Slowrider Jammed

A packed house feels the groove at CD release party

By Gustavo Arellano
Published on LatinoLA: July 11, 2003

Slowrider Jammed

If every night were a CD-release night, the world would be forever beautiful - and crowded. At least that's the sentiment after Fais Do-Do's fiesta for Eastside galactic jammers Slowrider.

Celebrating the completion of their latest recording, Historias en Revisi?n, Slowrider's party attracted so many well-wishers that the faithful stood on tables, stood on Fais Do-Do's regal couches, even stood on each other, while trying to view the sextet. Most weren't successful, but even the temporarily blind saw Slowrider's transformation from locals extraordinaire to time-for-national-exposure potentates.

After an introduction by KPFK's Travel Tips for Aztl?n host Mark Torres and an offer of incense to the gig gods, Slowrider began their cruisin'.

Novices to the group might have been confused as to how a band proclaiming "There's nothing certain in this world/In this world everything ends" during one song provoked such joyous jumping from the audience. The secret is Slowrider's affinity for genres like funk, cumbia and hip-hop conveyed in a form that disdains structure in favor of improvisation.

Thus, Slowrider jammed - oh Lordy, they jammed, traversing through countless chord combos until they discovered The One, upon which they'd then enter a groove that seemed to last months. Duly hypnotized, the masses soon followed MC Olmeca's every request: Clap your hands! Everybody scream! Now the guys! Now the girls!

Olmeca prowled the stage in his funereal makeup while spouting raps, son-style singing and howls of an indeterminate nature. Ever the conscious artist, the menacing sprite threw political tomes at the too-packed house, and even danced while shaking a "Drop Bush, Not Bombs" sign with the vigor of a Green.

By concert's end, he and lead guitarist Carlos Zepeda crouched on the floor in relaxation, gathering their energies for a finale that might very well still be going on.

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