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Archive for the ‘La Misa Negra’ Category

augSOUNDTRACK: LA MISA NEGRA-“Sancocho” (Tiny Desk Contest Runner-Up 2016).

misanegraLast week, a Tiny Desk Contest winner was announced. This week, All Songs Considered posted ten runners-up that they especially liked.  I want to draw attention to a couple of them.

La Misa Negra is a cumbia-loving band from Oakland, Calif.  There are eight members in the band.  There’s a drummer with a small kit but lots of frenetic drumming, and a bongo player who is also frenetic.  The percussion is pretty major in this band.

There’s also a sax, trumpet, clarinet, guitar and upright bass.  The guitar player does super fast ska chords, while the horns plays some insanely fast riffs.  The singer is full of yips and trills.  It’s a non-stop fun rollicking ride.

I have no idea what they’re singing about (it’s all in Spanish) and I just don’t care, (“Sancocho” is named after a hearty stew popular in several Latin American countries).

Their tiny desk is a school seat with the writing top attached to the side.  By the end it can’t contain the singer who has to get up and dance around too.

What a fun song.

[READ: February 10, 2016] “In Praise of Boredom”

The August 2015 Harper’s had a “forum” called How to Be a Parent.  Sometimes these forums are dialogues between unlikely participants and sometimes, like in this case, each author contributes an essay on the topic.  There are ten contributors to this Forum: A. Balkan, Emma Donoghue, Pamela Druckerman, Rivka Galchen, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Ben Lerner, Sarah Manguso, Claire Messud, Ellen Rosenbush and Michelle Tea.  Since I have read pieces from most of these authors I’ll write about each person’s contribution.

I don’t know Claire Messud, but I totally related to this essay,

She is about my age and explains that the world she grew up in no longer exists.  She says her parents, while wanting for nothing, were always frugal–they saved Ziploc bags and repaired things rather than threw them away.

They didn’t aspire to material wealth or popular culture, but rather they traveled a lot and had the children read.  But Claire says that as a child she would rather have her own record player and clothes from the Gap.

So when her mom went to work she grew absorbed in pop culture TV and she felt like she became less serious than her parents.

I agreed with this:

The comparative ease of our upbringing first inspired guilt, then defiance. If, as our parents said, we should be eternally grateful for our comfort, then couldn’t we be grateful without feeling bad about it? Why should we accept that the hard path was always superior? Why shouldn’t we enjoy life’s pleasures? Why believe that reading Beckett or, God forbid, Heidegger, was an innately more worthy activity than watching music videos? Says who?

She knows that reading Beckett is a stimulating hour, but she can spend that hour just as happily watching Scandal. (more…)

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