Kansas City’s Making Movies on the East Coast!

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.51.23 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.22.05 PM

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.19.22 PMI’m excited that Kansas City’s Making Movies is playing a few shows on the East Coast! They’ll be hitting Philadelphia, D.C., and New York City, in early October.

But first, check out this great blurb from NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation blog, which features “songs that public radio can’t stop playing.” Making Movies’ “Pendulum Swing” is one of the songs on the list. (You can download it for free here.)

The disparate musical influences of a childhood split between Panama and Kansas City only begin to explain the unique sounds created by Making Movies. The band’s bilingual album A La Deriva is a lyrically adept examination of the struggles faced by immigrant families. Producer Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, while working to capture Making Movies’ sound, also encouraged the group to not repeat itself. The result is a wholly original work that expands the rich heritage of Latin Alternative music. “Pendulum Swing” is just one part of a thoughtful record — a part best experienced on the dance floor.Jon Hart, The Bridge, for NPR music’s Heavy Rotation blog.

Before they hit the East Coast, however, the guys are hosting a very special event — the first of its kind — in their home city. Who says you have to travel to Latin America or the Caribbean to experience an epic party worthy of the title, CARNIVAL?

Making Movies' Carnval will be emceed by Pili Montilla!
Making Movies’ Carnval will be emceed by Pili Montilla!

CARNAVAL in Kansas City (tickets) is an inaugural music and arts festival hosted by Making Movies. It takes place on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at Knuckleheads, and radio station, 90.9, The Bridge, is a co-sponsor.

Making Movies’ Carnaval is a celebratory block party, bringing Kansas City residents and their families together to share an appreciation for alternative Latino arts.

“Kansas City does not currently have any major outlet for fans of alternative Latin music,” says event planner, Diego Chi, the band’s bassist. “Carnaval allows us to fill that void and showcase the various cultures of all of Latin America, not just Mexico. We hope to make it a very rich experience, no matter what ethnic background the audience comes from.”

The lineup features Grammy award-winning group Ozomatli, a band that has largely influenced the alternative Latin music scene in the United States.

The event emcee is our friend, Puerto Rican entertainment media maven, Pili Montilla. An EMMY nominated TV host, actress, producer, blogger & social media expert in the bilingual entertainment world, she created, produces, and hosts, the Emmy nominated music show, ‘Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla,’ where she spends several days with up-and-coming musicians as they share their struggles and triumphs. The show’s next season begins airing nationally on Saturday, Oct. 11, on Mega TV.

Finally, those of you who are familiar with Making Movies know they make it a mission to have their music give back, in some way, to their community. A portion of special merchandise sold at CARNAVAL will benefit the Guadalupe Centers, a local non-profit organization serving the needs of the Latino community. Dollars raised will go toward supporting The M.U.S.I.C.A. Project at the Guadalupe Centers.

Check out this cool clip of Ozomatli and Making Movies inviting the public to the event:

Also view this wonderfully produced video (promoted nationally) about the band by restaurant chain, Wingstop:

Making Movies then travels to D.C., where they’ll play a string of East Coast dates:

Wed, Oct 8     Washington, DC     Bossa
Thu, Oct 9      Philadelphia, PA     Milkboy
Fri, Oct 10      New York, NY         Knitting Factory (*FREE show for CBGB Music Festival)
Sun, Oct 12     Winston-Salem, NC     Second Sundays on Fourth

About the band:

Making Movies is an internationally touring band whose bilingual music has been featured on MTV, NBC Latino, CNN en Español, NPR, and other national publications. The band is poised to re-release its second album titled A La Deriva, which was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer and artist Steve Berlin of famed rock band Los Lobos on Colorado based label, United Interests. Making Movies will embark on an East and West tour this fall.

‘Ink’ Kansas City & ‘The Pitch’ on Making Movies

Two excellent Kansas City entertainment publications have written about Making Movies‘ five year anniversary as a band, which they’ll celebrate with two shows: one on Thursday, Feb. 13 (sign up for this secret show at their website), and on Friday, Feb. 14, respectively.

First up, in The Pitch:

“The foursome — Panamanian-born brothers Enrique and Diego Chi, Mexican-born Juan-Carlos Chaurand, KC-born Brendan Culp — are used to the confusion of new fans when they explain that their psych-rock and Latin-jazz fusion sprouted in decidedly unspicy Midwestern fields.” – The Pitch Kansas City magazine on Making Movies 5-Year Anniversary as a band. Read the Q&A w the band here: http://bit.ly/1fhUQUu

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I also love this quote from the interview in The Pitch:

“I remember when we played the Buzz’s Homegrown for the Holidays show in November, and it was for an audience for all these kids that probably had never heard a band sing in Spanish. Maybe 400 people there had heard of us, but the other 1,200 had no idea who we were. We brought El Grupo Atotonilco [a traditional folk-dance group], and they went into their dance routine, and the look on these kids’ faces — you know, 96.5 the Buzz listeners, 18-to-23-year-old people who are just there to see an indie-folk band the Mowgli’s. And their faces light up. They don’t know what they’re seeing.” — Lead singer/songwriter, Enrique Chi

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The band also got a nice write-up in Kansas City’s Ink magazine:

“That’s kind of our mission: to breathe life into those old rhythms that are hundreds of years old. If one of my songs can’t sit on top of those old rhythms, then we have to move on. Those rhythms make almost any kind of person want to move. And the more authentic and legitimately we play those rhythms, the better it translates.” — Lead singer, Enrique Javier Chi in Ink Magazine Read the whole thing here: http://bit.ly/1g8ZCYk

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KC eighth-grader’s song about poverty holds message of hope

Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 11.06.03 AMImage via Kansas City Star

*** I work with Making Movies, and when I see the fruits of their M.U.S.I.C.A. camp (in conjunction with Kansas City’s Mattie Rhodes Center), I can’t help but be amazed at the power of music.

BY MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star

Regina del Carmen Sanchez wants to someday make her living writing music, playing her guitar and singing songs that have a message about the world as she sees it.

At 14, Regina’s world is pretty small.

It revolves around the little house she shares with her mom and grandparents on the west side of Kansas City’s urban core. The women of the house spend weekends frying, baking and selling empañadas to supplement the income Regina’s mom brings home as an office assistant.

….

“It’s my dream to become a musician to change people’s lives, to help them understand in an easy way what is happening in the world,” Regina said.

So when she sat down to create her first song, she wrote about being poor, being afraid to open bills, worrying that one not-in-the-budget problem could mean the lights go out.

She was 12 when she wrote “Keep Your Head Up.” It took her several months, writing at home as she lay across her bed or sat at the kitchen table. Sometimes even during breaks in class a lyric would pop into her head and “I would have to write it down right then,” Regina said.

“At the time I was thinking, ‘Let me write a song about the real struggles in my family instead of a song that’s just about me, talking about me,’ ” she said.

My house is in shambles but it beats being homeless.

It’s hot in the summer time, but in the cold the heat’s hopeless.

The bills are coming in and I’m looking so nervous,

because any day now, they could disconnect my service.

The song goes on about needing money, crying and praying, and wondering how long one could endure.

Love yourself and never give up. You’ll see a better life if you keep your head up.

Hand me down clothes but I’ve never been shirtless. B een misunderstood but no I’m not worthless.

Labeled a misfit ’cause I’ve always been different. Don’t want to be a number or another statistic.

Keep your head up …

“When she sings this song, you can tell she’s gone through it,” said Juan Carlos Chaurand, who plays percussion and keyboard for Making Movies, a four-member band from Kansas City with an Afro-Cuban/indie rock vibe.

Making Movies hosted the summer M.U.S.I.C.A. camp for low-income urban youths at Kansas City’s Mattie Rhodes Center, where last summer Regina was a camper. The band charges families $15 for the weeklong camp.

Chaurand said that providing inexpensive lessons and a chance to make music to children who otherwise might not have the opportunity is the band’s contribution to efforts to break the cycle of poverty.

One day Regina sang her song for the band members. They helped her write the music and took her to a studio to record it.

“It’s a great song,” Chaurand said. “To see that come out of her is pretty amazing.”

Read the whole story here. Watch a video of Sanchez performing the song with Making Movies below.

 

 

New music & other stuff

It's winter so I'm just dreaming about listening to music on a beach.
It’s winter so I’m just dreaming about listening to music on a beach.

New music roundup!

  • Stream Sharon Jones (yes, two of my posts mention Ms. Jones this week) and the Dap Kings’ new single, “Give The People What They Want,” via NPR Music. It’s an especially welcome tune since 2013 was a tough year for her. (Details at NPR.)
  • My buddy K. Sabroso released a remix of an Arure track which goes from “Classical Orchestration to Jazzy Breakbeats and even touches on Future Garage” to celebrate his one year anniversary of moving to New York from Indiana. K. Sabroso says the track (“Satila“) is “the highlight of [his] career so far even though it’s been sitting in the archive for over a year.”
  • The D.C. homegirls of Maracuyeah have a new mix called Maraculeando Con Amor and I wrote about it for Sounds and Colours. The mix includes rhythms from all over Latin America, with a heavy emphasis on “Dominican electro-dembow, experimental 3ball, champeta-inspired electronic music, tropical vintage gems that are often left off the DJ decks, and Moombahton remixes, with that genre’s DC and Latin roots.” So get on it. There’s a free download to this mix!
Image via FUSION
Image via FUSION
  • My boy Cousin Cole made a New Year’s hangover cure mix. This mix of SOUL (yes, I said that in a high pitch voice) includes goodies from Leroy Hutson, Gil Scott Heron, the Commodores, and more, so it’s certainly soothing. As for the title of the mix, don’t worry, you’ll be hungover again, so stream or download it below.
Listen to Cousin Cole's New Year's Hangover Cure mix.
Listen to Cousin Cole’s New Year’s Hangover Cure mix.
  • I may be a bit of a Hall & Oates nerd, so imagine my surprise when Chicago-via-Brooklyn whiteboy rapper, Trevor the Trashman, released a new track (“Spoiled Brat“) that samples “Sara Smile.” Check it out via Stupid Dope.
Trevor the Trashman may, or may not, be a spoiled brat.
Trevor the Trashman may, or may not, be a spoiled brat.

Upcoming shows I want to see:

Just making this “to do” list public so I have to oblige and not punk out in favor of catching up on “Scandal” on the Roku.

La Mecanica Popular at the Electric Cowbell and Barbes APAP Showcase 2014 THIS VERY SATURDAY at DROM.

Helado Negro at the Silent Barn Bushwick, Brooklyn, in early February.

Buika at Town Hall in NYC this April.

—–

Take me here, please!
Take me here, please!

Tour video!

Last, but certainly not least, have you been to Panama? I sure haven’t! But I want to go. Check out this behind-the-scenes footage of Making Movies recent trip to the homeland of the Chi brothers (lead singer-songwriter/guitarist and bassist of the band). You’ll feel as if you’re there and live vicariously through them, EXCEPT for the part in which they hold snakes and scorpions. No thank you! 🙂

The band never stops touring, really. So stay tuned for upcoming tour dates here.

Making Movies’ ‘Tormenta’ one of KCUR’s “Best Songs” of 2013

Downloads of this album benefits three Kansas City-area charities.
Downloads of this album benefits three Kansas City-area charities.

A special version of “Tormenta,” by Making Movies, (available on a ’12 Days of Christmas’ album benefiting three Kansas City-area charities via the Midwest Music Foundation & Boulevard Brewing Companyhttp://bit.ly/1ju1hf0) is one of KCUR 89.3 FM‘s ‘Best Songs from Kansas City-area Bands in 2013.’ The song is about missing home at the holidays and was written specifically for the immigration cause.

Hear KCUR‘s other picks here –> http://bit.ly/JQx7Tn (Scroll to 38:25 to hear the special version of “Tormenta.” It is very folkloric version.)

Hear the original version of “Tormenta” here via MTVhttp://on.mtv.com/JTk2bW

A still from the music video for "Tormenta." Watch here: http://youtu.be/QYm5RjCLUfs
A still from the music video for “Tormenta.” Watch here: http://youtu.be/QYm5RjCLUfs

The band is now bound for Texas. Follow the rest of their tour here, and check out this video from the last time they played the Lone Star state. (Video by the Houston-based Sinister Kid Studios.)

Making Movies December Tour: Los Angeles

1520722_10100129622897139_1624080311_nMy buddies from the Kansas City-based band, Making Movies, are on tour this month. They’re currently in Los Angeles and if these photos are any indication, I’d say they’re having a great time.

Get acquainted with the band and their sultry psychedelic son at their website, or via this great video from our friends at American Latino TV.

Listen to their latest album, “A La Deriva,” (produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos), here.

Watch an acoustic performance of “Lo Que Quiero” via 123UnoDosTres here.

Listen to an amazing, plugged-in performance, via KEXP’s “El Sonido w DJ Chilly,” here.

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With superhost, Pili Montilla, of WAPA-TV’s “Té Para Tres.” http://www.wapa.tv/programas/teparatres/
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Performing at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, L.A.
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Photo shooting w the good folks of My Square Bear & stylist, Demetri Faye. http://mysquarebear.com/

 

Checking out Wavelab Studios with Steve Berlin.
Checking out Wavelab Studios with Steve Berlin.
Check out upcoming tour dates at www.makingmoviesband.com
Check out upcoming tour dates at http://www.makingmoviesband.com

#Immigration rally in D.C. today

In honor of the tens of thousands of people who continue to arrive in the nation’s capital for a rally on immigrant rights today, watch the video for “Tormenta,” a song dedicated to immigrant families by Kansas City bilingual rockers, Making Movies.

The song and music video, released in 2010, shows touching images of immigrant life in Kansas City, a metropolitan area whose immigrant population doubled in the 1990s and continues to grow.

The song’s lyrics display the struggle immigrants face as they migrate to the United States for better opportunity, yet the same time, long for loved ones at home (see lyrics below.)

Making Movies continues the “A La Deriva” tour this week with stops in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Dates here.

Lyrics:

Tormenta by Making Movies

Yo quiero ver mi familia esta Navidad,
Y quiero hablar con mi abuelo, oír la verdad.
Porque el frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta.

Yo quiero ver mi país esta Navidad,
Y quiero bailar en mi pueblo otra vez más,
Porque el frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta.

Coro:
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!

Yo quiero comer de tu boca la mera verdad.
Porque el frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta.

Coro:
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!
¡No quiero estar perdido!

Yo quiero saber que va pasar contigo,
¡Déjame saber si voy a estar perdido!
¡Yo quiero crecer, cambiar este sonido!
El frio me atormenta,
El frio me atormenta.

New music Tuesday: Making Movies ‘A La Deriva’

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Making Movies, a band I first discovered during CMJ in New York City last year, is making waves with their new album.

“A La Deriva” is an 11-track high-energy tour de force that blends a multitude of traditionally dichotomous genres seamlessly.

The album is produced by Steve Berlin of the three-time Grammy winning, Chicano rock veterans, Los Lobos.

Together since ’09, Making Movies is turning out music that is bilingual and appealing to a WIDE audience. The kind of audience that encompasses many of today’s increasingly DIVERSE music fans, especially when you think of the growing Latino demographic.

Their music is indie rock. Alt Latino. Afro-caribbean in rhythm and percussion. Soulful. Indie. Classic in sound. New wave. It’s distinctly American, yet global.

Led by Panamanian brothers Enrique and Diego Chi (singer/songwriter/guitarist and bassist respectively) – and made complete by percussionist Juan Carlos Chaurand, and drummer Brendan Culp – Making Movies has been hailed as “a rare crossover band…that embraces its heritage without being wholly defined by it” (The Pitch).

And, as Marlon Bishop of MTV Iggy wrote last week, “… the band synthesizes what’s happening in indie rock and in Latin music better than anyone else out there today.”

Steve Berlin was first turned on to Making Movies when the guys opened up for Los Lobos at their Kansas City show. “I was struck by the effortless way they moved between musical styles, all the while managing to make each one completely their own,” Berlin explains.

Just as Los Lobos are tex-mex, cumbia, folk, blues, corrido but above all ROCK, Making Movies are a mixture of Latin music with a predominant American rock sound.

And this is why I believe they shouldn’t be considered JUST a Latin rock band.

Though they sing some of their lyrics in Spanish and use some instruments found in Latin music (not unlike Los Lobos or Bronx El Mariachi), they are an American rock band.

And that’s not all. The band co-founded a music camp for kids in underserved areas of Kansas City. WATCH this video about the wonderful impact they’re having with a diverse group of youth through music education. They’ve also been involved with DREAM act measures.

It may sound kind of idealistic on my part, but it’s what music is supposed to be. They’re making it for the fans, but also passing it on to the next generation.

You can grab “A La Deriva” at iTunes. You can also download the first single off the album, “Cuna De Vida,” over at Remezcla

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And make sure to vote for Making Movies in MTV Iggy’s “Artist of the Week” contest, which ends at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 8.

For the next generation: Making Movies puts on M.U.S.I.C.A. camp

I was introduced to Kansas City rock band Making Movies during last month’s CMJ Music Marathon in NYC. They fuse Afro-Cuban rhythms with indie sensibilities to come up with bilingual songs that rock.

When they’re not working on their own music, the band is passing their knowledge onto the next generation. But it’s far more than just a guitar lesson here and there. Recently, Making Movies teamed up with the Kansas City-based nonprofit, the Mattie Rhodes Center, to put on “Musicians United by Social Influence and Cultural Awareness (M.U.S.I.C.A.)“, a camp which introduces high risk Hispanic youth from the northeast Kansas City area to the world of music.

As you’ll see in this video, they’re reaching a great group of youngsters who might not otherwise be exposed to the arts. Even better, they’re becoming young artists. The smiles on their faces as they’re playing guitar chords or belting out “La Bamba?” Priceless.

And for more information on the band, check out my Q & A with lead singer Enrique Chi in Sounds and Colours here.