Heavy Rotation Vol. 44 – South of the Border Edition

May 16, 2010

Pigface (who does not appear in this selection of tunes) sets the tone...

Between fiery arguments over immigration to Scott’s self-imposed exile amongst the close-but-oh-so-far-away ancestry, who isn’t fascinated with Mexico and parts beyond?

More “cultural” than neighboring Texas and twice as fun as “New” Mexico, Old Mexico is the land where anything can happen and usually does. When not providing a handy euphemism for oral sex, our South of the Border neighbors also provide visitors with quality entertainment like late night “donkey shows” and easy, anonymous abortions for their secretaries.

The advantageous exchange rate is also fun, allowing you to buy a year’s supply of Chicle for $5 and an entire policeman for $20.

So, prepare to hold tightly to your water supply and wallets as we head South of the Border for a fine selection of tunes reflecting the invigorating spirit of Latin America.

Rather just stay home? Lots to do right here:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

Daddy Yankee – Gasolina.mp3
While I am not generally a fan of the reggaeton scene, this Daddy Yankee tracks stands out with its Puerto Rican jeepbeat approximations and its “once upon a time a thug went to a rave” combination of synth melodies and Casio-esque drum builds. It all adds up to something more dangerous than its pedigree would suggest.

If there’s another song out there that conjures up riding shotgun with Vic Mackey as well as this one does, I haven’t heard it yet.

Juno Reactor – Pistolero (Fluke’s Hang Em High Mix).mp3
Speaking up conjuring up images, Juno Reactor’s surprise hit brings to mind dry, dusty shootouts and the kind of bloodletting that gets someone’s aerated corpse tossed into the nearest shallow body of water/vehicle trunk. Of course, this conjuring goes a lot easier when your tune is showcased in a major motion picture trailer. (Starting about 1:17.)

Fluke shows up to add a few drops of Morricone into the mix and some nice synth pulses, which complement the tasty bits of acoustic guitar strumming and vocal samples perfectly.


Mighty Dub Katz – Magic Carpet Ride (Ulti-Mix).mp3
A classic track from one of Fatboy Slim’s many alter egos. It has nothing to do with Steppenwolf and everything to do with bass, mariachi horns and pasting smiles across the faces of dancin’ fools. And try not to be one of those once this starts rolling. You’ll just wish you’d had the foresight to pick up a sombrero or two earlier.

(Of course, you can always come back here after acquiring the proper headgear. We’re always open.)

Pixies – Vamos.mp3
Black Francis and his fabulous Pixies head straight at you like a bunch of aggressive mariachis, firing off mangled border “Spanglish” over Bonham-esque drums. As you reel back and eye the emergency exit’s ill-timed “No Passar” sign, one of the guitarists starts slinging jagged shards and steel slivers of distortion in your general direction, possibly taking out that eye you were just using.

Might as well just grab some good old American dolares and brace yourself. They’re not done yet. The pace never lets up and the guitar keeps on being slung (?). Might as well sit back and enjoy some beautiful bastardized lyrics, as Francis sends the song out “con mi sister in New Jersey” and theorizes that:

We’ll be well-bred
We’ll stay well-fed
We’ll have all sons
They will be all well-hung

The children play
Their friends all say
Your daddy’s rich
Your mama’s a pretty thing

Frank Black – Calistan.mp3
After all the bumped bass, faux pistol shots and musical beatdowns from street performers, it’s time to relax. A reprise of sorts, with former Pixies lead singer Frank Black taking us down a few hundred years of Californian history in under 4 minutes.

Laced with some evocative guitarwork and some heartbreaking piano accents, Calistan’s all nostalgia and displacement, which is in no way diminished by Black’s “white boy” historical perspective and pronunciations.

Used to be sixteen lanes
Used to be Nuevo Spain
Used to be Juan Wayne
Used to be Mes-i-co
Used to be Nava-joe
Used to be Yippy-yay-I-don’t-know

... and provides this coda.



  1. Hola (that’s Spanish),

    Pistolero is one of my favorite electronica (or whatever) tracks. Like if Calexico had sold their guitars and bought turntables.

    Speaking of … LCD Soundsytem’s new album is due out Tuesday.

    Gracias (that’s Spanish), CLT.

    • Hola yourself, o/o.

      I think you’ve pinned down the sound of Pistolero’s whatever-ish electronica nicely. It’s a refreshing blend of sequencers and strumming, the kind not seen since Calexico sold their…

      Oh, yes. The new LCDSNDSYSTM! Looking forward to it. Any album that features a track called “Drunk Girls” is alright in my virtual book.

      Thanks for the visit. Great to see you again.

  2. “twice as fun as “New” Mexico”… was the best line ever. As tempted as I was to stop right there, believing that there was no way that it could get any better than that…. I didn’t and it did! If that makes any sense? I’m not sure I’m making sense because I’m punch drunk first from being tired and now from fantastic (or maybe cuntacular) Mexicana Musica.

    That Daddy Yankee totally reminded me of our mutual (I think) favorite movie Pulp Fiction. Is that what they used?

    My favorite though was the Magic Carpet, I just kept replaying that one over and over again.

    I was proud of myself for knowing approximately a quarter of the words used. Which is better than my understanding of Spain’s Spanish.


    • I’m glad you kept reading, Scott, as I wasn’t done carelessly slamming Mexico and its nearest US equivalents. I’m picking up what you’re laying down and it makes perfect sense to me, which I attribute to my brain… thing…

      Daddy Yankee did not make an appearance in Pulp Fiction, but I would imagine it could have, what with its bouncy but threatening vibe.

      Thanks for the comment and visit, Scott.

  3. Magic Carpet was a airborne ride fer sure. Thanks, CLT!

  4. I can’t imagine anything does wonders for that kind of career. It’s international appeal is somewhat limited and backing a losing horse (and his convenient mare) ain’t helping.

  5. Carajo que fue impresionante! Me encantó esa mierda! Gracias por el sabor internacional y condimentar las cosas. Seguir a tu ritmo!

    • Muchas gracias, Rooster! Espanol is like a second language for me. Or at least, a second cousin. A strangely attractive second cousin…

  6. This was a pleasant surprise. Anyone who knows me knows I love ethnic music and ethnic food (speaking of which, I’ll have a frosty Dos Equis from the virtual bar, CLT…and make it snappy). Since there was a whole lotta conjuring going on, I took it to the next level: images of a Puerto Rican Marshall Mathers which was conjured up in song #1 (“Yo, essa, en el mundo de la Farandula!”). This caused me to further engage in a mental exercise whereby I imagined Emimen singing the same song in Chinese, Australian, Belgian, Brazilian, Syrian, Samoan, Libyan and Icelandic accents (especially arresting as he was coughing up volcanic ash) . It’s always a ‘ride’ on this blog and I never have to book first with Priceline or Hotwire (last I checked, your reviews were through the roof on tripadvisor).

    Crazy (loco) over the first two songs.

    • Your Dos Equis, ma’am. Enjoy your frosty beverage and my even frostier demeanor. This is just what I do for a living. I’m actually a writer. *Haughty sniff*

      I’d love to hear Eminem handle an Icelandic accent, especially if it means he enunciates like Bjork (with a lungful of ash).

      And send my regards to the people at tripadvisor. I’ve often sent them details of my latest excursion via the acid. Oddly enough, I’ve never received a response. Must be all the crayon and Sharpie…

      Thanks for stopping by and gettin’ your Latin thing on, e3h.

    • I have been out of Miami far, far too long. My initial thought was “I don’t remember saying anything along the lines of ad hoc, persona non grata, quid pro quo.” Oh, that Latin! Almost forgot my roots.

      …and another thing, sorry I had to stiff you on the tip.

    • Yes. The other Latin. The one that’s not quite so dead.

      And as for the tip… well, I guess I could always start stripping or something until the book deal comes thru. Might have to find something a little more revealing than this white shirt and long waistcoat I’m always waving my arms around in…

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