It’s high time I did an album review. So….I’ll do two. First, please allow me to set the scene…..
Happy Sundays Festival has come and gone. I’ll go on the record. to say that it was a bit overwhelming. It’s an impossible task to take it all in on just one afternoon/evening. And I am not discouraging anyone from attempting that challenge. And since I reside in tha LBC, it would be poor form on my part if I didn’t venture out for this event. It was a cool experience to see Anaheim Street absolutely buzzing with sounds and activity as I made my way to the Port City Tavern. Carsex was going to close out the evening there and I needed my fix.
Carsex deliver. Of this, there can be no doubt. It just isn’t a proper Long Beach music festival if Carsex isn’t involved. This time, the crowd was hype. Maaayybe it was the fact that my poem, that I was asked to read before they played, got us all there. I am thankful that Nigel Burk gave me the opportunity.
Below is said poem. Written by yours truly. Enjoy.
going to get
my best stuff.
the surprise flowers
delivered on your doorstep.
motivational texts sent
at 3:45 a.m. because
I can’t stop
thinking about you.
my scratch fettucine alfredo.
soft, slow kisses
on top of a hill;
during a glorious sunset.
slow dancing for hours
on a carpet,
over my heart,
as we sway
& grind softly,
you’re not getting
any of that.
this is a bitter pill
for both of us.
Once Carsex was at cruising altitude, chaos descended upon the cozy confines of Port City Tavern. Heads banged. Bodies careened and contorted. And catastrophic equipment failures ensued. All par for the course during a Carsex set.
At then end of the night, I left with two albums. There is something special that occurs when you purchase merch directly from an artist. Who knows? You might even make a friend for life.
Both albums are unique in their own way.
The first is Soul Songs by Talleen Kali.
Taleen Kali (the band as a whole) reminds me of this girlfriend I had once. She was dark, sweet and brooding. She had an irresistible aura about her that made things sexy! She made time and space do peculiar things. Was I scared out of my wits sometimes? Yes. But that didn’t matter. I had to have her near me. And no, I was not simping.
Taleen Kali. The band. Photo Credit: Unknown.
She listened to Echo & The Bunnymen. She introduced to The 13th Floor Elevators. She listened to 80’s synthpop bands after they fell out of favor. She came into my life circa 1992-3. She was seriously way cooler than me. And now that I’m thinking about it, she was the original ZFG lifestyle poster child.
Released in 2018, Soul Songs is a tiny sonic seed that has just sprouted. Will that sprout evolve into a mighty oak tree? More than likely. The five songs cover a lot of ground, as far as style is concerned. Think Black Rebel Motorcycle Club meets Depeche Mode meets The Pixies. And HOTDAMMM! This lady has pipes! Standout tracks: Bluets, Half Lie and Miles Away.
From the first note of Galaxias (released in 2019), it is very obvious that Bastidas! know their craft and instruments very well. This threesome blend Rock en Espanol, punk, surf and a bit of salsa to make a rich, spooky, spacey, relevant yet nostalgic sonic offering.
Their use expert utilization of distortion pedals is the secret weapon that infests your ears. Think Mudhoney meets Davie Allen & The Arrows meets The Smiths meets The Ventures in a musty East L.A. garage.
Live, the energy they create is palpable. The sonic tableau of loud, fuzzed-out, late 1960’s Bikersploitation (think Wild Angels, Glory Stompers, etc.) film soundtrack combined with a sweet/smooth Latin flair made me take notice. And the fact their drummer, El Basico, sported a luchadore mask (with horns) for their entire set and after, was a great touch. Somebody buy this man a beer! Standout tracks: Element, Fracaso, Vida and Dimension 8. And just to let you know, it wasn’t an easy task selecting 4 tracks when all the tracks on this album are bangers!
Bastidas! L to R; Henry Lopez (Guitars, Bass, Vocals), Sonia Hernandez (Bass, Guitars, Vocals) and El Basico (Drums & Percussion) Photo Credit: Unknown.
Much thanks to Henry Lopez and Sonia Hernandez for slipping me their album (and assisting me in finding them on Instagram). Thanks to Taleen Kali for liking my glasses and eventually talking me into buying her album. But most of all, thanks to The City of Long Beach for organizing Happy Sundays Music Festival.
Now I’m Done.