"Dame dame dame, que te voy a dar ... una guayabita de mi guayabal."


Buenas nuevas/news

Since there's free internet in the Bogotá airport (very civilized, as opposed to the exorbitant fees in US airports!), I can't help but post.

Habiendo internet gratis en el puente aéreo de Bogotá (muy civilizado, en comparación con las carísimas tarifas en los aeropuertos gringos!), no puedo sino hacer unos posts.

  • Yale University Visiting Fellowship - $10,000 and access to the Latin American collection
  • Becas en Yale University - $10,000 y acceso a su colección latinoamericana
  • Diáspora, nación y diferencia. Poblaciones de origen africano en México y Centroamérica - Conferencia en Xalapa, Veracruz, México en junio
  • African Diaspora in Mexico and Central America, conference in Xalapa, Mexico in June
  • Kioku's back at the Issue Project Room with Ravish Momin and Bradford Reed. One of my favorite CDs I bought off the street from Bradford Reed, who is a certified eccentric - he built this crazy instrument (somewhere between a lap steel and some kind of metal carángano) and was playing said contraption on the street when I bought the CD.
  • Bay area composer Andrew Imbrie has died.
  • Ha muerto el compositor californiano Andrew Imbrie
  • Ernesto McCausland está bravo por la "fiushon"
  • Ernesto McCausland hates fusion (musical, not nuclear)
  • Happy Fun Smile (without me) will be back at Forbidden City Weds. night. We just played the NY Anime Festival.


Una pausa/A long pause

I'll be traveling, with little access to the internet, over the next month, but La Guayabita will be back in mod-January. In the meantime, I left you all a present to contemplate until the blog kicks up again.

Voy a estar de viajes, con poco acceso al internet, por un mes, pero La Guayabita vuelve en mediados de enero. Mientras tanto, un regalo para ustedes hasta que arranquemos de nuevo.

Torbellino Pacífico

El torbellino del Pacífico parece ser un género de adopción más reciente que los más ancestrales sub-géneros de bambuco que ahora llamamos "currulao," por la manera un poco no característico que tiene la marimba de marcar los 6 golpes del compás (a diferencia de los otros, que suelen meter un dosillo o una pausa o lago). Juan Sebastián Ochoa nota la similitud que el estilo del canto en el torbellino tiene con la rajaleña andina, y sugiere que el torbellino del Pacífico es sencillamente otra manera de "tunar" la rajaleña. Todo esto muestra que el Pacífico, a pesar de su aislación y la marginalización de su población, tiene una historia de relación con otras formas culturales - no es ni ha sido estático o carente de historia. Teorización aparte, no sé qué cosa es el torbellino pero estoy más que seguro que es hermoso. Aquí está el Maestro Gualajo tocando y cantando un torbellino en el 2003.

The "torbellino" of the PAcific appears to be a more recently adopted genre than the older sub-genres of bambuco that today we call "currulao," because of the distinctive way the marimba, unlike the other genres, marks all six beats in the measure. Juan Sebastián Ochoa notes that the singing style links it to the Andean rajaleña genre. This shows that the Pacific, despite its isolation and the marginalization of its people, has a history of relations with other cultural forms; it is not nor has it ever been static or lacking in history.
Theorization aside, I don't know what the torbellino is for sure, except that it's absolutely gorgeous. Here's Maestro Gualajo playing a torbellino in 2003.


Some friends' excellent avant-garde/traditional electronic/jazz Asian/Japanese band, KIOKU, has gotten some good press from All About Jazz: New York. They have an ongoing residency at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, and they're highly recommended, so go check them out and get over the whole Stockhausen thing.


Murió Stockhausen is dead

In tribute to the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, who died on Wednesday, a nice lecture and a kinda dorky interview.

En homenaje al compositor Karlheinz Stockhausen, muerto el miércoles, coloqué una charla académica y una entrevista. Ambos son en inglés, pero la entrevista (el segundo video) tiene unos sonidos e imágenes de la obra de Stockhausen, como el cuarteto para cuerdas y helicópteros.


Internet distribution and topical hip-hop

Lil Flip, who put together a tribute song for the deceased Pimp C, put on his Myspace page, is quoted in the Houston Times as saying he released the song on the internet because "Record labels like to stick with the way things were in the old days," Flip says. "Taking eight months to set up an album, things like that. But sometimes fans just want something then and there. You've got a song or video being played on TV and radio, but the album's not out. Now you can give it to them without any wait."

I know, right - duh, but it makes me wonder about artists like Flip, who have one foot in the old mix tape/net economy and one in the majors. How are the two integrated? How not?

Secondly, it just goes to show how digital distribution technology is such an important tool in the cultural production of the descendents of Africans. The good old topical song, from the diss or tribute rap to the Puerto Rican plena to the griot epic of Sundiata, is only helped along by the net. So you don't have to do the robot to be a part of black futurism.

Why are Mexican narcos killing pop singers? Porqué los narcos mexicanos están matando artistas populares?

These singers don't seem to be tied to drug dealers, and they are not of the narco-corrido variety, so what's going on? One of the articles says:

"Some fear that the spate of killings is linked to the "adoption" of singers
by drug gangs, which then post videos on the internet that show their members torturing and executing rivals against a soundtracks of popular tunes."

What work is music doing in these situations? What is its function? And why kill the singers?

Estos cantantes no parecen tener vínculos con los narcos ni cantan el género narco-corrido. Qué pasa? Uno de los artículos dice:

"Agunos temen que la racha de asesinatos se vincule con la adopción de los cantantes por los carteles, los cuales colocan videos en el Interbet mostrando a sus partidarios torturando y ejecutando a los rivales con una banda sonora de canciones populares."

Qué hace la música en estas situaciones? Cuál es su función? Y porqué matar a los cantantes?

Enlace (Español)

RIP Patato Valdés, QEPD

Conguero legendario Carlos "Patato" Valdés, el conguero arquetípico, con su gorrita, bailando (literalmente) sobre sus congas, murió ayer. Ya lo estamos extrañando.

Legendary conga-player Calros "Patato" Valdés, the archetypal conguero, with his hat, dancing literally on top of his congas, died yesterday. We miss him already.

Aquí está con un grupo de All-Stars en 1986.
Here he is in 1986 with a real All-Star group.


Pimp C., RIP

Pimp C of Houston legendary Houston hip hop outfit UGK was found dead this morning. Link
Below is a killer documentary on Houston hip hop.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V