All shows for June / July 2017

YO!

Tons of shows and stuff happening this summer…

I figured it’d be helpful to put out a little list of which band I’m playing with, where, when, why it’ll be a dope show, how it will make your face melt, etc…

Sunday, June 18: Roka Hueka will be performing in Colorado Springs for the first time in the history of Roka Hueka.  Never been done, never before attempted, this is reminiscent of the first space launch, we will arrive in Colorado Springs with nothing other than our abilities to melt faces and make booties shake.  First time.  Colorado Springs.  First time.  Location: Triple Nickel Tavern.  Click here for more details.

Saturday, June 24: I will be playing the Westword Music Showcase twice…  Once with Roka Hueka and then again with Roots, Rice & Beans (billed as Molina Speaks).  Click on the link above to see the schedule/location…

Sunday, June 25: I will be playing the Latinx Festival in Longmont with Roka Hueka.

Friday, July 7: You don’t wanna miss this show, you don’t wanna miss this show, you don’t wanna miss this show.  Roka Hueka at Ophelia’s with Al Capones and Roots, Rice & Beans!!!  Roka will be releasing its first video!  And lemme tell ya…  allow me to testify, even: So.  Much.  Fun.  To.  Do.  That.  Video.

You need to come out and skank your ass off to the funky ska rhythms of Roka and Al Capones…   also vibe with the funky-weird-freaky rhythms of Roots, Rice & Beanzzzzzzz….

Saturday, July 8: Pachamerica Festival 2 brought to you by Debajo del Agua.

This is where shit gets real.  This is where shit gets real real.  The OG’s of the bunch…

Debajo del Agua!!!

Check out this lineup: Debajo del Agua, Bang Data, 2MX2, and Yuca SoulDebajo del Agua will be releasing an album that night…  it’s the first album in like 1,372 years…  that shit is tight, yo…  I’m excited about this release…

What can you expect that night?  Really: everything that’s awesome about going to a bad-ass local show in the middle of a Colorado summer: dancing, sweating, good vibes, beautiful people, bad-ass drinks…  and as far as these bands, you can expect to hear the following: cumbia, hip hop, righteous lyrics, samba, salsa, ska, reggae, jazz, funk, son, Andean styles, reggeton, drum n’ bass, afrobeat, bossa nova, etc…  all performed as one big ol’ cosmic slop throughout the course of the night.

One.  Big.  Dirty.  Cosmic.  Slop.  …just for you.

Friday, July 14: Pink Hawks will be jamming out on the roof of the Museum of Contemporary Art!  Yo, this show is gonna be so dope!  I did this last year with Roka Hueka and it was awesome…  we’re on the rooftop, overlooking the city, open air, tight-ass band, bar up top (I recommend Bulliet bourbon for the occasion), check out some art…  you really can’t go wrong here.

Re: Ivanka Trump praises Saudi Arabia’s progress on women’s rights

Ivanka Saudi
Sorry but I can’t leave this one alone.
 
Really, who are we (much less: the Trump administration) to ever, ever judge the treatment of women in other nations?
 
The US’s own statistics are mind-boggling and serve as evidence of a barbaric society.
 
We live in a nation where a woman is raped every 90 seconds and 1 in 6 women can claim to be the victim of sexual assault…
 
And get this:
 
Instead of teaching men not to rape………………
 
*Instead of teaching men not to rape…….
 
We turn around and ask the rape victim what they were wearing that night.
 
So, really: who are we to judge? Ever?
 
If you were from another nation looking at the US and you were aware of those kinds of statistics, you’d think that was some batshit crazy barbaric male-supremacist shit. …and would probably think twice about touching it.
 
Furthermore: our commander-in-chief considers ‘grab them by the pussy’ to be ‘locker-room talk’.
 
Who the hell are we to ever judge/criticize the treatment of women in other nations?
 
Why not start by working on this shit in our own immediate communities and circles?
 
We could start by teaching men not to rape.

Step 2: teach men how not to rape, some more.
 
Step 3, 4, etc: don’t be creepy…  Don’t cat call…  Don’t stalk…  Don’t crack rape jokes…
 
Really, not that difficult…
 
=====
 
But alas, speaking directly to the article… because it has a labor element attached…
 
Congrats to Saudi women… Seems as though more Saudi women will now have the ‘freedom’ to sell *their skills/lives away in hourly increments to business owners in Saudi Arabia.
 
Welcome to life as a worker in the working class.
 
Liberals in this nation will undoubtedly applaud this as part of your ‘march towards liberation’…  Just a heads up on that…  

Debajo del Agua in Louisiana

So…

I don’t blog nearly as much as I would like to…  and it pains me…  makes me think I’m slacking…

But then…  I consider all the stuff that I can update you on and I’m okay with myself…  Lots going on with music and I like to devote some time to these postings so can’t always keep up…

So a posting about the recent past.

Last week, Debajo del Agua was privileged, honored, blessed, lucky enough, [and whatever word that expresses inspiration/gratitude/joy], to play the the International Festival in Lafayette, LA.

Now…  Here’s wussup with that festival: it takes up all of downtown Lafayette with multiple stages hosting bands from all over the world…  so you feel like you’re walking two blocks to get from South Asia to France to Canada to Cuba to Singapore and back to Louisiana.  It’s bad ass.

…and I’d say about 200,000 people rolled through during the course of the weekend.

And still more: it’s free.  …and volunteer-driven.

Beyond that, the observations I made and nuggets of wisdom/inspiration I walked away with…

The caliber of musicianship is just…  exceptionally high.  There’s a lot of bad ass cats in Louisiana.  Walking down Bourbon Street I could just hear it…  bar after bar, bad ass bands, bad ass musicians.  …the caliber of musicianship reminded me of Los Angeles.  And still has me weighing the differences…  Whereas Los Angeles also has bad-ass musicians, music is more so defined by its commercial nature.  …i.e.  the capitalist commodification of music vs. the hustle of the musician.

In Louisiana, it was in the blood.  You felt it.  It was in the air, the community, the kids, the elder, the past, present, and future.

My band mates and I chilled out at a spot called Festival House a lot…  t’was the gathering spot for the musicians performing at the festival.  It was crazy, man…  BOMB ASS FOOD.  COOL ASS CATS!!!  Everyone I met, no exceptions, was on the humble…  just down-to-earth and cool…

…and beyond that: we were the band that played the Festival House.  Meaning: Debajo del Agua performed exclusively for the musicians, organizers, and volunteers for the festival.   That was quite the freakin’ honor, yo…

We play 3 times in 2 days plus one full practice… long weekend… but a long re-invigorating weekend.  It was a lot of work but somehow I came back with an surplus of energy.

This festival restored my hope in the idea that music can change the world.  Although I rarely go to McDonald’s, I know about 1/3 of the menu thanks to a jingle from the 1980s.

Fellow musicians, comrades:

We can do that…

But to save the world.

I BASSically dominated the Westword’s ‘Latin’ nominations…

Yo,

If you click on this link: http://2017musicshowcasepoll.westword.com/

…you’ll see that 3 out of the 5 bands listed under the ‘Latin’ section are bands I play in: Debajo, Roka, Pink Hawks.

3 out of 5.

Yo, 3 out of 5 is what I like to call “market domination”.   It is the equivalent of 60% and 60% could kick the ass of 40% in a fight.  So I’m jussayin’…

but…

We need not fight.  The other two nominees (Izcalli, Mocochetes) are my friendz…  and I’d love to see them win as well.

And all joking aside: please vote for your favorite bands!

If you have a favorite genre you should look up the bands listed in that genre…  Google them, YouTube them, Facebook them, follow them, see them live in concert…  Thasswussup…

…and guess who loves the cat who rolls into work with ‘something to do for everyone’ this weekend?  Answer: EVERYONE at work…

 

Debajo del Agua/Artecura, Roka Hueka, and YukaSoul: Sat. Jan 7th, Ophelia’s.

Denver doodles,

Come to this show. The place is gonna be packed.

The January 7th, 2017 Musical Menu

Last time we played with YucaSoul he took us to every continent on the planet on some dope, danceable beats. He’s gonna open up the night. This man leads a double life in that he’s also Debajo’s bad ass percussionist. …an O.G. of the band.

Up next: Roka Hueka. Latin ska. Roka crushes it every time. Feels like we have a new song every month so if you haven’t seen us in a while it’ll be worth the journey. We take any/every rhythm we can think of and glue it together with a backbone of ska. A heavy Latin influence, high-energy, danceable, songs for love & struggle.

Finally: the OG’s of the night.

Debajo del Agua will set the place ablaze with a 20-song set.  I take a deep breath and gulp of saliva whenever I’m handed the Debajo del Agua set list.  That shit includes directions like: Saca–> into Aguas–>into ska–>into Cumbia–>into Luz–>into Sube Sube–>into Arabeton–>into Encapuchados, etc…

If I reflect on the fact that we only play together once every six months, then I’m all like: ‘How the hell do we make that shit happen every time?!’  But then if I reflect on the fact that we’ve known each other and played together for 10 years then I’m like: ‘OF COURSE we can do shit like that!’  In case you’ve never heard us: Debajo (aka ArteCura) takes all different types of rhythms (mostly Latin) and mixes it with socially-conscious hip hop in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.  We’ve been packing Denver joints since 2006.

The show is at Ophelia’s.  Do yourself a favor: order an Airedale.

Here’s the link for tickets.

See you there sweet people!
In love and solidarity,
me.

Plastic Daggers, Colfax Speed Queen, and Muscle Beach at the Hi-Dive

YO!  I haven’t posted too much music stuff lately cuz my camera’s been broke…

But we’re back on the air…

These videos are from Plastic Daggers’ CD release show, Dec 10th at the Hi-Dive in Denver.  I picked up a copy of the album (on vinyl) and gotta say: pretty dope.  Also picked up the vinyl for Colfax Speed Queen…

Here’s some footage starting with Muscle Beach:

Colfax Speed Queen

Plastic Daggers

Re: Minimum Rage

SONY DSC

The ‘trouble’ didn’t start with the Westword article.  The trouble started when the executive and steering committees of the Colorado minimum wage coalition agreed to sell out the Fight for $15 and legislate $12 in 2020 on behalf of foundations.

Every single Colorado wage-earner I’ve spoken to about the $12 in 2020 minimum wage proposal reacts: It’s not enough.  It’s weak.  It’s demoralizing.  What about skyrocketing rent?  “$12 isn’t enough now…  and it’s not going into effect until 2020?!?!?

Also, of course: “I thought it was $15?”

Readers, so you know right off the bat: I’m voting in favor of $12 in 2020.  But I consider my vote to be a vote of critical support.

I also encourage everyone else to vote in favor of it.

Now…

To the critical part…

Let’s start here: in order to participate in the minimum wage coalition’s executive committee, you had to drop $5,000 as a pay-to-play fee (apparently the fee increased to $10,000 after I left).

That was the coalition’s first major contradiction.

How do you even consider bringing minimum wage workers to the table with shit like that?

So the table was nothing but non-profit and union staff.  Some organizations could afford the $5K pay-to-play fee, others sat on the steering committee for $500 bucks.

But let’s tease that idea out a little bit.

Say a minimum-wage worker managed to cut back on ramen noodles and scrape together some cash to drop a solid $500/$5K/$10K on the table.  Then what?  How would that worker’s voice size up against the hundreds of thousands of dollars coming in from foundations?

Exactly!

So…

Second contradiction: lack of democracy in the face of foundation money.

Money talks.  So when foundations are dropping tens of thousands of dollars on you, you shut up and do what they say.

In this case, the foundations attached the following strings:  1.  Conduct focus groups and 2.  Obtain polling data.  The purpose: to see what kinda numbers resonated best with potential voters.  $12 in 2020?  $13 in 2018?  $20 in 2020?  $12.50 in 2050?

Meanwhile, in the streets, across the country: the Fight for $15 has been waged with strikes, protests, community organizing, and legislation.  It has endured tear gas, sound cannons, arrests, and the crocodile tears of corporate America hiding in the shadows of mom & pop shops claiming that the sky will fall if $15 is implemented.

This struggle and perseverance has helped win $15 minimum wages in towns, cities, and other municipalities across the country.  So you don’t just throw the Fight for $15 struggle under the bus cuz some foundations dropped some money on your cause!

Which gets us to contradiction #3: in matters concerning Colorado wage-earners, you don’t turn to foundations, focus groups, and polling data.  You turn to the existing struggle and expand on its accomplishments.   In this case: you turn to Colorado’s minimum-wage workers, labor activists, CWA members/Verizon strikers, other union members, congregations, community groups, allies, etc.  And if those folks “aren’t around” or if they’re not “ready”, then that becomes part of the struggle as we re-strategize to demand $15 or more.

Because across the country we’re seeing $15 is winnable at the local and state levels.

I’d also like to highlight the following because there seems to be little discussion about this: foundations are just another way in which rich people horde their wealth to avoid taxes and at the same time: leverage political influence through grants.

That being said, do you really think a foundation is going to give out money to a cause that will question/critique the economic system that made them stupidly wealthy in the first place?  No, they’ll promote ideas and fund causes that simply alleviate the paycheck-to-paycheck stranglehold, keep workers from rebelling, and therefore: the system in check.

So for now I’ll say this much:

I will vote in favor of this poorly-conceived piece of legislation whose purpose is to administer the interests of foundations…  Voting for this modest increase is an easy way to alleviate the suffering of Colorado minimum-wage workers.

But this also takes our conversation to the day after Election Day.

What then?

What lessons have we learned from all this?

Will we allow a sell out of this magnitude to happen again?

And if so, how will we hold our non-profit and union leaders accountable?

imag0669

Months later: another rally.  Not sure if this was for $12 or $15 (not trying to be funny).  Many a paid staff in there.  Dare I say this rally consisted entirely of paid staff and canvassers?  Cuz if I’m wrong, I ain’t wrong by much.  And that shit has to change too.