1. "Que te ruegue quien te quiera,"- Banda Recodo or Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga (2003)
bands in Mexico had been part of the rural musical life in Mexico for
more than a century in North Eastern Mexico. Banda Sinaloense is one of
the earliest styles of norteño banda recorded. It continues to be
popular in the 20th Century, while maintaining its standard
instrumentation of: two clarinets, two trumpets, two trombones, bass
drum, snare drum and tuba.
Banda Recodo was one of the first
Banda Sinaloenses to be recorded. The group was formed by Cruz
Lizárraga, a self-taught clarinet player, during the 1930s in El
Recodo, Sinaloa. After Don Cruz moved to Mazatlán, he was recorded by
RCA in 1951 with a quintet, influenced by the popularity of other latin
brass bands. In later recordings he used the full Sinaloense band and
established the standard for all the other groups to meet. Cruz
Lizárraga lead the band until his death in 1995. The band continues to
tour and has recorded two albums since his death. In 2003, Banda Recodo
recorded "Que te ruega quien te quiera," which climbed to the Latin
Billboard Top 10.
2. "La Quebradita," Banda Arkangel R-15 (1993)
Arkángel R-15 "Los Reyes de la Quebradita,"was one of the first groups
to create the techno-banda sound that accompanied the quebradita dance
style, which became popular in dance club like El Lido in Los Angeles
in the mid-1990s. The Banda Arkángel R-15 was formed in Las Varas,
Nayarit, Mexico. Their first album was released independently on Kora
records, in 1992. "La Quebradita," became a hit on radio stations in
the U.S and México in 1993. La quebradita mixed elements of cumbia and
salsa, "música tropical," with Mexican norteño brass band and elements
from música grupera.
The founding members of the band are
José de Jesús Navarro, bass /voice; Juan Carlos Degaldilio, second
voice, Antonion Aranda, drums, Héctor Espinosa, keyboards; and José
Luis López, Hilario Oretega and Antonio Palomera, trumpets. Banda
Arkángel R-15 has had a series of different trombone and tuba players
perform with them. The band typically performs with three trombones,
three trumpets, keyboards, bass and tuba.
3. "También Las Guëras Bailan Banda," Banda Arkángel R-15 (1993)
this song, the protaganist asks a guëra (light skinned woman) to dance
and asked her where she learned to dance so well. After finding out
that she did not speak Spanish, because she did not understand him, the
singer was surprised to find out she could dance. The woman answered
back, "también las guëras bailan banda, aunque no hablan español"
light-skinned women also dance to banda, even if they don't speak
During the height of the quebradita's popularity, bands
were arguing about where the dance originally came from through song,
for example another song by Arkángel R-15 was "De Donde es la
Quebradita," Where is the quebrada from?' R-15 diplomatically answered
that the quebrada is from wherever people dance it. In another song
"Presumidas, S. A.," Conceited women S. A.' Banda Zeta, sang about
Mexican or Mexican-American women who did not like the quebradita or
banda, and wanted to listen to heavy metal.
This song on the other hand was written about non-Mexican or Mexican-Americans who enjoyed dancing banda.
4. "La Secretaria," The Secretary,' Banda Machos (1993)
Machos was formed in Villa Corona, Jalisco in 1990. Their name Banda
Machos, flaunted and parodied masculinity. For example, "La
Secretaria," leaves the listener wondering if the singer is a boss who
might be dating the secretary. Banda Machos climbed to number 13 on the
Latin Billboard charts in 1993 with the song "Sangre de Indio." La
Secretaria song topped out at number 23 on the Latin Billboard Chart in
the same year. Banda Machos had four songs that were in the Top 40 of
the Latin Charts in 1993.
La Secretaria is another quebradita
that mixes cumbia, salsa and regional Mexican dance rhythms together.
Like many dance songs the lyrics feature double entendre. In the song,
the singer pretends that he works in an office where he listens in to
the secretary when her friends call and gossip about her date the night
before. The singer stops recounting the secretary's phone conversation
when she tells her friend that her date left the movie, "he has
something out to here," leaving to our imagination what her date had
out to there. We are also left wondering if the singer is the boss and
if he was also the date, as he tells us not to think poorly of the
secretary, because he swears that her date did have what she said.
5. "Un indio quiere llorar," Banda Machos (1995).
like Arkángel R-15 and Banda Machos played other styles of music
besides the quebradita. Including polkas, corridos, paso-dobles,
waltzes and rancheras. "Un indio quiere llorar," is a ranchera in
waltz-like triple time. The brass section breaks up the rhythm, with
the trumpets and keyboard accenting the off-beats of the waltz and the
bass instruments playing the down-beat.
The song lyrics of "Un
indio quiere llorar," An Indian wants to cry,' is an example
of a song about unrequited love, with an implicit message encouraging
dating within the same social class. In the song, the singer, a
lower-class man, falls in-love with a high-society woman and she
rejects him. When the singer says, "Ese indio soy yo," this indian is
me' the listener is prompted to think that the singer would be better
off making other choices. The lyrics point to racism and classism in
Mexico and the subtext of the song is that high-class women are
heartless and not worth the trouble in love and working-class women
have good hearts.
6. "Juran y Juran," Yolanda Pérez and Sporty Loco (2004)
Pérez has continued to record traditional renditions of banda music,
while also creating her own combinations of banda, norteño, rap and
R&B. Yolanda Pérez was born in 1983 in Lynwood, Los Angeles, CA.
Her grandfather and father were both excellent banda musicians. She
recorded her first album at the age of eleven after winning a music
contest in her hometown. She went on to record several albums, before
signing with Fonovista.
On this song, Yolanda records with
Sporty Loco (Gonzalo Espinoza). Sporty Loco was born in 1979 in Los
Angeles and is part of the same generation of Mexican American
musicians as Yolanda Pérez. Sporty Loco already had over 30 songs
released independently by distributing demos over the internet, before
he recorded "Profanity," his first album in 2003. He is one of many
young Chicano rappers who has mastered rapping in English and Spanish.
As a result of his recording of this song and the accompanying video
with Yolanda Pérez, Sporty Loco gain more popularity and he was invited
to join Warner Music Latina. The beats mix with a
sampling an accordian in duple time. Both Yolanda Pérez and Sporty Loco
have continued to regional Mexican music with Hip Hop and R&B.
this song, Yolanda Pérez argues with Sporty Loco, because he is a
player. Listen to how fluidly both singers shift back and forth between
Spanish and English and how effortlessly the accordion is blended with hip hop beats.
7. "Reina del Mall," Yolanda Pérez and Don Cheto (2004)
In this song Yolanda Pérez and Don Cheto perform a piece highlighting the generational divide. Yolanda Pérez argues with her dad, played by Don Cheto, to ask for money to go to the mall. Don Cheto tells her that he will only give her a little bit of money. Yolanda wants to buy new clothes and shoes. This song also mixes accordion with beats and Yolanda Pérez gives a sample of the beauty of her vocal style, which could easily sing and R&B love song or front a banda.
Don Cheto and Yolanda Pérez first jumped to number 7 on the Latin Charts in 2004 with the hit "Estoy enamorada," I'm in love,' where he also played her father and argue with her about whether she could date.
The character Don Cheto is a 63 year old man from La Sauceda, Michoacán on the early morning radio program of radio station KBUE in Los Angeles, California. Don Cheto crossed the border over 30 years ago and often complains about the loss of morals of today's younger generation. In real life, Don Cheto is a 27 year old program and DJ Juan Razo. Juan Razo based Don Cheto on a man in his small hometown, who had a loud voice and because there was no radio people paid this man to make announcements over a loudspeaker. Don Cheto doubled the ratings of the early morning show on KBUE amoung 18 to 25 year old listeners, he has released several albums of his own and since 2005 has his own TV show broadcast on weekdays in Los Angeles and Texas.
8. "Por tu amor," Alacranes Musicales (2006)
Alacranes Musicales, based in Aurora, Illinois, began playing as a group in 1998. They are one of the recent groups to top the latin charts with a style of music that is called "pasito duranguense," or little-step from Durango. Many of the groups are based in the Chicago, Illinois area, which saw a massive immigration of people from Durango in the mid-Twentieth Century. On the weekends in Chicago, afternoon dances featuring pasito duranguense have thousands of people dress up in the latest ropa vaquera fashions and dance.
Alcranes Musicales climbed to number four on the Latin Charts with this song and they earned the nickname "los prinicipes de pasito duranguense" the princes of pasito duranguense. They have reinterpreted the pasito duranguense sound pioneered by other groups like: Patrulla 81 and Grupo Montéz de Durango, to include saxophone and tuba in addition to keyboards. The "tambora," alarge bass drum with a cymbal on top associated with the brass bands from Durango, still continues to be emblematic of the musical style. Alacranes Musicales replaced melodeon, a small keyboard that is blown into to produce a sound, which used to be the lead instrument for many Pasito Duranguense groups with saxophone. However, the sound of the melodeon is still echoed in the timbre that the keyboard uses which defined the early sound of pasito duranguense.
9. "Camino a Tepehuanes," Grupo Montéz de Durango
Grupo Montéz de Durango started their group in 1996 in Chicago. One of the early proponents of pasito duranguense, the group was made up of immigrants from Durango. The group features two keyboards, trombone, saxophone, tambora, drums and vocals. They first began to top the charts in 2003 with the album "El sube y baje.".
The song "Camino a Tepehuanes," the way to Tepehuanes' recounts a road trip through places in Durango, evoking memories of places and people in Durango through the lyrics and sounds. The lead singer remembers his hometown as he sees school children cross in front of his car next to his childhood school and honks the horn as livestock meander across the highway. He extols the beauty of the women in the region and says there is a friend behind each door.
10. "La Brujita," Patrulla 81 (2005)
Patrulla 81 is one of the pioneers of the Duranguense sound. The group formed in 1981 in the State of Durango in Northern Mexico. The musicians could not afford a keyboard and so they began playing with a melodeon, a keyboard instrument that is blown instead of being amplified. This made Patrulla 81 have a distinctive sound that later groups of Pasito Duranguense copied.
The group had difficult time getting signed to a record label and spent years playing live in the club circuit. They took a haitus from music making in the mid-1980s when the José Angel Medina worked in Bakersfield California and Denver Colorado. They eventually signed with GARMEX, through a contact they had at Radio Cañon in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, While in Denver Colorado, José Medina learns that Grupo Montéz de Durango had re-recorded Patrulla 81's song "Tu Mirada." When their contract with GARMEX expired, José Terraza of Grupo Montéz de Durango signed them to his new label Terraza Records in 2003. They recorded the album "Como pudé enamorarme de tí" on Terraza Records in Chicago, Illinois and proceeded to make it into the top 5 of Billboard's Latin Charts after years of struggle.