This edition of Boss Ladies is brought to you by member Jules Stewart, who reviews “Ahuevonao," the latest single from Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres.
This year has already been wildly successful for Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres. They were nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the category of Best New Artist, secured a residency at the consistently hip Bar Pink, and have garnered radio airtime with their song “Ni de Aquí Ni de Allá.” The momentum continues to build for the San Diego-based band with their recent release of a new single called “Ahuevonao” from their upcoming album Desnuda.
The opening guitar from Julia Sage and bouzouki riffs from Drew Douglas are catchy and percussive and beckon like the outstretched hand of a willing dance partner. The blend of unique instrumentation and more conventional rhythms provides an immediate dose of the band’s characteristic SouthAmericana style. Shortly, the rhythm section, anchored by Chad Pittman on bass, drops into a solid, feel-good groove that ushers in the main refrain of the song:
No seai ahuevonao loco
deja de rascarte el coco
porque no sabís lo que querís
If you speak Spanish and find yourself scratching your own head at a few words, it’s because the song is written in Chilean Castellano, a slang dialect. A direct translation of the refrain for those of us who need to work on our Castellano reveals a playful jab at indecisive would-be lovers:
Don’t be a dolt, you crazy guy
stop scratching your head
because you don’t know what you want
Between refrains, the song briefly settles into mellower moments to allow the listener to hear of nights spent together with drinks and dancing, talking until the early hours, and longing for a kiss. The oblivious partner can’t be trusted to take action, though, and the longing continues.
Throughout the song, the performance is vibrant and dynamic, in part due to the fact the song was recorded live with Christopher Hoffee at Chaos Recorders. In a time when live recording has become less common, conquering the logistical challenges pays off in a big way for Julia Sage and the Bad Hombres, a band known for their energetic, intensely entertaining live performances. The lively movement of the keys (from Matthew Strachota) and full rhythmic landscape painted by hand percussion (Natasha Cruz) and drum set (Tom Peart) keep the danceability high from start to finish.
Julia Sage and The Bad Hombres hope to be sharing their upcoming full album with you by the end of 2019. Prepare for impressive variety; this band certainly can’t be limited to a single genre and the band’s members boast mastery of a staggering and eclectic variety of instruments (including a saw, should you need more convincing). If “Ahuevonao” is any indication of what’s to come, there’s much more success in store for this band.
Welcome to Boss Ladies, a blog series dedicated entirely toward featuring and promoting our talented Lady Brian Members and their creative work. Keeping with our mission of collaboration and service, each article in this series is written by a member about a member. We encourage you to discover and support not only the subject of each review, but also the writer! Without further ado, check out our first Boss Ladies review featuring Corina Rose, written by Jules Stewart.
Corina Rose’s unique upbringing as the child of two political activists is inherently apparent while listening to her album, Our Love Is Freedom. Her uncommon attention to the beauty in her surroundings and strong sense of spirituality inform each track while she encourages listeners to follow her as she explores the many facets of love. Our Love Is Freedom is an ambitious, confident evolution from her sophomore album, Love Is Everywhere, though the transparent and heartfelt optimism of Corina Rose’s music has stayed fiercely put. The album was released on January 4th, 2019 and was nominated for a San Diego Music Award in the category of Best Pop Album.
Pop seems too small a label, though, as Our Love is Freedom blends genres with unexpected fluidity. Reggae influences are peppered throughout the album and are especially prominent in “I Prayed for You” and “It Takes Love.” Latin rhythms carry “Sweet Potato,” and jazz influences become apparent in “Magick” as well as the album’s title track, “Our Love Is Freedom.” The instrumentation transcends genre, too, from the saxophone woven throughout “I Prayed For You” to the surprisingly fitting synths on “All the Love in the World.”
From the start, “I Prayed for You” sets both the conceptual and rhythmic tone of the album with stirring hand percussion and a hopeful declaration of fulfilled longing. “Magick” eases the listener into a picture of comfortable intimacy despite the fear that comes with trusting another, a message that’s carried by the tentative feel of jazz guitar juxtaposed against a relentless, relaxed groove. The transformative power of that intimacy is explored in the title track and celebrated in “Sweet Potato.”
The album’s most laid-back moment, “Under the Stars,” uses melodic leads to tell a tender love story celebrating the small nuances that pull us toward each other. In what is perhaps the album’s most dramatic tonal shift, “All the Love in the World” makes use of a vast landscape of instrumentation to underscore the fullness love brings. Attention then shifts outward toward community, connection, and compassion as “It Takes Love” cleverly slows time to allow the listener to reflect on the importance of self-care and compassion.
The album closes with the bare-boned, emotional “Love Is Everywhere,” a picture of hard-won self-love that urges listeners to open their hearts to the beauty around them. Taken as a whole, Our Love is Freedom presents a complex vision of love beyond the physical realm and gives a relatable, first-person account of the transformative power of self-compassion and love.
Find Our Love Is Freedom:
Spotify - iTunes - Amazon Music
Meet the Writer: Jules Stewart
Our Lady Brain blog writers work on a volunteer basis in support of their fellow members. If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a small donation to Jules via Venmo, which will help support her creative endeavors.
Welcome to Brain Candy, our monthly-ish roundup of our wonderful members' projects and happenings going on around San Diego. The Lady Brain Collective is an ACTIVE bunch, so check back regularly for our recommendations on all the best woman/womxn-creations to check out in the coming weeks. Enjoy!
The Banduvloons Release New Single and Video, Will Open for Gina Chavez Feb 28
The Banduvloons just released a new single for “Enjoy the Moment" and a new video for “Midnight Sunshine." Listen, watch, like, share, and if you want to #getloony with them in person, go support them this week at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, where they will be supporting nine-time Austin Music Award Winner Gina Chavez. (February 28, 7:30pm, $20-35, 340 N. Escondido Blvd, Escondido CA)
Lindsay White - March 3 at Fallbrook Library
Check out singer songwriter Lindsay White in her natural habitat (a building full of books) at this free Sunday showcase. (March 3, 2-3pm, 124 S. Mission Rd, Fallbrook, CA)
Corina Rose, The Spiritual Motels, and Podunk Nowhere - March 9 @ The Backdrop
ALL of the acts on this bill feature Lady Brain Collective members, not to mention Chance at the Backdrop is an awesome supporter of local music, so you can bet your sweet lady brain it will be a great time. (March 9, 7pm, $10 Cover, 2611 Congress St. San Diego, CA)
Miki Vale - March 10 at the 2nd Annual March for Black Women San Diego
This all-ages event is for all Black Women/Comrades/Co-conspirators/Allies/Non-Black POCS/MEN/Non-Binary folks! The march will begin around 10am and Lady Brain member Miki Vale will take the stage around 11:30am (approximately, when the march ends). For more information, please visit the event page. If you are unable to attend, but still want to support, please donate here. (March 10, 10am, Euclid & Logan San Diego, CA 92114)
San Diego Music Award Week - March 6-11
Congratulations and good luck to all our Lady Brain Member nominees (Whitney Shay, MC Flow, Tori Roze & the Hot Mess, Corina Rose, Veronica May, Becca Jay Band). We are proud of you! Visit the SDMA website to check out all the events and live performances going on during awards week - you can catch the Becca Jay Band March 8 at Navajo Live, and Veronica May will be performing on March 11 at the House of Blues. (March 6-11, Various Locations)
Astra Kelly - March 17 at Orfila Winery
Forget the green beer on St. Pat's and sip wine in the vines at the award-winning Orfila Winery while listening to tunes by local songwriter and Lady Brain member Astra Kelly. (March 17, 4-6pm, 13455 San Pasqual Rd, Escondido, CA)
All Allegra Duchaine Amy Day Art Around Adams Astra Kelly Becca Jay Boss Ladies Brain Candy CalAmity Carissa Schroeder Cathryn Beeks Chris Avetta Community Gathering Corina Rose Dixie Maxwell Emma Byrd Gaby Aparicio Golden Howl Gretchen DeVault Heather Marie Jean Mann Jessica Lerner Jules Stewart Julia Sage Karen Lindenberg Karina Frost KC Deichler Lady Brain Fest Lady Brain Presents Lindsay White Live Music Lizabeth Yandel Lizzie Wann Marie Haddad Marlo Smith Mary Bee Mayzie Jean MC Flow Miki Vale Naiomi New Music New Video Paige Miller Podunk Nowhere Press Rachel Riba Ren Daversa Ren Diversa Reviews Rosa's Cantina Rosy Dawn San Diego Music Awards Steph Johnson Support The Banduvloons The Spiritual Motels Tori Roze Unison Colthurst Veronica May Voxy Whitney Shay