Monday, November 14, 2005

Because I'm All About the Guitar Pt. 6: Chingon

Yes, yes, it's late. It was supposed to be posted last Friday. Well, Vet's Day and other things crept all up on me and kind of sapped my blogging time from me. So, here's the delayed BIAAtG post; this week I focus on Hispanic-American director/musician Robert Rodriguez's band, Chingon.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comChingon was formed by Robert Rodriguez so he would have a ready resource for soundtrack work in his movies. He sold his band to Quentin Tarantino by offering to do the soundtrack to Kill Bill Vol. 2 for free. Those who have seen the movie can attest to the fact that the soundtrack both fits and helps set the mood for the movie.

I first became aware of the band because of the KBV2 DVD where, in the special features, Chingon performs a couple of tunes. I was so amazed at what was there that I immediately jumped on the Web to track 'em down and pre-ordered the CD. Now, that's been a while. Probably about a year, but I'm probably only now really beginning to appreciate them. Not that I didn't like them, but I guess I just never gave them the critical listen they deserved. My recent listening has involved a good bit of Reverend Horton Heat and I guess that has kind of primed me for Chingon.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comTheir music is definitely fueled by Latin influences, but there is a good bit of rockabilly overtones there. Admittedly, my favorite tracks are the faster-paced rockin' numbers where the musicians really get to showcase their talents (who knew Rodriguez could play this well?), but the slow numbers are good also (featuring a number with Salma Hayek on vox). If you visit their website, you can get a taste of their sound.

I am particularly fond of the Latin-style guitar runs; the scales sound excellent within a rockabilly foundation and the fretboard dexterity showcased by Rodriguez and the other guitarists is amazing. It's like listening to Santana in that it's Latin flavored and has a high-caliber of musicianship, but there are differences. Chief among them is that Chingon's music is fun. You can hear it in their licks and feel it in the upbeat. This band isn't any of these guy's main job and this is a way for them to have a good time, and you can tell. Give 'em a listen!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comBTW, nothing to do with Chingon the band, but when I Googled to find some pix for this piece, this photo popped up. I thought it was too funny, so I needed to include it. Chingon means badass in Spanish, so I guess this makes sense.

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