Saying what you mean…

Leo*Leo got invited to Cumbre Tajín, a four day music and culture festival in Vera Cruz, Mexico. It was amazing. Hot, wet, with a slow rolling pace of life (esp given the speed bumps every 5 meters). We had the opportunity to be emerged in the Mexican contemporary and the Totonac Indian cultures, meet other musicians, make new friends, hear great bands (TOOL, L.A., Bajofondo, Primus, Puscifer, Babasónicos, Illya Kuryaki, Afrojack, Nervo … oh, the list goes on), and try our hand at the Spanish language.

Now, Vanessa has that part nailed down. If you haven’t heard her sing our rendition of Silvia y Karmen’s song ‘Antes de Rendirte’ in Spanish, then you really need to, cause this girl is amahzeeng. (Also, we met Silvia and Karmen on the trip and they are really wonderful souls!)

And then there’s me… After adjusting to the temperature, and the tap water (it only takes 1-2 days. ugh.), it was time to communicate. I don’t know if it’s my drummer ears that are all distorted from snare rolls, but I have the hardest time hearing the difference between some fairly important letters in almost every word. Por ejemplo…

1. Tengo hambre and tengo hombre mean very different things. Especially when exclaimed loudly at the start of a buffet line while an attractive Mexican man is about to serve you some arroz.
“yes, I am hungry.”

2. “Me gustaría el mayor postria” will get you the most stale, teeth breaking, piece of bread. As opposed to using MEJOR and asking for THE BEST PASTRY. (the girls laughed a while, realized my mistake, and did in fact give me The.Best.Pastry.)

3. “besarse” – to kiss. Contains all the letters of my last name. That got me to the bonus round!! Arriba, México!!!

Muchas gracias, Cumbre Tajin y Brenda Tubilla! Te amamos!!!

Leo*Leo in Mexico & Singing Tunes in Spanish

We discovered a duo, Silvia & Karmen while taking in the sights and sounds of The Cumbre Tajin Music Festival in Veracruz, Mexico. Even though we don’t speak Spanish, Sarah and I decided to cover one of their tunes and revamp it a bit. “Antes de Rendirte” is a originally a very upbeat and poppy tune; we changed the key (major to minor), slowed it down, used a Bossa Nova beat, but kept the Spanish.

So here it is, all recorded on our iPhones!

*For more info about Cumbre Tajin, check out the website: