Top Five Music Videos From Cuba's Iggy Pop, Gorki Aguila of Porno Para Ricardo

Categories: Video
Porno Para Ricardo in their egg-carton-soundproof studio in Havana
Two words for ya: Cuban punks. All the anarchy and aggression of American punk, but with real consequences and none of the Hot Topic. That's the gist of this week's cover story, which chronicles the rise of punk in Cuba, and the two guys who are still trying to muscle out El Comandante with their music.

Punk got to Cuba late, in the early '90s, almost two decades after it had peaked in America. But young Cubans connected to its message of anarchy and exploited it to protest the failed promises of La Revolucion

One of them, Gil Ortiz Pla, recorded the first Cuban punk album with the grandson of Che Guevara, Canek Sanchez Guevara. Government goons routinely shut down the punkies' underground concerts and threw them in jail. That is until they found their loudest, most reckless spokesman in Gorki Aguila, the runty, Afro'd agitator who fronts Porno Para Ricardo.

For songs like "Commie Fatcats," and "El Comandante," where he politely asks Castro to "suck cock," Gorki was sentenced to four years in a maximum-security prison. This week's New Times cover story, "El Tirano's Punk's" chronicles his time, and what happened after.

After the jump, check out his top five videos.

I Don't Like Politics, But Politics Likes Me

Because of heavy surveillance, the band hasn't played a live show in two years. Instead they upload their videos online, which they record from a studio in Havana that they've soundproofed with 700 egg cartons.

Town Musicians of Bremen

To mock Cuban bureaucrats for sucking up to Soviet commies, the band recorded this, one of their earliest songs, and possibly, the only punk song in existence sung in fake Russian.

El Comandante

Written by Ciro Diaz (one of the ten best Cuban bloggers!), this is the song that made the commies lose their shit in 2008 and jail Gorki for a second time. The arrest made international headlines, and turned him into a cause celebre, with his own "Free Gorki" Facebok group.

Trova Con Distorchon

Most Cuban television looks like it was shot with a hand-held Betacam and then transferred to a VHS for the broadcast: it is grainy, low-grade stuff, slightly above a snuff film. But before they were banned from it, that's all Porno had to broadcast this song, where they mock Silvio Rodriguez' trova folk music.

El Cake

If he hasn't played a live show in at least two years, then why not defect? If no one is listening, is he really making a difference? That's sort of the million peso question for Gorki Aguila.

Porno Para Ricardo's songs are posted on their Web site, and the band was part of a recent documentary (unreleased stateside) about the new dissident rock movement, called !Cuba Rebelión!. The trailer for that is below:

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