I listen to a lot of the local Banda/Norteno/Ranchero/Cumbia stations here in Los Angeles – there are quite a few! My favorite station is La Rockola 96.7 from Santa Ana, unfortunately their signal strength is not always reliable way up here on the Eastside. La Rockola station seems to have a “no Grupero or sappy love song” policy (unless it’s Pitbull or Aventura) which I quite appreciate because nothing gets on my nerves more than a sappy Banda ballad. Despite this, there are a couple of Banda ballads in this bunch, the vocal styles overcome the deficiencies of the genre.
I like the fast stuff, the music you can dance to, double beats, twiddling accordions, big tamborazo sounds and snappy tuba rhythms. The weird thing about Spanish radio is they never tell you the name of the song or the artist’s name. You are just supposed to KNOW. Where you find out, I’m not quite sure. The swapmeet? El Mercadito? Letreros on light poles announcing the latest show at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena? I’m saying this because there are songs I would have liked to include here but didn’t include for lack of information. For instance, there’s this song La Rockola plays about a “Toro Loco.” Anyone?
Below is a small offering of some of my favorite Mexican tunes from this year. The lyrics are horrible, I’ll just say that straight off the bat, all bling bling (lumi lumi), show off-y, bad ass womanizing drug dealing kinda stuff. My dream for 2012 would be a feminist and political themed detournment of Banda. Now that would be something!
Banda Los Recoditos – A Toda Madre