Pink Hawks at Ophelia’s Feb 2018, Cartas a Felice in El Salvador

Pink Hawks performing at Ophelia’s, Feb 3rd, 2018.  Two days before I left for El Salvador…

…and El Salvador was: real.  Though things got real for me, I had plenty of time to hang out and do shit. 

Like: check out bands, go to the beach, sight seeing, eating, gettin’ a little drunk. 

I saw Cartas a Felice with my niece Francella “Fran!”…


…actually. all my outings with her and Toto (her brother/my nephew) were bad ass… sweet, sweet memories now…

Back!

Yo,

Had to take a breaky break from blogging.  Life, yo.  Fucking life.  Future was uncertain n’ shit…  Still kinda is…  always…

In the mean time…

Pink Hawks opened for Antibalas.

That.  Was cool.  It was kinda bringing some stuff full circle for me…  I remember seeing Antibalas in Detroit, shortly before moving to Denver.  I remember having my mind blown…  Such a massive horn, rhythm, and percussion section…  and so funky.  and danceable.  with a cool message…

Yeah, I’ve been wanting to open for Antibalas since the Debajo del Agua days.

And yo: I think we crushed it.  10 cats on stage.  I love that video above…  Each one of us in our own color, character, funk, thasswussup…

Yo, if you’re actually reading this for upcoming stuff…  here’s wussup:

Pink Hawks is playing the Denver 4/20 Festival.  It’s the same festival as Lil’ Wayne and Lil’ John…  Lil Wayne’s set ends at 6:15… precisely when we begin *ours…  so really: Lil Wayne is opening for Pink Hawks at 4/20 Festival this year…

Then some sick shit on May 5.  I fucking love 5inco de Mayo, by the way.  Triumph of the underdog!  The debt-collecting French navy got SPANKED by a poorly-equipped Mexican army.  Yeah, I’m cool with 5inco de Mayo…  And Pink Hawks is playing 5inco de Mayo at Larimer Lounge with Quilombo, and Mocochetes…  that shit is gonna be bonkers.  May 6th you can catch Roka Hueka, main stage at Civic Center Park…

And then!  Git this: May 13th Roka Hueka is sharing the stage with Al Capones and Dendrite from 1pm until 5pm or some shit…  we’re gonna work that shit out…  have a little orgy of ska musicians oozing in and out of bands, collaborating, etc…

And that’s all the shit that’s coming to mind right now…

Got a job, for now…  I’m wearing 3 hats for a Denver non-profit…  I’m a grant-writer, financial administrator, and human resources dept.  It’s pretty sweet…  and decided to stick around in Denver cuz Cici’s havin’ a lil’ baby… and I wanna see this kid!  I wanna see this kid!  I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a baby…

Here’s “Red Ties” from the Ophelia’s show cuz it’s been a while:

…and we’re about to hit the studio in a couple of weeks, fyi. Gonna record “Ties”, our follow-up album to “Red”.

Pink Hawks, Roka Hueka, Mocochetes!!!

Okay…

This one’s gonna be particular fire.

The membership of these three bands overlaps.  Horns overlap, guitars overlap, bass overlaps…  And that’s precisely what I love about it.  If feels like: yeah, we all have our own individual projects that we’re committed to but ultimately: we’re community…  we’re fam.  …and we’re all bad-ass musicians.

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All three bands fuse all types of stuff…  So you’ll hear dozens of different styles throughout the course of the night…  So to keep it simple and tidy:

Pink Hawks: afrobeat/funk
Roka Hueka: Latin ska
Mocochetes: Latin fusion

More bragging: all three bands were nominated for ‘Best Latin Act’ by the Westword.

More hype: all three bands will merge together like Voltron to drop a cumbia on everyone so get ready to rock your most comfortable dancing shoes that night!

There’s gonna be sweatin’…  and I love sweatin’…  I really do love sweatin’…

Here’s the Facebook event.  Try not to sweat on it, please, thanks!

See you there!

 

Denver Bands on Spotify

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K…

About a week ago I started putting together a Spotify play list with all the local Denver bands I could think of. …and now, with the help of some friends on Facebook, I’ve gathered over 600 songs (from numerous albums) and almost 40 hours worth of music including: metal, hip hop, rock, country, Latin, afrobeat, funk, ska, reggae, and other styles.

Click here for the play list

I think the best/funnest way to enjoy this is to open up the playlist and just hit “shuffle” until you find something you like.  …and when you find something you like, the cool thing is that you can catch many/most of these artists performing right here in Denver.

I know I’m missing so much from this list (including the glaringly obvious)…  So please help me out if you see something missing…  I’m [mostly] looking for Denver or Colorado bands that’re actively writing and performing…

So far the artists include:
2MX2
Alcapones
Allout Helter
Ark Life
ArteCura
Atomga
Babah Fly
Blue Rider
Breachers
Bricheros
Call of the Void
Cheap Perfume
Chella & The Charm
Cloud Catcher
Colfax Speed Queen
Dandu
Debajo del Agua
Dendrites
DJ Cavem Moetavation
Dreadnaught
Envy on the Coast
Ghost Tapes
Gumbo le Funque
Ill 7even
Irie Still
J. Carey
Jaden Carlson Band
Judge Roughneck
Kid Astronaut
Land Lines
Mawule
Mike Wird
Milk Blossoms
Molina Speaks
Mono Verde
Muscle Beach
P-Nuckle
Pink Hawks
Plastic Daggers
Rastasaurus
Raven and the Writing Desk
Reminders
Roka Hueka
Rowdy Shadehouse
Rubedo
Safe Boating is No Accident
Screwtape
Sorry Sweetheart
Wheelchair Sports Camp

11/11/17 Scorpio throw-down

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I’m still vibing from what happened this weekend.

A beautiful/intense celebration of Scorpio birthdays with some of our closest friends…

Which (of course) includes a bunch of bad-ass musicians.

And I mean: *bad-ass* musicians.

Many of which brought their instruments and threw down in an unleashed, uninhibited, soul-liberating, fire-breathing jam session. Fire; as if life was traumatizing us on the daily and we needed to unleash our demons and heal our souls in one single breath/night.

Members of Dendrites, Roka Hueka, Pink Hawks, Mocochetes, all just THROWING THE FUCK DOWN with whatever the fuck came together. Testing and experimenting all the theories, muscle memories, speeds, rhythms, melodies, jingles, and styles that came to mind… No apologies for anything… There were no “wrong notes”.

It’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve never thrown down quite like that before. It’s as if life was added to me. Life that’ll endure past the current space suit I’m wearing and serve as my fuel and soundtrack for space travel…

…that’s how I’m seeing all this.  Music provides the sounds and spirits that’ll accompany us after all this.

…and this weekend was fire.

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…

 

Re: Minimum Rage

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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?

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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.

Yeah, but… does it have a repeat-1 option?

Tonight’s show was like every other show: we performed, I recorded our performance, got home, listened to the recording until I passed out.

…and that’s all I’ll listen to.

For the next several weeks…

Until our next show/recording.

Over and over.  Somewhere around 50+ times…

…and I got no shame.  I love the projects I work on, I listen to refine the bass lines, and I listen because I want to bring people something that is worth their time.

Pink Hawks with Hard Proof at the Hi-Dive Oct. 20th

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Yo.

Here’s your opportunity to afrobeat your face off.  All  night till the break-a-break-a dawn…  Or until they close the Hi-Dive at 2am.

Pink Hawks will be opening for Hard Proof on Thurs, Oct. 20, 2016.  This may or may not be my first time playing the Hi-Dive.  I dunno.  I’ll sniff the stage in search of my scent from yesteryear.

Bring your sweat cuz you’re gonna leave it there.  On the dance floor cuz…  You’re gonna move…  You’re gonna groove…  Yeah…  Just click here for tickets and details and trust me

Pink Hawks in San Luis, CO