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Los Salvajes de Chihuahua

Fiesta de Aniversario: THE PICKS TO CLICK

gerardo birthday

NorteñoBlog doesn’t always Pick to Click, but when I do… sometimes I get it wrong and type “Click to Pick.” This made searching for the previous year’s worth of Picks INTERESANTE.

The Pick to Click began as a shameless ripoff from Charles Pierce’s must-read liberal politics blog at Esquire, as did a couple other, possibly subtler NorteñoBlog tics. (Spot them all! Both! Whatever!) It’s a useful way to highlight the song I enjoy the most in a particular post, so that you the loyal reader don’t have to wade through a pool of Banda MS’s tears to reach the good stuff. Of course, if you enjoy the delectable bouquet wafting from Banda MS’s tears, you can always Click what I don’t Pick, though you’ll run the risk of turning Banda MS happy and then they might run out of Art. Besides current singles, the following list includes some older singles and current album tracks.

Most Picked at three apiece: NorteñoBlog’s probable artists of the year Alfredo Ríos “El Komander” and Marco Flores y #1 Banda Jerez. Banda Cuisillos, Noel Torres, and Chuy Lizárraga each scored two Picks. So did Los Gfez, Pancho Uresti, and Ariel Camacho, though one Pick from each of those three was in a “featured” role. Besides norteño and banda, the list includes cumbias and puro sax stomps, reggaeton and ABBA-schlager, Jenny and the Mexicats and Pitbull, and covers of Johnny Cash and — first up — Shania Twain. Happy Clicking!
Continue reading “Fiesta de Aniversario: THE PICKS TO CLICK”

NorteñoBlog’s Top Singles of 2015: Julio – Septiembre

marco flores

UPDATED YOUTUBE PLAYLIST HERE

Three months ago on our Top Singles list, NorteñoBlog was concerned about a lack of chart hits and puro sax music. Worry no more! There’s a bit less variety on this list than before, in part because I devoted the month of agosto to a project that prevented me from trawling for indie singles. (More on that project soon.) But the states of California, Chihuahua, Texas, Tijuana, and Zacatecas all represent below, along with ever-present Sinaloa.

(First quarter singles are here; second quarter singles are here.)

1. Marco A. Flores y Su Numero Uno Banda Jerez“Amor de la Vida Alegre” (Garmex)
Mexican radio hit
Flores, who also made NorteñoBlog’s favorite single six months ago, is like the Ramones with better beats, Rae Sremmurd if they were fast, early Madonna with a better voice. He makes termite art of the most gnawing and forward-thinking sort. He spends half this song crowing over just drums and tuba.


Continue reading “NorteñoBlog’s Top Singles of 2015: Julio – Septiembre”

Yo Quiero Tu Saxo

salvajes video

It is the longstanding position of NorteñoBlog that the puro sax styles of Chihuahua and Zacatecas would improve with the addition of more terrible “sax” puns in the titles. This week’s roundup is all Chihuahua (“Saxo Con Mi Chihuahua”? nononono), but stay tuned, as Zacatecas continues to prolifically birth more sax bands than any of us can handle.

bravos de ojinagaLos Bravos de Ojinaga have just released their 10th album, A Más No Poder (Azteca) (alternate title: Saxo Toda La Noche), and it’s everything you like about the puro Chihuahua sax: accordion and sax lines intertwining around the singer, spritely dance grooves, and yearning harmonies. It’s also everything you dislike: namely, it gets kind of samey after a while and it never peaks. This is music for house parties and cleaning up after them. (Saxy norteño albums really make me step up my sweeping and mopping game.) The video for Los Bravos’ romantic single “Comprendelo” features a cuckolded cowboy and Jesus on an accordion.

salvajesSpeaking of el saxo y la salvación (there’s your album title!), Los Salvajes de Chihuahua recently released album number 11, Soltaron la Rienda (Goma). In an unusual case of puro Chihuahua sax distinctions being cost-effective, “Algo de Ti” is a better lead single than “Comprendelo” because it throws in some additional beats and minor chords where you don’t expect them. A cursory listen to Soltaron makes me think Los Salvajes pay more attention to their pop hooks than Los Bravos do, and Edgar Estrada sings with an appealing rasp. Pick to Click!

I feel like we’re giving short shrift to the rival puro sax style of Zacatecas. I know this comes as a huge disappointment. Whatever. The puro Houston fishermen Los Pescadores del Rio Conchos have a new single out, “Fui Un Mal Amor” (Azteca), in which they harmonize and lament. El Rio Concho, as you know, is a Rio Grande tributary that flows through Chihuahua and contains 12 endemic species of fish. It’s also the title of a Richard Boone Western film from 1964. If I knew more about movies, I might be able to tell you how sussing out the distinctions in puro sax songs is like doing the same with Westerns, where type scenes manage viewer expectations and little moments can make all the difference. Forthcoming thinkpiece/album title: Mal Saxo Es Mejor Que No Saxo.

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