Friday, February 13, 2009

What I learned Today #3" Cielito Lindo

Despite having plenty of access to Latino culture as a resident of a major metropolis, I still have not for the life of me been able to learn much Mexican folk music. You know, the songs that define the culture for an entire nation, yet here in America they're rudely appropriated from their original context to sell stuff or in an attempt to be funny. You know: "I dance! I dance! I dance! Upon a Mexican hat!"

Recognition usually comes to me out of the blue. Today I'm listening to ancient records on WFMU's "Antique Phonograph Music Program" for Jan 13. The announcer intros a song from 1924 he calls "Beautiful Heaven." It's a Latin tinged orchestra instrumental, which suddenly leads into the familiar chorus of "Ay, Yi, Yi, Yi!" Hey! I know this tune. Some searching around the title finally informs me that yes, it is a Mexican folk tune, originally titled "Cielito Lindo."

As the Wikipedia article I linked to will inform you younger kids, this tune is better known to us Anglos of a certain age as the "Frito Bandito" song. Hope I can remember at least its proper title when I hear it again.

Yes, as a kid I had a sticker with this artwork on my dresser drawer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Further Adventures in Publication!

Once again, I can look forward to the ego-stroke of seeing my name as a byline. This time it's for a collection of academic essays called "Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero," edited by Robert G. Weiner.

I was able to dust off an article I written a few years ago on Roy Thomas' "Retro-World War II" series The Invaders, and All-Star Squadron and repurpose it by putting more emphasis on Captain America. Then I was asked what else I could write, and I ended up with an article on Cap's post-mortem career as a Marvel Zombie.

Well, that book has been and gone to the publisher, and it's now scheduled, at least on Amazon, to ship June 30th! Whee!

Coming up, time allowing, something on James Bond.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Authors! Has This Happened to YOU?

Since I started selling my old books through Amazon, and my old 45s through, I had always wondered if this might happen, and now it has: I've sold a book back to its author.

I don't need to embarrass anyone by revealing the author's name. Just know that this was a vanity-published "think-and-grow-rich" book that I got as a review copy, back when I was editing a pennysaver and a quarterly business magazine. And as far I know, mine was the only copy that was ever offered on Amazon. But I know how stingy publishers today can be with contributors' copies. So just don't let yourself be caught short.

Despite the fact that I work for one of the world's largest printing companies, I do not get an employee discount program for any of the books we print, just a vendor discount on magazines. Guess otherwise all of our employees would be slogging Harry Potter books on Amazon.

Meantime, here's My Amazon Storefront.