(Upcoming Show) Cordero Brings Their Rock en Espanol to Landfall Music Festival in Cedar Rapids, IA 9/24/2010

picture by Cody Ranaldo

The Landfall Music Festival starts this week. The Landfall Music Festival is the Legion Arts’ World Music festival that has taken place since 2008. Like last year, the festival will take place at Greene Square Park in downtown Cedar Rapids. Boasting 16 bands from all around the globe, it will run from Wednesday, September 22 to Saturday, September 25.  There will not be any performances at CSPS as it is under construction due to remodeling.

One of the bands I’m looking forward to see is Cordero from Brooklyn, NY. Cordero is a Rock/Latin Rock band fronted by Ani Cordero.  Following a very busy run touring in a blur indie bands– including a stint as the drummer Tweety Tone for Man Or Astroman? all-girl “clone” band the Gamma Clones— she moved to Tucson for a brief time. With help from Tucson music scene regulars Howe Gelb of Giant Sand, Joey Burns of Calexico, Naim Amor of Amor Belhoum Duo she self-released her first album Deserter in 2000. Shortly on the heels of this she moved to Brooklyn to assemble what would become Cordero, the band. The band signed to  Amy Ray of Indigo Girls record label Daemon Records where they released two albums: 2002’s Lamb Lost in the City and 2004’s Somos Cordero.

In 2006 Cordero signed with Bloodshot Records (home of Alejandro Escovedo, Neko Case, Split Lip Rayfield and Ha Ha Tonka among many others). They have released two albums here: 2006’s En Este Momento and 2008’s De Donde Eres. Up until De Donde Eres, the releases from Cordero have been largely bilingual– in an interview around the release of En Este Momento, Ani said that she is comfortable writing in either Spanish or English. To that end, she said that she doesn’t even plan which language she’s going to write a particular song in. With De Donde Eres the whole album was in Spanish. Ani found that writing this album in her native tongue a catharsis following a string of unfortunate events in her life and those around her. The result is a particularly moving album and possibly her most personal effort to date.

Ani reports from the Cordero Facebook page that they have finished recording the follow-up to De Donde Eres. Produced by Sergio Eres of the venerable Os Mutantes, Cordero has left some hints about the album in the wall feed. Back in March, Ani reported that she had just returned from Las Vegas with material recorded there as well as some field recordings from Puerto Rico– so we can expect some interesting texture to these recordings.

Cordero will be finishing up the Friday night lineup of the Landfall Music Festival starting at 7:30PM. The Landfall Music Festival does not have a cover charge– but graciously accepts donations.

Cordero, “Ruleta Rusa” from Bloodshot Records on Vimeo.

Click Here to visit Cordero’s Website

Click Here to visit Cordero’s MySpace page

Click Here to visit Cordero’s Facebook page

Click Here to listen to “Ruleta Rusa” from De Donde Eres.

The Landfall Music Festival Schedule is: (borrowed from the Legion Arts Website)

Wed Sep 22 Dragon Knights, various times
Barbara Furtuna (France), 6-7:15 pm *
Mahala Rai Banda (Romania), 7:15-8:45 pm
Thu Sep 23 Dragon Knights, various times
Red Baraat (India / USA), 6-7:15 pm
Barbara Furtuna (France), 6:45-8 pm *
Cimmarón (Colombia), 7:30-8:45 pm
Fri Sept 24 Kenge Kenge (Kenya), 6-7:15 pm
Portico Quartet (England), 6:45-8 pm *
Cordero (Mexico / USA), 7:30-8:45 pm
Sat Sept 25 Turkana (Turkey / USA), 1:35-2:45 pm
Salaam (Iraq / USA), 2-3:15 pm *
Calle Sur (Colombia / Panama / USA), 4-5:15 pm
Zedashe Ensemble (Georgia), 5:30-6:45 pm
Salaam (Iraq / USA), 6:30-7:45 pm *
Nation Beat (Brazil / USA), 7-8:15 pm
The Sway Machinery (USA), 8:30-9:45 pm
Performances marked * take place in First Presbyterian Church. Artists and schedule subject to change. For the latest updates visit this Website.

(Upcoming Show) The Sway Machinery at Landfall Music Festival- Cedar Rapids, IA, 9/25

The Landfall Music Festival starts this week. The Landfall Music Festival is the Legion Arts’ World Music festival that has taken place since 2008.  Like last year, the festival will take place at Greene Square Park in downtown Cedar Rapids. There will not be any performances at CSPS as it is under construction due to remodeling.

Legion Arts announced via their CSPS Facebook Page that The Sway Machinery was going to be added to the Saturday lineup. Although I hadn’t heard of The Sway Machinery before, the connections to Balkan Beat Box, The Arcade Fire, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Antibalas was enough for me to take a closer look at the band.

The Sway Machinery is the cross-cultural music project of Jeremiah Lockwood who has been the guitarist for the touring version of Balkan Beat Box. Lockwood saw a synergy between American folk-blues, African folk rhythms and his own Ashkenazic Jewish Cantoral heritage. Lockwood is the grandson of the legendary Cantor Jacob Konigsberg as well as the son of composer Larry Lockwood.

Jeremiah Lockwood appeared in the 2000 documentary “Hasidic Blues” directed by BBC veteran filmmaker Robert Mullan. In the documentary clip below Lockwood discusses how he arrived at the fusion of the seemingly disparate musical styles, “I was intentionally trying to do something new with [the Cantoral] music– trying to create a way of listening to the melody and the vocal style that would give it more context. I guess the emotional experience I’ve had listening to Cantoral music, other people can have that also, so it is important for me to find a way to communicate that.”

Lockwood started The Sway Machinery in 2006 as a collaboration with Israeli percussionist Tomer Tzur who stayed with the band until 2007.  The band released its debut full length album on JDub Records (also the home of Balkan Beat Box) in 2009. Titled Hidden Melodies Revealed, it was based on a concert performed on  Rosh HaShana (the Jewish new year) at Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City in September of 2007. From the JDub website: “Hidden Melodies Revealed showcases pieces based on mystical texts taken directly from the Jewish High Holiday prayers and reconfigures them in a startlingly new musical landscape.”

In January of 2010, The Sway Machinery traveled to Mali to perform at the legendary Festival of the Desert. While in Africa, the group recorded a new album featuring collaborations with Malian artists, including Vieux Farka Toure and Khaira Arby. The resulting album is called The House of Friendly Ghosts, and will be coming out on JDub in 2011.

For me, The Sway Machinery is a compelling intersection of music between the recent insurgence of music influenced by African rhythms– The Budos Band, Antibalas, Extra Golden are all bands I listen to that claim these as their basis–  and music from Jewish culture and tradition I am not familiar with. The Sway Machinery will make for a strong wrap up for the four-day festival, and is the show I’m most interested in seeing.

Click Here to visit The Sway Machinery’s MySpace Page.

Click Here to visit The Sway Machinery’s website.

The Landfall Music Festival Schedule is: (borrowed from the Legion Arts Website)

Wed Sep 22 Dragon Knights, various times
Barbara Furtuna (France), 6-7:15 pm *
Mahala Rai Banda (Romania), 7:15-8:45 pm
Thu Sep 23 Dragon Knights, various times
Red Baraat (India / USA), 6-7:15 pm
Barbara Furtuna (France), 6:45-8 pm *
Cimmarón (Colombia), 7:30-8:45 pm
Fri Sept 24 Kenge Kenge (Kenya), 6-7:15 pm
Portico Quartet (England), 6:45-8 pm *
Cordero (Mexico / USA), 7:30-8:45 pm
Sat Sept 25 Turkana (Turkey / USA), 1:35-2:45 pm
Salaam (Iraq / USA), 2-3:15 pm *
Calle Sur (Colombia / Panama / USA), 4-5:15 pm
Zedashe Ensemble (Georgia), 5:30-6:45 pm
Salaam (Iraq / USA), 6:30-7:45 pm *
Nation Beat (Brazil / USA), 7-8:15 pm
The Sway Machinery (USA), 8:30-9:45 pm
Performances marked * take place in First Presbyterian Church. Artists and schedule subject to change. For the latest updates visit this Website.

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