Rock En Español Playlist

The last week and a half I’ve written several thoughtful, heavy posts. Even though I enjoy writing those deep, insightful pieces, I also like to write lighthearted, fun posts. Enter my “Five Songs” category.

Since I started this blog, I’ve posted two entries that highlight five songs I like within a theme. My first one, “Listening to the City” showcases five songs about cities/city spaces that I love. (And considering my dissertation is about making New York City a home, I tend to collect these songs.) My second one, “‘I Didn’t Mean to Make You Cry’ (Or, My Two Cents on NPR’s ‘Songs That Make You Weep‘)” came as a response to NPR’s “All Songs Considered’ call for songs that made you cry. I couldn’t settle on one, so I wrote about five. Music is very important in my life, and I love sharing musical artists/songs with people. I don’t listen to as much music as I used to (when I was in high school, music was like air to me), but my iPod is never far and I still like to buy music.

This week I wanted to talk about rock en español (literally, rock in Spanish, also known as Latin alternative), a genre that’s near and dear to my heart. One of the things I like about rock en español is its openness to experimentation and to merging new styles with folkloric sounds. Some of it sounds edgy, some of it sounds trippy, and some of it sounds vaguely like music my dad would listen to. I don’t keep up with rock en español like I did when I lived in Puerto Rico, but sites like Alt Latino and Club Fonograma keep me in touch–and Club Fonograma has free downloads! What’s funny is that, whereas music in English for me is a aural and visual experience, I have mostly aural memories of Latin alternative. Even today, I primarily listen to it. I don’t know what the videos for these songs look like, but I have tape upon tape of songs I recorded from the radio.

So here are five bands/songs that I really like and I think you should check out…even if you don’t know Spanish. Que disfrutes.

1) Rita Indiana y Los Misterios, “El Juidero”

Merengue meets hip hop. There’s a reason they call her La Monstra.

2) Cafe Tacvba, “El Outsider”

Synth meets rolling rock.

3) Soda Stereo, “Zoom”
Sticky and sweet. Watch out, this one has earworm potential written all over it.
4) Mala Rodriguez, “Yo Marco El Minuto”
Slinky hip hop.

5) Piyama Party, “No Quiero Ejercicios de Respiracion”

Actually a cover song. Effortless meets catchy.

Bonus track:
Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, cover of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (featuring Debbie Harry!)