Tuesday, July 31, 2007
We reproduce here two messages that Gorki wrote for his website, and that he asked us to publish for clarification:
MENSAJE DE GORKI RECIBIDO EL 20 DE JULIO DEL 2007
"parece que los comunistas estan cerrando el cerco mucho más, el día 18 me han citado a la estacion de Zapata y C para una supuesta entrevista, alli me mostraron una citación oficial hecha por la Asociación Hermanos Saíz, por las últimas manifestaciones que hice públicamente en contra de ellos, esto según ellos es un delito de incitación a la violencia en lugares públicos, es obvio que quieren buscar un pretexto para de nuevo meterme preso, pero esta vez lo estan haciendo de una manera mas intimidatoria, ahora mismo temo por mi libertad."
MENSAJE DEL 15 DE MAYO DEL 2007
Gorki NO esta preso, solo fue una citación judicial para llamarle la atención. Lo último que ha pasado con el grupo es algo bastante frustrante. La policía y el delegado nos han quitado la posibilidad de ensayar en la casa. Han hecho todo un montaje circense en la cuadra, una especie de repudio público frente a unos comunistas de la vieja escuela, algo realmente humillante, con el objectivo de seguir la campanita esa de silenciar al grupo. Ahora mismo no tenemos local de ensayo, y lo que vamos a intentar hacer es tratar de grabar los temas nuevos para que no se olviden por falta de práctica.
We mentioned that he was not in jail in a post published last Saturday, but apparently the rumor is persistent and confusing.
Thanks to y'all for your support, in the name of the band and Gorki.
That shadow that passed and created a strange visual on the facade of that building was the soul of Michelangelo Antonioni leaving this "valley of tears" to go somewhere else....
Another one of the sacred monsters of my visual world leaves.
Bergman left, and Antonioni followed him the same day.
I just can imagine visions of heaven in black and white right now.
Blow up was his masterwork that actually steered me to photography.
Today, I am daydreaming of la Cinemateca de Cuba. I can see the entrance, the ticket booth and the movie theatre becoming dark.... Antonioni's opening titles take a life of their own in the wall beyond my computer screen. And I can even hear the voice of Monica Vitti, and see the shadows of Rome around me.
I think that I should fault Antonioni and his muse Monica for falling in love with the Italian language.
I am mad at the 21st century. It's robbing me of all my memories of the 20th century.
Monday, July 30, 2007
That's an ambulatory facility part of the famed Cuban health care institutional system.
It works like this:
One's work place party honcho or the State Security agent who "minds one" decides that one's so crazy that needs to be institutionalized for a while. Of course, they can declare one to be totally insane, but that'd put a burden in system already overloaded with real nut jobs and assorted basket cases, like people who were never properly treated after their experience in the African wars.
So one's sent straight to the institution (29 and C, close enough to Zapata and C for your favorite SS thug (state security agent) to mind you closely and to be aware of the medication you're given.
After evaluation, one is declared a bit unwell for disliking the revolution, the castros, and for not being willing to put one's talents to the service of the system.
They will administer medication, in the most traditional madhouse style, by giving a bunch of pills to the ambulatory inmates (it has something similar to office hours, one sleeps at home) which are then hidden behind the upper lip, since they would inspect every single "patient" mouth with a tongue depressor. Then you have to drink orange juice -which could be spiked with something. The pills should be spitted before they completely dissolve, or otherwise one would spend the day in a stupor doing some manual work therapy, some sort of origami and receiving the visit of the agent that minds one.
Rebellious youths spend more or less one month there....
Tell me that it's not wonderful to receive free health care, for your mental illness or otherwise.
Sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are worse, and we realize that the phrase good news is an oxymoron.
Today I woke up to the news that Ingmar Bergan has passed away.
He was one of the few true luminaries of contemporary film-making.
I will always associate Bergman with the rain. Whenever I went to see one of those brief screening of his movies at the Cinemateca de Cuba, near the corner of 23 and 12 in el Vedado, it invariably rained.
Then I would jump the fence and cut through the cemetery, under flickering lights and rain, just like in the atmosphere of a movie. I would jump the fence out, like a spirit out of the grave, and walk all the way up 26 till la Ciudad Deportiva.
Well, that if I didn't meet with friends at Jalisco Park.
In that case the walk would be around the cemetery, from Zapata and 12, to 26, sometimes waking up the dead while percuting the iron fence with a stick. Yeah, those nights were straight out of Bergman's visions.
Bergman taught us about inner life, and it was our lifesaver in the demonic experiment that castro unleashed on all of us.
His movies were not shown very often or for very long in Cuba. They would just made up a "cycle of Swedish cinema" and lump a few Bergman movies with some other Swedish image-smiths. Ah, yeah, I just invented another word. Or image-cobblers, if you like that one better, or image-stitchers. Have it as you want it.
Oh well, Ingmar's no more. Now's just Bergman, the visual monument builder.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
But... well, some people still demonize all Spaniards. Are they doing anything similar to this? Of course not.
The New York Times article are mediocre, as a general thing when they are Cuban-themed, but their graphics and photographs are amazing, most of the time. They came out with the photograph that you can see at KillCastro, of raul bullshiting his new party line over the already famous castro-relief, in some sort of Hitlerian pose.
The photo above is another one of the shots taken in Cuba on July 26, by a New York Time photographer.
Instead of a crowd in Camaguey, the reporter choses to portrait some habaneros rolling an inner tube in front of one of the communist propaganda depictions of Miss Liberty. She looks in awe to these would-be balseros, horrified.
We don't know if the horror is because she knows that they are likely to perish in their flight to freedom, or because the whole damn dry foot wet foot is a betrayal to what she stands for.
The location of the billboard varies, it's portable.
It was standing in front of the American Interests Section in Havana, in the area known as "El Protestodromo" or "La Tribuna Anti-Imperialista", that monstrous engender anti-urban plaza. But I have news for you: there are Cuban urban planners, architects and artists who are redrawing the plans of the city for its reconstruction when liberty rings back in Cuba.
At that time, we are told, the statue of Marti with Elian, which is very grotesque will be confined to a museum of communist monstrousities, and a new civic space will be designed to celebrate the real independence of Cuba.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The first, early this morning Fantomas sent an article from La Nueva Cuba which incorrectly says that Gorki from Porno Para Ricardo was sent to prison on Thursday as ordered by raul castro.
For y'all to know, raul castro doesn't order that people to be taken to prison, unless they are members of the high brass of the military, which are then either executed or locked for thirty years.
For dissidents, the arrest orders come from more lower.... they come from often unidentified thugs in the political police.
In any case, Gorki is not in jail. As we have informed, Gorki was summoned to the police station of Zapata & C to be "warned" about his "activities" and there was even a suggestion that he should leave Cuba. But he was not taken into custody.
We confirmed this information through our sources in Cuba. I wish that people understood that the dissemination of non confirmed information of this nature really compromises Gorki's freedom, not to mention that it takes damaging blows at his credibility.
The second is that Gorki heard that certain politicos were really interested in (as in drooling over it) using his music, and his "human interest" stories in their campaigns. To their surprise, he is of the same opinion of both writers of KillCastro: the politicos can go fuck themselves.
They have not done shit for the liberty of Cuba, or for the Cuban people, they haven't presented the case for Cuban freedom in an effective way to the American public, and well.... they are silent about the criminal policy of the dry foot wet foot. So he doesn't want to have anything to do with them.
Porno Para Ricardo's position is very clear, and we reproduce its text here in both Spanish and English.
Porno Para Ricardo mantiene su independencia política por sobre todas las cosas, a la vez que somos muy individualistas, políticamente hablando.
No recibimos fondos de ninguna organización politica, ni se los damos tampoco.
No pertenecemos ni representamos ningun partido político de Cuba o de fuera de Cuba y por tanto no autorizamos el uso de nuiestra música, o de la letra de nuestras canciones en forma ni medio alguno por parte de ninguna organización política como medios de campaña política ni de recaudación de fondos.
Todas las canciones, letras, música, imágenes, entrevistas, sitio web y audiovisuales producidos por Porno Para Ricardo son de propiedad intelectual exclusiva de la banda y todos los derechos estan reservados para uso único por parte nuestra.
Este material no se ha hecho para ser utilizado con propósitos políticos por nadie, mucho menos sin la expresa autorización por escrito por parte de Porno Para Ricardo.
Use nuestro material sin nuestra autorización y verá como su atrevimiento va a venir y le va a morder su mismísimo culo como un perro rabioso.
¡Palabra de rockeros punk!
Porno Para Ricardo maintains its political independence above all things and we cherish our political individualism very dearly.
We do not receive any fundings from any political organization, and we do not give any fundings to any political organization, either.
We do not belong to or represent the interests of any political party from Cuba or abroad, and we do not authorize the use of our music or the lyrics of our songs, in any form, way or shape for any political campaign or fund-raising purpose for any political party or organization.
All songs, lyrics, music, images, interviews, website and audiovisuals materials produced by Porno Para Ricardo are exclusive intellectual property of the band, and they are copyrighted material which is not intended to be used for political purposes by anyone, much less without the express written consent and authorization from Porno Para Ricardo.
Use our material without our authorization and it will bite you back in the ass like a mad dog.
Word of punk rockers!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Camila Guzman Urzua explores the contradictions of her childhood in Cuba, as the daughter of Chileans refugees, and how her classmates and childhood friends are now refugees all over the world.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Of course, this is a total fabrication by agents of the tyranny to try to throw Gorki in jail again.
He concludes that this time around they are trying to intimidate him, and that he fears that this are his last days in freedom.
Plesae feel free to copy and paste this message and pass it around to all your family, friends, and conctacts, the press, your political representatives, people in the music business, everybody!
"Parece que los comunistas estan cerrando el cerco mucho más, el día 18 me han citado a la estacion de Zapata y C para una supuesta entrevista, alli me mostraron una acusacion oficial hecha por la Asociacion Hermanos Saiz, por las ultimas manifestaciones que hice publicamente en contra de ellos, esto segun ellos es un delito de incitacion a la violencia en lugares publicos, es obvio que quieren buscar un pretexto para de nuevo meterme preso, pero esta vez lo estan haciendo de una manera mas intimidatoria, ahora mismo temo por mi libertad..."
Download two tracks courtesy of Gorki and Porno Para Ricardo!
Cuero a los comunistas de la gran escena
Y mucho cuero al agente de la seguridad del estado Yuro
Caiman Rock, in its third edition by now, is a "rock festival" where the only participants are bands approved by the "cultural arm" of the Union de Jovenes Comunistas, the Asociacion Hermanos Saiz.
Needless to say, it doesn't mean that all the participating musicians are communists. But you can bet your life that no musician whose opposition credentials are clear and that writes, and play anti-government rock anthems is going to be ever allowed in the festival.
The festival stage is located in the "tribuna anti-imperialista" Jose Marti, which has been used by Air Supply, Rick Wakeman -formerly from Yes, Audioslave, and a hodge-podge of Cuban rockers and musicians from other genres.
Among Cuban rockers there's a band that prefers to be condemned to ostracism rather than to play in that tribune, because they don't do anything that could remotely be considered as bending to the government exigences, that band is Porno Para Ricardo.
They are the ABSENT band in the event. They have been left out of all the editions of Caiman Rock. They were not invited to perform, not that they would ever have accepted that invitation from the government.
Porno Para Ricardo is giving the rest of the Cuban musicians a lesson in dignity, on fearlessness, and of course, on how to fill their pants with big cojones.
Porno Para Ricardo will not perform in that tribune, as the place is considered by Gorki as "repulsive". I have to share that consideration with him.
This is what they think of performing in any officially sanctioned event:
Comunistas de la gran escena
Hay tantos comunistas, tantos arribistas
tantos chivatones, tantos fuera e´ vistas
Es tanto el engaño, tanta la locura
son tantos los años que el miedo es cultura
Porno pa´ ricardo no toca en la tribuna
hasta cuando la mentira de la dictadura
Porno pa´ Ricardo no saluda la bandera
de los comunistas de la gran escena.
Yo ya perdí el miedo, yo ya caí preso
ya solo me quedan unos cuantos huesos
desde aquí arriba el tirano te mira
le estás siguiendo el juego pa´ que nos oprima
No sigo la tendencia del grupo Tendencia
me hace vomitar tanta reverencia
No tengo que ganar, nada que perder
siempre lucho así contra el poder
In the meantime, the official organizers of the concert invited a punk rock band from Panama, Factor VIII of a not surprisingly communist ideology, and also, a pro-chavista Venezuelan band called Banda Crocell, plus about nineteenth Cuban bands who have been performing under a virtual gag order on any theme or issue that could have been minimally critical to the government.
Apartheid, in his musical variance is being applied to Porno Para Ricardo.
In my opinion, the government could not find a national punk rock band that supported the politics of the tyranny or at least that buckled under fear and that couldn't take another twist of the vise. Then they came out with the Panamanian band, Factor VIII to fill the slot of the punk-rock sound.
This is what those fucking commies had to say:
The popular Panamanian band Factor VIII considers it a "great honor" to attend the Caiman International Rock Festival to take place in Havana from July 17 to 21.
From Panama, Erick "Lagarto" Santamaria, the group's base player, said by e-mail: "We are very happy about the Cuba trip. For us it is a great honor to visit your country. We are very excited about visiting and playing in a place as historic as the island. We will all be going convinced that it will be an experience to remember."
The group, invited by the Hermanos Saiz Association, which sponsors the third edition of Caiman Rock, plays punk with influences of alternative rock and metal.
The base player, a lover of "good metal" and "the salsa of artists like Willie Colon, the Fania All-Stars, Perez Prado and Benny More," explained that a major part of the musical chemistry within Factor VIII comes from different musical tastes.
"Our drummer, Juan, is a big fan of punk, folk, and the music of the 1950s and 60s. Tutin, the singer, likes the indie sounds of different periods. Coloreto, our lead guitar player likes the heavy metal sound of groups like Helloween, Iron Maiden, Poison and Black Sabbath. Tito, the rhythm guitarist, likes both new and old punk, as well as listening a lot to groups like Pixies and Sonic listening a lot to groups like Pixies and Sonic Youth," wrote Santamaria.
In concluding the Panamanian said, "You can expect to see of us in all our performances in Cuba."
Notice please, that those commies are free to travel, free to use e-mail, the internet, free to listen to all kind of music that have been at times forbidden in Cuba, free to record, free to make money, and free to say whatever the hell they say. All of that is denied on a daily base to Porno Para Ricardo.
Please pass by Porno Para Ricardo website and order their CDs to help them survive and create more music
For donation of music related items, such as guitar and bass strings, drumsticks, flash memory drives, hard drives, blank CDs, and DVDs, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Your help is very much needed to break the cycle of repression of the kasstroite tyranny.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
1 – WARPED TOUR DATES – Guajiro is doing the entire Florida leg of the Warped Tour – Below is the schedule – We are on the Kevin Says Stage – Just look us up – The times are announced in the morning -
July 19th – Jacksonville -
July 20th – Tampa
July 21 – Miami ! ! ! ! ! ! – YEAH! ! !
July 22 – Orlando – TBC
2 - MTV – The Rally MTV show will debut on MTVTr3s on August 8th – Watch for a Preview show starring Guajiro which will air the first week of August - -
Guajiro will appear on MiTRL – on August 23rd – Should be a hoot -
REMEMBER – It’s MTV’s world….we are all just in Rotation…..
3 - LAMC – Any bands out there in the Latin world…no wait, we take that back, ANYONE WHO IS A FAN OF MUSIC – PERIOD – Get your butts to the next LAMC – You wont regret it -
See you in the pit – Gotta go now…need to go play our first Warped Tour set - ;)
The drummer subbing for Bill Ward, is no other than Phil Collins, who praised KillCastro's drumming some time ago.
(Tocororo used to call KillCastro the psychedelic drummer)
So my hat's off to you Toco, wherever you are!
From the bottom of my own black heart*, this song's for you!
*Ah shucks, I ripped off Ozzy's line....
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The lyrics of this Black Sabbath anthem fit him like a glove to the hand.....
Whatcha gonna do?
Times caught up with you
Now you wait your turn
You know theres no return
Take your written rules
You join the other fools
Turn to something new
Now it's killing you
First it was the bomb
You push the needle in
From life you escape
Reality's that way
Colours in your mind
Satisfy your time
Oh you, you know you must be blind
To do something like this
To take the sleep that you don't know
You're giving death a kiss, oh, little fool now
Your mind is full of pleasure
Your body's looking ill
To you its shallow leisure
So drop the acid pill,
Don't stop to think now
You're having a good time baby
But that won't last
Your minds all full of things
You're living too fast
Go out enjoy yourself
Don't bottle it in
You need someone to help you
To stick the needle in, yeah
Now you know the scene
Your skin starts turning green
Your eyes no longer seeing
Push the needle in,
Face deaths sickly grin
Holes are in your skin,
Caused by deadly pin
Head starts spinning round
You fall down to the ground
Feel your body heave
Death's hand starts to weave
It's too late to turn
You don't want to learn
Price of life you cry
Now you're gonna die!
And of course y'all knew that I had my dear friend Tocororo in mind when I posted this.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Yeah, Gorki and the rest of the lads, you're getting people dancing to your music at 8:00 am in Washington DC.... And believe me rockers, there were a lot of girls making "that" face. Ah, the memories....
(bad boy's getting in good shape)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
To complete their work, there are a few things needed, and one of them is an external harddrive of a minimum of 80 GB, so they can transfer music and images from one place to the other efficiently.
Feel free to throw some electric guitar strings, base guitar strings and so on.
Please let us know in the comments section if you can help.
Thanks in the name of the band, KillCastro, Charlie Bravo and CubaUnderground.
Other items needed by Porno Para Ricardo are:
USB flash drives
Another way of helping is by buying their CDs at the band's website
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This is an old article from KillCastro updated with editorial reviews done by a treasured friend of mine.
It was to be used in another context, but.... Tocororo wrote me an amusing e-mail after he read it, and called me on the phone almost choking in laughter....
Well, as part of my homage to him I am reproducing the column here:
I've been in part responsible for the rebirth of Steve from "Hog on Ice" as a militia nut in Coral Gables. We have been corresponding about food, too, so he is becoming a fat militia nut. Steve recently got a Romanian job, a nice sniper rifle fit for a nice American boy from Coral Gables.
And, besides my wicked gun and ammo advise, I will give him today a recipe that will make him as fat as Jeb Bush. Note to cagasstro, the recipe is not for you; it won't help you with your chronic diarrhea.
Both diarrheas, mean, the physical and the mental one, too.
Flambée Sweet Bananas:
Just slice some very ripe bananas and put them in a cast iron skillet with some butter, the more the better.
Fry them till they are golden in color and then sprinkle them with brown sugar to taste. Once that’s done, pick a bottle of your favorite rum, splash them with it and flambé the bananas to your heart's content.
If you prefer, you can also use bourbon or brandy. If you are in a very Southernmood, peaches can be used
instead of bananas. That’s what Babs sends W. at the White House and used to send "Fat" Jeb in Tallahassee.
Steve had some questions about bimetalic bullets, and I offered him my insight:
"Eastern Bloc ammunition consists of a bullet with a core made out of very heavy steel with a copper layer. The copper layer has a ring of blueish copper around the tip which is very dark. It was said that the copper was very toxic for wounds, or, at least, that this particular copper alloy was. The tip was one kind of alloy, the circle was another one, and the rest was still another one.
My ballistics instructor in Cuba (the guy was a Cuban-born Korean War vet) had been on both sides with that kind of ammunition, having being shot at in Korea, then getting his hands on a commie rifle and paying the Chinese in kind. He told me that the heavy steel core allows the bullet to gain a lot of initial acceleration.
He also said that was a better vessel for hollow points loaded with mercury. I know those commies first hand and they really want to harm your ass with those shots! My instructor also told me then that with a very slight conversion those rifles
can shoot both kinds of 7.62 ammunition (x39 Eastern Block short, x54 Eastern Block long, or NATO). I tend to think that after your Dragula arrives and you try it, you will be tempted to try the RPK, an infantry machine gun that can bemounted on infantry transports, and the PPCh, a machine gun from hell.
Russian handguns are another story; I don't remember the name of the Russian Lucky Seven (called that, in English, by the Cuban elite forces) but it's a revolver with seven shots. Pretty amazing. The pistols are not masterworks. The 9 mm Makarov
is a bit unreliable, which made the commies call it Matacompañero (Comradekiller).
The Stekina is a pretty safe automatic, loosely based on the Colt 45 or the Browning, depending onthe model.
Some of them accept a rifle butt add-on.
I got you the website of the Lucky Seven: It's the Nagan. Nice.
Then I went into dispensing advise on how to make his newly arrived rifle into an Eastern block beauty:
"I am afraid that being a Romanian job it comes with some "blonde" wood. There are a few methods to darken and embellish them and all of them require messy materials and not regular woodstain. For example, the oil of the engine of a Russian truck. That's a dark substance of great viscosity that can even ruin a tank's armor plate. But if you get a "che" guevara t-shirt soaked in that burnt oil and vigorously rub all the wooden surfaces of your gun it will acquire what is known as "communist soul black" color, which is very beautiful. You can obtain "castro's heart black" if you use black combat boot polishing wax.
Then you have that wonderful color that is "prisoner "che" underpants" obtained when you use brown shoe polishing wax. Actually mineral oil gives the blonde wood some sort of greenish light, which can be interesting. A combination of all of the above helps you to obtain a pretty nice camouflage treatment known as Angolan garden, or raul castro hide-away. Don't worry about the operation: commie weapons are pretty reliable and precise. The noise that thing makes will allow you to identify Democratic party shooters in the range: they will faint at your first shot. The ones who won't faint will scream like a gay version of Howard Dean (is that an oxymoron?). Enjoy your new cannon." Don't tell me that I am not a source of incredible knowledge!"
I am designing a new camouflage pattern: the Banana Leaf, specially created for gourmet militia basket cases. It will soon be available at fine purveyors for all your militia gear needs in a secret location near you. Don't forget the secret knock on the door to be admited to the exclusive fashion show.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me?
For I must be travelling on, now,
cause theres too many places Ive got to see.
But, if I stayed here with you, girl,
Things just couldnt be the same.
cause Im as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I cant change.
Bye, bye, its been a sweet love.
Though this feeling I cant change.
But please dont take it badly,
cause lord knows Im to blame.
But, if I stayed here with you girl,
Things just couldnt be the same.
Cause Im as free as a bird now,
And this bird youll never change.
And this bird you can not change.
Lord knows, I can't change.
Lord help me, I can't change.
Bye bye Tocororo, ahora eres mas libre que nunca.....
Now, you're going to read a scenario that raul kasstro has grown to fear: A sniper wounds a high ranking officer but does not kill him (unless ordered to do so).
Soldiers are sent to assist the wounded official and rescue him dead or alive. Those soldiers are more likely themselves
to be killed, as is the driver of the officer's vehicle. The wounded high-ranking officer is then captured."
These were fragments of a letter I wrote to Mr. T. some time ago. I didn't intent to use it in this post, nor in one that I will write honoring the memory of our friend Tocororo Libre who sadly passed away very untimely.
Taking into account the later efforts by BUCL, organization which we don't have or want to have any connection due to our differences in philosphy and ways of taking action, I think that their last night effort at the Versailles had a positive outcome, since they could approach one of the members the band, lead guitarist Andy Summers and deliver a message in a civil fashion, with none of the markings that other "demonstrations" have had in the past and that have served the tyranny propaganda book while painting the exiles as a bunch of geriatric nuts.
That civil fashion has to be what marks everything that is done for a free Cuba, and that will be the language of a free Cuba. Also, the message goes farther away while correctly conveyed.
We have learnt that they will fly a plane this afternoon with a message to the band too, regarding human rights in Cuba.
I frankly believe that this efforts, coupled with our letter writing campaign, will catch the attention of the members of the band and their management and will produce the outcome we all desire, including the band members of The Police.
They have visited Cuba, on their own in several occasions out of love for Cuban music and of those who created Cuban music, the Cuban people. They have been very respectful and helpful, and they have critiziced the Cuban reality in private with Cuban musicians who have relied that information to us.
We wish they visit Cuba on their own, and that they are able to perform for the Cuban people, to bring them a taste of freedom, which they will one day conquer.
Sting, Steward, Andy, y'all know who to see and where the instruments are. The roof is flat, so rock on that neighborhood with a rooftop concert, the biggest on this side of the Atlantic, mates. There will be only two roof top concerts in rock music history, the Let It Be, and yours.
Monday, July 9, 2007
Shortly after that, we learnt that Chris Cornell had left Audioslave for good, and we started receiving a lot of letters from Cubans fans in Cuba saying how happy they were for him, and also, word from rockers like Gorki who despise the symbolism of the site where the concert was held but who went to see it anyway because it was an important happening in the rock scene in Havana.
The most important thing was that the government had to provide an open space for the band to play, and their own tangled web of propaganda prevented them from any repression. It was in front of the United States Interest Section and about 60 000 young Cubans fans got together there and gave the government a run for their money without being jailed.
Of course, being the majority of Audioslave former members of Rage Against the Machine -of a very red political color- there was no chance that a scream of Cuba Libre! would rose from the stage, but by the same token, the message of the Cuban people was received by the band, when they saw that Cubans were relegated to a second tier in the concert grounds and that their Cuban fans had to push, kick, and punch their way to the front row.
After the Cuban concert, Chris Cornell -who was the more affable towards the Cuban fans- cited irreconcilable differences with the bands and left, we suspect that with a new found sympathy for the real Cuban people, the young people he saw dancing after an urban battle against the plain clothes Palestinian Police and Venezuelan "students". They could not afford to repress these youngsters in front of an American band and the American diplomatic representation because their propaganda house of cards would have been blown away in a three-way fashion:
Cubans opposing the police, openly.
American government representatives filming everything,
and a band from the liberal Left Coast would have been the witness of the actions of the most repressive system in the Western Hemisphere.
That's why we think that a Police concert in Havana is very important.
Everyone of this events erode the government control, and liberates people a little bit.
It creates a controversial situation for the tyranny, logistic problems, it puts the tyranny under the international magnifying glass, and gets the typically liberal reporters of the music magazines to get in contact with Cuban rockers and the Cuban people and to see repression with their own eyes.
We have not received yet any confirmation that The Police has any plan in written to go to Havana, unless they do it outside their corporate structure and on their own.
Let's see what's good on that regards:
A huge gathering of young (and not so young) fans will happen somewhere in Havana.
The Palestinian police would be put between a rock and a hard place on sight of international tv cameras, and the dictatorship will have to walk on eggs the whole time.
The attention of the world would turn to Cuba for at least a day, and we will have the opportunity to convey a message to them, from outside and from within Cuba.
And the concert will bring a glimpse of what happens in the outside world to the Cuban youth.
To us, that's a positive and desirable balance.
Didn't it happen with the Berlin Wall?
Yeah, but we weren't busy tossing Germans back to communism over the wall.
Instead we have the BiCoastal Guard caging Cubans in the high seas and returning them to whomever is in charge in Cuba. Besides, as KillCastro says, why would anyone want to deny the Cuban youth a chance to be themselves?
I will let you witness what happened in Havana during the Audioslave concert.....
The rest of the concert can be found in YouTube.com....
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Thanks Jose, I just woke up in my white room with black curtains.
"In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Blackroof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses ran down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawnlight smiles on you leaving, my contentment.
I'll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.
You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.
I'll wait in the queue when the trains come back;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.
At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
Shes just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.
I'll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves."
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Ask Al Gore, who inhabits a mega McMansion that due to its electrical consumption is ripping a whole of its own in the ozone layer. I mean, a hole the size of the State of Tennesee, if one reads that famous electrical bill of his.
Not happy with that, Al Gore goes and ride planes and trains galore, uses tons of paper, gas, electricity. air conditioning, and frying oil to organize the Live Earth concerts with stages scatered all over the world, includig Antartica where some scientists from an international research station will play some music as well. Of the whole bunch of artists, they are the only ones who are not destroying the environment while claiming that they are saving it.
Let's take for example the Brazilian leg of the concerts. The authritiras wanted to block it due to the ecological and security impact of such a large gathering of people on a popular beach. Imagine the debris left behind by a few hundred thousand concert goers. Imagine the amount of planes needed to take the bands, their crews, and their equipment to South America, and think of the logistics of the event and ask yourselves if it is being done according to the green holy scripturesw of Al Gore. If that weren't enough, the production of CDs associated with these shows is the farthest thing from green imaginable. They are done in plastic, encased in plastic, printed wit toxic inks on glossy paper, and transported in a hurry to air conditioned facilities as an enormous ecological cost. One would think that it goes against all the precepts from the Green Earth Church of Tree-Licking Pope Gore.
We could go one by one on the participants of the concerts.
They run around and about the country in huge tour buses. They stay in hotels. They don't bike or stay in teepees, for the sake of the environment. And boy, rock musicians really drink beer, leaving bottles and cans everywhere and trashing hotel rooms. Very envirofriendly, indeed!
What do you tell me about Dave Matthews band? Remember that episode, when they opened a trap from their main tour bus over an open grate bridge in Chicago and drenched the passengers of a tour boat below in the band's human waste? Crap's good for the environment, but believe me, the guys and gals in the receiving end didn't think that it was holy water.
Take a look at the musicians, you have the most dissimile line up ever thought up.
These are people who really have nothing to tell each other musically or artistically speaking get together for a common cause..... really?
Or are they together because they are a bunch of greedy money lovers who live in oversize mansions, fully airconditioned, built in the endangered hills of California (and elsewhere) with non-eco friendy materials, with a collection of multiple gas-guzzlers? I would think that's the only thing all of them have in common!
Oh, Gore and his "collaborators" had to put together the ultimate politically correct concert. The junk-science-meister supreme got a bunch of artists from every color of the politically correct rainbow. He booked even a Muslim.... wait.... the guy's no other than the Romanian born Cat Stevens, who now goes by Yousuf Al-Islam. Meaning, he's not a real Arab or a real Muslim. He's a convert, and therefore his zealotry goes beyond, way beyond, the extra mile. He was a decent pop balladist in the seventies, but let's not push it, he's just a vulgar apologizer for Islamic terrormongers, as the day currency goes. Now he is the trobadour of the (non exiting, never to exist) Caliphate.
White man's burden?
No, vulgar hypocrisy.
In any case, Al Gore needed a Muslim to "legitimize" his "globalist multicultural multireligious" crusade. Too bad that he didn't use the real Arab Muslim musicians Sting used time ago or that Jimi Page and Robert Plant used in their album "No Quarter". Maybe they don't buy into Al's circus of junk-science. Because we all know that it's just glorified babble.
The Earth goes through cycles, but Al doesn't seem to realize it.
In his last interview, this afternoon, he even goes to the extreme of saying that he spent eight years in the White House. I don't remember President Gore. I mean, we only had the attacks of September 11, 2001. If Gore had been president we all would be reading and writing blogs in Arabic. He spent eight years working at an annex by the White House and living in the grounds of the Navy Observatory in Georgetown. Safely away from the presidency. I look at it this way, for as much as I despise Clinton, he was ten thousand times a much better president than Al Gore would have ever been!
C'mon, the Live Earth thing is one of those things that people attend because they share a certain political communion.
But no serious rocker in his right mind would get caught doing the evil horns in such a crappy show.
I think that I better go ahead and post something about Cuban rock.
At least, they cannot be duped into supporting some failed politician whose only merit was to declare himself "the inventor of the internet".
Al, you want to make it really green? So no arena concerts dude.
Make it all downloadable through the internet, at no cost.
That'd be totally green.
But you're green, as in dollar greedy.... Are the energy bills too high in your McMansion, I guess?
And of course, you can listen to his music, see the artwork for the album covers, everything!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
On this very same blog you're reading, I've written so much about rock that some people suggested that I ditched politics for good and devoted my efforts to write only about music and my experiences in Cuba. Well, the two are inseparable. So, y'all are stuck with my rants.
One of the tunes we wanted to play in high school was precisely the Star Spangled Banner, but we had to find a way of doing it.
A friend of mine, the bass player, got his mojo working and he said: "why don't we do a slide show of photos of Viet Nam and we trick the principal into believing that we are blasting the Americans and we can play the anthem a la Jimi Hendrix?"
I gotta tell y'all... I fell for it!
We practiced and practiced, and practiced some more, but the teacher of "Moral Comunista" -as if the commies had ever had any morals- grew suspicious and said: "you ain't playing no anthem!"
So, the possibility of become the coolest cats on Earth kind of vanished.
While preparing for the gig that never happened, I honed my picking technique with the plectra, which is the right name for the pick, but they were hard to come by and one solved that by using a corner of your student ID as a pick, which were laminated in hard plastic.
Fingerpicking was my favorite technique, because I could use the five fingers of the right hand, and to make the purists cringe, I could use the five fingers of my left hand on the fretboard, but... my guitar teacher would ban the use of the left thumb going over the fretboard. Now you know that I am not a southpaw.
Thanks to American radio stations broadcasting with huge wattage from the Texas-Mexico border, I learnt other techniques favored by ZZTop and other Southern blues inspired rockers, like bottlenecking (which is obviously the action of using the neck of a beer bottle as a slider on the strings, pressing them against the fretboard) and "sleeving" which was to put a stainless steel tubing in one's right little finger to get a wailing sound. That one was particularly tricky, because the finger has to be kind of oiled if you don't want it stuck inside a narrow tube, or glass flask is one doesn't have a steel tube handy. I once used my school issued plastic toothbrush handle, and it was a very interesting sound, without risking having my finger stuck anywere.
So much for guitar geekdom....
At this point, you might be asking yourself why the hell am I doing that I choose to write this memories....
Well, I really don't play anymore. But I might be back.... one of these days, who knows.
Sometimes I have those ideas, those dreams that I am playing again, and I should, and I wake up with a lick sounding inside my skull. My skull, which is populated by dead guitar players. Talk about ghosts and phantoms. Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Brian Jones, and many other play all the time inside my head.
Blame them for me being this way!
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
Ernesto, from the great blog Penultimos Dias published these statistics.
Mexico, who is crying because the USA will not give automatic immigration status to millions of their May day marching, che t-shirt cladded, flag insulting illegal immigrants, crushes Cuban refugees fleeing castro, and after abusing them sends them back to Cuba.
Ah, but we don't have a campaign telling Mexico a few trues...