Rock the casbah

More retro tracks for your collection with a quick yet very informative description:
The Clash were, are and will remain england's and probably the whole world's best punk act.
I love James Brown's and Billy Garner's shouts.
A certain ratio were an alternative funkpunk band that eventually became very mainstream to my likes.
Cymande and electric indian were underground funk bands that got quickly dismembered but have achieved a legend like status in the past decades.
Well then, I guess this is a pretty good introduction to this type of music... hope you enjoy this short disco/funk selections from my collection:

The Clash - mustapha dance
Cymande - fug
Electric Indian - I heard it through the grapevine
A certain ratio - do the du
Billy Garner - brand new girl
James Brown - the Boss

The image with the funky circles had no credit at all... if you created this image, tell me so I'll credit your work. Otherwise I'll lie and tell everyone I drew this one.


b-boys are kings! we run things!

I all the time see mp3 posts talking about the soul jazz new york noise comps but where is the love for Big Apple Rappin': The Early Days Of Hip-Hop Culture In New York City 1979-1982? holy hell if this isn't the hottest thing you've ever heard then i hate you. Christ almighty! Big apple rappin' documents the birth of a genre! don't you wish you were in NYC back then? i don't know what to say listen to this! damn!

exciting music! long-winded? pssh! you're long winded!

rappers of modern times,
everyone on big apple rappin' owns your boring selfs. damn.

those who like boring music check crish's post which i'm including BELOW. this blog is crazy fast paced- better keep up. new people! hey!

Brother D & The Collective Effort-How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise?

Xanadu-Sure Shot

Songs of Green Pheasant
... Alot of people are going to hear this and just hear another low fi pysch folk record. But whether or not it's a product of trend it's quality pysch folk that is a welcome addition to the new crop of artists excelling with this format. This guy has a sincere earnest edge that isn't present in some of the hipper acts, even recalls nick drake with some of these guitar parts. Promo legend has it that the guy behind this, Duncan Sumpner, sent Fat Cat these demos in 2002. But because of his wandering "go where the wind and songs take me" travel habits dual with hermit style reclusiveness it took Fat Cat 3 years of desperate searching to actually find him and beg him to come into the studio. He replied "No, Fat Cat. Thank you but a studio is not necessary, just give me a 4 track and a kitchen and I will do just fine." Whoa, man...heavy.
not as good as marissa nadler but worth checking out.

Songs of Green Pheasant-Knulp

Songs of Green Pheasant- Until...

image is by Sean Star Wars !

Es la guitarra de lolo

Parece que la nieve ha llegado a Barcelona y para contrarrestar el frio que mejor que un poco de alegria "retro-futurista" de Parade, la osadia de La Prohibida y otro poquido de "don" :D

Miranda! "Don"
Parade - Metaluna
Parade - Bucle surf
Parade - Robot
Parade - Construye a tus amigos
La Prohibida - My Johnny doesn't come around anymore

Image found in davidszondy


Sounds like Monterrey

I get the best vibe from listening to bands from my hometown, Monterrey, in northern Mexico, and finding no trace of "the Mexican sound". Though I'm not sure what that sound is. I am sure that these bands don't sound like mariachi, or huapango or indigenist crap (as my friend Bx would put it)... probably because we're a three hour drive away from Laredo and McAllen TX.
The songs are still pretty kickass.

Here is my selection, after undergoing gigs, myspaces and slow downloads.

[With this sound, we're definitely proud to be a wildcard]

El desayuno, by Abeja [from Hendersonville EP]
Be in my dreams, by Ruidos en el Techo [from La Musica Moderna EP]
Don't stop believing, by D3ndron
Road to the sea (single version), by Nerv [from Senor con Sanitario EP]
The way the things come & just go, by Club Comfort [from Pyolin Rasguno EP]


Almost Elegant No.2b

To be erotic, the objects of your interest have to be in a state of sexual ease, more dreaming than desiring, lying back nonchalantly, asleep, or miles away, wrapped in some narcissistic concern. They have to have forgotten about you and yet offer themselves to you in some strang way, with a sort of indifferent animalistic, gentle folly and involuntary nakedness. Only the body without desire is truly deserving of pleasure. - Jean Barudrillard, "Cool Memories"

Blonde Redhead - Girl Boy
Eric Von Essen - Blues For Me
Clothesline Revival - Ramblin' Man
Mia Doi Todd - What If We Do
Fortin-Leveille - Nostalgie

image : jclutter

// Magical Whimsical Femmes I -- las troubadourettes (nod to Moka).

This is not folk.
Folk es algo muy terrenal.
Esto es sublime.

.de etereo/from ethereal:

Paavoharju - Valo Tihkuu Kaiken Lap.
Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms.
George - Joy Could Be Here.
Jeff Alexander - Come Wander With Me.
Vashti Bunyan - Here Before.
Diane Cluck - Real Good Time.
The Bangles - Following.
Suzanne Vega - Song Of Sand.

:a mundano/to mundane.

Painting: Caminos Tortuosos by Remedios Varo.

Edit: info on the mps. Paavoharju are some born-again finnish who released a stunning otherworldly album last year. Linda Perhacs is the former hippie/now dentist assistant who got her sole album reissued and deservedly praised a few years ago. George is a Scottish (?) duo who just released a second album (Week of Kindness) some months ago. I got that Jeff Alexander song from The Brown Bunny soundtrack. Vashti Bunyan is... well, almost everywhere nowadays - rubbing elbows with the freakfolkers. Diane Cluck is a coffee shop troubadour from NYC, got that tune from a recent compilation. The Bangles tune is sung by the bass player - Michael Steele, a truly underrated and underappreciated songwriter and the Suzanne Vega one is from 99.9 F, my favorite album of hers.

Kinky Collection V

More kink for your weekend! See you back on monday. Have fun.

Some quick notes: Makrugaik recommended me on the last post this place called Bumrocks which is a new one for me and I must say that this is a true gem of a site worth your visit. Some good underground tunes from the 70's and the 80's, on first look I saw "Macho" by Gabor Szabo in there (one of my fav guitar players) and I was instantly hooked, really, it doesn't take that much to conquer me, just a tune by Mr. Szabo and I'm done. This one goes straight into the sidebar.

I'll be adding a section later on the sidebar called Kinky Collection and it will remain in there until end of February, all the songs on the Kinky Collection 1 will be uploaded again in case you missed them.
Useless fact: last post was number #128, my lucky number.

Santana - jingo
Barrabas - woman
The Budos band - ghost walk
The Incredible bongo band - I can't get no satisfaction
Iggy Pop and the Stooges - shake appeal

Imagen: Nocturno por el pintor hispano, Rafael Zabaleta.


Turn on, tune in, synth down

Cancioncitas de ayer y hoy embarradas de sintetizadores coquetos que me gustan. Increiblemente, una de estas canciones me la ponian en clase de pilates (bueno, la puso la instructora en una clase de las tres a las que fui), a que no me adivinan cual.

Notita cultural: Black Devil es una de esas joyas perdidas de los 80 (1978 para ser exactos) y es un poco dificil de hallar su disco hoy en dia. Si les obsesionan los discos oscuros, la disquera Rephlex (de la cual Aphex Twin es duenio) lo vende en una edicion alterna a la original (quitaron algunos cortes y aumentaron unos remixes que nunca he oido pero me dicen que estan bastante buenos).

Jamas hubiera pensado que desarollaria tal gusto por Kraftwerk al grado de recomendarlos.

Architecture in Helsinki - one heavy february
Kraftwerk - we are the robots
Zongamin - tunnel music
Cut Copy - Saturdays
Black Devil - h friend
Todd Terje - eurodans
The Knife - heartbeats

The image came from Robotmania.


La musique

El frances es, para mi, uno de los idiomas mas dulces y melodicos que he escuchado jamas... Sera por eso y por su gran calidad musical que la musica en frances es mi debilidad.

Mansfield Tya - Pour oublier
Serge Gainsbourg y Brigitte Bardot - Un jour comme un autre
Clothilde - 102, 103
Georges Moustaki - La Meteque

The Image is a Kahlo's photo in Barcelona

Kinky Collection IV

A bit less playful than past Kinky collections. It's a rainy day in my city and I haven't seen my lover as much as I'd want. I still feel these songs are sexy, though.

Barth - banana monday
Suzanne Vega - caramel
The Doors - the spy
Can - she brings the rain
Toots & the maytals - sit right down
Stevie Wonder - boogie on reggae woman

Painting by Modigliani, by the way, just so you'd know I have a poster with this painting in my room.


Quickie on new releases

Ester Drang's LP "Rocinate" was released today through Jade Tree. The cd was produced by Scott Solter (Spoon, mountain goats) and I feel the need to point at the record's production because Solter did a great job working with this excellent post-shoegazer band. Oh, by the way, they were backing musicians for hipster's favorite, Sufjan Stevens, during the Illinois sessions. More info from them at their space.

Ester Drang - valencia's dying dream

Electric President's self titled debut Lp set its release date today at the Morr Label. Organical electronic pop songs which are very enjoyable. They practically came from nowhere and now they're labelmates of wordly known people like Lali Puna and Mum. Pretty Amazing. Oh and the two men on this band are only 21 and 23, I'm very very jealous yet proud. I guess this are the sort of things that happen when you create solid and honest music.

Electric president - insomnia
Electric president - good morning hypocryte

Micah P Hinson will be releasing an EP entitled "the baby and the satellite" later on June 6. The Ep was recorded prior to last year's "and the gospel of progress" during Hinson's lost period. Even further this year he will be releasing some new material, I'll tell you later when I get some more information about this. Noir-country for fans of Will Oldham or Smog.

Micah P Hinson - the leading guy

Nest is a Los Angeles based five piece which delivers an elegant mix of trip hop's ethereal ambience and rock's sexual angst. Highlight from the band is Ayana Havis' voice, her vocals are really seductive,reminds me a bit of Tracy Bonham but I guess that's just me.
Romantic songs with the correct amount of lush instrumentation. Here's a song for your enjoyment:

Nest - ultraviolet

Hey hey my my is a two man folk band from France which create simple folkie-pop masterpieces "too much space" for example, keeps on building and descending for a real nice effect, I just listened to this song a few hours ago while walking around my house and I really think this is good music for housewalks. They get extra points because they took their name from one of my favorite Neil Young songs. More songs at their space.

Hey hey my my - too much space

Baby, it's a wild world

Cuatro canciones que han llenado espacios, dias y meses muy especiales en mi vida. Sin duda, cuatro de las canciones que mas me han hecho sentir :)
Dream Theater - Trought her eyes
Spock's Beard - Wind at my Back
Mr Big - To be with you
Mr Big - Wild world

The image is a Kahlo's self-portrait


Kinky Collection III

Well sort of... anyways, here's the link to the second part of the collection with more kinky tunes for your listening pleasure. Come back wednesday for part four.

Para mas musiquita cachonda (o algo parecido), clicka por aqui. El miercoles les subo una cuarta parte.

Dusty Springfield - spooky
The Meters - handclapping song
Acid House kings - this heart is a stone
Little Barrie - really didn't meant a thing
Squirrel Nut Zippers - pallin' with Al
Cagedbaby - amplified heart

Image from this great blog I found today: Alburart.

// Faca -- Loop It Onwards

Faca is a looper duo from Tijuana/San Diego & Bariloche/Argentina:
Befriend them/Amiguealos:FACA

These are some things that come to my mind while listening to Faca: loopful electrosurf /*/ beach movies, a pair of fashionfriendly sunglasses, an ad for CocaCola starring the Munsters, Speedy Gonzales on magnetized loops, a wilded-up (how I love making up words) Ennio Morricone on cheap speed and PeeWee Herman in that biker bar among others. And what do you think of?

Estas son otras cosas que se me vienen a la mente: una boda de narcos en ranchillo junto al canal, Los Rebeldes del Ritmo del maniana, cheve fresca y sin espuma, el santo en cuello de tortuga, que Faca rima con shaka, un LP de los apson escuchado en reversa, y sobre todo, que Faca es shido y shido es Faca. ¿Y tu/vos en que piensas/pensas?

.:check les mp3 out:.

* I guess these 2 words could sum it up.

Finalist for the Bloggie Awards 2006

I've just received a mail to inform us that "Motel de Moka" is one of 5 finalists at the 2006 Bloggie Awards for the "Best Latin American Blog" category. Thank you very much to the people who nominated this blog and for all the support we've been having since the beginning of this blog. I'm deeply surprised, happy and thankful to those of you who visit this blog.
Go vote now! it will only take you a few minutes, so head over to the bloggies page and support your favorite blogs from around the world which are finalists in 30 different categories. Voting will close at 10:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 31. The winners will be posted sometime between Sunday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 15.
Have a great week.

Motel de Moka es uno de cinco finalistas para los Bloggies 2006 en la categoria de mejor blog latinoamericano! Muy feliz y agradezco a los lectores que hayan nominado al blog y a aquellos que nos que visitan dia a dia desde distintas partes del mundo.

Entren aqui para votar por sus blogs favoritos en 30 diferentes categorias, solamente les tomara unos minutos. La votacion se cierra el Domingo 31 de Enero a las 10 pm y los ganadores se daran a conocer el 13 de Marzo. Muchas Gracias por votar y que se pasen una semana muy sabrosona.


2006 List

Everybody did "best of 2005", so I figure I'd beat the rush and build my yearly list now. Joking aside, there are enough pre-release materials out there to sketch 2006. With little guessing, imagination, and weekend idle time, I bring you a '2006 list'. In 2005, there were two surprises: people liked 'freak-folks' and Thelonious Monk 'Ephistropy' actually made the top chart. Combined with what music blogs already cross-posting, I am making a 2006.

2006 will see a more electric version of freak-folks with Jazzy flavor on top of revival of more soulfull voices. Cat Power, Jenny Lewis, and The Gossip are in there considering the oversize buzz already built up since last year. Point Juncture,WA and The Impossible Shapes are new strong bands with plenty of online buzz. The Dead Science, Women & Children, Patrick Phelan are the obvious choice for the new sound mix. Overall they are surprisingly nice, imo. Crisp, gentle, well executed, with some lingering somber touches as if we all just lost something intangible. 'We are unsure'. Cat Power and Jenny Lewis capture it the best.

So here they are, pre-release, soon to be released, not yet on the market, and little wishfull thinking, I give you the 2006 list. enjoy. (Leave comment so we can look back at the end of the year.)

01. The Dead Science - Threnody
02. Guillemots - Made Up Love Song #43
03. Captain Beefheart - I Love You, You Big Dummy
04. Cat Power - Islands
05. Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins - Happy
06. The Gossip - Listen Up!
07. Point Juncture, WA - Cardboard Box
08. The Impossible Shapes - Pan-Ther
09. Patrick Phelan - Lesser Laws
10. Women & Children - Headless

image : ojoblanco

And it never goes out

Three great versions I love for the excellent and much covered classic song from The Smiths:

Loquat - there is a light that never goes out
The Lucksmiths - there is a light that never goes out
Erlend Oye - Poor leno rmx / there is a light that never goes out

And well, for those of you who've never heard of Loquat, here's another good pop tune played in their usual sultry nostalgic style:

Loquat - swingseat chain

Image by Yamauchi Kazuaki.


my own jazz theater and oum is contemplative

So, last week I watched that Triplettes de Belleville movie, I liked it okay, but my absolute favorite part is there was this zany retro cartoon vaudeville intro with the super catchy theme playing (when i told the people i watched the movie with that was my favorite part they said i "missed the point" of the movie, i guess i agree). Well I want to get the soundtrack but i haven't yet, but thankfully freshman year Oum dated a jazz guitar performance major who copied her like twenty some jazz guitar cd's which she hates cos they don't sing enough. I find the early stuff to be the most charming. So here are some picks of what i been listening to this week. (This stuff is all new to me so any recommendations anyone might have are encouraged/appreciated)

Eddie Condon- Darktown Strutter's Ball
Django Reinhardt- Avalon
Oscar Aleman- Limehouse blues
Josephine Baker- La Petite Tonkinoise (Oum's pick. very cool, thanks)
Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang- Hot fingers (not really the same thing but included anyway)

here's oum's picks.
In Thailand there is a place called the Golden triangle, that is where this music comes from. I don't have much to say about the music except i listen to it in the early mornings and especially bright days and i think it is very beautiful. the song "free trio" is an exception to this though, it is a late night adventure!
These songs come from Music And Songs From The Golden Triangle on the Buda label.

Mr. A-Be-Dme- New Year
Mrs. A-Sa-Ma- My Love
M. Tai-Yae- Free Trio

we hope you enjoy,

image is a photo of Josephine Baker


Desolation and Fantasy

There is something deeply satisfying about jazz. From all music genres, it is perhaps the only one still holding on stubbornly to modern idealism trying to keep finding new harmonic and rythm innovations. The result is amazing, complex rythm, otherwordly harmonic progression (if there is one at all), and musician physicality approaching olympic athlete. The complexity and scale of good jazz pieces lie entirely on other dimension. A soundtrack of a star that goes nova, explosion of music creativity limited only by law of physics. A head trip.

Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - Desolation Sound
Joshua Redman Elastic Band - Lonely Woman
Henry Threadgill and Make a Move - Don't Turn Around
Cassandra Wilson - Run the VooDoo Down
Deerhoof - Apple Bomb

chill down bonus:
Liz Durrett - The Mezzanine

image: Veronika Lake

Rythm's cinema

Cinco canciones, de cinco peliculas totalmente distintas, llenas de personalidad y estilo para empezar con mucho animo un fin de semana lleno de ritmos y en mi caso "entregas" :D

Y ya que estamos por aqui ¿con cual de ellas se quedarian a nivel musical y con cual a nivel general?

(siento no poder escribir los acentos)

ZATOICHI- Keiichi Suzuki - Festivo
HABANA BLUES - En todas partes
FOUR ROOMS - Vertigogo - Combustible Edison
WILLY WONKA - Danny Elfman - Introduction Theme
BROKEN FLOWERS - Greenhornes - There is an End


Miserable folks

Troubled souls create beautiful music. I'm sure you all know Beth Gibbons, Damien Rice and Elliot Smith, they are (were in the case of suicidal elliot) miserable folks that I posted here so I might attract your attention (if you're here for them, then you fell into my trap, muahaha) towards underlooked artists like Micah P. Hinson, Mount Eerie, and Holopaw. I'm not going to go too much into details but I highly recommend you to hear these 3 artists that released records last year that went under my radar, I truly regret it now and I'm very dissapointed at our readers..., why are you not telling me about these great artists? You know what? I'm not posting again until someone recommends me some good music via the comments. I'm serious.

Well, I'd like to tell you about Micah P. Hinson because his story it's too interesting to leave it out; Micah was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household, at the age 19 he met the widow of a notable rockstar (?), a former Vogue cover model. This woman was also his downfall. Hinson started living the very bohemian life full of drugs and alcohol abuse. He was later arrested for forging prescriptions. At only 19 he was homeless and broke. He started working on a telemarketing job and in the meanwhile he started writing songs. After having enough material he teamed up with some friends and recorded "and the gospel of progress". He was 22 when he finally released this album. It makes me sad and humbled to think that I am 20 and I haven't advanced a bit in the ways Mr. Hinson did.

I'm also posting a song from "drums not dead", the new Lp from the Liars which will see the day of light any time soon... surprisingly (or maybe not that much) the song "the other side of mt. heart attack" is calm and sad, not the type of tune you'd expect from this usually hyperactive NYC band. I'm a bit excited about "the liars" so expect me annoying you later with a full post about them.

Damien Rice - cheers darlin'
Elliot Smith - between the bars
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - mysteries
Holopaw - holiday
Micah P. Hinson - stand in my way
Mount Eerie - stop singing
Liars - the other side of mt. heart attack

Image by the very talented photographer, Jan Saudek.


Women + laptops

In a bit of a hurry right now but let's see:
Juana Molina is from Argentina and she's an important Tv comedian there. Rosario Blefari is also from Argentina, she acts, writes poems and runs her own label "fan discos".
Tujiko Noriko's collaboration with Takamasa entitled 28, took 5 years to create and the record was named after their age.
Bjork's "desired constellation" is my favorite track from Medulla, it was produced by Olivier Alary and the overall background textures and pulses are in fact manipulated voices from the icelandic choir.
TBA (Natalie Tusia Beridze) is a Goslab (collective) artist from Georgia and Eglantine Gouzy is a fatcat artist that lives in Paris. Phew... hope I didn't got anything wrong.

Tujiko Noriko & Aoki Takamasa - then the night comes
Bjork - desired constellation
TBA - smashed
Juana Molina - tres cosas
Rosario Blefari - partir y renunciar
Eglantine Gouzy - zone a

Painting: Idyll by Gustav Klimt

// Rollerdisco -- a true dying art...

music to rollerskate to.

.handclapping beats.
.baroque sequences.
.rubbery basslines.

& / o(r)

musica para rolereskatear.

.ritmos aplaudibles.
.secuencias barrocas.
.lineas de bajo chiclosonas.

highly recommended
rollerdiscable tunes.

from sweden: Southside Break Crew: Freshest Jam

from france: Sebastien Tellier: La Ritournelle (Jack Bullit Remix)

from italy: Francisco: 80 Voglia

from norway: Annie: Me Plus One (James Iha Remix)

from france: The Paradise: In Love with You

:appendix nostalgico:

from Roller Boogie: Bob Esty & Cheeks: Electronix (Roller Dancin')

from Xanadu: Olivia Newton-John & ELO: Xanadu

hand in hand in a perpetual circle
as the mirrorball beamed onto your strapless top
we shed our polyester skins
and boogied the night away.


Psicodiscographic Questionnaire - Balun

Balun, is an electroacoustic trio comprised of Angelica, Jose and Andres, that hails from the beautiful Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. Together they create evocative, dreamy songs which apparently are intended to be some sort of children's lullabies (they seem to get really happy when you tell them you got sleepy while listening to their songs). The nice use of melodica, violin, accordion and guitars serves to punctuate the sweetness and softness of their melodies. They will be releasing their first album under the label Brilliante Records this May 2006.

Oh yes, They're pretty hyperactive too... Angelica has released some fragile and melancholic piano melodies under the moniker "Arturo en el Barco" and Andres has a sort of tropical electronic proyect called "Los nervios" proyects which I highly reccomend checking out also.
The three members of Balun agreed to answer some of my questions and I feel the need to point out that those are some excellent electronic records they mentioned out at some of these questions, thanks for the great interview balun!

I guess it's not that cold at Puerto Rico right now, is it? What records have you been listening to this winter?

All:Right now the weather isn't cold, but it can get pretty cold, by our standards, when temperatures drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. But that happens only in a little mountain town called Aibonito, often during the month of December. In San Juan, where we live, the "coldest" it can get is in the 70's degrees kind of range, of course that is during the night.
Andres: Ladytron- Witching Hour, Babasonicos - anoche, Broadcast- Tender Buttons, Tujiko Noriko and Aoki Takamasa- 28, Gustavo Cerati - bocanada.
Jose: Part Chimp - I Am Come, Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase, Static - Re: Talking About Memories, Brothomstates - Qtio, Killing Joke - Night Time.
Angelica: Marsen Jules - Herbstlaub, Ryan Teague - Six Preludes, Psapp - Tiger, My friend, Le Mans - Le Mans, Efterklang - Tripper.

I've found music like yours to be perfect for hangovers and for insomnia (in a good way), do you have any records you love to play at bedtime?

Andres: Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions-Bavarian Fruit Bread, Tujiko Noriko-Make me hard, Flaming Lips- Chewing the Apple of your eye and the song "*****" from Transmissions from Satellite Heart, Oval- Szenariodisk, So- So.
Jose: I really like to listen to music while falling sleep, it's an exercise I've been doing since I started to buy CDs and for that I guess my favorite album would be Autechre's "Tri Repetitae +++ " since it has those excellent long ambient pieces at the end that I really love and make me feel calm and sleepy.
Angelica: Colleen's music is perfect for going to bed. Both "The Golden Morning Breaks" and "Everyone Alive Wants Answers" have something special that make you fall asleep while still listening to the music. I also like going to sleep with Aminamina EP from Amina and with Sigur Ros' "Music for Split Sides". (Moka note: I completely agree.)

Any record to play while walking around your hometown?

Andres: I guess it depends on what mood I'm in. The other day I was listening to Lemans and The Vaselines.
Jose: I really like to listen to Incredibad's "Just 2 Guyz" that song is hilarious but the video is even more funnier.
Angelica: For that I like to listen to our own demos so that I can think of what stuff needs some more work. Just last week I listened to the demo of a new song that we made called "Gente" for about 25,000 times in a row :)

There's an amount of children's music influence on your sound, do you recall the records you heard as children?

Andres: I was a really big fan of Cepillin and the Disney Storybook Records.
Jose: For me not so much really, for the most part it could be the music I learned at school which were mostly Christian songs, I guess that when I was a child I accidentally took a liking to the music that I heard on radio and saw on TV like The Cure, Duran Duran and then early in my pre- teens Nirvana and Sonic Youth and that was the music that impacted me the most during those years .
But yes, whenever the videos for "Dr. Feelgood" by Motley Crue and "Bust A Move" by Young MC came on, naturally I tried to do my best impression of a rockstar or a rap artist using a tennis racket that I tried to pass off as a electric guitar/oversized microphone.
Angelica: I remember listening to Xuxa and to "El Carrusel" (children's soap opera) soundtrack. Jose is the only cool kid in Balun that listened to The Cure and Sonic Youth when he was still inside his mom.

Finally, tell me 5 records you can't live without?

Slowdive - Souvlaki
The Cure - Wish
Autechre - LP5
Cocteau Twins - Garlands
Mum - Finally We Are No One

Tujiko Noriko- Make me Hard
Superaquello- La Emergencia
Beatles- Magical Mystery Tour
Cafe Tacvba- Re
Bjork- Homogenic

Joanna Newsom - The Milk Eyed Mender
Bjork - Homogenic
Dmitri Shostakovich - The Complete String Quartets
Superaquello- La Emergencia
The Arcade Fire - Funeral

Balun - I shouldn't do this
Balun - there's a swimming pool in the cloud
Arturo en el barco - Raymond Dotson
Los nervios - maria, rosa y enyd

Also take a look at their space for more information about them.

Communist ditty, anyone?

No se alarmen todavia, la verdad es que por el momento no pienso seguir ninguna tendencia politica o unirme a algun grupo activista (lo que a mi edad es casi parte obligada del estatus), pero es que esta banda de Croacia que se pusieron el mamerrimo nombre de "no name no fame" tienen esta rolita llamada , de forma tambien medio mamona, "Buena vista fight club" que es facilmente una de las canciones con mensaje politico (escaso porque casi no sale de decir "el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido") mas agradable que he escuchado en buen tiempo. Un downtempo al estilo de Bonobo con unas guittaritas sabor latino y los ocasionales samples comunistas. La cancion duro diez semanas en el numero uno en la cartelera independiente de Croacia. Espero les sea de algun goce.

No name no fame - buena vista fight club

Update: The image is by Jacobo Tarrio. (Gracias por la aclaracion Jacobo)

Lovely classics

Por muy topico-cursi que sea, este post es un tributo a algunas de mis canciones romanticas preferidas... :)

Kim Carnes - Betty Davis eyes
Cassandra Wilson - Time after time
Norah Jones - I don't know why
10000 Maniacs - Trouble me

the image is a Kahlo's self-portrait


mlk day no. 2

First I just want to say how much I have personally been enjoying the motel lately, even more people making better and better posts (check out the new Man Man in Moka's post today!). This music blog has to be the most diverse one out there, so thanks to all the posters.
Well, i hope this post doesn't give you guys an mlk overload. It's quite different. Mine is very literal.
Last year I picked up both Sing for Freedom: Civil Rights Movement Songs and Voices of the Civil Rights Movement Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966 both Smithsonian Folkways releases, and after one listen I shelved them (!!). But I revisited them this weekend after having a (topical) discussion about the 60's civil rights movement with a friend. I still found them to be pretty mediocre releases (don't get me wrong this is one of my favorite times in U.S. history that's why i bought the cd's ) but i picked out a few GEMS (sparkley) to share on this cool holiday (do non usa'ers get off of work today?)
What i find so interesting about the tracks i posted, is when the music becomes more than music but tells the story. My favorite has to be "Governor Wallace" which calls out the famous segregationist from Alabama by name, though this guy was a totally a nasty figure famous for standing in front of a school physically preventing it's desegregation and saying "segregation forever" or something like that the song deals with him in such an unfazed manner, disarming him with their "dooby dooby do's". Details like a group calling themselves the Integration Grooves and singing a goofy educational song about segregation, or throwing some mayor's name into the traditional "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn You Round " make these performances specific, makes the story it can communicate more tangible. Anyways they're good songs at least.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speech
The Freedom Singers- Governor Wallace
Freedom Singers - Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn You Round
Integration Grooves- The A and P Song
Montgomery Improvement Association- Keep Your Hand on the Plow

hope you enjoy,

Indie rock fuzz

If you're a constant traveller of mp3 blogs I'm sure you've heard a lot of times the names "arctic monkeys" and " we are scientists". To be honest I'm not that crazy about indie rock, but these pair have what it takes to conquer me: good beat, originality, snarky attitude and of course, the kinky factor. Plus they're finally releasing their first Lp's this month so I'll use it as an excuse to finally post about them.

The arctic monkeys have already got a lot of buzz everywhere, and they deserve it. Their songs are fun, their music has the right amount of energy and well, I'm giving them extra points for the exquisite british accent. Their first Lp 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' will be released on the 23rd of January.

The arctic monkeys - a certain romance
The arctic monkeys - the view from an afternoon

We are scientists, is another indie rock band I've been addicted to lately. they've received many support from around the music world and the blogosphere, and a few days ago they've released their first LP "with love and squalor" (title that I guess they took from the JD Salinger story with a similar name). Although people keep comparing them with a certain pretentious band called "Morningwood" and even to "Franz Ferdinand", I like this ones far much better, better lyrics and that early 80's sound we've all been obligated to love and worship.

We are scientists - the great escape
We are scientists - cashcow

I'd also like to mention a current favorite of mine, Man man, which is also releasing an album, "six demon bag", next month. Man Man, is a collective of artsy fellows (you know how much we love those type of people around here) whom create some sort of fucked up and addictive swamp jazz style complete with saloon style piano and tiptap percussion. Haven't purchased the release yet but I'm guessing this is going to be my pick for February. Hope you enjoy it too.
Oh, and they have a pretty good surreal video for their song "10lb moustache" that you can watch from their site here. Kudos to the great "are you familiar?" blog for all the support and love he's been directing to this band on the past months.

Man Man - engwish bwudd
Man man - Van helsing boombox

Image by eskimo hunter and print artist "Kiakshuk".

Update: Another one of my favorite blogs, everything is fire, posted about them recently too. Check the post with other two songs from Man man here.

Lazy lazy

Today is a holiday here in the US, and while celebrating one of the greatest teachers in our nation's history by taking a day OFF from school/work is a bit questionable, there is nothing debatable about sleeping late on a Monday, watching a 4 hour marathon of the 24 tv show, and listening to some smooth vacation jams.

If you haven't heard of Antena, now you have. From the early 80's in France, these electro-samba pioneers sound like a beautiful mix of Stereolab and Joy Division. I highly recommend their recent reissue on the Numero Group label.
Antena - Camino del Sol

Another recent gem is Kingsbury Manx's "Harness and Wheel" off of their album The Fast Rise and Fall of the South. I can't quit listening to these North Carolina boys' newest record; a perfect recording and a beautiful cover to boot. For fans of the Beatles, Fruit Bats, or even Calexico.
The Kingsbury Manx - Harness and Wheel

One for the road: "Composure" by B. Fleischmann. From his new album...I've been listening to this guy's simplistic but pleasing music for years. Many roadtrips have been graced by his little beats and piano loops and affection for making the most melodic of songs into a noise feast. His new album has added usage of guitar which I think works quite nicely.
B. Fleischmann - Composure

p.s. photo again by Sara, as so many of you liked the last one.


The power of music and words to express what has been lost. Now is the time. Silence is betrayal.

" Freedom is still the bonus we receive for knowing the truth " - mlk

Martin Luther King - Apathy (Peter Gabriel remix)
Kaskade - My Time [alt. d/l]
Martin Luther King - Applauded (Peter Gabriel remix)
Herbaliser - Song For Mary

image : emdot


Psicodiscographic Questionnaire - The attorneys

The first time I heard of "The Attorneys" was with the demo song, "Lonely guy", after several listens, I found the tune got stuck in my head all day long and I discovered, to my surprise, that I wasn't annoyed a bit for the fact that I couldn't get it out of my brain, the song channels and creates some sort of 60/70's rock sound and you know what? I just can't help loving raw pure rock and roll! We need more bands like this one, no more studio trickery or pretentious champagne dreams, give us back our pure and simple rock.

They've finally dropped their 19 song debut on us, which is divided into two parts entitled "sparrow gardens/pencil factory". The first part, sparrow gardens, was recorded on sea, well, on a recording studio which was installed on the boat, USS Winged Lady. "Sparrow Gardens" is the search of "The attorneys" for their sound and on the other hand "Pencil Factory" finds them already established on a catchy 80's rock sound aesthetic and rocking with conviction.
Keep an eye on this guys.

Well then, I was honored to interview John Wlaysewski, the diverse guitarrist from this up and coming band, many of his top records are also hitting my list too. Thanks for your time and your music John! Oh yeah, and I also love "Discipline" by Crimson.

While listening to your songs I've noticed a huge amount of influences on the music and your guitar playing. Is there any record that has influenced you the most?
Stylistically, my guitar playing changed very much after I was introduced to Sunnyday Real Estate's LP2 and "How It Feels To Be Something". These are 2 very textured cd's that still rock when they need to . I also get a lot of influence from King Crimson's Discipline album and The Police's Regatta De Blanc... I would say recently that a great Elliot Smith tune also helps me to inject emotion into my chord choices.

I love to play music while making breakfast, do you have any "cooking" album?
My cooking album's are both Tom Waits' "rain dogs" and Norah Jones's "Feels like Home" cd.

How about one for long trips or for driving?
Hmmm.. I always end up putting in "Long strange trip", a double album collection of Grateful Dead tunes. Something about their boogie makes road trips instantly happy.

I'm just very curious about this one, any favorite sexy records or songs?
That would have to be Jeff Buckley, Grace. Though I've found myself entwined in passionate embrace on more than one occasion to Enya's Shepherd Moon's album. Embarassing, I know, but with candles and a darkly lit room, it is quite an amorous experience, transcendent even.

This is the question where I ask you about your 5 records to take with you on a desert island.
OK Computer, Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, Darkside of the Moon, Discipline (King Crimson), Smile ( Brian Wilson). On a desert island I need to bring albums that reveal nuance everytime I put them on. I love music that can't be boiled down to formula, and these 5 consistently have new things to say.

The Attorneys - the way I want
The Attorneys - lonely guy

You may also want to check their space for songs and tour dates. Oh, and that guy in the picture is none other than Mr. Wlaysewski.


// Album -- prophets elsewhere, they say

From Monterrey, Mexico to the rest of the world:

Befriend Them/Amiguealos.

Auto-defined: third world 21st century electronic rock.

RIYL - recommended if you like / RSGD: recomendado si gustas de:
The Beta Band, Simian, Radiohead, Cafe Tacuba, Secret Machines,
Bobby Birdman, Plastilina Mosh & beatlesque bands.

They played SXSW last year, (something that got them written about on The NY Times), they've been played on KRCW a few times, and yet most mexicans don't know about them.

They are independent in as many ways as possible. For better or worse, that is. Working as one talented collective head. All of them songwrite. All of them arrange each other's songs. Each one of them has specific non-musical-but-related-to-it chores. And more important each one of them has a very specific songwriting style.

Eureka Son - their first album, (which you can dl completely from Album) is majestic, euphoric, moving and sweeping, from loopedback glitchhappy songs, to short acapellish vignettes, the record climaxes around ten times in its 60-minute-course.

But there are some new-news at last, Album are about to release their sophomore record: Microbricolages, through the neolioness label Happy Fi, which will be distributed domestically through EMI (sorry but in this case domestically means Mexicanly).

Yet the best news are, for those of us impatiently waiting to listen to the new record, next monday (January 16th), Album will be streaming the new record through their website all day long, so I highly recommend you make sure to check it out.

And finally, the band was kind enough to share with us some of the new songs, and so, here we have a couple of exclusive tracks from the forthcoming, and some highlights from Eureka Son.

(H-R //mp3)

from forthcoming Microbricolages:
Es Facil (the lazerfunky first promo-single) &
Tractos (a cottoncandish MOKA-EXCLUSIVE track)
Fastidiar (a beatlesque/glitchhop MOKA-EXCLUSIVE track)

Para Carrie (a lost & lovely orphan song)

from debut Eureka Son (again - you can dl the whole album plus outtakes from Album):
Despues (an Enoesque lullaby)
2/3 (Beta Bandeados)
Hormigas (these are sublime vocals).

Additional Reading:
R.E (Espaniol)
3hive (English)

The Supreme Illusion

An impressionistic list with minimal vocal mixed with ambient, jazz and downtempo. It starts slow and builds mood with heavy downtempo beat peaking with Ani sings her magic. The list then moves on to trance/downtempo beat again. Altho' it might be a downtempo/danceable list, this list really doesn't have sustained beat since it tries to deliver message and impression instead of rythm. The beat is just a device. The message hopefully is visible. Some notes on songs: Amina is an icelandic quartet ala Sigur Ros, A Guy Called Gerald is a Parisian downtempo DJ, and DJ Krush is a japanese DJ with a penchant of mixing jazz into his tune.

Tuu - All Our Ancestors
Ravi Coltrane - Search For Peace
Ani DiFranco - Evolve
DJ Krush - Edge of Blues
A Guy Called Gerald - Humanity (Original)
Amina - Skakka

image : daito

Update: A Guy Called Gerald is from Manchester, England. (sorry to all the great folks in Manchester. And thank you anon for updating me.)

Cartoons animados

Aqui estan algunas de las canciones que mejor me se desde pequeña, no puedo escucharlas sin sonreir :D

Dragones y Mazmorras
Los autos locos
Los Diminutos

Image: Kahlo's autoportrait


Artists giving away full records

I know I said I'll see you tomorrow but I no longer feel like going out today, so I'll just hang around here and swallow some sleeping pills later to sleep away the next part of the day.
I've wandered around the web these past days and I've found various artists that been giving their whole records on their webpages. Here's my personal recommendations for these free records I found while lost:

First, we have Seabear. I read about this icelandic fellow some 4 months ago and his songs have grown on my since then so much. The release starts hinting at the pretty melodies of mum with the opening song, "do you still like scarecrows?" but then the release shifts from the warm opening to the cold acoustic passages of "I need a home for my hands and my head" to the atmospheric beauty of "midori green". The 9 track Ep is a loner. Forlorn music that gets along very well with cold weathers. A keeper.

Seabear - do you still like scarecrows?
Seabear - midori green
Download the whole album here.

The Caretaker's "Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia" is a collection of 72 sinister ambient pieces, and contrary to what you may think, most of the releases has no fillers and it makes a noteworthy listen. Fans of Merzbow or Boards of Canada might want to check this one out. It's a bit time consuming to go through all the songs but it wont cost you anything after all.

The caretaker - memory 12
The caretaker - memory 21
The caretaker - memory 26
Download the whole album here.

And finally, Saw. Their release "the yellow light" is a collection of soft warm acoustic lullabies that will surely become my best friend this night. The subtle sensuality on the songs might very well be the product of the duo's french nationality. Of course by sensuality I mean it in a "surrogated sex" kind of sensuality.

Saw - hiding in corners
Saw - through the fire
Download the whole album here.

Sleepy time... and that image is apparently by some Renoux.


Classes started this week. My god, I'm studying marketing and yet, I feel so tired... what a shameful person I've become... I need to start jogging or doing some physical activities.
This is post number 100th (I'm woohooing behind the screen). Didn't thought we were going to make it this far, I'm deeply grateful. Thank you.

There's two new members at the blog: Squashed, whom you've already met and who sometimes writes for this blog. And Gil, a friend from Sonora who hasn't posted yet but he's very supportive of the mexican indie scene and I like that. He'll be probably writing in spanish... and well, he hasn't told me that much of the material he'll be posting around here but thrust me, he has a fine ear, and sometimes, he makes music so I guess he's as obsessed about good tunes as anyone around here.

I'm off to the coffeeshop, see you tomorrow. If your gypsy heart is on fire I think you'll enjoy the next selections:

Lhasa de sela - la celestina
Devotchka - such a lovely thing
Devendra Banhart - luna de margarita
Paul Duncan - you look like an animal
Laura Veirs - fire snakes
Jolie Holland - sascha
Bia - coeur vagabond
Coralie Clement - samba de mon coeur qui bat

Image by Robert Boynes.


As is

Hay canciones que me gusta escuchar a solas... en mi habitacion. Bueno... a solas sola no ;)

Ani di Franco - As is
Regina Spektor - Ne me quitte pas
Javier Alvarez - De aqui a la eternidad
Carla Bruni - L'excessive

Kahlo's bear photo


Little Love for the Moderns

Little fun with modern classic. I have this theory that the reason all modern classic sounds like Alfred Hitchcock soundtrack has something to do with context. Modernity goal of constructing new structure ends up creating something with no social context. Hence modern atonal works such as Schoenberg's sounds alien. That is the very thing that hollywood horror movie looks for. The result? To the public modern classics all sounds like horror movie soundtrack.

So here is a grandiose idea, let's have fun listening to the moderns by recontextualizing them. Cross your fingers. Below is a short list of my fav pieces. Instead of abstract excercise, let's declare all these pieces to have some stories: functional film music, memory of a friend, exercise of musical composition, and height of pleasure. People and their expressive thoughts. Enjoy.

Phillip Glass - String Quarter No. 3 (Mishima)
Arthur Honegger - Hommage à Ravel
Arnold Schoenberg - Gigue Suite for piano op. 25
John Zorn - Forbidden Fruit

Painting by Kandinsky

I hate and I love...

I'm trying to force my brain into thinking it's cold. It's really not working. I live in Miami these days, and the idea that this is called winter is somewhat disturbing. It was over 80 degrees today. How am I supposed to listen to all of my favorite winter tunes when the weather just doesn't match. Perhaps if I could get a gray sky for a day or two, then I could turn down the air conditioning real low, put on a coat and stay inside. In the meantime, my current plan is to continue listening to these winter favorites, old and new:

First, Johann Johannsson's "Odi et Amo" from his debut solo album on Touch, Englaborn. This album is an absolute stunner start to finish, and perfect for watching the light gray turn to dark gray during a missing sunset. If you ever wondered if computers have feelings...look no further than this song.

Second, Labradford's "Up To Pizmo" from their last album fixed::content on Kranky. If you've ever been in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the dead of winter on a road trip with nothing to do but shoot super 8mm film of empty parking lots and run down tobacco factories, then you just found the soundtrack to the film you made. A beautiful guitar duet from an under-appreciated band.

Finally, a new wintry discovery from Bologna, Italy (it's 28 degrees right now in Bologna, I checked). 3/4HadBeenEliminated is the name of the band, and I recently got their new album "A year of the aural gauge operation" on the Swedish label, Hapna. This is an excerpt from one of their longer tracks. I highly recommend tracking this album down; it's like a mix of This Heat, Fennesz / Philip Jeck, Blithe Sons, and the Bonnie Prince Billy team up with Marquis de Tren from Dirty Three. This is the sound of falling asleep near a fireplace whose contents have been reduced to embers.

Johann Johannsson - Odi et Amo
Labradford - Up To Pizmo
3/4HadBeenEliminated - In Every Tree A Heartache (excerpt)

p.s. photo by my wife, Sara.


For Laisy

Since the whole chillout boom began, we've been overcrowded with cheap light bossa which doesn't come from brazil and gets a lot of overproduction at someone's studio somewhere in north England.
I must confess with a little shame that I love the brazilian sound revival, even when the music doesn't quite swing as real bossa nova and samba does, but, every now and then we get to hear some really sexy songs that succeed on recreating the traditional bossa and samba feel.
Take nouvelle vague, for example, sure, they get boring after a few listenings, but wont you agree their take on the great classic punk song "teenage kicks" is quite noteworthy? Or maybe the mosquitos, whose mix of bossa and indie pop definitely makes a fun cocktail bedroom listen. Even more succesful is Cabaret Diosa, capturing an authentic raw carnival feel for the purists and the not so purists like myself. By the way, about that Amon Tobin song, people keep asking me if it's the "bebel gilberto's song", the answer is, No. Bebel Gilberto just started singing on top of it and renamed it as "samba da bencao", similar to the thing Bjork did with the beautiful "heirloom" song, which is in fact, just Bjork singing on top of "Crabcraft" from Console. Speaking of her, I'm hoping that Grisbi cover suits your daily needs of bjork-esque music. Enjoy.

Cabaret Diosa - comet samba
Nouvelle Vague - teenage kicks
The sea and cake - darkest night
Fingathing - you fly me
The mosquitos - boom box
Amon Tobin - Nova
Grisbi - army of me
Yo la tengo - center of gravity
Cocktail Angst - bates motel

Today's post is dedicated to the loving memory of Laisy. A tus ojazos negros Laisy, que siempre se quedan en la memoria.


3 artists I overlooked on 2005

There's many great music that was released on 2005 which I didn't got the chance to hear until now. The thing is; there's 3 artists that released records on 2005 that I'd like to mention, because I used to made bad publicity while talking about their past efforts, wont happen again, a sincere apology for all the damages caused...

The Fiery Furnaces - rehearsing my choir
Download: The garfield e!

Well, to be honest, I still find this album just awful and horrendously executed and I still loathe this band and I still don't get the press surrounding them. But, after listening closely to the album-opener, "The garfield E!", my hate towards this band was instantly diminished. Just listen to that romantic opening with the vocalist commanding to his piano: "Faster, hammers!" and then starts talking about his lost love. It's quite beautiful, actually.

Beck - guero
Download: Scarecrow
Download: earthquake weather

When I first heard this album, I thought it made a tedious listen and didn't offered anything new. And, well, I still feel this way about "guero" and his remixed son "guerolito" but then, there's some few tracks which are fairly interesting or at least fun to listen to on this record like: the samba influenced "missing", the sparse and swampy, "scarecrow" or the blue souled "earthquake weather" among others. Not his best album (maybe the worst) but still I'd like to mention it because I have been seriously overlooking Beck since his past 4 albums when he's been such a good boy to all of us.

Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow
Download: Santa Maria da Feira
Download: I feel just like a child

After listening to a few songs on "rejoicing in the hands" and "el nino rojo" I dismissed Devendra Banhart as an opportunist trying to take advantage of the growing "freak-folk" scene, for me, he was being willfully bizarre (how does that work?). I didn't got close to "cripple crow" even when I saw it on various year-end lists and some reviewers kept telling everyone how good it was. Then came the song "Santa Maria da feira" and I decided to give him a second chance that I don't regret.
That raw, solitaire and whining artist I hated is long gone... his songs have become more elaborated, his arrangements are precise and he's being backed by a band of musician friends which call themselves "The hairy fairies". And you know the thing that amazed me the most? His take on bohemian latin music is quite good (he even covers a classic Simon Diaz ditty), not to mention his impeccable accent. A very nostalgic trip to the newness that brought the eastern hippieness for those of us who weren't there... highly recommended, I'm very sorry for ignoring this one before,... Oh yes, and I love the eerie group photo on the cover.

Update: Adding the very nice mexican mp3 blog Sonorama to the sidebar. Can't believe this was under my radar for so long. Take a look, great layout and even if you don't understand anything on the site, download some great quality songs from many mexican indie artists.
Muy buen trabajo!