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Los Zafiros del Norte

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!
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¡Nuevo! (Indie Label Mini-Roundup)


Banda Cuisillos is a big bunch of brass-playing hippies. According to their useful biography, they got their name by combining the Mayan word “KU,” a sacred space, with the Spanish word “sillos,” which hasn’t appeared in my Spanish lessons but which apparently means “little (or at least diminutive) pyramids.” They dress in “Indian” garb, with a sentimental fondness for the Apaches who populated Mexico and the U.S. in the halcyon days before our two nations were separated by a border, when everyone lived together in peace and harmony. (Must research.) Besides the requisite love songs, every Cuisillos album includes one or two songs about “diferentes aspectos importantes” of being human; these aspectos include drug addiction, ecology, forming a new world, and single mothers. Their February single “Cerveza,” for instance, addresses the modern epidemic of “beer goggles.” Just say no, kids.

cuisillosBut in general you should say yes to Cuisillos, whose independently released albums have featured fine songs, unexpected sonic touches, and cover art puked up by the Luck Dragon. Unfortunately, their new single “Soñando Despierto” (Independent) has none of those things; it’s your standard-issue happy-go-lucky banda lope, not too far removed from something puked up by Luis Coronel. It’s not nearly as good as Willie Colón’s song of the same name. As daydream songs go, it captures all the cloying bits of the Lovin’ Spoonful but neglects the Monkees’ majesty.
Continue reading “¡Nuevo! (Indie Label Mini-Roundup)”

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