I think that’s kind of a Mexican thing. No? That we like to cry, as Alma Guillermo Prieto that journalist has said. You know? I think we’re always holding in tears. We’re trying to be the stoic Mexicans, but you know at the end of the party, as she has said, Mexicans always end up crying…Well maybe it’s all the way down to the Patagonia because I think it has to do with the conquest. I really do. And kind of, a grief that’s there and a sadness. Porque estamos bien amulados. You know? And we don’t want to admit it until we’ve had a little tequila, a little bit of Chavela Vargas, a little bit of Agustin Lara, that give us permission to cry.
Alt.Latino’s corner of the Latin music world gets better and better every year: The music continually explodes any idea of genre restrictions and constantly surprises. And it looks like 2017 is not going to disappoint.
It only makes sense that a listening party led by twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, who make up the duo Ibeyi, would turn into a cool singalong. The two seem to have music pouring out of them at every second: As soon as they sat down in the Alt.Latino studio, they were snapping fingers, bouncing in their seats and singing along with the long playlist they’d brought in.
Do you know that feeling when a song moves you so much, you just feel like you have to add your own voice? Mexican culture has an answer to that: a cathartic, joyous yell called a grito.
Legendary Mexican performer Vicente Fernández, aka “Chente,” performs the crazy tragic love song “Volver, Volver.” “It’s one of the most iconic mariachi songs of all time, performed by the most popular Mexican mariachi vocalist ever,” says alt.latino’s Felix Contreras. “And there is a championship grito at the top of the song.”
Like lots of Mexican-American kids, Contreras and I grew up hearing the adults in our lives performing gritos when they listened to mariachi music at family barbecues, or cheering on friends and family at graduation.
“In my family, my mother and my grandfather, her step-dad, when we would be at family parties like Christmas or something like that, we’d be in the other room playing, we’d hear a really loud grito, we knew the party was on, it just took it to a different level,” Contreras says. “It was the ultimate expression that we were really having a good time.”
I am a certified fan girl of NPR’s Radio Show, Alt Latino. Alt Latino is a weekly program dedicated to new Latin Alternative music and issues. Last Tuesday, I was listening to and I found this La Santa Cecilia. According to the lead singer, La Santa Cecilia, is the patron Saint of Music.