I went into the excellent and apparently men-only Cantina La Fuente in Guadalajara, Jalisco this morning and ordered a beer. An aggressive-looking youngish guy further down the bar started mouthing off loudly about gringos, so I went over to see what his problem was, and it turned out he was a frustrated sysadmin looking for his next drink rather than for a fight.
So what do you do, he asked. Various shit, I said, including music. In fact, I said, I play the trombone, toco el trombón. And the whole bar straight away started screaming with laughter. Eh, I said, so the paralytically drunken doctor leant against the wall on the other side of Mr Windows 2003 came round and showed me on his cellular a fascinating clip from the title of which I inferred that tocar el trombón (or la trompeta) is a Mexicanism for giving a blowjob–try miming if you don’t get it.
The strange thing is that I haven’t seen slide trombones in action anywhere in Mexico; maybe valves make sense in a country without many pavements for a push-me-off-the-pavement specialist.
(Mainly thanks to MP3 goddess, Madu D, I’ve listened to a whole lot of music here. I already knew a bit of banda stuff–banda is souped-up norteña with New Orleans/Dirty Dozen-type instrumentation–and I love some of the new things, but the most interesting tracks I’ve heard have been from a wild bunch called Nor-Tec aka Nortec, who mix new norteña in general and banda sousaphone licks in particular with kind-of screwed up techno.)
- A bowling we will go
Hats are to join the wig collection.
- For sale, Arthur Pryor’s trombone
A snip at $250K, via Dave. The photo of Jake Burkle reminds one that, for all their Portuguese ukelele folk hero trappings, Sousa and his people were essentially industrial pioneers. Amusing detail, from William L Bird, “Better Living”: Advertising, Media, and the New Vocabulary of Business Leadership, 1935-1955: Arthur Pryor’s son, Arthur, was hired by Roy …
- Mexico City’s organ-grinders
On the same day the Enola Gay dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, a small Mexico City pharmaceutical manufacturer offered the distinguished Hungarian Jewish contract bridge player, George Rosenkranz, work synthesising progesterone from inedible yams. He fell in love with the city immediately:
I saw the blue sky, the volcano, and heard this music outside my
- Por qué El Organillero va a cantar reggaetón
… pero boicoteará a los Beatles.