the official explanation

chalma was freaking gorgeous– the church, marking the site of a “black” jesus apparition which helped convert mexipagans into catholics, is on a plaza in a riverbed below the town.

as i mentioned, the indigenous folks used to come to a cave at the site to worship the goddess of trash and the dark lord of the cave, and evidently practice human sacrifice, but one day around the 1530s some evangelists, trying to convince the pagans not to practice idolatry, went into the cave to destroy the dark lord and saw a jesus with dark skin there in his place.

apparently the jesus is the same one that’s still on display in the current church (built in the late 1600s)– doesn’t seem that dark skinned? which is maybe why some accounts call him black jesus and others don’t. i’m guessing he is still darker than most of the representations people saw back then, and would have appeared moreso inside the cave.

nuestro señor de chalma

so that’s why chalma is so important. when we went on christmas day there were pilgrims from all over, including some who came in on foot. many were wearing flower crowns in accordance with the pre-jesus tradition. the particularly prominent pilgrimage organized for christmas this year was the pilgrimage of the dancing cowboys (“la danza de los vaqueros“).

i didn’t take any pictures because i felt like a jerk, but my parents did. i will upload those when i can. the cowboys were wearing chaps, hats, boots, etc and dancing in the plaza in front of the church accompanied by a live band. you could climb down onto the river banks from the church plaza, where a bunch of people were chilling out, eating and swimming.


nye stuff

Think I’m going to this. What’s cool about this is it’s cheaper than the Matthew Dear/M.A.N.D.Y. show at Coco Maya, and it’s chock-full of their label mates, who are less highly rated but still awesome. I’m also thinking Matthew & Mandy might show up at this because, yes, it’s destined to be more chill. Whereas Coco Maya seems like it could be a big Ibiza-style shitshow. Fun at first, but then kind of not-that-great.

nouveau yorican/jean nipon/gina turner

^^This blog entry caught my attention initially because I have mentally tagged Jean Nipon as “the first French alt-club DJ/producer to take sufficient notice of Dirty South.” Not saying he necessarily is, just that that’s how I think of him. I can’t find a free copy of the song that made me think that, called “Alice,” but here is a mix he did to celebrate Patrick Swayze. His remix of Nouveau Yorican linked above is pretty good. I love the (totally unrelated?) You Tube video, also linked above.

The blogger, Gina Turner, is a DJ I recently missed here in DF. I skipped her show at now-defunct Club Malva‘s birthday party because I had to work the next day, but in light of her blog comment about Bronx fire hydrants, I’m regretting that decision a little.

One more thing: this stuff is on the Mad Decent blog as you can see, but I sourced it through Institubes. Jean Nipon is on Institubes, which is affiliated with ol’ what’s-his-name, Curses!/Drop the Lime and his New York thang Treble & Bass. All three crews were performing together at WMC a lot last year. For what that’s worth.

Note: WMC events where T&B and Institubes played together included the Institubes anniversary party at the Gansevoort’s Club Louis, the hand-printed wall-papered/crystal-chandeliered lounge with the midget doorman dressed as Napoleon.

gratuitous pic of me harassing drop the lime in richmond, va (april 2009)

archeological zone of eagle warriors

to follow on from my speculations yesterday, yes, malinalco is pretty dope. i kept hearing people ride by on horses all night last night. because they use horses as a form of transportation here.

from dizzying heights at the top of a temple high up a hill

the town of malinalco

sister and dad in front of the cuauhcalli, which is nahuatl for eagle house

what academics say about the solar-oriented positioning of the temple

The Cuauh were an elite order of Aztec, or Mexica, warriors, as I mentioned yesterday. The temple was established as a meeting spot for the group along with the Ocelotl (ocelot) warriors when the Mexica took over the area in the late 1400s.


The fam’s elected to spend Christmas with me, and over the actual holiday starting today, we’re in the municipality of Malinalco, en Estado de México, casi 2 hours’ south of Mexico City in a valley between the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the Sierra Norte mountain ranges.

We’re at a great house, a couple of kilometers south of Malinalco Centro in the trucha zone. Trucha means trout.

This is a big trout-harvesting region, which also means you can stop at a tienda for a meal of trout killed on-demand.

Tomorrow we should be checking out the ruins which are nearby, specifically the Cuauhcalli, or House of Eagle Warriors, who were an elite order of Aztec warriors. The ruins, of a temple established when the Aztecs conquered the region in the 1470s, are cool because it’s carved into the side of the mountain.

Then Christmas I hope to bring my family to Santuario de Chalma. Chalma was a black Christ figure whose apparition revealed itself to some pagans worshiping in a cave by the site. They mostly went there to worship Oxtoteotl, the “Dark Lord of the Cave,” but also according to Wikipedia, Tlazacotl, “the Goddess of Trash and Filth.” Which rules, obviously. Most Mexicans who have described Chalma to me tell me that it’s a huge for peregrinos (pilgrims– it’s the second-most visited site in Mexico, after the Basilica of Guadalupe in DF) and that the site includes a really old tree with a portion of the river running below it. The pilgrims have to dance when they get here. La Danza de los Vaqueros is the current visiting peregrinación.

So I hope to fill in with more, but wanted to get this information down and organized. We’re also going to Hotel Ámel for dinner tomorrow night (the big feast is on Noche Buena in Mexico). Fernando, the dude who runs the place, told me he just brought the prime rib in from DF today. Not sure what we’re doing for food on Christmas day.

palabra del día: orfebrería

Del blog Playground, en su artículo sobre Pantha du Prince. Al paracer la terma “orfebrería electrónica” es algo de cliché en el periodismo de música en español. Como “masterpiece.” En una búsqueda de Google, esta terma está usado con canciones de DJ Slam, La Monja Enana, Animal Collective, y Prodigy. Y en varios artículos de Playground.


  1. f. Arte de labrar objetos artísticos de oro, plata y otros metales preciosos, o aleaciones de ellos:
    ha hecho un curso de orfebrería.

English translation: gold- or silverwork.


El concepto periodístico tantas veces utilizado de “orfebrería electrónica” para clasificar la obra de un productor debería sólo reservarse en casos excepcionales como Pantha Du Prince.

¿Como ves “Going Back to Calle 8,” abajo– es orfebrería electrónica, verdad?

¿Puedo decir orfebrería dental?

calle 8

miami bass warriors. me and my sister just watched this video like 10 times.

josé el rey is the first guy, and otto von schirach is the second one (notice otto’s lisp; speech impediments are common in sexual deviants). the third guy is el tigre. i don’t know anything about him, but i think he’s my favorite in the video. of course i like josé a lot, too.

when i saw these guys with phoenecia at wmc a few years ago josé brought pastelitos for the ladies in the audience. that show was so, so sick– richard devine was there, too, and ed wa. and hybrid, strangely.

oh, god, i just read this miami herald article about them. apparently debbie from avenue d has joined them.