Monday, March 29, 2010


While most college students migrated south for Spring Break this past week, I took a different route. I went home to the exciting lands of Southwestern Pennsylvania and made quite a discovery.

Looking through some of my old Playstation 2 games, I found Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. I remember it as a great series, but the third installment left me unsatisfied. That is, until I heard an Ozomatli track!

"Cut Chemist Suite" joins the likes of Del tha Funky Homosapien's "If You Must" and The Ramones "Blitzkrieg Bop." How chevere!

If you find any random Chevere tunes in video games or movies, be sure to let me know.

El patinador,
DJ Gringuito

Sunday, March 14, 2010

La Musica de Guerra

Juan Luis Guerra put the Dominican Republic on the musical map. His talent is comparable to Clapton and his image to Buffet. Guerra fuses styles like bachata and merengue to produce a smooth sound that pleases all ears.

The success started with Guerra's first hit single, "Ojalá Que Llueva Café." That's right, this guy's first step toward fame was with a song title "I Hope It Rains Coffee." But it's not all sunshine and coffee bean precipitate.

"El Costo de la Vida" attracted international attention for Guerra, but most of it was negative. The song's snappy horn section and general light feel mask the song's accusatory lyrics. A few roughly translated lines are "no one cares what you think, because you don't speak English" and "democracy
can't grow when corruption plays chess."

Guerra changed the pace with his next album, Fogaraté, with songs like "La Cosquillita," which translates to "The Little Tickle." Qué linda! If that doesn't put a smile on your face and a groove in your move, Guerra's got plenty more. The track "Viviré" is sure to make you hug the closest person to you.

If that's not enough lovey-dovey, warm n' fuzzy music, Guerra continued his bachata ballads with "Mi PC." This guy is so slick with the innuendos, he compares his lady to a computer. As cheesy as that sounds, I'm not even going to translate the lines about her "hard drive."

Guerra swooned more than just the ladies with his lyrics. La Llave de mi Corazón earned him Album, Record and Song of the Year in 2007. Guerra even reaches out to U.S. listeners with English songs like "Medicine for My Soul." Don't worry, songs like "Amores" maintain Guerra's tradition of upbeat, splashy tunes with enough horns to blow any non-believers to the back of the dance hall. Check out that "Amores" video, because Guerra often sings too fast and the lyrics are all listed on the video.

Eso es todo,
DJ Gringuito

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Panda Haters

Panda, written Pxndx, is a Spanish-language punk, emo, call-them-what-you-will band out of Mexico. They're the largest alternative band in Mexico and Latin America, and they enjoyed quite a bit of success until 2007. That's when the Pxndx hating began.

I first heard Pxndx right before all the accusations began. A friend gave me two of their top singles to check out. Now this isn't my usual style of music, but I thought I'd give it a try for the Spanish benefit. "Los Malaventuras No Lloran" is pretty catchy, and the pulsing bass line showed promise. Once I heard "Disculpa Los Malos Pensamientos," I immediately thought of Fall Out Boy, and there's the Pxndx problem.

At the height of Pxndx's popularity, someone accused the band of plagiarism and all hell broke loose. The band was allegedly ripping off U.S. acts like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Sum 41. Green Day even went so far as to sue the Mexican rockers.

Fans became outraged and formed Anti-Pxndxs to protest the fallen musicians. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, bloggers spread the news across borders. One anti-fan compiled this audio sample of some of the supposedly stolen songs.

Whether you believe the accusations or not, you now know one thing. The next time you see this... know that it has nothing to do with people supporting the extinction of big, fluffy Panda bears. Just make sure to turn down your speakers if you're blaring any Pxndx.

Eso es todo,
DJ Gringuito