Sidestepper talks to Alt Latino

I caught this half-hour Alt Latino interview with Richard Blair, aka Sidestepper, and it just flew by (I’m both happy and sad about that) because the music contained within is beautiful. Check it out ; )

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“Richard Blair is from Britain, but his heart is in Colombia. Blair went from producing albums for Peter Gabriel to immersing himself in the music and culture of Colombia — itself a country with deep African roots.

He chased a sound he’d heard in his head; one that mixed the burgeoning electronic music scene of Britain with the Afro-Colombian sounds he’d heard in the streets and clubs of Bogota, the Colombian capital.

The result, formed in 1996, was the band Sidestepper, which released four albums that left a huge impression on the Colombian music scene. Current Colombian bands like Bomba Estereo and Choc Quib Town have spoken at length about the influence of Sidestepper on their music.

Blair recently assembled a new generation of Colombian musicians to re-form Sidestepper and release an album (Supernatural Love) with a sound that looks forward and backward at the same time. It’s rich with tradition, and with the sounds of clubs around the world.

This week on Alt.Latino, Blair joins us to discuss Sidestepper’s history, his own musical influences, and what we’ve determined to be the ultimate truth. (Listen in to find out what I mean.)”

Listen to the great 33 minute podcast at NPR

Cashing in on the .Co domain names

“The opportunity for us is to become the platform of choice for entrepreneurs around the world,” said Juan Diego Calle, chief executive of .CO Internet, a company based in Miami that operates the “.co” registry under license from the Colombian government. “To do that, we want to build massive awareness.”
……

For financially struggling governments, the sale of country code domain names is a boon. Colombia, for example, gets 25 percent of the revenue from sales of the “.co” name under its deal with .CO Internet. Last year, the company generated a total of $20 million from the sale of “.co” domains; this year, that is expected to rise to more than $30 million, Mr. Calle said.

More than 600,000 “.co” addresses have been sold, in more than 200 countries, he said. Only about 20,000 of those are actually from Colombia, with the most interest coming from the United States and Europe.

The company predicts that the total number of “.co” registrations will rise to five million within five years. Mr. Calle was hoping for a surge of interest after a prominent marketing pitch over the weekend. During the Super Bowl, the world’s largest domain name registrar, Go Daddy, highlighted “.co” in an advertisement. The spot, as is typical of the company’s TV ads, featured the “Go Daddy girls” in tight T-shirts and hot pants. But this time, Joan Rivers was one of them. Before the game, Go Daddy said it planned to introduce a new member of the team, a “ ‘.co’ girl.”

While some country codes have had a hard time attracting anything other than niche interest, analysts say the Colombian suffix may have a better chance to rival “.com” because the letters “co” are recognized in many languages as an abbreviation for “company” and are not merely seen as an abbreviation for the country’s name.

“As long as it doesn’t become well known that it’s just a bastardization of the country code for Colombia, it could take off,” said Josh Bourne, managing partner of FairWinds Partners, which advises firms on the use of domain names.” – NYT

200 Posts!

Eyes On Colombia has been around since about Christmas Day of 2008 which makes it almost 20 months old. The fact that it has only 200 posts means I average 10.5 per month and while that’s just fine for a hobby, my other hobby (Eyes On Brazil) which is 28 months old averages 30 posts per month. Strange how that works out but still, even with 200 posts here on Colombian culture, I feel like I’ve put a lot of information in one place and I will continue to do so because Colombia deserves a fresh pair of eyes.

– Adam

Two new links – Site News

I’m adding two new Spanish-language links to my links page! One is Colombia En Web which houses lots of links for things like Colombian TV & radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc. The second link is for the Luis Ángel Arango Virtual Library, or BLAA, which is…

“…a digital library, created in 1996 by the Bank of the Republic of Colombia, which holds more than 217,115 published webpages (up until August, 2007) directed at adults and kids interested in getting to know Colombian culture. The information is presented across complete books, magazines, biographies, interactive pages, photographs, reproductions of Colombian art, maps and audiovideo archives free of charge.”

“…una biblioteca digital, creada en 1996 por el Banco de la República de Colombia, que cuenta con más de 217.115 páginas publicadas en la red (hasta agosto de 2007) dirigidas a adultos y niños interesados en conocer la cultura colombiana. La información se presenta a través de libros completos, revistas, biografías, páginas interactivas, fotografías, reproducciones de obras de arte colombiano, mapas y archivos de video y sonido para consultar de manera gratuita.”

Here’s a few quick links for the BLAA.

Historia , Geografía, Antropología, Fauna y flora, Economía, Ciencias, Folclor, Arqueología, Arte, Modos y Costumbres, Educación, and Literatura.

Raising Colombian Kids – New Link

While searching for more material for EOC (this site), I came across “Raising Colombian Kids” which is a blog that teaches how to adopt children from Colombia and also how to raise children while teaching them Colombian culture and traditions.

There is no “About Us” page so I’m not sure how long they’ve been online but according to their category list and how many posts for each category, I would guess they’ve been doing it a while. You can find their link under ‘Other’ on the Links on Colombia page or here.

Edit: I found a link explaining that the blog owner is a woman married to a Colombian man and they went through the process of adopting a child from Colombia. Blogger says they’ve been blogging since 2007.