Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Belated Anniversary

Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Alcohol Prohibition in the US.

In what was a bit of a surprise, the Conrad Black owned Wall Street Journal, published an interesting piece questioning the policy of drug prohibition, and indeed calling for its End.

The Policy decisions of the US have troubling effects for its Southern and to a different degree its Northern neighbors, what is common is the militarization of those borders.

Last week also saw the publishing of a historical find, scientists recently discovered a 2,700 year old stash, in a tomb in China. Also buried with the presumed shaman, was a harp which goes to show the relationship between drugs and music is an ancient one.

Drugs, Music and Religion share a common space in various cultures around the world. Rastafarianism is the one with the most notoriety in the Anglosphere due to its connection to many successful reggae artists the first and probably best known being Bob Marley. Reggae therefore has an amazing quantity of songs praising the herb.

One of my favorites which deals with prohibition, is from reggae artists Everton Blender and Anthony B is called Brain Food

Quite fitting aswell is this cumbia gem I recently stumbled upon by La Linda Vera, called Yerba Santa, via DJ / crate-digger Thisistomorrow, though it is about a licit plant, it could be about an illicit one.

As the article mentioned, Bolivia expulsing the DEA, what the article obviously didn't mention is the history of intervention. This song, by Wara, is called La Hoja de Coca

But the song which best summarizes the hypocrisy of prohibition has to be this one by Quebec Artist Monoc Serge.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Colonialism's End in Bolivia

This video about colonialism comes via my friend Vanessa.

The title is a play on '500 years ago', referencing Colombus' so called 'discovery' of the Americas, also known as the Abya Yala. The video is from the popular Bolivian Rock group Maldita Jakeca.

500 danos atras

For a good background on colonial history and indigenous resistance in Bolivia read From Colonialism to Indianism by Christian Rudel

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Zimlo Style

Quoique ridicule, ça m'a fait rire pareil.
Aussi à voir est la serie d'épisodes 'making of' qui aboutissent a ce vidéo.

I know, I know, its rediculous, but there's something fresh about it.
There is a whole series of these, the making of the video! A whole new level of 'keeping it real'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hip Hop Boliviano

Hailing from El Alto, Bolivia (La Paz' largely Aymara sister city) is rapper Ukamau y Ke, probably the best known Bolivian rapper. Here he presents us with his latest video dedicated to Tupac Katari.

Ben Dangl, over at Upsidedownworld.org, interviewed and wrote about the political nature of the Bolivian Hip Hop movement back in 2006.

Further north, Montrealers may already be familiar with this aspect of the movement thanks to local group Bolivar Papineau, made up of a Bolivian and a Montreal performer. The group has been recording since 2004, and has been performing more steadily since 2007 at various events related to social movements.