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May 16, 06 09:47 AM

Mexican Radio Binge.

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I spent $40 on iTunes before 9:30 am; I wasn't even halfway through my coffee.

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When I'm in California, I listen to nothing but Mexican radio; those boozy horns! That oompah oompah beat! The singers practically in tears! It drives my bandmates crazy. Chuck "The Legend" actually stared at me, jaw hanging open, when he realized that I'd switched to a Norteņo station, and wasn't joking about it. "You're fucking kidding me."

I'm really happy that I've figured how to type "ņ".

I know nothing about Norteņo, no artists' names, nothing. So when I read a piece in the Times about the music that the pro-immigration protesters were listening to, I typed the name "Ramon Ayala" into iTunes, and suddenly I had links galore; other artists, via iMixes, to compilations, to more iMixes...

One thing I love about Latino music is that one does songs in particular beats: this is a corrido, this is a cumbia, etc. (clearly I know nothing about what these beats are actually called; I know 'em as, like, this one's the woozy oompah, this one's the mournful slow waltz, this one is the heavy, swaying waltz, etc) You can pick and choose which beats you dig. (at least on iTunes; I guess in the CD age, if you dug the oompah, you were stuck with six waltzes to boot)

I half-wish I could make albums this way: Hmmm, I'm putting together a new album; I'll need three gangadanks, a choogler, a brap-a-tat-tat...

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Posted by Mike at May 16, 2006 9:47 AM