Monthly Archives: March 2009

Mexico in 15 seconds

I’ve never been one for performance art, but lately I’ve been toying around with cinematic interpretations of art…and life! This next piece is all you will ever need to see in order to understand Mexico. No, I didn’t add the soundtrack in post production -it came naturally.

I’d like to thank the people of the Yucatán for inspiring me.

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Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Mari Ramos

One good thing about moving out of Condechi is that now I have enough extra pesos to indulge in my ultimate guilty pleasure – CABLEVISION! So far I’ve mostly watching music videos “Hey look, there’s Lil’ Wayne again!” But, it’s not all fun and games at the Casa de Chilangabacha!

I’ve found its great to start out the day with a little bit of CNN International. That way I can find out about the latest Mexico be-headings  Live in HD. Not really, the international version of Teddy Turner’s baby is a lot less sensational than it’s American counterpart, and the best part of their coverage is my new favorite weather personality, Nicaragua-born Mari Ramos.

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Not only does Mari get really really excited about cool stuff like rainstorms in Oman, but homegirl is old-school voluptious and she knows how to work it.I like to wake up each day just to run to the teevee and see what kinda suit she’s gonna wear.

Ramos also still has a trace of a Spanglish accent “We’re go-een to see heavier showers inTokío.” This is by no means a knock on Ramos’ skills. It’s nice to hear a familiar-sounding voice, plus she’s also able to anchor for CNN en Español. I’d like to see Jörg Kachelmann or Jillian Barberi try that!

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Get Your Flashlight, Brownout!’s in the House

Getting to Austin on the Thursday of your first South by South West Festival is like parachuting into Disneyland in the middle of the Main Street Electrical Parade; you know you’ve arrived  just in time for the best part, but how are you going to manage to appreciate Space Mountain, Dumbo and Kanye West before the park closes?Where to begin!? Who should I talk to first? Jiminy Cricket, where are you?

Luckily, I had Adrian Quesada, guitarist and  founding member of  Grupo Fantasma and mega James Brown fan to help provide me with some perspective and school me on the history of the Latin music scene that has been so essential in forming Austin’s reputation as a top-notch music city and will be a huge part of its Tommorrowland.

Adrian Rodriguez layin' it down. -Photo by Deanna Dent

Adrian Quesada schoolin' La Chilangabacha on Austin music history. -Photo by Deanna Dent

Grupo Fantasma is a perfect example of  the kind of group that has made Austin famous. The 11-member mini orchestra, started out playing house parties about 10 years ago sold out their first ever show at Austin’s now defunct Empenada Parlour.They reached other-worldly status last year when Sir Raspberry Beret asked them to be his back-up band in Vegas . The biggest testament to their powerhouse status, however, is the fact that they’ve sold more than 200, 000 records independently – without major label backing.

Here’s their track, “El Sabio Soy Yo”

After chatting with Quesada, who recently formed a funky side project called Brownout! with several of his Grupo bandmates, and  watching their set at Jovita’s, I felt ready to grab the festival by the Longhorns.

(interview and more music after the jump)

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SXSW Update

So, I’m about ready to fall over or have a head explosion. So many  cool bands to see!!!!!!!! Tonight I’m going to do my best to check out Nina (can’t find tilde on this computer) Dioz, Chikita Violenta and Juan Son. Here’s a pic from last night.

Photo by Deanna Dent

Photo by Deanna Dent

Jorge Drexler (left)and Ximena (center) and the lead singer of Bomba Esterio (right) were totally jamming out to Natalia LaFourcade. I nerdily went up to Jorge and told him about Chilangabacha and we couldn’t decide if “blog” was a femenine or a masculine verb in Spanish. If he leaves a comment on here it will be mission accomplished for the weekend.

I also chased down Perez Hilton on his bicycle, but he wasn’t as chatty as Jorge.Lots of cool Chilangos representin’ in the streets of Austin. If it weren’t for the burritos and cowboy boots paired with Umbro shorts, I would feel like I never left!

On another note, a couple of hours ago we got in a cab and the driver immediately told us that his other career was bounty hunting. To prove it he had a poster of America’s most wanted taped to the dash. He was drunk, and out of gas. We walked instead.

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No Sleep ‘Til Austin

Man caught smuggling Chupacabra through customs

"Man caught smuggling Chupacabra through customs"

In about 11 hours I’m gonna board a bus from Monterrey, Mexico to San Antonio, Texas and I ain’t skerred.  If that Mickey Mouse Club member Justin Timberlake wasn’t deterred from going to Jalisco to do research for his new tequila brand after a bunch of severed  heads were found in Oxxo coolers, then dammit I’m not going to pee in my pants over traveling through Reynosa.Besides, I’ll finally be fulfilling my dream of visiting Tamaulipas!

Seriously, I don’t know what I’m getting all worked up about. Not all the news out of Northern Mexico was written by the Boogey Monster and copy edited by the Chupacabra. A Michigan jukebox company just announced they’ll be moving their operations to Reynosa. Nothing too bad can happen in a place that manufactures “Rock Around the Clock” machines.

Speaking of rocking, I actually do have a good reason for making the trek up to the Lone Star State and its not to retreive my bike from the basement of the Alamo. I’m fixin’  to go to the South by Southwest music fest. Yeeeee Haw, the things we do for Rawk, right?

I’ve got some pretty cool interviews lined plenty of Chilangabacha-approved musicians that I intend to post on here. Stay tuned for excerpts from the adventure on here and on Twitter. If you haven’t already added me I’m @lachilangabacha

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You Knew it Was Coming

If the Marge/Frida artwork wasn’t enough for you, here’s its counterpart the Homer invades Diego Rivera:

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The original version evokes  slightly different emotions

I don’t know why I was so fascinated by this art. Watching The SImpsons in Español is like hell on earth for me. The voices are grating and none of the jokes make sense. Maybe these paintings portray my feelings as works of oil on canvas. Or maybe they’re just awesomely dumb.

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Booty Watcher Identified

Congrats to my man Crayton AKA Tómas for winning the prize for identifying one of the Carla Bruni booty watchers. The man with no chin on the right is none other than Finance Minister Augustín Carstens, who apparently had a pretty busy week what with all that looking and condemning of Forbes magazine. Here he is throwing out the first pitch at the Mexico-Australia baseball game on Monday.

abucheanTómas-Crayton, you get two brewskies for this; one for identifying no-chin, and another for finding this amazing photo.

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