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Proyecto X

¡Nuevo! (starring Noel Torres, Omar Sánchez Omi, y más)

bobby pulido

Well this is the stuff of myth and legend:

Desde el filo de la sierra
Viene la historia que traigo:
Que por esas tierras
Suelta anda una fiera
Entre aquellos pinos altos…

From the edge of the sierra
Comes the story that I bring:
Through those lands
Freely walks a beast
Among those tall pines …

Plenty of corridos begin in a similar manner, of course, establishing their (anti)heroes as larger than life figures. But Noel Torres’s new single on Gerencia 360, “No Andan Cazando Venados” (“Don’t Go Hunting Deer”), opens with knowing mastery of the form. Torres begins by placing himself into the story as storyteller, thus joining the long historical line of corridistas, stretching back not just to Ramon Ayala but to Homer recounting the tales of brave Ulysses. (“Tell me, O Muse…”) Then things get scary. I admit I shuddered when I got to the part about the beast roaming through the tall pines — it’s such a contrast with the folksy opening, and “fiera” arrives at the end of its line with a jolt. Torres reclaims the word’s savagery. (I swear, if I hear one more TV chef tell me he’s “a beast in the kitchen”…) Now I just need to figure out the rest of the song. Something to do with the DEA and big-ass guns. The translation service is limited help in this case.

The song was written by El Diez and Danilo Avilés. El Diez is the shadowy figure who wrote the equally mythic “El Karma,” recorded most iconically by the late Ariel Camacho, but also by Torres and lots of other people. Avilés wrote the second song on Camacho’s El Karma album, and Torres’s arrangement of “Venados” sounds like he’s adapting Camacho’s unusual instrumentation. He takes stripped down passages of requinto guitar solos over lurching tuba, the same dynamic you find in Camacho’s repertoire, and alternates them with full banda sections. Horns replace rhythm guitar. The result is both serious and silly (ay, esos clarinetes), a fitting tribute that also fits with Torres’s swagger. Pick to Click, obviously.

ramon ayalaShould you develop a hankering to delve into corrido history, the Freddie label has released a new Ramon Ayala comp entitled Corridos Famosos. Ayala’s muse speaks to him the tales of brave Gerardo Gonzales, Juanita y Miguel, y otros. No idea how this compares with other Ayala compilations out there.

If we’re already talking (probably) unnecessary cheapo Ramon Ayala reissues, you may have guessed it’s a light week for albums. You’re right! The singles, though, they never stop. Fonovisa has recently sent to radio new work from some of its heaviest hitters. Los Tigres are back with their third Realidades single, the midtempo waltz “Hoy Le Hablo El Diario,” which does the thing where the rhythm section rushes the second beat of every bar so the waltz feels slightly nauseating. In a good way. If you like beards and flannel and don’t wanna move to Seattle, Codigo FN has a slow one out called “Pinche Vieja Interesada,” which is less interesante than its title. Better are the new Proyecto X corrido “5 Letras,” reeling off verse after verse like a gold-plated machine gun eating up magazines, and Remmy Valenzuela’s very stripped-down chiquitita ballad “Menti,” in which his accordion seems capable of breath and thought.

Bobby PulidoBut who needs major label distribution when the internet frontier beckons musicians to simply release their own music? Tejano singer Bobby Pulido has been on the scene since the mid-’90s, and his new “Si No Te Hubiera Conocido” is a likable walking tempo number that could’ve come from Intocable — but does Intocable have its own line of Western wear (see top of page)? I submit that Intocable does NOT.

los grandesThe equally breezy Los Grandes de Tijuana DRANK YOUR LOVE! Just drank it right up. Los Grandes are also ’90s music lifers, and “Me Bebi Tu Amor” has the lazy front-porch-with-squeezebox vibe of Bob Dylan’s Tejano album Together Through Life, still my favorite of his post-’70s catalog.

omar sanchezNorteñoBlog swooned when Gerardo Ortiz mixed up the banda with the bachata in “Eres Una Niña,” and now I hear Omar Sánchez Omi trying something similar on “Tu y Yo.” Rhythmically it doesn’t vary too much from Recodo’s romantic moods, but Sánchez’s voice is husky and swarthy like King Romeo’s and could have some of the same R&B appeal, if enough people hear him. Sánchez used to sing for Chicago’s Alacranes Musical, one of my favorite duranguense bands, and there exists a photo of him dressed up like Santa Claus and standing next to Diana Reyes, so I’m pulling for him.

¡Nuevo! (starring Proyecto X, Los Yes Yes, y más)

llueve en mi cama

proyecto xProyecto X is a jaunty if not very memorable quintet, this week releasing their second album Con Más Pawer (Fonovisa). It’s the sequel to their 2013 debut, entitled — no points for guessing — Con Pawer. Of their ballads, “My Baby” is bilingual and “Eres Tú” is the hit. Their fiendishly short “Gallo de 5 Segundos” is worth hearing, but really, these guys don’t come anywhere close to wildin’.

fernando coronaNeither does Va Por Ti finalist Fernando Corona, this week releasing his self-titled debut album on Warner Latina, but at least he’s got a distinctive voice. Elegant and barely country, he looks and sounds like a cowboy Glenn Medeiros who’d sweep you off your feet in the nightclub — or possibly in one of the Southern Wal-Marts where he’s currently making personal appearances. Even with tuba basslines, Corona’s about as exciting as his namesake beer. Lead single is the watery “Llueve En Mi Cama,” which Corona says “tiene un poco de doble sentido.” You laugh, but at least he’s subtler than Chris Brown doing “Wet the Bed.” (You know who else was subtler than Chris Brown doing “Wet the Bed”? HITLER.)

As we saw last week, the Goma label is inundated with chipper saxophone bands. Flooded with ’em. Much like the Petri dish of Fernando Corona’s cama, which can pretty much spawn new life on its own at this point, Goma is so awash in sax bands they can call it a movement — el “Movimiento SAX” — and Los Chacales de Pepe Tovar are making it rain with “Todo Paso.” Since it’s a slow week, “Todo Paso” could be the Pick to Click, but only if you have a high tolerance for chipper sax bands.

bxsBXS (Bryndis X Siempre) is a Dallas Tejano band, apparently unrelated to California’s long-running Grupo Bryndis, though both are family acts. BXS releases Todo Cambia on the indie label Azteca, and its lead single “Amar, Sabiendo Perdonar” isn’t unlistenable.

los yes yesAnd finally, we come to Tus Favoritos de Los Yes Yes (Loud68music), a retrospective of easy listening cumbias from the co-ed combo Los Yes Yes. “El Verde De Tus Ojos” is the first of tus favoritos, but it’s not even my favorite song about ojos verdes — that’d be Julión Álvarez’s. Los Yes Yes has several Facebook pages, one of which is very special, pero no seguro para trabajar. Let’s just say, Los Yes Yes appears to know a thing or two about llueve en tu cama.

Desfile De Éxitos 1/10/15

remmy valenzuela

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Jan. 10. Things to note:

The New Year’s hangover chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 75 weeks. While the Hot Latin top 10 seems etched in stone, 11-25 is more lively, thanks to musical rudeness if not the pace of chart turnover.

It’s been three weeks since we last checked these charts. (¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año!) On Hot Latin we say “adiós” to Ricky Martin’s song of the same name, along with songs by Luis Fonsi and Romeo Santos. (Weep not; Santos still has three others in the top 10.) In Regional Mexican, we bid farewell to Jorge Valenzuela, Los Huracanes, La Maquinaria Norteña, and La Adictiva Banda. But hey! — we sometimes like Banda El Recodo, Arrolladora, and Banda Carnaval, and they’re all here with new tunes of varying likability. So is Julión Álvarez, who’s always welcome, even if he’s brought the most boring song (“Dime”) off his latest album as a hostess gift. “It’s already been a hit in México,” he assures us, trying to impress.

Last week while we were reveling, Gerardo Ortiz’s supple bachata + banda ballad “Eres Una Niña” hit #1 on the Regional Mexican chart. This week it falls to Voz De Mando, but we can still revel. Especially since I finally listened to Remmy Valenzuela’s #18 ballad “Mi Princesa,” and it’s pretty good — cut from the ’50s doo-wop school of romance and sung with high drama. Valenzuela, you’ll remember, is a young fleet-fingered corridista, but he cleans up nice for his princesa.

Finally, Regulo Caro’s irresistible blast of smarm “Soltero Disponible” moves up to Hot Latin at #21. Its opulent, tongue-in-cheek video is sort of like Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” only with more breast bling. “Soltero” was notably the only norteño/banda song to make Leila Cobo’s list of the Best Latin Songs of 2014, which we’ll puzzle over later. (Her albums list contains zero regional Mexican, albeit lots of albums I haven’t heard.)

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 75 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
3. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
4. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
5. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
6. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
7. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
8. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#5 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
9. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#2 RegMex)
10. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#14 Reg Mex)

11. “Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander (#9 RegMex)
12. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando (#1 RegMex)
13. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#3 RegMex)
14. “Que Suenen Los Tambores” – Victor Manuelle
15. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#10 RegMex)
16. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho (#7 RegMex)
17. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#4 RegMex)
18. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela (#6 RegMex)
19. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
20. “Quédate Con Ella” – Natalia Jiménez (Sleek! Horns + electrobeats!)

21. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro (#8 RegMex)
22. “Hablame de Ti” – Banda MS (snoooooozzzzzz)
23. “Mi Vecinita” – Plan B
24. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel
25. “Soledad” – Don Omar

—————–

11. “Entonces Que Somos” – Banda El Recodo (A nada Luciano Luna ballad off Recodo’s 2013 album, now turned into a dramatic short film.)
12. “Eres Tú” – Proyecto X
13. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meño Lugo
15. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores y La #1 Banda Jerez
16. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
17. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval (What a courtly bunch of hombres.)
18. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
19. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez
20. “Lo Hiciste Otra Vez” – La Arrolladora Banda El Limón (Oh dear, this is not good. Not just sap — meandering sap.)

Desfile De Éxitos

camacho

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Dec. 20. Things to note:

The Finnegan’s Wake book club chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 72 weeks. Speaking of which, King Romeo has four songs in the Top 10. The Hot Latin chart is BOOOOOORRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGGGG.

On Hot Latin we say adiós to Camila’s “Perdón” and Prince Royce’s “Soy El Mismo.” In Regional Mexican, we show to the door strategically facial-haired Fidel Rueda, young and peach fuzzy Luis Coronel, and Banda Carnaval’s “Manos” — careful, you don’t know where those things have been! Hola to Proyecto X, La Adictiva, and especially Ariel Camacho, hitting both charts with a meditative take on “El Karma,” which also showed up on Noel Torres’s recent album as a shitkicking duet with Voz De Mando. With its careful harmonies and taunting tuba, Camacho’s version sounds way more sinister.

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 72 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
4. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
5. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
6. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#1 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
7. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
8. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#6 Reg Mex)
9. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
10. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony

11. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#3 RegMex)
12. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#2 RegMex)
13. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
14. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#9 RegMex) (Hooray!)
15. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#5 RegMex)
16. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando (#4 RegMex)
17. “Que Suenen Los Tambores” – Victor Manuelle
18. “Adios” – Ricky Martin
19. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho (#10 RegMex)
20. “Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander (#17 RegMex)

21. “Quédate Con Ella” – Natalia Jiménez (Sleek! Horns + electrobeats!)
22. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel
23. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela (#12 RegMex)
24. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores y La #1 Banda Jerez (#7 RegMex)
25. “Llegaste Tu” – Luis Fonsi ft. Juan Luis Guerra

—————–

8. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meño Lugo

11. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
13. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela
14. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
15. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte
16. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña
18. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro
19. “Eres Tú” – Proyecto X
20. “Disfrute Enganarte” – La Adictiva Banda

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