Making Movies is a multifaceted band. The lead singer/guitarist (Enrique Chi) and bassist (Diego) are brothers from Panama who grew up in Kansas City.
In addition to these two, the band has a keyboardist who also plays the bongos, as well as a drummer/percussionist who busts out a guitar at the end.
Enrique, upon explain the band’s origins says “Our music is all messed up. Sometimes it comes out in English, sometimes in Spanish.” The rhythms are from Panama but are mixed in with the keyboardist’s Mexican heritage. They even have some interesting instruments like the tiny acoustic bass guitar a Panamanian guitar and a donkey jawbone.
“Pendulum Swing” has a cool guitar riff (chords played very high on the neck, giving a distinctive alt 90s feel). The vocals even do some simple “oh ohs.” Enrique’s voice sounds strangely familiar (but I can’t figure out why and I know he’s not someone I’ve heard before because he also sings in Spanish). I love that the keyboardist plays the bongos during the verses and then adds textures to the chorus.
“Cuna De Vida” starts with some more high-pitched guitars and looped voices before some dancey rhythms are added from the bongos and drums. Enrique mostly plays very high chords on the guitar and there’s more “Oh oh ohs.” The song is sung entirely in Spanish and sounds very different from the other two (but still with that alt 90s feel). By the end of the song there are bongos, drums and cowbells as the song builds. It’s fun to her the chorus sung in Spanish as it ramps up at the end.
“Chase Your Tail” opens with looping high notes on the guitar. It sounds much more alt rock–except that the drummer is playing the donkey jawbone and cowbells. The song is really catchy and fun. When it seems like the song is over, the drummer grabs his guitar and Enrique plays the tiny Panamanian guitar. They play a very fast rhythm and he sings in Spanish with fun loping bass notes (and great Mexican style oh oh backing vocals). And when you think it’s all over, the drummer steps up on the zapateado board and does a rhythmic tap dance.
Making Movies was putting out their debut album at this time. I hope they had success with it. I’d like to hear more.
[READ: May 15, 2016] Gus and His Gang
I’m fascinated by First Second’s relationship with French artists. It seems like half of their early releases were originally published in French. And this one is no exception.
What’s also funny is that the French artists seems to have a very distinctive style. Even if they don’t look alike, there’s something very “French” about the way they draw. I did consider that this book might have been drawn by Joann Sfar, but it was all done by Blain, And like many of those other book this was translated by Alexis Siegel.
This book has 13 chapters, although they may also be independent stories. I’m unclear about that. In fact I’m unclear about a lot of this story. Like why does Gus, the lead character have a nose that would be about 18 inches long?
It’s funny and makes him instantly recognizable, but it’s such a weird idea. And why does the titular Gus disappear about half way though never to return? Is this an excerpt? Is it only part one? The colophon is very uninformative. (more…)