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October 29, 2013 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Everything you think you know about salsa music is BS. The truth is: Orquesta el Macabeo

More songs by the Orquesta:

Se pone difícil
El Sueño
posted by Potomac Avenue (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

Oh man, this stuff is great. "Me Repito" is my favorite so far.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:57 AM on October 29, 2013

I like the music, but this is nonsense:

For once, they offer my ears contemporary salsa that is for the streets, by the streets -- just like how it started in the first place.

This might apply to salsa's stylistic antecedents, but "salsa" itself began as a recorded music genre. That's not to say that its musical attributes aren't re-appropriated in folk contexts, but this kind of authenticity narrative is out of sorts with the reality.
posted by invitapriore at 8:59 AM on October 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Or, as Tito Fuente used to say, "People ask me for salsa, and I say, I'm a musician, not a cook. You want to hear some tango? Some cha-cha? I can play that."
posted by IAmBroom at 9:39 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tito Fuente, you say? You mean this guy or this guy?

Authenticity is bullshit but this band is good, which is what matters, yeah?
posted by Fnarf at 10:35 AM on October 29, 2013

If, like me, you don't know what to expect, and the first one you listen to is "Macabionico", you're going to be very confused for the first 10-15 seconds.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:52 AM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Fnarf: "Authenticity is bullshit but this band is good, which is what matters, yeah?"

Sure. You make it sound like something's under threat as a result of the fact that the thread isn't entirely people saying "good music awesome A++ happy candy life," though, and I can't figure out what it is. I mean, my appreciation of the music hasn't been dulled by the fact that the headline article's framing is annoying and off-base, I just thought it was worth pointing out.
posted by invitapriore at 10:57 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, ignore the framing, but the music's fun. Then again, it's no Grupo Fantasma.
posted by umbĂș at 11:51 AM on October 29, 2013

Fnarf: "Tito Fuente, you say? You mean this guy or this guy?"

Tito Puente. Sorry - I'd always misheard his name.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:18 PM on October 29, 2013

Great stuff, thanks for posting. Those of us near NYC are certainly spoiled. There's usually one restaurant any given evening with a couple percussionists, a singer and some string musician playing some old school son or guaguanco. Several bands make their living playing Fania standards at clubs. It's easy to take for granted.
posted by john wilkins at 2:48 PM on October 29, 2013

Me Repito was good. But yeah, most of "what I think I know about salsa music" is from the extremely commercial classic era of the 70s and 80s, and don't go telling me guys like Hector Lavoe and Ruben Blades were dishing up nothing but BS, man!
posted by mubba at 7:05 PM on October 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

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