*Mikel Erentxun-El Ultimo Vuelo Del Hombre Bala (Album Recap)

El Ultimo Vuelo del Hombre Bala es el mas reciente lanzamiento musical de Mikel Erentxun. Ya le di varias escuchadas completas a este album y me parece que es uno de los mejores discos que Erentxun ha creado en su larga y extensa carrera discográfica.

img_9562Este album es la conclusion a la trilogía de discos que Mikel empezó en el 2015 con el lanzamiento de Corazones junto a Paco Loco, quien se a convertido en su productor principal en estos tres recientes discos–junto con John Agnello, quien ha sido el ingeniero musical encargado del sonido de toda esta trilogía. Los tres discos fueron grabados en el estudio de Paco Loco utilizando instrumentos y cintas de grabación analógicas, y masterizados en Sterling Sound de NYC. La consistencia de estas colaboraciones han dado resultados excelentes al nivel artístico y creativo en esta etapa de la carrera musical de Mikel. 

En los primeros diecinueve años de este siglo, Erentxun a creado discos importantes con un sonido diverso y una personalidad peculiar en cada uno de ellos. Cada uno de estos discos tienen un lugar especial en mi lista personal de lo mejor del rock en Español en lo que va de este nuevo siglo. Discos como: Te Dejas Ver (2000), Ciudades de Paso (2003), El Corredor de la Suerte (2006), Detalle del Miedo (2010) y 24 Golpes (2012). 

img_9564Pero Corazones (2015) es sin lugar a dudas mi favorito de todos los discos de Erentxun. Fue un disco que marco una etapa importante en mi vida personal y fue como un soundtrack a la montaña rusa de emociones y cambios que ocurrieron en mi vida entre el 2015 al 2017. Es uno de esos discos que no pasan de moda y no me canso de escucharlo. Especialmente canciones como Dakota y Yo, El Ultimo Vals, Viento Errante, Corazon y Huesos, Un Corazon Llamado Muerte, Los Muros de Jerusalen, Veneno y Corazon, Con El Tiempo a Favor, Tu…en fin, todo el disco es increíble.

img_9563El Hombre sin Sombra (2017), fue el segundo disco de esta colaboración entre Mikel, Paco loco y John Agnello. Este fue otro gran album, y una excelente sequela a Corazones. La participacion de Maika Makovski en la mayoría de las canciones le dan un toque Leonard Cohen a este disco. Canciones como Llamas de Hielo, Héroe, Libélulas, Cicatrices, Y sin embargo te quiero, Tienes que ser tu, El amor te muerde los labios al besar, El Principio del final etc, son parte de la constante rotación de canciones en mi playlist titulada “Favorite tracks Erentxun.” 

img_9570El Ultimo Vuelo del Hombre Bala es un super discazo, se parece un poco mas en cuestión de sonido a Corazones y a Corazon Salvaje EP pero mucho mas eléctrico que los anteriores discos, ya que en este nuevo album no se utilizo ni una sola guitarra acústica. También cuenta con la compañia de Marina Iñesta en los coros. Marina es vocalista de la excelente banda indie Repion, y su voz le da un toque perfecto a las canciones en las que participa. 

Este album empieza con 25 segundos de arpa que da un opening a la canción Tu amor es un nudo (Track 1). Muchacha de ojos tristes (Track 2) se a convertido en una de mis favoritas, ese beat electrico me cautivo inmediatamente.  Circulos (Track 3) difinitivamente se convertira en una de las clasicas del repertorio de Mikel, noto las influencias Lloyd Cole y The Smiths pero con ese toque Erentxun inconfundible. Dejalo Estar (Track 4) nos conecta directamenta con la cancion Jugando con el tiempo del disco Naufragios (1992). Gigante (Track 5) es una rock balada poderosa cargada de letras intensas donde escuchamos referencias a su pequeño rockanrol de 24 Golpes. 

Tiempo de descuento (track6) es pura electricidad. Animales Heridos (Track 7) es la primera vez que Mikel nos entrega un tema socio-politico, con un aire a Duncan Dhu. Es refrescante y bienvenido este lado de Mikel el cual no es comunmente visto en sus canciones, este es un track super corto pero directo al punto. Amor Circular (Track 8) es un poco mas up-tempo y electrico, similar a al track 3. La Vereda (Track 9) fue el primer single y es posiblemente la mas comercial y “radio friendly” del album. Donde estas tu ahora estoy yo (Track 10) esta es definitivamente una de mis favoritas, en la cual tenemos referencia directa al titulo de este album. Tengo ganas de ti (Track 11) otra balada rock que encaja muy bien con el resto del album. Angel en llamas (Track12) Los coros y los drums son los protagonistas de este track. Corazon de mil inviernos (Track 13) Es problamente mi favorita, y siento que es la mejor forma de concluir esta trilogia.

Me pase todo este fin de semana escuchando este discazo, una y otra vez, caminando por las calles gastadas de Brooklyn (un guiño a Mañana de ciudades de paso). Aunque solo en version digital ya que todavia no lo tengo en formato LP. El vinilo recien estara disponible en Estados Unidos el 17 de Mayo. Asi que la ansiedad por escucharlo en mi recientemente adquirido tocadiscos Technics SL-QD33 sera un tremendo placer.

Y bueno, pienso que esta trilogía de discos con el paso del tiempo envejecerán super bien, ya que la calidad de letras, la excelente calidad del sonido y la genialidad en el concepto de cada uno de estos discos formaran parte de lo mejor de lo mejor que se ha producido en la historia del rock en Español.

*Redskins 2019 NFL Draft

Alright, so another NFL draft has come and gone, and my beloved Redskins had a pretty productive draft. They didn’t do anything crazy or any wild last-minute trade like in years past.

In the first round, we had the #15 overall pick, which is a solid spot to have to select a player that could help our team immediately, but rumors were flying around regarding a potential trade to move up in the draft to grab a quarterback.

Last year, we went through the whole Kirk Cousins sweepstake circus, where we ended up losing him as our starting quarterback to the Vikings, which forced us to make a trade with the Chiefs for Alex Smith. This move was supposed to stabilize our quarterback situation for a few years until we could find a young capable franchise quarterback in future drafts. I was excited for this move since I felt, and still feel that Alex Smith was an upgrade from Kirk Cousins.

There seems to be a lot of uncertainty in Redskin Nation about our quarterback situation after losing Alex Smith to a horrendous leg injury for the season, and there are still plenty of questions regarding his return to the field for the upcoming 2019 football season. So we find ourselves in a similar quarterback-needy situation going into this draft, and I was afraid Dan Snyder and company were going to overreact and make some kind of ridiculous, insane trade for one of the overrated and unproven quarterbacks available in this year’s draft.

Early this year we made a trade with the Broncos for Case Keenan (QB), we gave them the 6th pick in the 2020 draft, and we are getting their 7th round pick in the same draft, and we also got Colt McCoy in our roster. He knows the offense very well, and I have a lot of confidence in his ability to lead our offense as a starting quarterback if need be, so needless to say, I was not too concern about drafting a quarterback this year.

But all the talking heads over at ESPN kept hinting at the possibility of the Redskins moving up to grab Daniel Jones (QB) from Duke or Dwayne Haskins (QB) from Ohio State, and Drew Lockett (QB) from the University of Missouri was also coming into the draft highly graded…..I was naturally freaking out over this potential disaster move.

Leading up to the start of the draft I kept reading reports that Snyder had taken over the first pick selection and he was hell-bent on grabbing a quarterback in the first round.

As the draft got on its way and the first four picks were made I begun to feel somewhat relieved realizing that Dan Snyder and company had remained calm and did not turn this draft into a mess by trading away picks to move up.

Then, the unexpected happened, the NY Giants made the most perplexing move of the draft and drafted Daniel Jones (QB) with their #6 overall pick. This move meant the Redskins could sit tight with their #15 pick and make a logical pick. But if history has taught me anything is that when it comes to the Redskins, nothing is genuinely logical, especially when it comes to making player-related decisions.

So with our first-round pick, we selected Dwayne Haskins (QB) from Ohio State, and on paper, Haskins was supposed to be the best quarterback available after Kyler Murray in this year’s draft. Murray ended up being the #1 overall pick for the Arizona Cardinals. I was surprised the Giants passed on Haskins, and that he was still sitting there at #15 for us to grab.

Now, here is what I’m wondering: Did we overrate this guy and took him too early? Are his one-year stats as a starter enough to make him a first-round pick? Because at the end of the day, regardless of his merits, he still is a first-round pick, and with lots of hype surrounding him, plus the pressure to start him fast will be there if the quarterbacks in our roster don’t produce right away.

Which brings me back to Colt McCoy. The ‘skins have only kept two quarterbacks in the roster for the last couple of seasons. Now with Haskins being the future starter, and Keenan also in the mix for a starting spot, plus Alex Smith uncertain return on top of it all, so then the question is whether the ‘skins keep McCoy or will they release him? Especially since there might be some salary issues with having to pay all these quarterbacks including Smith, even if he doesn’t play in 2019, they still have to pay him. I really hope they do all they can to keep McCoy, I cannot stress how valuable he is to our franchise.

My primary impressions on the rest of our draft selections are positive. We traded with the Colts to move up and have an extra first-round pick, for which we used it to select Montez Sweat (OLB) with the #26 overall pick. This kid is a big-time player, and I can’t wait to see how they will use him opposite Ryan Kerrigan.

Round 2– We had zero picks after trading with the Colts.

Round 3– We selected Terry McLaurin (WR) from Ohio State. He was a teammate of Haskins at Ohio State, and this move makes it clear what our intentions are as far as getting Haskins comfortable with the offense by bringing a familiar face to ease his development into our system.

Round 4– We had two picks in this round and made smart selections. First, we picked up Bryce Love (RB) from Standford. This is an interesting choice because this kid is just recovering from a torn ACL, which caused him to drop-off to round 4 in the draft, especially since he was in the Heisman conversation early in the college football season. This is a pick that could potentially pay significant dividends in the future.

Round 4–We got Wes Martin (OG) from Indiana. This is another solid pick. Martin could probably start right away. We signed Ereck Flowers early this year so he can play Guard, even though he has struggled lately, he does bring tons of veteran experience. Come training camp we’ll see if Flowers can be a starter, if not, Martin will be inserted right away.

Round 5– We also had two picks in this round. First, we picked up Ross Pierschbacher (OL) from Alabama. He can play multiple positions in the offensive line, and depth has been an on-going issue for the last couple of seasons.

Round 5Cole Holcomb (LB) from North Carolina. This is a pick with special teams in mind, as well as depth for our linebacker roster.

Round 6Kelvin Harmon (WR) from NC State. I feel like we have plenty of wide receivers already, but, most of our receiving corp is somewhat unproven, and competition from someone to step up is in order. This kid could potentially be the significant strong physical type of receiver we have been missing for a while.

Round 7– Jimmy Moreland (CB) from James Madison. We could definitely need more depth at corner, but I’m not too familiar with the type of players coming out of James Madison, so we’ll wait and see if this kid ends up on the final roster.

Round 7Jordan Brailford (OLB) from Oklahoma State. This is purely another depth pick. We have a bunch outside linebackers who are going to be competing for the starting spot and this kid Brailford will go right into the mix.

All in all, the 2019 draft addressed the immediate needs of our team. I feel like all of our selections could potentially become solid additions to the burgundy and gold. Now, all we gotta do is wait around for training camp to come around and see how the roster shapes up towards the start of the season. The combination of our draft picks, and the moves we have made in free agency so far gives me a strong sense of positivity moving forward.

My overall disposition at this point…..feeling very hopeful.

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