I drove to San Antonio Saturday night to specifically see the Mexican Stepgrandfather perform at club Limelight. This was the first time I had been to Limelight, located on North Saint Marys Street, and I really had a great time. I would definitely go back again although the sound system could be better. I also enjoyed the eclectic but friendly crowd and the atmosphere was electric.
All the opening artists were great but the Mexican Stepgrandfather ruled the house. He did have full band and DJ support Saturday night although the new album uses more drum beats and live music rather music samples. The message is still political and very pertinent to the current anti-immigrant sentiment, social plight and relationship issues. OCCUPIED STATE has more featured artist than the first album, ESTERE-ERE-O, and less music samples which highlights Mexican Stepgrandfather lyrical skill.
When Mexican Stepgrandfather came out for his set, the crowd was anxious and happy to see him. They were cheering, jumping and dancing. Mexican Stepgrandfather poured out his heart and soul for the crowd that night and they gladly accepted the gift. At the end of the set, the crowd still wanted more. I wanted more. I can say we all left happy and content because we all had shared the same incredible experience. I extended the euphoria by listening to the OCCUPIED STATE CD on the way home.
Check out this video of "Falling Down" at Limelight.
Also check out "The System" off OCCUPIED STATE.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I first saw Mexican Stepgrandfather perform about two years ago at the Flamingo Cantina in Austin, Texas. I instantly liked his music, lyrics and stage presence. After his set, I purchased the then current ESTERE-ERE-O CD and started a conversation with Marco Antonio Cervantes aka Mexican Stepgrandfather (MSG). Marco is a really nice guy. Originally from Houston, Marco has been living in San Antonio for years now. I discovered that he was an Associate Professor at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). MSG is unique in many ways. He is not your run of the mill 19 or 20-something year old rapper. Liked I said, he is a professor. A master of the English and Spanish language, MSG uses bilingualism to create lyrics that tell a fascinating story. When I listen to his music, I just get it. I've either seen it or have been around that story he is rapping about. I also like the samples of old Mexican tunes he uses and how they're mixed.
I have seen MSG perform on two other ocassions: Una Noche de la Gloria 2009 at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas and at Mi Casa Cantina at Este Vato's CD Release in June 2010 in Austin.
I'm excited, MSG is having an Album Release at Limelight in San Antonio, Texas on November 20, 2010. I will be at the Limelight next Saturday because I want to see MSG perform and I want the new album, OCCUPIED STATE. I haven't asked about the album, songs or any background information because I want it to be new and fresh.
Below you'll see a great sample of MSG in an "Official" professionally produced music video.
The second is a video of an actual performance which gives you an even better sense of MSG in action.
Other artist performing at are:
Scuba Gooding Sr.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Last night was the Afrofreque CD Release at Momo's presented by Bemba Entertainment. This is the third time I've seen Afrofreque in the last 30 days and still want more. I saw them recently at the Birthday Felabration for Fela Kuti at Red 7 and at the Funk Freak Halloween Ball at ND at Studio 501, also produced by Bemba Entertainment, and last night at Momo's. They just won me over immediately. They are Funk, Soul, Rap, Hip Hop, R&B and more. All the people at Momo's last night were definitely moved to dance, bounce or sway to the music. I purchased Afrofreque's new CD,"Jewels and Gems," so I get to hear them anytime I want.
I do have to thank Brandon Badillo of Bemba Entertainment for continuously producing numerous themed showcases like the Birthday Felabration and the Funk Freak Halloween Ball which have been great events and experiences. Brandon has the knack of selecting the right musical talent, the right venue and the ability to create a unique experience that people want to attend and then look forward to the next event.
The musical line up last night included Dawni McCray, Adam Rodgers, Soulkitchen, Afrofrique and Courtney Sanchez and SWAY. I did get to record video of Soul Kitchen, Afrofreque and Courtney Sanchez and SWAY. It was an exceptional night for music.
To find out what Bemba Entertainment has planned check out the Bemba Calender.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Making Movies, a band from Kansas City, Missouri, is on tour and performed at Momo's in Austin, Texas on Tuesday November 2 , 2010 for KUT 90.5fm World Music Night presented by Bemba Entertainment. Making Movies is a band which performs both in English and Spanish but the Latin influence is the dominant flavor. Their music is very Rock, Latin and Pop and really appeals to very broad audience. On Tuesday, aside from their exceptional play list, they played a White Stripes cover song, "Seven Army Nation." To put it mildly, I liked the hell out of their version of the cover version. The song started out with a Latin flair but then morphed into a Santana cover then back to "Seven Army Nation." I was a fantastic blend of two songs and artist. Making Movies is very creative and very original. Catch a performance or two if you can, check Tour Schedule.
Below is video of cover song, "Seven Army Nation," and another exceptional song performed by Making Movies from Tuesday night's performance at Momo's
Bemba Entertainment presents World Music Night every Tuesday at Momo's. Check Bemba's Calendar or Momo's Calender for information. See you there.
Una Noche De La Gloria, presented by Contemporary Arts and Literature Organization (CALO), is an event in the West Side of San Antonio, Texas which showcases local talent in the arts. This includes visual arts, fashion, film, music, theater and spoken word performances at the historic Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. "Barrio Massive En El Mero Hueso" is the main musical presentation of the event.
Below, is a short video that really gives you a sense of Una Noche De La Gloria 2010.
This is the second time that I've attended Una Noche De La Gloria. I enjoyed it so much last year that I had return again. I go more for the exceptional music but I enjoy all the activities. This year's main stage line up included: JD Diego Bernal, La Guerrilla, Pop Pistol, Piñata Protest, Bombasta and Special Guest, The Sequence.
La Guerrilla, the international, Latin, gypsy ensemble from Austin, Texas band and one of my favorites.
Pop Pistol, from San Antonio, incorporates a "very interesting blend of indie rock steeped in electronic roots. Progressive broken beat drums coupled with an ethereal rhythm section of synths and samples and haunting vocal delivery for a complex, multi-dimensional sound." -Study Breaks Magazine, UTSA
This is the first time I saw Pop Pistol and I was really impressed with their performance, music and sound. This is a band I want to see again and a band that you'll be hearing more about very soon.
Pinata Protest, is a San Antonio "accordion powered punk rock-y-roll band." I also add "conjunto punk band" as part of the description because of it's rocking Mexican roots.
Bombasta is the epitome of the new Urban Latino sound that has emerged in cities like San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and all over which incorporates all the intrinsic influences of Latin, Rock, Conjunto, Traditional Roots and Electronic music. When Bombasta performs, you know a party is going to break out and you better be prepared to throw down some moves!
The Sequence, an a capella doo-wop group also from San Antonio performed some 1950-60's songs. The Sequence is not on the web, you may contact them at (210)421-5683 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Una Noche De La Gloria 2011 is already being planned and I am looking forward to it already.