Music is bringing me to Mexico City this weekend. I’ll have time to dig around some of the megacity’s great bookstores in addition to parrandeando.
So, dear reader, can you recommend me some good books to check out? My Spanish-language contemporary fiction bookshelf has a lot of dudes in it — much as I love Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Cesar Aira, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Yuri Herrera, etc — I’m particularly curious about recent writing by women. And yes, Rita Indiana’s new novel Nombres y Animales will be published next week! My Mudd Up Book Clubb reading list gives you an idea of what’s up my alley. OK gracias.
I am off to Mexico City, Distrito Federal, to perform at the Vive Latino festival this weekend. DF is without a doubt one of the world’s most incredible cities — friend visiting for the first time just wrote me: “Such an incredible place, oozing with humanity from every opening… the hustlers, the colors, the shrines everywhere, the highway underpasses playing midi classical music, those guys in the official outfits playing those weird piano boxes from another century…”
Adding to the already overloaded megalopolis, Vive Latino has created a massive musician vortex with many good friends in town: Helado Negro, Ceci Bastida, Sonido Martines, Javier Estrada, Boogat, DJ Rashad, Chancha Via Circuito, and more will perform. I’m particularly excited to be on a lineup with legendary sonidero soundsystem Sonido La Changa!
A 30-minute mix of â€œcumbia cumbia, not nueva cumbiaâ€ that was previously only available at a NYC taco shop. My man Talacha gets on the mic as sonidero.
I used all cumbias purchased in Brooklyn, so it skews heavily towards cumbias poblanas, mexican cumbias, tunes made in the States. Shoutouts include: Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, New Jersey, Virginia, Baltimore, Las Carolinas, Ellayâ€¦ kinda functions as a map of where Mexicans are strong in the US! Thereâ€™s no tracklist but thatâ€™s OK because everyone is always shouting out their name anyhow…
This mix was originally available as a physical-only CD at a taco shop in the East Village, along with another 30minute mix by Sonido Martines. Here’s the post on that.
Stream or download:
If you’re hungry for more of this stuff, you are in luck, as cumbias are almost always close at hand in the Americas… For starters, the 2009 Cumbia Mix I did for Rob Da Bank’s BBC1 radio show remains popular, and my 2008 Fader Magazine feature article on cumbia remains a good introduction the genre as well as what it’s like to speed around Buenos Aires with Damas Gratis’ frontman Pablo Lescano.
Texas-bound! The JEMD crew and I are heading south to present the Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner at a free performance in Austin on Friday March 7. Info. It’s always a pleasure to work with pianists Emily Manzo and David Friend, and vocalist Arooj Aftab — all heard on the album version of the project — and we look forward to doing our thing live. This is pre-SXSW madness, although arriving early to insure seats is probably a good idea. The show is being presented by the good folks at Texas Performing Arts and the Church of the Friendly Ghost.