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