OK, I'LL start it: Rolling Banda/Duranguense/Narcocorrido/Flashy Matching Suits Regional Mexican Thread

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Since Afro-Latin was getting all gestapo on us, and I really wanted to post this link:


Please note that Arrolladora's logo is a "big lemon that looks like planet Earth." Also, their excellent ballad "Y Que Quede Claro" is currently #1, at least at Radio & Records.

I have no idea if I'll keep this going, so please other people start listening to this shit. In turn, I too will try to listen to more of it this year than I've recently managed.

dr. phil, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 13:59 (fourteen years ago) link

Fuck yeah, dude! I've been listening to shitloads of Ramon Ayala, Los Tucanes de Tijuana, and of course Los Tigres del Norte the past few months. I'm currently waiting for a copy of the Tigres' new live album to arrive in the mail. Kind of unrepresentative, that one, given that it only has 13 songs on it and their concerts are typically 3-4 hours long. Oh, well; I guess their fans wouldn't go for a Phish-style live boxed set.

unperson, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 14:46 (fourteen years ago) link

my media contact at Fonovisa got s-canned, no more free Mex regional for me; this is a shame as Jenni Rivera and Los Tigres and all those acts are very close to my heart ]:{[

Dimension 5ive, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 19:22 (fourteen years ago) link

From Banda thread, because it may spark discussion on this one:

hey this is the thread where my k-paz de la sierra questions should go. mostly just curious if there's any one album worth getting. i'm guessing there's probably a sergio gomez post-mortem compilation out there. can't totally explain why i like this stuff, hokeyness and all, but one thing is the drumming -- the stretches of no percussion followed by clattery snare drum flourishes.

― tipsy mothra, Thursday, January 8, 2009 4:52 PM (5 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

I remember I got a K-Paz CD from the library once and was disappointed. From that CD and hearing them on various comps, they're not my favorites, but they're definitely representative of the basic sound.

Like you, Tipsy, I love the percussion in this genre. Basically my like or dislike of any Duranguense artist comes down to how much extra "stuff," instrumentally and conceptually, seems to be rattling around outside the confines of the songs themselves. (Meltzerian "free lunches," I think.) So I don't really like K-Paz or Montez because they basically just play their songs, and aside from some percussion flourishes there's not a whole lot else going on. Horoscopos I like better because they throw in pop songs and they're led by hot women, but overall they come off a little too polite and studied. But Alacranes really have a sense of arrangement--the song textures will change from verse to verse, and their percussion is more nutso. And Banda Lamento Show are the craziest of these bands that I've found. And then Diana Reyes has a great voice and sings poppier songs, though her band leans toward the generic.

That said, Montez and Horoscopos are very entertaining on their concert DVDs because their musicianship is so outstanding.

(will now repost on aforementioned thread)

― dr. phil, Thursday, January 8, 2009 9:56 PM (0 seconds ago) Bookmark

dr. phil, Thursday, 8 January 2009 21:58 (fourteen years ago) link

thx dr. phil. so, is there a good duranguense compilation or anything? i have none of it, and really only know the videos i've seen on mun2 and youtube.

tipsy mothra, Thursday, 8 January 2009 22:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm partial to this one:


Lots of good songs and the recognizable-to-pop-ears free lunches of "Chiquitita" and, if I'm not mistaken, a song that totally rips off the melody of "Under the Boardwalk." I much prefer this to the more sterile Agarron Duranguense comp.

dr. phil, Thursday, 8 January 2009 22:05 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm not mistaken--it's "Fue en una Cafe." By whom I'm not sure.

dr. phil, Thursday, 8 January 2009 22:08 (fourteen years ago) link

cool. i'll look for it.

tipsy mothra, Thursday, 8 January 2009 22:50 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...

Xchuckx and I saw this Josh Kun piece in the NY Times on Mexican bands and music on cellphones


curmudgeon, Monday, 6 April 2009 02:51 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

I've got a profile of Jenni Rivera in this week's Houston Press (she played there last night):


Born In A Test Tube, Raised In A Cage (unperson), Friday, 25 June 2010 17:47 (twelve years ago) link

She's so great. And Lilith Fair! I gotta see if she and Ke$ha will both be on the Chicago bill.

Thanks for reviving. This year so far I've dug Diana Reyes's Amame, Besame, which alternates duranguenses with technocumbias and is impossibly bright and colorful throughout. Duranguense often sounds kind of depressingly low-budget, but this one has Capitol money behind it and all the instruments sound great. Probably my favorite of her albums, though I haven't heard anything pre-duranguense ('05).

Also liked Intocable's '09 album, which is all covers of Los Relámpagos del Norte, whom I've yet to check out. They got covered a little on Rolling Country.

And what the heck, here's brief blog writeups on Los Tucanes de Tijuana (good) and Los Primos de Durango (bad):

Los Tucanes de Tijuana

Sure, all the songs sound the same. That's just so they can shift our attention to the details--musical and (if you're more linguistically gifted than I) narrative. Specifically, narratives about drugs and crime. Stomping through 15 waltzes and polkas with more taut muscle than their beer-hall cousins, Los Tucanes teach you to glory in their close harmonies, aggressive bateria fills, and the liquid accordion of Alfredo Gonzalez Gonzalez. Not to mention the gunfire and siren FX, never more than a song away. For fans of Morton Feldman and the Sinaloa mafia.

Los Primos de Durango
Mi Mejor Regalo

Their "100% Duranguense Light" is the only instance I can recall of a band blatantly trying to innovate through selling out. More power to 'em--except that to call regular duranguense "heavy" or "authentic" or somehow "not pop" is to hear music that's simply not there. Duranguense per se is already a softer, quicker, synthier, poppier version of banda, so what can it possibly mean to "lighten" it? The Primos' answer is to keep their tambora player in line and make their horn fills more cloying.

dr. phil, Friday, 25 June 2010 20:17 (twelve years ago) link

Mexican groups appearing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the national mall in Washington DC:

Los Verdaderos Caporales de Apatzingán

Long-standing ensemble, Los Verdaderos Caporales de Apatzingán, hail from the heart of Tierra Caliente, the flat hotlands of the state of Michoacán, known as the cradle of conjunto de arpa grande or big harp ensemble music. Violinist and director Ricardo Gutiérrez first brought his Caporales to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1978, and they are proud to come back and represent the Tierra Caliente region.

Ricardo Gutiérrez Villa, director and violin

Polito Juarez Barragan, vihuela

Taurino Duarte Murillo, arpa grande

Manuel Pérez Morfín, violin

Isidoro Morfín Martínez, jarana

Hamac Caziim

With permission from their Council of Elders, musicians from the Comcáac community on the Gulf of California formed the group Hamaac Cazíim to perform rock music with traditional lyrics and language. The goal is to engage members of the younger generation in the history and culture of their own people.

Israel Robles Barnett, director and drums

Francisco Molina Sesma, lead vocals and dance

Anselmo Morales Astorga, 1st guitar

Juan de Dios Martínez Ibarra, 2nd guitar

Jeremías López Félix, electric bass

Son de Madera Trio

The jaranero movement seeks to preserve and promote the traditional son jarocho of southern Veracruz. Its leading members include Ramón Gutiérrez, Patricio Hidalgo, and Rubí Oseguera. Ramón and Rubí are also well known members of Son de Madera, a music group that represents the current success in the movement and have collaborated with master verse improviser Patricio on many occasions.

Ramón Gutiérrez Hernández, requinto and vocals

Patricio Hidalgo Bellí, jarana and vocals

Rubí Oseguera Rueda, zapateado dance

Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos

The dance and music of the Grupo de Fandango de Artesa Los Quilamos from the southern coastal region of Oaxaca combine indigenous, African, and Spanish elements. Their repertoire includes traditional sones, as well as chilenas, a South American music and dance style probably brought to the area by Chileans traveling to California during the gold rush in the 1840s and 1850s. (This group also performs as a trio by the name of Trío Santa Quilama featuring guitar, requinto and maracas)

Cardencheros de Sapioriz

Los Cardencheros de Sapioriz uphold a dramatic, heart-rending a cappella singing tradition distinctive to the plains of the Comarca Lagunera region in the states of Coahuila and Durango. As Guadalupe Salazar, the bass voice of the group, explains, this tradition comes from the times when men gathered at the edge of town, after a day in the fields, to drink and sing. He continues, “To sing canción cardenche, you must feel it—it penetrates like the thorns of the cardenche fruit, which are even more painful when they are pulled out.”

Chinelos de Atlatlahucan/Banda de Atlatlahucan

The Chinelos are carnivalesque dance troupes that form part of Mexico’s broad repertoire of dramas and masquerades drawing from European and Indian traditions. Costumed in elaborate velvet gowns and head dresses, masked Chinelos playfully mock the white Spanish colonizers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During community fiestas, they joyfully dance through the town accompanied by the local band, performing distinctive steps. For example, the tzineloa, which means hip shake in Náhuatl, purposely makes the Chinelo look awkward or disjointed, thereby adding to the ridicule. The Chinelos have become part of the identity of the state of Morelos.

Mariachi Tradicional Los Tíos

The Mariachi Tradicional Los Tíos from El Manguito, a remote community in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains of Jalisco, boast a son repertoire distinctive to this region where mariachi music has flourished for more than 150 years

curmudgeon, Saturday, 26 June 2010 04:26 (twelve years ago) link

Another slain singer


Sergio ‘El Shaka’ Vega: Music, Mexico and Murder
By Elijah Wald

When warlords are fighting, being a court musician can become dangerous
work. On Saturday evening a popular Mexican singer, Sergio Vega, nicknamed
“El Shaka,” was shot to death on the highway in southern Sonora, north of
Los Mochis, Sinaloa. No one has been arrested for the killing, and it is
unlikely that anyone will be, but already there is speculation that his
murder may be related to his music.

Mexican ranchera singers don’t sound like gangsta rappers: their songs are
typically in waltz or polka rhythms, and backed by perky accordions or
oompahing brass bands. But like rap, much of modern ranchera comes out of
the same areas that produce the most violent gangs and drug cartels. The
mountains of Sinaloa, on Mexico’s west coast, have been the heartland of the
drug business for almost a century thanks to plentiful crops of opium and
marijuana, and Sinaloan singers have been the most popular performers of
narcocorridos, or drug ballads.

Several have also been killed. Chalino Sánchez, the most influential corrido
composer and singer of the last 20 years, was shot to death in the state
capital of Culiacán in 1992, and in 2006 a singer named Valentín Elizalde
was killed as he left a concert in Reynosa, on the Texas border. One of
Elizalde’s songs had been used to accompany a YouTube video threatening a
border drug lord, and his murder sparked a wave of speculation that
musicians might be targeted because of their songs.

The reality is more complicated. The next well-known singer to be killed,
Sergio Gómez, led a pop band that played no drug songs, but his death was
equally linked to the incredible surge of drug-related murders that has
plagued Mexico in recent years. According to UPI, Mexican officials estimate
that there have been more than 18,000 drug-related killings in the country
since 2006. Considering those numbers, it may be that the deaths of a few
well-known musicians are just a statistical accident—as in Prohibition-era
Chicago, musicians often play in clubs or at concerts or parties sponsored
by underworld figures. Indeed, songwriters are often hired by traffickers to
write corridos on commission, telling about heroic gun battles or wily
smuggling tricks. So the fact that they are occasionally killed may have
more to do with the company they keep than with anything they are singing.

Sergio Vega’s biggest hits were mostly romantic songs, but he was well
aware of the dangers. In an ironic twist, just hours before his death he
contacted a Mexican website to deny rumors that he had been murdered. ”Of
course we are somewhat frightened, all of us who play norteño and banda
music,” he said. “I have sung some very strong lyrics, many corridos, and
one does think about it and feel a little fear… you just have to trust in

Within hours of Vega’s death, YouTube was flooded with videos of his crashed
car, showing the bullet holes in the windshield, soon followed by photos of
his funeral. The most heartfelt tribute, though, was one of his own
recordings, “Fiesta en el Cielo” (“Party in Heaven”) a song that places
recently murdered musicians in the company of revolutionary heroes like
Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata: “This is a tribute to Sergio Vega, another
guest of honor at the party in heaven” a fan has written beneath it. “Today
he is singing together with Chalino, ‘El Gallo’ Elizalde, Pedro Infante…and
so many other Mexican greats.”
Elijah Wald is a writer and musician. His books include “Narcocorrido: A
Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas,” and “How the Beatles
Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music.”
For more information, visit www.elijahwald.com.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 14:29 (twelve years ago) link

Another article about him

* * *

Mexico mourns yet another slain Norteno singer
By MOLLY O'TOOLE Associated Press
June 29, 2010, 5:54AM

MEXICO CITY — Norteno singer Sergio Vega was shot dead in a northern state
that has produced many of Mexico's most notorious drug kingpins, joining a
recent string of murdered musicians - some of them famous for crooning about
the cartel lifestyle.

Unknown assailants intercepted Vega's red Cadillac on Saturday night near
Los Mochis in Sinaloa state and riddled it with more than 30 bullets,
authorities said. There were no arrests, and police have not identified any
suspects or a possible motive.

Vega, 40, was a singer of "narcocorridos" - a subgenre that updates the
folkloric "corrido" tradition of ballads about revolutionary heroes to tell
the story of, and sometimes lionize, drug traffickers.

Elijah Wald, author of the book "Narcocorrido," said Monday that such
singers often get caught up in the violent world they sing about.

"The music world has always been connected with the crime world," Wald said.
"And it is common for ranchera singers - especially if they sing corridos,
as Vega did - to be hired to play parties for people in the drug world, or
to be sponsored by drug money when they are starting out."

Sinaloa state prosecutor's spokesman Martin Gastelum said Vega was killed
while driving a wounded man to the hospital.

However the passenger, Sergio Montiel Avila, said there was just one attack.
Gunmen inside a vehicle that was following them unleashed a hail of bullets
that wounded him in the neck and caused Vega to lose control and crash, he
told El Debate newspaper.

Avila said he managed to escape the car and hide, but the assailants
"finished Mr. Vega off" with shots to the head and chest.

Ana Luisa Gomez, Vega's agent, said memorial services would be held over
several days in Sonora. A Mass was celebrated Monday.

Born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora state, Vega moved to Phoenix in the 1980s. He
began to sing with his brothers in a group that came to be known as Los
Hermanos Vega, and later, Los Shakas del Norte. The band returned to Mexico
in 1994.

He took a break from music between 2001 and 2003 to undergo rehab for
alcohol and drug addiction.

Just hours before his murder, Vega denied rumors that he had been killed.

"It has happened to me for years now - someone tells a radio station or a
newspaper I have been killed, or suffered an accident," he told La Oreja, an
entertainment website. "And then I have to call my dear mother, who has
heart trouble, to reassure her."

Vega also said he had increased security due to killings of fellow musicians
in northern Mexico - at least seven in the recent years, according to the

The list includes Valentin Elizalde, "El Gallo de Oro," who was shot to
death along with his manager and driver in 2006 following a performance in
Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas. Officials suggested
Elizalde's killing may have been linked to a violent video posted online and
set to his song "A Mis Enemigos."

In 2007, Zayda Pena of the group Zayda and the Guilty Ones was shot in a
hospital while recovering from a separate bullet wound. A day later, Sergio
Gomez of the group K-Paz de la Sierra was kidnapped after a concert at which
Vega also played. Gomez was later found strangled, with signs of having been

"Another artist who has gone. Enough!" read one message on Vega's Facebook
page, which has turned into an online memorial wall with hundreds of
postings from grieving fans.

"Many innocent and hardworking people are dying," the message continued. It
urged President Felipe Calderon to end drug violence that has killed more
than 23,000 people since late 2006.

Sinaloa has been as affected by the violence as any other state. It is the
birthplace of Sinaloa cartel bosses Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Ismael "El
Mayo" Zambada, as well as a half-dozen purported Juarez and Beltran-Leyva
cartel kingpins.

The motive behind Vega's murder is still unclear, and Wald cautioned against
jumping to the conclusion that he was targeted for his music.

"Sinaloa is a very dangerous place right now," he said. "A more realistic
way to phrase the story is that they are killing so many people that some
musicians are included."

Some slayings of singers are reputed to have been caused by jealousy over a
romantic relationship; others due to revenge or to send a message because
the singer, a friend or a relative was involved in trafficking.

"Of course, the fact that these are the common explanations doesn't mean
that they are right," Wald added. "No one who will talk to you knows the
truth, and no one who knows the truth will talk to you."

* * *

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 14:33 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

So who does the completely insane Regional Mexican/Norteno Novelty/Whatever version of David Seville's "The Witchdoctor" I heard on Austin radio today??? I really really need to know!

xhuxk, Sunday, 22 August 2010 01:02 (twelve years ago) link

two months pass...

Alvin & the Chipmunks?

Here's Banda el Recodo on the Latin Grammys 2010


curmudgeon, Saturday, 13 November 2010 21:04 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...

didn't know there's been a separate banda thread all this time.

fauxmarc, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 18:58 (twelve years ago) link

rarely used alas.

I probably will miss this Sunday's Los Horoscops du Durango show at East Coast in Woodbridge, VA south of W. DC. That club has a bunch of gigs there involving bands relevent to this thread.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 19:18 (twelve years ago) link


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 8 December 2010 19:19 (twelve years ago) link

Horoscopos! Did you hear their album from this year? I, sadly, did not.

But I just listened to Diana Reyes again tonight, and Amame Besame is still great. Probably my second favorite album of the year, after Cathedral. So bright, so many good tunes. Here's my review (from <a href="http://joshlanghoff.blogspot.com/search/label/latin%20music";>blog</a>):

Diana Reyes
Amame, Besame
(EMI Latin)

Diana Reyes has been making good albums for years, but Ámame, Bésame (“Love Me, Kiss Me”) is an explosion of color and energy like nothing else in her catalogue. It’s also a breakthrough for duranguense, the Chicago-based techno-polka style that five years ago threatened to take over regional Mexican radio. Back then, Reyes pulled one of the most effective genre switcheroos in Latin pop history, when she left her native norteño music for duranguense. Reyes was so confident about this career move, she titled her first album in the new genre La Reina del Pasito Duranguense (“The Queen of the Duranguense Dance Step”). Just to make certain nobody argued, she sang the hell out of her songs and grew her fingernails to a frightening length.

Duranguense’s impact has since cooled, thanks to scene infighting and the fickle winds of public taste. Maybe that’s why Ámame, Bésame alternates its polkas with more pop-wise techno cumbias, in the tradition of A.B. Quintanilla’s Kumbia All-Starz. Reyes even covers a couple songs by Quintanilla’s late sister, Selena, and works with his production associate, Luigi Giraldo. Giraldo has assembled a crack band for his songs, and his arrangements really sparkle. When you hear how the accordion switches from outlining the melody to playing riffs, or how the strategically placed laser FX chirp away in the background, you can tell how much care he’s lavished on this music.

Of course, such sonic tchotchkes are par for the course with most pop music. Reyes’s stunning achievement is that she now gets that same bold, detailed sound with her duranguense producers. If Reyes’s previous four duranguense albums were good, they also sounded a little thinner, as though they were made on a much lower budget. Indeed, that’s been the case with lots of duranguense music. For this album Reyes’s Chicago producers, the Orwellian-sounding “The Team, Inc.”, have really amped up the energy. The polkas are faster and louder. Where Reyes’s backing band once sounded anonymous, they now clatter away on tambora and provide wild electronic tuba fills. With their madcap woodwind lines and beat changes, these polkas resemble Carl Stalling’s orchestra performing Europop songs during Oktoberfest. Which isn’t to say it’s ALL louder--the background keyboards that once popped garishly out of the mix have been replaced by softer, subtler synths. What it all adds up to is increased professionalism and, I assume, a higher recording budget courtesy EMI, Reyes’s new label.

Here’s what hasn’t changed: Reyes still sings the hell out of her songs. Whether she’s singing songs written specifically for her, or covering Selena or Lupita d’Alessio (a balladeer and telenovela actress), Reyes delivers each tune with enough full-throated conviction to completely command her arrangements. Her clear tone and phrasing keep her free from syrupy melodrama, but her voice is laced with a magical huskiness that hints at some hidden pain or experience. You sense she knows more than she’s willing to reveal in the song. In the sinister “Ten Mucho Cuidado” (“Be Very Careful”), which sounds like sped-up Ace of Base + accordion, Reyes switches from quick, matter-of-fact tongue twisting to a soaring world weariness. Her song-picking ability is uncannily good, but this woman would sound great even if someone made her sing an album of Ariel Pink covers.

Thankfully it hasn’t come to that. This is the best-sounding duranguense--or, I guess, semi-duranguense--album I’ve heard. It’s bursting with catchy pop songs and full arrangements that allow them to flourish. Ámame, Bésame ends with a polka version of the title track, replete with a whistle doubling the melody, haphazard organ fills, electronic squelches, and what sounds like EVERY OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENT that The Team, Inc. could dig out of their Memory Hole. It’s as though they realized that, after revolutionizing the sound of the duranguense genre, they should send us out with as big a bang as possible. Explosion accomplished.

dr. phil, Thursday, 9 December 2010 03:57 (twelve years ago) link

Y this:

Los Titanes de Durango
Los Locos del Corrido

Picture Cream. Now imagine that Eric Clapton plays accordion. He has to cover all the same parts--fills and riffs and power chords and whatnot--only he plays accordion. Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker are still around, only now they're named Agustin and Jose. And Clapton has a brother! He plays a 12-string that he tunes an octave down. Doesn't add a whole lot to the power trio texture, but, you know, he's cool and he's Clapton's brother. Anyway, Clapton--now rechristened Sergio--writes and sings all the songs. They're like Cream songs if Cream had only one slow song, and if most of the others were spritely waltzes, and everything was recorded really dry and clean and sung in Spanish. (They're not really like Cream songs.) And now imagine that Arizona governor Jan Br3w3r wakes up in the desert to find that she's missing a kidney; someone replaced it with a baggie full of cocaine. Ms. Br3w3r starts to hallucinate in the desert heat--OR DOES SHE?? She gets into a fight with the Statue of Liberty on Gl3nn B3ck's TV show, and the Statue of Liberty bares her noble fangs and rips the baggie out of Br3w3r's abdomen in front of a live audience. Pandemonium ensues, and a Latino March on Washington. (Gl3nn B3ck is so moved by the whole experience that he quits his media jobs and joins the Catholic Workers.) (For no apparent reason, Jeff Beck does the same.) At the March, the transmogrified Cream, rechristened Los Titanes de Durango, play a long set bursting with giddy triumph, and the crowd listens for hours, barely even noticing when the band start repeating songs. That's sort of like this CD.

dr. phil, Thursday, 9 December 2010 03:58 (twelve years ago) link

! where is that review from

fauxmarc, Thursday, 9 December 2010 16:00 (twelve years ago) link

oh, that's you - nice

fauxmarc, Thursday, 9 December 2010 16:02 (twelve years ago) link

Doesn't Dr. Phil write for newspapers and such under his duranguese name of J*sh something or other?

Ok, I confess, I just learned that "Duranguese" means "from Durango" as in that northern Mexican semi-rural mountainous region, and that many Duranguese bands are Chicago-based. Including Los Horoscopos du Durango whom I missed at the East Coast club in Woodbridge, VA last night. And whose cd with their female members prominently displaying some of their assets, I have not yet purchased from target where I saw it. Los Creadorez, also from Chicago will be at East Coast Monday December 20th. They do a few cumbias as well as polkas, rancheras and more.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 December 2010 15:13 (twelve years ago) link

I'm not wowed by Los Creadorez, who are an offshoot of one of the first duranguese groups. They're good at what they do, but maybe the problem is me and not them.

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 December 2010 15:15 (twelve years ago) link

I've only written for a newspaper about duranguense this one time, back in '05. (Submitted an EMP proposal this year, but didn't make it in.) Haven't kept up on this stuff as well as I should, but Creadorez is an offshoot of Montez, and they may still be embroiled in a legal battle over the name "Montez". Similar is the legal battle currently going on over the "Alacranes" name; the judge in that case is also presiding over the continuing saga of Rod Blagojevich in our fair city, so last I heard the fate of the "Alacranes" name was kind of on the back burner. If Creadorez are anything like Montez, I can imagine the problem is them -- Montez are technically adept, but everything goes down a little too easy and nothing really sticks out of their music, whereas a band like Alacranes is more playful, with more inventive arrangements.


The Horoscopos singers, sisters, are indeed blatantly hot. The band belongs to their father, who's been running it since the '70s. They came aboard when he decided to make the leap to duranguense. I guess Dad knows what it takes to sell records.

dr. phil, Monday, 13 December 2010 15:58 (twelve years ago) link

I just learned that "Duranguese" means "from Durango" as in that northern Mexican semi-rural mountainous region, and that many Duranguese bands are Chicago-based

yeah i love that it's ... indigenous mexican-american? music.

fauxmarc, Monday, 13 December 2010 16:28 (twelve years ago) link

Yes. Chicago and the Los Angeles area seem to be the headquarters. Here's an old article by another Josh who's been writing about this stuff for the NY Times (another piece by him is linked upthread)


The Creadorez videos get lots of youtube watchers. There's one with a pizza delivery guy who can't get the upscale hot gal; another with a guy carrying a large stuffed animal, flowers, and a box of chocolates and driving an suv around (suburban Chicago?) who is also striking out with an upscale hot gal...

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 December 2010 17:20 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...


LOS ANGELES – January 13, 2011 – Telemundo’s mun2, the second most watched Hispanic cable network among Persons 18-34, announced its new reality series “I Love Jenni” today at NBC Universal’s 2011 TCA Press Tour. “Access Hollywood’s” Shaun Robinson joined as moderator during the press conference, where she interviewed Executive Producer and Star of the reality series, Jenni Rivera and unveiled a sneak peek of “I Love Jenni,” which is slated to premiere March, 2011. The presentation was held at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. Visit mun2.tv/ilovepress for a sneak peek of “I Love Jenni.”

“As mun2 continues to celebrate our uniquely American stories, we couldn’t be prouder to showcase Jenni Rivera’s life,” said Flavio Morales, SVP of Programming and Production for mun2. “Thousands of people around the world have fallen in love with Jenni Rivera and we know you will too.”

“As Producer of our last show on mun2, it was gratifying to see that viewers tuned in,” said Jenni Rivera. “In season two, “I Love Jenni” turns the focus on my complicated career and family, and how we live in both worlds. Fans will get a behind the scenes look at mi vida loca, and all the different personalities in the Rivera family. This is going to be one fun ride.”

“I Love Jenni” is a uniquely American reality series that welcomes viewers to the world of the Rivera family, with Jenni Rivera as our guide. The 13-episode show will offer an inside look at the life of Jenni the superstar, the proud mother of five, the grandmother, the entrepreneur, the media-maven, and now the newlywed, having recently married MLB LA Dodger pitcher and two-time All-Star player Esteban Loaiza.

Jenni Rivera partnered with mun2 in 2010 as Co-Executive Producer of the reality show, “Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C,” which scored record ratings for the network. Nearly four million (Persons 2+) total viewers tuned in to the reality show during its first season on air and the season finale delivered an impressive 222,000 (Persons 2+) total viewers, 124,000 (Persons 18-34), and 141,000 (Persons 18-49) on average, making it the network's highest rated original reality series. “Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C” scored over 7 million page views on mun2.tv and, in the last six months, 1.2 million unique visitors have requested Jenni Rivera content.

Jenni Rivera is the most prominent female recording artist in regional Mexican music, the top-selling Latin music genre in the U.S. She is a multi-gold, platinum and double platinum award-winning artist whose record-breaking streaks include being the first Latin artist to sell out the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles two nights in a row.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 18 January 2011 04:31 (twelve years ago) link

three weeks pass...


Mexican norteno music on the NY subways

curmudgeon, Sunday, 13 February 2011 04:28 (twelve years ago) link

I love the flashy matching suits so much.

banjee trillness (The Reverend), Sunday, 13 February 2011 05:02 (twelve years ago) link

i think this thread needs more pictures


j., Monday, 14 February 2011 04:42 (twelve years ago) link


j., Monday, 14 February 2011 04:47 (twelve years ago) link


curmudgeon, Monday, 14 February 2011 05:28 (twelve years ago) link

sweet article

fauxmarc, Monday, 14 February 2011 16:53 (twelve years ago) link

three months pass...


Los Tigres new album with a zillion guests including Residente of Calle 13 streaming

curmudgeon, Friday, 20 May 2011 15:19 (twelve years ago) link

pointy shoe thing in the guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2011/may/16/pointy-boots-craze-matehuala-mexico

fauxmarc, Monday, 23 May 2011 18:20 (twelve years ago) link

The Leningrad Cowboys from Finland must be proud

curmudgeon, Monday, 23 May 2011 19:34 (twelve years ago) link

five months pass...

Grupo Exterminador are coming to the DC area. Anyone like them? I haven't searched for their music online yet.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 15:13 (eleven years ago) link

Come back Dr. Phil and Matt-Haikunym. We need folks who know these genres...

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 2 November 2011 16:55 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

“But banda has really grown,” Mr. Campos said. “It’s like a new, cool trend with young people. It’s now cool to have a live band with a tuba, or to be a tuba player.”

As a result, sousaphones have made work in bandas more lucrative. A banda can make at least $3,000 for a night’s work at a wedding or quinceañera, said J. D. Salas, who teaches tuba at Steven F. Austin State University in Texas.

And the tuba player, who is often the leader of the group, usually gets the largest share.

curmudgeon, Friday, 10 February 2012 14:12 (eleven years ago) link

amazing i love that

fauxmarc, Friday, 10 February 2012 15:05 (eleven years ago) link

Emphasizing tuba is a really good way for them to keep their music from being co-opted

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 11 February 2012 21:03 (eleven years ago) link

I don't see this posted already:

5 norteno musicians, 4 others killed in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A masked man opened fire on a band playing popular norteno music Saturday in a Chihuahua city dance hall, killing five musicians, four customers and injuring 10 others.

Chihuahua prosecutors spokesman Carlos Gonzalez said the attack appeared to target members of the La Quinta Banda group but the motive behind the early morning shooting wasn't clear. The suspect, a short man wearing a gray sweatshirt, fired about 40 times with a high-caliber weapon in the Far West disco.

Among the dead was an off-duty police officer, Gonzalez said.

Norteno singers in Mexico have been targeted before, apparently for getting involved with drug cartels, which pay them to compose narcocorridos, or ballads that glorify drug lords.

In 2010, popular norteno singer Sergio Vega was shot dead as he road in his red Cadillac in Sinaloa, a state that has produced many of Mexico's most notorious drug kingpins. Another Norteno singer killed was Valentin Elizalde, "El Gallo de Oro," who was shot to death along with his manager and driver in 2006 following a performance in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas.

La Quinta Banda was well-known in the city of Chihuahua, but not nearly as popular as Elizalde or Vega.

Its MySpace account showcases songs mostly about love and parties.

Photos from local newspapers showed the bloody bodies of the band members lying next to their instruments on stage. Four people were killed in another shooting at the same dance hall in August 2009.

People who answered cell phones listed for La Quinta Banda identified themselves as relatives of the musicians but didn't want to give their names.

The band had reduced its workload, while sometimes playing at extravagant parties in ranches, because of increased drug violence in the northern state.

Also on Saturday, federal police announced the capture of a leader of one armed gang hired by the world's most powerful drug lord Joaquin Guzman, also known as El Chapo.

Jose Antonio Torres Marrufo, 33, is the suspected leader of Gente Nueva, an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel mainly based in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Federal police agents arrested Torres with his bodyguard Friday in the central Mexican city of Leon.

Federal police anti-drug chief Ramon Pequeno said Torres is accused of being the mastermind behind a September 2009 massacre at a rehab center where 18 people were killed.

Torres has an arrest warrant in El Paso, Texas, on drug trafficking charges, Pequeno said.

"dunce cap" shape of the original North Korean No Dong missile (_Rudipherous_), Saturday, 11 February 2012 23:36 (eleven years ago) link

wow that tuba raid story is awesome! too bad about the murders, though.

Laura Lucy Lynn (La Lechera), Saturday, 11 February 2012 23:40 (eleven years ago) link

I missed AK-7 (Mexican banda) Saturday night at El Boqueron II, in Rockville, MD outside Washington DC. Have not seen any reviews for it (and have not checked tweets).

curmudgeon, Monday, 13 February 2012 14:53 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...


curmudgeon, Wednesday, 29 February 2012 15:10 (eleven years ago) link

nine months pass...

Man, sad news: Jenni Rivera's died in a plane crash:


Ned Raggett, Sunday, 9 December 2012 19:58 (ten years ago) link

Terrible news - a huge loss to the genre. I interviewed her back in 2010.

誤訳侮辱, Sunday, 9 December 2012 21:49 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, that's really bad. She seemed like such a life force, and I feel for her poor family. "Jenni" was easily one of my favorite albums last decade, and "Parrandera, Rebelde y Atrevida" wasn't too far behind.

dr. phil, Monday, 10 December 2012 03:15 (ten years ago) link

So sad.

curmudgeon, Monday, 10 December 2012 03:28 (ten years ago) link

Gustavo Arellano's obituary and celebration:


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:41 (ten years ago) link


Washington Post article mentions Arellano and notes that the Washington Post and many other Enlish language locations never covered Rivera while she was alive (and selling out the Staples Center in Los Angeles). I stumbled across a long story on Rivera and her death on tv on Entertainment Tonight. They suddenly loved her backstory and what might have been (planned English language tv show, etc). There was a nice NY Times obit.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:48 (ten years ago) link

More about the crash coming out makes it seem that the plane owner is a REAL shady motherfucker.


Ned Raggett, Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:50 (ten years ago) link

That stinks.

I saw on TPM someone saying "don't ever ride on a private plane if you;re a musician"; presumably referencing Buddy Holly and whomever.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 December 2012 16:07 (ten years ago) link

In happier news, Singles Jukebox talked up Roberto Tapia's #1 Regional/#2 Latin hit "Mirando al Cielo" thanks to me, though I wasn't real happy with my blurb. And then on tumblr J0nathan B0gart gave a nuanced account of how reg Mex does and does not equal country music.

Bogart: http://jonathanbogart.tumblr.com/post/37818259528/screwrocknroll-thesinglesjukebox-amnesty

Jukebox: http://thesinglesjukebox.tumblr.com/post/37776519564/amnesty-2012-roberto-tapia-mirando-al-cielo#notes

dr. phil, Friday, 14 December 2012 17:15 (ten years ago) link

I reviewed Tapia's 2008 and 2009 albums for AMG, but kinda lost track of him after that. Maybe I should revisit.

誤訳侮辱, Friday, 14 December 2012 17:43 (ten years ago) link

nine months pass...

Latin Grammy Banda album nominees. The show is on November 21st

Banda Album

"Las Vueltas De La Vida" — Banda Carnaval

"El Free" — Banda Los Recoditos

"2012 Fin y Principio De Una Era" — Cuisillos

"Pá La Raza" — El Dasa

"Muchas Gracias" — La Adictiva Banda De San José Mesillas

"La Original y Sus Boleros De Amor" — La Original Banda El Limón De Salvador Lizárraga

curmudgeon, Thursday, 26 September 2013 19:06 (nine years ago) link

Should probably go see Montez de Durango tonight, but I'm tired

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 September 2013 21:01 (nine years ago) link

Jose Perez Leon is such a devastating song.

Inte Regina Lund eller nån, mitt namn är (ShariVari), Wednesday, 9 October 2013 19:53 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...
three months pass...

That female banda band Los Horoscopos du Darango are back in my part of the world Friday...

curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 March 2014 19:58 (nine years ago) link

I happened upon Los Horoscopos at Taste of Chicago, in 2011 I think. They were really good -- the set was half banda half duranguense, but the banda had some snazzy moves when they weren't playing. Nonstop energy and musicianship.

In other news, the EMP Pop Conference schedule is up, and I'll be presenting with Mr. Kun and Ms. Buendía on this panel, hooray:
Buendía, “How to Make It in the Americas: The Workings of An Independent Transnational Music Community”
Kun, “I Know All the Borders, Roads, Rivers and Canals: Mobility, Movements, and the Making of ‘Regional Mexican’ Music”
Langhoff, “Pronounced ‘Jai-Fi’: California Norteño, the Word “Hyphy,” and the Story of a Movement”

It's Saturday afternoon April 26, if anyone's going.

My favorite norteno album so far this year is Los Buitres' TERRITORIO BUITRE, but that's not saying a whole lot. About half the songs flip between quartet and banda, and those are the best songs. There's also a couple decent Espinoza Paz numbers and a few that are middling to boring, notably their attempt at an accordion-driven power ballad. I'm still happy to listen all the way through, though. "Mejor Soltero" and "Noche de Lokera" are especially good. They're a weird band -- they alternate between seeming really ambitious and phoning it in.

dr. philth (dr. phil), Thursday, 6 March 2014 20:27 (nine years ago) link


curmudgeon, Thursday, 6 March 2014 20:57 (nine years ago) link

the set was half banda half duranguense, but the banda had some snazzy moves when they weren't playing. Nonstop energy and musicianship.

May I confess to still not always knowing the difference between these two styles and norteno, as well. Can you explain them?

curmudgeon, Friday, 7 March 2014 18:30 (nine years ago) link

May I confess to still not always knowing the difference between these two styles and norteno, as well. Can you explain them?

Duranguense: too fast half the time; also, ultra-cheesy keyboards
Banda: fucking clarinets
Norteño: THE BEST, because the most stripped-down (guitar, bass, drums, accordion, maybe saxophone)

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Friday, 7 March 2014 19:40 (nine years ago) link

seven months pass...

new blog (early self promotion): http://nortenoblog.wordpress.com/

Humorist's breakdown is basically right on, though he's bothered by clarinets more than I am. A banda's a big band, 16 members or so, with brass, clarinets, and often percussion. Norteño usually refers to a smaller band, with drums, bajo sexto, bass or tuba, and accordion. There is also a repertoire of norteño songs, which bandas often play. Some bandas and norteño groups have close relationships, notably Banda Carnaval and Calibre 50, which share some songwriting credits. Current pop songwriters like Luciano Luna and Espinoza Paz write songs for both types of ensembles.

Duranguense's its own thing and is mostly over at this point. If I remember correctly, its Grammy category was "banda." It's a little like a synth-based approximation of banda, though still mostly acoustic instruments -- the synths take lead lines and oompahs. The lead lines are indeed ultra cheesy; the best artists either buried them in the mix (Diana Reyes) or played up the demented aspects of the music (Banda Lamento Show).

dr. philth (dr. phil), Friday, 31 October 2014 20:45 (eight years ago) link

looks good

curmudgeon, Monday, 3 November 2014 19:15 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Hey guyz this thread still exists

black metal for black people (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 12 December 2014 04:19 (eight years ago) link

From Dr. Phil's blog (minus the links):

These were the top Regional Mexican songs of December 18, 1999, as reported by Billboard. Some things to note:

Los Angeles Azules continue to intrigue.

Several of these bands — El Recodo, Primavera, Los Tigres — released music in 2014. All of them sound pretty much the same today as they did 15 years ago.

Ah, the sound of traditional dance music.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 13 December 2014 17:31 (eight years ago) link

Am now checking out La Nueva Rebelion.

Humorist (horse) (誤訳侮辱), Saturday, 13 December 2014 19:48 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Hey, thanks for reading! Here's the NorteñoBlog Top 10-ish lists. PopMatters ran the same lists with Haikunym adding a blurb for Regulo Caro's album. I would also like to complain that out of 10 Latin albums and 10 Latin songs, Billboard's year-end best-of found space for exactly one norteño artist, Regulo Caro. It's a good song, though -- "Soltero Disponible."

The Singles Jukebox covers La Nueva Rebelión: http://www.thesinglesjukebox.com/?p=14673

dr. philth (dr. phil), Sunday, 28 December 2014 13:05 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...


Young Mexican norteno and narcocorrido singer

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 February 2015 15:19 (eight years ago) link

Singer/accordion player Alfredo Olivas shot six times at a show in Chihuahua; 3 people arrested; multiple concerts postponed, obviously.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Wednesday, 4 March 2015 19:37 (eight years ago) link

crazy down there at times

curmudgeon, Friday, 6 March 2015 15:53 (eight years ago) link




100 Damas entran Gratis hasta las 10:30pm

curmudgeon, Thursday, 19 March 2015 16:37 (eight years ago) link

Here's NorteñoBlog's top singles of 2015, first quarter, and the accompanying Youtube playlist.

dr. philth (dr. phil), Wednesday, 1 April 2015 20:25 (eight years ago) link

Plus more violence: Javier Rosas, who I was just starting to like, got shot in a scenario that sounds more cartel-related than Olivas's situation. That may still be hearsay, though. (Billboard also reports that "on March 15, Rogelio "El Chicken" Contreras Rivera, of the band Kumbiamberos RS, was kidnapped and killed while playing at a bar in Monterrey," which is terrible.) Of course, Gerardo Ortiz bounced back from a similar shooting incident to become the face of the genre. It reminds me of kids liking 50 Cent for his "authenticity" when he first came out -- I'm pretty sure I'm not imagining that? -- though Ortiz is a way better artist than 50 ever was, and Rosas might be also.

dr. philth (dr. phil), Wednesday, 1 April 2015 20:35 (eight years ago) link

six months pass...

Nice. Lots of details.

curmudgeon, Monday, 5 October 2015 15:56 (seven years ago) link

three years pass...

I am reading a book of essays about regional Mexican music and migration (Musica sin fronteras: ensayos sobre migracion, musica, e identidad) and am learning so much about regional Mexican music. It's really interesting and is making me stop every half page to google something. <3 (also it's in Spanish so I am learning a lot of new musical vocabulary)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 21 March 2019 00:41 (four years ago) link

Your Spanish is better than mine

curmudgeon, Thursday, 21 March 2019 03:34 (four years ago) link

two years pass...
one year passes...

construction workers next door to my place are blaring their music loud. Shazam says they have played yesterday songs including Betillo Guerrero "Por Clave el 13" and norteno band Los Tucanes de Tijuana

curmudgeon, Thursday, 16 February 2023 06:05 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

Peso Pluma on Why Being the First Regional Mexican Artist in Spotify’s RADAR Program Is ‘Big for the Country, the Genre and the Industry’ https://t.co/ooHfqTNca7

— billboard latin (@billboardlatin) May 22, 2023

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 May 2023 16:41 (one week ago) link

Haven’t figured out why Peso Pluma is getting crossover attention that prior regional Mexican musicians didn’t get

curmudgeon, Monday, 22 May 2023 16:43 (one week ago) link

Peso Pluma is playing a huge outdoor arena near DC in August

Also mentioned in this other thread

natanael cano and corridos tumbados

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 24 May 2023 02:27 (one week ago) link

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