Sunday, February 28, 2010


Now I'm sure you're all growing tired of all this Ozo-nonsense, but I'm still not done! By some magical wonder of the Internet, somebody in the music business noticed Radio Chevere.

A representative of Nacional Records in North Hollywood e-mailed me. So that puts my known readership at 1. Hooray!

Anyway, Nacional Records handles the distribution for several big name bands, like guess who? Ozomatli. Now that Radio Chevere has the hook up, I can tell you all about the hot new singles before they drop.

This week's single is "It's Only Paper."

Enjoy folks,
DJ Gringuito

Sunday, February 21, 2010


The band members of Ozomatli continued to change and so did their sound. By the time Don't Mess with the Dragon hit the scene in 2007, Ozomatli was appealing to more U.S. listeners.

Compared to their first album, Ozomatli drastically reduced the number of Spanish-language tracks. Their self-titled debut boasts nine songs with primarily Spanish lyrics. Don't Mess with the Dragon only has three. There's certainly nothing wrong with this change, but it does highlight a change in the band's intended demographic.

English Dragon
"Can't Stop" opens the album in typical Ozomatli style: upbeat rhythms, catchy hooks and a positive message. The good feeling continues with a light-hearted song about following that special girl once the night ends. "After Party" is Ozomatli's take on those cheesy, yet sweet, Motown classics of the 60s.

Spanish Dragon
There might only be three Spanish language tracks on Dragon, but they're all great. "La Temperatura" is true to Ozomatli's original sound of 21st century Spanish-language big band. "La Segunda Mano" shows audiences just how far this band has changed, musically. English rhymes flow over subliminal Spanish message, and it's all mixed together with a few DJ scratches. Finally, "La Gallina" is likely the most absurd song Ozomatli has created. And the video just adds to the confusion.

Now Ozomatli fans are left waiting for the next album. Lucky for this post's timing, the newest Ozo-album, Fire Away, will hit stores April 20 this year.

See you in line,
DJ Gringuito

Monday, February 15, 2010


I introduced you to the eclectic sounds of Ozomatli last week. Now it's time to breakdown the Ozo-sound and check out their debut album.

Ozomatli released their self-titled debut in 1998. More than 10 years later, the album is still satisfying fans around the globe. It opens with the live party-starting jam "Como Ves" and the excitement never drops.

"Eva" blends DJ scratching with flamenco guitar so well, you'd swear they were meant for each other. If you're not on your feet after these two tracks, the horn-driven, fast-paced "Chango" will have you shaking your pompita with no shame at all.

The album does actually have a calm moment. "Super Bowl Sundae" is as laid back as they come. Chali 2na rhymes over a sitar-led performance that provides the perfect theme song for any lazy weekend.

Finally, the one track that everyone can enjoy is "La Misma Cancion." This ranchero-inspired song satirizes those people who drown their sorrows in saloons while slamming tequila. Most ranchero songs all sound the same, and you can be sure that this one is no exception.

Next week we're fast forwarding to 2007,

-DJ Gringuito

Monday, February 8, 2010


This melting pot of musicians has been jamming for more than a decade. Their infusion of hip-hop, ranchero, reggae, salsa and funk allow this band to appeal to people around the world regardless of their music taste.

The Sound
Band members describe their music as when you "roll down your windows and the music that comes out of each and every different car... that crazy blend that's going on between that cacophony of sound is Ozomatli, y'know."

Pronounced "oh-so-motley." the band takes its name from the Aztec monkey servant to the god of music and dance. The band certainly lives up to the name with vocals, emcees, turntables and a horn section. It's like they have all the great parts from several musical styles.

Best of all, they've got plenty of songs in English too. This makes Ozomatli one of the best bands for non-native Spanish speakers to listen to when learning the language. Try it!

The Lineup
There are six key members to the band, but there have been up to 10 at one point. There have been more lineup changes in Ozomatli than the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates. Two notable alumni include rapper Chalie 2na and DJ Cut Chemist, who both left the group to focus efforts on the west coast cult classic Jurassic 5.

A revolving door of band mates has not stopped this group from producing solid albums. Even though Embrace the Chaos hit stores on September 11, 2001, it still won a Grammy for Best Latin/Alternative Album. The band repeated the feat a few years later with their 2005 release Street Signs.
This California-based ensemble has performed all over the world. Stateside, they have played Bonnaroo, Coachella and South by Southwest a few times. No stranger to political activism in their music, the band rocked a protest outside the 2000 Democratic National Convention with Rage Against the Machine.

They've also made it into the pop scene. Ozomatli jams "Cumbia de los Muertos" in Drew Barrymore's Never Been Kissed. If you're a fan of Showtime's "Weeds" you might have heard Ozomatli's version of the show's "Little Boxes" theme song. They even wowed the studio audience and viewers at home on "Dancing with the Stars."

Next week will be a closer look at Ozomatli's albums and all the music styles they embrace. Until then, look it up on your own, lazybutt!

-DJ Gringuito

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daddy el Conquistador

Daddy Yankee wants more. The man has already conquered Latin America and the United States, but that's not enough for him.

According to Univision, the Puerto Rican reggaetonero is ready to take over Europe and Asia. The report says that "the planets are aligning for something big this year." Daddy Yankee has already toured a little around Europe, but now he's ready to have a firm presence in the continent.

Meanwhile, Yankee has been busy in Haiti. No, he's not producing a Spanish-language version of "We Are the World." He's actually helping the Red Cross to rebuild schools. This is the best news to come from the Daddy Yankee camp since his endorsement of John McCain for President. Oh, you didn't know? Well have a laugh.

Here's hoping he avoids Parliament,
DJ Grnguito