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Julio Preciado

Who’s On the Mexican Radio? (1/6/17)

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It’s been six weeks or so since NorteñoBlog checked in with Mexico’s airwaves, so you might think all the songs would be different. ¡Qué sorpresa! Apparently as the year nears its end, the music industry’s release schedule slows down across the continent. Fewer than half the songs have disappeared from this normally fast-changing chart. Among the new ones:

nada-de-nada— At #9, Pepe Aguilar has invited his daughter Ángela sing backup on the lickety split banda tune “Nada de Nada,” written by José Luis Roma of the bro band Río Roma. It’s an impressive band workout, with tuba and percussion burbling along like synth polyrhythms and the horns draping sweeping melodic lines over everything. It’s also a fine meta-song about how the singer has writer’s block in the face of his lover’s anhedonia. (At least, her anhedonia towards him.) Both singers undersell the song, making it one of banda music’s rare Big Smart Cumbias. Aguilar acquits himself well for releasing one of 2016’s most overrated albums, and gets himself a second Pick to Click:

— Speaking of Picks to Click, Joss Favela is in at #16 with his previous champ “No Vuelvas a Llamarme.” It’s one of the ace songwriter’s top-shelf tunes, even if the chords borrow from Gerardo Ortiz’s “Archivos de Mi Vida” (and probably lots of other songs). The interplay between accordion and rhythm section is on point and, whaddya know, the words — about how Favela’s always too busy to take your calls — are funny. Add it to your shiny new Best Singles of 2017 lists post haste. VALE LA PENA

edwin-luna— At #8 we find the latest Very Important Video in Edwin Luna‘s crusade to become a famous actor, fill the world with brotherly love, and get real boned. Continue reading “Who’s On the Mexican Radio? (1/6/17)”

From a Bark to a Warble: Systema Solar and Julión Álvarez Hear Voices

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systema solarFrom time to time, NorteñoBlog enjoys wandering down to the next continent. Today we visit Colombia, where electrocumbias ricochet across every town square and people should keep their little pig-tailed babies away from the red ants, for heaven’s sake. On the back of the CD Systema Solar (Nacional), the new compilation by the band Systema Solar, we read the following:

“Systema Solar is a musico-visual collective based on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Its members are…”

And then it goes on to list the members — without mentioning which member sounds uncannily like Lil Jon. Now, I’m no music publicist, but it seems to me if one of your bandmates has an on-point Lil Jon bark that he’s comfortable trotting out in song after song, that particular musical characteristic should appear first in your bio. “Before we tell you anything else, there’s a dude in this band who sounds like Lil Jon. We feel we owe humanity this information, so that you do not skip over this CD and regret it the rest of your life. Yadda yadda musical-visual collective…”

But whatever. Systema Solar have plenty else going for them. Though the SXSW veterans sometimes play around with one narrowly defined groove, as in “Oye,” they are equally expert at cramming a bunch of disparate elements atop rocking beats and making it work. “Quien Es El Patrón?” blends spaghetti Western guitars, horns, and — because they are not Calexico, thank goodness — absolutely massive drums and turntable scratches. A crazy panoply of voices ricochets across the town square, ants devour babies, and everyone has a fine time. VALE LA PENA and Pick to Click and all that.

Continue reading “From a Bark to a Warble: Systema Solar and Julión Álvarez Hear Voices”

¡Nuevo! (Starring Kevin Ortiz, El Fantasma, y más)

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EL FANTASMAOut of the dusty wilds of Instagram floats the apparition of a scratchy-voiced corridero and his Sierreño band, Equipo Armado. With a name like El Fantasma, you might expect to find little information on this guy, and you’d be right. El Fantasma is thoroughly frustrating NorteñoBlog’s Googling skills. But think of it this way: when a phantasmagorical Leonardo DiCaprio clawed his way back from bear death in Revenant: El Renacido, did his adversaries start Googling to find out who he was, or did they simply marvel at his acting chops and physical endurance? Before he killed them all, I mean. If I had seen that movie I would humbly submit that the frontier fur trappers did NOT use Google, they simply marveled and died, and so does NorteñoBlog marvel at the chops on display in El Fantasma’s debut album Equipo Armado (AfinArte). Like Los Plebes del Rancho, still going strong a year after Ariel Camacho’s death, Armado features flashy lead requinto effects set against rhythm guitar and a tubist who can’t decide whether he’s playing lead or bass, so he plays both at once. A banda (Banda Los Populares Del Llano?) joins El Fantasma for the final five tunes, and the album sounds better if you accidentally listen to it on shuffle, because then the Sierreño gets all mixed up with the banda. Check out lead single “Mi 45,” in which Fantasma: El Renacido actually shows us his 45. But don’t let your kids watch it.
VALE LA PENA

La-Original-Banda-El-Limon-Con-Julio-Preciado-Mas-Original-Que-Nunca-Disco-2015Almost a year ago, noted national anthem mangler Julio Preciado released a single with La Original Banda El Limón. La Original, you’ll remember, is cladistically related to unstoppable hitmakers La Arrolladora Banda El Limón, having sprung from the common ancestor Banda el Limón sometime in the late Pleistocene. Continue reading “¡Nuevo! (Starring Kevin Ortiz, El Fantasma, y más)”

¡Nuevo! (starring Grupo El Reto, Julio Preciado, y más)

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grupo el retoNorteñoBlog would like to apologize for sleeping on Grupo El Reto‘s March album A La Vieja Escuela (Gerencia 360); although in my defense, if El Reto is so Old School, their music should be timeless, right? More correctly, this quartet belongs to la Corriente Escuela of corridistas who sing about corruption while their corrosive tubists imitate machine gun fire. Corre! — to their Pick to Click single, that is, a duet with the quartet Alta Consigna. Alta Consigna, you see, also has a tuba player in the band, which means “La Parranda Va Empezar” features two tubists doing crazy things. (Consigna also has a hot bajo sexto player imitating a requinto. I think that’s what that is.)

julio preciadoAlso Vieja Escuela y VALE LA PENA is the new album from Julio Preciado y Su Banda Perla Del Pacifico, Ni Para Bien Ni Para Mal (Luz). Preciado’s a veteran of two Sinaloan bandas, La Original Banda El Limón and Banda El Recodo; he struck out on his own, I wanna say at the turn of the millennium. This new album is fairly trad, perpetually high-NRG banda with its horn sections not entirely in tune, but I think that’s intentional. (It sounds cool and adds to the energy.) I will now quote at length from Preciado’s Wikipedia page:

On February 2, 2009 he was assigned to sing the Mexican National Anthem in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, as a part of the Opening Ceremony of the Caribbean Baseball Series (Serie del Caribe). He made several mistakes in the anthem lyrics and musical pace, being majorly booed by the audience.

You know, these things happen to the best of us, and NorteñoBlog forgives Preciado just as we did Christina Aguilera and Roseanne Barr, because WHO CARES. Surely there were extenuating circumstances?

Some factors came into play during the failure to sing the national anthem properly since the background music did not play, so he decided to improvise by singing a capella. He decided to extend the improvisation. The audience’s reaction caused the local sound to be shut off to protect Preciado from more serious actions by an angered public, so he could stop singing. In fact some people in the stadium assure that the singer was drunk.

I want more extended improvisations on national anthems! I know what you’re wondering: is this brouhaha on Youtube, complete with angry fans yelling and poor Preciado shrugging sheepishly at the end? You bet it is!

Julio apologized to the audience and in a written statement hoping he will get a second chance to sing the national anthem in the future.

So the guy apologized — in writing — and that’s gotta be the end of the story. No?

Before the Carnival of Mazatlan Preciado was a serious candidate to be burned as a “burn of bad humor” (La quema del mal humor), an event that burns the people or event that represents the worst thing for the people, But since he was a diputade with license and using his influence and money in the town of Mazatlan he was saved of that “un-honor” despite he won the votes of the people of Mazatlan to be burned.

Your diputade knows what you need, but I know what you want. Glad you weren’t burned, Julio! End of story? Por favor?

Since he was not burned in that event the people of Mazatlan towards his anger with his daughter Yuliana Preciado, during the parade where she was elected as a “Infant Queen” in the middle of corruption and scandal, the people started to sing the Mexican National Anthem loudly to her in protest.

This will never end, will it? The sins of the padre will be visited upon generations yet unborn, until every new Preciado knows that anthem by heart. Listen to the new album, it’s really good.

banda costadoFrom the southern state of Oaxaca comes Banda Costado and their violin-driven single “Pinotepa” (Talento). This is a way different sound than we usually enjoy here: lots of percussion, tuba bassline, wild violin, and singers. Many independent lines and very little chordal harmony, in other words. Exciting stuff. VALE LA PENA.

ultimos momentosTraviezoz de La Zierra has teamed up with the late Ariel Camacho’s guitarist and tubist, aka Los Plebes Del Rancho, to record a tribute to Ariel, called “Mis Ultimos Momentos” (Del). Given the subject, it’s appropriately slow and deliberative, but Camacho’s own slow and deliberative songs tended to have compelling melodies. NO VALE LA PENA.

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