music, charts, opinions


Los Tucanes De Tijuana

Desfile De Éxitos 6/27/15


Four new tunes from the NorteñoBlog milieu join this week’s charts. At the top of the heap, cracking the top 20 on the Hot Latin chart, is the latest mind numbing ballad from Banda MS, “A Lo Mejor.” You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten “A Lo Mejor” since we last encountered it, because IT NUMBED YOUR MIND. But the video is entertaining twist-ending novela fare; you can tell it cost a lot, and that nobody shooting the video could remember the song they were supposedly depicting, either.

The other three new songs, all near the bottom of the Regional Mexican airplay chart, sound better to varying degrees. Arrolladora’s “Confesion” is faster and more minor-keyed than much of their recent output. Faint praise, but then, it’s been a while since these guys left an impression. Los Tucanes’ corrido “Suena La Banda” stomps along with guest stars Código FN. Several several members of Código are confined to standing around singing in their sparkly jackets without their instruments, but their tubist gets in some good licks, and both bands’ drummers find a way to coexist. Even better is the magic changes title track from Vete Acostumbrando, the latest album by psychedelic corridista and family man Larry Hernández. Lots of crammed-in words and snarling, which beats Larry attempting to croon.

It’d be this week’s Pick to Click if NorteñoBlog wasn’t a total sucker for Tito “El Bambino” and his attempts to sound like a more romantic Pet Shop Boys. Like the aforementioned Banda MS song, “Como Antes” enters the Hot Latin top 20. Unlike Banda MS, Tito plays majestic reggaeton synth pop with pounding drums and low voices comically interjecting things like “MAMACITA” every so often. Great vocal harmonies, too. The acerbic voice of Zion &/or Lennox appears midway through to scrape the plaque from your heart.

Continue reading “Desfile De Éxitos 6/27/15”

Desfile de Éxitos 2/7/15

banda ms

Compared to how inert they’ve been, the charts are packed with action this week, almost as full as they’re packed with Romeo Santos. (To say nothing of Romeo’s leather pants!) The upper echelons are still barely moving, though. Weirdly enough, Banda MS has two sucky ballads in the Hot Latin top 10, which measures radio play, sales, and streams, but no songs in the Regional Mexican top 20, an airplay chart. The principles of detection point to a couple possibilities:

Possibility #1. Regional Mexican radio is cooling on Banda MS’s sucky ballads but said ballads still receive lots of support from sales (no data available) and streams (video #8 has 37 million views in three months, and video #9 has 101 million in eight months). This might mean Banda MS receives support from a broader fanbase than other regional Mexican artists, or it might just mean DJs are getting tired of the sucky ballads but fans aren’t. The websites of Chicago’s two regional Mexican stations sort of support this theory, since neither lists Banda MS’s sucky ballads among their top 10 songs. That’s a limited sample size, though, and the top 10 at WOJO “Qué Buena” bears little relation to current Billboard hits.

Possibility #2. Billboard uses a different set of stations to compile the Hot Latin chart than it does the Regional Mexican chart. Without knowing what those stations are, it’s hard to figure out what this might mean. Is it possible Banda MS are getting played on more general Latin stations, or even on Latin pop stations?

The Hot Latin top 10 does have one mover and shaker, although it moved and shook there already about a month ago. Bienvenido (DE NUEVO) to the newly bevideoed “Yo También” by King Romeo, may he live on this chart forever. And because it wouldn’t be fair for one man to clog up the top 10 with four songs that’ve been kicking around for at least half a year, we bid a fond adiós to “Odio,” El Rey’s duet with El Drake. But don’t worry! Romeo’s also down at #25 with a new one, “Hilito.”

Also farewell to J. Balvin’s “6 AM,” Victor Manuelle’s electro-salsa “Que Suenen Los Tambores,” Juan Luis Guerra’s song about besos, Banda Tierra Sagrada’s “Soy Un Desmadre,” and “Al Estilo Mafia” by the nomenclaturally gifted Saul “El Jaguar” ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza. In a move as inevitable as a broken heart, Julión Álvarez’s “Dime” graduates from the regional Mexican chart to #17 Hot Latin. Fresh faced Jonatan Sanchez, Gerencia 360’s attempt to grab some of that Luis Coronel money, enters the Regional Mexican chart with “Mi Primera Vez.” I won’t attempt to tell you whether new songs by Chuy Lizarraga, Los Tucanes, and Banda Carnaval are actually NEW.

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Feb. 7.

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo” (45 WEEKS OLD)
2. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (79 WEEKS OLD)
4. “Yo También” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony
5. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos (46 WEEKS OLD)
6. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
7. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#1 RegMex)
8. “Hablame de Ti” – Banda MS (snoooooozzzzzz)
9. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS
10. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#13 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)

11. “Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander (#7 RegMex)
12. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando (#2 RegMex)
13. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro (#3 RegMex)
14. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela (#4 RegMex)
15. “Soledad” – Don Omar
16. “Lejos De Aqui” – Farruko
17. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda (#14 RegMex)
18. “Piensas (Dile La Verdad)” – Pitbull ft. Gente de Zona
19. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho (#10 RegMex)
20. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#6 RegMex)

21. “Mi Vuelvo Un Cobarde” – Christian Daniel
22. “Quédate Con Ella” – Natalia Jiménez (Sleek! Horns + electrobeats!)
23. “Mi Vecinita” – Plan B
24. “Lo Hiciste Otra Vez” – La Arrolladora Banda El Limón (#5 RegMex) (Oh dear, this is not good. Not just sap — meandering sap.)
25. “Hilito” – Romeo Santos


8. “Eres Tú” – Proyecto X
9. “Entonces Que Somos” – Banda El Recodo (A nada Luciano Luna ballad off Recodo’s 2013 album, now turned into a dramatic short film.)

11. “Hasta Que Salga El Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos
12. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte
15. “No Te Vayas” – Fidel Rueda
16. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
17. “Perdoname Mi Amor” – Los Tucanes de Tijuana
18. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval
19. “Mi Primera Vez” – Jonatan Sánchez
20. “Se Me Sigue Notando” – Chuy Lizarraga y Su Banda Tierra Sinaloense

Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 1/10/15

In which Mexican radio churns through songs somewhat faster than the U.S.

In the month since I last posted this chart, seven songs have departed, including Calibre 50/El Komander’s #1 “Qué Tiene De Malo,” Los Tigres’ “La Bala” (both still big in El Norte), and the execrable “En Tu Twitter Y Facebook.” Two months ago, when I first posted this chart, eight of the 20 songs were the same, which seems like healthy turnover. Contrast that with the U.S. Hot Latin chart, where more than half the songs — 15 or 16 of 25 (I ran out of fingers) — are the same as they were two months ago. I mean, the only new song in the Hot Latin top 10 is “Eres Una Niña.” That’s two months with nine of ten songs permanently ensconced! “Bailando” has always been at war with “Propuesta Indecente.” Even among the roiling top Regional Mexican Songs list, 12 of 20 songs are still there after two months, the reverse of the Mexican chart. Why so much less turnover in the U.S.? Um… stay tuned.

These are the top 20 Popular songs of the week in México, as measured by radionotas. The General top 20 contains basically the same top 10, plus “Uptown Funk,” “Animals,” Calvin Harris, and some Spanish-language pop in its lower reaches. The pick to click, snuck in among all these ballads — and santo cielo, there’s a lot of ballads — is Marco Flores’s blazing “El Pajarito.” The man is a dancing machine.

1. “Contigo” – Calibre 50
2. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortiz
3. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval
4. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda
5. “Cuando Tu Me Besas” – El Bebeto
6. “Me Sobrabas Tu” – Banda Los Recoditos
7. “Mayor De Edad” – La Original Banda el Limón
8. “Háblame De Ti” – Banda MS
9. “Lo Hiciste Otra Vez” – Arrolladora
10. “Broche De Oro” – Banda La Trakalosa

11. “Somos Ajenos” – Banda El Recodo
12. “Nos Acostumbramos” – Los Horoscopos de Durango
13. “Debajo Del Sombrero” – Leandro Ríos ft. Pancho Uresti de Banda Tierra Sagrada
14. “En La Sierra y La Ciudad La China” – La Adictiva Banda San Jose
15. “El Pajarito” – Marco Flores y La Número 1 Banda Jerez
16. “Perdoname Mi Amor” – Los Tucanes De Tijuana
17. “Se Me Sigue Notando” – Chuy Lizarraga
18. “Tan Bonita” – Pasado ft. Raul Hernandez
19. “No Entiendo” – Lucero
20. “Asi Te Quiero Yo” – Banda Tierra Sagrada

Who’s On the Mexican Radio?


I live near Chicago, where we have one country station — or sometimes two, if the cloud cover and solar flares and other relevant factors (airborne toxic events?) cooperate and Milwaukee’s airwaves reach my antenna. Aside from Rick Jackson’s syndicated “Country Classics” show, I don’t trust these stations. They sound programmed by some depressing combination of Billboard and brute force, and when they reach into the past to find some roots, they almost always emerge with some shiny pop country hit from the past decade and a half. The DJs sound like they got booted over from the Hot AC channel. The first time I heard Thomas Rhett’s disco-tinged (and possibly date-rape-tinged) “Make Me Wanna,” the lady punching up the hott traxxx said, “I like that song, you know, it’s so DIFFERENT!” Well, no, not if you’ve been listening to Gretchen Wilson’s really good last album, or ’80s Ronnie Milsap, or even Big & Rich or Toby Keith or Kenny Chesney. (Or Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” or Lou Christie’s “Lightning Strikes.”) I’m not #Savingcountrymusic or anything, but it’s nice to have a sense that your radio station understands its music and isn’t simply doing what it’s told.

Whenever I visit my grandparents south-central Missouri, they have a ton of country stations. (Also a model of Stonehenge, something called the Mule Trading Post, and a town called Bourbon. “I think that’s really water,” says Grandpa every time we’ve passed Bourbon’s water tower for the past 37 years.) As you might expect, these stations exhibit some expertise. They play the hits, yeah, but they alternate ’em with the hits of several previous decades. Like, I’m sure Bourbon pledges allegiance to the Hag. And possibly vice versa. They also play great minor songs, like Collin Raye’s “Midlife Chrysler,” that I’ve never heard up in my arid suburbia. I won’t even claim I prefer all the songs I hear in Missouri, on balance, to the songs on my citified Chicago country station. But you can tell the Missourians know what they’re talking about. (Their political ads are pleasantly infuriating, too.)

In that spirit, here are the week’s Top 20 Popular (read: norteño and banda) hits in México, as published by radioNOTAS. The only crossover with Billboard‘s top 20 Regional Mexican Songs is at #3, Los Tigres’ “La Bala.” I don’t like every song on this list, but it’s a useful corrective to the stagnant U.S. chart and it’ll be doubly useful to explain some of the differences. For instance, Calibre 50’s topping the Méxican chart with a song that criticizes the laws throughout México banning corridos. It’s a different song than their current U.S. hit. I won’t rule out hearing it up here, but as a protest song, it speaks most directly in its home country. At #6, El Bebeto, a banda leader I’ve enjoyed in the past, hits with a mariachi ballad. While it’s not uncommon to hear old mariachi on Chicago radio, something tells me a throwback like “Cuando Tu Me Besas” is more likely to become an actual hit in México. (I could be wrong about this.) I’m also heartened to see nomenclatural geniuses La Bandononona Clave Nueva in a leading role. I do wonder why boring ballads take up so much more of this chart than the U.S. one. “Dime” is the draggiest song on Julión Álvarez’s latest, though I cut him slack since he’s the best singer on the continent. We’ll continue to check in with radioNOTAS and learn stuff, even if it means learning way more about amor than is necessary or right.

#1. “Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander
#2. “Hombre Libre” – La Adictiva Banda San José
#3. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte
#4. “Se Me Sigue Notando” – Chuy Lizarraga
#5. “Háblame De Ti” – Banda MS
#6. “Cuando Tu Me Besas” – El Bebeto (his mariachi move?)
#7. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda
#8. “El Papel Cambio” – Alfredo Rios El Komander
#9. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval
#10. “En Tu Twitter y Facebook” – Danny Guillen (As you might imagine I went for this one first, and hoo boy, is this a terrible song.)

#11. “Somos Ajenos” – Banda El Recodo
#12. “No Te Vayas” – Fidel Rueda
#13. “Mayor De Edad” – La Original Banda el Limón
#14. “Bien Servida” – Los Gfez ft. Diego Herrera
#15. “Ya No Lo Vamos a Hacer” – Espinoza Paz
#16. “Perdoname Mi Amor” – Los Tucanes De Tijuana
#17. “La Bipolar” – Los Buitres De Culiacan
#18. “Ya No Vives En Mi” – La Bandononona Clave Nueva
#19. “Todo Lo Incluido” – Banda Los Sebastianes
#20. “Broche De Oro” – Banda La Trakalosa

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