fbpx

Josh Kun

Credit: Collection of Josh Kun

How L.A. Mariachi Helped Make One of Blondie’s Biggest Hits

It wasn't just the city's sunshine mythology and seismic doom that had made their way into the new album. It was the city's position as a key geographic and cultural hub within greater Latin America, the city's history as a mecca of Mexican music and as a laboratory for experiments in Afro-Cuban dance music in East Los Angeles pasta restaurants, downtown ballrooms, Sunset Strip supper clubs and Hollywood soundstages....

Rebelde Without a Pause

The day before Mexican pop sensations RBD took to the stage of L.A.’s Coliseum last weekend, things were very busy on the soap opera that gave birth to the group back in 2004. Mia told Miguel she was, finally, ready to have sex with him, and then she flirted with......
Photo by Vern Evans

The Island of Jorge Hank Rhon

His is the house of pain. His is the hand that makes. His is the hand that wounds. His is the hand that heals. —H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau There is an old Tijuana joke about a group of dogs hanging out below the border. All of them......
article placeholder

''I Wonder Why All Kids Don’t Go to 826''

Welcome to Monkey Village. Population: lots of monkeys. Monkey Village is a country that you have never heard of. It has its own flag and its own laws. The flag has monkeys on it, and the laws boil down to this: “Everything in there is wiggly. Except the monkeys.” The......
article placeholder

Side Tripping

Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp” was such a near-perfect slice of barbecued funk when it was released in 1967 that Otis Redding and Carla Thomas covered it just four months later. Then Joe Tex answered with “Papa Was Too (Tramp),” Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll weighed in across the Atlantic with a......
article placeholder

Chúntaro Power

In front of the Museum of Mexican History in the center of Monterrey, a girl is pretending to be Beyoncé. She’s dancing on the edge of a fountain that’s spraying water in tall, elegant arches, and she’s singing “Survivor” — loud, at the top of her lungs — while her......
article placeholder

Hidden Spain

He spoke of moons on the run, of black angels carrying snow water, of winds that brandished hot swords against hearts made of olive oil. It was 1935, and the Andalusian poet Federico Garcia Lorca was giving a lecture on Romancero Gitano, his book of poems about Gypsy life in......
article placeholder

The Learning Tree

Photo by Michael Halsband In the 1960s, on the back of an album he titled Latin Mann, flutist Herbie Mann drew a map that charted the movement of Latin jazz from “Afro to Bossa to Blues.” The map he drew wasn’t actually a map, though; it was a metaphor for......
article placeholder

A Room for Music

HAROLD BUDDThe Room (Atlantic) Speak of musical rooms, and you will eventually end up in the room that begins Ralph Ellison’s novel Invisible Man. The protagonist has one phonograph in the ”hole in the basement“ where he lives, but he plans to have five. Though the room is overglowing with......
article placeholder

Mexing America

In the video for their 1998 song “Stolen at Gunpoint,” TJ punks Tijuana NO! and former Kid East Los rapper Frost tried to erase the U.S.-Mexico border by declaring an imaginary full-clip guerrilla war on the suits and uniforms who keep it there. Splicing together archival footage of the Mexican......
LA Weekly