The Day in Weird Juxtapositions: This remix of a 1920s Italian song is insanely popular in Peru right now and I heard it just about everywhere. But its best moment came when it became my soundtrack as I shopped at the witch doctor’s market in Chiclayo. I have to say: There’s nothing quite like surveying goat hooves, unidentifiable medicinal powders and charms to ward off evil while listening to a bouncy little ditty like this.
In the meantime, y’all can find me over at Gallerina today. C-Mon will return to its regular programming next week.
To the Extreme: Artist Brent Birnbaum channels his inner Ice during his poster signing/performance at Never Can Say Goodbye. (Photos by C-M.)
As any old school New York City hoodrat can tell you, back in the days when the hair was big and the Internerdz didn’t exist, the Tower Records space on lower Broadway was a place of pilgrimage for all things music. In addition to being the spot where you could find plaid-shirted rock nerds deconstructing the various minor schools of punk, it was the only store in the city where you could also get Lowrider Magazine.
The store closed four years ago. But last Friday night, the non-profit group No Longer Empty resurrected its spirit for a night of music-related artsy goodness in a group show called Never Can Say Goodbye. The space, which has been sitting empty since Tower shut down, was filled with music-inspired art, featuring everything from a mock record shop to an in-store poster signing/performance by Ice Ice Maybe (the Vanilla Ice-esque alter-ego of artist Brent Birnbaum). There was also vodka, red wine and plenty of rock and roll hedonism — so much so that I decided to get my boob signed. Later I hurled on a cop car and trashed a hotel room. And all I gotta say is: Sharpie is a bitch to wash out.
For When You Want to Bitch-Slap Someone With a Chancla.
My partner-in-crime San Suzie and I went in to mind-meld mode to produce a music mix that pays tribute to all the Latin ladies of old. There’s heartache. There’s trash talking. There’s dancing. There’s lots and lots of wigs. Download it for free over at The World’s Best Ever.
Peruvian photographer Carlos Díaz took some awesome shots of some of Peru’s best-known chicha bands at a Lima concert a couple of weeks ago. (Chicha is a type of totally pyschedelic Amazonian cumbia heavy on the gnarly surf guitar.) Check out the full set of pix here — and be sure to listen to the sound files to get the full effect. Ay, mama…
My people are so enterprising. Or they just have an incredibly morbid sense of humor. There’s already a slew of influenza-related Latin songs out there, and they are all delightfully low-brow. The above video, for example, has a reggaeton vibe, lots of amateur booty shaking and an inexplicable shot of a rapping guy dressed as Osama bin Laden. (WTF???)
Music blog Sound Taste, run by an esteemed colleague mine, has the scoopy scoop on all the latest Latin music tributes to the swine flu, including a trombone-laced Duranguense bit (video #4), an acoustic ballad set to the tune of the Cure’s Monday, I’m in Love (video #5) and a punk corrido that channels Iggy Pop, with accordions (video #6). Sublime!
If humanity is left standing after this little pandemic, I’m hoping that Time-Life will be thoughtful enough to issue these as a compilation.
A young tyke gets jiggy on Byrne’s musical architecture. (Photos by C-M.)
So David Byrne’s installation for Creative Time in NYC—a building converted into an organ—isn’t the best instrument on which to attempt to play Chopsticks. All I got was some pipe clanging and a few breathy booms, which brought back all sorts of memories of the prehistoric radiator system in a crappy Brooklyn apartment I once lived in. Even so, the installation, called Playing the Building, is damn cool. The space is gorgeous in a decayed Victorian society kinda way and the notion that you can get pipes to bang on command is, well, pretty awesome—if not terribly tuneful. The sounds have a Koyaanisqatsi feel about them, which, while interesting, don’t exactly make for easy listening. The best part of the show? I now get to tell everybody I played with David Byrne’s organ.
See a video here. The installation is up through Aug. 10.
Click on images to supersize. More after the jump.