Birthday Hambo 

This weekend is Doug Engelbart's 85th Birthday and what he wants to do for his birthday party is dance the Hambo. If you don't know who Doug Engelbart is, you can read this book about his hypothesis of augmenting human intelligence using technology and collaboration.

So I borrowed an accordion and started practicing. The Hambo is a Swedish folk dance. The amazing Dandara Backen will lead the dance instruction portion, Eric Matsumo will play bass, and I'll play accordion. Here's how far I've gotten so far:

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Review: Circular Colectivo by Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio 

Gigantic Mexican rockstars Maldita Vecindad are back with their first album in over ten years, and diehard Maldita fans need not worry: it rocks.

The long awaited release is now out in Mexico and was recently picked up by Tomas Cookman's Nacional Records for release in the US and on iTunes, et all. The Mexican ska-sters churn out their signature high-energy ska with smart, politically conscience lyrics and tons of cool touches that make the record sparkle.

"El Paiz de No Pasa Nada" sets the pace for the…Read more

Review: Africa by Philip Montalban 

Philip Montalban continues in the tradition Afro-Nicaraguan music with this cool album of Soca, Palo de Mayo, and Reggae from the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua. Singing in Spanish, English, and Misquito (a semi-indiginous language from the Misquito coast of Central America) Philip sings his songs of life from a struggling region of the world.

Originally from Bilwí (Puerto Cabesas in Spanish) on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, Philip Montalban is half Misquito indian and half Afro-Nicaraguan. In the…Read more

On Tour in NJ, NYC, DC 

Just got back from a mini-tour with The Cuban Cowboys, it was rocking! We flew into Nueva Jersey on a Wednesday in January, and we played that night in a little Hoboken bar called Maxwell's. Maxwell's gets it's name because the whole surrounding area was once dominated by the Maxwell's Coffee factory, now converted to luxury condos where we stayed a few nights. The band that opened the show was Del Exilio, a band who's inspiration also comes from the Cuban-American experience. While the show was the least…Read more

This song saved my life 

I was about 17, and my sister Mali and I went to Nicaragua to visit my cousin Nicole, we stayed at her mom Gloria's house near la caretera sur. We began planning a trip to Bluefields, on the Atlantic Coast, to visit the town and check out the scene... my cousin has family there, etc.

There are two ways to get to Bluefields from Managua, or at least at the time there were: a rickety old "Snoopy" prop plane, or the legendary Bluefields Express. Since I had grown up listening to this song, "The…