Tag Archives: sonido del valle

Who Is Bobby Velvet and How Did He End Up Doing “The Martian”?

Bobby Velvet "The Martian" Ernest Kohl "Sooner or Later" 12" vinyl singles found at Sonido del Valle in Los Angeles
Pic taken at Sonido del Valle where I found Bobby Velvet “The Martian” and Ernest Kohl “Sooner or Later” (which I’ll post about later) last November. (Pic: Liz O.)

Sometimes, I buy a record because it contains a mystery that may or may not ever be solved. Like, who is Bobby Velvet and how did he end up doing “The Martian” in a North Hollywood recording studio for a 12” single released on a label based out of a Pasadena building that’s now a law office? 

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The Extended Mix of Toto Coelo “Milk from the Coconut” Is New Wave Heat

Toto Coelo "Milk from the Coconut" extended dance mix 12" single on vinyl (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
Toto Coelo 12″ single with the extended dance mix of “Milk from the Coconut.” (Pic: Liz O.)

On a Sunday afternoon, I flipped through a bin of new wave records at Sonido del Valle in Boyle Heights. At this point in the dig, I had already found a 12” of Bananarama’s cover of “He Was Really Saying Something” for 99 cents that was dusty, but definitely playable. I was starting to feel lucky. Not lottery ticket lucky, but lucky enough to take a chance on a Toto Coelo 12” single called “Milk from the Coconut.” 

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Digging for Miguel Bosé

Miguele Bosé Bandido (1984) on vinyl found at Sonido del Valle in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. (Photo: Liz Ohanesian)
My copy of Bandido by Miguel Bosé the day I found it inside Sonido del Valle in Boyle Heights (Pic: Liz O.)

I paused with the door of the convenience store fridge open when I heard the song. It sounded like Ultravox during the Midge Ure years, but it was in Spanish. Who was this? Shazam likely would have turned up the answer, but I asked the cashier instead. Miguel Bosé, she answered immediately. 

Maybe I should have known that? I think the cashier was surprised that I didn’t recognize the singer. We talked about music often when I popped into the store. She played a lot of ‘80s Spanish pop jams. Once I remarked, “ooh, I love this song!” while Flans’ version of “No Controles” played and that got us started. But, I also didn’t grow up with the music. I had some knowledge of the alternative bands that were in the 1990s ether, stuff like Cafe Tacuba and Kinky, but I didn’t start listening to Spanish ‘80s until the ‘00s and what I knew came via my friends who are DJs. 

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