El Chicano-Don’t Put Me Down
Archive for the ‘Throwback Thursdays’ Category
El Chicano-Don’t Put Me Down
This week’s Throwback Thursday we’re going pop with Mœnia. The electronic band have often been compared to their English contemporaries Depeche Mode. However, don’t let the synths and drumbeats of much of Moenia’s catalog deter you. Moenia have spent more than fifteen years crafting some of the most engaging Latin pop music. What has always made Moenia one of the most successful bands in Latin America is their ability to record music that receives mainstream acceptance yet manages to challenge listeners with experimental compositions and arrangements otherwise unheard of in Latin mainstream pop outside of Aleks Syntek and more recent years Ms. Julieta Venegas foray into pop. Moenia was initially a quartet before original co-founder and lead singer, Juan Carlos Lozano, left the band soon after their 1997 self-titled debut. Alfonso Pichardo picked up the vocal duties on their sophomore and one of their most critically received album, Adición+ in 1999. “Ya No Es Así” is a standout electro pop song reminiscent more of Kraftwerk, Yaz, and Erasure than Depeche Mode. In fact, Mí Casa believes that Moenia often out-modes Depeche Mode. “Ya No Es Así” is also an excellent example of this Mexican band’s influence on the current revival of Electronic Latin pop. It’s simple, we wouldn’t have Mexico’s Belanova, Argentina’s Miranda! or even Chile’s indie electro pop princess, Javiera Mena if it wasn’t for Moenia. Enjoy “Ya No Es Así” and two extra vids, “Molde Perfecto” and the Moenia’s contribution to Amores Perros.
Moenia – “Ya No Es Así” (MP3)
Moenia – “Molde Perfecto” (Video)
Moenia – “Lado Animal” (Theme to Amores Perros) (Video)
I like to think of Silvio Rodriguez as the Pablo Neruda of Latin American music. Like the poet, he’s written for both love and justice—from songs about the women who have controlled all of his senses, to songs that pay homage to freedom fighters. He might just be considered a poet by many, having written lyrics like, “Ojalá que las hojas no te toquen el cuerpo cuando caigan/ para que no las puedas convertir en cristal.” And in today’s song of the day he sings, “En estos días, todo el viento del mundo sopla en tu dirección…/En estos días no sale el sol, sino tu rostro/ Y en el silencio, sordo del tiempo, gritan tus ojos.”
Like Neruda and many of the world’s best poets, governments seem to fear Silvio’s words. A couple of months ago, the United States would not allow him into the country to celebrate Pete Seeger‘s birthday—perhaps because of his political ties to Cuba and the revolution (perhaps?), or just the power of his words. They may be able to stop him, but not his music. Not only have Silvio’s songs moved across borders, but they have also reached new generations. For that reason, in addition to an MP3 and video of Silvio, we’re including a video of one of the finest voices in Latin Reggae, Willy Rodriguez (from Cultura Profetica), beautifully covering “En Estos Dias.” Que viva Silvio!
Silvio Rodriguez-En Estos Dias (Video)
Willy Rodriguez from Cultura Profetica-En Estos Dias (Video)
This Thursday, we’re taking it back to the 60’s and 70’s with Ralfi Pagan—one of the most recognizable voices of Latin-Soul.
Although this Nuyorican falsetto also applied his vocals to Salsa, it is his soul ballads that continue to have a pulse. What keeps them relevant isn’t just that they’re songs about love, but that Ralfi sang them in Spanglish. In Make It With You, Ralfi sings, “I really think that we can make it / yo quiero hacerlo contigo / siempre siempre quiero estar contigo.” Warning: It might just put you in the mood.
Ralfi Pagan-Make It With You (Video)
Soda Stereo is Argentina’s most successful and one of Latin America’s most influential bands. Soda Stereo was formed in 1982 by lead guitarist and vocalist, Gustavo Cerati, drummer, Charly Alberti, and bassist, Zeta Bosio. Soda Stereo blend New Wave, rock, and pop with a stylish image similar to their English contemporaries Television, the Talking Heads, and The Police. From 1984-1995, Soda Stereo released seven records including two of their most important releases, 1986’s Signos and then 1990’s Cancion Animal. “Sobredosis De TV” (“Television Overdose”), this week’s Throwback Thursday selection, is one of the band’s most recognized songs. It’s a perfect introduction to this iconic band.
Soda Stereo – “Sobredosis De TV” (Live in Vivo en Viña, 1987)
Thank goodness for one hit wonders. La Union never gave us anything else, but it seems they put everything they had into this one. The story about a werewolf in Paris, rides a thick baseline with a few howls here and there from the lead singer. And if you’re trying to visualize the story, here goes the video (and it’s a damn good video):
The first time I heard this song I was 15 at an 18 & Over club in Chicago. Yeah, you did it too. Don’t lie. I wasn’t the only kid under age and it was quite evident. The only people on the dance floor were couples and girls in circles so tight they could’ve been beating someone inside it and no one would’ve ever known. Everyone else stood against the walls. It was what it was—a high school dance without the basketball court—until this song came on. A new DJ got on the decks, allowed some silence as he transitioned into his set, and then the haunting intro keys seemed to scare everyone away from what they were doing. Circles broke, and couples separated to dance along with everyone just as the drums dropped over the keys. Everything was perfect with this song—the catchy lyrics, key solos, drum solos, and vocals over those solos. These guys from Chile had a bunch of Latino kids in Chicago going crazy. And yeah, as a result, that night I got my first number from a girl—her beeper number, that is. So for getting me my first number, and just being a damn good classic, this is our first Throwback Thursday song. Someone get me Los Prisioneros‘ beeper numbers so I can thank them in a voicemail or number coded message.
Los Prisioneros–Tren Al Sur