Archive for the ‘Mariachi’ Category
This is my last post for LAist.
In the grand U.S. tradition of co-opting ethnic pride as an excuse to get totally blotto, this weekend bars and dorm rooms across the United States have been celebrating the Mexican Army’s 1862 defeat of invading French imperial forces (nevermind Mexico’s subsequent defeat and status as French colony for three years). Drinko de Mayo, Gringo de Mayo, whatever you call it, is what Gustavo Arellano calls a “mestizo St. Patrick’s Day.” This weekend will be the only time of year mainstream U.S. will want to be Mexican, putting on fake bushy mustaches, wearing sombreros and listening to Antonio Aguilar lament about being away from his homeland.
Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
28 agosto 2012
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México) El niño perdido
- (Mariachi Divas) La negra/La bamba/Guadalajara
- No lastimes más
- Cielito lindo huasteco
- La Malagueña
- Popurrí Mujeres de la Revolución (Yo me muero donde quiera/Juana Gallo/La Adelita/La rielera)
- Popurrí (Gema/Piel canela/Noche azul)
- Quando, quando, quando
- Popurrí José Alfredo Jiménez (La que se fue/Amanecí en tus brazos/Si nos dejan)
- El són del mariachi/Ay, ¡Jalisco no te rajes!
- I Will Always Love You
- Popurrí de cumbias (El mariachi loco/La pollera colorá/Mi cucu/La bomba/¡Ay! Papacito/Rosa María/La cucaracha/Yo no fui/Capullo y sorullo/Oye (Sonora Dinamita)
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México, with ballet folklórico) El jarabe tapatío
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México) Amor de los dos
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México with ballet folkórico) Jesusita en Chihuahua
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México) El rey/Volver, volver
- (Mariachi Divas, Mariachi Perla de México & Mariachi Real de México with ballet folklórico) El són de la negra
- Encore/pilón: (I have no idea what the first song of the encore was, I believe it is an original song by Mariachi Divas)
- (Mariachi Divas) La vida es un carnaval
I spent June and July in Santiago, Chile. In that time Vicente Fernández gave his first and only concert in Chile in Santiago de Chile on 8 July 2012. Of course I attended. Below is the setlist I wrote down during the concert.
Movistar Arena, Santiago de Chile
8 julio 2012
Opener: Pipe Bueno (from Colombia, sang with backing track). Went onstage around 6:20 pm, went offstage around 6:45 pm.
Vicente Fernández went onstage at 6:55 pm.
- Juan Charrasqueado
- Por tu maldito amor
- Me voy a quitar de en medio
- Lástima que seas ajena
- Que te vaya bonito
- El ultimo beso
- Nos estorbó la ropa
- Un millón de primaveras
- La derrota
- Urge (The audience was quiet during this song, this must not be one of his biggest hits). After this song, Vicente Fernández went offstage and his son, Vicente Fernández, Jr., took the stage and started singing:
- Canta, canta, canta
- Sin papeles
- Tristes recuerdos
- Un puño de tierra
- Secreto de amor
- (With VIcente Fernández) Vamos a cuidarla más
- (With Vicente Fernández) Amor de los dos (VF Jr. goes offstage)
- Para siempre
- Estos celos
- Qué de raro tiene
- Acá entre nos (massive applause)
- Bohemio de afición
- La diferencia
- A mi manera
- No me sé rajar
- Cruz de olvido
- Nuesto juramento
- Mujeres divinas
- (I couldn’t figure out the name of this song, but it goes “Es tu voz… aqui me muero”).
- Hay unos ojos/Cielito lindo huasteco
- Yo vendo unos ojos negros
- Cuando manda el corazón
- El andariego
- Contigo en la distancia
- La ley del monte
- México lindo y querido
- De 7 a 9
- El hombre que más te amo
- Volver, volver
- Que me toquen las golondrinas
I’ve meant to feature the following songs in individual posts, but I’ve decided to turn them into one post featuring all the songs. Enjoy!
José Hernández’ arrangements are some of the best for show mariachis (those you hear at restaurants and typically at competitions, not so much at backyards), though I think his recent arrangements are not as great as his early work. Here’s his “Popurri Roberto Cantoral” with Mariachi Los Galleros de Pedro Rey (Pedro Rey is José Hernández’s brother and was a member of Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano before starting Los Galleros; Los Galleros was one of José’s group before starting Sol de México). Sol de México recorded José’s arrangement of the first song, “La barca,” for their first album (same year this video is from – 1984) but Sol de México did not record the whole popurrí in the studio until sometime in the last five years. This popurrí is one of my favorites.
“La voz” is a song not commonly performed by mariachis. I first heard it in a popurrí Mariachi Vargas plays called “Las voces de Fuentes,” a popurrí composed in honor of one of the most important people in the growth of the mariachi sound in México and Mariachi Vargas’ director for over half a century, Rubén Fuentes. It’s very short, but it’s one of my favorite songs. I’ve looked for the sheet music for a while. Ideally, I’d use this song as the opening song for a performance, especially in a concert hall.
La música de conjuntos de arpa grande debería ser más popular. Es una de las bases de la música popular mexicana reconocida como mariachi y al alejarse de esa música típica se pierde la herencia músical. Me da igual lo que haga el Vargas o cualquier otro mariachi popular. No se comparan a los conjuntos de arpa grande.
Me gustaría que las estaciones de radio de Los Ángeles, en especial La Ranchera 930, tocarán esta música. Es una lástima que no toquen esta música.
Para escuchar música de arpa grande, visita esta página en YouTube.
Yesterday, I read an article in the San Antonio Express-News that the Today show asked Mariachi Campanas de America not to play the mariachi’s anthem, “El són de la negra.” Here’s a bit from the article:
That popular folk song, whose title translates to “The Song of the Black Woman,” was the renowned mariachis’ first choice for their performance Wednesday on the “Today” show. But the show’s producers asked Campanas de America not to sing it when “Today” broadcasts from the Arneson River Theater next week.
“It’s the mariachi national anthem,” said Belle Ortiz, manager of Campanas de America. “We always play ‘El Son de La Negra.’ Everybody plays it.”
The reason for rejecting it? “Because they didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings because of the name of the song,” Ortiz said.
A show spokeswoman said this was not a case of political correctness.
“The song ‘El Son de La Negra’ was by no means deemed too controversial for ‘Today,’” publicist Megan Kopf said via e-mail.
“We always consider several song choices for our musical performance segments on the ‘Today’ show. For this particular segment, we decided to go with a song selection that is both appropriate for our wide-ranging ‘Today’ show audience and that also keeps with mariachi tradition.”
This is clearly the Today show worrying too much about offending a group of people over a song that is not offensive at all. I don’t but the Today’s show explanation at all. If I were put in the position Campanas was put in, I would rather lose the work than not be allowed to play this song. “La negra” is an essential part of the mariachi repertoire and is universally recognized. It is synonymous with mariachis and México.
Another aspect of this situation is the actual meaning of “La negra.” The most commonly accepted meaning is that the song is about a woman, “La negra”, the black one. This analysis hinges on the lyrics “Negrita de mis pesares/ojos de papel volando” (“Black one of my sorrows/eyes of paper flying). Those verses don’t make any sense. The proper lyrics (which fell out of fashion, for some reason) are “Negrita de mis pesares/hojas de papel volando” (Black one of my sorrows/Sheets of paper flying).
A few weeks back, this very topic was discussed over at El Mariachi.com. There is no definite interpretation of “La negra” because the song is from the mid-to-late 1800s. The meaning that I prefer is that “la negra” refers to a train. The beginning of the song is that of a train picking up steam and the train is “la negrita de mis pesares,” which brings sorrow to the author because his love has not come on the train. As the train passes, the wind picks up sheets of paper.
Other parts of the songs don’t fit well into this intepretation, but that is probably because of the time that has passed since the song was first written. Everyone interprets the song differently, but interpreting the song as inappropriate because its “kind of saucy” is insincere, considering the airplay that other, more objectifying, songs receive from T.V. shows.