"so Manu got into his head a utopia"
December 8, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

The band Mano Negra are here introduced by MTV Europe in 1990. They are today best known for having been the original band of singer Manu Chao, but they were a pretty damn good band in their day. The band went from strength to strength but broke apart in 1993 after building a train and bringing ice to Macondo (or its inspiration, the city of Aracataca, Colombia). Manu Chao talks briefly about the trip here. His father, respected novelist and journalist Ramón Chao, accompanied his son's band and wrote a book describing the journey, which has been translated into English as The Train of Ice and Fire. The publisher of the translation, Route Online, made a YouTube playlist of related videos. The most interesting and substantial one has Ramón sharing a number of stories from the voyage (subtitled in English).
posted by Kattullus (4 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
The name of the publisher is, of course, Route, not "Route Online." Durrrrr...

Since I'm correcting the post, I completely forgot to mention that The Train of Ice and Fire is translated by Ann Wright.
posted by Kattullus at 12:37 PM on December 8, 2012

How timely. I've just in the last month or so really started listening to Mano Negra and am kind of in love with them. Definitely coming back to this when I'm at my computer.
posted by phunniemee at 12:46 PM on December 8, 2012

Manu and Ramon make an awesome father / son team.

I just read the train story in Spanish, it is as good as the chronicle Ramon wrote when he and Manu did the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on motorbikes.

Mano Negra was one of my favorite bands in high school, and I was fortunate enough to listen to Manu Chaos first solo album for the first time when hitchhiking back from a one week peyote trip in the San Luis desert. It extended the mind trip for a day or two.

I went to see Manu in San Francisco a couple of years ago. Most of the audience looked kind of hipster, but when he asked if anyone in the audience was illegal, the place exploded. I had no idea there were so many skinny jean wearing fixie riding illegal immigrants in San Francisco. It made me proud, it made me feel at home in this city like nothing else.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 2:24 PM on December 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thank you autocorrect for the Manu Chaos.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 2:25 PM on December 8, 2012

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