Near theÂ beginning of September '06 I pitched a show idea on bilingual bands, to feature Los Abandoned.
Â I had discovered them in early August '06 through doing album reviews for Urban Latino Magazine.Â
The best thing about reviewing albums is free music (yay), and I probably wouldn't have ever bought this album on my own. But I digress...
At the time that IÂ reviewing Mixtape,Â I wasÂ regularly attending the brainstorming meetings and bringing new show ideas each time. Since I had only been with MTV News for two months at that point, I didn't thinkÂ my ideasÂ were being taken that seriously. So in October when I was told that my bilingual bands show had been green lit, I was more than a little psyched.
..Because of all the other projects I have been working on, it didn't really occur to me until todayÂ how long it has taken from theÂ time I came up with the idea to when they actually beganÂ production on it. Multiple projects are in the works here constantly, so I figured it might have been lost in the shuffle despite the fact that people seemed to really be into the idea.Â ...But today Los Abandoned is being interviewed and their show is being covered at the Troubadour, and this along with other awesomeÂ *surprises* will be included in the upcoming MTV News feature on Bilingual Bands.
I don't want to give away what the show will cover (besides the obvious topic), but I will say that compiling research for this show gave me a lot more insight into the bilingual music scene, and I ended up discovering a new local favorite - ZIMGAT.
The lead singer, Monica Rodriguez, sings in both English and Spanish. This band rocks! I saw them perform back in December at the NYRemezcla launch party, which I attended to gain further insight intoÂ bilingual/latino culture. The crowd was dancing like crazy and although it was super dark, I shot footage that I plan on uploading someday ;P.
So, Los Abandoned will soon be reaching a much wider audience and it will be neat to hear back from viewers what they think about this band, and the bilingual music scene in general. Los Angeles andÂ Austin have thriving scenes but it will be cool to hear from areas that you wouldn't normally think such a scene would exist.
After the jump I'm going to include some of the extensive research I did on bilingual bands (along with the NYC Latino alt music scene)... I think that the best part about researching anything is that although you may not use all the info you find, it's great fun to learn new things in the process... (WARNING: copied and pasted from various emails in a disorderly fashion)
A great resource for bilingual culture: http://holamun2.com/
They also have a myspace page: www.myspace.com/mun2
...N.O.R.E released a bilingual album recently, and the video MAS MAIZ w/Fat Jose is in spanish and english and features all kinds of Latino artists. It's also pretty cool because it represents different types of Latinos (puerto rican, columbian, dominicanos, mexicanos, etc.)
Â Plastilina Mosh
In many words, their sound is a combo meal of '60s sleazy-listening, '70s disco/funk, '80s punk/new wave, and '90s hip hop all microwaved to perfection. Mixing English and Spanish lyrics, their songs perfectly reflect a kind of bordertown internationalism - like some hip cantina with CNN and MTV satellite-dished in. In one word? Sleazydiscofunkpunknewwavehiphop.
Los Super Elegantes
Los Super Elegantes are a unique punk-mariachi-hip-pop group from Los Angeles (via Tijuana and Buenos Aires). Milena Muzquiz and Martiniano Lopez-Crozet founded the group in 1995 and have mixed original music with theatrical stage improvisations in amusing live performances. Featured in Index, Interview, ArtForum and the Fader, their 2002 album "Channelizing Paradise" was praised for its quirky, entertaining riffs, and they performed in 2004 as part of the Whitney Biennial in New York and in the Frieze Art Fair in London. Los Super Elegantes have played with Beck, done a version of Nirvana's "Rape Me" in French, DJ'd throughout Europe and North and South America, and have received significant airplay on Indie 103.1, WFMU, and KCRW, on which they played live in 2001. The band is currently working on a new album that will be released in 2007.Brazilian Girls
Building and expanding upon their signature polyglot sound, front-woman Sabina Sciubba alternates between five different languages on the albumâ€”English, German, French, Italian, and Spanishâ€”often delivering this melting pot of languages in one sentence. In keeping with the bandâ€™s combination of glamour and humor, Sciubba declares, "The future of this planet as we know it, the human and animal kingdom, and the plants, depends solely on this record. Youâ€™re welcome."Manic Hispanic (punk)
Manic Hispanic came together in the early-1990's as part of a work release program. The idea was formed by OC Probation Officer Freddie Gomez,"I thought if I could keep these guys on a stage, they would stay out of trouble on the streets."
Enjambre is a four-piece rock band from Anaheim, California. Their sound is the bastard son of Grunge and 60's rock, with a dose of macabre-pop. In describing the band's music, OC Weekly wrote "Sometimes they'll ballad you ... Or they'll out-Weezer Weezer for emo wimpiness, afterward straight-edging you ... Or they'll come straight out of The Wizard of Oz with a bizarre oompa-loompa song that has you scanning the sky for winged monkeys."
Groups/Websites to research: (IN PROGRESS)
Sonidos (Sounds) is a series of quarterly, one-hour television specials dedicated to the music that Latinos and the whole world enjoy. Sonidos features profiles and rare interviews with artists that are hot and selling records worldwide by tapping into both Latino and non-Latino audiences.
The West Los Angeles-based cable television channel offers a look at the different genres of Latin music and what its staff considers a more accurate portrayal of Latinos in L.A.
Tu Ciudad Magazine - (featured Los Abandoned on their cover recently)
The August/September issue of Tu Ciudad Magazine, the English-language guide to Latino L.A., has now hit the newsstands. The 20-page music showcase delves into the world of L.A.â€™s local Latin music scene featuring articles and profiles on trendsetters and tastemakers including Academy-Award winning producer Gustavo Santaolalla, local guitar hero Dave Navarro, and electronica-alternative rock favorites, Kinky.Websites:
Details: We can identity potential bilingual music fans by contact music venues that support their scene. We can also browse profiles on myspace of bilingual music fans. Los Abandoned's friends list on myspace contains many bilingual music fans. Below is an example of a young latina bilingual music fan:
Details: These articles might inspire us to track down other information or provide us with insight into other areas.
(Details: I love this album. It is sung in English and Spanish. It reminds me in part of one of my favorite movies: Swing Kids.)
Â Spanglish, the Media, and My Niece
Bilingual Music Is Breaking Down Cultural Barriers
Â Perez Hilton on Los Abandoned
â€¦ Perez Hilton raves about Los Abandoned (the band I had been talking about since Feb)