zapateado endemoniado

la rueda de la fortunaContinuing the sad theme of Albums NorteñoBlog Slept On In 2017, we turn to the fifth-or-so release from prodigious 23-year-old singer-songwriter-accordionist Alfredo Olivas, La Rueda de Fortuna (Sahuaro/Sony Latin). The Blog first encountered Olivas in the pre-Blog morass of 2013, when he appeared as a teenager on Hyphy Records’ cheapo compilation Hyphy Music Inc. Presenta El Corrido VIP 1era Edición. Comparing him and his cohort to punk rockers, and misspelling his name, I wrote, “Olvidas creates thin slashes of song, sometimes with one instrument insistently out of tune, tuba and accordion prancing around one another like bird of paradise evading some jungle cat, if that ever happens.” (I think I’d been watching a bunch of Planet Earth.)

Since then, Olivas has been sounding like more of a pro. He’s written a ton of songs — according to Wiki, over 1,000 during his life — and has lately turned away from the narcocorridos of his youth into more reflective and romantic work. Which isn’t to say he’s stodgy. “El Paciente” was one of 2017’s best singles, a soaring deathbed meditation whose energetic horn charts were set to “burble.” For his accordion songs, his band tackles different rhythms like Intocable, moving beyond the typical polkas and waltzes into grooves that approach rock. And his lyrics tend to be more interesting than typical for this genre, where song themes tend to stick to “I’m so in love with you,” “You unfaithful whore,” or “I’m such a big shot.”

antecedentes de culpaSee, for instance, the song sitting at #13 in Mexico. (Blog note: it’s since climbed to #4, but I’m too lazy to change the chart below.) In “Antecedentes de Culpa,” a guy has a drunken argument with his mujer, wakes up hung over, and regrets the whole thing. I’m not even sure what they’re arguing about, but it hardly matters; the argument dredges up a host of insults that sting worse than the subject of disagreement. It’s a precise, subtle portrait of how two lovers can choose exactly the right words to wound one another. (Standard translation caveats apply.) The music, naturally, is all swinging and sunshine, the band ruefully shaking their heads while their leader tries to talk his way out of his regret. Special props to Olivas’s drummer for leavening his beat with some cool snare rolls and subdivided cymbal work, and to the bassist for playing hooks. Pick to Click!

Also notable:

el aroma de tu pielGerardo Ortiz is back with a romantic tune not found on his excellent Comeré Callado album. “El Aroma de Tu Piel” is a top tier Ortiz sex jam, a stately waltz with guitar fleshing out the stripped down banda arrangement. It seems last night Ortiz’s mujer was in his room, and now his bedsheets smell like her. Beats the aroma of valve oil and spit. VALE LA PENA

firme y pa delanteCalifornia’s hyphy-not-hyphy pioneers Los Inquietos del Norte are still working their sui generis, country fiddle-laced turf. “Firme y Pa’Delante” is a skippy rags-to-riches story about how they battled their way from poverty to own their own record label, or something. It comes from their late 2017 album, also called Firme y Pa’Delante (Eagle), a very likeable collection of corridos and more Inquiet-ish tunes like the rags-to-riches fiddle waltz “Gracias al Creador.” I haven’t listened closely enough to determine whether Los Inquietos’ days of prolific madre chingaing are behind them, but on the basis of the drinking tune “Quiero Morir Bien Arriba,” they still seem pretty rascally. VALE LA PENA

los viejitosOver on the “Tocadas” chart, which tallies radio spins rather than total audience, we find the latest shitkicking dance tune from the spewing fount of Zacatecan terpsichore Marco Flores y La Jerez. “Zapateado Endemoniado” is a devilish dance tune, the “zapateado” referring to a lively Mexican footwork technique, the “endemoniado” referring to SATAN. (You can find a Spotify playlist with the same name here; it includes a bunch of huapangos, plus Alacanes Musical’s deathless percussion workout “Zapateado Encabronado #2.”)
This song does not appear on Flores’s 2017 album Los Viejitos (MF), which is 25 songs long and — despite the Blog’s well established love for the sexy MF — exhausting just to think about. Both its title track and this particular “Zapateado” are VALE LA PENA, though, the latter being a new candidate for dressage video of the year.

And finally, because they’re bound to show up here sooner or later, Edwin Luna y La Trakalosa de Monterrey have a new, exquisitely enunciated song called “Fíjate Que Sí,” in which Luna derives more pleasure from over-emoting than Gerardo Ortiz takes from boning or Marco Flores gets from his devil worship. The video showcases Luna’s perpetually nascent acting chops striking various poses of heartfeltery: staring into the distance from a beach; applying his personal brand of cologne while smiling upon his own face in the mirror; holding a mujer’s head in his gentle yet vicelike grip. On the Blog grading scale, inability to stop giggling merits an automatic VALE LA PENA.

fijate que si

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 “Havana,” “Perfect,” the Radio Disney hit “Feel It Still,” and Shakira and Nicky Jam’s surreal gold lamé nightmare “Perro Fiel,” far catchier than my own surreal gold lamé nightmares.

1. “Entre Beso y Beso” – La Arrolladora Banda
2. “El Color de Tus Ojos” – Banda MS
3. “Seremos” – El Bebeto
4. “Esta Es Tu Cancion” – La Adictiva
5. “Corrido de Juanito” – Calibre 50
6. “Será Que Estoy Enamorado” – Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho
7. “Tiempo” – Banda los Recoditos
*8. “Íntimamente” – Banda El Recodo
*9. “El Aroma de Tu Piel” – Gerardo Ortiz
10. “Fino Pero Sordo” – Hansen Flores ft. Julión Álvarez

*11. “Aunque No Deberia” – Impacto Sinaloense
*12. “Nunca Cambies” – Pancho Barraza
*13. “Antecedentes de Culpa” – Alfredo Olivas
14. “Loco Enamorado” – Remmy Valenzuela
*15. “Firme y Pa’Delante” – Los Inquietos del Norte
16. “En Vida” – Banda Los Sebastianes
*17. “Como Vuelvo a Enamorarte” – Regulo Caro
*18. “Quería Que Lloraras” – Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes
*19. “Voy a Quererte Tanto” – Los de la Noria
20. “No Me Friegues la Vida” – Espinoza Paz

“Historia de Un Amor” – Pancho Barraza
“Como No Adorarla” – Banda Carnaval
“Te Perdono” – Intocable
“Vas a Volver” – Chiquis Rivera
“Que Hare Yo” – La Mafia ft. Shalia Durcal
“La Princesa” – La Adictiva
“Tu Eres Mi Sueño” – Septeto Acarey
“Batallándole (El Gordo Flubbers)” – Enigma Norteño ft. La Séptima Banda