Friday, June 8, 2007


POSTIZO by Marc Ribot & Los Cubanos Postizos.

Here's some more wacked out dance music for you this Friday. Here are a few random observations:

Marc Ribot is a fairly well known guy in these parts, especially if you're in to Tom Waits, jazz, or the Lower East Side music scene.

A few years ago he released a couple of albums with a group he called Los Cubanos Postizos ("The Prosthetic Cubans"). These are his "dance records," and even though his style is so angular and bent, it really works as dance music. Indeed, his playing here reminds me a lot of the sounds coming out of the Congotronics crowd featured on Wednesday. Listen to both and you'll see what I mean.

One reason Ribot's sound is so distinctive is that he's a left-handed guitarist who plays right-handed. (Not, like Jimi Hendrix, a left-handed guitarist who plays a right-handed guitar strung upside down, but a guy who plays it as if he was right-handed, even though he's not.) You can see what I mean in this clip of him playing with the Cubanos. As someone who's always had left- and right-handed issues, I identify with him on that.

As mentioned above, Ribot is a well-known New York scenester and commentator. He gave an interview recently that was full of cool observations. Read the whole thing, but here's a good passage: With record labels failing, and clubs failing, what's the best a musician can hope for?

MR: Buy an uzi. (Laughs.) The place where musicians start is the place where musicians always start: learn your instrument, or work on your conceptual skills. I've always considered myself more a semiotician than a guitarist anyway. Work on your conceptual skills, work on your ability to do whatever it is that you need to do on your instrument, find other people with whom to work, and then understand that your band, or your individual ability to say what you need to say exists within a political and cultural context. Just like you practice your guitar, and just like you rehearse with your band, you have to work politically, to find a context in which you can exist.
So that's your odd dance music + semiotics for today. Enjoy your weekend!

...Before you go, read through this article Ribot wrote that appeared yesterday, on the state of the New York music scene. It's fascinating. Especially liked his discussion of the European arts subsidies. I had no idea it played such a big role.


Photo: RFK(3).



Anonymous said...

Did you add to the title of this blog? - Mom

Bill said...

I dunno what you mean! but i think the answer is no...