music, charts, opinions


Pequeños Musical

Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 2/2/16


ALERTA DE SPOILER: The following may reveal important plot twists from the latest Trakalosa video, a 10-minute saga called “Supiste Hacerme Mal.” (It’s at #7 this week.) Don’t say NorteñoBlog didn’t warn you.

(In other news: yes, Trakalosa videos now merit spoiler alerts.)

The latest radio hit by Edwin Luna and his banda Trakalosa de Monterrey is a study in domestic strife and scandalous romance. Basically, a young woman is planning to marry the two-timing novio of her wedding planner, whom said novio has been treating with cold distance. When the two women discover they love the same man at a reception tasting event, drama happens. So much drama. Edwin Luna turns in a characteristically intense, nostril-flarey performance as the novio in question; novela actriz Yulianna Peniche shows more range as the wedding planner. We’re already familiar with Luna’s boundless ambition — he’s started putting his name in front of his band’s — and scandalous romantic life — short take: Luna left his wife and son for the actress who directed this video, Alma Cero — but I’m not sure how much this not-entirely-flattering video trades on Luna’s IRL circumstances. Do fans see art imitating life?

Regardless of its tabloid inspiration, this isn’t another Muy Especial video in the vein of Trakalosa’s previous epic “Pregúntale” (#17), which boldly came out against wife-beating. There is no moral to be learned or lesson to be had here, unless it’s this pro tidbit for wedding planners: Always learn the name of the husband before drawing up a contract! This video is essentially clickbait, a way to drum up interest in an otherwise forgettable song (seriously, try humming a couple bars of “Supiste” — IT CAN’T BE DONE) and, I’m guessing, to boost Luna’s nascent acting career. He’s not a terrible actor, but I worry his neck tattoo will limit his choices. Continue reading “Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 2/2/16”

¿Qué Estamos Escuchando?


La Poderosa Banda San Juan – El Antes Y El Después (Disa)
The latest moneymaking scheme from lawyer-turned-producer Fernando Camacho — he of La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and Banda MS — has so far failed to overpower radio like their older labelmates, but give ‘em time. Camacho’s got connections, so most of these 12 songs were written by established hitmakers, including three apiece by Espinoza Paz and Horacio Palencia. More importantly, Camacho seems to be lavishing these youngsters with his good taste. Yes, they get drippy, but not Arrolladora drippy, and their singles have been energetic minor key waltzes (“Sigue,” the title song), atypically fiery Paz numbers (“Claro,” “Tengo Novia”), and the OK-yes-drippy but swingin’ “Disculpa Corazón”. The token cumbia “Ponle De Eso” showcases rapid-fire muttering from one of the singers. “Tengo Novia,” previously performed by LOS BuiTRES!, is the best of the bunch, a wicked repeating melody offering up a wicked series of excuses for cheating on one’s novia. (Which is presumably why they also had to offer up the disculpa.)

From the March 19, 2011 Billboard:

“[Camacho] has a very good ear in selecting the songs he records and produces,” Fonovisa/Disa VP of marketing Sergio Perez says. “A great deal of his success has to do with being on the street and seeing what’s happening, versus other officebound executives who aren’t up to speed. This may be because as a promoter he’s forced to be at shows, and he can see firsthand people’s reactions to new musical movements.”

When Camacho took over the running of Arrolladora, one of his main objectives was to make it appealing to a younger audience and to simply make it more popular. He pays special attention to lyrics, aiming for messages that are simple and easy to understand but also appeal to the Mexican sense of pride and honor.

“Songs about betrayal and rejection,” Camacho says. “It’s about talking to the person who did you wrong, who stabbed you in the back. This is very traditional in Mexican music, asking, ‘Why did you do this to me, woman?’ “

Nuance is overrated.

Pequeños Musical – Duele Todavia (Baktun 13/Warner Latina)
Speaking of drippiness, “La Banda Más Romántica de América” have some thoughts they would like to share. You have heard these thoughts before. You’ve probably heard their music, too, even if you’ve never actually heard Pequeños Musical proper: three of these songs start with the same brass riff, a descending melody line — the musical equivalent of broken hearts dripping bloody tears — over sad-eyed circle-of-fifths chord changes. Which might be OK, if they played any songs faster than midtempo, or if their singer didn’t have pitch issues, or if they had a tuba instead of an electric bass. Somehow they scored four Espinoza Paz ballads, which my mind has blocked as it must all traumas and/or moments of excruciating boredom.

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