Monday, March 17, 2008

In my Place, I looked up at the Glass and saw the Vendor

Yadira Arroyo

I am being told to thirst for you. And I sort of do because there is only so much that I can resist. I mean, wow, in terms of the system, you are a gem. You don't see that of course, but I know better. And what if despite my credence, I could still pocket you? What a secret accomplishment that would be for me. Then you would become my trophy.

That's when it gets twisted. You are something strange that the system expelled. You are strange because you are positively (you know, like, not achromatic) colored vomit and that carries with it a lot of stigma. If anything, your buddies should be the first ones to undo the myth, but no, you refuse to undermine your own discomfort for it is you that the system holds the dearest. If anything, I'd say that you are the system's greatest excrement. You are its pride for you have the tools of dissatisfaction to raise your consciousness and overturn the whole demonic thing, yet you haughtily choose to remain within its walls. You are by far its most obedient baby.

So in your awkward and intriguingly dissectible position on the plane, stupid as you are to stay where you are, I find you interesting. If only I could say that I held you in my hand, what a feat that would be! That alone would qualify and accept me within the system. Secretly, I would betray everything that I stand for. I think that what I am most concerned with though is having an obedient baby's praise. Now that, would surely fuck things up. It's your unique position that allows me to crave you. A craving only lasts so long though, I am well aware. I want to get in and stay in you for a long time and I want you to enter and exit as fast as possible. Hell, it would be the best if you didn't even have to be in me.

Now, why am I writing this? Well, I have a unique position too. This position is tenuous, weak and hurtful because it demonstrates my inability to perform for the system. I don't actually want to be active in it, but if my mere presence could activate that false power, ooh how that would make me giddy! I have a unique position too, but you tricked me. Given the circumstances, I made my calculations and wrote out the formula for a perfect ride. You however, turned out to have the upper hand. How? You were never in the same position as I was and that's what I had figured. As time passed and I connected more dots, I became aware of your strange position. And now, as I deal with the numbers and figures, the new information leads to one answer: I'm getting fucked in this position. Everything would be good if I didn't secretly want to purchase a piece of the poisonous pie. Now I see that I am truly being made into my essence and that's because you are still playing the game. I stopped playing but to you, I will always be something within. Essence.

Album Review: Memo Rex

Fernando Romero

Rock en español has a future; and the future is Zoé.

Memo Rex Commander y el Corazón Atómico de la Vía Láctea is the band’s third album. The LP is a compilation of 13 tracks delivering a sonic adventure weaving through the stylistic paths of alternative, synth and Brit-pop, garage rock and grunge; but everything about it is hard-rocking Zoé. The album has a blend of guitar-driven songs, up-tempo pop melodies as well as melancholic moody ballads; all of them shadowed with headphone-tweaking sound effects. The record shows a noticeable synth-pop influence.

The quintet out of Mexico City has cultured a revolutionary sound transcending the spheres of music and language. Much of the lyrical content throughout the band’s career has been multilingual. Unlike any other rock en español band, the band’s sound is reminiscent of a cross-breed between Nirvana and The Killers, added with Spanish and English lyricism. Memo Rex… is a powerful and formative effort.

The highlights of the album are inescapable. Opening track “Memo Rex” evokes a psychedelic emotion of sorts. The noisy guitars and drums all echo in crescendo until the acoustic chords and melodic choruses of vocalist Leon Larregui kick it up a notch.

Perhaps the most notable track on the album follows suit. “Vía Láctea,” with its pop-beat, hums with a heavy bass and becomes an authoritative rock song when you listen to the lyrics and the keyboards that are almost imperceptible in the backdrop.

“No Me Destruyas” is another goody. Also a song with a stylistic pop sound similar to anything The Cure ever made, it makes you want to get up and dance . Another track to remember is “Ms. Nitro,” with grungy guitars and sonic, sometimes noisy keyboards coupled with a good chorus. “The Room,” sung completely in English is another unforgettable track. Larregui’s voice is perfect for this one. The opening keyboards and the subtle yet graceful composition of the guitar chords create a moody and melancholic ballad.

“Human Space Volt,” starts off heavy and is all punk-rage. It is a synth-pop track that rides on a rhythmic-guitar overdrive. The band closes with a track that is the epitome of Zoé. “Paz,” has an ethereal, almost gloomy start. The percussion and the drums are intermittent. The lyrics are poetic, “paz en forma de afecto / paz en todo el universo,” Then, the beat picks up with frenzy with electronic synth-pop, a faster drum beat, the guitars on overdrive, the bass in the background and the chorus in English for a universal sound that rocks in any language.

Released in July 2006, the album debuted at No. 1 on the Mexican charts. The album received Gold certification for 40,000 copies sold in four weeks, an exemplary effort for a band signed onto an indie label.

The band has garnished critical acclaim and in the past year Memo Rex was nominated for three Latin Grammys, including “Best Alternative Music Album,” “Best Alternative Music Song,” for “No Me Destruyas” and “Producer of the Year,” for music producer Phil Vinall. The album was also nominated for “Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album,” at the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony which was held on Feb. 10 2008.

The band’s fusion of different music styles as well as the hybrid of Spanish and English lyrics are perfect for fans of good rock music whether you’re bilingual or not, it doesn’t matter.