Dia De Los Muertos

dia-de-los-muertosSo the Day of the Dead  is the Mexican holiday which also falls on Halloween and continues on for a few days following Halloween.  Instead of being spooked out by the idea of souls who have passed on, it embraces and honors those loved ones who are no longer with us in body.  In honor of this colorful holiday, I’ve selected a track by the talented Ozomatli that celebrates La Dia De Los Muertos entitled “Cumbia De Los Muertos“.  If you’re not familiar with Cumbia, (it’s making a big resurgence in the electro dj scene) it originated in Colombia and is a mix of traditional Colombian, slave rhythms and some traditional Spanish influences.  This is obviously an oversimplification of the music, but if you’re interested in a good introduction to the sound, check out The Original Sound of Cumbia: The History of Colombian Cumbia & Porro. It’s a great compilation to wet your whistle.

Rip Roaring Halloween Jam


Today’s selection comes from Lord Luther aka Luther McDaniels, formerly of the Doo Wop group the 4 Deuces. After the group broke up in late 1950′s, he continued recording and released the track “Teenage Creature” in 1958 with The King’s Men.  Spooky it is not, but there’s nothing wrong with boppin’ around on Halloween so long as you’re doing the Teenwolf Dance!

Numero Tres

screaming-jay-hawkinsn1It doesn’t get better than Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.  Listed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock n’ Roll, “I Put A Spell On You” incorporates raw animal instinct and over-the-top theatrics that made Screamin’ Jay a performers performer.

Torture Track #2

Gnarls Barkley, Spin, November 1, 2006Thirteen days of Halloween continues with a little creepy track by Gnarls Barkley.  These guys know how NOT take themselves too seriously, make some amazing music AND transform themselves into iconic characters with the help of creative costumes.  The 2006 track “The Boogie Monster” should be on any Halloween party playlist

Smokey’s Thirteen Days of Halloween

Creepy-Kids-Halloween-Costumes-8204I’m not sure why 1950′s Halloween costumes were so darn creepy, but no professional zombie make-up job done on a person today can compete with the children’s Halloween masks of old.  In honor of of the creepiest era of costumes ever, I’m going to kick off my Thirteen Days of Halloween with a spooky song from 1958 by Leroy Bowman entitled “Graveyard“ 

Dancing Feet Wisk Me Away to Treasure Island

treasureislandBay Area residents, I hope you’re gearing up for one of the best weekends of music that I have ever seen.  TREASURE ISLAND FESTIVAL 2013 is coming to town, and even If you’re in LA, I’d advise that you make the trek cause it will definitely be worth it.  Tickets are still on sale (single day and two day) and I have to say that $150 seems like a steal when you account for the epic lineup.  Atoms For Peace (my friend saw them last night in LA and said they sounded amazing), Animal Collective (one of the best live acts out there), JAMES BLAKE (duh, I may still be deaf from having seats directly in front of his speakers the last time I saw him, but I would do it again cause he was so phenomenal.  The bass literally made my eyelashes flutter), Little Dragon (Yukimi Nagano is a beast on stage), Major Lazor, Disclosure, Real Estate, Giraffage (“Even Though” is constantly on repeat for me) just to name my favorites.  The remainder of the lineups for both days is solid, so put it on your “To-Do list” if you’re anywhere close to Northern Cali.  If the $150 is too steep for your budget, the website has information on volunteering through http://www.cleanvibes.com/ event waste and recycling services which will get you a free ticket to the show AND be great for the environment.  Don’t be a dummy, make it happen.  Here’s a link to their Rdio station in case you want preview some tracks by the performers.Treasure Island Rdio

Back on the chain gang…well sort of.

Road WarriorsAfter a wild spring and summer roadtripping through the states and peacing out on all responsibilities such as updating my blog or working for that matter, I’ve decided I’m ready once again to reconnect to the online world and hopefully drop a little musical inspiration on any willing listeners.

So any good roadtrip requires a playlist full of tracks that have one of the following traits: REPEAT-ability – GREAT SCREAM ALONG CHORUS – KEEP YOU AWAKE BASS – BEAUTIFUL MELODY TO KEEP YOU CALM DURING MOMENTS THAT TRIGGER ROAD RAGE and of course no playlist is complete without a few GUILTY PLEASURES.

Here are my top ten road tested tracks that kept the Gypsy Roadtrip in full swing

1. Ingenue * Atoms For Peace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpVfF4U75B8

2. Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma)  * Jorge Ben  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAh4Vb1ghCo

3. Help Me Lose My Mind * Disclosure  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fptml7Dgp4E

4. Sundown * Gordon Lightfoot  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbMEb1T8CN0

5. Puppy Toy * Tricky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irMr0qX8jNs

6. Magalenha * Sergio Mendes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoblz9g13NA

7. Cherry Wine * Nas feat Amy Winehouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6903zFUIxoU

8. Didn’t I  * Dorando http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dww7SYjhJk

9. The Night Will Always Win * Elbow (night driving musical magic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOklVS1LQDk

10. The Upsetter/Upsetter Version * Lee Perry & Dennis Alcapone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0_kvNWZkrg

* Guilty Pleasure track (I’m too embarrassed to even write it out but we performed the crap outta it every time it shuffled its way onto our playlist) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li6vpAMmfw0

Thanks for checking in and rest assured that I’m back and ready to fill you in on the videos, remixes, mix tapes, throwbacks, concerts and other music related nuggets that are share worthy.

Saturday the 19th I’ll be kicking off my Thirteen Days of Halloween tracks, so check in daily for dreadful tunes to get you in the mood for All Hallows Eve.