6 8 time, con ganas

Sometimes I like to kick start my mornings with a nice strong 6 8 rhythm. My theory is that it’s good for circulation, since I can feel my blood accelerate while I listen. Son Jarocho and Joropo are my two favourite cousins of 6 8 time: Son Jarocho from Veracruz, Mexico, and Joropo from the plains of Colombia and Venezuela.

Son Jarocho

Over Memorial Day weekend we were incredibly blessed with a visit and spontaneous performance by L@s Cafeter@s from Los Angeles, who came to visit us from LA and play some fútbol. Juancho posted a live recording of their show that night, and I’d like to share another, from their live CD. Definitely keep your ears open to the footwork (zapateo) in the recording, because more fancy footwork awaits you in the Joropo post below. The music also features  a marimbol – bass and mbira in one instrument! I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those…

El Cascabel by Las Cafeteras

El Cascabel

Look for L@s Cafeter@s at the Eastside Café in El Sereno, Los Angeles, contact them for classes on how to play, or find more info here

(Note: a very different version of this same song was posted by Juancho here)

Joropo

They say you haven’t truly heard maracas (called capachos in los llanos de Venezuela and Colombia) until you hear Joropo. And perhaps you haven’t really seen a harp being played until you see one of these rockstars pulling their crazy harp antics –playing above their head and even behind their back. Here’s a little treat we picked up in Colombia for you:

Llanero De Condicion by Rene Devia

Llanero De Condicion

The Colombian Grupo Cimarron is also continuing to evolve this form. There’s a treat for you at the end of the clip: some dance footwork that’s so fast, it’s a blur:

(Apparently it helps to start learning young!)

Hope this helps get you going this Monday morning!

China Tu Madre

“El Cascabel”, Steve Jordan

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For this Cinco de Mayo, and in light of the disturbing developments in Arizona, I thought I’d post a little border music. Here’s El Parche, Steve “Esteban” Jordan, sometimes called “the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion,” and thought by many to be the best accordion player in the world. This album, “The Return of El Parche” compiles tracks recorded from 1976-1984. There’s lots of great Steve Jordan stuff online, but I love in particular his take on this classic son jarocho song, with its dense minor chords and plaintive, romantic lyrics.

Enjoy,

El Cascabel by Steve Jordan

El Cascabel

juancho

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Celebrating May Day

On this beautiful May 1st, here’s one dedicated to all Latinos in the US, and especially to those in Arizona. It is part of an amazing collection of Texas-Mexican border music put together by Arhoolie. You have songs by Chicanos being drafted for World War 1, selling mezcal during Prohibition, discovering marijuana… Support this great little music label and buy something here! (Sadly this one record seems to be sold out, pero el que busca encuentra.)

8590294-photo

El Mojado by Los Hermanos Barrón Y Conjunto

El Mojado

“El Mojado” 

(Si prefieren las letras en español, escuchen no más.)

The twenty third of November I got caught by the Immigration Service.

They asked: “Do you have a visa?” I answered “No, sir.”

 

The chief of the Immigration Service tells me “I’m sorry,
you are Ruperto Martínez, that is what the report says.”

 

I don’t have a passport ’cause they never gave me one.
That’s why I decided to cross over as a wetback.

 

The Immigration Service followed me through towns, hills, and states.
Perhaps it was as a precaution that they handcuffed me.

 

From Eagle Pass to Del Río they took me by plane.
I asked: “Where are we going?” He answered: “To the detention yard.”

 

That jail in Eagle Pass has fifty steps
where the prisoners come down to make their statements.

 

The married men there remember their wives.
They pace the floor like madmen talking to the walls.

 

Here is my farewell. I told the jury:
“I won’t return to the United States crossing as a wetback.”

 

These verses I have composed and are my farewell.
They belong to Ruperto Martínez from Río Bravo, Coahuila.

This 1973 autobiographical corrido was written by Ruperto Martínez, a Mexican farm worker in Texas. In 1978, the Texas Monthly reported “But Ruperto isn’t at home these days. Neighbors say he has crossed the Rio Grande, wet again”.

As for proper usage of public funds, check the photo: Did you know your local public library has an amazing music collection that you can borrow for free?

 

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