In the previous post from last week I offered up a feast of Parang—Latin folkloric Christmas music from Trinidad. So what would be the perfect postre to follow that up with? How about Calypso music from Nicaragua? Makes sense to me. Here is a jumping Calypso called Jack Ass by Dimensión Costeña from their 197? Money-Money LP.
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.