Happy Friday Readers!
I used to be mildly intrigued about the spookiness of Friday the 13th, but now I’m just excited for the weekend
What’s On My Mind This Week: The highs and lows of sports
This week, the New York Yankees overcame a 2-game deficit and won three in a row to eliminate the Cleveland Indians and advance to the ALCS. Cleveland was the best regular season team in the AL and won 102 games this year, following last year’s World Series appearance. Over the summer, the “Windians” rode an epic 22-game winning streak, the longest in baseball history. By contrast, The 2017 Yankees were a rebuilding project with muted expectations. Hats off to Joe Girardi and the nucleus of young ballplayers (Judge, Sanchez, Severino, et al.) who defied the pundits. We are now 4 wins away from the World Series– go Yankees!
Also this week, the US Men’s Soccer National Team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, losing to Trinidad and Tobago. What an epic fail… this loss is the defining legacy for the current generation of players on the USMNT. Now it’s time to CTRL+ALT+DEL
What I’m reading/watching/listening to:
Residente’s new self-titled album “Residente”. Residente ( René Pérez Joglar) is a rapper, singer, writer, producer, film director, and, with his stepbrother Visitante (Eduardo José Cabra Martínez) co-founder of the award winning rap group Calle 13. They have won 24 Latin Grammys, the most awarded to a single group in Latin music history. Residente possesses a Fine Arts degree and is known for his social and humanitarian work on behalf of UNICEF and Amnesty International (Thx to Drea for the find)
Album Background (Wikipedia)
A few years before the album’s release, Residente took a DNA test that revealed his roots trace back to 10 different locations around the World, including Armenia, Ghana, China and his homeland Puerto Rico. Such diversity inspired him to produce what would later result in a solo album, a documentary and a book released via Fusion Media Group (Univision Communications) under the same common title Residente. He signed a five-year production deal with the label.
The album was written and recorded over the course of two years and saw Residente travel around the world to the places where his roots are, including Siberia, Moscow, China, the Caucasus, France, Spain, England, Armenia, Ossetia in Georgia, Antigua, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger, aside from Puerto Rico.
In all those places, he worked with local, mostly amateur or unknown artists, some of which poor or affected by war. Despite this, Residente rejects the idea of it being a world music album because he “wanted to do something new”. All of them will be paid for their royalties. He also said:
“I collaborated with talented artists, artists that the musical industry doesn’t know of because they don’t pay attention to them, artists that make music without expecting something in return, artists whom I share DNA with, just how they shared their stories with me.”
About the album’s general sound, he said “at a sound level it is not the most organic [album he’s ever made], but the most real and precise. All sounds are from those countries, the drums, the voices, anything that sounds comes from that place.”
Parts of the pre and post-production of the album were done at Loisaida Center in New York City. Residente also worked at Electric Lady Studios in West Village.
The album deals with themes such as equality and unity. Though Residente’s initial approach to his trips were mainly musical, he was inspired by his conversations to focus on the subject of race. Despite being produced much before Donald Trump won the 2016 United States presidential elections, Residente admits its themes could relate to the scenario of the time of its release: “I think that… the topic now is even more relevant because of what is happening with Trump and not only Trump, because there’s a lot of racism around the world. […] We all came from the same place, even though we are different, we are equally different”.
Residente intends to release an English language version of the album and has already translated all lyrics with the help of Puerto Rican poet Urayoán Noel, associate professor at New York University. The effort will be put out depending on Residente’s satisfaction with it.
Great (not so) recent purchase:
Do not overspend on branded hiking boots that can cost up to $200! I got a pair of these boots 3+ years ago and they have served me superbly on my hikes in the northeast. This is not a paid advertisement, and I do not get paid for these links.
My Photo of the Week:
Hiking Mount Mansfield – 4,393 ft (VT) – Sunset Ridge Trail to the “Chin” of the mountain
What’s Biggie Smalls up to?
Chewing on his bone, forever