Within the past months, Juan Data and I introduced you to a hefty load of weekly top 10s, either they be about Michael Jackson tributes, back to school season songs, masturbation-themed tracks, Afro-Latin pride tunes, or odes to your mom. This time, we’re gonna do something a little different, and that’s only because National Pet Day (yes, it exists) was a couple months ago, and we totally shun it when it was around. Keep in mind that doesn’t mean we’re gonna backtrack on all the shit we missed and throw it out there, there’s actually a very good reason why this just emerged.
Yep, I have a pet. A sorta big one, one that bites, squalls, climbs, dances, cusses, romances, and that loves to receive kisses. Meet Lorenozo everyone (featured on the thumbnail)! This big scarlet macaw has the IQ of a toddler, can talk, and gets jealous if its not being paid attention to. It feels like a big responsibility. I literally feel like I just adopted a child (he’s 7 by the way), so if I may express myself a little here, I’m a bit nervous yet excited, it’s weird. So, during my “new” domestic animal nervous-excitement mode, I felt it really appropriate to feature a list of top ten about such nature, animals you can tame. So here it is, songs all the way down from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain from some very well to not so very well known Latin artists:
10. “El Palomo”
by Kevin Johansen + The Nada – El Palomo
We’ve all seen them. The male pigeons in heat, dancing around the potential female mate, trying in vain to persuade her into some private sexy time. And we see the lady bird ignoring him and playing hard-to-get, of course. We can’t avoid feeling some empathy for them, we’ve all been involved (on one side or the other of the story) in such pathetic spectacles of delusion, lust and despair.
Argentine/Alaskan singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen makes the whole pigeon-mating rituals seem a lot less anxiety-inducing, and a lot more fun on this uplifting lounge-ska tune included in his third solo album, City Zen. -JD
I absolutely don’t have any idea of how this dog can be anywhere near normal, even though Mecano claims it is. An astronaut Russian dog that goes to outer space? Like WTF, seriously. Ok, that was my first reaction. She was taken to outer space only for scientific observations only. But still, I’m listening to this song while writing this and it’s making me so depressed, I feel bad. I almost feel like if this Laika suffered this rare disease and while on meds, it started tripping the fuck out, in a hardcore, out of this world way. I’d be a little nervous or scared to meet Laika upn her return back to earth, even though I’m sure she’s a sweet, smarter, and loving dog. RIP Laika. Or wait, is she still alive? -IR
08. “El Culebrón”
First I thought they were talking about soap-operas. Then I started paying attention to the lyrics and I was confused. At times it seemed like they were referring to a person who dances, talks and flies all over Latin America. But then it seems they are describing a snake, making references to its lack of feet, its ability to eat mice, and driving girls crazy. I still can’t figure out what El Culebrón is. Maybe it’s a mutant hybrid like this atypical song done by Brazilian hip-hoppers in Spanish (or shall we say portuñol), Sacassaia, with clear influences of ñu-cumbia. -JD
07. “Mi Caballito a Galopear”
by Tego Calderón
As you keep on reading and listening to the rest of the songs on this list, you’ll notice that there are none that talk about swaying the ladies down someone’s pants because of their big mascots. And there’s nothing wrong if that’s your thing, and it doesn’t involve me.
Iconic Boricua rhymer Tego Calderón lays it how it is, cut and dry, but with lots of sabor and ritmo. He has a galloping caballito, and together along with a fine lady they mount somewhere, and the rest is a good time. -IR
06. “El Burrito”
by Yerba Buena
There’re dozens of cumbia songs about burritos (the animal, not the Mexican-American quintessential fast-food dish) and that’s because in Northern Colombia people love their beasts of burden (some of them, as we learned on an unforgettable Vice documentary, love them a bit too much). Following cumbia’s prevalent trend, New York’s pan-Latin combo scored a big hit with their second album’s first single about domesticated donkeys, which they even compare to airplanes when it comes to their capability of taking people far, far away. -JD
05. “Mi Burrita”
by Los Macuanos
A very well known staple among Tijuana’s cultural attractions is, besides its beaches, flee markets, drugs, and tacos de camarón a la diabla de La Postal (ok, that’s my personal one), is the zebra-painted donkey. Parents take their little kids to take photos with it, couples capture that moment with burro/zebra in the middle, groups of friends jump on its back with sobreros on and smile at the cam, etc., it’s a very bonding experience. Me spending a few years of my child hood there, I always felt kinda bad for the poor burros, especially when drunk tourists would poke on it, and vomit near or on it.
Ruidosón trio Los Macuanos don’t really say much about their burrita, other than “la burrita” continuously, much less their experiences with one (note: el burrito on #6 is very different than #5), but the track is pretty awesome. If you’re still curious about this burra they composed a track to, then I suggest you tweet them or something. -IR
04. “La del Perro”
by Sólo Los Solo
Somebody once said that having a dog is like putting your loneliness on a leash and taking it out to the park for a walk. That applies in most cases, but there’s also that other kind of dog owner that’s ten million times more pathetic: the one who gets a pitbull or a rottweiler type of dog just to intimidate other pedestrians and overcompensate for his lack of actual balls. Juan Solo and Griffi, collectively known as Sólo Los Solo, had an encounter with one of those characters, who also happened to be a Nazi sympathizer, and made the mistake of coming to their turf uninvited with his fierce beast. Both owner and dog got their asses kicked–or at least that’s their side of the story. -JD
by Café Tacvba
Most of the songs that are attributed to any type of domestic animal are usually from the human’s perspective about how they feel with or about that pet. Café Tacvba’s Rubén Albarrán chronicles something a little different. He sings this tune in the point of view of the fish — the day journey after it’s been chosen for someone to own (haha, that’s just too cute). The fish recognizes it’s an unusual day, and feels fixated for a few moments and then a little cramped (cause it was picked out and put in a bag). It doesn’t know whether it’s the end for it or if it’s heading towards some grand place, but when it returns back to its element, of course there ain’t no direction for this pez, only motion. -IR
01. “El Camello”
by Kali Mutsa