It’s a new year, and first we want to say thank you again to all those who have come out to our Pelangas in 2011. You’ve helped raise money for important causes and have been essential in keeping us inspired to bring out this music that we love.
As many do around this time of year us pelangueros have been traveling. Unfortunately that has meant we haven’t been able to post that much over the past month. But we’re all getting back now and I believe everyone is very excited about sharing even more music this year.
We’re most excited about welcoming our newest chef to the Pelanga kitchen – DJ Smokestack. Over the past year, beginning with La Pelanga’s 2011 all night new years eve party, Smokestack has been filling in when one of us has been away; as well as contributing two excellent guest-posts to this blog. Lookout for some mouth-watering records coming soon from him.
Being that we haven’t posted much recently we have quite a backlog of records and videos to share. Lets begin with a group records that should have been posted closer to Christmas. Yes it’s Christmas music, but the good kind. The really good kind – Trinidadian Christmas music, also known as Parang. And being that the festive season in Trinidad ends today, December 6, the Feast of Epiphany, I’m technically still on time with this post. Parang is the folkloric music of Trinidad that is most associated with the holidays. If you’ve never heard this music (like me as of 2 years ago) you’ll probably think what I thought – this is from Trinidad?! Spanish singing with rhythms similar to Venezuelan Joropo or Puerto Rican Jíbaro. The tradition of Parang is similar to caroling. Parang bands, going house to house serenading families as they greet the parenderos with food and drinks.
Lets start the feast off with Los Caballeros’ Porque Aguinaldo. When serenading parranderos announce their arrival in song and seek to gain entry into homes with a song about the birth of Christ. The kind with a message of peace on earth, goodwill to men and all that stuff you’ve heard 100 times before, but likely never like this.