Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Dance like the old days!
Mani and Kian of Casa de la Salsa are diehard timba fans (like the best of us) and finally - finally! - they are putting on another Cuban night. Years ago, Casa de la Salsa was held upstairs at the Burdekin Hotel in Darlinghurst: it was a great space - like share terrace house - with big windows and wooden floors, and when the timba was pounding, the sweat dripped off the walls. Many a night I kept dancing even after my feet became so sore every step felt like a knife (the timba mermaid, anyone?) - but when you hear Timba a pogolotti, can you ever remain seated? Since then, Cuban music and casino have fallen out of fashion, though the diehards remain. On May 4, Mani will DJ upstairs at the Watershed at Darling Harbour - a night he promises will be 100% Cuban. Woohoo! Get your despeloteando asses down there. No excuses!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Me falta la timba
There is no doubt that timba Cubana is in a trough at the moment - I had been thinking about that, when Billy Bryans posted about it on his blog. I haven't been too worried, cause the last time I thought this, I wrote a super-duper long post about the death of timba ... then Michel and Tirso laid two awesome timba CDs on us. Later came Charanga Forever's Somos Charangueros and Los Ases de la Timba, with Mandy, Tirso and Michel, which weren't quite as good as the first two, but have enough good songs to inspire hope and provide hours of good listening/dancing (if you found the Los Ases album a bit samey, go back and check out Cuenta con los santos and Tu tin de suerte - those two are keepers).
Trabuco's Amaray has released an album which is almost exclusively pop/ballads. I'm pretty fond of the treatment he has given to Comunicate, which Trabuco of course did brilliantly on Hablando en serio. It's a light pop version done as a duet, with a female singer who has a lovely voice, and it is, I think, quite special. The album closer is a cha-cha-cha fusion, with his Trabuquero chum El Indio helping out on vocals. That isn't bad either. But the less said about the rest of the album the better.
Locos por tus besos
Anyway on the timba front (as opposed to the Cuban music front), there are rumours of new albums from Los Van Van and Pupy - always something to look forward to. There is a new demo from Manolito kicking around - it starts wussy but finishes so sweet it's irresistible. And it is in fact, a meatier version of a track from Amaray's album (he does it as a ballad). I spoke to the band's drummer Roícel Riverón a couple of days ago, and asked him if they'd recorded anything else - I had noticed their absence on the gig list at Canal Cubano and thought (hoped) that maybe it was because they were in the studio. But he told me, in that light-hearted and slightly jocular way he has (even when you're talking to him on the phone from 5,000 miles away, you can still see that permanent sparkle he has in his eyes), that that was the only song. I said I had noticed they weren't playing much, and he said "trabajamos poco". When I asked "why?" he said: "Ask Manolito!" Anyway, last Friday they went to Peru for 10 days; so Peruanos are in for a treat.
Next month, of course, is Cubadisco in Havana. I am still desperately trying to resolve a situation I have here so I can get over there in time. Me falta la Habana! And of course: La Habana la faltó yo! (That could be a wrong representation of the lyric - let me know if you know!)
Thanks to Ian and Peter for putting on a great party last night. I took my little Powerbook loaded with timba Cubana, which sadly failed towards the end of the night (it's fixed now - I think); but that turned out OK, cause it gave the birthday boys a chance to get back on the stage and jam some more, which they seemed to enjoy. I had some great dances - thanks to all my partners, and welcome back Fraudy!
I have no pics cause I was either 1) dancing or 2) trying to fix the damn laptop! So you'll have to imagine. But I had a new top and, I think, looked reasonably hot (I have to say that - I got dumped on Friday, so I need to believe that).