06 May 2011

Mixtape Madness #6: May Fiesta Mix

According to the novel High Fidelity the making of a good mix tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. Furthermore, a good mix is never finished. You never know when you will come across a song that changes the dynamic of the mix you just completed. There is a litany of intricacies to crafting the ideal mix no matter what the mix’s intended purpose should be. This feature is merely a guide on the cosmic highway of mix making, and while experienced, the writer does not claim to be an expert.

May Fiesta Mix

From time to time I tend to enjoy listening to music in other languages. While I have a fair amount of French, German, and Portuguese music, Spanish takes the cake. With tunes from all over the world, this mix is ideal for a late-spring fiesta. I also enjoy giving it a spin when preparing a Mexican meal. 

1- "CanciĆ³n del Mariachi " by Bandidos de Amor
I first heard this song in the intro of the Robert Rodriguez movie Desperado. Of course, it's Antonio Banderas singing that version of the song. Either way works, and any song that mentions tequila is alright in my book. Or magazine.

2- "I've Got No Strings" by the Gipsy Kings
Yes, this is the song from Pinocchio. This is a track off of the wonderful Simply Mad About the Mouse album (well worth buying). The spin that the Kings put on it is way beyond cool and takes an old Disney classic and morphs it into something wonderful.

3- "Guajira Guantanamera" by Celia Cruz
A number of artists have recorded versions of this song over the years, but to me, nobody does it like Celia Cruz. Oddly enough, this song reminds me of working at Disney World more than the previous one, as we used to sing it while closing down for the night.

4- "Armada Latina" by Cypress Hill, Pitbull, Marc Anthony, and Stephen Stills
This song is fun. There's really no other way to say it. Sampling the fourth section of Crosby, Stills, and Nash's "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" was a stroke of genius. Combine that with smooth verses from Cypress Hill and Pitbull and Anthony's vocals, which are always better in Spanish, and you have a winner.

The perfect music for making (or eating) stuff like this
5- "Mi Swing Es Tropical" by Nickodemus & Quantic featuring Tempo
You will likely recognize this song, as it was featured in a commercial a couple of years ago. For what, I can not recall. Advertising aside, it's a very catchy, upbeat tune.

6- "Cabral" by Orchestra Baobab
Orchestra Baobab are definitely worth checking out. Their music falls into the Afro-Cuban genre, which is one of my favorites. 

7- "After Dark" by Tito y Tarantula
Another song from a Robert Rodriguez flick, this one coming from From Dusk Till Dawn. This is also the only song not in Spanish on the mix. A lot of Tito y Tarantula's music is in Spanish, but I love this one so much I let it slide in to my Fiesta Mix.

8- "Oye Como Va" by Santana
Of course Santana had to be included somewhere here. This is definitely my favorite of his vast catalog of music and it fits the theme well.

9- "Bamboleo" by the Gipsy Kings
The second song from the Kings was recently used for a television show, I have no idea if the show is still around, but this song has been around for quite awhile. It's the Gipsy Kings at their best.

10- "La Bamba" by Los Lobos
Another obvious choice for the mix. I could have gone with Ritchie Valens' version, but as a child of the 1980's, this is the one I prefer. Check out the video, it looks like a fun time.

11- "Baila Como Es" by Tito Puente and His Orchestra
No self-respecting Fiesta mix would be complete without a little Latin love from Tito Puente. This is the song I prefer, but I highly recommend going through and listening to more from Tito and his orchestra.

12- "Bailando" by Frankie Ruiz
Continuing with the theme of dancing from the last track, this one will keep your Fiesta moving!

13- "Black Magic Woman" by Santana
This is probably my favorite Santana song in English. Though it is not sung in Spanish, Carlos Santana's groovy guitar work has a distinctly Latin sound.

14- "Hacha y Machete" by Hector Lavoe
Clearly I am a big fan of Robert Rodriguez films. I first heard of Lavoe not as a singer, but as Jorge FBI in Once Upon A Time In Mexico. I later found out he was a singer, and have come to enjoy his music.

15- "Pape Ndiaye" by Orchesta Baobab
Another sweet song from the African group. I honestly do not remember how I found this band, but they are definitely worth checking out!

16- "Hotel California" by the Gipsy Kings
The original version of this song by the Eagles is a classic, and hard to touch. But the Kings put their flamenco spin on it and make it work. Fun fact about the Gipsy Kings is that they are all from France, but are of Catalonian descent.

17- "Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
Almost anything from Alpert would work here, but this is more than likely his most well-known tune. This is another group worth checking out.

18- "La Iguana" by the Chieftains and Lila Downs
A song in Spanish done by a popular Irish folk band. Does it get any better than this?

19- "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby, Stills, and Nash
I am a big CSN fan and always enjoyed this song. Despite that, it was not until "Armada Latina" came out that I realized that the last section was actually in Spanish. Sometimes I am a little slow on the uptake.

We at the What hope you enjoy your Fiesta, and check in next month for the June Block Party Mix!

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