Anyone here ever dig Cuba?

downtownrobbrowndowntownrobbrown 446 Posts
edited November 2013 in Strut Central
If so please share some stories. Thanks!

  Comments


  • Seriously. Any pointers would be amazing, I'm heading there for a week end of January to Havana. And also if anyone has a lead on a good band in the city for hire we're looking.

  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    It's been a long time since I was there, but there was a place on calle neptuno that was the only "formal" record shop in the city. This is the place that Gilles Peterson filmed his Cuban digging thing at, and where (subsequent to the article below) he was like "oh, can't tell you where this is, best digging experience ever" as he pulled out folk records and skated dollar bin raer. Otherwise, you can just ask people for records, and they'll take you to their grandad's collection of skated records.

    http://www.waxingdeep.org/jetset.pdf

  • DORDOR Two Ron Toe 9,852 Posts
    Been awhile since I was last down in Cuba. Not the greatest for digging or food. But great for mostly everything else.

    I found one store in Havana. You'd probably be better served finding a dealer. But be prepared to find most records in less than ideal conditions.

    That's not to say you can't find some heat. But after a couple of guys I know pulled large down there, you'd be hard pressed to really come out in a big way.

    Is this the same place you're talking about Danno?


  • El PrezEl Prez NE Ohio 1,141 Posts
     photo 2AF1D88F-FC8E-41EC-9F51-D2959609AB38.jpg

    What happened to that old post detailing all the Cuban spots w/ pics etc? I was pissed for two years over that shit rlmao.

  • DORDOR Two Ron Toe 9,852 Posts
    sweatshop said:
     photo 2AF1D88F-FC8E-41EC-9F51-D2959609AB38.jpg

    What happened to that old post detailing all the Cuban spots w/ pics etc? I was pissed for two years over that shit rlmao.

    I know you're not a fan of him. But I remember when A got a crazy Cuban package... I know not a big deal to some. But to me It was a bit of a facemelt moment see.

    Makes me think of the last time I was in Cuba I asked a dude about algo nuevo and he gave me the biggest "Good Luck Buddy" I've ever seen.

  • kalakala 3,348 Posts
    went digging in havana in 98 and the records were cheap plentiful and beat to a pulp.
    I was buying stuff based on the cover as I had no portable and only knew of areito/egrem and could only carry 50-60 back to jamaica.
    i still have most of what i grabbed from that trip.
    The "store" i went to was on a main street in Havana near the cigar factory where they drag all the tourists to watch the ladies hand rolling them joints.
    i paid like .50 cents a buck each
    i remember being surprised by the amount of usa pop chud that was mixed into the piles as well as fania.tico etc.

  • LokoOneLokoOne 1,823 Posts
    My sister visits Cuba regularily and akways brings me back some wax. She says theres only one store (casa de discos??) that sells vinyl. The condition of the wax is pretty shit but my sister did the digging. A few have been playable. The store is on the main strip in Havana in a gallery across the road from a big Nike store.

    Im sure theyd be other spots.

  • The name of the store is Serioshas & it's at 408 Neptuno. Don't think it's that big a secret anymore (was it ever?). Pretty sure it was listed as something to do/see in a recent version of the Rough Guide to Cuba book.

    Was last there in 2010, prices had gone up to between 3-5 CUC an LP. Conditions aren't generally great so buyer beware. Picked up a Yoyi that looked VG but plays G+ at best.

    As regards other spots, I found some records in the bookstores along Obispo on the way down to Havana Vieja & also at a couple of the markets in the various plazas.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,518 Posts
    LokoOne said:
    across the road from a big Nike store.


    I was surprised to see this.
    Embargo my ass.
    A little wiki research shows there is a trade embargo but, "At present, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is still in effect and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth largest exporter to Cuba (6.6% of Cuba's imports are from the US).[18] However, Cuba must pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed"

  • most of the resorts in Cuba are owned by anericans. they've just got french, british or canadian 'partners' to do all the owning.

  • jmjmjmjm said:
    The name of the store is Serioshas & it's at 408 Neptuno.

    thanks for the knowledge. My sister in law is marrying a Cuban and I'm hoping that some of his friends might be able to help me find some records. That said what w/ my wife + 3 this isn't exactly a diggin trip but she's good at letting me roam.

  • This
    Danno3000 said:
    you can just ask people for records, and they'll take you to their grandad's collection of skated records.
    or they will meet you at the same spot the next day with them.

  • Bump

    Just got back, what an amazing place. Found a few records in good shape, but I'll admit I wasn't actively digging. Too much else to see there. So close to the states, but a million miles away... A photographers dream and structural engineers nightmare.



    here's some shots I took in Havana.











    Bikes are everywhere, as is Crystal...


    I Like the speakers in this ' 52 chev:














    anyways, had a great trip: did 5 people for 1 week for 1400$.

  • kalakala 3,348 Posts
    ugh
    miss it
    so many beautiful women
    every bar has a great band
    as a vegetarian i was glad we sailed there with our own food on the boat cuz the restaurants were meh
    does havana still have that prevalent sulfur smell in the air?
    i really like santiago de cuba but did not look for lp's there

  • The food is still Mehhhhhhhh.... at least its cheap.
    Didn't notice the sulfur in Havana, but there were alot of funky smells, diesel fumes being the most prevalent.
    Ladies are still beautiful, and they just know how to move....

  • discos_almadiscos_alma discos_alma 2,164 Posts
    Glad to hear you had a great trip, LoopDreams. Nice photos!

    Still so much Cuban music that hasn't been adequately documented - which is obviously a double-edged sword: on one hand there are very few ways to actually obtain and listen to much of the killer pre-revolution music that was released on vinyl, but on the other it totally creates this mystique for that stuff that makes it seem so much more special when you finally get to hear it.

    Also, I think every music lover should read this:



    I just finished my second pass of the book and it was even more interesting this time around. It only covers up until the 50s, but word on the street is that the author is working on a second volume that will focus on the 50s up to the 80s.

  • can't co-sign the Sublette book rec enough. SOOOOO good.

    i was in cuba for 10 days a couple years ago, and it was an amazing trip. absolutely loved it. i play soccer sometimes with a guy from havana, and he gave me an address for his parents who still live in habana viejo. had dinner with them a couple nights + his mom & sister took us on a bus full of friends from their neighborhood to a beach packed with cubans & a DJ playing reggaeton for everybody. people were drinking havana club out the bottle in the middle of the ocean. so fun.

    also managed to spend one morning digging at a shop. got the same super exitos lp, 2 different juan pablo torres lps & a bunch of other great stuff.

    at that point it was my second to last day, though, and we only had about $100 cash left. being american, we couldn't take any more money out while we were in cuba.

    the guy at the shop let me get any record in his shop for $4. i took about 20, leaving just enough money to eat & drink the last two days. but if i had only had more cash...i had to leave a stack of at least 50-70 LPs behind, all classics, with a bunch of multiple copies. and that was with me only going through about 2/3 of his stock, only looking for things i already know about. didn't even have time to start digging through the stuff i had never heard of before....

    amazing place. another highlight was making friends with young cuban dude who we met on the street & chatted about music with. ended up meeting him out one night & going to a bar where we gave him money to buy drinks at the "locals price" of 50 cents for a perfect mojito.

    we were there in early august when their carnival was going on too. i could go on...







  • buttonbutton 1,475 Posts
    Why do I all the sudden feel like the only person who's never been to Havana?

  • Thanks for the book reco Del Alma, I'm going to look for that now. The caliber of musicianship you see thrown about there like it's nothing is truly inspiring. The wedding band was insane: all young dudes and dudettes playing their version of amped up bass heavy funky latin party music through a massive system set up on the back balcony of the Havana Club overlooking the ocean. Best dancefloor ever, period. Over half the guests were Cuban, and to say they like to shake a leg would be an understatement: Buena Vista Social Club it ain't.

  • discos_almadiscos_alma discos_alma 2,164 Posts
    willie_fugal said:
    can't co-sign the Sublette book rec enough. SOOOOO good.

    And also in NOLA, right? Join his email list - you will be flooded with more interesting shit to read on a daily basis than you can imagine.

  • MusicaDelAlma said:
    willie_fugal said:
    can't co-sign the Sublette book rec enough. SOOOOO good.

    And also in NOLA, right? Join his email list - you will be flooded with more interesting shit to read on a daily basis than you can imagine.


    got a link for that? tried looking it up online but couldn't find anywhere. i'd definitely like to be on that list! sublette's like a personal hero. i'm from new orleans & his "world that made new orleans" book is one of the best i've read about the city.
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