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Banda Tierra Sagrada

Desfile De Éxitos 1/10/15

remmy valenzuela

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Jan. 10. Things to note:

The New Year’s hangover chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 75 weeks. While the Hot Latin top 10 seems etched in stone, 11-25 is more lively, thanks to musical rudeness if not the pace of chart turnover.

It’s been three weeks since we last checked these charts. (¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año!) On Hot Latin we say “adiós” to Ricky Martin’s song of the same name, along with songs by Luis Fonsi and Romeo Santos. (Weep not; Santos still has three others in the top 10.) In Regional Mexican, we bid farewell to Jorge Valenzuela, Los Huracanes, La Maquinaria Norteña, and La Adictiva Banda. But hey! — we sometimes like Banda El Recodo, Arrolladora, and Banda Carnaval, and they’re all here with new tunes of varying likability. So is Julión Álvarez, who’s always welcome, even if he’s brought the most boring song (“Dime”) off his latest album as a hostess gift. “It’s already been a hit in México,” he assures us, trying to impress.

Last week while we were reveling, Gerardo Ortiz’s supple bachata + banda ballad “Eres Una Niña” hit #1 on the Regional Mexican chart. This week it falls to Voz De Mando, but we can still revel. Especially since I finally listened to Remmy Valenzuela’s #18 ballad “Mi Princesa,” and it’s pretty good — cut from the ’50s doo-wop school of romance and sung with high drama. Valenzuela, you’ll remember, is a young fleet-fingered corridista, but he cleans up nice for his princesa.

Finally, Regulo Caro’s irresistible blast of smarm “Soltero Disponible” moves up to Hot Latin at #21. Its opulent, tongue-in-cheek video is sort of like Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” only with more breast bling. “Soltero” was notably the only norteño/banda song to make Leila Cobo’s list of the Best Latin Songs of 2014, which we’ll puzzle over later. (Her albums list contains zero regional Mexican, albeit lots of albums I haven’t heard.)

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 75 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
3. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
4. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
5. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
6. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
7. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
8. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#5 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
9. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#2 RegMex)
10. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#14 Reg Mex)

11. “Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander (#9 RegMex)
12. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando (#1 RegMex)
13. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#3 RegMex)
14. “Que Suenen Los Tambores” – Victor Manuelle
15. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#10 RegMex)
16. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho (#7 RegMex)
17. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#4 RegMex)
18. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela (#6 RegMex)
19. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
20. “Quédate Con Ella” – Natalia Jiménez (Sleek! Horns + electrobeats!)

21. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro (#8 RegMex)
22. “Hablame de Ti” – Banda MS (snoooooozzzzzz)
23. “Mi Vecinita” – Plan B
24. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel
25. “Soledad” – Don Omar

—————–

11. “Entonces Que Somos” – Banda El Recodo (A nada Luciano Luna ballad off Recodo’s 2013 album, now turned into a dramatic short film.)
12. “Eres Tú” – Proyecto X
13. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meño Lugo
15. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores y La #1 Banda Jerez
16. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
17. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval (What a courtly bunch of hombres.)
18. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
19. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez
20. “Lo Hiciste Otra Vez” – La Arrolladora Banda El Limón (Oh dear, this is not good. Not just sap — meandering sap.)

Desfile de Éxitos

romeo210613

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Nov. 13. Things to note:

The sarlaccian digestion chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 68 weeks. And it moves UP a notch, to #2! You’ll remember this song already hit #1 more than a year ago, at the end of September/beginning of October 2013. King Romeo’s aptly named album Formula Vol. 2 had the biggest debut week (100k) of any Latin album in eight years. Since then he’s played Yankee Stadium and sold out venues in Mexico, the latter of which might be the more impressive feat for a guy from the Bronx. The video’s at 488 million views.

Nothing against “Propuesta”‘s pretty smarm, but its longevity underscores the lack of turnover on these charts. Nobody’s new or gone this week. On the one hand, this makes catching up with the popular music easy — stick around for a few weeks and there’s a good chance you’ll hear all the songs on the radio. On the other hand, we should wonder why the pace of turnover is so glacial. And why “Bailando” is still #1. At least we have “Soy Un Desmadre,” “Eres Una Niña,” and nomenclatural champs Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza around to keep things interesante.

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 68 WEEKS OLD AND CLIMBING, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
3. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
4. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
5. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#1 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
6. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#4 Reg Mex)
7. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
8. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
9. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
10. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#3 RegMex)

11. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
12. “Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce
13. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#5 RegMex)
14. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#2 RegMex)
15. “Adios” – Ricky Martin
16. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony
17. “Perdon” – Camila
18. “Lo Poco Que Tengo” – Ricardo Arjona
19. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#17 RegMex) (Hooray!)
20. “Tenerte” – Luis Coronel (#14 RegMex) (Quite a plummet for young Coronel! You hate to see that.)

21. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela (#8 RegMex)
22. “Tu Respiracion” – Chayanne
23. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel (It’s newish!)
24. “Que Suenen Los Tambores” – Victor Manuelle
25. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores y La #1 Banda Jerez (#6 RegMex)

—————–

#7. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte
#9. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña
#10. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meno Lugo

#11. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela
#12. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando
#13. “La Historia De Mis Manos” – Banda Carnaval
#15. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
#16. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
#18. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho
#19. “No Me Dolio” – La Original Banda el Limón
#20. “Me Voy De Ti” – Fidel Rueda

El Cantar De Los Gallos

komander

El Komander – Cazador (Twiins Music Group)
I’ve got some catching up to do with Alfredo Rios, whose single “Soy De Rancho” and at-least-fourth album Cazador are among the best of 2014. With his aviator shades, fealty to country living, and endorsement of la mota, Rios could almost be Eric Church, if Church had Brantley Gilbert’s vocal range and described gangland killings in gory detail. (Please note: my translation studies don’t yet reveal whether Rios’s latest traffics in the gore. Back in 2011 he was the focal point of one of those “explain corrido violence to gringos” articles. I found it helpful, anyway.) The music on Cazador is wonderfully loose and shaggy norteño, its nonstop guitars frequently augmented by a banda that sounds like it’ll fly apart any second. Overall, the music’s as obnoxious as the tuba fart that punctuates Rios’s voice the first time he sings “Sí Señor, yo soy de rancho.” Despite having about eight notes at his disposal, Rios has charisma to burn; he only fools himself into trying to sing pretty once, on the mariachi ballad “Descansa Mi Amor,” where his ideal of love is a whispering frog.
VALE LA PENA

Rios also appears on Calibre 50’s excellent “Qué Tiene De Malo,” a hit in México but not (so far) the U.S. We covered it over at The Singles Jukebox, where I said:

The artists are indignant. Both Calibre 50, a quartet named for a big-ass gun, and El Komander, who’s designed his “K” to look like a big-ass gun, have recently been fined and banned by certain state and local governments in Mexico. The reason? Their narcocorrido music “promotes violence.” Well, yeah. Wasn’t that the point of all the big-ass guns? The artists retaliate with this pro-freedom meta-corrido, “What’s Wrong With That?”, presenting themselves as working stiffs who’ll drink and party and spend hard-earned money on whatever kind of music they like. (They’re like two steps removed from Toby Keith in “That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy.”) On their albums, Calibre venture into pop ballads and dangerously close to sea shanties; despite the broadest reach of any norteño band, their grasp sounds firmest when they return to corridos. That lurching waltz beat could trace the arc of a razor sharp pendulum, the tuba fluttering and blatting just out of its reach. During the spoken interlude they quote Komander’s 2012 Youtube hit “Cuernito Armani,” named for — you guessed it — a big-ass gun.
VALE LA PENA

Los Amos – 2014 (Michoacan Records)
Los Creadores del Corrido Hyphy return, and they are… not so hyphy. Not that “hyphy” was ever a guarantee of quality in the norteño field (watch for my hyphy norteño thinkpiece, coming soon to this blog, only four years past its sell-by date!), but in 2014 they’ve amped up the outside songwriters, the ballad count, and the amount of reverb on José Guajardo’s voice. When José lays on some thick accordion, they can be lively and raucous; but more often they sound like old pros politely trying to recapture the raucity of youth. They’re most energized by the songs of Marco Montana, who evidently knows a thing or two about chinga-ing your madre.
NO VALE LA PENA

Banda Tierra Sagrada – Así Te Quiero Yo (Remex)
Despite the minor key tunes “La Loca” and “Máxima Potencia” — have these guys been reading my email’s spam folder? — they never approach the desmadre of their most recent hit. The three different singers are modestly compelling, even if nobody sings as well as duet partner Marco Flores, but the band doesn’t offer much beyond one big brassy idea per song. Ballads like “Lucharé Por Ti” don’t even get that far.
NO VALE LA PENA

Desfile de Éxitos

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Nov. 6. Things to note:

The elephantine gestation chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 67 weeks.

We say “you’re back!” to Fidel Rueda’s “Me Voy De Ti,” and bid a sad “adios” to “Mi Padrino El Diablo,” La Trakalosa’s Faustian tale of terror. But not to worry! Trakalosa’s labelmates and duet partners Colmillo Norteño have also released “Diablo” as a single.

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 67 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
4. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
5. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#4 Reg Mex)
6. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#1 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
7. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
8. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
9. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
10. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#5 RegMex)

11. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
12. “Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce
13. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#2 RegMex)
14. “Adios” – Ricky Martin
15. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#3 RegMex)
16. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony
17. “Lo Poco Que Tengo” – Ricardo Arjona
18. “Tu Respiracion” – Chayanne
19. “Perdon” – Camila
20. “Tenerte” – Luis Coronel (#9 RegMex) (Quite a plummet for young Coronel! You hate to see that.)

21. “Como Yo Le Doy” – Pitbull ft. Don Miguelo
22. “Soledad” – Don Omar (It’s new!)
23. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel (It’s newish!)
24. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela (#6 RegMex)
25. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#18 RegMex) (Hooray!)

——

#7. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores & La #1 Banda Jerez
#8. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte
#10. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meno Lugo

#11. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela
#12. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña
#13. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando
#14. “La Historia De Mis Manos” – Banda Carnaval
#15. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
#16. “No Me Dolio” – La Original Banda el Limón
#17. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
#19. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho
#20. “Me Voy De Ti” – Fidel Rueda

¡Nuevo!

diana reyes

Being a duranguense fan has lately felt like being a scorpion at a Sierra Club meeting — everyone runs away when they see you coming, but once they’re safely across the room, they talk about you with condescending pity and acknowledge your vital role. Hence the new compilation from Diana Reyes, Mis Mejores Duranguenses, a promising overview of an important career. Back in ‘04-’05, Chicago duranguense music was the hot sound of norteño, a pared down take on banda with synth horns, faster tempos, unhinged tambora, and a ridiculous dance step all its own. Born in Baja California, with family from Sinaloa, Reyes began her career recording traditional norteño but hopped aboard the Durango bandwagon and released several albums for different labels, including her own DBC. To give you an idea of how bankable this stuff was, her third album for Musimex/Universal was a Christmas album, Navidad Duranguense.

In 2010 Reyes released her best album, Amame Besame, through Capitol Records — back on the majors! Half duranguense, half techno corrido, and all exquisitely produced, it effectively marked the end of duranguense not just for Reyes but for regional Mexican music in general. Former heavy hitters like Grupo Montéz and Alacranes Musical have seen their popularity dwindle and their sound give way to banda pop. (That new Alacranes song, which I shouldn’t in good conscience endorse because the linked video promotes cockfighting, sounds rad.) Los Horóscopos de Durango just up and went banda. Reyes herself returned to norteño for an underwhelming 2011 album, and recently released this power ballad telenovela theme, “Yo No Creo En Los Hombres.” (Hey, me neither.) I won’t vouch for the song, whose horns read more “‘80s Chicago” than any horn-based music you’d actually wanna hear wafting from our fair city, but her husky vibrato remains a powerhouse. As for this new hits album, 20 straight duranguenses will be too many, but Reyes sang them as well as anyone. Aside from making lots of pretty, clattery pop, her music might make lots of people nostalgic for a time when they could reliably hear women’s voices on regional Mexican radio. Let’s hope so.

Also new this week:

Senzu-Rah from singer-songwriter Regulo Caro, whose album last year trafficked in off-kilter songwriting experiments and character studies, while still digging deep into corridos;

Así Te Quiero Yo from Banda Tierra Sagrada, who, if they don’t get sucked into a sarlacc pit of samey banda ballads, might deliver more energetic bad-boy anthems like the album’s lead single “Soy Un Desmadre”;

and a new live comp from Pesado, which’ll probably turn out to be a couple hours of mildly pleasant stodge that you either already own in some other form, or never need to hear again.

¿Qué Estamos Escuchando?

remex-music

The common thread this week is Remex Music, an indie label seemingly without major distribution — someone correct me if I’m wrong — and whose Youtube channel lords over other labels’ view counts like Lorde. 109 million for “La Buena Y La Mala” by Banda Tierra Sagrada! (See below!) Of course, hits don’t necessarily make for quality, but Remex’s folks seem scrappy and good, at least in the following examples:

“Mi Padrino El Diablo” – La Trakalosa De Monterrey
Satan’s got his hand in those 36 million views (because 36 is six sixes, or two marks of the beast, you see) and possibly in that #12-and-climbing position on Billboard’s Regional Mexican chart (don’t even ask about the numerological significance there). “Mi Padrino” is the story of a young kid, chased from home by an abusive padre and sleeping on the streets, until “un compa de negro [se toca] la frente”… “a companion of black touches his forehead.” Creepy! Turns out to be the Devil aka the Godfather, and he takes our friend’s soul in return for untold wealth and power, so now our friend sits pretty like Tom Hagen and/or Robert Johnson. The music’s a cheerful blend of small band with big banda, subtler than this year’s similar mashups from LOS! BuiTRES!, and if the brass riff’s recycled, the singers sell it like it’s brand new.
VALE LA PENA

“Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores
Wild with tempo shifts and Marco Flores’s charismatic reed of a voice, these Remex bros are apparently bad news if you have the misfortune to let them enter your home, but give ‘em two and a half minutes and they’ll probably get a wriggly foot in the door. #11 RegMex and climbing.
VALE LA PENA

“De Norte A Sur” – Cardenales de Nuevo Leon
The lope of love. This charming tune only reached #19 RegMex back in 2012, but Chicago radio stations still play the heck out of it and why not. If you’re trying to learn Spanish it’s got a chronological progression of well-enunciated nouns — BEsos to PREso to coraZOOOOON to CUERpos to SEXo — that’ll help you catch some rockin’ mnemonia. The boogie woogie flew from singer Cesareo Sánchez many moons ago, but his performance manages lived-in confidence without doing much at all, almost as if he’s advising the horny young couple in the video. He’s seen all this before.
VALE LA PENA

“Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce and Roberto Tapia
It can’t all be good news, and this ain’t Remex. While the bachata/banda mashup is mildly intriguing, especially during the sections where the two different rhythms blat along without apparent regard for one another, it’s not much of a song. And anyway, Gerardo Ortíz already did the banda plus bachata thing more gorgeously on last year’s “Eres Una Niña,” just now climbing the chart. These two showbizzers debuted the song on La Voz Kids, which they co-host. “Moves Like Jagger” wasn’t much of a song either.
NO VALE LA PENA

Desfile de Éxitos

This week’s Hot Latin Songs and top Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard:

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”

2. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos

3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 65 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)

4. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#2 Reg Mex)

5. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam

6. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin

7. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#4 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)

8. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake

9. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko

10. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440

11. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#1 RegMex)

12. “Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce

13. “Tenerte” – Luis Coronel (#7 RegMex)

14. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#6 RegMex)

15. “Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar” – Carlos Vives ft. Marc Anthony

16. “La Historia De Mis Manos” – Banda Carnaval (#5 RegMex)

17. “Quien Se Anima” – Gerardo Ortíz (But where is this song on the Regional Mexican chart, hmmmm?)

18. “Adios” – Ricky Martin

19. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony

20. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela (#3 RegMex)

21. “Passion Whine” – Farruko ft. Sean Paul

22. “Perdon” – Camila

23. “Como Yo Le Doy” – Pitbull ft. Don Miguelo

24. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#8 RegMex)

25. “Tu Respiracion” – Chayanne

——

#9. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte

#10. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña

#11. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores & La #1 Banda Jerez

#12. “Mi Padrino El Diablo” – La Trakalosa De Monterrey

#13. “Sigue” – La Poderosa Banda San Juan

#14. “No Me Dolio” – La Original Banda el Limón

#15. “Me Dejaste Acostumbrado” – La Arrolladora Banda el Limón

#16. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meno Lugo

#17. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando (It’s new!)

#18. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz

#19. “Me Voy De Ti” – Fidel Rueda

#20. “Aca Entre Nos” – Pesado

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