Música, from ear to corazón

“La música es el arte más directo, entra por el oído y va al corazón.” – Magdalena Martínez

I can’t remember a time in my life when music wasn’t important to me. I’ve never been musically talented – I can’t sing (although that doesn’t stop me), and I’ve failed at every instrument I’ve attempted (guitar, drums, piano, flute … although I do pretty good with maracas.) Despite my own ineptitude to create music, I am content to listen to it and at times, it’s something I need in a most primal way.

Now, as much as I love music, I’m really not the type to get excited about the technical aspect of music listening. I know some people who can talk on and on about the value of one set of headphones over another – Honestly, I’m usually just thrilled if I can find ear buds that don’t fall out of my ears every ten seconds. That being said, I was given the opportunity to review headphones from a company called SOL REPUBLIC and I was intrigued by the name, (can’t resist Spanish!), the flashy design and the endorsement of their products by DJs, (which in this case, I think is more important than a random celebrity endorsement since DJs are the experts here.)

I chose the “Tracks Ultra On-Ear Headphones” because they’re beautiful, quite honestly. Those cushy over-ear speaker pads made me nostalgic for the big headphones I used to listen to at my grandmother’s house when I was a little girl, or the headphones with the curly wire I’d wrap around my finger while at the “listening station” in elementary school.

When I received the headphones and opened them, I really couldn’t believe how awesome they were. Sometimes you see a photo and then you see it in real life, and the real life version pales in comparison – not the case here! The real test came when I plugged them in. (Note: At first I thought they weren’t working but I discovered that I simply hadn’t pushed the jacks in all the way. Make sure the jacks snap in securely on both sides.) I fired up Pandora and the sound quality was absolutely undeniable. I tried different genres to see what their range was and everything sounded amazing.

I listened to La Guanaquita by Los Hermanos Flores and I could hear every individual instrument clear and unmuddled.

I listened to Pitbull’s Bojangles Remix – the bass was amazing.

I listed to Niña Bien by Espinoza Paz and the voice clarity made it seem like Espinoza was singing it right into my ear.

I listened to Qué Bonita Bailas by Nortec Collective and loved the depth of the different instruments layered one on top of the other.

The Tracks Ultra On-Ear Headphones from SOL REPUBLIC are simply headphones for music lovers which will make you fall in love with music all over again.

Now, my favorite part of doing this review is that I get to bring a little early Navidad spirit to one of you. SOL REPUBLIC is generously allowing me to give away one pair of the Tracks Ultra On-Ear Headphones here on Latinaish! Here’s how to enter!

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GIVEAWAY CLOSED. Congrats to winner: Carlos P.
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The Giveaway

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive one pair of the SOL REPUBLIC Tracks Ultra On-Ear Headphones.

Approximate value: $179.99

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me which song you would listen to first if you won the headphones. (Please read official rules below.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the company in charge of prize fulfillment. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between November 26th, 2012 through November 30th, 2012. Entries received after November 30th, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Optional: An Extra Opportunity To Win

SOL REPUBLIC is hosting their own giveaway on Pinterest. The prize is $1,000 worth of holiday gifts for the winner! They will be selecting 5 winners who each will win their entire board of holiday gifts on Pinterest up to $1,000.

All you have to do is create a “SOL REPUBLIC HOLIDAY WISH LIST” Pinterest board, re-pin the contest pin and pin up to $1,000 worth of items including at least one pair of SOL REPUBLIC headphones.

Buena suerte!

Disclosure: I received this product for review purposes. No other compensation was given. As always, all opinions are my own.

Letras Malentendidas – Misunderstood Lyrics

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

Todos tienen una canción (o dos, o más), que no entendian muy bien. Equivocarse con la letra es una cosa que pasa a cada persona de vez en cuando – pero la cosa se pone aún más complicada cuando la canción es en otro idioma.

Mi peor malentendido de una letra fue con la canción “Así Soy Feliz” por Espinoza Paz. He oido la canción probablemente cincuenta veces o más, porque me encanta, y siempre andaba yo cantandola, pero había una parte de la canción (1:09 en el video abajo) que siempre tuve que callarme porque no entendía que estaba diciendo.

Yo pensé que la letra era:

“No me gusta la carne de tienda segunda, pero es necesario, qué le voy hacer.”

Yo sabía que eso no podia ser la letra de verdad pero la escuché tantas veces y así la entendía. Pregunté a Carlos y me explicó que realmente, lo que decía es:

“No me gusta alejarme de ti ni un segundo, pero es necesario, qué le voy a hacer.”

¿Cuáles letras no entendiste bien tú?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Everyone has a song, (or two, or more), that they didn’t understand well. Getting the lyrics wrong is something that happens to everyone once in awhile – but it gets even more complicated when the song is in another language.

My worst misunderstanding of a lyric was in the song “Así Soy Feliz” by Espinoza Paz. I had heard the song probably fifty times or more, because I love it, and I was always singing along, but there was one part of the song (1:09 in the video above) where I always had to stop singing because I couldn’t understand what he was saying.

I thought the lyrics were:

“No me gusta la carne de tienda segunda, pero es necesario, qué le voy hacer.”
(I don’t like the meat from the second-hand store, but it’s necessary, what can I do.)

I knew that couldn’t be the real lyrics but I listened to it so many times and that was what I understood. I asked Carlos and he explained to me that the lyric is actually:

“No me gusta alejarme de ti ni un segundo, pero es necesario, qué le voy a hacer.”
(I don’t like to walk away from your for even a second, but it’s necessary, what can I do.)

What song lyrics have you misunderstood?

Related Links:

Guest Post: Espinoza Paz, un hombre sencillamente “talentoso”

Dichos de Espinoza Paz

I’ve got some ‘splaning to do

Mexican Music Star, Espinoza Paz – Why is he Retiring?

Fiesta DC 2012

Taking photos at Fiesta DC this past Sunday was a challenge for a number of reasons, but one of those reasons was the sheer number of other people trying to photograph and video tape the event. At times I felt like I was in a group of paparazzi fighting for position – and then when I would finally frame the perfect shot, someone would inevitably ruin it by running across with a video camera or sticking their iPhone in front of me.

Some of the people were amateur or hobbyist photographers like me, some were obviously freelance professionals or working for media – And then there were young males, usually equipped with cellphone cameras, who were just trying to photograph the nalgas of the cachiporras to share on their Facebook.

Anyway, here are my favorite shots which I had some fun editing and a video of the general atmosphere.

By the way, speaking of nalgas, at one point during the parade a woman with a very generous backside stood in front of us. Carlos, to his credit, didn’t even seem to notice despite the fact that her “pants” were actually leggings and you could see her thong through the fabric.

“¡Qué bárbara!” a little old man said. The old man, not content to enjoy the view by himself and feeling the need to share, elbowed Carlos. Jutting his chin towards the woman in front of them he said, with a lascivious expression on his face, “Ella es Santa Bárbara, ¿vá?”

Carlos looked confused, “Oh, ¿sí?” he replied.
“Ssssíííííí,” the viejo hissed appraising the woman’s behind, practically licking his lips. Noting the fact that Carlos didn’t understand what he meant, the viejo then asked, “¿No sabes?”

“¿No?” Carlos said, the question on his face.

I rolled my eyes at the predictable dirty old man.

“¡Es santa por delante y bárbara por atrás!” the viejo said, erupting in laughter as if he had said the most clever and original thing in the world.

Carlos laughed politely and I pinched him.

“What?” Carlos said.
“Stand back here, away from the viejo chuco,” I said.

After the parade we had lunch. I wanted pupusas but Carlos made a good point that we eat pupusas all the time and that we should eat something different, so we ended up buying delicious Mexican tortas. (The boys and I had the torta milanesa de pollo with horchata. Carlos had the torta de carnitas with agua fresca de tamarindo.)

Just as we finished eating and were deciding what to do next, I heard “Los Hermanos Lovo” announced on a nearby stage.

“No way!” I said out loud, “Hermanos Lovo!”

Carlos looked at me like I had lost my mind as I pulled his hand in the direction of the stage.

“It’s the Chanchona music I blogged about. Remember?… Hermanos Lovo!”

For three songs I tapped my hand against my side, tapped my feet, and moved my hips, waiting for people to dance, but only a few people were dancing, and they were getting stared at. Everyone else just pretty much stood there and watched the performance. I found this a little strange given that at most Latino dominant events I’ve been too, there’s usually not a lack of dancing. I wonder if most of the people there have become too Americanized in this respect? Too self-conscious?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I leaned toward Carlos and he leaned toward me so he could hear me.

“Want to dance?” I asked, eyes brimming with hope like a child asking for a puppy.

Carlos said nothing, just turned toward me and took me in his arms, and we danced.

Within seconds much of the crowd had turned to look at us and stood gaping. Carlos whispered in my ear, “We’re being photographed and video taped.” I felt a flood of gringa self-consciousness wash through me but we kept dancing, and soon, the people around us, were just a blur of colors.

Eskina Opuesta – Salvadoran Ska Music

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation is below!

Hoy quiero introducirles a una banda de El Salvador que se llama “Eskina Opuesta.” La música está clasificada como una mezcla de Ska y Rock con un toque de Cumbia. Las canciones y los videos son muy divertidos y creativos. También me encanta la diversidad de instrumentos utilizados en la música. Yo creo que Eskina Opuesta es super buena onda y que tienen un gran potencial para llegar a ser muy famosos fuera de El Salvador. ¿Qué opinan ustedes? Chécalo!

[ENGLISH]

Today I want to introduce you guys to a band from El Salvador called “Eskina Opuesta.” The music is classified as a mix of Ska and Rock with a touch of Cumbia. The songs and videos are really fun and creative and I love the diversity of the instruments used. I think that Eskina Opuesta is super cool and has big potential to become really famous outside El Salvador. What do you guys think? Check it out!

Links:

Eskina Opuesta en Facebook
Eskina Opuesta en Twitter

Chanchona

“What is the music of El Salvador?” you might ask a Salvadoran, and most Salvadorans will answer “Cumbia” – but the less famous Chanchona music is an often overlooked, under appreciated, (and sometimes just plain unknown!) genre that is uniquely Salvadoran.

The word “Chanchona” basically means “big pig” – an affectionate yet amusing name given to the large stringed bass that is at the heart of this music. Other instruments heard in the always upbeat Chanchona music include violins, güira, guitars, conga and other percussion.

In 2011, Smithsonian Folkways Magazine did a fantastic feature of the Chanchona group, Los Hermanos Lovo. Check out this video, and then to learn more, I encourage you to visit the link below where you can read some really touching stories and interesting history from the musicians about the music. If you end up loving it as much as I do, there’s a link down below to song samples and downloads.

Smithsonian Folkways Magazine: The Sound and Story of the Salvadoran Chanchona by Daniel E. Sheehy

¡Soy Salvadoreño! Chanchona Music from Eastern El Salvador by Los Hermanos Lovo (samples & downloads)

Ai Se Eu Te Pego – In Spanish!

I can’t remember when exactly I first heard and fell in love with Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Teló – Was it a year ago? Two years ago?

For those not familiar, here is the original song – I love this video because it has the Spanish subtitles of the lyrics in Portuguese and also because those Spanish lyrics were written by a Spaniard who used the verb “coger” – A perfectly normal word in Spain meaning “to catch” or “to grab” – but to Latin American ears, (or gringa ears that are used to Latin American Spanish), the word means “to fuck” and it’s either offensive or hilarious. (I’m in the hilarious camp.)

While I can’t remember when I discovered the song, I can remember the way I discovered it, which was through watching videos of celebratory dances after fútbol goals. A lot of Brazilian soccer players like to do the Ai Se Eu Te Pego dance when they score a goal. Neymar seems to be an especially big fan – so much so that he’s brought the dance into the locker room as a way to annoy/entertain his teammates.

However, Ronaldo and Marcelo like to dance, too.

Muchachos, if you don’t enjoy watching Neymar and Ronaldo doing that provocative little dance as much as I do, my apologies. Feel free to go over to Pitbull’s remix of the song, a video which features women in bikinis. (It’s Pitbull. Would you expect anything less?)

Anyway, yesterday at work, one of Carlos’s Mexican coworkers started singing Ai Se Eu Te Pego, but he had changed the words to Spanish:

Hermosa, hermosa usted a mi me mata
Ay si te veo, ay ay si te veo eh
Hermosa, hermosa usted a mi me mata
Ay si te beso, ay ay si te beso eh

Of course I thought this was hilarious and started to type up a Facebook status to share, and then I asked myself, “Wait a minute… maybe there’s really a Spanish remix and he was just singing it?”

The song’s popularity would certainly have resulted in a Spanish version, by now, right? Come on, if there is a Spanish version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller out there, and a Spanish Duranguense version of Justin Bieber’s Baby, surely there must be a Spanish version of the wildly popular Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Teló! … Well gente, the internet did not let me down. Here it is, Ai Se Eu Te Pego, versión español. This one is called, Ay si te beso by Argentinian musician, “Feice.” Chécalo!

Not crazy about that one? Here’s one by a guy who simply goes by the name Roberto:

Another one in Spanish by DJotta y Fenix:

This Spanish version by Rico Alexis actually uses the phrasing “Ay, si te cojo, mami” – the guy is Chilean but living in Spain – so did he mean it the Spanish way or the Chilean way? You decide.

Arriba con la Selección Salvadoreña!

On Friday, while watching the game (El Salvador vs. Costa Rica), the Salvadoran soccer team’s anthem came on during a commercial break. Our 10 year old son jumped up and started dancing; we all started laughing because this cipote has moves and I have no idea where he gets them from. He can dance to almost any kind of music, and he dances really well. (My Suegra used to say that he gets it from her side of the family but I’ve seen Suegra and her family dance – they aren’t any better than my family!)

Anyway, with the México vs. El Salvador game coming up on Tuesday June 12th, (9 pm ET on Telemundo), I asked my son if he’d be willing to give a repeat performance in front of the camera. He didn’t want to at first but a piece of chocolate, 50 cents, and my explanation that he would help pep everyone up for the game, convinced him.

Arriba con la Selección!