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Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 9/29/15

el mimoso

Mexico and the U.S. might not agree on how to end the drug war or where to store El Chapo, but say this for international unity: we both love us some Banda MS. The banda’s uncharacteristically snappy “Piénsalo” continues at #1, both on the Mexican “Popular” chart and on Billboard‘s Regional Mexican chart, which measures U.S. airplay. Within the genre, they occupy the same position Arrolladora did a couple years ago, where any single they release is guaranteed to inundate radio playlists and hang out high on the charts for a couple months. (Not that Arrolladora’s doing badly for themselves lately — see #7 below.) I for one welcome our new romantic overlords and would like to encourage them to play a unity concert for the Supreme Leader of Iran.

New and notable this week:

At #12, Noel Torres’ ballad “Me Interesas” finally enters the Mexican chart, more than a year after topping U.S. airplay. More notable as an accordion hero and corridero, Torres also knows how to do banda romance right, largely because he knows his own voice. Nobody’s ever gonna mistake him for the world’s greatest crooner, so he skimps on the vibrato and instead delivers each lyric with forthright efficiency that cuts through the sentiment. Hearing him grow more confident with ballads has been an unexpected pleasure of following his career. (Don’t confuse “Me Interesas” with El Komander’s “Me Interesa,” returning to this chart at #16 and not nearly so interesante. Nobody’s ever gonna mistake El Komander for the world’s greatest crooner either, but he has fewer coping strategies for ballads.) An unenthusiastic Pick to Click!, then — did I mention this song is really old?

Continue reading “Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 9/29/15”

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Who’s On the Mexican Radio? 3/27/15

banda ms

Little to report this week: the only new songs in the top 20 are disappointing ballads by Julión Álvarez and Saul “El Jaguar.” One of the bright spots is #8, where norteño quintet Pesado’s “Que Aún Te Amo” lopes and soars amid all the ballads surrounding it in the top 10. (Also, I’m wondering whether I could get my hair to look like the young lead in the video. My blending skills need work.) At #9, mariachi singer Pedro Fernandez soars but doesn’t lope; rather, his beat chugs and pulses in ways that remind me of mid-’80s NRG ballads, or maybe Vangelis. And I won’t say it’s good, but Banda MS’s video for “A Lo Mejor” somehow crams an entire novela episode, including a cheap trick ending, into five minutes; I’m still trying to figure out how everyone’s related. Better than Sudoku for keeping your mind sharp!

These are the Top 20 “Popular” songs in Mexico, as measured by radioNOTAS. Don’t confuse “Popular” with the “General” list, which contains many of the same songs but also “Uptown Funk!”, “Sugar,” and, once again, the ABBA-Schlager of Natalia Jiménez.

1. “Contigo” – Calibre 50
2. “Que Tal Si Eres Tu” – Los Tigres Del Norte
3. “Después de Ti ¿Quién?” – La Adictiva Banda San Jose
4. “A Lo Mejor” – Banda MS
5. “No Fue Necesario” – El Bebeto
6. “Perdi La Pose” – Espinoza Paz
7. “Culpable Fui (Culpable Soy)” – Intocable
8. “Que Aún Te Amo” – Pesado
9. “Si Tuviera Que Decirlo” – Pedro Fernandez
10. “Confesion” – La Arrolladora Banda El Limón

11. “Todo Tuyo” – Banda El Recodo
12. “Malditas Ganas” – Alfredo Rios El Komander
13. “Ponte Las Pilas” – America Sierra
14. “Me Importas” – Los Primos MX
15. “Escuchame” – Fidel Rueda
16. “Adicto a la Tristeza” – Banda La Trakalosa ft. Pancho Uresti
17. “Indeleble” – Banda Los Sebastianes
18. “El Amor de Su Vida” – Julión Álvarez
19. “Que te Quede Claro” – Saul El Jaguar
20. “Sencillamente” – Raúl y Mexia + SuenaTron

¡Adios!
“Tranquilito” – El Chapo de Sinaloa
“Me Sobrabas Tu” – Banda Los Recoditos

¡Nuevo! (starring Marco Flores, El Komander, y mucho más …)

ElJaguar

We’ve admired before the vitality of Marco Flores‘s dance moves and his voice, a gallo-rific crow that cuts through anything in its path. (Don’t confuse him with the Marco Flores who sort of sounds like Seal.) This week with his #1 Banda Jerez, Flores releases Soy El Bueno (Remex) in the U.S. Through 10 songs, the band’s energy never lapses. Three of the album’s songs have already charted in either Mexico or El Norte: “Soy Un Desmadre,” a duet with Banda Tierra Sagrada, also appears on their latest album; the title song won’t leave my head; and Espinoza Paz’s “El Pajarito” comes in versions both “sin censura” and, presumably, censura. Flores and Banda Jerez have been around since 2005 or so; in a Billboard from that time, Leila Cobo wrote:

With songs that bear such names as “La Cabrona” (think of a word that rhymes with witch), the 13-man troupe from Jerez, Mexico, seeks to preserve the sound of traditional banda music, yet tell it like it is.
“Our lyrics are about what’s happening and about what people talk about every day,” bandleader Marco Antonio Flores Sanchez says. “It’s what you hear in the streets. That’s the language people speak, which unfortunately, isn’t what you hear on the radio.”
Not at all. Given its naughty title, “La Cabrona” was an underground hit with limited airplay, both here and in Mexico.
Now, the band’s new single, “Billete Verde,” from the July 19 album by the same name, is also set to cause a stir of a different kind.
The track, whose title is a direct reference to dollars (“The Green Bill” is the translation), talks about those who leave Mexico for work, leaving families behind.
“And while they’re over there working, their wives are here getting all dolled up and going out,” Flores says wryly.
The story, Flores says, is one played and replayed every day in his neck of the woods. And that, he adds, is what Banda Jérez is all about. The group, which has several members still in their teens, wanted to return to the essence of banda, distancing itself from the more pop-leaning sound that several groups have now adopted.

One such pop-leaning group is Arrolladora, whose members play instruments built entirely of rose petals. One of their singers went rogue in 2008, and this week, Germán Montero releases Regresa (Sony), featuring the single “La Historia de un Ranchero.” Montero sounds like an old-school ranchera guy, even if he dresses like he gets all his mustangs from Ford. Maybe that’s why he broke with his more genteel colleagues.

Saul “El Jaguar” Alarcón’s Mi Estilo de Vida (Fonovisa) has already spawned one hit, “El Estilo Mafia,” featuring the nomenclaturally gifted La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza. The next single is a ballad, “Que Te Quede Claro,” with the requisite backbeat built out of horns. El Jaguar has one of the better logos in the biz (see above).

For their 20th aniversario, Intocable goes double live (!!!) with XX (Fonovisa). THIS is now the highest profile regional Mexican release of 2015 so far, simply because most hardcore music fans know that a band called Intocable exists. Like, it comes up on the first screen of Spotify new releases. Doesn’t look like it contains their shoulda-crossed-over smash “Te Amo (Para Siempre),” but it did occasion Cobo to interview the band’s founder, Ricky Muñoz, which in turn led to this useful bit of taxonomy:

Cobo: Tejano music, as you’ve pointed out, was huge not only in Texas but all over the country at the time. But you weren’t playing Tejano, were you?

Muñoz: Tejano music was a bunch of keyboards. We were a band from Texas playing accordion music. Our first records were labeled “Tejano,” but our music is more traditional Mexicano.

Traditional Mexicanos Grupo Exterminador return with the ominously titled Es Tiempo de Exterminador (Independent). But these guys have lighter hearts than their name and scowls let on; imagine the Raid bottle with a smiley-skull logo. In a 2011 Spin magazine, Chuck Eddy wrote:

When the tempos pick up, this norteño novelty act is a hoot: Exterminador’s hookiest hits apparently concern a deer (“El Venao”) and a shark (“El Tiburon”), and the former’s video demonstrated an antler dance to match. There’s also an interpretation of “Wiggle It,” 2 in a Room’s 1990 hip-house hit, complete with hamboning accordions and call-andresponse kids.

We’ll see whether Tiempo produces anything so entertaining, but the video for romantic ballad “Como Una Bala” is set at a lovely waterfront locale and everyone seems in good spirits, even (especially?) when they’re rejecting the singer’s advances.

In cumbia releases that may or may not be compilations, we have Gerardo Morán’s El Más Querido (Meta/ Music Service). OK, Morán is from Ecuador, as is D’Franklin Band, in whose videos he appears. But what is cumbia if not a spirited rebuff to international boundaries? Both those D’Franklin Band songs appear on Querido without apparent “featuring” credits, so I am officially Confused, but listening to them has also renewed my zeal for life. Go figure.

Other albums:
Banda La Mentira – 20 Cumbias… Reventon Lagunero (Discos Cristal)
Luis y Julian – 16 Exitos De… Vol. 1-3 (Discos Roble)
Javier Solís – He Sabido Que Te Amaba (RHI)
Grupo Miramar – Fundadores de un Estilo Unico (Music Art Productions Inc.)

And the vault scrapers at AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits have released a whole bunch of hits compilations for some nth-tier acts, including Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon and Chayito Valdéz.

Singles!

Espinoza Paz goes mariachi and (I’m guessing) muy censura with “Perdí La Pose” (Anval/Don Corazound). His writing career may be solid, but the solo career seems adrift.

Adrift is one thing, ramshackle is something else. I could listen to Alfredo Rios El Komander play his loosey goose corridos all day, and “Detras Del Miedo” (Twiins) won’t break the streak.

Possibly from an upcoming album, Calibre 50’s “Aunque Ahora Estes Con El” (Disa) returns them to the wilderness of thin and uninspiring ballads.

And finally, two indie bands with saxophones are competent but not much else:
Pokar – “Sí Me Tenias” (?)
Conjunto Conste – “Como Le Digo” (??)

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

romeo210613

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Nov. 13. Things to note:

The sarlaccian digestion chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 68 weeks. And it moves UP a notch, to #2! You’ll remember this song already hit #1 more than a year ago, at the end of September/beginning of October 2013. King Romeo’s aptly named album Formula Vol. 2 had the biggest debut week (100k) of any Latin album in eight years. Since then he’s played Yankee Stadium and sold out venues in Mexico, the latter of which might be the more impressive feat for a guy from the Bronx. The video’s at 488 million views.

Nothing against “Propuesta”‘s pretty smarm, but its longevity underscores the lack of turnover on these charts. Nobody’s new or gone this week. On the one hand, this makes catching up with the popular music easy — stick around for a few weeks and there’s a good chance you’ll hear all the songs on the radio. On the other hand, we should wonder why the pace of turnover is so glacial. And why “Bailando” is still #1. At least we have “Soy Un Desmadre,” “Eres Una Niña,” and nomenclatural champs Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza around to keep things interesante.

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 68 WEEKS OLD AND CLIMBING, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
3. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
4. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
5. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#1 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
6. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#4 Reg Mex)
7. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
8. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
9. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
10. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#3 RegMex)

11. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
12. “Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce
13. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#5 RegMex)
14. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#2 RegMex)
15. “Adios” – Ricky Martin
16. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony
17. “Perdon” – Camila
18. “Lo Poco Que Tengo” – Ricardo Arjona
19. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#17 RegMex) (Hooray!)
20. “Tenerte” – Luis Coronel (#14 RegMex) (Quite a plummet for young Coronel! You hate to see that.)

21. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela (#8 RegMex)
22. “Tu Respiracion” – Chayanne
23. “Plakito” – Yandel ft. El General Gadiel (It’s newish!)
24. “Que Suenen Los Tambores” – Victor Manuelle
25. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores y La #1 Banda Jerez (#6 RegMex)

—————–

#7. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte
#9. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña
#10. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meno Lugo

#11. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela
#12. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando
#13. “La Historia De Mis Manos” – Banda Carnaval
#15. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
#16. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
#18. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho
#19. “No Me Dolio” – La Original Banda el Limón
#20. “Me Voy De Ti” – Fidel Rueda

Desfile de Éxitos

Bandononona-clave-nueva

These are the top 25 Hot Latin Songs and top 20 Regional Mexican Songs, courtesy Billboard, as published Oct. 30. Things to note:

The tantric orgasm chart count for “Propuesta Indecente” increases to 66 weeks.

Gerardo Ortiz’s “Eres Una Niña” enters the Top 25 Hot Latin Songs, because ours is a gracious and merciful g-d, and its week-old video has garnered three quarters of a million views.

There is an act (ok, with a “featuring” credit, but still) at #18 RegMex called “Saul ‘El Jaguar’ ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza,” which may be the greatest act of musical nomenclature since Turbonegro last titled some songs.

This week we say goodbye to “Sigue” by La Poderosa Banda San Juan, “Me Dejaste Acostumbrado” by La Arrolladora Banda el Limón, and “Me Voy De Ti” by Fidel Rueda. (But in this format, do we ever really say goodbye?)

1. “Bailando” – Enrique ft. Descemer Bueno, Gente de Zona, & the word “contigo”
2. “Eres Mia” – Romeo Santos
3. “Propuesta Indecente” – Romeo Santos (I just wanna point out this song is 66 WEEKS OLD, and that maybe someone’s chart methodology needs tweaking.)
4. “No Me Pidas Perdon” – Banda MS (#2 Reg Mex)
5. “Ay Vamos” – J Balvin
6. “Travesuras” – Nicky Jam
7. “Y Asi Fue” – Julión Álvarez (#4 RegMex) (Is this man the best banda singer around right now? Or should we forget the qualifier?)
8. “Odio” – Romeo Santos ft. Drake
9. “6 AM” – J Balvin ft. Farruko
10. “Hasta Que Salga el Sol” – Banda Los Recoditos (#3 RegMex)

11. “Tus Besos” – Juan Luis Guerra 440
12. “La Bala” – Los Tigres Del Norte (#1 RegMex)
13. “Soy El Mismo” – Prince Royce
14. “Yo Tambien” – Romeo Santos ft. Marc Anthony
15. “Adios” – Ricky Martin
16. “Javier El de Los Llanos” – Calibre 50 (#6 RegMex)
17. “Perdon” – Camila
18. “El Agüitado” – Jorge Valenzuela (#5 RegMex)
19. “Tenerte” – Luis Coronel (#8 RegMex) (Quite a plummet for young Coronel! You hate to see that.)
20. “Lo Poco Que Tengo” – Ricardo Arjona

21. “Como Yo Le Doy” – Pitbull ft. Don Miguelo
22. “Tu Respiracion” – Chayanne
23. “Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar” – Carlos Vives ft. Marc Anthony
24. “Llegaste Tu” – Luis Fonsi ft. Juan Luis Guerra
25. “Eres Una Niña” – Gerardo Ortíz (#19 RegMex) (Hooray!)

——

#7. “Ahora Por Ley” – Los Huracanes Del Norte
#9. “Soy Un Desmadre” – Banda Tierra Sagrada ft. Marco Flores & La #1 Banda Jerez
#10. “Asi Ya No” – La Maquinaria Norteña

#11. “La Historia De Mis Manos” – Banda Carnaval
#12. “Zapatillas Ferragamo” – Meno Lugo
#13. “Mi Padrino El Diablo” – La Trakalosa De Monterrey
#14. “Mi Princesa” – Remmy Valenzuela
#15. “Levantando Polvadera” – Voz De Mando
#16. “No Me Dolio” – La Original Banda el Limón
#17. “La Indicada” – Kevin Ortíz
#18. “Al Estilo Mafia” – Saul El Jaguar ft. La Bandononona Clave Nueva de Max Peraza
#20. “El Karma” – Ariel Camacho y Los Plebes Del Rancho

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