“Chuck E.’s” back.
Untamed Austin bar rock.
Risky, outside her comfort zone, Lola finds native Austinite, violinist, and songwriter Carrie Rodriguez drawing inspiration from her great-aunt Eva Garza, a Chicana singing sensation in the Forties. It’s a daring yet flavorful collection of songs from Mexican composers alongside her own originals influenced by the ranchera style sung in English, Spanish, and the mix of the two, Spanglish.
“My first idea,” she explains, “was I wanted to make a record in Spanish. That seemed a little daunting and overwhelming in the beginning. I wondered if I was capable of doing that. So it’s been a long process of investigating music in Spanish that I’d want to sing and becoming more comfortable singing in Spanish, then letting it evolve into what it did.”
Not being a native Spanish speaker proved the first obstacle for Rodriguez. She was also concerned about staging a night of music sung in a foreign language for American audiences.
“The idea of going out and performing something like that didn’t feel natural to me,” she admits. “It didn’t feel right with my relationship to the language. I learned it later in life. I studied it, but I was kind of insecure about it. I wasn’t fluent. It was a difficult thing for me to be half Chicana and not really speak the language.
“So I somehow wrote songs to fit in with the ranchera tunes. It was a great way to have these songs in Spanish make sense, to fit on the record. When I listen back I don’t even hear that much of a difference between the two languages.”– Jim Caligiuri
Rock en Español revolutionaries El Gran Silencio remain a medley of Norteñas and rock & roll. The Monterrey, Mexico, hombres playing Colombian vallenato music dressed like the members of House of Pain sprung up in the early Nineties blending rap, ska, and reggae. Their first three esteemed albums joined them to a native musical movement that brought the world Molotov, Cafe Tacuba, and Plastilina Mosh.– María Núñez
“There would be no Sock Hop if there were no Paul Ray or Twine Time,” write the second Saturday vinyl spin thrifts, tapping post-World War II rhythm and blues at 45 rpm in honor of the late KUTX sovereign of soul. Special guest jocks Rick McNulty – Ray’s station mate and crucial pinch-hitter in the weeks after the Twine Timer’s death last month – plus marrieds Mike Buck (Fabulous Thunderbirds, Antone’s Record Shop, Sun Radio) and Eve Monsees (Antone’s Record Shop, Eve & the Exiles) channel their friend and mentor. Valentine’s begins 10pm Saturday.– Raoul Hernandez