Tommy Guerrero – Soul Food Taqueria

Tommy Guerrero
Soul Food Taqueria

My mama always told me that a footrest made a shitty doorstop, and even though she was actually pretty wrong, I believe the sentiment stands largely true. One thing that is one thing is naturally inclined to remain that one thing and not become another, different thing. There are exceptions, I suppose, but when it comes to that celebrity non-job troika of actor, musician, and model, this rule generally exerts itself something fierce. Look at Billy Bob Thornton’s album, or the entire existence of Vincent Gallo; both are ironclad proof that folks should more or less stick to one thing.
A while back, however, former pro skater Tommy Guerrero decided to tempt fate by embarking on a musical career. He’s put out a handful of records on the Mo Wax label, Soul Food Taqueria being his latest, and while it flirts here and there with inconsequence, Guerrero’s music mainly avoids the soul-scarring lows of your average Madonna film. Guerrero’s modest, groovy funk-pop is inoffensive in its own charming way. It’s always difficult for instrumental music that isn’t jazz or classical to maintain a listener’s interest for an extended period of time, as Soul Food Taqueria ably illustrates. It’s not that the music is bad at all, it’s just that it doesn’t really maintain a firm grasp upon one’s attention. Guest-vocals from Lyrics Born and Gresham Taylor pop up on a few tracks, but they don’t really add a whole lot to the basic plot. Guerrero’s music would be well suited as a film soundtrack, perhaps even more so than as an independent entity; its wordless light funk could set the tone for a parody of porn films, or could maybe serve as a retro blaxpoitation riff.
Pleasant, and a mere tick on the right side of mediocre, Soul Food Taqueria isn’t a bad record to play at a party. But it’d be early in the party, before it got too busy or crowded, and before the booze and good-times started flowing free and easy as a widow’s tears. Or maybe it would be better at the end of the party, when the last remaining drunks stagger bleary-eyed out into the street, and the residents require something mellow to guide them safely into sleep. Either way, Soul Food Taqueria is hardly ever more than background music; thankfully, it’s generally pretty good background music.