Saturday, April 7, 2012

No. 789 – Onda

Performer: Los Lonely Boys
Songwriters: Henry Garza, Jojo Garza, Ringo Garza
Original Release: Los Lonely Boys
Year: 2004
Definitive Version: None, although I’d be inclined to say the version from Austin City Limits in 2004, except I can’t find it anywhere.

OK, enough heaviness for a while.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge TV watcher. I’d say that since I moved to Chicago in 2005, maybe 75 percent of the time that I’ve had the TV on during that time, I’ve had it on to watch a video or DVD, and 75 percent of the time that it was on live TV, it was on sports. In other words, I don’t watch shows.

But TV has played a huge role for me in terms of music. My two biggest musical discoveries—The Who and Pearl Jam—came through TV. MTV, of course, was a must have—and must have on—back in the day. But even recently I’ve found new music through TV.

Take this song for example. I was still enough in touch with current music in January 2004 that I knew who Los Lonely Boys were although I hadn’t heard any of their music. I knew that they were a hot buzz band with a debut album coming soon.

As it happened, I was in Columbus for a job interview at about that time. I don’t want to reveal what the job was just yet, because this was something that I had stumbled across in fall 2003, and I’d rather present it in proper order. Let’s just say that it was for something that I was willing to change my plans of moving out to Los Angeles after I was done in Cleveland—or at least delay them.

I was staying at Dad’s, and Dad and Laura had just gone to bed while Casey was still out with his buds. So the TV was on, and I started to flip a bit before I retired to my computer and some online work. I hit PBS and saw that Austin City Limits was on, and I quickly deduced that the musical guest was Los Lonely Boys. Cool. I’ll watch a little bit and see what all the fuss is about.

Well, they promptly launched into a slow blues jam that after about the third minute began to boil. By the fifth minute, the guitar player was wailing, and I put the remote down. No more flipping. And by the time the song wrapped up after another 7 minutes or so, I picked up my jaw off the floor. THAT was something: It was Santana and Stevie and a little Jimi thrown in to boot, and now I definitely need to know more about these guys.

I quickly discovered through the power of the all-knowing Internet that the song I had just heard was in fact Onda from their debut album. But I was disappointed to learn that this was really the only song of its blazing-blues-rock ilk on there, so my desire to immediately buy the album waned.

But that one song … I had to have it, and it ended up being one of the big summer songs of 2004, the summer when I had the best job I ever had—and will ever have—in my life.

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