Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nahtabisk*, Mexican new wave!

 Several months ago, I picked up this 12" ep by Nahtabisk* on the recommendation of a friend. The record was self-released by the band in 1984, and according to the all-knowing interwebs, it seems the band did little else. The contact information the back of the record suggests they were from Mexico City, although I can't be sure.

 This synth-driven punk/new wave record is a fairly interesting listen. Musically, it reminds me of fairly simplistic early punk, except it is all electronic. The vocals, unfortunately, are very pedestrian and uninspired, but I like listening to this every now and then for the music alone.

Check out the tracks here:

1. Frio escalofrio
2. Buscando un trabajo
3. La dama de probeta
3. Así es...!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In defense of piracy

In light of recent events, I thought I would re-post something I wrote over three years ago. I am not defending the owners of Megaupload or anyone who makes a profit from piracy. What I am defending are blogs like Holy Warbles, one of the greatest music blogs to have graced the internet that is now gone.

"Music is primarily an art form, not just a product to be consumed. I mean this in two ways. First, the logic of music creation follows that of other art forms, literature, painting, sculpture, theatre, etc., not the logic of supply and demand. Music has always been and will always be created as a form of expression regardless of the economic circumstances surrounding its distribution.  Artists create because they have to create, not because it is profitable. Writers continued to write, painters continue to paint, musicians continue to play, not because they know they will receive a paycheck every two weeks, but because of something inside them that requires this form of expression. Second, the enjoyment of art should not require certain financial resources, much like public sculptures and murals, free access to public libraries, taking pictures of anything found or created that one considers art, etc. Art has been maintained in various ways, including certain styles of music (i.e. jazz, classical) not because it is profitable, but because it is considered something valuable, something that represents the beauty and the absurdity within us all. 

"Free access to museums and galleries (in many places), and free access to books through libraries has not destroyed other forms of art. Why has it come to the point where free access to music has been considered a crime? The absurdity of this crime becomes all the more incomprehensible when we view music as art, not as a capitalist product with a copyright. The fight to restrict music to those who can pay has a striking similarity to those who ban books, to authoritarian regimes who restrict internet access and censor cultural production. Is music revolutionary? Music can be powerful, but I’m not so idealistic to think the message of music will destroy the dominant forms of power. What are they afraid of?

"For years, music has been available for free through public libraries, although the selection was somewhat restricted due to budgetary and other constraints. Libraries have not killed music, artists still create, labels still produce music, people still attend concerts. Home taping was considered the death knell of music in the 80s. But surprise! music is still around.  

"Think about what it is that libraries provide to our societies. I can go to the library, check out a book, read it, return it, and never have to pay a penny. I can do the same with a compact disc, a vinyl record or cassette (for those libraries that still have them), or a DVD or VHS. Nothing stops a person from copying any of these works, yet a campaign to shut down libraries to protect copyright laws would be unthinkable as many have come to depend on library access or consider it a right.

"While through libraries and other public institutions, many people have access to the greatest literary and artistic creations, for some reason, it is considered inappropriate to have access to the greatest (and no so great) musical creations. To become educated about literature, about painting, and about other arts, requires very little in terms of financial resources. However, to become educated about an equally valid art form, music, regardless if you think that applies to Mozart, John Coltrane, Morbid Angel, Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Kanye West, Albert King or the Dead Kennedys, is extremely difficult without a significant financial investment. Music is a record of the human experience, to protect this form of art for the benefit of all, for enjoyment, for enlightenment, for educational purposes, does not require making everyone pay for it, it requires making it available to as many people as possible. 

"File sharing, music blogs, mp3s, home taping, burning CDs, these are all ways of democratizing art, of creating a democratic library of music that ensures everyone can enjoy a popular form of art.  Lovers and appreciators of music have taken it upon themselves through the internet to revive lost musical creations to educate the young and the old about all they missed because of the absurd idea that only one art form can be enjoyed if you pay for it (while others can be free). The nameless and anonymous individuals who provide music for free are creating a historical record of music that could easily be lost or only enjoyed by a very few. Libraries and other public institutions have failed in this regard, appreciators of music as art have come forward to not only protect, but revive and share what should be available to everyone."

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Give a listen to new Mexico City band Raters. This three piece play extremely noisy minimalist punk with just a guitar, drums that sound like garbage cans, and a megaphone.  The only reason I found out about this band was because they were following me on twitter. Thanks guys! It doesn't seem like they have any upcoming shows, but they do have a CD you can either buy online or at El Botiquín in the Centro Histórico. You can also download their songs for free from Bandcamp.

Polvo (the Mexican band)

A side
I had been looking for this single from Nuevo Laredo's Polvo for several years after first hearing the tracks on the Psychedelic Rock Mexican comp, and I finally came across it at the Vintage Vinyl record show back in August.

These two tracks are great fuzzed out, hard blues rock similar to other Mexican bands of the 70s like Three Souls in My Mind and La Fachada de Piedra. It is unfortunate that Polvo didn't record much else besides a mediocre single in 1975.

B side
Check out the tracks on youtube:

1. Have You Ever Been There?

2. Can't Get Enough

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Upcoming Lorelle Meets the Obsolete show!!

I've been meaning to check out Lorelle Meets the Obsolete ever since I posted about them back in August, but for one reason or another, I haven't been able to make it to any of their live gigs in Mexico City. Hopefully nothing comes up and I can make it to this upcoming show at Foro Alicia. They have a new 7" coming out soon and if we are lucky, it will be available at the show!

La Region - Cerveza Artesanal en La Narvarte!!

A new craft beer shop has opened up in Colonia Narvarte called La Region, Central de Cervezas Artesanales. They have a nice selection of beers (room temperature or cold) from Tempus, Calavera, Cucapá, Minerva, Jack, Weissbier, and La Chingonería, plus a small selection of Mexican botanas to accompany your drinking.

I hope this means we'll start seeing more beer options in Narvarte, because right now, they are pretty slim.

They are located at Xola 1603. You can either walk there from Etiopia metro/metrobus by going east on Xola a few blocks, or get off at the Dr. Vertiz Metrobus stop from Linea 2. La Region is located on Xola just across Vertiz from the metrobus stop there.