Here's a big band in the clutches of seriously sleazy pop art. Dámaso Pérez Prado from Matanzas, Cuba, became famous for stuffing screaming trumpets into the soundtracks of lurid Mexican movies. Frenetic, strident and funny, he was the bandleader who broke the mambo and subsequently had two number one mainstream pop hits in the US. He recorded a gazillion albums, some of them immortal, some of them extra-cheesy, most somewhere in between. This is an album of movie themes — heavily re-imagined, I'm pleased to report. There are a few you'll know: “A Hard Day's Night,” “The James Bond Theme” and a double-time “Goldfinger,” all given the mambo treatment. But most are themes from movies you may never have heard of. Woman of Straw? Why don't they make soundtracks like this today?
By Marc Hogan on 12.18.14 in News
In April 2013, Beyoncé and Jay Z created an international incident when they celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba. U.S. lawmakers who have since been markedly less critical of CIA torture condemned the pop...
By Richard Gehr on 02.01.05 in Spotlights
Music's uses are many and varied. From hippies to hip-hop, nothing better delineates a subculture. It helps hammer brands into our heads with numbing regularity. It substantially shapes mating rituals the world over. And...
By Richard Gehr on 09.01.04 in Spotlights
Censorship is never pretty, especially during an election year. Nevertheless, the CD that accompanies the recently published Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), two dozen essays collec...
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.