Archive for the 'Latin Roots' Category

El Ultimo Adiós

Possibly one of the best indicators of a economic recession is when I start selling records on ebay.  Wall Street should use that as an economic barometer of some sorts. Anyway, it was around November when I first drafted this post, business was slow, I was bored, and I had an urge to unload some wax. I tend to slang vinyl when I start thinking I have way too many records or when I am just not that into the music (I usually end up with sellers remorse). Nevertheless, I just so happened to record some of the 45’s that I sold, songs which I was luke-warm with at the time. And the 45’s in this post are a sample of such.

Its a real mixed bag in terms of genres. From Mexican ska, cha-cha, garage, son, salsa ect. ect. I won’t get into much detail about each band, but I’ll let you guys decide if I made a good choice or not.  Please note, that at the time, I scanned the images so small that I am now unable to read them or know some of the artist’s names. Damn I am full of regret today.

  1. Locos Del Ritmo: Donde Vas







2. Hermanos Carrion: Con Golondrinas

hermanos carrion 





3. Los Johnny Jets: Dracula A Go Go

los jonny jets






4. Desconocido (Los Yonicos?): Guapachosa

los yon






5. Toño Quirazco: La Familia







6. Johnny Zamot Y Su Orquesta: Oye Nicola







7. Memo Salamanca: Oye Rumbito







8. Desconocido (Can’t read the name): Viva Tirado




Cinco De Mayo

Tigres Del Norte Cesar Chavez1. Los Tigres Del Norte: Cesar Chavez

There is probably nothing more Mexican than Los Tigres Del Norte playing a  norteño (northern) corrido. And there is probably nothing more Mexican American than farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. This is a perfect 45 for a day that symbolizes Mexican pride and heritage.

Norteño music, corridos, and banda are probably the most popular regional styles in all of Mexico. Hailing from the Northern part of the country, thus the name, Norteño forms the sound-tract to the social problems and successes of the Mexican people.

Although the music tends to sound the same after a while, it is the ever changing lyrics that speak to the Mexican people in that down to earth manner. The ballads tell of anti-heroes, drug dealers, immigrants, activists, patriotism, love lost, and the modern ills of society. It was songs like this that catapulted Los Tigres Del North to enormous success. Their modernized and retailored version of the norteño sound resulted in a phenomenon that changed the face of Mexican music in the 1990’s.

Feliz Cindo De Mayo!!!

From Russia With Love

untitled1I truly think it’s great that old school Latin beats and breaks are gaining  popularity. It’s awesome to hear dj’s  playing more Spanish language music and it’s about time America starts appreciating it. I’ve been selling records on Ebay for about 8+ years and in the beginning the majority of the Latin music I sold would have gone straight to Western Europe. Lately though my buyers are popping up all over the world. And who would have ever thought that you could hear cumbia in Russia?

Anyway, the other day I got an email from Dj Pablo (Pavel). Thank you for the accolades. Looks like people in Moscow have their first sonidero. Check out the links to the two mixes he sent me. Amazing music. Fucking brilliant!

Celia Cruz y La Sonora Matancera

1. Celia Cruz: Cha Cha Guera

I’ve had some serious computer issues over the last few weeks, so please pardon any delay. Also, I’ve been busy selling and organizing some of my 45 collection. Which is probably the reason why you are listening to this totally awesome 45 ep from Celia Cruz. I purchased this in Mexico City for $.25 five years back and I recently found it stuck in some random LP. Therefore, I felt a need to post this up before it is again lost in the sea of records which I own.

Cruz is probably the best know female singer in the history of Cuban music. I am not really going to get into to much detail about who Celia Cruz is, nor La Sonora Matancera (a whole other story). “The Queen of Salsa’s” lifes work speaks for itself. She is pretty much renowned all over the world. Anyhow, I’m being lazy and I don’t want to sound any more redundant than I usually do.  


2. Celia Cruz: Pa’la Paloma

Although I love these songs, to be quite honest with you I am not a super huge fan of Celia. Her early work, the stuff she did with Tito Puente, and The Fania All Stars I tend to like more, but that’s about it. In fact, I find myself liking her contemporary La Lupe much more.

Very talented nonetheless, I have a feeling that much of her popularity later in her career came from the fact that she strongly identified herself with the anti-Castro/Cuban boycott movement. Remember her super huge funerals in Miami and New York? Anyway, I’m not getting politically involved. I’m keeping my mouth shut. Let her music speak instead.

 ps: I am now uploading 320 mp3’s for your listening pleasure.

Macho Cimarrón

1. Orquesta Riviera: Macho Cimarron

A really great salsa/son rendition of Macho Cimarron(wild/brave slave) from the Cuban Orquesta Riviera. Sorry but I couldn’t find much information about these guys. I do know that the few albums they made are ultra rare and super expensive.

Cimarron(runaway slave) comes from the word Marroned (ship wrecked). It mainly refers to African slaves that ran away and/or rebeled against their Spanish masters. The song pays homage to them. 

Its seems like appropriate subject matter for the 1970’s. Civil rights, rebellion, and cultural identity were common elements in salsa lyrics during that time. Also, it was very common that older son montunos  and guaguancos  were rehashed with a more uptempo salsa sound. Songs like this bridged the gap between tradition and modernity, in effect providing a cultural voice to Latinos in the United States and in their homelands. 

Conjunto Estrellas de Chocolate has an earlier version of this song (50’s maybe?). Pete Conde, the Fania All Stars (Live at The Cheeta), and many others do a rendition as well.   

(this is a krmx joint also)

Bachata and Edilio Paredes

1. Edilio Paredes: La Mama Y La Hija

Bachata or Bolero Campesino (peasant love song) is a style of guitar music that is often overlooked when you think of other more popular Latin American musical genres. In fact, for a long period in the Dominican Republic (where it originated) it was marginalized, denigrated, and usually associated with the lower classes.

The music began in the rural areas as a romantic bolero style music. Early Bachata often had themes of heartbreak, deception, and love lost.  However, things began to change for the Bachata movement with the death of dictator Rafael Trujillo in 1961, whose family had a monopoly on the entire Dominican music industry. It was at that point where the Bachata recording industry and the music itself began to flourish.  And it had evolved in that era with a more rhythmic and dancable beat borrowing from Merengue and Son.  

However, it appears that there was a backlash to Bachata in the 70’s where it again was stigmatized and barred from the higher class venues. Most songs from this era dealt with the musicians environment of uncivil behavior, drunkenness, and prostitution. Songs of the time were ripe with sexual innuendo (double sentido) . Although super popular in the Dominican Republic, these songs were thought of as vulgar and ignorant by the mainstream society. 

This 45 from Edilio Paredes is a perfect example of Bachata at this time. You can already see where this song is going with La Mama Y La Hija (the mother and the young daughter). Its basically a tale of two friends liking, enjoying, and marrying both the mother and daughter.

2. Edilio Paredes: La Gozadera

A great two sider from Edilio Paredes, who is considered by many as the most influential singer, guitar player, arranger, and the person who most influenced these more uptempo changes of Bachata in the mid 1970’s .

Born in the town of La Galana, near near San Francisco de Macoris, Edilio Paredes began his musical career young and still still plays today. At age 13 he moved to the capital of Santo Domingo and got a job working at a record store/record label which launched his music profession.

You have to excuse me but Dominican Spanish is sometimes difficult for me to understand due to the idiomatic expressions and dialect. But what I do know or what I sense, is that this song is ripe with all sorts of innuendo.  If anyone from the Dominican Republic would like to translate or thinks my paraphrasing sucks, just let me know. The song La Gozadera (fun loving time?) is a story about a guy who has a problem with his girl, whose love is over, and whose solution is to party and womanize. Amazing, amazing, amazing 45.