Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Latin Grammys 2010

Rewind! Did you miss the Latin Grammys? Did you even know they happened? Well here's a brief recap of what you missed from the 11th Annual Latin Grammys in Las Vegas.

Plenty of artists mentioned on Radio Chevere won some awards this past Thursday, and there were quite a few new faces as well. Latin Grammy veteran Juan Luis Guerra walked away with Album of the Year for A Son De Guerra, and Cuban-Canadien Alex Cuba was recognized as Artist of the Year. Cuba is anything but a newbie, and I'll have more on him later.

Radio Chevere favorite Mala Rodriguez won Best Urban Song for her "No Pidas Perdon." Even better, she joined Nelly Furtado (and the Jabbawockeez??) to perform "Bajo Otra Luz". Mala wasn't the only winner on stage, because Ms. Furtado claimed Best Female Pop Artist for her Spanish-language album Mi Plan.

But my personal favorite of the night was Chino y Nacho. First of all, the fact that there's a duo named Chino y Nacho cracks me up, and secondly, their award-winning song "Niña Bonita" is so darn catchy. And I wouldn't consider this pair to be a passing phase, because they beat Daddy Yankee and Mala Rodriguez in the Best Urban Album category.

It's great to see so much talent continuing to flow out of the Spanish-speaking mainstream, and it's even better not seeing any Justin Bieber equivalents. Zing!

Come back to Radio Chevere for more insights into artists like Alex Cuba, Choc Quib Town, Camila and Banda el Recodo.

-DJ Gringuito

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Merida's Music Drama

Dayron y El Boom used to be the biggest fish in Mérida's local music pond. Now that I'm back in the city, I've learned that the two are now separate. The "y" is gone.

When they were together, the Cuban/Mexican band practically owned Mambo Cafe, the city's prime salsa club. Check out this video of them performing their hit "El Baile de las Nenas."

Rumor has it that the group split up because lead singer Dayron Núñez was ready for his solo career. Not wanting to lose fans, the rest of the band just kept the name El Boom, and added La Mezcla Perfecta. Dayron is seen as the bad guy, but naming yourself "the perfect mix" won't earn you any sympathy points.

So where are they now?

Dayron's solo career didn't last long. He joined fellow Cuban cantante Alejandro "El Baby" González to form the duo Dayron y Baby. It appears Dayron dropped a fantastic salsa orquestra for a twin, and their song "Contra la Pared" is auto-tuned to the point where they sound like Wisin y Yandel, or any other duo out right now. But it has nothing on the action-packed live performance in Mérida less than a year ago. Here's their spastic performance of "Exa."

El Boom seems to be doing just as well without their charismatic frontman, because now they have four. Several members from the band now share the role that was once held by one half of the rising star that is Dayron y Baby.

The band continued to play at Mambo Cafe until it was shut down for serving minors and drug charges.* Here's the band moving the club with "Gran Lanzamiento". El Boom now has a music video too. Check out "Niña," which was shot right here in Mérida.

With Dayron in Cuba, and El Boom still in Mérida, I have to declare El Boom: La Mezcla Perfecta the winner. It's a shame though, because the fans are the biggest losers. Dayron y el Boom used to put on one helluva show.

*I now live within walking distance of where Mambo Cafe used to thrive. The thought of walking to a salsa club to drink, dance and enjoy a night out, then walking home to my bed is like a dream...one that'll never be fulfilled.

Oh well!
Dj Gringuito

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a Weekend!

This weekend in Merida, Mexico was full of live music, and there was enough variety to please everyone.


The city held a free concert in the downtown market area Thursday night. I had no idea what to expect, but I figured I should check it out. I didn't know what to expect, but I would have never guessed a Spanish Ska band to be playing.

The highlight of the show was definitely the mini mosh pit. I used to worry about not being able to dance as well as so many of the smooth operators I've seen in Mexico. But after watching a bunch of sweaty, rhythm-less goobers bounce around, I feel great about myself.


The soon-to-be forgotten duo of LMFAO landed in Merida this weekend and they brought their catalog of enlightening tracks with them. In fact, the posters around town read "I'm in Merida, Bitch." Oh, how clever!

I'm not sorry to say that I missed them squeeze the last remaining seconds out of their fifteen minutes. Even though concert tickets only cost 200 pesos ($16.60), I refused to support the talentless, electro-pop buffoons.* Simple as that.

*Too strong?


Some legitimate musicians stopped in Merida this weekend, too. Belanova came to town! I wanted to go, but a $50 ticket price was a bit steep for me. Especially if I was going to be a third-wheel.

My roommate went though, and he said it was a blast. He scored seventh row seats and took some great pictures. I really can't say much about the show, so I've invited him to write a guest blog / review about it. Look for that in the next day or two. Until then, here's another concert pic...

That's all for now!
- DJ Gringito

Monday, September 27, 2010

¡Qué dúo!

Two mega music stars of the Hispanic world are shining together. Juan Luis Guerra joins Enrique Iglesias to deliver the one song to rule all others during my time in Mexico.

"Cuando Me Enamoro" is a love song like any other. And with a title of "When I Fall in Love", these guys don't even bother with innuendos.

So why bother mentioning it?

Because pairing the sweet voices of Iglesias and Guerra is enough to make the biggest macho man ask for a hug. Okay, maybe not a hug. But I've seen plenty of guys singing along to this song as if it's their anthem. Even I've joined in during the chorus, because damn if it isn't catchy.

The song is from Enrique's newest album, Euphoria. If the lovely duet with Guerra isn't your style, then give "I Like It" a listen. With Pitbull at his side, Enrique rocks the club scene with the first single from his new album.

"Cuando Me Enamoro" is the perfect track for all the hopeless romantics out there, and "I Like It" was made for a little grind time in the clubs. Oh Enrique, is there anything he can't do?

- DJ Gringuito

Friday, September 10, 2010

Los Discos

Greetings, Rock Lobsters, from the wonderful Mexican state of Yucatán! I'm here for an internship with a TV news station, but that's not important. You're here for music.

Throwing a curveball your way, this post is dedicated to my adventure at a Mexican dance club. Nearly three years after my first "disco" experience, I still enjoyed the heart-pounding house music and American pop remixes...

I was glad to see that the many “discos” of Mérida continued to profit in my absence. Traveling down Paseo Montejo (the main drag of the city), I could see crowds of teens, twenty-somethings and adults.

Yes, it is possible to spot a handful of middle-aged men posted at the bar. Once they grab their drinks, they circle the club with heads a bobbin’ and chest hair a poppin’. It would be creepy, if it weren’t so entertaining to watch.

From that description, it should be obvious that I enjoy people-watching. But, boy, are the tables turned when I walk in a club. It definitely has nothing to do with my style or dance moves, though. I just happen to be taller and whiter than everyone else. And, did I mention, less coordinated on the dance floor?

All right, that’s enough self-deprication for now. Friday night my roommate and I met some of his friends at Tequila. You’re right to assume from the name that Tequila is not a family establishment.

If you want to know how my night ended, you can finish the story at The Yucatán Diaries. It's my own blog covering my many adventures in Mexico.

-DJ Gringuito

Monday, June 21, 2010

Toy Story 3

Yes, merely a week after my goodbye, I've returned to Radio Chevere. But for good reason, I swear. If you haven't seen Toy Story 3 yet, feel free to continue reading. The minor details I'm about to release have no effect on the movie's plot.

In the heat of the rising action, a dramatic switch changes everyone's favorite space ranger, Buzz Lightyear. His reset switch literally transforms Buzz Lightyear into his Spanish-language equivalent. Hilarity ensues!

More blog-worthy, however, is the movie's ending credits. The Gipsy Kings blast a flamenco-fused version of Randy Newman's Oscar-nominated "You've Got a Friend in Me" while Buzz and Jessie tear up the game room floor with a toy-sized dance. Check out the Gipsy Kings perform the song live on Dancing with the Stars! Don't be too impressed though, those professional dancers have got nothing on the Toy Story steppers.

Aqui todavia,
DJ Gringuito

Monday, June 7, 2010

La Despedida

When the lovely people at ACRN first asked me to blog about Spanish music, I was baffled that someone would actually come to me for anything music-related. Let's be honest, nobody knows music like my fellow Rock Lobsters.

My shallow grasp of the Spanish-language music scene was enough for my first couple weeks of blogging. Soon after, I had to search the interwebs for new music just to meet my weekly deadline. I'm happily did it though, because it made me a better blogger. The better understanding has me finally feeling like a true langosta.

Nearly six months after it's inception, Radio Chevere is still going strong. If you haven't learned anything; too bad, because I know I have. But the weekly Spanish lessons are coming to end. As an alum, I will be out of the Lobster-loop. :(

Ending on a happy note, I'm going to Mexico in September! I'll be down there for an internship, but you can be sure that I'll be enjoying the music scene. Who knows, I just might be back for a couple random updates. Hasta luego, familia.

Nos vemos,
DJ Gringuito