noel torres laughing

Norteño, banda, sierreño, and the newfangled one-man genre of mariacheño have begun to claw their way back onto Billboard‘s Hot Latin chart — we’re up to 11 regional Mexican songs in the top 50 this week, from only eight four weeks ago. As they claw, it’s time for an installment of NorteñoBlog’s rarely repeated feature Record Label Report, mostly because this week’s most interesting songs are on indie labels, and I can’t think of anything else to write about.

Noel Torres - Se Vinieron Los Problemas-300x300ITEM! Hotshot accordion slinger Noel Torres has left the relative safety of the Sony-distributed Gerencia 360 label, instead opting for the ????-distributed wilds of his own NT label. The Blog has found no internet evidence of controversy or Los Plebes-style explotación driving Torres away from his previous label; but if you’re wondering why that “cien por cien norteño” followup to his last, fairly terrible banda album never materialized, this may explain why. Torres’s debut indie album La Vida a Mi Modo (NT) is not cien por cien norteño, but it’s about half and half, with someone’s hot lead guitar accompanying both norteño and banda arrangements, in the style of his previous wicked single “No Andan Cazando Venados.”

Torres’s newfound lack of commercial clout is evident, though. In 2016, the aforementioned banda album debuted at #2 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart; before that, La Balanza debuted at #1. NT dropped La Vida on August 4 and it has yet to chart; we’ll see if his pretty good narcocorrido single, the fake friends lament “Se Vinieron Los Problemas” (#39 at radio), helps matters. Dude can still play accordion, that’s for sure.

la suerte¡ÍT! Speaking of exploiting or not exploiting Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho, they’ve got a couple radio songs out there right now. The better tune is the rags-to-riches narcocorrido “La Suerte,” the lead-off title track of their April album, released on the indie JG label. The narrator of “La Suerte” started at the bottom as an errand boy and now, with loyal friends handling his raw materials and offices in the Americas and Europe, has gone intercontinental if not ballistic. (“Nadie batalla conmigo,” he claims, and it is in your interest to believe him.) Israel Meza is the tuba player; like DEL Records’ Omar Burgos, Meza used to play with the late Ariel Camacho, and he’s got some real whack-a-mole solos between stanzas here, popping up to taunt the smoother guitar and vocals of his 20-year-old bandleader, José Manuel López Castro. Pick to Click!


probablementeJG, if you were wondering, stands for Jaime González, a man largely responsible for our current teen idol Zeitgeist: not only did he manage Camacho, he sired (and still manages) 18-year-old Christian Nodal, the year’s biggest breakout star. This week Nodal’s “Probablemente,” released by Fonovisa, became the most played song on RegMex radio. Gonzalez’s clients represent the more traditional wing of teen idoldom; their songs could easily be recorded by men twice or thrice their age, and their vocal and sartorial styles represent Mexican masculinity in ways that recall their elders. Just listen to Nodal singing with Spanish pop star David Bisbal, who is more than twice Nodal’s age, and tell me which one sounds more like an old man.

EEK! The most surprising aspect of this report on Pandora’s most streamed Latin artists by city isn’t that, in some cases, regional Mexican artists are doing better than reggaeton acts, or even that “Musica Cristiana” is the top subgenre in the godless urban hellscape that is NYC. After all, what better way to atone for the crime of nurturing Donald Trump than listening to some Spanish translations of Hillsong tunes?

en el caminoNo, it’s that the ghostly man-myth-legend and “El Rey del Underground” El Fantasma is wildly popular on the West Coast: #3 most-streamed in L.A. and #5 in San Francisco. The sierreño “Mi 45” is still his biggest song, but his banda single “Vengo a Aclarar” has been hanging out on the Hot Latin chart all summer, and at radio even longer. It comes from the live album of the same name, released on AfinArte, and Sr. Fantasma’s husky warble remains endearing no matter how slapdash his accompanying banda arrangements are. Not gonna lie, I’d rather hear the guy with guitars than a banda, but his new single “En el Camino” is a ragged charmer with a couple surprisingly long clarinet solos and some fierce brass tuttis. It’s sure to be the choice banger of puro raza cabrones everywhere; look for it in this space in a couple months. (PSA: a Google image search for “fantasma en el camino” yields some truly horrifying results.) (What’s that scraping against my office win

These are the top 50 Hot Latin Songs and top 40 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published September 30.

1. “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber (35 weeks!)
2. “Mi Gente” – J. Balvin & Willy William
3. “Felices Los 4” – Maluma
4. “Escapate Conmigo” – Wisin ft. Ozuna
5. “Krippy Kush” – Farruko, Bad Bunny & Rvssian
6. “Bailame” – Nacho
7. “El Amante” – Nicky Jam (35 weeks!)
8. “Chantaje” – Shakira ft. Maluma (46 weeks!)
9. “Ahora Dice” – Chris Jeday Presenta J Balvin, Ozuna & Arcángel
10. “Mayores” – Becky G ft. Bad Bunny

11. “Tu Foto” – Ozuna
12. “Bonita” – Jowell & Randy & J. Balvin
13. “Como Antes” – Yandel ft. Wisin
14. “Corrido de Juanito” – Calibre 50 (#7 RegMex)
15. “Imitadora” – Romeo Santos
16. “Me Rehuso” – Danny Ocean
17. “Me Enamoré” – Shakira
18. “Probablamente” – Christian Nodal ft. David Bisbal (#1 RegMex)
19. “La Rompe Corazones” – Daddy Yankee x Ozuna
20. “Hey DJ” – CNCO & Yandel

21. “Reggaeton Lento” – CNCO & Little Mix (41 weeks!)
22. “Que Va” – Alex Sensation + Ozuna
23. “Si Tu La Ves” – Nicky Jam ft. Wisin
24. “Ahora Me Llama” – Karol G x Bad Bunny
25. “Criminal” – Natti Natasha x Ozuna
26. “No Le Hago Falta” – Banda Los Recoditos (#2 RegMex)
27. “Robarte Un Beso” – Carlos Vives & Sebastian Yatra
28. “El Farsante” – Ozuna
29. “Explicale” – Yandel ft. Bad Bunny
30. “Vengo a Aclarar” – El Fantasma y Banda Populares del Llando (#5 RegMex)

31. “Bebe” – Ozuna x Anuel AA
32. “Bella y Sensual” – Romeo Santos ft. Nicky Jam & Daddy Yankee
33. “Porque No Te Enamoras” – Joss Favela (#4 RegMex)
34. “Esta Noche Se Me Olvida” – Julión Álvarez y su Norteño Banda (#6 RegMex)
*35. “Que Esta Pasando” – Banda la Misma Tierra
36. “Sobredosis” – Romeo Santos ft. Ozuna
37. “Una Lady Como Tu” – Manuel Turizo
38. “Esa Boquita” – J Alvarez
39. “Ni Tu Ni No” – Jennifer Lopez ft. Gente de Zona
40. “Te Acuerdas de Mi” – Plan B

*41. “Tu Sabes Que Te Quiero” – Chucho Flash & Arcangel
42. “No Quiere Enamorarse” – Ozuna ft. Daddy Yankee
43. “Ayer y Hoy” – Banda el Recodo (#8 RegMex)
44. “Quiereme” – Jacob Forever ft. Farruko
45. “Tal Como Eres” – Luis Coronel (#9 RegMex)
46. “Se Preparo” – Ozuna
47. “El Desayuno” – Banda la Misma Tierra
48. “3 A.M” – Jesse & Joy ft. Gente de Zona
49. “Las Ultras” – Calibre 50
50. “Quedate Conmigo” – Chyno Miranda ft. Wisin & Gente de Zona

¡Adios!
“Subeme La Radio” – Enrique Iglesias ft. Descemer Bueno, Zion & Lennox (29 weeks!)
“Soy Peor” – Bad Bunny (26 weeks!)
“Si Tu Novio Te Deja Solo” – J Balvin ft. Bad Bunny (24 weeks!)
“Deja Vu” – Prince Royce & Shakira (26 weeks!)
“Mi Religion” – Yandel
“Que Me Has Hecho” – Chayanne ft. Wisin
“Mi Tesoro” – Zion & Lennox ft. Nicky Jam
“Si No Vuelves” – Gente de Zona
“El Ratico” – Juanes ft. Kali Uchis
“Dure Dure” – Jencarlos + Don Omar

—————–

3. “Porque Me Enamore” – Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes
10. “Sería Un Error” – Regulo Caro

11. “Las Cosas No Se Hacen Asi” – Banda MS
12. “Yo No Tengo Remedio” – Pesado
*13. “El Color de Tus Ojos” – Banda MS
*14. “Como No Adorarla” – Banda Carnaval
15. “Recordando a Manuel” – Lenin Ramirez ft. Gerardo Ortiz & Jesus Chairez
16. “Por Obvias Razones” – La Maquinaria Norteña
17. “Solo Dejame Besarte” – Los Huracanes del Norte
18. “Te Perdono” – Intocable
19. “Vamos a Darnos un Tiempo” – Roberto Tapia
20. “En Definitiva” – Alfredo Olivas

21. “Que Siga Lloviendo” – Duelo
22. “Tu Diseño” – Larry Hernández
23. “El Amor de Mi Vida” – Raul Casillas
24. “Corona de Rosas” – Kevin Ortiz ft. Ulices Chaidez
*25. “La Suerte” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
26. “Si Te Vas Ya No Regresas” – Jesus Mendoza
27. “Sinceramente” – Alta Consigna
28. “Los Viejitos” – Marco Flores y La Numero 1 Banda Jerez
29. “Desde Que La Vi” – Los de la Noria
*30. “A Mover el Bote” – Los Tucanes de Tijuana

*31. “El Taxista” – La Energía Norteña
32. “Ya No Sera en Tu Boca” – Nano Machado
*33. “Cruz de Madera” – Leandro Ríos ft. Isaías Lucero
34. “Rafa Caro” – T3R Elemento
*35. “Lo Bueno y Lo Malo” – Voz de Mando
*36. “Por Enamorarme” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
*37. “Loco Enamorado” – Remmy Valenzuela
38. “Me Mato” – Norteño 4.5
*39. “Se Vinieron Los Problemas” – Noel Torres
40. “Esperando Mi Juicio” – Virlan Garcia

¡Adios!
“Para Que Lastimarme” – Gerardo Ortiz
“Casada o No” – Chuy Lizarraga
“Necesito Una Compañera” – Jonatan Sanchez
“Horas Extras” – Chiquis Rivera
“Medico de Barra” – Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon
“No Es Un Juego” – Jesús Ojeda y Sus Parientes
“A Tu Amigo” – Javier Rosas y Su Artillería Pesada
“Se Defiende” – La Séptima Banda (25 weeks!)
“Ella Es Mi Mujer” – Banda Carnaval (#10 RegMex)
“Eres” – Christian Nodal

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