septima banda

Down at #20 this week we find La Séptima Banda, evidently so emboldened by their recent hit love songs they think they can skirt any Mexican bans on radio corridos. “El Hijo del Ingeniero” (Fonovisa) is a song the banda picked up from their corridero labelmates Los Hijos de Hernández, although NorteñoBlog should note that Sr. Hernández is not the Ingeniero in question. But who is the Ingeniero? This song calls for a new edition of HASTY CARTEL GOOGLING:

“El Ingeniero” is probably the late Gabino Salas Valenciano of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Tijuana Cartel has their own “Ingeniero,” but this song takes place in Sinaloa as we know from…

Babunica! Babunica is a small Sinaloan village in the municipality of Badiraguato, home to either 98 or 68 people. (“Hay 30 hombres y 38 mujeres” — not quite Surf City but it’ll do.) It’s also a good place for cartel jefes to hide out, but not a place NorteñoBlog recommends visiting for fun:

“It is a mountainous land with its own rules and safe … even though guns are in almost every home,” says a man originally from this municipality, interviewed in Culiacan.

“Sure, Badiraguato is safe as long as you enter with permission and in the company of people of the town,” he says.

Travel advisory in effect, yo. But there are exceptions. If, for example, you know El Hijo del Ingeniero, or if you know the family of fellow Sinaloa Cartel honcho El Barón de Babunica, who has also appeared in song, you might get along OK:

Just consider what traffickers have done for Babunica, a hamlet near Bamopa. They built the pink church, the French-style park with a bandstand and the imposing cemetery with two white towers on a hillside, local residents say.

“El Hijo del Ingeniero” doesn’t mention drugs or cartels specifically, of course. It’s your basic living-the-high-life corrido depicting a fabulous ranchero party, full of primos drinking wiskito and eating helado, taking a well-earned rest from all their work and community largesse. As played by La Séptima, it’s an energetic but relaxed affair — the brass murmurs along, repeating several syncopated figures from the melody, and the three singers don’t venture beyond an easy octave range. A weightless Pick to Click:

Also this week:

a solid but unspectacular brass ballad from Gerardo Ortiz debuts at #10;
Luz María’s ballad “Maquillaje” expands to a bigger audience (#14);
J. Balvin’s “Ginza” continues to sneak into this format (#13);
and at #5, Calibre 50’s previous Pick to Click “La Gripa” continues its march toward world domination, except it keeps falling down all the time.

These are the Top 20 “Popular” songs in Mexico, as measured by monitorLATINO. Don’t confuse “Popular” with the “General” list, which contains many of the same songs but also “Locked Away,” “Can’t Feel My Face,” Calvin Harris/Disciples’ “How Deep Is Your Love” (#2!), and Paty Cantú’s power ballad “Valiente,” which shoots for galvanizing and ends up sounding kind of nice, like Sara Bareilles’s “Brave.” (Which is better than shooting for galvanizing and ending up a steaming trash heap of clichés and strained singing, like Katy Perry’s “Roar.”)

1. “El Viejon” – La Adictiva Banda San Jose
2. “Ya Te Perdi La Fe” – Arrolladora
3. “¿Y Qué Ha Sido De Ti?” – Chuy Lizárraga
4. “La Miel de Su Saliva” – Banda El Recodo
5. “La Gripa” – Calibre 50
6. “¿Por Qué Me Ilusionaste?” – Remmy Valenzuela
7. “Piénsalo” – Banda MS
8. “Hoy Toca” – Alfredo Ríos El Komander
9. “Te Cambio El Domicilio” – Banda Carnaval
10. “Fuiste Mia” – Gerardo Ortiz

11. “Pongámonos de Acuerdo” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda
12. “Típico Clásico” – Luis Antonio Lopez “El Mimoso”
13. “Ginza” – J. Balvin
14. “Maquillaje” – Luz María
15. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro
16. “Sonando Despierto” – Banda Cuisillos
17. “Pregúntale” – Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey
18. “La Peda” – Banda Los Recoditos
19. “Mi Niña Adorada” – Saul “El Jaguar”
20. “El Hijo del Ingeniero” – La Septima Banda

“Me Interesas” – Noel Torres
“El Patrón” – La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
“Memorias de un Idiota” – Claudio Alcaraz
“Perdón” – Banda Pequeños Musical
“Besos Nuevos” – El Bebeto