On the Pogues album If I Should Fall from Grace with God, they sing a song called “Fiesta” that is more or less a punk Spanish song which, while very Spanish sounding, still retains a feeling of Irishness. Piñata Protest, a band from San Antonio who sing in Spanish and English, sounds like a similar mix of Mexico, Ireland and punk (especially on the second track, “Vato Perron”). I feel like the Ireland comes from the accordion (one of the primary instruments on the disc), while the punk lasts throughout (the whole album is 9 songs in 20 minutes).
The band plays loud guitars at a fast pace. And it’s amazing how well the accordion brings it all together.
The band sings a few really fast songs and a couple slower ones. Interestingly, the slower songs (“Tomorrow Today” and “Guadalupe”) are probably the most conventional and, consequentially, of the least interesting songs on the album. They sound like pretty typical punk pop, albeit with touches of accordion. It’s the more fast songs like “Vato Perron” and “Life on the Border” (with the great lead accordion and the fun “Hey!” refrain) which really stand out.
“Volver Volver” is a traditional song which starts out slowly (with big guitars) and after a few verses and a very long held note, the punk can’t be contained any longer and the song ends in a blur. The title track is a great rocker with some interesting guitar sounds an a cool accordion solo. Then there;s the rocking (and amusing) cover of “La Cucaracha.” It starts out as a blistering punk song with no real connection to the original until about mid way through when a lone trumpet begins laying the familiar melody. It’s only a minute long and so is the final cut “Que Pedo” which is just a blistering punk song with lots of screaming.
And with that album is done. It’s a fun an unexpected treat of an album, and if you like your punk musically diverse, it’s worth checking out (NPR is streaming it this week).
[READ: May 11, 2013] Dread & Superficiality
Sarah got me this book for my birthday. If you have ever seen Annie Hall (and if you haven’t, go watch it now), you’ve seen Woody-as-cartoon. Hample is the person who created the cartoon for the movie. Around the time that that happened, Hample was pushing Woody to have a comic strip based around him (Hample had a moderately successful strip at the time already) and also convincing newspapers that this was a good idea. All parties agreed and Inside Woody Allen ran from 1976 to 1984. 1984! I can’t believe I never saw this in a newspaper. My parents were daily subscribers to two newspapers and I know I read the comics. Of course, I didn’t care about Woody Allen until I went to college, so maybe I did see it but ignored it.
Anyhow, this book collects a bunch of those strips (I have no idea how many but I would venture around 200–which is a far cry from the nearly 3,000 that would have been produced over those years. But hey since there’s no other place to see these strips (there were three books published but they are all long out of print), this is a good place to start and a nice collection. But more than just the strips, most of the book collects the original proofs of the strips, so you can see Hample’s lines and notes (there are several pieces that deal with his color choices and notes on the same).
The book is broken down into subjects and is in no way chronological. This makes sense as it’s good to see him dealing with the same topic in different ways, but it makes for weird continuity issues (something that will obviously occur when you only select random strips). Woody is with various women over the strip and it’s hard to know if he was after Laura for a few months or the duration of the strip. Of course, the sections aren’t really all that different–they all deal with Allen’s philosophical attitude, his attempts to woo women, his therapist and his parents. However, the breakdowns, while somewhat arbitrary are enjoyable. (more…)