Wednesday, December 05, 2007

El Año Pasado en México

Download: Gloria
It was this time last year that I had the good fortune to travel to Mexico. The trip was for my job (Fair Trade handcrafts, etc), but I managed to sneak in some leisure time as well and even got to dig for a little south-of-the-border vinyl. The one Mexican record that I was pleased to get was a 4-song EP from Los Rockin' Devils which featured a couple covers and some originals (I think). Actually the only passable song on the EP is their cover of the Them's "Gloria" which we have here. Sadly, my copy is pretty beat up and the only song that cannot play through is this one.
Los Rockin' Devils

Download: Cambia, Cambia
The band I was desperately hoping to track down was Los Dug Dug's. I got pretty damn close, but the one day I was searching for records in Mexico City was a national holiday (the inauguration of the new president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon. In addition to getting to know the netherworlds of Mexico City by way of the used junk stalls, I got to witness the tail end of some massive protests opposing President Calderon's ascension to power. Some of you might remember, there was a very populist candidate who still claims that the election was his. Another souvenir from this trip was a T-shirt with Obredor's charicature on it saying "Presidente Legítimo."
Back to the records . . . the only stores I could find during my day of digging were all closed so I settled for some Mexican pressings of New York Salsa and the aforementioned Los Rockin' Devils EP. This is what I wanted to find though. Read more about Los Dug Dug's here.

Download: Amor
While, we're diverging slightly from typically "soulful" sounds here, I thought I'd throw in some Brazilian glam. Secos & Molhados are the kiss of Brazil, before there was a Kiss . . . ponder that. Actually, they're more like the inheritors of Os Mutantes' freak-rock crown. When the Mutants lost some steam around 1972 or so when lead singer Rita Lee went solo, the Mutants moved into a very proggy direction. They very well may have been forging new ground in Brazilian prog, but to be honest I don't care that much. Secos & Molhados, meaning "Dry & Wet" as in wet and dry goods for sale, picked up where Os Mutantes left off and in place of a female lead singer, they had Ney Matogrosso, who just sounded like a girl. S&M, no coincidence I'm sure, lasted two studio albums and one live album before Ney went solo and became a gay diva, not that he wasn't one already . . . think "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" in Portuguese. Their first two albums are superb Brazilian rock with no small share of funky moments like the "Assim Assado" which translates to "Thus Baked" according to Babel Fish . . . so I think you get my drift.

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