(jump the flip for a full album's worth of mp3s)
Did you know there was a musical freak scene in Mexico City? Apparently Ira Kaplan, Jonathan Poneman and Alan McGhee knew this, but I did not know this. On our Irwin's last visit, a freak named Carlos handed him his band's CD. The band was Las Comadrejas, and they're at the center of a thriving psychedelic scene currently shaking that fair megalopolis, just 556 miles south of that very secure fence currently in the works.
"We Are Ugly, but... We Have The Music", no delicate object of whimsey, is actually named after a lyric from Leonard Cohen ("Chelsea Hotel No 2", to be exact - the one about Janis Joplin and, well... you know). This is their second album, and track 9, "da Kinx" (Realaudio archive), is the thing that first blew most of our minds here. It was lunchtime on a Wednesday, and a relentless blast of Tiger Mountain-era Eno up against some Amon Düül II-isch aggression came through WFMU's inhouse speakers, allowing us to experience the aural equivalent of getting beat up by the lunch-money bully. I mean this in a good way. The rest of the album takes in doses of surf twang, looping drunkard's guitars, hillbilly goofiness, and a bit of flamenco and blurts it all out with a minimalist pounding heaviness that's more invigorating and smelly than much dressed-up Rock Music you hear now'days.
Jump the flip for a bit of bio straight from founding member Carlos Icaza, links to others on the scene, some context, and 10 fat pumping mp3s.
Las Comadrejas born the day George Harrison died, after the split up of one of the seminal underground freak bands from Mexico City: Los Esquizitos. They did 3 records and were a big influence for the actual scene in the country. Las Comadrejas begun with the 3 members of Los Esquizitos: Carlos Icaza, Nacho Disorder and The Young Alex. The singer Uili Damage did a proyect wih his girlfriend called Flanger Garden. Las Comadrejas did its first record in 2001. It was a desolating record where minimal rock and roll meets reggae, country and bluegrass and lots of heavy humor. We did 500 handmade copies that sold out in the presentation party. Then, Joolz join us (he played in several exciting bands like Los Fancyfree, Evil Hippie and Roc and Robots), and El Cusak, a Spanish flamenco lover with an attitude. We did a tour in Spain in 2003 and Munster Records gets the distribution for our second record that was called "We Are Ugly But We Have The Music", after a Leonard Cohen line. This record is totally sold out, but maybe the guys from Munster still have a few, check it out and ask them! We are working on a EP proyect that will be out only on vinyl. It's a single with 6 songs on 33 rpm.
Here's where you can hear Las Comadrejas on WFMU.
And here's "We Are Ugly, But... We Have The Music" in its entirety, as mp3s for you to download: