Archive for the Puerto Rico Category

Newpile: I Couldn’t Make This Shit Up If I Tried

Posted in Politics, Puerto Rico, Random, Technology on April 9, 2009 by dublab

So a few days ago, I saw Kevin Rathbun turning left on to North Druid from Briarcliff in his Range Rover with his whites hanging in the backseat.  He’s a pretty unique-looking dude and I remember him from the time he beat Bobby Flay in Battle Elk.  Hopefully this is a culinary good omen for the week.  But that’s beside the point.

On to the newspile:

  • The state of Oregon is outlawing bukkake.  WTF?  And here I thought Oregon was pretty liberal.  Our current assault laws cover spitting on somoene else, so why is there a need for a special law for this? (via BoingBoing)
  • I’ve been somewhat upset lately because my 3-yr old incandescent lightbulbs are all outlasting the CFL’s I spent so much money on last year.  The CFLs were more expensive, noisier, and worst of all, the ones I have seem to have a shorter life than incandescents.  At least this Slashdot post makes me feel like I’m not alone.
  • A container loaded with 58,000 pounds of ham was stolen from a shipping yard in Puerto Rico.

Yeah I couldn’t make that stuff up.


Vico C: Blast From The Past

Posted in Artists I Like, Music, Puerto Rico, Videos on January 30, 2009 by dublab

Recently a read a post over at Upset The Setup where PJ calls for suggestions for a kid-friendly hip hop mixtape.  And apparently Spanish is OK.

Kid friendly, strong positive message… sounds like El Filosofo del Rap.  So here’s some early 90’s Vico C for ya:


Bomba Para Afincar

It’s a shame I couldn’t dig up a copy of “La Escuela” anywhere online – that is a MUST for the mixtape.

Review: Calle 13 – Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo

Posted in Artists I Like, Filesharing, Music, Puerto Rico, Reviews on October 21, 2008 by dublab

Thanks to the inexplicable mess of good and bad that is the Internet, I’ve had the opportunity to illegally sear Calle 13’s new album into my brain for a few days now – not that they’d care (see link to Ruben Blades interview at the end).  It been a pleasant surprise to give the record a thorough listen a few days in advance, so I figured I’d write up my thoughts and share with you.

Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo kicks off with a slightly dramatic storytime sort of narrative telling the story of Residente, who only possesses Rene Perez when an imbecil listens to his music.  I guess it’s like Tinkerbell and clapping or something.  The intro is immediately followed by “Que Lloren” – generally aimed at the commercial reggaeton community, who according to Residente, sells itself for “cheaper than a whore on a highway,” and specifically aimed at Ivy Queen.

The record’s high-energy opening track is immediately followed by “No Hay Nadie Como Tu” featuring Cafe Tacvba – the original hispanic indie band.  As a long-time Cave Tacvba fan (since middle school probably…) I was very happy to hear these two unique acts on the same track.  It suprised me how successfully the track balances the individual sounds of both bands – drum machines and didgeridoos somehow mix very well with Cafe Tacvba’s upstroke-based surf tendencies.  The lyrics seem like nonsense at first, however by the time the first chorus rolls around Residente’s point is clear – this is a celebration of uniqueness, diversity, and life, because there is no one quite like you.

“Gringo Latin Funk” (my favorite track at this point) follows up with Residente’s razor sharp tongue taking aim at that most displeasing Puerto Rican stereotype – the “gringo/gringa wannabe.”  The beat starts up with some baritone sax licks with wah-wah guitar, latin percussion, and a fat synth bassline.  The strings and horns kick in soon after, immediately followed by a dem-bow based drum track that blends real and sampled drums.  Also, Residente gets some help on the chorus from his sister PG-13, who is slowly but surely gaining prominence as a member of the group.  As a musician, when I listen to this track I can’t help but feel envious when I imagine how much fun Visitante, Calle 13’s beat man, must have in the studio.

And so on.  I could continue writing about “La Perla” and the kind of musical maturity that kind of recording shows, or about the sheer electroboogie weirdness of “Electro Movimiento” (which makes me wish I knew how to breakdance).  But I won’t.  What I will do is wrap up with this:  Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo shows true musical growth and accomplishment – something that fans and listeners like me will enjoy.  If you are looking for radio-friendly slices of reggaeton, buy another record.

BONUS: If you speak Spanish and are in the mood for an interesting interview, check out this video of Residente and Visitante from Calle 13 kickin it with salsa icon Ruben Blades over a bottle of wine.


Calle 13 – Gringo Latin Funk

Boricua Music News: New Calle 13 Video and Daddy Yankee CD Burning

Posted in Artists I Like, Music, Politics, Puerto Rico, Random, Videos on October 9, 2008 by dublab

Two big items today.  First, according to El Nuevo Dia, a giant bonfire fueled by Daddy Yankee CDs is supposed to be going on right now at the entrance of the San Juan Convention Center in Puerto Rico.  This is in protest of Daddy Yankee’s role as MODERATOR at tonight’s debate between candidates for the office of Governor of Puerto Rico.

Second, Calle 13 has just released their music video for “No Hay Nadie Como Tu” featuring Cafe Tacuba.  The song is off Calle 13’s upcoming album, Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo, which drops on Oct 21st.  Check it:

El Grito De Lares: Never Forget

Posted in History, Politics, Puerto Rico on September 23, 2008 by dublab

From New York Latino Journal:

Frustrated by the lack of political and economic freedom, and enraged by the continuing repression on the island, an armed rebellion was staged by the pro-independence movement in 1868.

On plans designed by Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances and Segundo Ruíz Belvis, nearly 1000 rebels gathered on September 23, 1868 in the hacienda of Manuel Rojas, located in the vicinity of Pezuela, on the outskirts of the town of Lares, in the midwest region of Puerto Rico.

Poorly trained and armed, the rebels reached the town by horse and foot around midnight. They confiscated local stores and offices owned by “peninsulares” (Spanish-born men) and took over the city hall. Spanish merchants and local government authorities, considered by the rebels to be enemies of the fatherland, were taken as prisoners. The revolutionaries then entered the town’s church and placed the revolutionary flag (the Lares flag), knitted by Mariana Bracetti, on the High Alter as a sign that the revolution had began and the Republic of Puerto Rico was proclaimed under the presidency of Francisco Ramirez Medina. Many of the Puerto Rican rebels were African slaves who had escaped and in hiding. Others were middle and upper class creole that were motivated by the idea of freedom to develop economic opportunities without the restrictions of a foreign feudal power. All slaves who had joined the movement were declared free citizens. The revolt would be known as El Grito de Lares.

Spanish forces eventually ended the insurrection when the rebels attempted to take the next town, San Sebastian del Pepino.

I leave you with a related item: Cultura Profetica – Lucha y Sacrificio

Siete Nueve: Daddy Yankee Fans Keep Harassing Me

Posted in Artists I Like, Music, Puerto Rico on September 19, 2008 by dublab

El Nuevo Dia reports on how underground Puerto Rican hip-hop phenom Siete Nueve keeps receiving nasty messages on his cell phone from Daddy Yankee fans who are upset about his latest single “Quedate Callao,” which is not-so-subtly aimed at Raymond Ayala.  But according to Siete Nueve, it isn’t even as bad as some of the diss tracks Don Omar has put out about DY.

And it’s all good, cause Siete Nueve knows people have his back:

So far I’ve gotten encouraging calls from Crisálida, Velcro and Ikol Santiago. Tego Calderón sent me a message saying that he shares my opinion.  And I got calls from Gomba Jahbari and Cultura Profética. And from the United States, rap artist Fat Joe, who made much stronger declarations against Yankee.

Hahahaha… Fat Joe.  Awesome.  I’ll be posting about Velcro, Gomba Jahbari and Cultura in the future, so stay tuned.

Download “Quedate Callao” for free from SieteNueve’s Myspace page.

Peg Leg Short Shorts

Posted in Music, On My Radar, Police State, Politics, Puerto Rico, Random, Sad, Technology on September 19, 2008 by dublab

Because I don’t have much time to waste on Talk Like a Pirate Day: