La Plebe – Hasta La Muerte!

26 Jun

La Plebe
Hasta La Muerte!
Produced: Bill Gould
Release Date: July 24, 2007

Pags – Guitar
Alberto – Trumpet
Antonio – Trombone
La Lupe – Bass Guitar
Mark T. – Drums

1. Reject Refuse
2. La Esquina
3. Mi Tierra
4. Runnin’
5. Pinches Fronteras
6. Run Joe
7. Plebe por Vida
8. Cerdos al Marchar
9. El Infeliz
10. En el Infierno
11. La Juventud
12. S.O.B.

My buddy Jay has been telling me about these guys for about two or three years, and I never got off my ass to give them a listen. But guess what? I finally did a few weeks back. I have no idea exactly how to describe their sound, other than punk with horns. When I first heard that there were horns, I thought I was going to be listening to ska album, but really they’re not ska. Just a pretty good punk band with horns, and some Spanish lyrics here, and there.

These 12 energetic tunes would be enjoyable even without the horn parts, and the Spanish, and English vocals are performed in the usual street punk shout-along style, crossing cultural borders into Dropkick Murphy’s territory on songs like “Runnin’” and the dramatic “Run Joe.”

Rating: ** * two out of three stars

The standout cuts are: Runnin’, and Run Joe.

If you can find it, give it a try.

On to the story . . .

Throughout most of the ‘90’s, I didn’t listen to a whole lot of music. Depending on what was going on in my life, I would listen to a bunch of stuff, then nothing for six months or so then start up again.

After my punk days I had a hard time finding music that moved me. Guns ‘N Roses were my thing for a while. I met Slash back in 1986, in the parking lot of Wherehouse Records in Hollywood, I think on Sunset. And I remember thinking that these guys were a dirtier version of Poison, and the other bands playing Hollywood at the time. The G‘NR energy was great for me at the time.

Then the band seems to have imploded. And nothing sounded that great, listened to a little Nirvana, dug Pearl Jam’s first album for a bit. Then the well ran dry. Around this time I tried to start a small advertising business, one the first companies to approach us was Death Row Records. I submitted a small “demo” portfolio for them featuring comps of their various artists. Mock magazine ads for Snoop Dogg, and CD covers for Tupac Shakur were submitted to their Art Director George Pryce. He seemed to like the stuff, and had us submit a few more things. Did that, and waited. Then give them an alternate Tupac cover with a matching magazine ad. Did those, and waited. Then they said they were going to use the Snoop Dogg stuff, then no. Then they were going to use the Tupac stuff, then he was killed, now make the art reflective of a tribute album (title was mine), don’t worry you’ll get paid. Then nothing, I’m sure the check’s in the mail.

During all of this I ended up listening to a lot of Death Row stuff. It was good, urgent, and sometimes violent. And the same thing as when I listened to Guns, Death Row imploded. Artists left the label, some were killed. A mess.

I had no music. A few people from work recommended the Notorious B.I.G. I wasn’t interested at all. The whole East Coast, West Coast rivalry seemed like a bunch of shit. Remember watching guys getting into fights in the parking lot of clubs, and throwing up the “W” hand sign, and thinking “We’re all in California, what is he doing.”

Anyway, one night I was out with my soon-to-be Wife, and she found a used copy of Life After Death. So, we bought it. It was OK.

I started leaving all my CD’s at my job, the advertising business didn’t work, and so, I was working as a graphic designer at an Adult Film company. So, occasionally people would walk by and borrow a CD for a couple of hours. One day this borrowing stuff went horribly wrong. One day this Persian kid I worked with borrowed my Biggie CD. Then he came back and said sorry, I can’t give you your CD back, the CD player broke, and the CD is stuck inside. I sat and looked at him for a while, trying to be calm and cool here. Then he walked away.

I mowed it over in my head, how I would’ve handled this. I probably would’ve suggested we take the CD player apart, and then as a last resort offer to buy him another CD.

So, I went up to him, and asked, “How are you planning on fixing this?” He sat there and stared for a minute, then said, “I can’t do anything, the CD’s stuck.” Then I started to trip, “You fucking punk, you expect me to go and buy another copy of this CD?” He replies, “It’s not my fault, I didn’t break the CD player. There’s nothing I can do.” I walked away mumbling, “You’re a bitch.”

That night he left around 4:30; I had to work until, about, 6:00. After the place emptied out, I took the CD player, checked it a few times, it wouldn’t open. So, I walked into the bathroom, and bounced it off of every wall I could. After it was in five different pieces, the CD came out perfectly.

I put the CD back in it’s jewel case, and walked the five pieces past the guard station, and to the dumpster. The guard gave me a very puzzled look.

The next day my very East-Coast Italian boss asks me “What happened to the CD player?” I tell him, “I was working late last night, and accidently dropped it.” He asks me to come into his office, closes the door, and shows me a security clip of me walking into the bathroom with a CD player, then ten minutes later walking out with pieces of a CD player. He looks at me, and laughs, then says, “You must’ve dropped it a a few times.” I look down, and say “Yeah, something like that.”

Turns out the security guard that I walked past, was suspicious when I tossed out the remains of the CD player. So, grabbed the surveillance tape, and gave it to me boss. My boss Joe had a temper much like mine. About once or twice a month he’d come to work with his knuckles raw from beating someone up in traffic on the way into work. So, he gave me a pass on my freak-out.

A month or so later one of the company’s owners came by and asked Joe how things were going, he said fine, “If he could get the employees to stop destroying the stereos.” I acted like I didn’t hear him.

LIFE WON’T WAIT will be out August 2013, reserve a copy today: http://tiny.cc/rutyvw

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