carnaval on bridge

The song sitting atop this week’s radio chart is an oddity. Banda Carnaval’s “Te Cambio El Domicilio,” a spritely pitching of woo with soaring vocal harmonies and a clever title conceit (“don’t change anything, baby, ’cause I’mma make you change your address” — I’m paraphrasing), has been climbing Billboard‘s Regional Mexican chart for 17 weeks, finally hitting #1 last week. But it still hasn’t gone top 25 on the Hot Latin chart, which measures downloads and streams alongside radio play. This is the first Regional Mexican #1 this year that hasn’t cracked the Hot Latin 25, and most of those songs have gone top 10 on the big chart during their most popular radio weeks. Basically, if a song’s receiving that much radio play and it has an online presence — Youtube video, availability at streaming sites and download stores — it’s gonna represent on Hot Latin.

What’s more, the video for “Domicilio” — in which the young men of Carnaval pitch their woo in front of a number of high-end urban settings, including Guadalajara’s extremely pointy Puente Matute Remus — has been viewed 25 million times in the past four months… which, I dunno, seems like it should be enough to drive the song into the company of King Romeo and Viceroy Nicky Jam? For comparison, Remmy Valenzuela’s lovely inquiry into the madness of love, “¿Por Qué Me Ilusionaste?”, is middling at #12 Regional Mexican this week. Its video dropped a week later than Carnaval’s, and so far it’s garnered 6.5 million fewer views, but the song is at #18 Hot Latin. Granted, I have no idea how much either video has been viewed in specific weeks or how much they’ve sold online. All I know is Remmy’s song has less radio play and fewer overall Youtube hits than Carnaval’s song, but Remmy’s on Hot Latin and Carnaval isn’t.

This isn’t some huge cosmic injustice or anything; basically it’s me pointing a dowsing stick at Billboard and trying to divine their proprietary chart formulas.

Speaking of dowsing sticks and, um, similarly shaped objects, I’m suddenly fascinated by Puente Matute Remus, the pointy four-year-old bridge in that “Domicilio” video. It’s an urban suspension bridge, designed to lower traffic congestion in downtown Guadalajara, and it’s striking. You can see it again at the beginning of Los Titanes de Durango’s new “Ando Arremangado” video, before everyone caravans to the Sierra and an addled El Chapo wanders onset. By hanging around this modern landmark, both Carnaval and Los Titanes tell us they’re modern players: either hip bachelors you should totally date (Carnaval) or well-connected businessmen who nonetheless keep it real at the rancho (Titanes).

Contrast this to the bridge iconography of Calibre 50. (Calibre and Carnaval are sort of sister bands, and Calibre’s leader Edén Muñoz co-wrote “Domicilio.”) Last year’s video for “El Inmigrante” — a proud celebration of immigrants, as hard-bitten and indignant as Los Tigres at their best — takes place on a much more rugged suspension bridge. The Puente Baluarte is even younger than the Matute Remus, but just as iconic. It spans the mountains from Sinaloa to Durango, and at its highest point it rises 1,300 feet above the valley, the highest bridge in the Americas. Not only does the rural setting square with the song’s lyrics, in which a man leaves his ranch and braves the wilderness to improve his family’s life, but that massive drop lets queasier viewers feel El Inmigrante’s plight in all its terror and underdog glory.

To sum up:
Puente Baluarte = an old-school classic corrido bridge
Puente Matute Remus = a new-school pretty boy and/or urban narco bridge
this week’s charts = so boring we’re talking about Mexican bridges

There are a couple new songs on the radio chart, but they’re tunes from Gerardo Ortiz and Recodo that have already hit in Mexico. Los Huracanes’ “Debajo Del Puente” is, appropriately, down to #20 but not out. I dunno which puente stars in their video, but it ain’t atirantado.

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published December 19.

1. “Ginza” – J Balvin
2. “El Perdón” – Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias
3. “Borro Cassette” – Maluma
4. “Después de Ti, ¿Quién?” – La Adictiva Banda (#2 RegMex)
5. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (124 WEEKS OLD)
6. “Te Metiste” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes del Rancho
7. “Sunset” – Farruko ft. Shaggy & Nicky Jam
8. “Solo Con Verte” – Banda MS (#11 RegMex)
9. “El Vaivén” – Daddy Yankee
10. “Cuál Adiós” – La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza (#4 RegMex)

11. “El Mismo Sol” – Alvaro Soler ft. Jennifer Lopez
12. “Pongamonos de Acuerdo” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda (#3 RegMex)
13. “Te Busco” – Cosculluela ft. Nicky Jam (or vice versa)
14. “Piénsalo” – Banda MS (#13 RegMex)
15. “Hablemos” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho (#6 RegMex)
16. “Encantadora” – Yandel
17. “Se Va Muriendo Mi Alma” – La Séptima Banda (#5 RegMex)
18. “¿Por Qué Me Ilusionaste?” – Remmy Valenzuela (#12 RegMex)
19. “Pistearé” – Banda Los Recoditos (#7 RegMex)
20. “Que Se Sienta El Deseo” – Wisin ft. Ricky Martin

21. “Choca” – Plan B
22. “Culpa Al Corazón” – Prince Royce
23. “Aunque Ahora Estes Con El” – Calibre 50 (#15 RegMex)
24. “Por Si Estás Con El Pendiente” – Voz de Mando (#8 RegMex)
25. “Mayor Que Yo 3” – Luny Tunes ft. Wisin & Yandel, Don Omar, and Daddy Yankee

“La Mordidita” – Ricky Martin ft. Yotuel
“La Gozadera” – Gente de Zona ft. Marc Anthony

1. “Te Cambio El Domicilio” – Banda Carnaval
9. “No Valoraste” – Roberto Tapia
10. “¿Y Qué Ha Sido de Ti?” – Chuy Lizarraga y Su Banda Tierra Sinaloense

14. “Ya Te Perdí La Fe” – Arrolladora
15. “La Miel de Su Saliva” – Banda El Recodo
16. “¿Por Qué Terminamos?” – Gerardo Ortiz
17. “Nada Más Por Eso” – Luis Coronel
18. “La Gripa” – Calibre 50
19. “Sonrie” – Duelo
20. “Debajo del Puente” – Los Huracanes del Norte

“Y Por Lo Pronto” – Alfredo Olivas
“Nada Que Hacer” (aka “Chuy Verduras”) – Grupo H100
“Se Me Ve Lo Mexicano” – Arrolladora
“Para Qué Amarte” – La Maquinaria Norteña