Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Sounds of Mexico

Yesterday I emailed Spyscribbler with a musical question because she's a piano teacher (I asked something about an accordion), and through the course of the conversation I sent her a link to a "banda" song. Her reaction cracked me up and made me realize that this is a part of Mexico that I have gotten so used to that it never occurred to me to share.

I describe banda as Mexican polka, but that's mainly because they use an accordion. The dance is kind of bouncy, especially when compared to salsa, but that's the extent of the similarity.

My neighbors play it A LOT and I've gotten so used to it that I really don't even hear it anymore. I even like some of the songs (contrary to what my blogger profile says -- I should probably update that). Ibis gets tired (read: angry) of it much faster than me, but I think it's because I don't really pay attention to the words and therefore don't know exactly what they're saying. He does.

Anyway, I picked this song at random but it is one that I hear from time to time.
I'd LOVE to hear what you think.

16 comments:

Gary Hooyenga said...

Wow, I even understood a lot of the words. Well I could read them better than pick up on the singing. Gee! Rosetta rocks.

Erica Orloff said...

We play Mariachi at home sometimes (my kids are Mexican-American, as you know). We also play Russian folk . . . like them to be in touch with their musical heritage.
E

Melanie Avila said...

Gary, that's great!! See, you're already ready for next winter. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Erica, I ADORE mariachi music. Ibis can't figure it out, but I grew up visiting Mexico and the place we stayed always had a mariachi band playing. I wanted to have one at our wedding but my hometown is a little small and, uh, NOT diverse. :P

I love that you expose them to their culture -- not that I would expect anything less from you.

Penguin said...

I now live on the West Side of GR. And I hear this music all the time. You are right it does sound a little like a polka, I thought they were listening to polka until I payed a little better attention.

Turkey Lurkey said...

I remember my college Spanish teacher explaining to us that most of the music in Mexico had a polka beat.

I think it is an acquired taste. ;)

Nadine said...

Mexican polka was a good way to describe it. Once I hit play, I totally had polka in my mind.

I must say, it's a nice way to start the day. I have an uplifting beat in my head. *dances off to clean the kitchen*

ETA: My word is bedude. Yeah dude. Just be. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, I don't recall hearing this much in Chicago, but I think that's just because Ibis avoided those neighborhoods. :)

Melanie Avila said...

Turkey, Ibis would agree with you whole-heartedly. Our friend who came to visit last month absolutely HATES banda -- I think I'm the only one who kind of likes it.

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, you just gave me an idea. Now that I've posted our salsa dance, I should totally post us dancing to banda. Not that I actually know the steps, but it's pretty easy. Very much the same way you'd dance to polka.

Janna Qualman said...

Love this post! What a good idea to share this. But I have to say, I'm not so sure I liked it. I'm not even quite sure what to compare it to!

And I love your dad's (right?) comment about Rosetta Stone. LOL

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, yes that's my dad. He's been studying Spanish with the Rosetta Stone ever since he LEFT Mexico.

This music drove me bonkers when we first moved here but now I don't mind. There is a song that makes me want to rip my ears off, but we don't know what it's called so I don't know how to find it on YouTube. There's a high-pitched note that is repeated endlessly and because of the acoustics, that's all I hear.

Robin said...

Er, it makes me want to pluck my ears off. It's the instruments, more than the singing. They're sort of tinny and grating. Maybe you should have your neighbors killed.

Melanie Avila said...

Robin, there seems to be plenty of ways to get oneself killed in this neighborhood, so maybe we can look into that.

The best is when two neighbors BOTH play this type of music at the same time. They keep turning it louder and louder to blast out the other one.

Laurie said...

catching up on old posts. Yes, this is an ODD song. Not to mention the words keep spelling "que" as "k" or "ke." Is that normal slang?

Melanie Avila said...

Yeah, they misspell things on purpose the same way american teenagers do. I can figure out some of it...