Plaza Baratillo

Plaza Baratillo, Guanajuato, GTO

The place of chard tamales and vegan gorditas. Where the fountain is protected from splashing children by an iron gate. Cold in the shadows but bright in the sun.


Los callejones are filled with secrets.

Favorite Song of the Day: Honeybane

Honey Bane – Girl On the Run (1979)

Strangely, I have never grown tired of the music put out by the band Crass or on their label Crass Records. In fact, the music seems even more relevant and fresh today. How that came to be, I don’t know but judging by the amount of Crass songs posted to my friend’s Facebook pages, I’d say I’m not the only one.

This song by Honeybane is a good example. I’ve listened to it a hundred times and my ears would be very happy through a hundred more listens. The siren guitar that breaks into the intense rhythm bass tells you to get ready for one badass song. The sound is very Crass-ish with the military style drums (and the addition of a coconut?) but more raw sounding due to the vocal stylings of a real girl on the run. Honeybane was a runaway who found refuge in the Crass commune.

Luscious Jackson liked this song so much they sampled it on their first album.

Secret Disco: Something Borrowed, Something New

Liquid Liquid – Cavern (1983)

Does this song sound familiar? If it does, you might think it’s a rip-off of Melle Mel’s White Lines except it was Melle Mel who borrowed this song for White Lines while neglecting to give the band Liquid Liquid credit. A lawsuit ensued causing the band’s record company to go bankrupt and the band to fall apart and in the end, Liquid Liquid received no credit for being the originators of this popular and seminal hip-hop song.

Formerly a punk band from New Jersey, Liquid Liquid became influenced by bands like Can and Fela Kuti and soon after found themselves in the Leftfield Disco scene. The Secret History of Disco describes them as “rock deconstructionists with a ferocious but minimal groove.”

Melle Mel-White Lines (1983)

Another Thought

Jessie Tellez Garcia (1922-2008)

For natives of Los Angeles, rain is exciting. We don’t have many seasonal changes. Wind and water for a couple months a year remind us of the circular movement of life, even if our nature isn’t as obviously dramatic as in other places. In a few days, when the sun starts to shine, the air will be filled with the energy of millions of sprouting seeds as they begin their new lives. We revel in the fleeting greenery they bring to our usual beige surroundings, our lives once again full of color.

On the second anniversary of my Grandmother’s passing, I think of these things. I still miss her terribly but she is always with me in my dreams and in my memories.

I’ve been listening to lots of Arthur Russell lately. His piece Another Thought is a perfect match for the mood of the day.
Listen here for Arthur Russell’s Instrumentals 1974 Vol. 1
More on Arthur Russell’s disco projects coming this week!

Secret Disco: Y Records

For this installment of Secret Disco, I’m presenting notable bands on Y Records. Started by Dick O’ Dell in 1978 and based in Bristol, England, The Secret History of Disco describes Y Records as “twisting the dance floor into new shapes.” Cowbells seem to be the unifying element in all these songs.


Pulsallama-Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body

I thought I was over music like this but when it’s done well like this song from Pulsallama, the appeal of these quirky tracks is rediscovered. I love the steel drums and the way they wander around the atonal chorus and spoken lyrics.
Pulsallama was an avant-garde art band from New York and a part of the the burgeoning new wave scene. Ann Magnuson of Bongwater was once part of the group.

From the blog Bleeding Panda:

Pulsallama was a short-lived, yet legendary, 12 piece all-girl percussion band who ruled Manhattan nightlife for a brief period in 1981 and 1982. Their sound has been described as “13 girls fighting over a cowbell.” Pulsallama got a rave review in New Musical Express in which the reporter said he was “dancing, screaming and laughing, all at the same time!”

Pigbag-Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag

Another Y label hit, Papa’s Got a New Pigbag was one of the most awesome experimental post-punk, funk, dance-floor hit songs of the early 80s. The amazing bassline later gets heavily referenced by The Style Council in the song Precious.

Maximum Joy-Stretch (Discomix & Rap)

I often assumed this kind of music was just funky new wave. I had no idea it was being played in dance clubs, I was too young for those activities when these records were released.

We Are All Prostitutes-Pop Group

Pop Group: a few leaps into punk and a boogie into funk and then back into some experimental musical world of their own making, all accompanied by Situ/anarko lyrics.


Also, check out The Slits.

Favorite Song(s) of the Day: Dead Lazers and Disco Dancers

O.Children – Dead Disco Dancer

O.Children is this decade’s version of Joy Division and Bauhaus which is not to say they touch these bands in terms of musical sacredness but more that they are derivative of the gothic post-punk genre of those times. Unfortunately, they have a commonality with many current bands by being over produced and over styled. Despite these criticisms, Tobi O’Kandi’s voice is gorgeous, much richer and fuller than Ian Curtis (if you will permit me the comparison). I also have a special fondness for Tobi O’Kandi because he was previously in a band called Bono Must Die. The band was eventually compelled to change their name by the forces behind the letter U and the number 2.

Kap Bambino – Dead Lazers

Wow, Kap Bambino sure changed their look from a few years ago when I first came across them through the French electro post-happy hardcore music scene and they were all dayglo and shiny. I guess the dark times have returned to Europe too and everyone’s angry again, finally! Or perhaps, bands like Atari Teenage Riot have influenced the new crop of 20teens electro crashers. I predict ATR will be the band to emulate in this upcoming new decade.
Now is definitely the time to fight.
(By the way, doesn’t it sound like she’s singing “dead lizards in the night”?)