Cut Chemist at Calentura

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Mark De-Clive Lowe

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Aztlan Quetzal & Ethos

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Cut Chemist

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Cut Chemist

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Cut Chemist

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Cut Chemist

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Buyenpongo Go Beyond Cumbia To Forge Their Own Sound, “Buyangú”

Buyepongo photo by Edgar Robles

Buyepongo photo by Edgar Robles

There once was a running joke among folks in L.A.’s Latino music scene that went something like this: “Wherever you are, Buyepongo’s there, too, jamming out.”

For years, the group performed anywhere and everywhere it could at any and all hours of the day. You could find them playing Mariachi Plaza during the day, then catch them later the same evening at the Mayan opening up for Ondatrópica. That ubiquity was necessary in developing the group’s core sound and style: a fusion of Latino, African and American sounds, grooves and rhythms, which has finally been compiled in the group’s long-awaited full-length debut album, Todo Mundo.

Read the rest of the article at LA Weekly.

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Best Of 2015

Bomba Estereo

The electro cumbia/tropical bass group released the album of the year with Amanecer. The above track, “Algo Esta Cambiando,” is my favorite track off the album.

El Tri

I had the pleasure to see Mexico’s national team play (and win!) twice this year. The first game was in March at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum where Mexico defeated Ecuador 1 – 0. It was the game where Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez became Mexico’s second most prolific goalscorer and where my excitement over it was caught on camera.

The second time was at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena where El Tri defeated Team USA 3 – 2 in extra time to clinch the CONCACAF spot for the 2017 Confederations Cup. I sat on the field opposite Mexico’s bench and was on TV again, this time for the entirety of the match.

Afroxander spying on Paul Aguilar and Raul Jimenez.

Afroxander spying on Paul Aguilar and Raul Jimenez.

New York

I finally went to New York for the first time in my life. The week-long trip went by too quickly but was incredibly fun thanks to my wonderful friends. (Yes, I cut my hair too).

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Most important of all, my nephew was born this year!

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El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado – “Violencia”

“Violencia” is the new song from El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado of La Plata, Argentina. The track is part of a four-track “maxi-simple” (their version of the maxi-single), which also contains “El Baile De La Colina,” “Aire Fresco,” “Rucho,” and “Dos Galaxias.”

The maxi-simple will be available in the US on Spotify, cassette tape, and vinyl on February 19th via Nacional Records.

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A Las Barricadas: Los Muertos De Cristo’s Atheist-Anarchist Punk Music

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Spanish Punk music has long had an anarchist as well as atheist tradition. Los Muertos De Cristo were no different in this regard as they wore their atheism on their sleeve…or in this case their band name (Christ’s Dead).

Lorenzo Morales (singer), Antón Tochi (lead guitar), Jesus “Mosti” Mosteiro (rhythm guitar), Ignacio “Chino” Gallego (bass), and Maniel “Lolo” Borrego (drums) came together in 1989 in Utrera, Sevilla, Spain. The quintet chose its name for three reasons. First, as a direct challenge to censorship and free speech laws in their country (of which they provided many challenges). Second, as a reflection of the band’s atheism. Third, to commemorate the millions of people killed in the name of religion throughout history.

LMDC self-released its debut EP, Punk’s Not Dead ’91, in 1991 and unveiled its full-length debut album, A Las Barricadas (To The Barricades) in 1995. The 12-song album includes the band’s Anarcho-Punk version of “¡Ay Carmela!/El Paso Del Erbo,” a classic song originally written during the War of Spanish Independence in 1808 and used by the Spanish Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War. LMDC’s version changes the lyrics to reflect their antifascist stance with lines such as “solo es nuestro / acabar con el fascismo (our only wish / is to end fascism).”

The band remained true to its Anarchist roots throughout the entirety of its existence. They self-published/distributed six of their nine albums with A Las Barricadas, Cualquier Noche Puede Salir El Sol (The Sun May Rise On Any Night), and Los Pobres No Tienen Patria (The Poor Have No Homeland) the exceptions. The band also created their own label, Odisea Records, which still exists today to promote their work as well as the work of Anarcho-Punk group El Noi Del Sucre.

Speaking of which, the seeds of LMDC’s impending demise were first planted in 2001. Morales first referred to himself as El Noi (The Boy) on the band’s live album Bienvenidos Al Infierno (Welcome To Hell). Morales wanted to start a new Anarcho-Punk group from scratch but not before ending LMDC on good terms with his bandmates.

LMDC announced their inevitable dissolution during their performance at the BaituRock festival in the summer of 2006. The group’s farewell tour lasted well into 2008 and they released their final album, Rapsodia Libertaria Vol. III, in 2009. Morales launched El Noi Del Sucre (The Boy From Sugar/The Sugar Boy), named as an homage to Catalonian anarchosyndicalist Salvador Seguí, that same year. Mosti and Chino of LMDC joined him in this new endeavor with the latter leaving the group in October of this year in order to focus on his work at Odisea Records.

Los Muertos De Cristo reunited this year to celebrate their 25th anniversary, touring as El Noi Del Sucre & Los Muertos De Cristo.

The band’s entire discography is available for download at this site.

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Lila Downs, Death, and Celebrity Gravestones at Hollywood Forever’s Dia de los Muertos

Lila Downs performing at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's Dia de los Muertos event.

Lila Downs performing at Hollywood Forever Cemetery’s Dia de los Muertos event.

Check out my first piece for Noisey (Vice’s music section): Lila Downs, Death, and Celebrity Gravestones at Hollywood Forever’s Dia de los Muertos.

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Mexico vs. USMNT 2015 CONCACAF Cup Photo MEGA-POST!!

I am happy and very lucky to say that I photographed the Mexican national football team for the second time this year. This match, however, was more important than a friendly as Mexico faced off against their CONCACAF rival USMNT. At stake was the berth to represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Confederations Cup to be held in Russia 2017.

The weekend began with a visit to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena for pre-match day training photos and the press conference on Friday, Oct. 9th. Kickoff was at 6:30pm the following day at the same venue in front of a sold-out crowd of just under 94, 000 fans (75% Mex, 25% USA), many of which arrived nearly five hours earlier for the tailgate parties.

The atmosphere from both sets of fans was incredible and electrifying thanks to both teams providing an entertaining 120 minutes of football. In the end, Mexico sealed the victory at 3 – 2 thanks to a golazo from Paul Aguilar with two minutes left before penalties.

Complete photo album of pre-match day training & press conference for Mexico.

Complete photo album of CONCACAF Cup match day featuring USMNT (2) vs. Mexico (3).

A selection of photos from both albums is below. Enjoy!

Mexico’s pre-match day training and press conference at the Rose Bowl:

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Inaugural CONCACAF Cup match between Mexico and USMNT for CONCACAF’s spot at the Confederations Cup in Russia 2017:

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