Posts Tagged ‘bachata’

odilio gonzalez

odilio gonzalez

Here is a track by Odilio Gonzalez, El Jibarito de Lares. He is one of my favorites. I can listen to this all day and all night, though I tend to listen to boleros and “jibaro” music more during the winter. I curl up on the couch under my chenille throw and stare balefully at the walls and sulk. Odilio along with Ramito, Chuito and Los Condes helps me make it until the sun comes back again in March.

Its cool, he’s been around forever, yet I saw him in Puerto Rico playing at a MALL.

Note the bachata feel of the song.

Celos Sin Motivo

Odilio was a favorite of many Dominican musicians who were instrumental (no pun intended) in the development of the bolero campesino aka bachata music aka bachata. They learned from him and copied his style. It certainly explains part of the Puerto Rican fondness for Dominican bachata, no?

I wont get into all that right now, go rent Santo Domingo Blues or find a copy of Bachata A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music. Sad black men sure can play the HELL out of a guitar,no?

Back to Odilio. I shouldn’t even be wasting my time here with you. I need to go sit barefoot on my porch, listen to Odilio and the crickets and consume sugar cane based intoxicants. I hope you enjoy it. I think its just beautiful and find it comforting.

Odilio Gonzalez- Celos Sin Motivo

Juan, this is for you. La Loma de Tamarindo. No, its not EGC, don’t whine. A commenter on You Tube says its a canto hondo de vieques. When I think canto hondo I think flamenco. It’s all cool. huh? From Andalusia to Santo Domingo with some stops in between. I wonder if this was the day I was at the mall??!

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I love bachata, love salsa, love merengue. I’m no purist, I love old school salsa not because its old,but because I love it. But that doesnt mean I cringe at salsaton or salsarengue or even hiphop salsa.
The problem with salsa is not that its dead, its that it stagnated.
Lavoe and Colon were at their peak when they were like, what? 20 years old?
So its good to see young men singing and keeping the music alive. Singing in ways that are relevant to them and their times, speaking to their peers. Their music is alive and vibrant.
And when I watch these videos (i rarely watch videos) it really hits home and warms my heart to see young black men singing songs of love. YOUNG BLACK URBAN LATINO AMERICAN males singing songs of love, heartbreak and loss.
This is a side that people need to see. Yes, that boy dressed in saggy pants with cornrows and big muscles is a human being. One who, despite what you see when you look at him, has a heart. Can feel love and pain and can sing about vulnerability.
So I post this with love thinking about my big overly muscled husband who maintains a collection of Barbie dolls for his baby. For the cornrowed dude in the wife beater shirt who babysits his little sister and nephew without a problem. For that big dumb lunk who has a dog named Brugal and thinks Heineken is water, but will put my little one’s hair in a ponytail for me . For my brothers without whom I would have no social life as they have always been my primary baby sitters because I get the heebie jeebies about leaving my kids with nonfamily members.

And I post it for me, who gives all lil boys the side-eye and WISHES one of them would bring their little rinky dink nasty ass around one of my girls.I’ll remember not to let my class issues blind me.

I would say dont judge a book by its cover. But its more than that, wtf is wrong with the cover? go ahead, judge it by its cover, but learn how to INTERPRET that cover correctly.

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Kiko Rodriguez- Vete y Vuelve Otra Vez


1. Bandida- I like this one, its pleasantly melodic and not too twangy. Despite the nature of the lyrics, typically mournful bachata lyrics, it’s a fun song to sing along to. Its also very danceable. 8

2. 10 de Deceimbre- Well, this is my birthday so I have a special fondness for the song. The guitar is really expressive in this one.The lyrics are farily plaintive but not quite misry inducing. Kiko has a smooth voice that doesn’t really get too raw and ragged, but does manage to convey emotion quite well.This is a really good song for dancing; it isn’t too fast or slow and has just the right amount of swing to it. 8

3. hasta Cuando Senor- This starts out so slowly that you know its going to suddenly burst into action,and sure enough it perks up into a brighy quick little bachata.It gets a little weird in the middle, it makes you want to say “um and what was that all about”. I give it a 5 its perfectly pleasant to both listen to and dance to, but also perfectly forgettable.

4. Un Beso When I hear the intro I think, “I’ve heard this a million times already”.The singing is a bit more “reaching” than in the past few songs and its romantic in that Monchy and Alexandra way, so it’s a very pleasant song for some nice romantic dancing. Long deep steps and floating, not quick jerky popping steps. If you dance bachata you know what I mean. 8

5. Mi Odio This sounds like Charlie Zaa, ah yes I know this song. It manages like most good bachatas, to be both fun and sad at the same time.Relatively uptempo and with enough oomph to dance well to it. 8.5

6.No Me Olvide de Tu Amor I think this may be one of my favorite bachatas ever. Its just miserable. When you are heartbroken, sitting at the bar staring blankly at the couples dancing, idly tapping your finger against a beer bottle. When the hot guy comes to the bar, you turn your head so as not to blow smoke into his face and he and leads you to the floor.You throw your arms over his shoulders and lean into him with a sigh, one hand holding your cigarette and the other your beer. And torso to torso, your legs and his entwined you rock , feeling his hot breath on the back of your neck as you both think of loves lost. You dance this way for a while before making eye contact and an unspoken promise to drown your sorrows in one another later that night. Well, this is the song that yall dance to. The singing is good, lyrics good but it’s the guitar that tells this story. 10

7. Vete y Vuelve Otra Vez- This is a little more uptempo and energetic.His voice is quite pleasant and expressive, too pleasant. I don’t want pop, I want writhing in agony singing, shit that has been wrenched from the soul. Still this is a pretty good little song for dancing and singable as well. 7.5

8. Homenaje al Jibarito- This combines the good bolero-iffficness of the bolero with the bachatativity of bachata. THIS is what Charlie Zaa attempted and failed to do with his Bachata CD. Hmm, I like this and he is almost almost reaching down enough inside to get it, but now that I think about it I would rather hear Luis Vargas or Anthony Santos singing. Still, let me not be so picky,I really like this and give it a 9.

9. No Soy Bandolero- A very sweetly sung bright little bachata that is good to close out a night of dancing.It feels like the last song of the night, whatever that means.6

10. Toma Mambo Well, how tipico. A pretty lightweight piece of tipico mambo fluff.I would halfheartedly dance too this while waiting for a good song to come on or with girl or my kids or something. It has a kinda polka sound to it that makes you want to get silly.7

Let me see, my cut?

Bandida, 10 de Deciembre, Un Beso, No Me Olvides de Tu Amor, Homenaje al Jibarito and Toma Mambo

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