In the movements known as Puro Zacatecas Sax and Puro Chihuahua Sax, one of the biggest wasted opportunities is the lack of terrible “sax” puns in album titles. Research reveals the Argentinian Nino Albertelli once released an album called Amor y Saxo, but that’s Argentina’s problem. Where is the Saxo Tántrico, the Saxo En La Playa, the Paga Para El Saxo of northern Mexico? Smooth jazz would’ve had this all locked down by now.
Fortunately the Mexican bands in question play with more lively energy than they use when bestowing titles, and this week sees new releases from two of ’em. In this corner, La Fiera de Ojinaga (“The Beast of Ojinaga”!) represents Chihuahua with the album Como Una Fiera (Azteca); the first spritely single goes by the same title, and from what I’ve heard, the rest of the album promises much much more. Possible alternate title: Saxy Fiera.
In the opposite corner, representing Zacatecas with one half-ton of bounciness, is the sextet (saxtet?) Los Retoños del Rio, whose “Por Qué la Engañe” NorteñoBlog has already recommended. It’s totes Intocablish, and frankly better than Intocable’s last couple singles. Their new album is De Buena Escuela (Goma) (alternate title: Saxo Con Mi Profesora), and NorteñoBlog has slacked by not listening to any of its other songs yet, but these bands are nothing if not consistent.
The kings of this genre, Conjunto Primavera, have a new compilation out this week, because it is the position of the benevolent Fonovisa corporation that no band can ever be compiled enough. La Historia de los Éxitos (alternate title: El Mejor Saxo Nunca) is part of a series that also includes best-of’s by grupos Bryndis, Yndio, Liberacion, y Los Rehenes y Los Traileros. Get it quick before another one comes out next month!
Moving along to banda, the jokesters in Banda Cuisillos have a fine new-ish single called “Cerveza”, which features several of NorteñoBlog’s favorite elements: two different singers trying to outdo one another in the passion department, brass alternating with guitar, and deplorable sexism. Please accept it as this week’s Pick to Click with my apologies, but also with the understanding that, using the late Ellen Willis’s formula, “Cerveza” still isn’t as deplorably sexist as Cat Stevens’s “Wild World.”
Banda singer and former La Voz Mexico contestant Jovanko Ibarra is an extremely handsome man who should wear a helmet when he rides his motorcycle in the video for “No Le Hagamos al Cuento.” Look at it this way: when the Smithsonian moves the Hope Diamond, do you think they just toss it like a football to whichever flunky happens to be standing around? No. The Hope Diamond requires layers of padding and precautions and moving techniques that have been honed over decades, to ensure that the Hope Diamond makes it through the moving process unscathed. My point is, Jovanko Ibarra is prettier than the Hope Diamond. His new album No Le Hagamos al Cuento (Prodisc) has his picture on the cover.
Since we’re speaking of pretty dudes, I’ll turn your attention to Daniel Agostini and his 2003 album Sentimientos Vol. 1 (Magenta), whose album cover depicts him as an angel. Whether the songs bear this out I can’t say, but a cursory listen reveals some charming and very twee electrocumbia. I bring it up because it’s new to streaming services, and also because THE ALBUM COVER DEPICTS HIM AS AN ANGEL.
Banda singer Sandra Chavez “La Comadre” is planning something. Most likely it’s an album or EP release, but the rollout by her label Music Eyes is proceeding in a slow and seemingly haphazard fashion. Earlier today three “singles” hit Youtube, and you can count yourself among the first human people to listen to them. “Sinceramente” is just that; “Me Das Asco” is stately; “Mejor Sin Ti” is heartbroken. None packs the punch of last year’s “Mucha Mujer” and its biker chic video where, I’d just like to point out to my new friend Jovanko, Sandra had the good sense to wear a face-obscuring helmet while riding her bike. Of course, using the late Roger Ebert’s formula, you’d expect that from her.
Finally, three recent albums of corridos:
Los Canelos de Durango sing about El Señor de la Montaña (Pegasus);
Luis Salomon sings about cartel figure Tito Beltran in “Por Encargo de los Viejos (Tito Beltran)” (ICON);
and Los Meros Meros Alteños sing Corridos y Canciones (Hyphy).