200 Years

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Today if you’re anywhere between San Diego, California and Guabito, Panama then you’re probably having more fun than anyone else. The reason being of course is that September 16, 2010 marks the bicentennial of independence for the countries of Central America, (minus Panama, I think they needed an extra 1,000 day war to secede from Colombia). The anniversary has extra significance for Mexico as it also commemorates the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. There’s a montón de corridos y marachis out there for the occasion, but I’d like to take this opportunity to present music from my favorite Mexican state of Veracruz. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Huapango/Huasteca music on my very first night during a 6 week stay in Xalapa and I was recently lent this Huapango record by my coworker (mil gracias Kathleen!). Those that know music structure (not me) will recognize that this is a very complex rhythm (mixing duple and triple meters apparently). I just know I really loved it the moment I witnessed it. I say witness because like the Son Jarocho that we featured a few months ago, the music incorporates zapateado (dancing so that your heels hit the wooden floor as a form of percussion). So here are 2 great huapangos from Los Cantores de Panuco to go with your tequila y micheladas. Enjoy cabrones.

~pozole

El Aguanieve by Los Cantores De Panuco

El Aguanieve

La Guazanga by Los Cantores De Panuco

La Guazanga

“Cumbia a México”, Combo Moderno

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Everyone here at La Pelanga has been a little caught up with the World Cup, so we haven’t been posting all that much. Watching six hours of fútbol a day gets in the way of a lot of things. Having said that, the best of the tournament still lies ahead, including the last matches of the group round, which begin tomorrow. High drama, people. I’m dedicating this Pelanga post to the Mexican national team — EL TRI — who play tomorrow morning (Cali time) against Uruguay, and who showed mad huevos last week against France.

This track from El Combo Moderno says it all: Cumbia a México!

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Cumbia A México by Combo Moderno

Cumbia A México

— juancho

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.)

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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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