kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
Woke up in Baracoa on March 16 to a lovely breakfast made by our hosts.
It was even better than the ones we'd been getting at the hotel - more selections! (Not much more but hey, they had hot chocolate!).

Trying to get through this so quick summary of parts.
Back to the city center where we got a lecture on the local history from the local historian. He was pretty awesome. He knew a lot about the area and spoke about his attempts to carry his suitcase museum to other more remote areas to share and collect information. He's also got the title of historian of the country or something like that. I'll edit when I get the better details.

So the church we met at is the Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. The Cruz de la Parra is located here too. It's supposed to be one of the last remaining 29 crosses erected by Columbus in 1492 - or so they say. Now after carbon dating they realized that the wood doesn't seem to come from Spain so who knows what's really the truth? Regardless, the church has gone through some renovations but it is the one of the oldest - remember, Baracoa is also known as the first city of Cuba since this is where Spain is thought to have landed.

Facing the church doors with all his pride is Hatuey - the first rebel of the Americas. He seems to have been a pretty bad ass guy. Unfortunately he was betrayed in the end - isn't that how it always is? - and he got caught by the Spaniards and was burned alive. When he was asked if he wanted to repent, confess and get the chance to go to Heaven, he asked the priest if there Spaniards would be there too. The priest said yes and so he said he'd rather go to Hell.

"Here is the God the Spaniards worship. For these they fight and kill; for these they persecute us and that is why we have to throw them into the sea... They tell us, these tyrants, that they adore a God of peace and equality, and yet they usurp our land and make us their slaves. They speak to us of an immortal soul and of their eternal rewards and punishments, and yet they rob our belongings, seduce our women, violate our daughters. Incapable of matching us in valor, these cowards cover themselves with iron that our weapons cannot break."

He's also known as "The Indian" and Cohiba as well as some other brands use him as their logo. They couldn't have picked better. I started reading up on the guy. I'm surprised there isn't a movie out yet. I guess Columbus makes for better box office figures. And so Hatuey faces off in the town square against the Church and all it stands for. I really, really like everything about it.

We then wandered over to the local gallery where many of us bought pieces of art. I did too. It was a really nice gallery!

The Baracoa visit was one highlight after another. We stopped off at an old hotel owned by a woman from Russia and got the history of that - I was paying less attention here. And that was followed to a visit to the Museo Matachin for our next bit of entertainment.
We got in a bit too late the night before and instead of getting two bands, we only got one. The one that was about to play was pushed back to today and wow, we were all so thrilled not to have missed them! They were my favorite of the entire trip and yet they didn't have any CDs for purchase. Luckily I've already found them on Spotify and Amazon too!

Maravilla Yunquena

Just going to drop the music right here:

The rest of the Videos are at my VIMEO page.
Just watching these over again make me feel really good. I really did like Baracoa and I need to plan a return that lasts a few days longer!

Then on to the next stop and lunch. That goes in the next post.
kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
So I've fallen behind. I thought I would. There's been a lot of traveling happening and very little time to catch up between work and rest. So the posts may become a bit shorter. Hopefully not too sparse in detail because otherwise I'd just be tweeting all this. Since Cuba, I've been in Florida, then flew home. Then a weekend trip to New York and then home once again. In a couple of weeks I head off for Japan followed by the Northern Marianas. I'd better gt to it!

The Casa Particulares had 3 bedrooms so I got housed with [livejournal.com profile] wrayb and Alan and Dirck and David. What a super cute place. Why did I not take photos? Stupid, stupid. After a nap we headed off to dinner at La Poeta. It was really yummy. I drank a lot of NoJitos and Pinadas.

Total thumbs up kind of place!

After that we headed off to another performance by BaraRumba!
This was kind of lively. The dancers put on more of a theatrical show which included body paint as well as costumes. There was also audience participation.

Michelle and David rocking it!

The night was getting long. And I was ready to go to bed. However I snapped a few shots while walking back.
This place is awesome. The wet street with its bright colours made me think I was on some kind of movie set or Disney theme park. Really love the colours here...

kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
So onwards!
We then headed into the Los Hoyos area of town.
Conga las Hoyas makes sense for a name now, eh?
The place was called Foco Cultural, Conga los Hoyos.
And it was loud!

After this we headed back to the hotel for a break before going to dinner. I decided to go with the group because we were told it'd be some Chinese place. That really got my hopes up at least, but it was far from it!
From the journal:
Today was full of history and culture. Just like every day. I really need to study and learn about this region's history. It'd be more helpful in being able to keep up with the information dump being thrown into our heads each time we board the bus. It's great info but I'll bet if I had prepared better then I'd be able to connect the dots and absorb more. Even still, it's great to listen to - even if I consistently fall asleep most of the time.
When I get home I'm going to start looking up Cuba history.
I'm also going to eat Chinese food. For real. With lots of spicy red chili peppers.
I am deaf. Thank you conga los hoyos. I will pretend the faint sound in my head are my other personalities being more vocal than usual.
kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
Wow. We've done so much and we're only 4 days into this trip.
Today was full of more music and dancing and history and culture and art.
And we even ended up half-deaf after doing the conga too.
A lot of bus riding today but we got out often because everything we saw was in Santiago.

We started out at the Casa del Caribe - currently celebrating 35 years - and found a bunch of seats set out for us. Lecture time!
Lots of history though, and lots of information. I'm really enjoying it though again, I wish I had a better background of it.


From there we walked over to the Casa de la Religiones Populaires. Basically it's a living shrine to mulitpe religions where people can come and practice whatever they want.
We got a presentation by Abelardo Larduet and after that, the Grupo Abburreyé performed for us. They were good!



I told [livejournal.com profile] wrayb to copy the lady's pose. I realized after he mentioned it that it wasn't a lady.

From the journal:
Later start. The Casa de Caribe. Got more history and background of Santiago and other things including Haiti and the influx of tons of other influences. My book is full of notes and I can't read any of it. I think I was trying to write it on the bus.

Returned to the hotel last night to find the water working :-)
There was no need to switch our home for the night. Hurray for being able to be lazy for that evening. Now there's no need to pack until tonight. I think tomorrow we head off to Baracoa where we will stay in private homes - casa particulares. Right now watching members of our group dancing to La Bamba sung by a woman and her guitar in an Italian resto where we've just had lunch. Dessert tasted like bazooka joe in ice cream form.
And once again into the breach!
(I mean back to the bus!).
kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
Day 2 started with a very nice sunrise before jumping onto the bus and heading to Sagua de Tánamo to see the Tumba Francesa de Bejuco. When we arrived, the town band was playing in the square and performed a song for us before we all headed into their local cultural center and a museum to listen to a local artist and town historian.
We're going to meet a lot of historians filled with information on their local areas. It's really enlightening and encouraging to see how they try and keep their traditions and culture alive.





After the dancing we jumped on the bus and had lunch with the performers. Afterwards they would then jump into the back of a truck for their 3 hour journey back into the mountains to Bejuco while we had the comfortable bus take us to Santiago. I slept for most of that drive. But woke up when we got to Santiago.



We checked into the hotel Imperial and rested for a bit. Then it was off to dinner which was on the roof of the hotel.
It's got a very nice view.




i tried to take a few panorama shots. I will attempt to link full size images to the smaller ones.

That's it for day 2.

From the journal:

Today is the long drive north and east to the coast followed by a doubly long drive to the opposite southern coast to Santiago. I think now is a grand time to nap.

13 March
Pretty much slept through all of the driving we did to the town where we saw the tumba francesa, museum and dancers.
Noticed that the dancing was very stiff and controlled. All due to the French infuence in Haiti Th ancestors of these dancers then came to Cuba and attempted to continue the tradition. The singer sang in Creole.
After the performances we went to lunch with them. It was chicken and more rice with beans. I really wish I brought the hot sauce.

I awoke again when we arrived in Santiago mid-drive.
kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
We got in the bus and headed into town to the Restaurante Avilés.
It was really nice for our first place and there we met the local historian/musician who gave us a history of the restaurant, the building itself, and some local facts. After we ate, he took us to the space next door to show us the room the band practiced in. The Orquesta Hermanos Avilés was founded in 1882. After that we moved to a larger space and the band performed for us. The private concert was finished off by everyone dancing.




Back to the hotel and bed to prepare for the next day.

From the written journal:
After a nice nap we headed off for dinner.The place was aptly named Restaurante Avilés. There we were given an opening introduction of the history of the place and a drink. I ended up getting one without the rum.
For food options there was a choice between marlin and chicken. I had the fish. Sides for the main was rice with a lot of beans. Ick! There were multiple courses though and then there was ajicao which was different from the one I've tried at home but still very good. Dessert was flan! :-)
Next door to the restaurant was an open sapve where we were given another history lesson by the local music historian of the area. The space was the practice room of the Orquesta Hermanos Avilés which was founded in 1882 originally.

We all piled into the bus once again and headed to a space that looked like it functioned as a children's day care or play space. Either way it was quite sparse. We watched the band play for about an hour or so. It was great. Most members of the group took photos or videos and danced.
kumimonster: (me wcGreen)
Neat stuff!

This weekend I will be sitting on my ass watching this over 2 days:
The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers on Saturday,
and the Return of the King on Sunday.

This is one of the many rehearsal videos that the silicon valley symphony has posted.
check out their youtube channel for more!

And a dress rehearsal video too!
kumimonster: (pkg face)
cuz someone asked:
the music for this show featured a lot of ryuichi sakamoto. oh wait. it was all sakamoto.
the first piece was from a collaboration with Alva Noto called Aurora:

The second piece was Chinsagu No Hana from the Beauty album:

Chisagu nu hanaya, chimisashi ni sumiti.
Uya nu yushigutu ya, chimu ni simiri.

Yuyu harasu funi ya, ni nu fa fushi mi-ati.
Wan nacheru uya ya, wan du mi ati.

Tun nu buri-bushi ya, yumiba yumariyun.
Uya nu yushigutu ya, yumin naranu.

Takara tama yatin, migikaniba sabisu.
Asayu chimu migachi, uchiyu watara.

Agari akagariba, shimi nare ga ichun.
Kashira yuti tabori, wa uya-ganashi.
Chinsagu nu hana ya, chimisachi ni sumiti.
Uya nu yushigutu ya. Chimu ni siniri.


one of the English translations I found:

The Flower of Balsam, one dyes on one’s fingernails.
The words of one’s parents, one must dye in one’s heart.
Ships sailing the night seas take their bearing by the pole star.
The parents who gave me birth take their bearings by me.

One has to study and to master the name of constellations.
But the lessons taught by one’s parents are not mastered by study alone.
Even gems and treasures will rust unless polished.
Polishing my spirit night and days, I traverse this transient world.
When the sun rises, I shall go off to study.
Please plait my hair, my dear mother.
The Flower of Balsam, one dyes on one’s fingernails.
The words of one’s parents, one must dye in one’s heart.

The last piece was from the Neo Geo album: Chin Nuku Juushii (Okinawa Song).
I can only find a live version of it. The other ones on the youtube are too fast. ick!


kumimonster: (PerryEmma)
this is really really good

go buy go buy (or DL cuz that's what you people do)
click album for amazon linkage.
Couldn't ask for better than these guys

I can't write reviews worth much
but these people at Amazon had something to say.

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kumimonster: (flower)
re-discovering music from when i was a teen.
i remember trying to buy all the albums and at the time they were pretty damn expensive - everything 4AD put out seemed expensive!
And it was difficult to actually pick the album to splurge on because sometimes there were no track listings or anything like that.
And no listening stations - especially for the odd imports.
i even warped a couple (vinyl - it was 1982-1987!)



and then the big 4AD gangbang mix of their label musicians


i think i might still have these (and others i've not posted) I'll have to ask my brother where he stored them.
I remember being so fascinated by the cover art (which looked really good since at the time they were actual records, not CDs)

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kumimonster: (fg vex cap)
I'm actually quite bummed about this

but I guess he lived quite a while.

When I think of 'Red Hot' (the song) it really makes me happy.


Sun Records Rockabilly Musician
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Billy Lee Riley, 75, the growling rockabilly singer and multi-instrumentalist who accompanied Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and others in recording sessions in the 1950s, died Aug. 2 at a hospital in Jonesboro, Ark. He had colon cancer.

Mr. Riley recorded for the Memphis-based record label Sun Records, which discovered and nurtured such talents as Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The Sun label originated a style known as rockabilly, a hybrid of country music and jump rhythm-and-blues. While not as well-known as others on the label, Mr. Riley was cited by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen as among their favorite performers from that era.

He was best known for the 1957 regional hits "Flying Saucers Rock'n'Roll" -- which inspired the name for his backup band, the Little Green Men -- and "Red Hot," both with Lewis on piano. The songs were later recorded by rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon, who closely copied Mr. Riley's arrangements and got the song "Red Hot" onto the national charts in 1978.

As a backing musician, Mr. Riley supplied whatever was needed -- guitar, bass, drums or harmonica -- for recording sessions at Sun. He played upright bass on several of Lewis's hits, including "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless."

entire Washington Post article

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kumimonster: (dougFrosebud)
So last night I drove up to San Francisco to check out the first afterhours evening put on my the SF Symphony.
My buddy Richard met me at Davies Hall and I got the car parked and my ass into the venue on time for us to get into the 2nd set of the evening.

I got the tickets from the SF Weekly. Really nice ones too, none of this back of the hall type of thing.
Oh, and complimentary drink ticket (although the champagne was free  while it lasted too!)

We waited outside the hall for the usher to seat us since I was a little late, but then another usher told us that since we had box seats, we could've just gone in earlier. Oh well. So we listened to the KODÁLY: Galántai Tánkoc (Dances of Galánta)  while waiting outside.
The box seats were great. They were the ones closest to the stage by the cellos and basses.
The second part of the program was LOCH: Schelomo and I really enjoyed that one. It reminded me of a movie soundtrack or something.
The BRAHMS: Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Opus 98 was really nice though I started getting really sleepy during some slow portions. 

The featured cellist was Michael Grebanier and the future music director of the SF opera was Nicola Luisotti. If I stalked married Italian men he'd be one of them cuz he's damn cool to watch, though not has super cute like the motoGP racers I used to dig so much.

Ran into Cleo Dubois and Fakir Musafar as well as a few other kinksters during the evening!
Whoda thunk so many perves and it wasn't even a Wednesday night at BAGG!

The after hours event was great and Alex Kelly featuring the Mark Growden Sextet was damn good!

I'd love to check out the other upcoming events that are lined up, but I'll be in Europe the next couple of months.
I'd definitely suggest going.

kumimonster: (boa)
didnt know this was out
mine now

amazon link

and more n more n more sakamoto
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