parodies by nacrowe
its been almost a decade now since i moved to work and lived in VENEZUELA immediately after my service as a PEACE CORPS volunteer in ALBANIA ended in the spring of 2013. feels like a lifetime ago with where i was at as an individual, not to mention it was the pre-TRUMP era. being in SOUTH AMERICA felt TRANSFORMATIVE in that daily life felt so tangible and raw: the CORRUPTION, the SEXUALITY, the FOOD, the MUSIC, the HOPES, the DREAMS, the DISAPPOINTMENTS, the DIVISION, the SACRIFICE, the DEATH and the SOCIAL CONNECTION. it all just felt like everything was at eleven at all times in a way i never really experienced before.
after two years i moved to JAPAN and then later MYANMAR where i gained some knowledge about basic BUDDHIST principles from varying traditions and perspectives, which was likewise TRANSFORMATIVE but in more of an internal manner. VENEZUELA in comparison just felt like the whole barrage of life coming down at you all at once. it was intense and in retrospect felt like a precursor to life in the UNITED STATES under TRUMP, where extreme social and political strife bifurcated the AMERICAN experience much as CHAVEZ and especially MADURO had done so regarding social and political cohesion in VENEZUELA.
the soundtrack to that experience included many acts (ANA TIJOUX, LA VIDA BOHEME, BOMBA ESTEREO, MANU CHAO, ATERCIOPELADOS) associated with NACIONAL RECORDS in LOS ANGELES, which is a clearing house of sorts for LATIN artists in the UNITED STATES. in recent years they have expanded to placing said artists and their respective catalogues in television and film properties, which is great given the expanded market for such in the UNITED STATES. this is a label that i am constantly revisiting as i look for new artists.
definitely check out the streaming DEER GOD RADIO show embedded below from back in april dedicated to highlights from the NACIONAL RECORDS roster of artists. i had a great time with it and am happy to share that postive energy and love. enjoy.
parody by nacrowe
check out HERE this recent streaming video episode of DEER GOD RADIO celebrating the LOS ANGELES-based LATIN MUSIC RECORD LABEL NACIONAL RECORDS!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO are available here at the DEER GOD website as well as in the MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC archives.
and if you haven't done so already get the FREE PHONE APP for IOS/ANDROID and enjoy listening to MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC 24/7 at your convenience!
photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
sometimes you watch and listen to music from other cultures and quickly realize you dont know the half of it. such is the case with CHILE's MON LAFERTE whose music has deft pop sensibilities infused with subtle textures and rhythms from traditional LATIN fare like CUMBIA, SALSA and BOLERO.
but such seems to be a smokescreen for her fierce REVOLUTIONARY POLITICS and bold personal stances, famously culminating in her going topless at the 2019 LATIN GRAMMYS with the message "en Chile torturan violan y matan" written across her chest. this translates to "in Chile, they torture, rape and kill." holy shit indeed. this was an anti-government message in support of protests against SOCIAL INEQUALITY and in support of minimum/LIVING WAGE guarantees. these protests were controversial at the time since they resulted in the burning of subway stations.
again, you listen to music by an artist, especially one from another culture, and you learn that you in fact no very little about the original context. at the very least MON LAFERTE is an artist worthy of further investigation and you should definitely check out her music.
CHICANO BATMAN is an eclectic INDIE ROCK outfit out of LOS ANGELES that has a real killer feel-good, laid-back vibe, almost like an after hours lounge band with killer FUNK / R&B chops and deft LATIN JAZZ percussion. the more i listen to them, the more i can suss out their affinity for 60s PSYCHEDELIA, POWER POP, PROG ROCK and all things CLASSIC ROCK with a distinctively diverse ANGELEÑO edge.
to my ears they sound totally original with a relaxing ambience that makes them the perfect antidote for the comedown from an energetic night out.
definitely worth checking out.
photo manipulations by nacrowe
the COLOMBIAN duo BOMBA ESTEREO is another one of the LATIN/SPANISH bands that i came across when i learned i would be moving to VENEZUELA. for me they are emblematic of modern act that takes ingeniously incorporates LATIN percussion and woodwind elements into recognizable pop structures that would not be out of place in TOP 40 ESTADOUNIDENSE radio.
i also love their videos, which are a celebration of life, family and being COLOMBIAN. every time i hear their music i am right back in CARTAGENA all over again (sigh).
most definitely worth check out.
SOL PEREYRA is an ARGENTINE singer-songwriter now based in MEXICO whose music is decidedly INDIE POP, being that they are usually upbeat with electronic flourishes. having been a part of JULIETA VENAGAS' touring band for a number of years, she moved to MEXICO in pursuit of her solo career.
like ANA TIJOUX, she is fiercely political and incorporates left-leaning themes into her music. definitely worth seeking and checking out.
there was an interesting period during the end of my time as a PEACE CORPS volunteer in ALBANIA when i knew it was only a matter of months before my move to VENEZUELA as a secondary english teacher. what an interesting era that was.
for 2-3 months i basically read everything i could about SOUTH AMERICAN history as well as LATIN culture writ large. this led me to things like reading OPEN VEINS OF LATIN AMERICA (MONTHLY REVIEW PRESS, 1997) by Uruguayan historian EDUARDO GALEANO as well as several HUGO CHAVEZ biographies and musical artists such as ANA TIJOUX (CHILE/FRANCE), LA VIDA BOHEME (VENEZUELA) and probably my favorite discovery, EL GUINCHO (SPAIN).
what makes music the music of this CANARY ISLANDS multi-instramentalist/producer stand out is his ability to contextualize disparate genres and textures into a cohesive sonic expression. the nearest analogues i can think of were artists like BECK and BJORK who both seem to revel in using multiple production techniques in the same track. i think the difference here is that for EL GUINCHO is playing with a different set of reference points (tropicália, afrobeat, old school hip hop) as BECK is known for genre-exercises as he was a child of the post-modern FLUXUS movement and BJORK is firmly a bridge between the pop and avant-garde world music scene.
for me the music of EL GUINCHO is very exciting on a sonic level and his album POP NEGRO (YOUNG TURKS, 2010) is something i have been listening to on constant rotation since it came out almost 10 years ago.
well worth checking this guy out. could not recommend his music any stronger.