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Regulo Caro

¡Perros y gatos! ¡Viviendo juntos! (Desfile de Éxitos 5/6/17)

calibre 50

NorteñoBlog’s Pick to Click comes this week from Calibre 50, but it is not the quartet’s smash Top 10 ballad “Siempre Te Voy a Querer,” which does not solve Calibre’s perennial ballad problem — namely, that most of their ballads sound thin and flimsy and threaten to grind to a halt with every bar. Nor is it their #13 airplay hit/Michelob jingle “Las Ultras,” which, since first spotting it on the Mexican charts a couple weeks ago, has admittedly grown on me like so much cheap beer and/or beachfront dressage.

No, you should instead direct your attention to Calibre’s cover of “Volveré a Amar” by the 10-years-late banda singer Valentín Elizalde. The song itself is swanky midtempo heartache with backbeat and doo-wop tuba, a 2004 template for later earworms like Roberto Tapia’s “Mirando al Cielo.” (Or at least, it’s one of the templates: El Coyote beat Elizalde to this particular sound back in the ’90s.) Covering the tune, Eden Muñoz does his best Elizalde impression and sings low in his range, a wise choice — he’s as effortlessly charming as beachfront dressage. When the accordion quartet takes over for the banda during the chorus, the transition is seamless and full, so hats off to whoever recorded and mixed this thing. It’s at #39 airplay and you can find it on Fonovisa’s terrific collection of Elizalde covers, Tributo a Valentín Elizalde, previously covered here.

Also in the news:

— At #4, Christian Nodal‘s debut single “Adiós Amor” continues to win hearts and Youtube revenue. (Closing in on 128 million views!) Last month we covered it at The Singles Jukebox, where I wrote, Continue reading “¡Perros y gatos! ¡Viviendo juntos! (Desfile de Éxitos 5/6/17)”

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Desfile de Éxitos 6/18/16

regulo caro

With a weary sigh of resignation, NorteñoBlog supposes it’s time to discuss “CicatrIIIces.” (That particular alternate spelling is cooler than the official “Cicatrices”; it also beats YouTube’s “Cicatriiices,” which just looks like someone at DEL was pisteando when they typed it.) The song is already Regulo Caro’s biggest U.S. chart hit, up this week to #11 on the Hot Latin chart and #2 on Regional Mexican airplay, where the DJs hit the “CicatrIVces” button more often than they should. That’s the same radio peak as Caro’s previous, superior hit “Soltero Disponible.” Both songs come from the lovelorn imagination of Omar Tarazón, who wrote “CicatrVces” in collaboration with new songwriter Maria Fernanda Diaz. (Here she is dining with Regulo’s cousin Gerardo Ortiz.)

“CicatrVIces” is fine for what it is: a swinging midtempo “don’t kiss me ’cause it’ll hurt” ballad, along the lines of Jake Owen’s “Alone With You.” The brass chart uses colorful and elaborate shifts in a way that fairly screams “POST-TWIINS BANDA.” But “CicatrVIIces” doesn’t spark and pop like the nasty “Soltero.” Its lyric and jaunty swing rhythm are too polite, so the normally badass Caro sounds like he’s licking his wounds rather than showing off his scars. He seems to recognize this — the action-packed “CicatrVIIIces” video shows him and his mujer robbing a diner Pulp Fiction-style, as though to compensate for the song playing overhead. It beats the Chili Peppers’ “Scar Tissue,” but praise doesn’t get any fainter than that.

“CicatrIXces” = NO VALE LA PENA Continue reading “Desfile de Éxitos 6/18/16”

Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 4/12/16

horacio palencia

The sometime sociopaths in ¡LOS! BuiTRES! (at #19) couldn’t do it — not even singing a tune by tubthumper de amor Horacio Palencia. Neither could Banda MS, in at #18 with their second slo-mo slow dance on the chart. You might think it inevitable that Banda el Recodo would get the job done, but #4 “Inevitable” isn’t the tune.

Nope: none of this week’s Mexican chart debuts possesses the indescribable and unquantifiable blend of moxy, verve, hooks, indelible vocal timbre and/or inventive instrumental work needed to claim the coveted title of NorteñoBlog Pick to Click.

The Mexican top 20 isn’t a total wasteland. Alfredo Olivas‘s pick from two weeks ago sits atop the chart, and Remmy Valenzuela‘s terrific #3 power ballad just entered the U.S. Hot Latin chart at #49. (Speaking of which, the U.S. charts don’t have any good new songs either. Not even “Cicatriiices,” Regulo Caro‘s bouncy ode to scarred hearts, Pulp Fiction crime sprees, and unusual spelling conventions. Ayiyi.) Readers with paternalistic messiah complexes might want to check out Pepe Aguilar at #17. Readers with drinking problems should stay as far as possible from Banda Tierra Sagrada at #12. Continue reading “Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 4/12/16”

¡Nuevo-ish! (doing DEL Records due diligence)

los amos del terror

fernandez pacasWhen we last met the rambunctious corrido quintet Grupo Fernández last June, NorteñoBlog was praising their Regulo Caro and Ariel Camacho feature “La Fuga Del Dorian,” a real barnburner of a corrido. In fact the charisma of the two stars overshadowed Los Fernández themselves, kind of like Nicki and Weezy guesting on a Tyga song, or Jagger and Hendrix sitting in with a slaphappy but faceless British garage band. The band’s runaway rhythm section regularly achieves that sublime rolling feel you find in many of the best new corrido bands, but it’s hard to buy lead singer Elton Aispuro unless he’s singing high and fast. When they attempt a slow song like Camacho’s “Te Metiste,” rhythm and singer sound like they’re wearing lead boots. Unfortunately their new album Las Pacas (DEL) has too many slow ones — actually, too many songs period. 17! Who do these guys think they are, Revolver Cannabis? But they still know how to burn down the barn — witness this week’s Pick to Click “El Pariente De La O,” featuring the high, Keith Richards-worthy backing vocals of bajo sexto player Juan García:

Continue reading “¡Nuevo-ish! (doing DEL Records due diligence)”

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”

Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 9/8/15

marco flores

NorteñoBlog has pretty much made its peace with boring ballads about corazones and the hombres who break/nurse/fondle them, so this week’s Mexican Top 20 comes as a pleasant surprise. Most of the new songs are fast! Or at least midtempo, which often sounds like “fast” around this lot. (When Arrolladora’s devious mujer destroyed their collective soul, she also apparently destroyed their ability to play faster than 60 bpm.) Almost every inch of this new batch is perfect, from the bottom to the top:

At #20, Leandro Ríos, of superfun rhyming exercise “Debajo del Sombrero” fame, is now a no-good cheating bastard. But he’s really tortured about being caught “Entre Ella y Tú,” so that’s gotta count for something, right? Oh wait — HE’S NOT TORTURED AT ALL. As long as you’re content with the amount of Leandro you’re getting, what’s the problem? The jaunty accordion gave him away.

Continue reading “Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 9/8/15”

¡Nuevo! (starring Los Alegres, Los Alcapones, y más)

camacho fernandez

los alegresLast week NorteñoBlog noted that, when Los Cuates de Sinaloa were getting popular about a decade ago, Billboard hailed their guitar-based “musica de la sierra” as one of Mexico’s “new sounds” to keep an eye on. In the same milieu were Los Alegres de la Sierra, another family band who, from the looks of my hasty research, never made the jump to a major label but branched out musically just like Los Cuates did, adding members and instruments. Their self-released 2012 album Lagrimas En La Sierra is chipper accordion quartet stuff, new to streaming services, and I’m partial to “No Podrán.”

los alegres del barrancoSimilarly chipper and altitudinally minded, Los Alegres del Barranco have released a new single, the corrido “El Chino Piloto” (Hyphy). It’s chock full of fatalistic loneliness and helpful radar-evasion tactics, and its repeated eight-bar melody will dig a six-inch barranco through the middle of your skull.
Continue reading “¡Nuevo! (starring Los Alegres, Los Alcapones, y más)”

Who Plays on the New Gerardo Ortiz Album?

The mystery is solved! Allmusic appears to have acquired a physical copy of Hoy Mas Fuerte the same time NorteñoBlog did, and we’ve learned that Ortiz drew his small band from the usual stable of Del Records session pros: Pablo Molina on tuba, Aaron Gonzalez on bass, Lorenzo Fraire Reyes on bajo sexto, and Luis Navarro on drums. But Allmusic did omit some crucial players, notably the guy who most owns the sound of Fuerte: accordionist Marito Aguilar. Fuerte isn’t necessarily VALE LA PENA, but it’s worth hearing at least once for Aguilar, whose fingers are all over the place and constantly coming up with new ideas. He’s played with Ortiz on previous albums; he’s played on good albums by Regulo Caro and Adriel Favela; and he’s been one of the few reasons to pay any attention to Luis Coronel.

If you get excited by fly-on-the-recording-studio-wall videos and scenes of professional musicians overdubbing and “punching in,” you are to be pitied above all others you should totally watch this video of a session for Ortiz’s 2012 album, El Primer Ministro.

NorteñoBlog’s other discovery: “¿Por Qué Terminamos?”, the only Fuerte song I walk around humming, the one that sounds like a Luciano Luna ballad, IS IN FACT a Luciano Luna ballad. (Luciano Luna and Joss Favela, to be exact.)

Desfile de Éxitos 5/16/15

leandro-rios-2

The charts, and thus NorteñoBlog’s life, are in tumult this week. This is a good thing! Though of course, just looking at the top 10, you might be fooled into thinking the chart remains a tepid pool of stagnancy and age. King Romeo’s blockbuster hit is closing in on two years of proposing indecencies to its poor neighbors, one of whom happens to be King Romeo’s NEW blockbuster hit. (“Propuesta Indecente” has always been at war with “Hilito”?) And yes, the Julión Álvarez ballad going top 10 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin chart is some weak sofrito — but, on the other hand, it’s Julión Álvarez. NorteñoBlog likes him. Just a week ago, he dropped the official video for “El Amor De Su Vida,” and already it’s got three and a half million views. I won’t begrudge him his success with necking music, and I encourage him to release “El Aferrado” as a single cuanto antes.

Further down the list, things get more interesting. Ariel Camacho’s “Te Metiste” is up to #14 overall and #12 on Regional Mexican airplay; not bad for a posthumous ballad played by a sparse, deliberative trio configuration used by nobody else on the radio. El Komander’s “Malditas Ganas” continues to climb, and two songs that are new to the overall list — Enigma Norteño’s racing quartet tune “Calla Y Me Besas” and La Séptima Banda’s swanky, Tower of Power-ish “Bonito Y Bello” — bring as much energy as the songs they replace. Down on the Regional Mexican airplay chart, Recodo’s “Mi Vicio Más Grande” is their skippiest hit in who knows how long.

The Pick to Click is another one that’s new to the airplay chart: “Debajo Del Sombrero” by Leandro Rios ft. Pancho Uresti, whose new career seems to be guesting on everyone else’s songs. It’s two guys talking big to the father of their beloved, trying to convince him their humble ranchera ways render them worthy of his daughter’s affection. It also takes as much pleasure in the act of rhyming as any random song by Sondheim. Although, going through my Spanish rudiments, I’m disappointed the song doesn’t take place in enero, and why doesn’t our heroic caballero own a perro?

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published May 16.

1. “El Perdón” – Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias
2. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (93 WEEKS OLD)
4. “Hilito” – Romeo Santos
5. “Hablame de Ti” – Banda MS (#2 RegMex) (snoooooozzzzzz)
6. “Contigo” – Calibre 50 (#1 RegMex)
7. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
8. “Fanatica Sensual” – Plan B
9. “Mi Verdad” – Maná ft. Shakira
10. “El Amor De Su Vida” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda (#3 RegMex)

11. “Nota de Amor” – Wisin + Carlos Vives ft. Daddy Yankee
12. “Sigueme y Te Sigo” – Daddy Yankee
13. “Me Sobrabas Tu” – Banda Los Recoditos (#6 RegMex)
14. “Te Metiste” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes del Rancho (#12 RegMex)
15. “Pierdo la Cabeza” – Zion & Lennox
16. “Solita” – Prince Royce
17. “Malditas Ganas” – El Komander (#7 RegMex)
18. “Lejos De Aqui” – Farruko
19. “El Que Se Enamora Pierde” – Banda Carnaval (#5 RegMex)
20. “Dime” – Julión Álvarez y Su Norteño Banda (#14 RegMex)

21. “Un Zombie A La Intemperie” – Alejandro Sanz
22. “Calla y Me Besas” – Enigma Norteña (#4 RegMex)
23. “Inocente” – Romeo Santos
24. “Perdido En Tus Ojos” – Don Omar ft. Natti Natasha
25. “Bonito Y Bello” – La Septima Banda (#10 RegMex)

¡Adios!
“Juntos (Together)” – Juanes
—————–

8. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando
9. “Soltero Disponible” – Regulo Caro

11. “Que Aun Te Amo” – Pesado
13. “Si Te Vuelvo a Ver” – La Maquinaria Norteña
14. “Como Tu No Hay Dos” – Los Huracanes del Norte
15. “Cuando La Miro” – Luis Coronel
16. “Mayor De Edad” – La Original Banda El Limón
17. “Que Tal Si Eres Tu” – Los Tigres Del Norte
18. “Mi Vicio Más Grande” – Banda El Recodo
19. “Debajo Del Sombrero” – Leandro Rios ft. Pancho Uresti
20. “El Quesito” – Omar Ruiz”

¡Adios!
“Todo Tuyo” – Banda El Recodo
“Se Me Sigue Notando” – Chuy Lizarraga y Su Banda Tierra Sinaloense
“Eres Tú” – Proyecto X
“Lo Hiciste Otra Vez” – La Arrolladora Banda El Limón
“Qué Tiene De Malo” – Calibre 50 ft. El Komander

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