, and 3 lucky guys will get the chance to take Gwen out on a date with only one winning.

Oh, and did I mention she's a swimsuit model?

As for me...


Yes, I'm doing my show too.

8-10pm PST, 11pm EST, 5am in Berlin and 3pm in Sydney.

Today I have all kinds of stuff to play you... Funk & soul and rock & roll & all that! You've seen the playlists here, so you should have an idea. And if you haven't listened yet, or can't make those times, check out our archives! Really! You can download the show to keep and do whatever you like with it. I'd recommend the listening thing. Check 'em out here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Everybody Must Get Stoned!

So I read that the Rolling Stones are playing in Serbia and the usual drug haze that goes with those shows will be centered over the stables nearby...

BELGRADE - A plan to sedate more than 300 horses stabled at Belgrade's racecourse to keep them calm during a Rolling Stones concert there has enraged Serb animal lovers who are lobbying to have the gig moved to another venue.

The concert is expected to draw more than 100,000 people to the Hippodrome, Belgrade's largest fenced space. The horses will be only a few meters from the stage.

Actually, I think this sounds like a terrible thing to do to the horses. Why shoot them up with sedatives when the marijuana contact high will work just as well?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We're Not Gonna Take It!!


The Copyright Royalty Board today denied the Motions for Rehearing of their decision raising the royalty rate for the use of sound recordings on Internet radio stations for 2006-2010. The Board found that the Rehearing requests did not demonstrate that there was any manifest error in the initial decision, and did not introduce any new evidence that could not have been introduced in the original hearings. Finding that these standards for rehearing were not met, the motions were all denied. The Board decision was brief, not addressing in any specifics the issues raised in the rehearing motions.

Oh, there's more, but you can read it on the site. We can still have our voices heard (as they haven't been yet!) and hopefully still have a chance of keeping internet radio in America alive. Because even if we get shut down in the US, we can still listen to other stations all over the freakin' world... but where would that leave our unsung heroes? If you couldn't listen to college, internet-only or non-commercial stations on the web, how would you hear music from Wilco, Interpol, Tom Waits, Aceyalone, Earlimart, Elliott Smith, Iron & Wine, the Twilight Singers, Bright Eyes, and so many other bands that never (or rarely) get commercial airplay? Yes yes, I know we lived without the internet before, and discovered music in our own ways, but this is another tool which should not be lost to us solely because of corporate greed.

So please, sign the petition and/or write your Congressperson today. I heard back from Barbara Boxer herself! (Or at least one of her assistants pretended to be her, which was cool.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Born To Rock

There are just SO MANY things about this ad to love... My favorite thing about it is that they farmer-tanned air guitar wielding stud has the word "AIR" waxed/shaved into his chest hair. If only I had the skills to make this image larger so that you could see it... but trust me, it's damn sexy.


Friday, April 13, 2007

The Future is Now!

So guess what? I'm Podcasting!!!!

Well, kinda. Little Radio is now able to archive some shows, so if you missed it or have never had the chance to tune in, now you can download the podcast and check it out! Please test the cyberwaves - the water's fine.

Simply go the the Little Radio website and click on "Radio" in the sidebar menu to see a schedule of shows. When you click on The Mo Show, you'll see what podcasts are available. And test out the other kids too...

Soooooooo coooool! And all the more reason to SAVE INTERNET RADIO. Don't let it get priced out of existence in the United States. That's just stupid.

Okay, now for what I played last night:

Into Your Soft Heart - Everest
Whispering Pines - The Band
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
The View From the People Wall - Mahogany
Shine A Light - Wolf Parade
Ride the Rails - The Besnard Lakes
Let Her Dance - The Bobby Fuller Four
Wicked Annabella - The Kinks
Striped White Jets - Guided By Voices
Happiness Is A Warm Gun - The Breeders
Low Is A Height - Great Northern
Exodus Honey - Honeycut
Lover's Concierto - The Toys
Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire
On the Dark Side - John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band (oh yes... we went there!)
He's A Mover - Nikki & the Corvettes
2 Hot 2 B Bothered - Rocket
This Is Your Last Chance To Be Famous, My Love - The Mint Chicks
Do You Dream in Colour - Bill Nelson
Confusion Boats - John Vanderslice
Stop! Stop! Stop! - Graham Gouldman
I Can't Stand It - Linda Jones
Open My Eyes - Nazz
She Moves In Her Own Way - The Kooks
Martha My Dear - The Beatles
You're A Wolf - Sea Wolf
Rocket Plane (Music On the Moon) - Komeda
Chatterton - Serge Gainsbourgh
7 Heures Du Matin - Jacqueline Taib
Telephone Operator - Pete Shelley
Do You Wanna Touch - Joan Jett
Go All the Way - Raspberries
Virginia Plain - Roxy Music
Smithers-Jones - The Jam
Headsfull - Amy Millan
Do It Well - Sugar & Gold

...till next time...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Idol Worship

I realized over the weekend that my dad has a little crush... on Carrie Underwood. Isn't that cute?

I've been spending alot of weekends with my parents for the last couple of months because my mom's been quite ill and they could use the company. In fact, she's been hospitalized since January 23rd. It's a whole new culture over there, hanging with the nurses, other hospital regulars and watching lots and lots of basic cable. Thank God that San Diego basic cable includes TCM, because me & the folks can generally agree on old movies. We also watch alot of the Travel Channel and some Animal Planet. We mostly hate reality TV, but my parents love game shows or talent contests of any sort, especially on the Latin Channels.

I don't mind watching the Latin channels so much - it keeps me familiar with Spanish (although my Spanish speaking skills are dismal at best) and I kinda feel like I know what about half of the world is up to. Really. These shows are huge in Central and South America as well as a large contingent of the U.S. We watch alot of dance competitions, some dating shows, and "Vas O No Vas!" which is the Spanish version of "Deal or No Deal." I didn't understand the English version of that show, but somehow the Spanish version got through to me. My dad and I like to play "Find the Fake Tits!" while watching.

Last weekend brought about a discussion of American Idol, a show I've only watched once. It was the final episode of Season 1 - Kelly vs. Justin. I didn't watch the whole thing, just parts of it. My roommate was watching. It got very "Up With People" (these sunny Christian pop troupes that would tour around the country in the early 80's... Hey, I went to Catholic school. We knew about these things.) and that vibe creeped me out. Never watched it again.

But I did continue to be involved... I worked at a publishing company for a couple of years and would help the AI team get clearances for literally hundreds of songs every season. It was interesting. Songwriters would be stoaked to have their songs on the show - it always meant a spike in sales for them. Some songwriters specified when their songs could be performed: finalists only, no auditions, no William Hungs! (Really, can you blame them?) Some also specified that the original performer could not be imitated during the AI performance in any way.

The supervisors were always pretty savvy about what they picked for their contestants. The year of Carrie Underwood (Season 4, I think), the music supervisor knew she had a country singer on her hands. Since the show mainly does Top 40 pop, we fished out those songs with country leanings to show off Carrie's pipes in just the right way. Guess it worked!

I was discussing this with my dad and he said, "Well, that was the right thing to do. Carrie Underwood is very talented." Me: "Oh, you've heard her?" Dad: "Sure, they play her on the radio." "I thought you listened to NPR all day." "Well, sometimes I listen to other things."

Then my mom cut in. "He likes her." "How do you know?" "He watched the Country Music Awards this year because she was on it."

Busted!! "You did?" "Well, it seemed like she would probably do very well, and she did." "Yea, but when was the last time you remembered to tune into the Country Music Awards?" "It just happened to be on..."


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Dap Queen

Back in 2004, I worked at a music publishing company that had a very impressive roster of writers. An important duo happened to be in the office one afternoon for a visit, and I was ridiculously excited to meet them. Their names were Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, a pair of writers responsible for The Philadelphia Sound, which includes classic soul tracks like “Love Train,” “Don't Leave Me This Way,” and “For the Love of Money,” along with many, many others.

As I shook their hands and gushed about what wonderful music they had bestowed upon the world, Mr. Gamble looked at my t-shirt and said, “Sharon Jones?”

“Oh, I saw her last night," I said. "She's an amazing performer -- a soul singer.”

“Yes,” replied Mr. Huff. “I've heard of Miss Sharon Jones. I've heard she's good.”

In the fall of 2006, I got to tell Sharon Jones the story face to face. “Really? Gamble & Huff heard of me?" She said, clapping her hands at the love. "Well, that's something, ain't it?”

Sharon Jones is definitely something. For the last ten years, she has traveled the world with her backing band, the Dap-Kings, amassing an international following of funk-crazed fans eager to partake in her frenzied soul revues, as well as two critically acclaimed albums. And there doesn't seem to be any stopping the 50-year-old Augusta, Georgia native now.

Sharon Jones is a little woman with a big personality, who gestures, laughs and sings constantly during conversation. Her stories all connect back to singing, and she needs to sing a few lines of some song during conversation to help make a point. Hell, she winds up singing a few lines of something when she's telling jokes. The woman is always singing.

Jones remembers her first performance in a church Christmas pageant, dressed like an angel, complete with wings and halo. “I did ‘Silent Night,' so I guess I knew then. But it's not me, it's a gift,” she adds bluntly. “God has blessed me all these years, and he's continuing to bless me now.”

Her childhood was spent both in Brooklyn and Augusta , and she had plenty of opportunities in both neighborhoods. She spent time singing gospel in choirs, but also performed in local bands playing weddings. In New York, she even landed studio time as a back-up singer. And she got into the funky stuff early, listening to the Supremes and the Temptations, idolizing Patty Labelle and Aretha Franklin.

“My brother used to imitate James Brown all the time,” she laughs. “He'd do the slides and the splits and stuff like that. I was a little tomboy, so everything they tried to do, I'd say, ‘I can do it too!'”

Jones' blossoming showmanship got her band noticed in the early 80's, when they were asked to open for acts like Peaches & Herb and the Four Tops. The band, which included a couple of girls from her church, mainly performed covers of current hits like “Last Dance” or “Push Push (In the Bush).” She was doing studio work as well, but wanted to get a career of her own going. If only everyone else could get with it.

“They told me I was too dark skinned, too short, too fat...” she says. “And then they told me I was too old when I got into my twenties!”

She stopped performing for a while -- and even briefly worked as a prison guard -- until she was approached by a band leader who overheard her singing for friends at a picnic. He asked her to join his group, which played mostly covers at weddings and private events. She stayed with them for 18 years.

“At that time, women didn't really sing in wedding bands, and especially not black women,” says Jones. After some initial concern that the band might not get as many gigs with a black female singer as well as a white one, they decided just to let the talent shine… which it did. It wasn't very long before Sharon Jones was the featured singer, and the band constantly had work.

“We did lots of Whitney… LOTS of Whitney!” Jones adds.

It was towards the end of this period that she was noticed by the Soul Providers, now known as the Dap Kings. The band of young soulsters knew that Sharon 's voice would be a natural fit for their sound, and brought her in to record backup with Lee Fields (aka “Little J.B.”), a soul singer from the 70's who had achieved a cultish fame for his rowdy funk numbers. Her spirited accompaniment prompted the Dap-Kings to give her a couple of covers, including the classic Eddie Bo track, “Hook & Sling,” for a compilation, and it wasn't long until they were immediately picked up by funk DJs all over the country. The retro sound confused people, who had a hard time telling whether the comp was a collection of discovered oldies or new adopters going old-school.

More like a combination of both. Sharon Jones calls herself “the female James Brown,” but she definitely channels the spirit, energy, and natural soul that gets booties shakin'. Her performances are exhaustive events: She dances (shoes off and on, depending) constantly, brings men up onstage to sass them mercilessly, jokes at length between songs, brings enthusiastic audience members up to dance with her, interacts seamlessly with her band of finely dressed young men. Let's just say the show goes on. And on. And she loves it; it's evident in every note, hand-flip and hip-shake. And her audience vibes off her every move, all over the world.

She's currently at work on a follow-up to Naturally, and recently joined Lou Reed as a singer in his Berlin performances done in Sydney earlier this year. And while Jones and the Dap-Kings' catalogue so far mainly music consists of originals and funked-up covers songs like Janet Jackson's “What Have You Done For Me Lately” as well as gritty, mournful tributes, such as her revision of Woody Guthrie's folk classic, “This Land is Your Land. Meanwhile, the originals are classic soul updated for the new millennium. Jones and the Dap-Kings lay down “How Do You Let A Good Man Down” and “Got A Thing On My Mind” that harken back to the moving styles of Lynn Collins or Vicki Anderson, who were incredibly passed by in their time. But Miss Sharon Jones is here now, and she's making the most of it.

“Now that I'm 50, I'm still dark skinned and I'm still short. I think I'm pleasantly plump,” she says with a smirk. “And I'm glad I didn't let that stop me." She smiles. "I don't know how many years I'm gonna have, so I'll keep doing it as long as I can.”

(reprinted from Morphizm, where I drop in from time to time... Photo by Kelly Jo Garner -thanks!)

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Politicians Are Now DJs?

Many years ago, when streaming radio was just a sweet young thing, the big record companies realized they weren't making any money off of it. Commercial radio pays a royalty fee for each song that is played, non-commercial pays a small flat fee annually. So the government came up with this convoluted mess of a system to charge for internet radio - something like a sliding scale per song based on the number of hits the site got per hour. It was a fluctuating rate, just like it sounds. What got confusing for the non-coms (ranging from college and community stations to broadcasters in their living rooms) was that they didn't necessarily have those numbers - and they certainly didn't have the money.

To be safe, thousands of stations went dark. Small community stations turned off the streams, potentially losing tons of new donation revenue. Creative weirdos in Alaska playing rare rockabilly were silenced. Political commentary of all kinds ceased.

Then the government did what they had done in the world of terrestrial radio... The Flat Fee. All was well for the little guys.

Until March 1st of this year, when the US Copyright Office decided that they were right in the first place, and all internet radio needed to pay these royalty fees based on how many people were listening, regardless of if the station received any sort of income. And make it effective January 1st of 2006... LAST YEAR. To give you an idea of how this works, check out this figure from the "Save Our Internet Radio" website: Under this royalty structure, an Internet radio station with an average listenership of 1000 people would owe $134,000 in royalties during 2007 - plus $98,000 in back payments for 2006. In 2008 they would owe $171,000, and $220,000 in 2009.

Um, that's kinda bullshit.

Terrestrial radio has been struggling under the Mickey D's syndrome ever since Clinton passed the Deregulation Act of 1996, which allowed the Clear Channels of the world to gobble up stations and effectively stamp out individuality. There are struggling stations all over the country trying to make an impact, and many, many more online. Charging the non-commercial entities these kinds of fees would kill them, and the some of the very artists the US Copyright Act wants to help (ahem right) would not make it onto any real radio airwaves and get heard anyway.

You can do something... It was stopped once before, and hopefully we can stop it again. Go here to sign a petition, and then bombard your Congresspeople with emails.

To quote the Actionslacks tune "This Damn Nation:" and don't talk about the airwaves 'cause I can't hold back the tears, all the bands that could save your life - you will never hear...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Little Radio Radio

Here's the playlist for Thursday, April 5th... if y'all were tuned in:

The MINT CHICKS edition (my new obsession):

Crazy? Yes. Dumb? No! - The Mint Chicks
Work For Love - Ministry
Same Old Scene - Roxy Music (Glimmers Mix)
Love Thyself - Macromantics
What Light - Wilco
Estuary Bed - The Triffids
Moth In A Cloud of Smoke - All Smiles
We All Belong - Dr. Dog
Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell
Baby, It's You - Smith
Cuban Slide - The Pretenders
This Damn Nation - Actionslacks
Catholic Block - Sonic Youth
Real Friends - The Mint Chicks
Digital - Joy Division
Sof Core - Maurice & the Cliches
Walking City - Miho Hatori
Don't Look & It Won't Hurt - Richmond Fontaine
Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura
The Day I Found Myself - Honey Cone
Poor Poor Pitiful Me - Linda Ronstadt
The Seeker - The Who
Tears - The Chameleons UK
Kaleidoscope - Ride
Maze of Love - Dave Clark Five
Peach Kelli Pop - Redd Kross
Ockham's Razor - The Mint Chicks
Let Our Love Be - Chris Joyner
Heavy Heart - You Am I
A New England - Billy Bragg
Holy Chord - Dappled Cities

I'm going absolutely nutty over the Mint Chicks right now. I kind of think that if Redd Kross had started today, they'd sound like this. It's got traces of Devo, Ministry, Joy Division, Dickies and other stuff I haven't quite figured out yet, and I love every minute of it. They're crazy New Zealand types, and the record is on Flying Nun. And the brothers who started the band are cute. Bonus!

Ay Chico (y Chicas!)

Let's talk about music. Like Top 40 music. Today's Top 40 music.

I don't care for it. I work in an industry that requires me to stay on top of what's charting, what the kids are buying, what people on TRL (that still exists, right?) are screaming about and shit... and then exploit that. I honestly make decisions based on artist's criminal records. It's retarded.

What I'm saying is that I'm dealing with "urban" music, mainly. Hip hop and R&B. Now, I don't have anything against hip hop and R&B. I think alot of it today is boring, but there are certainly moments... Most of it is crazy repetitive, though.

But I really, really love "hurban" stuff. Hurban? You haven't heard that phrase? It's "hispanic" + "urban..." Hurban, get it? It applies to all the Spanglish rap, reggaeton, and Latin pop these days.

I've always been a sucker for this stuff - it's in my blood. Really - Grandpa's from Spain and Mom's from Colombia. My mom listens to about 3 different Latin radio stations and has more CDs than I do, except that very few of them are in English. She's got all the Juanes, Carlos Vives, Mana, and she is solely responsible for me having the complete Shakira catalog (which I love - especially the unplugged album. It's muy bueno!).

Anyway, after I listen to a dose of Top 40 radio to refresh myself at work, I switch over to Latino 96.3. It's the hip hop and reggaeton station featuring DJs and callers who Spanglish all over the place, so my once Spanish fluent ears can make sense of what's going on more often than not. And I just love the tunes! Reggaeton is fucking fun. I'm sure it's just as repetitve as hip hop, singing about las chicas and el dinero y drugas and shit, but for some reason, it sounds more interesting to me. It's not the language difference, it's the music. They incorporate street sounds and instruments which make it more real for me... certain kinds of car horns, accordions, pounding drums and beats...

Right now, I Heart Pitbull. He's a Cuban dude singing about money, girls, and la migra. He's actually got quite a political bent, when he's not singing about partying. His parents raised him on Latin poets and he grew up listening to Luther Campbell's shit as well as G-funk styles, and wanted to freshen up the Miami bass sound.

I also really love Julieta Venegas. She currently does sweet sunny Latin pop, but it's more interesting than American pop. To me - I'm not sure why. She mixes in violin and cello and reggae rhythms and rock en espanol toughness... Oh, and accordion. I must like the accordion. It's kinda jazzy, though. Along with everything else.

So maybe it's just genetic, for me to appreciate hurban music more than urban. But it wasn't always this way... I just suspect that hurban is producing less crap at the moment. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Friends of Mine

I got a message from my friend Kevin yesterday...

"Hey, I heard about your troubles with the law. I just wanted to suggest as a defense you might claim that it was involuntary. Tell the Judge it was a Reflex. if that doesn't work you may have to flee to Khanada and Save a Prayer that they don't find out about your Secret October."

My friends rule.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Stand Accused

Burglary at Home of Duran Duran Guitarist

Posted Apr 2nd 2007 10:09PM by TMZ Staff

TMZ has learned that the home of John Taylor, bass guitarist of the rock group Duran Duran, was burglarized Monday night.

According to police, Taylor's house was ransacked and several items were missing from the residence, including the rocker's personal safe.
Taylor and his family are currently in England. The break-in was discovered by the housekeeping staff.

Along with the LAPD, the Hillside Burglary Task Force, also responded to the call. The special task force was created after a string of burglaries were reported in the west end of Hollywood Hills last year.

Cops told TMZ, "At this point, the fingerprints and photos are being taken of the scene and it is an ongoing investigation."

Taylor was one of the founding members of Duran Duran, one of the most popular bands of the 1980s.


Okay, I have received this info via email from many, many of my friends, asking me if I have an alibi. My deep love (but not obsession) of Duran Duran, and John Taylor, is well documented. Basically, what happened is this:

Well, I was looking for cracks in the pavement when suddenly I had a view to a kill! The shadows were on my side thanks to a new moon on Monday, so I slipped into the wild boy's house and, since I don't believe in shame, grabbed the electric Barbarella (what a girl on film!) and ran to the shore to the chauffeur. We were waiting for the night boat anyway, and there wasn't anyone out there, so we hightailed it to Tel Aviv. At the time I was pretty hungry like the wolf, but it's already just a careless memory, I'm afraid.

Geez, guys - I didn't do anything! If I broke into the man's house, I would have waited for him to come home and stayed over for drinks. And asked his wife Gela Nash-Taylor for some of those cute Juicy Couture tracksuits. Really!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rock n Roll Weekend

This weekend I went and saw Actionslacks and You Am I. Twice. Once in SF at the always amazing Bottom of the Hill and once in LA at the always intimidating Spaceland.

The bands were stellar each night, but waaaaaay more stellar on Saturday in the Bay. Perhaps because the audience was excited and into it? No, bands don't really feed off the energy of the crowd, do they?

The Bottom of the Hill was packed on Saturday night, with fans and friends and people wanting to have a good time. Actionslacks blistered through a 45 minutes set which included stuff from their last 3 albums (including "One Word" which hasn't had much representation in the last few years...). Arms were pumping, people shimmied... They had only played one show in the last few years, so to see them this electric and spot on was fantastic. "Self Conscious Spiel," "This Damn Nation," Joan of Arc:" it all kicked ass, basically.

(Slacks at Spaceland. Rockin'.)

Then You Am I. I've seen them 6 times now in the last 6 months. Before that, I think I saw them twice over the course of 10 years. Um... they don't come to the States that often. The SF show was on fire. There was a sweaty, crazed throng of people going absolutely batshit in up front, and I was certainly one of them. They took "Detroit Rock City" into "Rumble," a move guaranteed to shake even the sturdiest of audience members, which it did. They busted out "Trike" and Tim Rogers flailed out screaming for "Thank God I've Hit the Bottom..." It was nuts. People were nuts. The band was nuts.

I LOVE it when that happens.

Los Angeles was good too... you just have to contend with crowds that cannot be pleased. Bands will beg crowds to dance or clap or something, only to be met with stares. Sometimes people get into it, but usually, they just like to watch.

The stage show was about the same, perhaps not as intense since the crowd was not as intense either. Tim Rogers did have alot of wacky stage banter, half of which I didn't understand. He was drinking from the same bottle of wine as the night before, which I found kinda funny. There were about 3 or 4 people going absolutely batshit up front, and I was one of them. He did "Gone" and then "Damage" with an acoustic to start, and the band kicked in halfway through the latter, and it was good. Very good.

(from the You Am I site.)

Now for some reason, I developed a crush on Andy Kent, the bass player, while at SXSW. After the show as I was leaving, he was outside talking to some guy and they were winding up their conversation. I thought about stopping and saying hi, but I didn't. I don't need to meet my rockstar crushes, after all. Might ruin the illusion. I crossed the street and then glanced back... and he had gone alongside the building behind this tree and was taking a piss! Oh well. My momentary crush was over.

But it was still a great show. Can't wait till next time!