LAMC Wrap Up: Diana Fuentes

So much went down over a frenzied 3 days at LAMC that I’m going to pop in with small write-ups of artists, showcases, etc that left an impression on yours truly.

Diana Fuentes @ SOBs
Diana Fuentes @ SOBs

Continue reading LAMC Wrap Up: Diana Fuentes

Wilco : A Ghost Is Born

Continue reading Wilco : A Ghost Is Born

Ana Tijoux – Vengo


Ana Tijoux, the French-Chilean rapper exploded onto the world stage after years of popularity in her family’s native Chile with the 2010 release, 1977, an introspective and at times mournful album. Such was the attention garnered by the Grammy-nominted 1977 that the album’s title track was featured on an episode of Breaking Bad and featured by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on the band’s site.  It isn’t hard to surmise that the introspection of 1977 came from having to connect to a country and people she had never really known but probably heard so much about as Tijoux’s family fled Chile at the start of Pinochet’s reign of terror and settled in France returning to Chile in the early 90s.

She followed it up with La Bala (The Bullet).  Where 1977 was personal and turned the rapper’s focus within, La Bala shifted the focus outward, a snapshot of Chile’s burgeoning political protest movement.  The album’s title was thought to refer to an incident involving a young Chilean protestor killed by the government.

Ana Tijoux is back with another visceral, political, personal, powerful album in Vengo (I Come) on Nacional Records.  The album takes it’s name from the opening track in which Tijoux declares over a horn-heavy beat featuring Andean instruments: I come for answers, with a bundle of full and open veins / I come as an open book eager to learn the untold story of our ancestors.

One of many highlights of the album comes during Antipatriarca (Anti-Patriarch) a feminist manifesto where she spits: But I will not obey because my body belongs to me / I decide my time as I want and where I want / I was born independent and independent I decided to stay / I do not walk behind you, I walk beside you.

On this album, a personal highlight is Los Peces Gordo No Pueden Volar (Fat Fish Can’t Fly), spoken directly to her children she echoes mothers everywhere when she says: I’m another mother that sleeps little / dreams much / learns more from her children than the adults in the world.  Then later she implores: true to your values you must be.

Vengo is a gorgeous hip hop album that flawlessly incorporates Andean instruments with horns and slinky jazz grooves to create a truly World Music sound.   An album that is equally stunning and devastating for it’s soul-baring honesty.

iViva Ana!





When the dust settles

On a recent iPod-shuffle binge a couple songs came on that reminded me love songs can be simple and lovely and don’t have to be about the early crazy-sex/burning loins phase or the flip side to that: the miserable end of a relationship.  I’m at a point in my life where I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin despite my anxiety and things with Mr. Bee are sailing along nicely; we’re in the midst of some big and chaotic life changes but we’re a team, we’ve been together a long time and don’t need public and obnoxious declarations of love to know it’s there and there isn’t an end in sight.  It was nice to be reminded that love songs exist for this kind of a relationship.  Just a reminder that we love each other, we aren’t going anywhere, we’re perfectly content with just being, we’ve gone through some heavy shit and we’ve come out on the other side stronger than ever and with a deeper appreciation for each other.  So here they are:

1) Wilco: Dawned On Me (The Whole Love) Because when Jeff Tweedy sings: I can’t help it if I fall in love with you again / I’m calling just to let you know it dawned on me I am right there with him.  I still won’t and can’t with the Popeye cartoon video (Google it) so here’s this:

2) Beyoncé: Countdown (4) Who knew my love-hate relationship with Beyoncé would finally tip towards the “love” side with this song? Honestly, it could’ve easily been Love On Top but she really just nails it in the lyrics: Still the one I need, I will always be with you /  Oh, you got me all gone, don’t ever let me go /  Say it real loud if you fly
If you leave me you’re out of your mind (emphasis mine because, really now).