Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Sum up

Posted: May 14, 2011 in Mexico

This should sufficiently sum things up:

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Last Day in MX City!

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Mexico, Uncategorized

So the last few days have been a total whirlwind. A couple of days ago we spent the whole day (like, the WHOLE day, 830a-9p) in the studio recording a bunch of Todd’s new arrangements of American Folk music. And by folk music, of course, Todd means songs like Little Boxes, Heroin, Gratitude, Nothin’ But a G Thang, and others that span genres and decades of American music. (no, I am not joking about G Thang).

Some of the stuff turned out very cool and I am excited to see what comes of the recordings. Todd will take them to some place in the states (probably Schutte’s) to be mixed and pieced together.

Fun times will be had.

Since my last post we’ve played jazz clubs, bars, little stages that fit 20 people in the room, and a Film Club Cafe that was literally bursting at the seems with people. We haven’t played to a dull crowd yet and it has kept us on our toes night after night, playing the music and playing our hearts out. What a blast!

I said it before, but I’ll say it again. Playing in Mexico is unlike any experience I have ever had. The people are so receptive to the music. Whether Hernon is play one of the nastiest grooves you’ve every heard, or whether we’re all just playing weird stuff and freely improvising, the people love it. And they let us know that they love it. It really doesn’t get much better than this, I imagine.

Last night we played a very cool Spanish Culture building that is a meusem of sorts, funded by the Spanish government. We got to play to a huge crowd on a nice stage. The show was free admittance, so it was packed to the brim.

I had my first margarita since coming to Mexico last night. I love tequila, and I’ve never had anything so wonderful in my life. Can’t wait to get to Cabo and drink those babys like they’re water! On second thought, I’d better drink water like it’s water and tequila like it’s tequila, otherwise my little post tour vacay is going to be rough.

Today, we’re off to Guadalajara to play in Alberto’s home town. There is apparently a changing of the guard that I must see there, my wife’s Mexican students in the States tell me, and there is no doubt a big crowd of people waiting for us to blow there minds. It will happen.

After that it’s a couple more cities, and Alberto Todd and I fly to Cabo to play a couple gigs and relax in the sun. My wife is coming own and Todd, Jana and I will be playing Todd’s regular Wednesday gig. Should be a blast, and Jana is looking forward to making her Mexico debut!

We’ve taken tons of videos, and Alberto has taken some great photos. As soon as Todd gets it in him to cut up all that video, I’ll make sure to post some more here.

Here’s to my last day in the great city of D.F.! One last walk around town, one last set of tacos on the street, one last booglegged copy of Lie To Me, one last fake pair of Ray Bans, one last…need I go on?

BTW, I had cow cheek and cow tongue yesterday evening from a street vendor here in the city. Yeah, I totally did. And I am totally living to talk about it. So far.

It’s hard for me to fully capture how much I am enjoying Mexico City, or D.F. as the locals call it, in a blog post. I apologize for the erratic posting schedule as I have spent just about every day out on the town walking around, taking photos, eating the amazing food, and slowing catching on to the language. It’s pretty amazing how fast you can begin to understand conversations that are going on around you, even if you can’t speak much.

The dudes in the band have become my outlet for learning new words, and phrases you don’t learn in Spanish class. Not really naughty stuff, just slang and words that people use to describe music. Chingon is one such word. Not sure if I am spelling that right, but I know how to say it. It’s a word that pretty much means, “so killing” or “Fricking Great” or something like that. It’s a powerful word that the young kids say to me after the shows. Feel kind of uncool describing it here, so consider yourselves in the loop.

I can’t believe how many people come out to see the music in this country. We played a show last night at Zinco Jazz Club here in DF and the place was packed, even with a $250 or $25 American cover. That’s big money out here. I can go to the store and buy a bunch of candy, two drinks and some milk for $4, so a packed house for $25 is really saying something about what people value down here. The people will go crazy for the music. They erupt mid-solo when Hernan is crashing on the drums and Todd is wailing on the guitar. It’s a pretty amazing experience.

And the people have been so nice! It’s obvious that I don’t speak Spanish. I think it’s the way I look at someone when they are speaking to me in Spanish, kind of quizzical. I’m concentrating very hard on what they are saying to try to understand, but I think it comes across as a deer in headlights look. Pretty funny. Anyways, they notice and adjust the speed at which they speak and even speak English if they can.

Musically, I couldn’t be happier. I am sure I speak for Todd and the rest of the dudes too, because I can feel it. We’re really gelling as a band and playing with such fire every night. The music can be wild and it can be subtle and beautiful, and I think our audiences are seeing that as well.

Today we drive an hour away to play another show out of town. The first out of town show was in a beautiful little town called Puebla, Chelula. We played at a jazz club there with a packed house and a very enthusiastic audience. See for yourself:

Alberto, my own personal guide to all things Mexican and all around great guy told me yesterday, and keep in mind that Alberto is not a jazz musician, “If God exists in music, Bitches Brew is it. It’s everything.” I found that to be such a beautiful statement of truth in music, and found in an unlikely place. We were listening to this music video when he said it.

Below are some photos from the last few days. We’ll have more video soon!

First Hit in MX

Posted: April 28, 2011 in Mexico

The first gig in Mexico City was at the New Orleans Jazz Club. It was a cool place in what used to be a small town outside of the city. It has grown so much it seems to be bursting at the seems. Before the gig, Mark, Todd, Alberto and I all walked around the little town. Mark and Alberto made up some stories about the history of the town, clearly taking advantage of the gullible Americans. There was something about a man addicted to heroin who hung out in this park 100 years ago or something…I don’t know, it didn’t make sense. They’re not very good at creative story telling. (more…)

Mexico City

Posted: April 27, 2011 in Mexico

YO!

We’re in Mexico City enjoying the sunshine.  Todd and I made it to the hotel safely. We had a chance to meet up with Mark at the Black Horse last night for a jazz show. I sat in. It was fun. My extremely limited amount of Spanish has caused me to be just about attached at Todd’s hip the whole time we’ve been down here. I’ve been showering regularly so as to not offend him. He’s been gracious in sharing his knowledge of the Spanish language, and translating everything everyone says for me always. He’s got to be annoyed, he’s just good at hiding it.

I studied French in high school and college. Fat lotta good that does me now, eh? I’ll catch on, just might be another couple of days.

The City is beautiful. Palm trees, sunshine, millions of people, monuments, sinking buildings, street vendors (that’s the nice way of putting it, I think)…I’ve really been having a blast checking out the City.

Todd, Mark and I will be meeting up with the rest of the band tonight at the New Orleans Jazz Club here in MX City. We’re totally pumped to hit the stage and play this music again, and with some different faces (for me at least). It makes the whole musical experience fresh.

Now, I’m off to walk the City again. I might sit with my Spanish book for a minute first.

All for now!