Down the Docks

February 26, 2007

Los Van Van @ Hammersmith Palais

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 12:58 pm

Friday saw the world’s biggest timba band in Hammersmith’s “world-famous” Palais.



August 28, 2006

Salsa! and Cha Cha Chá

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 6:05 pm

I’ve got a regular DJing slot again, in one of my favourite venues.


June 13, 2006

Conga and Tumba

Filed under: Music — ealing @ 12:32 pm

My drums arrived on Thursday. I've been having fun.


May 31, 2006


Filed under: Music — ealing @ 2:35 pm

I try to avoid impulse buys, especially when I don't know exactly what I'm buying. I'd planned to get a conga drum (actually, a quinto) when I got to the end of my ten week CityLit course.

Conga and tumbaMy teacher at CityLit said he'd let me know what was a fair price for anything going on eBay. I got sick of practicing on a desk, though, and now I'm under contract to buy these little beauties. I hope my teacher agrees that £130 was a reasonable price. I've got to jump through some hoops with PayPal before I can transfer the money, so I think it will be about another week and a half before I get them. I can't wait!

May 18, 2006

Memory for Music

Filed under: Music — ealing @ 8:34 pm

What lies in the back of your brain?


BoingBoing does Latin Music

Filed under: Music — ealing @ 12:24 pm

BoingBoing mentions a couple of tracks on Swapatorium today. I'd never heard of Swapatorium, but if it has chacha and mambo, I'm interested.

I haven't listened to the tracks yet, so I don't know if they're as "great" as the article claims. I'll put my opinion here later.

May 7, 2006

Latin Percussion

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 10:59 am

I went to my first Latin Percussion class at City Lit yesterday afternoon, and turned my hands bright red.


March 8, 2006

Tube Busker All Out of Key

Filed under: Music — ealing @ 12:14 am

Some time ago I wrote of my surprise at hearing a tube busker play something different. Tonight, in the same place, I heard a busker playing “Guantanamera“, a song you’d likely recognise even without much exposure to Cuban music.


February 17, 2006

RIP Ray Barretto

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 4:48 pm

Ray Barretto died this morning. I missed a chance to see him when he was in London a few months ago, and now that opportunity has gone for good. His tracks “Acid” and “El Watusi” have some recognition beyond salsa fans, and on the dancefloor his high-energy recordings have been popular for decades.

I guess I need to go to New York to catch some of the remaining greats while I still can.

January 11, 2006

The Worst Salsa CD in the World … Ever!

Filed under: Music, Salsa — ealing @ 3:17 am

The worst salsa CD I’ve ever come across is Salsa Sensation by the BBC Big Band Salsa All Stars. It is dross, an abomination, and an abuse of the word ‘salsa’.

After Pérez Prado, the next most Latin name is Jobim, the Brazilian bossa nova chappy. The first two tracks are Mambo No. 5 with Lou Bega’s lyrics, and Brazil, with no lyrics. The percussion is limp throughout, giving a boringly simple rhythm, and the vocals are cheesy in the extreme. The horn section is merely very bad. Most of the tracks are not obvious candidates for salsa arrangements, and have not been arranged with any skill.

It’s tacky throughout, and I don’t recognise it as salsa music. The horrific thing is that this might be some poor people’s idea of what salsa is.

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