Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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Giant Statue of Antonio Aguilar Unveiled in LA

For more info on the statue and the legendary Aguilar, as well as an amusing introduction to Aguilar songs (with accompanying videos), check out this excellent article by Gustavo Arellano. In a description of the Aguilar hit “Un Puño de Tierra”, Arellano writes: “One of those great existential roars of fatalism that makes being a Mexican man so much fun.” If that doesn’t make you want to read the article, I throw up my hands!

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Sing Your Heart Out: Chavela Vargas!

Sing Your Heart Out: Chavela Vargas In a recent post on this site entitled “La Rancherita”, Churpa included a rather offhanded link to a YouTube video of  Freddy Fender’s smash hit, Rancho Grande.  (Look carefully for the link buried in her phrase, “…without thinking of this….”) Churpa added that Fender’s song was “possibly one of my favorite songs ever”. Well, this is just the sort of provocative waffling that I simply can’t tolerate, especially in a website with standards-of-excellence as […]

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La Rancherita

This song makes me wish I were in Mexico….about a hundred years ago. But I can’t even hear the word ‘rancherita‘ without thinking of this, possibly one of my favorite songs ever.

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Joaquin Sabina — "the Spanish Bob Dylan"

  I say, “Yes!” but if you haven’t yet heard Joaquin Sabina, you’ll have to judge for yourself whether or not he deserves “the Spanish Bob Dylan” accolade. Once you’ve sampled the incredible range of his music it is even harder to understand how Sabina has gone unnoticed for so many years — and not just in the U.S., but also in much of Latin America. The site link below leads to well written, thoughtful commentary (Spanish) on Sabina’s amazing […]

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