© 2012 victoriadelgadillo

The Sound of Performance Music

Click here and listen:
Jeninche and the Jaguars

Drummer du jour [heart], Maria Azteca [crown], Jeninche [green circle], James Brownie [star]

Drummer du jour [heart], Maria Azteca [crown], Jeninche [green circle], James Brownie [star]

It may seem like a weird thing to say, but those that know me will agree when I state here that I have good taste. Mainly it is limited to artistic matters. I have these strong epiphanies about an art concept, a curation, or music–whose familiarity immediately drives me to do extensive research on the internet. My personal understated art business mode is based on a lifetime of being looked at as a gold mine. When a new acquaintance gives me “that look”, I turn down my ability to spew out ideas and am glad that early on in life I learned to say no. I always felt that limiting myself to just one project or idea would keep me from growing as an artist.

In 2006, artist Rigo Maldonado and I curated a two person exhibit at Voz Alta Performance Space in San Diego. We wanted it to be something fun. He also wanted to exhibit some recent photos he had taken on sploshing. Sploshing is a sexual fetish where the participants smash food on their genitals, or collapse naked into food to reach sexual heights. In the case of Rigo’s photos it was dessert sploshing, so we agreed to exhibit art that related to dessert fetishes and called it Aunt Rita Wants Pie. The title was based on a road trip Rigo took with two women with self-indulgent appetites and their semi-comatose aunt who allegedly needed to stop at every road house for pie, “because she was very hungry”.

In addition to our art pieces on the walls, Rigo said he would perform a PG version (speedo and goggles) of sposhing at the exhibit opening. The storefront space lent itself to a live performance in the display windows, and also had a small stage near the back of the room. As Rigo practiced his sploshing at home, it occurred to me that we should have live music. But what kind of music would support our dessert fetish theme? After slight thought, I knew I was ready for something new. That’s another thing, I get bored quickly. I thought, the music would not have to be from a band with superb musicianship–in fact, the rawer, the better– but the band would have to be genuine and committed to the theme.

My friends Jennifer Araujo, Dewey Tafoya and Becky Cortez are fellow vegetarian foodies, artistic dilettantes, community activists and punk music lovers. Based on friendship, mutual interests, culinary concerns, and a hunch, I presented the exhibit concept to them and pronounced that they would be the band performing at the opening. I called them the HareKrishPies.

They took to the invitation like cocoa powder to hot water. While Dewey and Becky industrially composed original music, Jennifer wrote lyrics for the songs about the angst and preoccupation of weight and the love of food. She would be the designated front person in the band. One song, It’s Cheaper to be Fat, was a declaration of acceptance of the delicious American regime of fat-filled, fast-food diets. Another song about the 99¢ Store, praised their inexpensive offerings of cookies, candies and cakes. Each song had a charming introductory story prefacing it, as Jennifer shyly explained her work process.

Usually very soft spoken, sweet natured and chill, Jennifer’s lyric/poetry writing skills impressed on me that she had always been a secret song writer and charming emcee. Dewey (James Brownie of the HareKrishPies), and his GF, Becky from Texas are  experienced with music.   They rocked the backline, and were the techies and roadies all rolled into one. Becky and Dewey laid down some interesting music and so quickly. At each performance they have conscientiously created an elevator-ride rework of their sound. It requires a special talent to write and arrange music, I attribute that to their love of the craft and the crafters.

A few months after Aunt Rita Wants Pie opened, the group performed at a Mexica New Year festival in East Los Angeles. Armed with the same music and an additional song called The Vulture, they reinvented themselves as Jeniche and the Jaguars.

Outdoors on Chung King Road

In September (2012) with a new drum machine, the group was invited to perform at an exhibit called Narcolandia in Chinatown (Los Angeles). Much more performance-band focused, this time they renamed themselves Conjunto L@s Nac@s  (pronounced nah-kohs–or in this all gender inclusive version nah-ko-ahs ), a Mexican slang word to describe the bad-mannered and poorly educated people of supposedly lower social classes. It is equivalent to those who say ‘white trash’ in American English and culture. Narcolandia had a drug trafficking art theme. Dewey was now James Brown of  Conjunto L@s Nac@s

Bandstand on Chung King Road in front of gallery.

At Narcolandia, the group maintained the same song tunes, but with new lyrics related to the current drug trafficking wars. In Crackhead Stole My Purse, Jennifer’s pen is still humorous when she writes about being a victim of petty theft, because drug addiction has its needs. Teresa Mendoza, is based on a Mexican Telenovela drama that depicts the rise of Teresa Mendoza, a young woman from Mexico who becomes the most powerful drug trafficker in southern Spain. In the song, Conjunto L@s Nac@s beg Teresa to drop the high life of drug carteling and think of all the suffering she is causing in the world.



Above are two songs from the group in 2006. Recorded in a very utilitarian, un-sophisticated way, Becky tucked them into one of her famous CD compilation of her favorite tunes and gave it to me as a gift. The group is 1000 miles away from their beginning, but the original concept of performing at an art show as a three dimensional live performance is bam there. Unless you know the trio, you may not recognize their sound stylings and definitely, you will not recognize them from their newest adopted band name.

Chung King Road

To get in touch with Becky, Dewey & Jennifer email them at djtafoya@gmail.com

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