#RecordOfTheDay “El Cantinero” by La Tropa Colombiana

For a late night post, a late night cumbia by Tropa Colombiana, an 80s Mexican group who I’m guessing had some Colombian roots. This was purchase I knew nothing about, but look at those outfits! To be honest I think it sat for a few years before I finally listened to it and I was rewarded for circling back to it. This song El Cantinero, is really beautiful to me in it’s distinct drunken dive bar vibe. It only takes a few notes for it to make feel completely intoxicated and desperate for 1 more drink.

“El Rebelde del acordeón” aka Celso Piña + La Pelanga

We’re super excited to DJ for “El Rebelde del acordeón” aka Celso Piña and Gina Madrid on Sat 1/20 at The New Parish in Oakland! Get your tickets 👉🏽 HERE

If you’ve had your ear to cumbia music over the past decade then you already know this man has been leading the way with modern cumbia torpical. If you need a little taste…

¡Imperdible! #cumbia #cumbia #cumbia



Podcast: Cleaning up in México

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Digging for records can get dirty, very dirty. So we get to cleaning some of our grimiest records, many of which we found in México and Colombia. DJs China Tu Madre, Papicultor, Smokestack, and Pozole all in La Sala sharing some filthy good music.


Baja 3

Los Hermanos Flores Otra Vez

Los Hermanos Flores – Flor de Pithaya

Baja 4

Los Sonadores de la PazEl Sudcaliforniano

Baja 2

Miguel Angel LizarraTu Mi Destino

Manuel CelestinoNaciste Bonita

Baja 5

Grupo LaserBuscalo

Baja 3

Los Hermanos FloresLa Paz

Baja 4

Los Sonadores de la PazLlegando a la Paz

Baja 3

Los Hermanos FloresTodos Santos


Acapulco Tropical – La Pollera Amarilla

photo 4

Ray BarrettoHipocresía y Falsedad

photo 2

Ismael RiveraTraigo Salsa

Bobby SmallCompas de Cumbia


Grupo Miramar – Cerro Hermoso

photo 1

Andrés LanderoNoche de Cumbia

photo 3

Acosta y sus TremendosY Me Critican


Hermanos Martinez de Allende, N.L. – Bailando en Shorts

Podcast: Diggin at the record swap

For this podcast we decided to try something we have never done before — set out to do a show without any records from our collection. Instead we went to a local record swap meet with a set budget of $50 each to create our playlist for the day.

After a full afternoon of digging through many boxes of records from all over the world we headed straight back to La Sala to see if we spent our money wisely. We think we did pretty well, but have a listen and let us know what you think.




Fela Ransome-Kuti and Africa ’70 with Ginger BakerLet’s Start


20th Century Steel BandHeaven and Hell is on Earth


MonarcoSilenciar A Mangueira


Avohou Pierre Et L’Orchestre Black Santiago – Makoba Houi Dé O


Al HirtHarlem Hendoo


Chico Che Y La CrisisSagitario


The DovesGive Peace to the People


Orquestre Le Peuple – Massavi Fololo Y’ Africa

The NumonicsYou Lied


El Gran ComboEl Jolgoria (Wepa-Wepa)

Guacamole Con Chile – Chicken Y Sus Comandos


In the previous post Smokestack wrote about the excellent pairing of Benin’s Orchestre Poly-Rythmo and a cold beer. Well I couldn’t help but follow that up with another great combo – Guacamole Con Chile. Sounds simple enough. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten someone’s guacamole and there’s no chile in there. Criminal! So here we have Chicken Y Su Comandos (who else would sing a song just about guacamole?) of Mexico’s Yucatan to set everyone straight. In fact it’s so direct and to the point the only words to the song are “gauacamolito con chile”. Nothing wrong with that. However, what really makes this song so incredibly tasty is that they paired their usual tropical guitar cumbia sounds with marimba. Without fail every time I hear this song it has me craving tortillas, frijoles, pollo asado… and of course a cold beer. I’m off to the fridge. ¡Bien provecho!

~ Jacobo

Guacamole Con Chile by Chicken y Sus Comandos

Guacamole Con Chile

Oro de México


This past August my fiancé and I treated ourselves to 3 weeks of traveling through Mexico. It had been five years since we were there last and my only regret from that last trip was that I didn’t go hunting for records. I wasn’t about to make that same mistake twice. We traveled through 4 states: Mexico (DF), Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. My expectation was that I would only find records in the tianguis (outdoor flea markets) of Mexico City which I did thanks to Franz’s friend. Thankfully I relearned the most valuable lesson in record digging—records are everywhere. The key of course is making friends. Below is small sampling of what I returned with.

The photo above was taken in Oaxaca after finding the bazar that I had been told about from a friend I made in another bazar. On our last day I stumbled across it after having no luck earlier. The place was dark, dirty, and filled with mosquitos. However, this bazar was also filled with stacks upon stacks of records. The only problems was we had a bus to catch with only minutes to spare. Digging at top speed I managed to find a fair amount of good stuff including this gem of a 45 from Acapulco Tropical called La Pollera Amarilla.


By the time we crossed from Oaxaca to Chiapas I really didn’t expect to find more records, but again making friends is the key. This time there was no getting lost. After making friends with the owner of a vintage shop we were guided straight to a record store filled with deadstock vinyl. (Mil gracias Edgar!) Musically Chiapas is most known for marimba. To be honest, a lot of marimba music from Central America just doesn’t do it for me. But how can you pass up Marimba Seguridad Publica De Chiapas, with it’s 8-man horn section covering La Sonora Dinamita’s Macumba? 


For those who have never been to Chiapas I highly recommend visiting if you get the chance. The natural beauty there is stunning beyond words. Of course we went to the Mayan ruins of Palenque. And it was only fitting to find this great record by Los Royang’s with Noche Palencana to provide the perfect soundtrack.


Without a doubt my absolute favorite state in Mexico is Veracruz. I’ve managed to collect a wealth of favorite memories over a short period of time there. And of course Veracruz is the home of Son Jarocho which we’re all big fans of here at La Pelanga. Here is one of the great standards from Veracruz, La Bruja by Conjunto Villa Del Mar De Angel Valencia. I can listen to this over and over.


Mexican salsa: tomatos, onions, garlic, chiles and limes are one of the best conjuntos of ingredientes ever! But in Veracruz you also have another legendary type of salsa—Sonora Veracruz. Here is a spoonful of their sound from the late 70s, El Pescador.


As any record digger will tell you, unearthing and breathing new life into a record is the rewarding part. But the real treasures are all the memories of the places and people you meet in the process.



South to North, Cumbia Mexicana


La Pelanga, the blog, has been up and running for well over a year now and with great respect we have to acknowledge some of the great music blogs out there that have influenced, encouraged, and better informed our musical awareness. One such blog is Super Sonido which is wonderfully curated by our East Bay neighbor Joe Franko (sonido franko). Of the many record collecting blogs I traffic his by far is one of the best and one which we highly recommend visiting if you like ours. Last year I picked up an incredible Yucatan record (Baile Con Chicken y Sus Comandos by Chicken Y Sus Comandos) that I now play at every Pelanga due to first getting turned onto them by this post on Super Sonido. Those familiar with the original version of Cumbia Candelosa by Edmundo Arias will immediately pick up on how these Yucatecos really take this song into whole other gear by putting some serious swing into it. I never get tired of the call and response between the sax and keys, then the chorus comes in to seal it all up.

Cumbia Candelosa by Chicken Y Sus Comandos

Cumbia Candelosa


From this record I have since discovered more of these great early Mexican cumbia groups like this hopping record Mas Cumbias De Pegue by Hermanos Martinez de Allende, N.L. Take a listen to a really fun song Bailando en Shorts. Despite this group hailing from much father North (Nuevo Leon) near the cumbia hotbed of Monterrey it carries a very similar interpretation of cumbia Colombiana as Chicken’s — heavy swing with that back and forth between the horns and keys. Cumbia has taken may diversions within it’s time in Mexico, but this early style is one of my favorites.

Bailando En Shorts by Hermanos Martinez De Allende, N. L.

Bailando en Shorts

If you haven’t gotten word yet. We’re throwing una Pelanga en La Peña in Berkeley, California on Friday, February 25 (see all the info here) to help raise money for the flood relief efforts in Colombia. Come through and shake up the dance floor with us!