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Just Another Band from East L.A.

Posted by purplemary54 on February 23, 2013

I’m in a funky mood right now, kind of random.  My brain hasn’t been too willing to settle in any one place.  This happens to me a lot, and if I planned more posts ahead of time, I wouldn’t be flying by the seat of my pants right now.  But I kind of like flying by the seat of my pants.  It’s not really a good plan for job interviews, but it seems to work well in every other aspect of my life.  Mostly.

I’ve always kind of felt that Los Lobos is the kind of band that flies by the seat of their collective pants.  Musically, they’re all over the map: rock, folk, traditional Mexican, country, jazz–they’ve got a little bit of everything in their repertoire.  That’s what makes them so great.  It’s also kind of what makes them one of the most Californian of all the California Bands; they’ve captured in their style the diversity of this place.  (Fair warning: California music might be becoming something of theme here.  I’ve got a post about the Eagles brewing.)  They’re also the kind of band that would seem at home anywhere, from a huge music festival to their own backyards.  They’re a fusion of everything.

Of course their best album is also their weirdest.  1992’s Kiko was a fascinating dreamscape, rooted in the realities of life and love.  These are stories of heartbreak and loneliness, of a life lived through a cracked rearview mirror.  Hindsight might be 20/20, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy about seeing things clearly.  It’s also one of the most complete realizations of their style.  It’s haunting and beautiful–and you can dance to a lot of it.

Both these clips are taken from the DVD included in the Shout! Factory’s 20th anniversary release of Kiko (which I don’t own yet, but plan on getting as soon as I can manage).  Los Lobos might not be the household name they deserve to be (thus making them Criminally Underrated), but they’re worth the effort.  Grab some tacos and pull up a chair on the back porch.  You won’t be sorry.

 

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2 Responses to “Just Another Band from East L.A.”

  1. Sandee said

    I have one of their albums on cassette tape unfortunately — so I can’t listen to it now because my stereo can’t play tapes anymore. She broken 😦 I used to listen to that album alllllllllllllllllll the time. The title had ‘wolf’ in it I think. Love Los Lobos.

    • Will the Wolf Survive? was their first major label release, and a great album. I just love Kiko because it’s so wild. I bet you would really dig some of their traditional stuff. Look up La Pistola y El Corazon.

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