Plástiko was a young ska group of the new Rock wave originated in Mexico in the last 30 years. This band, originally from Jalisco, released 5 studio albums since their debut in the year 2000, being “Mondo Groovy” the most successful.
Sadly, after some years they split and each person followed a different path.
But recently three original members reunited for a new project called “Fanko”, which rescues the sounds of Plástiko, and adds musical maturity, along with fresh instrumental voices. You can easily notice their renovated vibe.
Today I was listening to a new song: Casa Mexicana. It is definitely an experiment, a lively mash of sounds with the familiar voice of Jaffo Lara, and the funky lines of the Santillanes brothers. It is an excuse to dance and shake the booty, while listening a homage to the Mexican nature, the untamed land and its balanced existence with the original inhabitants. Too hippie? Just dance it then. It won’t hurt 😉
Suavecito is a melodic sound with jazzy tones and a nostalgic duo between a soft voice and an energic guitar pulling some harmonics in the background.
This song became the biggest hit of the band in 1972 and turned the eyes of the world to Jorge Santana. Sadly the group disbanded in 1974 and no further compositions were made during the 70’s. Later on, on 1981 they re-united but has rare appearances.
In the 90’s the Santana brothers took part in some projects together, but none of significance. Nowadays, what we still have and cherish from Jorge is this beautiful song.
Ciudad Juárez, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa… what do these cities have in common? They are border cities, where the violence in Mexico exploded due to the War on Drugs that devastated the northern part of the country.
Tijuana is precisely one of those cities that felt it heavily, but today teaches us a very nice lesson. Since years (even before the War on Drugs) Tijuana was world-known for its careless way of life. Alcohol, drugs, women, nasty streets and tough night life were part of the imagination when someone imagined the city.
The inhabitants, however, never lost their faith and found new ways to fight that feeling. As true Mexicans, they knew that violence cannot be stopped with more violence, and thus fought it the way they knew: sing and smile.
The Tijuana Cultural Centre and their young talents decided to give hope and draw smiles in its inhabitants with their own version of street Opera, a movement that has been seen previously in Europe, but a movement that Tijuana needed to gain energy and encourage their people to not give up and live peacefully. Did it work? Too soon to say, but oh boy! truly inspires.
But also very well known is his love for Spain, where many of his songs are specially dedicated to its cities: Murcia, Madrid, Valencia, etc. becoming the songs that are now part of their heritage.
However, there is one song that stands out: Granada. The favorite of many tenors and one of the most sang worldwide. Why? Power, I would say. Granada is passion and courage, is the voice of love for our land, love for our people. Granada is a proud moment to sing for ourselves.
My personal choice was to put Plácido Domingo‘s version. No better tenor could feel this ‘mestizo’ passion than the one born in Spain and raised in Mexico.
I started to discover the most interesting stuff about Mexico when I left. I’m not gonna lie, I never realized what Mexico actually stands for until I saw the country as an outsider. In the same way, I got a closer perspective of the foreigner’s point of view.
It kinda surprises me and never found the words to express what Mexico is (within its thousands of faces). I think is better to show it, not just talk about it, but really put the culture, society and voices of the Mexicans in a visual way.
I have tried a couple of times (and will doing it as much as I can), but if a professional view of the culture is what people are looking for, then my biggest suggestion would be the VICE documentaries.
The first time I saw a VICE documentary about Mexico was the one about the “Mexican Pointy Boots“. I discovered that mexican fashion through VICE. I had never heard about it before. This is the kind of documentary that I like to see, closer to the people. It describes the real ‘feeling’ of the society, the thoughts of the Mexican people and in their own words.
Then I started to look more documentaries of the same style. What else could I discover from my country in this original journalistic enterprise? Well, there were more than expected, here a short list with some of my favorites, including the ones produced with the mexican beer brand “Indio”: Continue reading →
Probably you know a bit about this tradition due to the curiosity about the “celebration of Death”. Well, Death is a topic with different points of view in the world.
As a Mexican there are many things that still surprise about this festivity, mainly because it is celebrated in different ways all along Mexico. Oh yeah, last year I made a video with the historical background and main topics of it. I recommend you to watch it before proceeding with the lines below.
I assume that you now understood that Mexicans are not celebrating Death, in the same sense that we are not having parties to say good-bye to our beloved dead. Continue reading →
Molotov is one of my favorite bands. My favorite Spanish-speaking band for sure.
Oddly, the only times that I’ve been to a Molotov concert were in Germany, during their European tour. But I don’t complain, the concerts were vibrant and full of energy, like their songs. Damn! I was even able to jump with them on the stage and had some words before and after the show.
But anyways. Mexico has been involved in many political disturbances and its social movements are a clear way to observe these several demands from all over Mexico.
What I like from Molotov is that they are totally apolitical, so have more energy to talk crap about everyone in politics.
This is one of their most famous songs, and almost an hymn that has trascended through all Latin America. I truly believe, that many inhabitants from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego feel very identified with the lyrics.
This is a powerful invitation of Molotov to take the streets and demonstrate against the dirt in Politics: Gimme tha Power.