Buy Entre La
Habana Y El Yuma

Buy Mamborama's
Night of the
Living Mambo


Mambo Blogorama
Friday, October 26, 2007
It's Hard Out Here...

I saw this post on an independent record label's blog the other day. The author tries to make a case against the entitlement mentality most people have today regarding downloading music for free, and gets ripped a new hole in the process. For years, I've watched people justifying their music piracy by demonising the major labels and the RIAA. All too often, they state that they just want to eliminate the middle man, especially the RIAA labels. They proudly proclaim to support indie acts, and will never again buy an album from a major. I can understand that, given that the RIAA unwisely chose the path of suing their customers, but check out the comments this post received. Now, the hostility not only is extended to small indie labels, but the artists themselves. I've excerpted some of the vitriol below. None of this makes me want to make music. It reminds me of a post I once saw on a Salsa dance forum: "Who cares what the musicians think?" From the comments:

"While I was reading the article I was thinking something on the lines of “f u, loser” but I think I should rephrase it to “f u, clueless loser”, just to be more accurate."

"Good luck with your plan to make a living out of selling records. Have you heard of wax cylinders? I heard they are all the rage now!"

"...crying about it on a blog is pathetic. Get a real job like the people who don’t feel like spending money on your “art”."

"Intellectual property is not a commodity. Although technology allowed us to enjoy a brief period of monetization of such properties, it has now freed intellectual property once again. …The party’s over and the talentless will be given their due. …Music has always been free, the suits just held it captive for a short period of time."

"This whole pissing-and-moaning letter seems like a big fat contrivance by a record label who happen to be scared shitless by the latest developments of a new business model championed by Radiohead and many others."

"...In conclusion, fuck you. Go back to the 80s. I’m sure your music sucks too."

"Welcome to the future, buddy. Distribute online exclusively or shut up. And seriously, don’t cry about it like it’s someone else’s fault."

"Stop giving us crap and we’ll start paying."

"I am at the age now, that I no longer buy new music. I only listen to new music if I have downloaded it for free."

"I wish I could work for a day, and copy and paste it for the rest of my life and make money. You want money? go to work, play your friggin music in a club. The idea that you think that people should support someone who works for a couple of weeks and they should get paid for the rest of their lives is stupid. work like the rest of us. it doesnt pay? then get a second job like me. what you provide is not a necessity."

"You see we have a problem in this situation where its NOT artists rights we are dealing with. YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS AT ALL. you signed them all over to the LABEL you contracted with…"

"I mean, it’s just pop music! It’s not gonna change anyone’s lives. What’s next? Should we expect to be charged everytime we enter an architiect’s (sic) building? Or view a painting?"

"Not only should we have full access to music, but we should be able to distribute it infinitely and modify it to our own personal liking."

"Plays very, very tiny violin."

"These so-called artists can eat shit. To loosely quote Dr. Zhivago, [art] is no more a profession than breathing."

"Maybe the problem is just that you're not good enough. Sorry, you're not entitled to success."

"Look! Another buggy whip maker complaining about automobiles killing his business!"

"I don't give a shit about artists problems."


"WE, THE PEOPLE OWN THE MUSIC!!!! We ALLOW the ARTIST/AUTHOR/INVENTOR a Copy PRIVILEGE, FOR A LIMITED TIME as an incentive to create for OUR PUBLIC DOMAIN as per Article I Section 8 Line 7 of the Constitution."

"…Ultimately, my point is that piracy needs to be accepted and planned for. It's not going away. Ever. Deal with it."

"So if your hot album is not selling yet people are downloading it willingly, then hotshot, it's most likely a crock of shit that no one wants to buy."

"The only "entitlement mentality" I see here is the artists' and record companies' belief that they are entitled to make money from an obsolete business model."
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Mamborama Comes To MySpace

Thanks to the efforts of DJ Carlotta, of Manchester, England, Mamborama finally has a presence on myspace. I had meant to get involved with myspace ages ago, but I was living in my secure bunker in an undisclosed tropical location, and internet access was difícil, to say the least.

So, check out the page here, and give DJ Carlotta a shout as well. Mil gracias, Carlotta!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Ave Maria, por Dios...

I notice with equal parts chagrin, amusement and annoyance that Mamborama is part of a poll on Top U.S. Timba Band. Chagrin, because it's embarrassing to only be pulling 2%. Amusement because Mamborama hasn't played a gig in the US since 2002. Annoyance because of the perception that Mamborama IS a US band. All of the other acts in the poll are gigging in the States regularly. I won't ever gig here again until I can bring my guys from La Habana, and that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

Why do people think that Mamborama is a US band? Because *I* happen to be a Yuma. It doesn't matter that I paid serious dues and lived in La Habana for over two and a half years. It doesn't matter that the bulk of the last two records were recorded there with all Cuban musicians. No, what matters in the end is that the director and producer is a white boy from Wyoming, so therefore, it can't REALLY be Cuban, now can it?

But I'm going to let amusement take priority here. Timba freaks outside of cuba have never taken the band seriously, just because there is a Yuma involved. I take consolation in the respect I have from the sources of the music, my collaborations with the cream of the crop, the reactions of the dancers in Casa De La Musica when the DJ plays our stuff, and the nomination for Cubadisco, the first for a Yuma.

Isn't it ironic that Mamborama has more acceptance in Cuba than with the die-hard Timba geeks? Now I know what racism feels like, only this is nationalism. Thank God the Cubans are more open-minded.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Yes, I have neglected the blog. Lo siento. Business is not good, but this isn't going to be one of my music biz rants, I want to tell you what is happening now with Mamborama.

I am painstakingly recording a new song that I wrote while I was in Cuba. In fact, I started recording it while I was in La Habana the last time. It's called Dame Un Dia Sin Luchar, and it features one of my favorite singers, Kalunga (Carlos Manuel Kalunga, and yes, he uses a "K" to spell his name).

I was all set to record the basic tracks with Samuel Formell and Robertón de Van Van on drums and congas, along with el maestro Feliciano Arango on bass, but as always en cuba, shit happens. Time ran out, schedules didn't align, and at the end, I had Kalunga, El Indio and David Bencomo sing to the demo track that I had recorded with my synth. Not the most ideal circumstances, but if I didn't tell you, you would never be able to tell, because Kalunga and company kicked ass, big time.

After I rotated back to the Yuma, I enlisted Mamborama alumni Jimmy Branly and Rigoberto Lopéz (drums, timbales and bass) along with monstro Joey DeLeon on congas and hand percussion. Next comes the metales, and one special guest (don't ask), and it's ready to mix.

This is going to be an estreno on the forthcoming greatest hits album, Chao Pesca'o: Grandes Exitos De Mamborama, which will include tunes from the first three albums along with some unreleased gems and a few remixes. Look for it first quarter 2008 on Ahinama Music.

If you're nice to me, I might be persuaded to post an excerpt as it is in progress. If you're not, you'll have to wait. Until then, here's the lyrics to the coro:

Dame un dia sin luchar
Dame un dia solamente pa' gozar
Quiero irme con Van Van pa' la playa pa' bailar
Dame un dia sin luchar.
Ay! por Dios!

Mamborama news and the world of Cuban music, accompanied by occasional self-indulgence.

Extensive Cuba trip report now online.

Here's an online scrapbook of photos of La Habana and some of the recording sessions for the new album.

August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / December 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / February 2005 / April 2005 / June 2005 / December 2005 / March 2006 / April 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / April 2007 / May 2007 / October 2007 /

Powered by Blogger