Song of the Day: Aqua Marine – Santana

This is in my opinion the most underrated song of Santana‘s most underrated album. I still don’t get why the reception of Marathon was that unpleasant. Yes, I know it was an experiment of an up-tempo Jazz-Rock, but it is definitely gold!

Although the great Alex Ligertwood performed the vocals of the album, Aqua Marine is a fully instrumental piece of art. This song is an appetizing ensemble of the best of Santana’s musicians. They easily change rhythms and lines like if they were seducing the song.

Just listen to that bass guitar from 1:45, a simple arrangement that hypnotizingly makes my shoulders move. Ain’t that sexy?

When Mariachis crank it up

I was maybe 12 or 13 years old when I started the project of a rock band with my school mates (Juglares). Our inexperience and curiosity led us to great adventures. As one of the first bands of the town (or at least, who got some recognition), it allowed us to experiment with styles without being shunned or bullied by other “mature” bands.

At this time, however, our musical taste was way different. Fernando loved national rock of the slums (Rocksito) and tropical music; the other Mario (we were two) was eclectic and enjoyed more electro-beats with some Rocksito too. On the other hand I got myself into Blues and Mexican folkloric music, like Mariachis and Boleros. Our band became a good mix of what people didn’t think could fit together.

It was at this time when my dad arrived home one day with a new CD he got for me: “Pero sigo siendo el Rock”. It was an interesting project made by several rock musicians of Mexico. The twist? They play mariachi music with rock instruments. A beauty.

Each and every single song is special. The face-smashing boom of “De qué manera”, the Funk in “Por mujeres como tú”, the Jazz of “La Puerta Negra” or the synthetic romanticism of the rocking “Piensa en Mí”.

It was clear that this experiment was a first in Mexico, but sadly also a last for the members starting it. One of them, Javier de la Cueva, forerunner of the Mexican rock scene with his bands The Black Jeans and The Hooligans is still active. His son, Jay de la Cueva, naturally followed his steps in music and is now the frontman of a mock-band called Moderatto (and also part of Titán, Fobia, and many more), whose main act is to, you guessed it, play classic melodies with a hair-rocking overtone ala Steel Panther.

A playlist of the Mariachi extraviado (name of the project) is available in Youtube with some of the songs that could be rescued. Back then this short experiment was just another CD in the racks of the music stores. Nowadays is worth 10 times its price, and rightly so!

Where is my CD? No idea. Lost within the old crap of my childhood, but let Google bless Youtube for allowing these treasures to re-emerge.

Song of the day – Who am I (OST)

I found it hard to pick one single song, actually, and not because they’re not good enough. They are, but their combination makes it even better.

This time I go out of my usual taste. I’ve never been fan of electronic music. Everyone knows that. However, I recently watched the german film ‘Who am I – No system is safe‘ and, besides a good story, the film features a great soundtrack.

It start with the main theme Alarm, originally made by Boys Noize, and is followed by other themes by Fukk Offf, Carpet and Royal Blood.

This is the kind of soundtrack that exactly fit that insane notion of artificial adrenaline hitting your head while coding at 3:00 am… or am I the only one experiencing it?

Egal! Please have your dose of Who am I:

Lubezki, long shots and eccentric machines

Cinematography is the secret to a beautiful film fame. But that is just my personal opinion. Certainly Lubezki is nowadays a talented film magician, that brings big surprises with every release.

Mainly due to its incredibly beautiful shots of outer space, Gravity is also highly acclaimed because of its intricate machinery behind scenes, but it didn’t happen in a single day and the mastery that achieved such a great production was not made so easy.

‘Chivo’ Lubezki has certainly worked for a long time. From his teen age to his worldwide success, through their agony in Mexican TV series and early days in Hollywood. They have learned a lot and innovated everywhere.

It is true that his work boosts any production, but we also find something special in his style: long shots. And it might sound a bit cheesy or even nonsense, but his original cinematography has set a landmark in cinema.

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Song of the day: Mediocre – Ximena Sariñana

I am not a big fan of pop music, but I could become a fan of that category sometimes. This is a good example of it.

Ximena Sariñana is a Mexican singer / actress, daughter of Fernando Sariñana, director and producer of some Mexican films and she has been in some. However, her true talent is, in my opinion, composing and singing.

She started her singing career time ago with the band ‘Feliz no cumpleaños’ (Spanish for ‘Happy Not-Birthday’). Later she kept on studying music in Mexico, and then released her first solo album: Mediocre. This is the album that got me into her.

But her style is nowadays more.. “pop-ish”, filled up with glitter and happy melodies. Not my taste actually, but her very first album ‘Mediocre‘ is one of my favorites, a nice balad/jazzy sound in every melody that makes you sing along with her even when the songs are kind of depressing some times.

Here I present my favorite song from the album (hard to pick among all the songs), which is the song that gives the name to the album: Mediocre. Lyrics with translation are below 😉

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Song of the day: Gimme tha Power – Molotov

Molotov is one of my favorite bands. My favorite Spanish-speaking band for sure.

Oddly, the only times that I’ve been to a Molotov concert were in Germany, during their European tour. But I don’t complain, the concerts were vibrant and full of energy, like their songs. Damn! I was even able to jump with them on the stage and had some words before and after the show.

But anyways. Mexico has been involved in many political disturbances and its social movements are a clear way to observe these several demands from all over Mexico.

What I like from Molotov is that they are totally apolitical, so have more energy to talk crap about everyone in politics.

This is one of their most famous songs, and almost an hymn that has trascended through all Latin America. I truly believe, that many inhabitants from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego feel very identified with the lyrics.

This is a powerful invitation of Molotov to take the streets and demonstrate against the dirt in Politics: Gimme tha Power.

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KISStoria. Tercera Parte.

Llegó el año 1978 y era el momento más exitoso para la banda hasta ese entonces; llenaban estadios, el ejército de KISS llegaba casi al millón y sus álbumes se vendían como pan caliente. Estando en la cima se propusieron elevar el nivel y dar un paso más arriesgado.

Bill Aucoin, KISS y Hanna-Barbera decidieron aprovechar la imagen de súper héroes que se creó el año anterior con su historieta, así que se atrevieron a producir una película con KISS como los súper héroes que tienen como objetivo acabar con la misión de un científico loco que amenaza con destruir un parque de diversiones en California.KISSmtpotp

La producción del film “KISS meets the Phantom of the Park” comenzó en Mayo de 1978 y la banda tomó clases exprés de actuación porque nadie tenía experiencia en eso. Continue reading

A fancy visualization of planes intersecting – Part 3 (and Final)

The mystery is over! From the previous posts we have seen the way we can generate a random plane, and visualize 3 of them at the same time showing their intersecting point.

It might be enough for some simple visual purposes, but we are more ambitious than that and we want to get it fancier.planes intersecting

And that’s why I’m here! This final step would be to achieve a neat visualization of our three planes and even the equations involved. Let’s begin with what we have so far:

P = rand(3);
d = rand(3,1);
x = P\d;
hold on
drawPlane(P(1,:), d(1))
drawPlane(P(2,:), d(2))
drawPlane(P(3,:), d(3))
scatter3(x(1), x(2), x(3))

Where the function drawPlane was defined as:

function drawPlane(P, d)
[x, y] = meshgrid(-10:10);
z = -(1/P(3))*(P(1)*x + P(2)*y - d);
surf(x, y, z);

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Again back to the hood!

Hey, bandita!

Well, new surprises are coming. I finally got rid of the University duties by now and have some time to invest in some new projects. Of course I will start to share all of them here. You know this creepy mind runs at different speed and in many ways.

By the moment I’m just gonna let you know that video is highly involved in these new activities. Finally I can give some more visual material as I was planning from the beginning. I hope you all like it and please give some feedback. In the beginning will be slow as I gain some experience but please don’t be desperate. I’ll be updating constantly and giving again some tips and other sections will be back. Oh yeah, baby, the old school is back!

Now I have the support of many persons and I’m getting some cool ideas to apply. The visual material will be mainly in youtube and vimeo, but I’ll tell you the details later when the stuff is done. Well, wait and see, banda.