palo de mayo – Dimensión Costeña
In my mind, the beauty of the San Francisco Carnaval is the opportunity to see how all these different people in the Bay Area get down: not just the Brazilians and the Trinis, but also the Salvadoreans, Filipinos, Mexicans, Panamanians, Chinese, Guatemalans, Belizeans, Hawaiians, Bolivians, drag queens, Asian sambaheads, modern-day urban pirates (?!?!)… and best of all, the little Mission kids, who are all of the above. It might not be the wildest of carnavals, but it’ll teach you something for sure.
So it was in the SF Carnaval that I first heard, and was floored by a local Nicaraguan group playing palo de mayo. Since then, most of the Nicaraguans I’ve asked about it discarded this as “musica de negros”. Which is always a good sign.
Here’s Dimension Costeña, autographed! (As you can see, this record seems to be a kind of draft. For good or bad, “continuacion de melancolia” did make the final cut.)
I was really surprised to find this song here – big hit back home in the 80s: