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Saturday, November 24, 2007


¿Una novia así? ¡Claro que sí! (con tal de que después no te salga con que dejas los discos tirados por todas partes...)

El asunto es difícil y genera mucha polémica. Discusiones, quejas, platos rotos, ecos de escopeta y de revólver.

Los chicos y no tan chicos fanáticos de la música tenemos un dilema terrible con nuestras mujeres. A ellas, no les apasiona tanto la música como a nosotros. Les llega al trozo quién sacó qué disco el 75, pero están ahí empiladas si es que el artista de moda, pintón, cruza la esquina para saludar a la fanaticada.

Eso puede ser insignificante, sin importancia, pero tiene mucha relevancia en nuestros egos y eso es innegable.

Es un tema muy espinoso para los coleccionistas del género masculino, y viene con la marca registrada del machismo, la intolerancia, el rol de la mujer en la sociedad y la presión de ésta por que la chica sea una chica bien y no andar escuchando sonidos diferentes a lo que todos y todas escuchan. "No choques tus neuronas muy a menudo, hija, que puedes darte cuenta de lo que estás haciendo".

¿Les ha pasado a ustedes alguna vez, ya sean hombres o mujeres ustedes, que si tienen una cualidad especial o les gusta algo fuera de lo común, los miran como a bichos raros? A eso yo lo llamo antievolución, pero eso es harina de otro costal. Nos dedicaremos a hablar de un tema más específico.

Men of stone

Probabilidades de que este par de chicocas esté escuchando el disco de Chris Squire 'Fish Out Of Water': 1/100000000000Hace un par de años, conversaba con mi amigo Loco Disco y él me contaba su terrible dilema: su novia no soportaba a los Bee Gees; y el resto de música que Disco escuchaba (Lou Rawls, Kool & The Gang, Tavares, etc.) le era indiferente. No le prestaba atención. Y si le prestaba atención, una vez a las quinientas, era para decir: "¡qué música más huachafa*! ¡Evoluciona papito, madura, crece... estamos en la era rave!"

- U odia mi música, o le importa un pito, pero eso sí, escucha hasta el cansancio los bodrios que mandan las radios románticas -me dijo LD.
- ¿Enrique Iglesias, Ricardo Montaner? - le pregunté.
- Si, Emilio. ¿Qué hago?

Bueno, creo que nada. No hay nada que hacer. A una chica no le puedes obligar a que le guste lo mismo que te gusta a ti, así se trate de la mejor música del mundo, como la de radio Panamericana entre 1980 y 1988. De eso no se trata una relación, ni una amistad, tampoco. Pero, y he aquí lo interesante, no sólo es Loco Disco, también están varios amigos que conozco que tienen el mismo picazón en la espalda: sus novias y/o esposas no aguantan los discos que ellos escuchan y, lo peor de todo, ni les prestan atención. No hay respeto. Los casos son más severos en lo que es Jazz y Rock Progresivo. Ahí si cagaron leches.

En mi adolescencia, yo era hiper-fanático -terríble y enfermízamente fanático- de tres bandas: Police, Emerson Lake & Palmer y Alan Parsons Project. No paraba de escuchar su música, aprenderme sus letras, dibujar sus portadas ni relacionar los eventos de mi vida cotidiana con las canciones que ellos ponían en sus discos. The Police era interesante, y fue una fiebre que me duró cuatro largos años, de 1987 a 1991. La de Alan Parsons me duró de 1990 a 1992, año en que completé toda la colección original de cassettes del más grande productor e ingeniero de sonido británico.

A todas mis amigas -posibles novias o no- les hacía escuchar mi música favorita. ¿Qué creen? ¡No les gustaba! ¡Les llegaba al trozeiro! Y como era yo un chiquillo de 15 años, no podía aún discernir entre lo que era libertad de escuchar y buen gusto.

Ahora, 10 años después, no me hago problemas si a mi novia le gustan mis gustos o no. Pero de que me hacía líos existenciales, ¡me los hacía! Este fanatismo a escuchar estas bandas me hizo aburrir de muchas fiestas y a terminar repentinamente -y muchas veces definitivamente- conversaciones con chicas que se alocaban por Magneto** o los New Kids On The Block. Yo no podía taparme la boca y decir "A mi me gusta Alan Parsons, ¿Lo has escuchado?" Lo peor no era decir algo así, sino hablar mal de los grupos que dominaban el mercado, que, como Al Capone, eran malos e intocables.

Los amigos sí se animaban a escuchar el buen rock progresivo y todas las ondas que nos conseguíamos por ahí. La mayoría de las chicas de mi generación y de mi ciudad, y esto es una afirmación, han crecido con un pésimo gusto musical, limitado a caras bonitas, video-clips y telenovelas.


Fish Out Of Water, de Chris Squire, 1975. El álbum más progresivo y el menos comprado por el género femenino.


Hace años, leía en una revista "Pelo" de 1974, me parece, un artículo que decía que la superbanda Emerson Lake & Palmer nunca iba a tocar el number one de Billboard ni en álbumes ni singles. La razón: no eran comerciales. Pero eso es difícil de definir. La línea que divide lo comercial y lo no comercial es muy borrosa y en cualquier momento se desvanece en uno u otro lado de la frontera:

Ejemplo 1: Nirvana con "Smells Like Teen Spirit" llegando al Top Ten en 1992.






Ejemplo 2: Take That, con "Back For Good", recibiendo cuatro estrellas en la Rolling Stone en 1995.

El caso más dramático, a nivel latinoamérica, es el de Luis Miguel, que pasó repentinamente de ser un chiquillo cantante de canciones-dolor-de-estómago a un adolescente que llega a registros altísimos con un dramatismo excepcional al interpretar "Palabra de Honor", o "La Incondicional". El cover de "Blame It On The Boogie" ("Será que no me Amas") de los Jacksons era un entremés a lo que Luis Miguel haría con los boleros en su álbum "Romance"; de la misma forma que José Feliciano lo hizo en 1966. ¿Las seguidoras de Micky coreando "La Barca", "Inolvidable", "Mucho Corazón"? Me quito el sombrero por el CD "Romance", de Micky, y por los que vinieron después, también. Había que ponerles a las seguidoras de Melody y Televisa algo de buen sonido, pues, si no... no me imagino qué catástrofe cultural pudiera haber sucedido (¿o está sucediendo?).

Una vez a las quinientas.

La sociedad occidental, bañada en un pegajoso machismo que a veces está más incrustado en nuestros hipotálamos de lo que pensamos, considera que un hombre escucha "buena música", pero una mujer tiene demasiadas ocupaciones para escucharla. "El fin de la mujer es escuchar la música, si, pero la que le canta el hombre, enamorándola. Ella no tiene por qué cantar canciones románticas, porque los hombres no las escucharán". Por eso es que nos parece agradablemente extraño el auge no de cantantes femeninas, sino de grupos femeninos de rock con mujeres colocándose guitarras eléctricas y bajos y sentándose en baterías para tocar música de hombres. Liz Phair, Courtney Love y su banda Hole, L7, etcétera. La primera mujer solista que tomó un rol masculino en el rock and roll fue, en mi modesta opinión, Chrissie Hynde de Pretenders. Ella tenía una guitarra, arma aluciva al falo del hombre, tan común en los grupos de rock masculinos. La cojuda sufría de amor heterosexual por ser rechazada por un ciego imbécil. Luego llegaron las Go-Gos y el asunto fue ya cobrando fuerza. Un grupo femenino puede ser excelente o malísimo, dependiendo de la calidad de ellas como músicos y compositoras. Tampoco hay que caer en los prejuicios así de fácil.

Por lo tanto, yo no estoy diciendo que todas las chicas tienen mal gusto por no escuchar Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lo que estoy afirmando es que hay una tendencia social a encasillar o agrupar sexos, según su gusto. A un rockero de los clásicos no le puede gustar, por ningún motivo, la música de Enrique Iglesias, ni mucho menos la de LocoMía, aquel grupo español de cuatro tipos, más gays que los Hobbits, con buena pinta que dominó las pistas de baile a inicios de los noventa. LocoMía era buena música, a mi parecer.

En una discusión así, está mejor el que cede, dice mi abuelo.

Seguro se pensará que estoy generalizando, pero eso es falso. Conozco chicas con gustos musicales muy buenos, y que no se tragan todo lo que los galanes de telenovelas graban ni tampoco son fanáticas de cualquier mequetrefe con cara de niño que triunfa por ser hijo de papá. Estaría bien decir, al final, que a ellas no les vendría mal comprarse una vez a las quinientas, en vez de ropa linda, un buen disco como Led Zeppelin III o el Chronicle de los Creedence Clearwater Revival.

A nosotros, los fanáticos, tampoco nos vendría mal comprarnos ropa más decente. Una vez a las quinientas, y ordenar nuestro closet, que los discos no están en orden alfabético.

*Huachafa: femenino de "huachafo". En Perú, significa obsoleto, pasado de moda, anticuado, fuera de contexto, ridículo, etc. Se trata, obviamente, de algo subjetivo.
**Magneto: grupo vocal mexicano de inicios de los noventa. No confundir con el villano de los X-Men.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Next stop: ban all those horrible Peanuts TV specials! Great Pumpkin is anti-christian! See what I mean? We live in a paranoid society. See below:

November 18, 2007
The Medium
Sweeping the Clouds Away
By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN

Sunny days! The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

Nothing in the children’s entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but... well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.

Live-action cows also charge the 1969 screen — cows eating common grass, not grain improved with hormones. Cows are milked by plain old farmers, who use their unsanitary hands and fill one bucket at a time. Elsewhere, two brothers risk concussion while whaling on each other with allergenic feather pillows. Overweight layabouts, lacking touch-screen iPods and headphones, jockey for airtime with their deafening transistor radios. And one of those radios plays a late-’60s news report — something about a “senior American official” and “two billion in credit over the next five years” — that conjures a bleak economic climate, with war debt and stagflation in the offing.

The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.

I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of “Sesame Street,” how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody “Monsterpiece Theater.” Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, “That modeled the wrong behavior” — smoking, eating pipes — “so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.”

Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.



Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.



The biggest surprise of the early episodes is the rural — agrarian, even — sequences. Episode 1 spends a stoned time warp in the company of backlighted cows, while they mill around and chew cud. This pastoral scene rolls to an industrial voiceover explaining dairy farms, and the sleepy chords of Joe Raposo’s aimless masterpiece, “Hey Cow, I See You Now.” Chewing the grass so green/Making the milk/Waiting for milking time/Waiting for giving time/Mmmmm.

Oh, what’s that? Right, the trance of early “Sesame Street” and its country-time sequences. In spite of the show’s devotion to its “target child,” the “4-year-old inner-city black youngster” (as The New York Times explained in 1979), the first episodes join kids cavorting in amber waves of grain — black children, mostly, who must be pressed into service as the face of America’s farms uniquely on “Sesame Street.”

In East Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant in 1978, 95 percent of households with kids ages 2 to 5 watched “Sesame Street.” The figure was even higher in Washington. Nationwide, though, the number wasn’t much lower, and was largely determined by the whims of the PBS affiliates: 80 percent in houses with young children. The so-called inner city became anywhere that “Sesame Street” played, because the Children’s Television Workshop declared the inner city not a grim sociological reality but a full-color fantasy — an eccentric scene, framed by a box and far removed from real farmland and city streets alike.

The concept of the “inner city” — or “slums,” as The Times bluntly put it in its first review of “Sesame Street” — was therefore transformed into a kind of Xanadu on the show: a bright, no-clouds, clear-air place where people bopped around with monsters and didn’t worry too much about money, cleanliness or projecting false cheer. The Upper West Side, hardly a burned-out ghetto, was said to be the model.

People on “Sesame Street” had limited possibilities and fixed identities, and (the best part) you weren’t expected to change much. The harshness of existence was a given, and no one was proposing that numbers and letters would lead you “out” of your inner city to Elysian suburbs. Instead, “Sesame Street” suggested that learning might merely make our days more bearable, more interesting, funnier. It encouraged us, above all, to be nice to our neighbors and to cultivate the safer pleasures that take the edge off — taking baths, eating cookies, reading. Don’t tell the kids.

Points of Entry

Caveat teletor: Volumes 1 and 2 of “Sesame Street: Old School” are available on DVD, which you can sample and buy on Sesameworkshop.org. With a few episodes, extras and celebrity appearances by the likes of Richard Pryor and Lou Rawls, “Old School” sounds harmless enough. But are you ready to mainline this much ’70s nostalgia?

The Way Old: YouTube is great for performance art. If 1969 is not far back enough for you, how’s 1935? The Oscar-winning short film “How to Sleep,” by the Algonquin Round-Tabler Robert Benchley, can be found here in sumptuous black-and-white; search for his name and the film’s title on YouTube.

Come of Age: Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, the men of “My So-Called Life” and “thirtysomething,” have at last introduced their online-only young-adult series, “Quarterlife.” It started Nov. 11 on MySpaceTV.com, and it marks the first time a network-quality series — a long indie film, really — has been produced directly for the Internet. If the old times unnerve you, welcome to the new times.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


(Swan Song, 1976, Re-released 2007)
Led Zeppelin, 1973. The biggest rock and roll act of the seventies, beloved by their fans and hated by the music critics. Capable of filling stadiums ad maximum summoning crowds starving for electric blues and out-of-their-bodies experiences. The supergroup, an acid electric blues band that freaked out the hippie crowd into the unknown, was on tour in the U.S. and played a night at the Madison Square Garden. The idea of the band and their producers was to create their own, twisted A Hard Day's Night. A tale of an angry manager, Peter Grant, arguing with a promoter about -what else- the division of the pie, in the meantime, the band would play and each of their four members would have a "video clip" section. Pretty cool! There was adventure, horses, ocultism, a hermit and even drag racing. But most important of it was the music, the soundtrack.

The world famous hotel trashers were called satanic, mischevious and even mediocre (this due to some poor performances around the 1973 tour) but they standed the generational test. Nowadays, more and more teenage kids want to listen the superb first four Led Zeppelin albums and at this moment, lots of them are trying the guitar intro of "Stairway To Heaven" for the first time. Around the globe.

So this remastered CD is made for the new generation of Zep fans and the teenagers like I was, 20 years ago, discovering the monstruous bass-guitar riff of "Dazed And Confused." A reminder that it's time for some of us to get rid of that mossy cassette copy. And hey! there are bonus tracks too! At last I can listen to the live version of "Since I've Been Loving You" that wasn't included in the first release of the soundtrack. It's Zeppelin during their druggiest and heaviest years.

Drummer John Bonham always was the key of the Zeppelin Sound. A gigantic and perfect drum playing offering Jimmy Page the field he needed to create an overwhelming, creative guitar sound. Robert Plant had the musical background he needed to chant his beautiful poetry and blues interpretations. The perfect Zeppelin moment for us happens on their debut album: The two blues tracks connected together: Willie Dixon's "You Shook Me" and Page's own "Dazed And Confused," which is performed on 27 minutes of metal psychedelia and allucination in the movie. Page plays the guitar with an arc!

The live album, with the bonus tracks or not, is a decent introduction for future Led Zeppelin fans that will carry the Classic Rock torch, a flame that is fading away faster each and every day. But, no worries, Atlantic keeps it by releasing Zep material every three or four years: The Song Remains The Same, How The West Was Won (2004), The BBC Sessions (2000), and just now, with Song Remains The Same, the Mothership anthology. There's so much Zeppelin out there in the music section of your favorite department store now that there's no excuse not to find at least a copy of Led Zeppelin IV. The one with the ballsy "Rock And Roll" in it.

Regarding the film, there's a collector's edition of the DVD available as well! this includes the film, remastered under the supervision of the band (I think it was Page only, since he's the mastering-producing buff of the three,) bonus footage, pictures, commentary, interviews, you name it. Enough to keep us classic rock fans and future music buffs entertained. With this DVD/CD and the upcoming London performance, It's pretty obvious Zep is looking into the future. Something other bands and acts from old should start doing. Hopefully, Led Zeppelin rehearsed enough and won't make a ridiculous scene like The Police last summer.






Thursday, November 15, 2007

There are seventy-five rock and roll acts here in this picture. Let's see if you can identify them by using your metaphoric and visual area of your brain.

I'll start with one: Center top, see the two big bombers? Those are the B-52's!




Mince Core band from Belgium, Agathocles recently visited my hometown of Tacna, Perú on their South American Tour.


I have a thing for trash metal bands that play loud and hard, unintelligible and completely having fun. Agathocles seems to be a down to earht, cool group of guys with just one purpose: rock the night and have fun.




Check out their Mincer album, available on Amazon.com and their website, http://www.agathocles.com/ for cool stuff and downloads like this one.
No, I'm not losing my mind. I just love to see rockers playing real rock, having fun and keeping it up with a smile. Rock on, Agathocles, rock on!












Wednesday, November 14, 2007


In 2001 I bought a copy of the companion book for the BBC TV series "Dancing In The Streets" written by Robert Palmer (unfortunately, out of print in the U.S.)

At the the book's last pages there was a series of lists on Rock and Roll milestones: top 10 albums, top ten dance singles... etcetera. The last one was an empty field for you to put your top ten, your favorite ones, your Desert Island CD's.

I didn't think twice and started writing down whatever came to my mind first. What I have heard from the last 15 years that I really, really loved. Instead of 10, I boosted the list up to 20 records, quintessential to understand not only my musical tastes but my life as well.

The best music in the world is what you consider the best, not what people tell you what is. It's contradictory, but in blogs like mine you will find suggestions, invitations, not mandatory listenings or shovelings to your ears That would be marketing!
By the way, have you noticed I don't have any music playing automatically on my site? I want you guys to listen what's on your PC, your CD player or your cassette deck!. I can give you links to tracks and albums... but you are the one who press the play button at the end!

Marketing or not, some of them are linked here to be reviewed and purchased on Amazon.com. Tell me what are yours. What are the records you can't live without? (no, really!)



Friday, November 2, 2007

See the consequences? His father forced him to become a dentist when he was supposed to become a DJ, a dancer, a music man!
Loco Disco Men of the World, Unite!
Disco-dancing dentist sued for drilling disaster
Tool lodged into patient's sinuses while doc boogied to 'Car Wash', suit says

The Associated Press
updated 12:42 p.m. MT, Fri., Nov. 2, 2007

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A dentist was dancing to a song on the radio while drilling on a woman's tooth, and she wound up in the hospital when the drill bit snapped off and lodged near her eye, a lawsuit alleges.

Brandy Fanning, 31, said she had to undergo emergency surgery and spent three days in the hospital because of the October 2004 mishap.

The federal lawsuit filed last month against Dr. George Trusty seeks $600,000 for her medical expenses, pain and suffering.

Trusty, 57, a dentist at Syracuse Community Health Center, declined to comment, as did Dr. Ruben Cowart, the center's president and CEO.

Fanning said she went to the center's emergency dental clinic after pain in a left molar started getting worse. With a root canal ruled out as an option, Trusty gave her some Novocain and began drilling to break up the tooth before extracting it, she said.

As Trusty drilled, he was "performing rhythmical steps and movements to the song `Car Wash,'" which was on the radio, according to the lawsuit. Then, Fanning heard a snap.

Trusty tried to use a metal hook to pull the bit out, but that only pushed it farther up, driving it through the sinus and bone near her eye socket, the lawsuit alleged.

After first minimizing the problem, Trusty talked to an oral surgeon to set up an appointment — and then told Fanning she needed to get to an emergency room immediately, according to the lawsuit.

She claimed he had initially told she would likely sneeze the drill bit out, but doctors said later that if she really had sneezed, the drill bit could have blinded her left eye.

Fanning said she sued because Trusty failed on a promise to pay her medical bills. She said she still suffers facial swelling, nerve damage and chronic infections.

The suit is in federal court because the health center operates under federal law.