BAH & THE HUMBUGS: BIGGER THAN SANTA
Featuring Humbugs songs performed by the following bands:
As a teenager in Florida, Cristoforo Guindara showed no hesitation when his ninh-grade teacher asked what his favorite book was. "1984," he said loudly and proudly.
The teacher and his classmates were somewhat impressed that the Spanish-speaking Panamanian had already mastered such a powerful political classic. They didn't know that he had mistakenly heard the question as "what year did you first read a book?"
They never learned the truth, because Christoforo made it a point to delve into the Orwell classic, once he learned it was the title of a book. And the renowned totalitarian distopia had a profound effect on his later mid-period song lyrics. For by the turn of this century, Christoforo had become a musician, settling permanently in the U.S.
In 2004 Chris met a community of Puerto Ricans who listened obsessively to Reggaeton, and he began to work the "riddims" into his music. At the same time, his lyrics expressed more robust political activism, whehter the newly-kristened Kris Gringo was singing/rapping about "KKKameraFonz" or "GangztaVote" or "Qonstitujun US Ameriqa" or "Qontinental Qongrezz" or, for that matter, the "Qongrezzonal Kwata-Li."
His breakthrough album, Big Big Bro, contained many songs recalling "1984," including the title track. Also seemingly related were "O'Brien Gobi Dyin," "ThoughtCrime Bought Time," "Freedom Slave" and the "1984 Blues." Other songs focused on the experiences of illegal immigrants and government surveillance methods, all in some variant of the Shabba Ranks "Deb Bow."
For this tribute, Kris Gringo was eager to perform "Authority Man," a mellow reggae classic from the Humbugs' first album, 12/25/01. He often covers the anti-surveillance song in his concerts, in or out of Christmas season, and he claims that no one seems to find the song inappropriate year-round. "What goes around," the former bookworm teenager noted, "goes around."