I attended the ¡Pachanga! Latino Music Festival last month and took pics of the three acts we featured in pop quizzes as a mini-countdown to the event.  This Charanga Cakewalk show pic-olio is 3 of 3.  (Part 2 David Garza here or scroll down for it and Part 1 Maneja Beto here or scroll down.)  Check out the Charanga Cakewalk popolio pop quiz here and enjoy this last pic-olio of the ¡Pachanga! series.









PREPMODE DJing@Nordstrum

PREPMODE will be the DJ on the ones and twos for TONIGHT’S Summer Sizzle fashion show at Antone’s.  Remember, doors open at 8PM.  More info here.

Check out his answers to our 5 Questions below before checkin’ him out tonight.  Before that, listen to his Extended Dance Mix of “Hiroshima” and check out his MySpace Page for more.

* * *
1. How did you get involved with Summer Sizzle? NCD Resources booked me.

2. Have you played a fashion show before? DJs seemed to get tapped a lot for fashion shows.  Why do think that is? Is there something more accessible about a DJ than an artist or band? Yeah, I’ve been doing runway shows for 8 years.  When you look at the major fashion designers throughout the world, they have been using DJs for their shows for years, I think many people just see it as a standard.  It’s almost more out-of-the-ordinary to have a live act play during a show.

3. The age -old discussion:  The connection between music and fashion.  What’s your take? Music and fashion constantly change and consistently influence each other.  Today’s world moves at an incredibly fast pace. The marriage of music and fashion defines what is relevant (culture-wise).

4. What is a must-wear item for a DJ during a set? Why? Headphones…..so the DJ can keep the mix on beat.  haha

5. Why is your name PREPMODE? Because a 1 word name is easy to remember.


As a mini-countdown to the ¡Pachanga! Latino Music Festival THIS SATURDAY popolio is featuring 3 ¡Pachanga! Artists in  pop quizzes Wednesday through today.

Maneja Beto [Bobby Garza] pop quiz
David Garza pop quiz

* * *
Last, but certainly not least, is Charanga Cakewalk.  This Austin-based artist ( Miguel Ramos) brews various distinct Latin rhythms (Tejano, merengue, and , prominently, cumbia), throws in a dash of lounge, and sprinkles in  some electronic beats to create a jambalaya of sound.  And that’s just for starters.  Yesterday’s pop quizzer, David Garza, has guested on his work.  His lyrical content adds to an experience that becomes somewhat of a sonic stream of consciousness. He plays the Plaza Stage at 8:15PM (at Fiesta Gardens).  Check the ¡Pachanga! Fest site here for more 411.

May 29, 2009

Name:   Charanga Cakewalk
Genre:   Latino
Latest Release:  Forthcoming Third Release (Self-Released)
Release Date:   TBD

This, That, or the Other
1. Underground OR Mainstream? Mainstream?
2. Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision OR Make a lot of Money? (or both)???Maintain Artistic Integrity and Vision and make a good living.
3. Studio or Stage? Studio is my favorite.
4. Spirituality or Hedonism? Spirituality
5. Make Love, Have Sex, OR %$*!? Well…Fuck of course. 

Fill in the Blank
6. Music is my life.
7. I’m musically inspired by passion and emotion.
8. My favorite old school joint is “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett.
9. If I was a super hero I’d be Underdog.
10. Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll should change to Bump and Grind.

Short Answer
11. I make music because:  There is nothing else.
12. I want my fans to:  Know I love them.
13. If I could share one thing about myself it would be:  I love sports.
14. Wild Card!  Editor’s Note:  N/A
15. I want my musical legacy to be:  That I always did my best. 

Listen to “Dirty Cumbia” from Charanga Cakewalk’s forthcoming third release.  Go to the MySpace Page for more. 
Charanga Cakewalk’s favorite old school joint!

I’ve been wanting to do a countdown featuring songs about songs (you know, songs about music, dancing, and/or a certain genre).  I have my 10 songs, but even as I posted Number 10, I wasn’t sure about the order.  So, this one will form as I go.  I normally have my list ready to go before I start.  MY TOP 10 is a music video countdown, but with some songs (maybe two in  particular) occuring before the MTV era, I will  have to improvise and pull something from Dailymotion or YouTube.  Here goes.

5. Common “I Used to Love H.E.R.”

The quintessential ode to hip hop.  Common broke it down no holds barred professing his affection for hip hop as a woman as well as his dissapointments with her.  Weaving an instant classic, he takes you through the different eras of the genre balancing his roles as narrator and commentator.  He highlights what he sees as  its glorious aspects and denotes its downfalls.  His skillful flow and a killer beat take it to the next level.

We’re starting the second half of the countdown, so I wanted to throw in a BONUS.

***BONUS*** Rihanna “Don’t Stop the Music”

I don’t think this has been around long enough to be part of this all-time TOP 10 list, but it’s almost there.  It’s an infectious song with a clever  interpolation of the famous Michael Jackson chant from “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.”  Definitely, a dance floor buster.

This post kicks off a NEW FEATURE LTR (Long Term Review).  This is my very first full-length album review for popolio.  I’ve reviewed singles before in our Single and Listening feature, but never a full-length project.

Aux.78 was previously featured in a pop quiz here.  In celebration of this new feature, I’ll be reviewing another artist’s album this Thursday.  So, stay tuned for that.   

a78-awbLTR (Long Term Review)
Full Release Review

all over the place

carries a tune


part of the chorus


featured soloist


conducting the choir

Aux. 78 A Worn Ballad
Released:  November 8, 2008 

Aux. 78 is equal parts soundtrack composer, country guitar strummer,  new age guru, and techno DJ.  A Worn Ballad is a solid collection of ambient soundscapes, sparse strings and vocals (there’s some drums in there, too, on “Concrete”), and futuristic effects that doesn’t lose focus. 

“Live Onto Life,” one of the two more traditional tracks, could easily set the tone for a western saloon shootout scene.   The other, “Guns That Smoke,” is a stirring soliloquy that explores the darker side of life.  “Hollowed Out” is reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock film.  I can see someone on a motorcycle; after riding for awhile he gets off and starts following a perfect stranger on foot.  It’s late, dark, and wet from a hard rain that has just settled.  When they round the concrete corner of the sidewalk…something ominous will go down.  “Tomorrows Fade To Today’s Light,” the longest track at 10:40, plays like the sountrack to a 1950s flying saucer B movie (to my imagination, anyway).  

Experimental, yes, but with pleasing sounds that leave you with a familiar feel-good feeling at the end of the listening experience.  It’s like leaving a movie (Yes, folks!) that made you laugh and cry with a little comedy, drama,  and some action and suspense thrown in with a lot of heart; all in equal measure. ♫♫

Standout Track:  “Guns That Smoke”
Check Out:  “The Passing,” “Wood,” and “Hollowed Out”

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com

Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com

Two Banks of Four “Wake Me 5:30”

The English duo, Two Banks of Four, has been weaving electronics and jazz in recorded form since 1998.  Although their latest work, Junkyard Gods, was a slow sell for me initially, this track caught my ear immediately and continues to be a favorite from this CD.

Valerie Etienne’s pristine vocal makes you feel like someone is actually waking you up before dawn to gain the clarity for the day.  2bo4

For more Two Banks of Four music visit Last.FM for streamable tracks and buy/download links

1. Young Love “Find A New Way”

I was introduced to Number 1 through J. Lo’s MTV reality show about dancers trying to make it, DanceLife.  I love to dance.  Not a trained dancer, but not a bad freestyle/club dancer, if I do say so myself.  And I love J. Lo.  So, I checked out the show and loved it.  Wish MTV had picked it up for a second season.

Anyway, Young Love’s “Find a New Way” was the opening song.  And the routine the dancers on the show do to it just bananas.  I also think it was genius to use this song for a J.Lo vehicle.  You would think it’d be a J.Lo song or pop/R&B song, but they used this instead. 

It embodies what the show was about and what a passion for dancing entails.  I liked it so much I checked out Young Love.  I didn’t know if it was just a guy or a band or what.  I still don’t really know.  Dan Keyes seems to be the main guy.  I picked up the debut album, Too Young to Fight It.  Loved it!  He really felt like a rich man’s Justin Timberlake; really hipper than JT, to me.  Not as poppy and R&B, more electro.  I just dug the sounds and songs.

His record company won’t allow the videos to be embedded on YouTube, so I could  only link them here.  The first video is the DanceLife intro so you can see my inspiration.  The links that follow are 2 versions of Number 1 — the original version and a black-and-white version directed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson and featuring model Kemp Muhl.  I really do love to dance!  Just felt like confessing that to the universe.