by carl wilson

We Are All Just Prisioneros/Prisonaires Here (of Our Own Device)

If you're looking for music tonight and Sonore isn't a must for you, might I suggest you head down to Kool Haus and see Los Prisioneros, a precursor group to today's "Latin Alternative" (or Rock en Espagnol), and also a vital group in Chilean history. To swipe from a historically minded website:

"Their music became popular among young people in the 1980s and was used during early television ads for the NO campaign for the plebiscite [on extending Pinochet's regime - zoilus]. This group is noteworthy because during the Pinochet government, rock music was an underground outlet for those opposed to the dictatorship. The trio formed while they were high school students and they recorded their first CD in 1984, aptly named La voz de los’80 which means the voice of the 80s. Subsequently, they released another CD in 1986 called Pateando piedra, and yet another in 1987 called La cultura de la basura. Songs from La cultura de la basura were used during the for the "NO" television campaign ads. The group broke up in 1991. Since then, two other compilation CDs have been released, Ni por la razó por la fuerza in 1990 and Grandes éxitos in 1991."

(But I guess tonight's concert, their first ever in Canada, means they've reunited.)

By a leap of near-homonymity, that also reminds me that this week saw the passing of Johnny Bragg of the Prisonaires, the jailhouse Sun Records act that did Just Walkin' in the Rain in 1953, and one of the most amazing one-hit wonder stories in pop history. (The link leads to a fine Nashville Scene piece that retells it and reviews a bio of Bragg I'd love to read.)

Recent cultural tie-in: Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude includes an entertaining chapter in which his music-critic protagonist goes to Hollywood to pitch a Prisonaires movie to a producer (and flops miserably) - based on a long-held fantasy of Jonathan's own. Bitter aftertwist: Reportedly, now there is a Prisonaires movie in the works (though it seems to be languishing), slated to star ... Boyz II Men.

Johnny Bragg was 79.

News | Posted by zoilus on Friday, September 03 at 04:01 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (0)


Zoilus by Carl Wilson