I am not going to sit here and claim to know every goddamned thing about Florida's proud musical tradition. A good case in point was one of the earliest Blast From the Past columns that I performed for these digital pages on Coke.
And by "perform" I mean the quasi-obsessive ritual that I've been wrapped up in for the past twenty years, ever since I became a citizen of this peninsula, carefully balancing my Hispanic and Arab origins with my burgeoning punk rock/hardcore and jazz/Bossa Nova leanings.
Likewise, it couldn't have been easy for first-generation Cuban-Americans to respect the chaperona rule when out and about on the streets of Miami. But like Rocky Echevarria taught us all in that famed sitcom ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, everything's possible under the South Florida sun. And I am happy as shit to report that since I was welcomed into the open and enthusiastic arms of the Open House culture last year, this way of being has opened my eyes to what a real homegrown music scene is all about.
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These were kids just getting their rock on -- caught between the psychedelic sounds of their new country and the decades' strong history of their parents' music. And these ten tracks will get any lame-ass party into some juicy jamoneada con la novia. "Chaucha," "Batuka" and "Juntos" are seriously replay heavy. It's a good beginning-to-end jam that both English and Spanish speakers will enjoy.
Now I won't lie ... Parents were not pleased. But these cats soldiered on because that was (and is) America's promise: You are whatever you set out to be.
This is part of something greater.