February 28, 2011

The Bohemian Youth of Bs As Play Tangos

Music World is a video travel show produced and edited by the Brooklyn documentarian Oresti Tsonopoulos on the subject of musician subcultures around the world.

Tsonopoulos has just released Episode 4 of a multi-segment series on the revival of tango music in Buenos Aires. He has filmed young musicians performing tango music in places around San Telmo. They refer to what they are doing as new tango, meaning that it is their generation's engagement with the old music. They don't actually seem to be creating new tango music, and the songs they play are classic tangos. But their tango "scene" is new, or at least, they feel that it is.

In episode four, the band leader of "China Cruel" speaks of the difficulties of making money with tango.

You could be the most popular tango group in town and still not be able to live off that. However, if you are the most popular rock band, things are great for you. You lived well, both many shows and tours.

If you are among the top 10 tango bands, nothing! At best with some luck, you won't have to pay out of your own pocket to record your album. It's a very small movement fighting an uphill battle. There's no market for Tango, except in tourism words very limited and doesn't have a new and unique projects. The tourism is like… They bring everyone in the van to the door of the “Tango for export” house and there they stay. Then they put them back on them and take them back to the hotel.

Music World Episodes on VIMEO.

Music World Episodes on YouTube.

Posted by joegrohens at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2010

Mi bandoneon y yo - Ruben Juarez

I'm working on an article about the amazing Ruben Juarez, whose performances taught and still teach me a lot about tango.

For now, I'll just lead off with this song that embodies him so well.

PS - Corrections are welcome about my translation of the lyrics, following the jump.

Mi bandoneón y yo
Música: Rubén Juárez
Letra: Julio Martín

My bandoneón and I
Music: Rubén Juárez
Lyrics: Julio Martín

A veces se me hace que nació conmigo
y durmió en mi cuna pegao a mis pies.
Que fue mi juguete y mi perro de pibe
y toda la infancia la corrí con él.

Que anduvimos juntos, atorro y milonga,
desde mi bohemia, cigarro y café.
Y a veces rodamos maneaos por el suelo
y nos levantamos con la misma fe.

Mi bandoneón y yo crecimos juntos,
emparentaos, tal vez, por la pobreza...
Muchas veces reímos de alegría
y otras veces, lloramos de tristeza.

Yo le hablo de hombre a fueye, mano a mano.
Lo mismo que si hablara con la vieja.
Y cuando él me responde, se me antoja
que Buenos Aires mismo me contesta.

Sí, hermano, como siempre
... con vos hasta que muera...

Si yo a mi bandoneón lo llevo puesto
como un cacho de tango entre las venas.
Y está de Dios que al dar mi último aliento,
moriremos a un tiempo... mi bandoneón y yo.

At times it seems that he was born with me,
and slept in my crib glued to my feet.
That he was my toy, and my childhood dog,
and all my youth I ran with him.

That we went together, sleeping and milonga,
from my bohemia, cigar and coffee.
And at times we rolled rough-housing on the ground,
And we picked ourselves up with the same faith.

My bandoneón and I, we grew together,
Connected, it may be, by poverty....
Many times we laughed with joy,
And other times we cried in sorrow.

I speak to him, man to bellows, as equals.
The same as if speaking with my mother.
And when he replies,
It seems to me that Buenos Aires itself answers.

Yes, brother, like always....
With you until death...

Yes, I wear my bandoneón
like a piece of tango in my veins.
And it is up to God when I give him my last breath,
We die at the same time ... my bandoneón and I.

Posted by joegrohens at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2010

Online Tango Music Sampler

This web project organizes snippets of tango music for sampling. I have used it to find songs that I could hear in my head but not think of their name. And by browsing you can discover some gems that you didn't know about before.

An excellent tool, by Anton Sukhanov.


Posted by joegrohens at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2009

Guide to Tango Record Labels

Tango Labels - Sellos

For anyone interested in the history of tango recording companies, this page on tangoteca is very informative.

It even identifies by name (Ricardo Mejía) the RCA Victor manager who infamously burned the master tapes of tango.

Posted by joegrohens at 05:55 PM

July 09, 2009

Horacio Godoy

foto horacio ceci garcia 1.JPG

Horacio Godoy and Cecilia Garcia


(Please feel free to leave comments below.)

I'm just back from Chicago Tango Week July 2009, where I was rather impressed by the DJing of Horacio Godoy during the Saturday night milonga.

I have a few observations about him, although I am not 100% sure how reliable my impressions are, since I was dancing, and not really watching what he was doing, or sitting and taking notes. In retrospect I wish I had studied him more attentively.

The previous night (Friday), Horacio Godoy was part of a floor-show. He danced two exhibition numbers with his partner. During his first dance he kept trying to get the sound people to increase the volume (gesturing with his arms from the floor). Before his second dance he apparently made them reset the sound system before he would continue. There was a long delay in the performance, lots of talking, and people moving back and forth. Then I saw people moving speakers and stands around to different places on the floor. I don't really know what happened or what was said, but I inferred that he had an expectation for what the music should sound like, and he wouldn't continue until it was right.

I believe that this same fussiness about sound quality was evident in his DJing.

I contrast this with DJs who seem content to play an entire milonga with the music sounding like it is underwater and fuzzy and congratulating themselves on what great music selections they make even if the sound quality isn't that great. Or DJs who take long cigarette breaks outside, where they can't even hear the dance, while their laptop does the DJing for them on autopilot, or DJs who spend most of their time on the dance floor.

It has made me realize that I could do better than I often do.


I also posted this report on a DJ forum, and got some comments from people who also attended the Chicago Tango week.

Posted by joegrohens at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2009

D'Arienzo Orchestra Resources

This Juan D'Arienzo Discography by Johan in Belgium is one of my favorite reading pastimes.

I like to see how the personnel changes, to follow the singers, and to find out who wrote the songs I love so much. Thinking of tonight's milonga, I wanted to build a tanda around "Nada Mas" sung by Echagüe. The discography helped me to rationalize the following set. Admittedly, Pensalo Bien is a little bit different than the others, but I think it will work if put in first place.

D'Arienzo himself wrote some pretty killer tunes, usually with L. Rubenstein. The following, for example, were all written by JD himself.

Another fantastic document for orchestra history (not just D'Arienzo) is this Tango Orchestra Genealogy (Excel file), showing a view of orchestra personnel on a timeline. You can track band personnel in this very easily. Did you know that Ciriaco Ortiz was in D'Arienzo's first group 1928-1929, and that D'Arienzo himself played violin in it?

Check out the history of pianists in Oquesta D'Arienzo:

More discographies are available here: TangoDJ : Files

And Tobias Conradi's tango.info project also provides great illumination on the recording history of D'Arienzo (and other tango artists, of course).

Posted by joegrohens at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2009

Candombe / Murga / Carnaval in Buenos Aires

At this time of year, many countries and cities celebrate carnival, festival of Catholic origin preceding Lent.

Tango Cherie has written tangocherie: carn" target="_blank"> a lot about murga, candombe, and carnaval celebrations in Buenos Aires.

Here are some other references I have gathered:

Murga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Candombe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted by joegrohens at 12:08 PM

January 17, 2009

Tango Orchestras in Silent Movie Theaters

NitrateVille.com :: View topic - The most famous of the silent movie theater orchestras

This film website has an excellent discussion of the performances of tango orchestras for silent film in the 1920s. Includes MP3 and sheet music samples.

Posted by joegrohens at 05:32 PM

November 30, 2008

Alterna Tango idea

MediaMonkey Song-Liste

Following a request for help creating an alternative milonga, Peter Turowski proposed this playlist.

Interesting to think about, and there are some songs in here I haven't listened to before.

Posted by joegrohens at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2008

Piazzolla Music Online

This site has an extensive collection of recordings of the music of Piazzolla that you can listen to online, using Real Audio 3.

Astor Piazzolla Listening Booth

Posted by joegrohens at 02:14 PM

October 20, 2008

Romanian Tango

Argentine Tango at Ki Dojo of Florence

Ki Dojo has a good article here on Tango outside of BA - on this page, Romania, discussing Jean Moscopol, Titi Botez, Maria Tanase, Christian Vasile and Gion.

Posted by joegrohens at 08:30 PM

September 20, 2008

Music Selection for Beginning Class

I have made an iMix for my beginning tango class.

Joe's Tango iMix 1 Click to listen and download items. (Requires iTunes.)

  Joe's Tango iMix 1

Playlist Notes: This is an iMix of traditional tangos for dancing Argentine Tango. The collection is good for beginners who want to familiarize themselves with the music used for dancing social tango. Good for practicing and sampling some of the classic orchestras. I included two valses (tracks 10 and 11), and two milongas (tracks 12 and 13).

By Joe Grohens joe@cu-tango.com

Song Name Artist
El Flete D'Arienzo Orchestra (Tango Lesson Soundtrack)
Pensalo Bien D'Arienzo Orchestra (Tango Lesson Soundtrack)
Milonga Triste Hugo Diaz (Tango Lesson Soundtrack)
El Calabozo Carlos Di Sarli Sexteto
Poema Orquesta Francisco Canaro
Hotel Victoria Orquesta Francisco Canaro
Don Juan Carlos Di Sarli
Champagne Tango Carlos Di Sarli
Verdemar Carlos Di Sarli Y Su Orquesta Tipica
Lagrimas y sonrisas Rodolfo Biagi
Palomita Blanca Anibal Troilo con Floreal Ruiz
Milonga sentimental Ernesto Fama & Orquesta tipica Francisco Canaro
Reliquias portenas Orquesta tipica Francisco Canaro
Posted by joegrohens at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2008

Alterna Tango

The Tango Tales Radio website has a page listing examples o what they call alternative tango. Each title includes a link to the iTunes store where you can listen to the mp3 sample. (Requires iTunes).

Music Sampler: the best of alternative tango music (alterna-tango or found tango)

Posted by joegrohens at 05:47 PM

August 30, 2008

What Tango Music Should I Buy?

A tango beginner asked me to recommend about five CDs of traditional tango music that he can listen to and practice.

Listening to the music is such a critical part of becoming a good dancer.

It's difficult to precisely name CDs, because there is much to choose from. It would be easier just to name orchestras. But here are my picks, which would give anyone a good starter set of commercially released CDs.

1. RCA Victor 100 Años, by Carlos Di Sarli
2. Poema, by Francisco Canaro
3. Yo Soy de Parque Patricios, by Angel D'Agostino & Angel Vargas
4. Solo Tango: Instrumental Vol.1, by Juan D'Arienzo
5. Al Compas Del Corazon, by Miguel Calo
6. Ausencia, by Osvaldo Pugliese

I like to buy from tangostore.com. They are in Bs As, where the exchange rate is decent and the shipping is reasonably prompt. A buyer can check out their mp3 samples before hand. I think it's good to choose music that appeals to you.

Also, Planet Tango sells their own DJ-selected compilations of CDs. The Planet Tango "Tandas" CDs have tangos, milongas and valses arranged in sets by various orchestras, and they are all selected explicitly for dancing (as opposed to just listening). It is a good way to become familiar with the most important dance orchestras.

Keith Elshaw has spent the last several years digitally remastering tango tracks and also sells his compilations on CD, or by MP3 download.

All of these websites are great places to explore and learn about tango music.

Posted by joegrohens at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2008

Gustavo Santolalla

Article on Gustavo Santaolalla in NYT today. Bajofondo Tango Club plays in Central Park tonight.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s Film Scores Are Minimalist and His Tango Is Newfangled - NYTimes.com

“We don’t consider what we are doing as tango,” he said. “We are doing contemporary music, music that expresses the urban landscapes of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Obviously tango will be present there. But milonga, candonga, murga” — three other local rhythms — “and rock, hip-hop and electronica are also part of the genetic map of this place.”

Posted by joegrohens at 01:11 PM

August 05, 2008


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man :: Concordance

[7927]--Rhythm, said Stephen, is the first formal esthetic relation of part
[7928] to part in any esthetic whole or of an esthetic whole to its part or
[7929] parts or of any part to the esthetic whole of which it is a part.
[7931]--If that is rhythm, said Lynch, let me hear what you call beauty;
[7932] and, please remember, though I did eat a cake of cowdung once, that I
[7933] admire only beauty.

Posted by joegrohens at 02:38 AM

January 12, 2008

More Tango Music Archives

  • Mandrágora Tango Music archive - 70 of the most played tangos posted by Bob Barnes.

  • Tango RBerdi: El Diario


  • El tango y sus invitados

    Posted by joegrohens at 05:28 PM

    August 21, 2007

    Orquesta Tipica Fervor

    I love this band. I think they are the most real sounding traditional band. Remind me of Di Sarli.

    More: Tango Fervor (Google search)

    Posted by joegrohens at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

    Gotan Live

    These guys are really good. A spectacular jam by the pianist (Supervielle, I presume) on Revancha del Tango shifts to a very free arrangement of Julian Plaza's magnificent composition "Nocturne". The New giving way to the Nuevo. ha ha.

    Could dancers learn to dance milongaishly to this level of improv?

    Posted by joegrohens at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

    May 15, 2007

    Milonga Tandas

    Milonga by David Drake of Albuquerque.

    I might add other people's milonga tandas to this post later.

    Right now I was just looking for ideas of milongas to balance out a set by Donato. Thinking of "El Torito", "Ella Asi", "La Milonga que Faltaba", "Campo Afuera". Four is probably too many. Two probably too few.

    Posted by joegrohens at 07:12 PM | Comments (2)

    Identifying music in youtube videos

    identifying music on youtube or google - Multiwi

    Tobias Conradi has an index to youtube tango videos on his WIKI. He is interested in having people help identify the music in the videos in the identifying music on youtube or google - Multiwi

    I suggest also that when people know the music to a tango video on youtube, that they identify it in a comment there. It can be very helpful to tango music lovers.

    Posted by joegrohens at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Tango Fusion Reviews

    World Music Central - A Collection of Tango

    Reviewer TJNelson comments on 14 tango fusion releases, including Narcotango 2, Lunatico, Hybrid Tango and Tangophobia. He's not easily swayed by techno tango and tries to distinguish the quality from the schlock.

    Posted by joegrohens at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

    Otros Aires Dos

    Otros Aires 2 at TangoCD - The Tango Music Store

    The second album is out from the contemporary tango group Otros Aires. TangoCD.com has sound samples here


    Powered by eSnips.com

    Posted by joegrohens at 09:54 AM

    bajofondo tango club @ são paulo

    bajofondo tango club @ são paulo
    Originally uploaded by adpt27.

    Today appearing on Flickr are photos from the May 14 Bajofondo Tango Club concert in Sao Paulo.The photographer's caption here says "Most of the audience ON STAGE with them." I note that none of the audience appears to be dancing tango, though.

    Posted by joegrohens at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

    January 15, 2007

    Tango Lyrics

    Tango Lyrics in English and Spanish

    Letras de tango

    Tango Lyrics Home-Page

    TodoTango.com The Library

    Posted by joegrohens at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

    DJ Info Sources


    Posted by joegrohens at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

    January 11, 2007

    Dan Boccia's notes on tango orchestras


    Posted on tango-DJ list.

    On 1/11/07 3:25 AM, "Dan Boccia" wrote:

    Several people on this list have attended the DJ Seminars that Jaimes
    Friedgen, Shorey Myers, and I have presented in Seattle and Portland
    recently. At these seminars, I have handed out a 1-sheet (front and back)
    list of about 20 orchestras with their distinct eras, a description (in my
    own words) of each era, the singers of that era, and recommended albums for
    each era.

    I have had many requests to post this information on my web site, and with
    severe hesitation I have finally done so. But first, please read and
    understand the following before using this information:

    1. All the information on this sheet is essentially a summary of my
    research over the past several years. As such, it is very personal and not
    meant to be held to any particular standard.

    2. I do not necessarily intend to keep this handout up to date at all

    3. I am not, nor will I likely ever be, completely satisfied with the
    information on this handout. The information for several of the orchestras
    is thin and I plan to add to it as time/interest allows.

    4. The handout can be used by new dancers to begin a collection, but
    although all albums are good, if you're only going to buy 2 or 3, get some
    advice from an experienced friend to aid in your selection.

    5. The handout really starts to make sense after you get some songs from
    each era of a particular orchestra, set aside a few hours, and start
    listening critically and carefully. Only with this level of objective
    listening, in the absence of other distractions, is it possible to shape
    your own individual descriptions of the music to this level of detail. I'll
    be the first to admit that "this level of detail" is not necessarily
    required to become a good DJ......my interests at times go well beyond
    DJing. Those who do this will certainly find things on this handout they
    don't agree with.....and that's fine with me.

    6. My links page also has information on where to purchase music, but is
    only for localized use....there may very well be better avenues for
    purchasing music in other locales.

    7. Finally, feel free to use this information however you like. You're
    welcome to use it. You'll note my name is NOT on it....

    To view the sheet, go to www.tangotrance.com and click on "for more tango
    resources" where you'll find the link.

    Dan [Boccia]

    Posted by joegrohens at 11:39 AM | Comments (0)

    December 02, 2006

    La Cumparsita

    La Cumparsita eSnips Folder is a site for collecting MP3 versions of La Cumparsita by various orchestras. The site already holds more than 200 different versions.

    Posted by joegrohens at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

    November 21, 2006

    Milonga La Viruta

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Originally uploaded by elielcostajr3.

    La Viruta is a cool milonga in Buenos Aires that is frequented by younger dancers.

    Posted by joegrohens at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

    November 02, 2006

    Gotan Interview

    Gotan is on tour. Here as an interview with them in Montreal's "The Gazette".

    As one sees, this band doesn't really think they are making tango music -- it is something different: electronica infused with tango.

    "In the beginning, there was an attraction in bringing a melodic element to electronic music, a melancholy," Muller said. "Electronic music has a tendency to be 'up.' Tango is not at all like that. The only people to (explore melancholy in electronica) before were Massive Attack." Easier said than done. Tango is a complex music with a rich history. Doing it justice while making something relevant to the here and now demanded a delicate balance. "It was a challenge," Muller said. "It's not an easy music. I didn't know a lot (about tango). I knew Astor Piazzolla. Then after a while, I got into traditional tango, and studied with Eduardo (Makaroff). He taught me what it is."
    "Somehow, without wanting to, we have created a new branch in the big tree of tango. Tango has been around for more than 100 years. It has many facets. Now we find ourselves in it, reinventing that music."

    Posted by joegrohens at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

    October 28, 2006

    Tito Palumbo's editorial on electronic tango

    Hi Joe:

    This seems relevant to Tete's note. I think it is perhaps less passionate but clearer and more educational than Tete's note. What do you think?


    This is the English translation of an editorial on "Electronic Tango" that appeared in the March 2006 issue of the magazine, B.A. Tango/Buenos Aires Tango" that is currently in its 12th year of publication and is one of the most widely read tango reviews in the world. The editorial was written by Tito Palumbo, editor and publisher of the magazine.

    There is no "electronic tango." There is electronic music.

    That is a conclusive and categorical assertion, and I will get straight to the point. The so-called "electronic tango" that is causing some impact outside Argentina and expanding abroad has no support whatsoever from among those who dance and teach tango in the Rio Platense (i.e. the entire region encompassing metropolitan Buenos Aires and the shoreline cities of Uruguay across the Rio de la Plata river). There are reasons for this.

    "Electronic tango" has, in fact, nothing to do with tango, not in the area of "avant-garde tango" nor in the compositions of Astor Piazzolla whose "city music" always is grounded in the city of Buenos Aires.

    Neither does using the electronic sampler to incorporate parts of true tangos certify that the music is or has been born into or born of the tango. It is not even a bastard child of the tango family. The electronic music lacks both the structure and the form of the tango genre. It lacks the tango's "three-minute story." It simply is not tango and cannot be said to be tango.

    By no means is it in any way acceptable to say that young people will begin learning to understand and to dance the tango through the use of electronic music. Absolutely not! It is very difficult, not to say impossible for those who become intoxicated with electronic music ever be able to appreciate real tango.

    The integration of young people with electronic music defined as "tango" is related to a cultural orientation that includes diluting as well as globalizing the true tango. Even the name, "electronic tango," seems to have been chosen especially to mislead those who are without expertise, without significant knowledge of the tango.

    Tito Palumbo

    Posted by beatriz at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

    Tete's Circular on Electronic Tango

    Lonewolf writes that Tete Rusconi has been going around the milongas circulating a letter he wrote in protest against dancing to the musc "tango electronico".

    This is an English translation. His original is on the next page.

    What a shame!

    Not too long ago, I wrote a note about everything that is beautiful about dancing tango, and I realize that many people do not comprehend how to take care of what has true value. With music, such as the one called electronic tango, that is totally alien to tango, they try to destroy something that is ours.

    I would like to ask all the tango community, but above all to all the young dancers, the musicians and the milonga organizers, to take some time to seriously reflect upon what tango means. It is important to realize that this may be happening because of lack of imagination to add something new to tango, or because of business purposes, which are disrespecting a whole culture. It is a pity to have gotten to this point, when so many people are hurt. You can use this music for other purposes, but do not dare to call tango what it is not.

    Until soon,


    Que Verguenza!

    No hace mucho, hice una nota refiriendome a todo lo hermoso que as aprender a bailar el tango y me doy cuenta que mucha gente no comprende como cuidar lo que verdaderamente tiene valor, ya que con una musica como el denominado tango electronico, que es totalmente ajeno al tango, tratan de destruir algo que es tan nuestro.

    Yo le pediria a toda la comunidad tanguera, pero sobre todo a los bailarines jovenes, a los musicalizadores y a los organizadores de milongas, que es tomen un tiempo para reflexionar seriamente sobre lo que significa el tango y se den cuenta segun el caso, que ya sea por falta de imaginacion para agregarle al tango cosas nuevas o por hacer un negocio, estan faltandole el respeto a toda una cultura. Es una lastima llegar a este punto, lastimando a tanta gente. Usen esa musica para otra cosa y no se tomen el atrevimiento de ponerle tango a eso que no lo es.

    Me despido de ustedes esperando que comprendan lo que les digo. Hasta Pronto.


    Posted by joegrohens at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

    October 23, 2006

    BajoFondo Tango Club in Concert

    From salón 21, Mexico City, October 18, 2006

    More links to videos from this concert

    Posted by joegrohens at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

    September 28, 2006

    Radio Stentor

    videodocumental de Radio Stentor desde los años 1930 , La Matanza Argentina
    Por Pablo Aleandro

    Includes occasional contemporary film clips of tango dancing.

    Radio Stentor en Buenos Aires Argentina
    Uploaded by aleandro

    Posted by joegrohens at 02:34 AM | Comments (0)

    September 12, 2006

    Alternative Tango Radio

  • NEW! Bailonga! Alternative Tango Radio (From tangocenter.org)

    Posted by joegrohens at 03:08 PM | Comments (0)

    September 11, 2006

    Tanghetto Special on Korean TV

    I guess Yana is right about Tango exploding in South Korea. If they take to tango like they took to video games and internet, watch out pacific rim!

    Posted by joegrohens at 05:55 PM | Comments (0)

    August 14, 2006

    Daniel Melingo - Milonga Music Videos

    Song : Narigon
    Artist : Melingo
    Album : Santa Milonga
    Record label : Mañana

    Melingo introduces his first Mañana album : Santa Milonga

    Posted by joegrohens at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)

    August 06, 2006

    DeBayres Tango Music Videos "I Love You" + "Libertango"

    DeBayres Tango represents an interesting direction for neo-tango musicians. They are rock inflected, but seem to be coming a bit more from the tango side than the rock/hip hop side.


    Posted by joegrohens at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

    July 17, 2006

    BBC radio program on Tango

    Radio 4 - Woman's Hour -Tango, by Tessa Williams.(download Real Media broadcast file)

    Listen online to Radio 4 Tango Thursday 17 October 2002 In the early 20th Century the Argentinean Tango became the most fashionable dance in Europe.

    Posted by joegrohens at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

    July 06, 2006

    Roberto Goyeneche singing at a concert

    Roberto Goyeneche is my favorite tango singer. In my opinion, he was even better than Gardel or Rivero. His voice was expressive, murky, intense, and addictive. His interpretation was extraordinary.

    The bandoneon player in the footage is no other than famous Nestor Marconi.

    Posted by yana at 02:33 AM | Comments (2)

    July 05, 2006

    Waltz with No Return

    Vals sin volver is written by Korey Ireland. This is a sad but beautiful piece of music which I enjoy dancing to. This is an impromptu performance of Tova and Carlos to Vals sin volver.

    Posted by yana at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)

    June 14, 2006

    Orquesta Tipica - a Film by Nicolas Ente

    Watch this trailer. It's great, an indie documentary featuring the contemporary tango band "Orquesta Tipica Fernandez Fierro". There are some great scenes in here, like where crowd on the street chants to police "Let them play" while a middle-aged man pleads "We want tango, not cumbia that rots kids minds".

    Quotes from the band members:

  • "Back in April, we got together with a bass, and a bandoneon player. So we said, since we are three, let's find a violinist and make a quartet. Within a month we went from 4 to 12 members."

  • "Trying to assemble an orquestra tipica back then was already really huge."

  • (The director) "They thought they were a garage band. With the Orquesta, I follow a dogma. The orchestra always comes first."

  • From the producer's description
    Twelve guys looking like punk rockers pushing a piano down the street. Their sound is elaborate but raw. Their music is politically committed while historically linked to counterculture; still, it is part of a genre more than a hundred years old. This is their story. This is Buenos Aires 2006.


    Posted by joegrohens at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)

    May 12, 2006

    Bif Naked - Tango Shoes

    This song by Canadian punk popster Bif Naked is no tango, but it has great lyrics and a cool tune, and takes its theme from one of the most important things about tango - women's shoes!

    Get this video and more at MySpace.com

    "Tango Shoes" Lyrics

    When we're together,
    I am alone.
    I dawdle down the street, shuffle my feet,
    don't wanna go home.

    There's an antique store.
    I go inside.
    All I got on me,
    is only twenty bucks and my pride.
    (That's when I see them!)

    My new tango shoes,
    They are my treasure! They're so cool!
    My new tango shoes,
    They are my ticket! My tools!
    My new tango shoes,
    they're gonna help me dance away from you!
    My new tango shoes!

    Like Cinderella, I am transformed.
    Suddenly I'm taller
    you're smaller
    I am reborn!
    With new courage,
    I go downtown.
    To find you sitting at a table,
    girls all around.
    (and they see my...)

    My new tango shoes,
    They are my treasure! They're so cool!
    My new tango shoes,
    They are my ticket! My tools! My new tango shoes,
    they're gonna help me dance away from you!
    My new tango shoes!

    ...see my sexy metamorphosis
    right before your angry eyes...
    I stick a red rose in between my lips,
    turn on my heel,
    dance out of your life!

    You told me you love me.
    That was untrue.
    Now that we're over,
    this dance is for you.

    My new tango shoes,
    They are my treasure! They're so cool!
    My new tango shoes,
    They are my ticket! My tools!
    My new tango shoes,
    they're gonna help me dance away from you!
    My new tango shoes!


  • Amazon: "Essentially Naked" Includes interesting customer reviews.

    Posted by joegrohens at 06:11 PM | Comments (0)

    April 11, 2006

    New Tango Streaming Radio

    At the tango-dj list, Manuk reported on this Turkish online Tango Radio server.

    Add to the growing list:

    Posted by joegrohens at 10:15 PM | Comments (0)

    April 06, 2006

    Gotan Lunático

    Gotan Project's new CD "Lunático" (named after Carlos Gardel's horse) will be released in the U.S. on April 11, 2006. This is actually only the second CD produced by the whole group since "Revancha del Tango" (2001). "Inspiracion Espiracion," an in-between album was a DJ mix album of new tracks and remixes by Phillippe Cohen Solal released under the band's name in 2004.



    Posted by joegrohens at 02:48 PM | Comments (3)

    August 29, 2005

    Wall St. Journal on "Neotango"

    WSJ.com - The New Tango Trades Cheek to Cheek For Hot, Fast Moves


    BERKELEY, Calif. -- It still takes two to tango, but young urban aficionados have added some surprising new twists to the tradition-bound Argentine dance.

    [ ... ]

    But by about 4 a.m., it was time for something quite different on the dance floor. With the traditional crowd gone home to bed, Mr. Ladas dumped the orchestra music and replaced it with the sort of modern, bass-heavy dance music that might be played in a hip nightclub. The dancing was different, too: The people in their twenties who remained switched over to a new kind of tango that had them lifting, twisting and ricocheting around the room.

    [ ... ]

    This is "neotango," a new millennium version of the dance that was born at the turn of the last century in the brothels of Buenos Aires. It's booming all over the tango world.

    [ ... ]

    Formal wear is out; sneakers, low-rider jeans and halter tops are in.

    [ ... ]

    And the dance itself is different: faster, more fluid and requiring more floor space. While old-school dancers, enjoying simple steps, might press themselves heart to heart, the new version rotates over swaths of floor at high speed. Actually, there are many competing new versions. Some dancers borrow moves and music from electronica, swing and even martial arts.

    [ ... ]

    When new-style dancers first emerged in Denver, they were dubbed the "nuevo brats" for causing collisions on the floor with their flashy and sometimes haphazard moves, said Stephen Brown, founding member of the Dallas tango community who has been a DJ at Denver tango festivals.

    [ ... ]

    It isn't just the dance moves that are dividing the audience, it's the more beat-oriented music. "Tango requires music with a human breath, and without that it isn't danceable," said longtime Denver teacher Tom Stermitz. But even Mr. Stermitz, who promotes the older, closer style, recently added an alternative milonga to his popular annual festival.

    Here's the full text of the article, in the event that the above link is broken. Joe The New Tango Trades Cheek to Cheek For Hot, Fast Moves Heavy Beat, Lots of Twisting Draw a Young Crowd; Mr. Ladas's All-Nighters By KIM-MAI CUTLER Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL August 29, 2005; Page A1 BERKELEY, Calif. -- It still takes two to tango, but young urban aficionados have added some surprising new twists to the tradition-bound Argentine dance. For most of a recent Saturday night, Homer Ladas staged what appeared to be a program of traditional tango at a small studio here. Locked in tight embrace, dozens of couples gently swirled on the scuffed wooden floor as the sound of violins from the golden age of tango in the 1940s floated in the air. But by about 4 a.m., it was time for something quite different on the dance floor. With the traditional crowd gone home to bed, Mr. Ladas dumped the orchestra music and replaced it with the sort of modern, bass-heavy dance music that might be played in a hip nightclub. The dancing was different, too: The people in their twenties who remained switched over to a new kind of tango that had them lifting, twisting and ricocheting around the room. Tango impresario Homer Ladas with his wife and teaching partner, Cristina Navarro-Ladas. The two met at a tango festival. This is "neotango," a new millennium version of the dance that was born at the turn of the last century in the brothels of Buenos Aires. It's booming all over the tango world. For years, the very word tango brought images of sophistication and glamour: tuxedoed, rose-clutching tangueros strutting across the floor with leggy women -- tangueras -- in dresses slit up the thigh. But the tango was withering away. A lot of American milongas, or dance parties, were kitschy affairs patronized by an aging and dwindling cast of die-hards who danced to scratchy records of accordion music. But now, in city after city across the U.S., a new generation of tango dancers is packing the floor again. They swerve and kick, not to the traditional violins of, say, the great Francisco Canaro's orchestras, but to the dub beats of Massive Attack or wailing guitar lines of Jimi Hendrix. Formal wear is out; sneakers, low-rider jeans and halter tops are in. And the dance itself is different: faster, more fluid and requiring more floor space. While old-school dancers, enjoying simple steps, might press themselves heart to heart, the new version rotates over swaths of floor at high speed. Actually, there are many competing new versions. Some dancers borrow moves and music from electronica, swing and even martial arts. One popular neotango DJ played gigs in Beijing, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis this summer. Indeed, at Mr. Ladas's Berkeley milonga studio, there's usually a global assortment of partners on hand -- an architect from Berlin; a Japanese woman who helped found the Edinburgh, Scotland, tango society; college students who fly up from Southern California just to dance; even a porteño, or native of Buenos Aires, or two. Mr. Ladas, who hosts all-nighters in the San Francisco area and in other cities across the country, is emblematic of the new generation of dancers. A former mechanical engineer in Tucson, Ariz., he saw a flier for tango when he was 27 years old and became obsessed. He took lessons and, soon, 10 hours of dancing a week became 15 and then 20. At an Amsterdam tango festival, he danced for 26 hours nonstop. But tango remained just a hobby for Mr. Ladas, now 36, until two cataclysms shook up his life -- his mother's death and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, just a day later. He took a leave of absence from his job to teach tango, and he never returned. At around the same time, neotango was growing increasingly popular in American and European dancing circles. It had its roots in the pounding club music, the experimental stylings of a few prominent Argentine dancers and modern fitness regimes: yoga, Pilates, martial arts and capoeira, a Brazilian art form that combines martial arts with acrobatics. While the traditional form of tango can be highly structured, neotango's early proponents believed dancers had to be free to experiment, and experiment they have. Mr. Ladas set out to spread the word about the new tango, teaching classes and hosting milongas around the country. In 2003, he and a group of like-minded San Francisco dancers opened the doors to the city's first large-scale alternative milonga. "There was a group of young people who were frustrated who wanted to have more expressiveness in tango," he said. But when neotango started picking up steam, the passionate tango community divided into cliques as arguments brewed over which kind of tango is best. Even as Mr. Ladas's neotango events have swelled in popularity, some dancers have branded him a "tango philistine" or have avoided his events. The same rifts have appeared in other communities, too. When new-style dancers first emerged in Denver, they were dubbed the "nuevo brats" for causing collisions on the floor with their flashy and sometimes haphazard moves, said Stephen Brown, founding member of the Dallas tango community who has been a DJ at Denver tango festivals. Traditionalists simply long for the older styles: chest to chest, cheek to cheek, and eyes closed in what is known as the tango trance. "Tango is very close to the heart," dancer Moti Buchboot said. "That makes it really easy for crazy zealots to go in there and say that their style is the style and that's the only right style." It isn't just the dance moves that are dividing the audience, it's the more beat-oriented music. "Tango requires music with a human breath, and without that it isn't danceable," said longtime Denver teacher Tom Stermitz. But even Mr. Stermitz, who promotes the older, closer style, recently added an alternative milonga to his popular annual festival. The debate has even come home to Argentina. Tango was repressed there between 1955 and 1983 under regimes that broke up milongas and jailed dancers. Argentine tango went underground. Although it came roaring back to life when several Broadway shows in the 1980s and early '90s, including "Tango Argentino" and "Forever Tango," sparked interest abroad, the music didn't catch up with the times. When neotango music first emerged, just one club in Buenos Aires would play Carlos Libedinsky's homemade compilation of electronic tangos called "Narcotango." But after spreading it to friends in Europe and North America in 2003, the musician has sold about 20,000 CDs, mostly through word of mouth, and it has become part of standard playlists at several Buenos Aires clubs. "Many people say that it's not tango. Even I'm not sure -- I don't say that it's traditional tango, of course," Mr. Libedinsky said. "But it's something new, something refreshing. It brings new colors to the music and to the dancing." It is abroad where the new dance has taken off and gone through endless mutations. Mr. Ladas has been teaching swing dancers to tango. "Swango," anyone? Other East Coast couples are pioneering "liquid tango" and "free tango," among an infinite assortment of names. By whatever name, it proves that, after several decades, Argentina doesn't have a lock on tango anymore. Write to Kim-Mai Cutler at kim-mai.cutler@wsj.com

    Posted by joegrohens at 06:09 PM | Comments (0)


    Areg sent me this link to a review of Piazzolla's CD Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night, a suite of pieces composed for a cycle of dances in Graciela Daniele's "Tango Apasionado," a theatrical work based on the poetry of Borges. The music was released in an album recorded in 1987. I love the producer's anecdote about Piazzolla bursting into the studio as they were cleaning up tracks on the recording tapes. "If you correct anything you'll be eating dinner with Borges tonight."

    Whether Piazzolla's music should be played for social dancing is always a subject of debate. When Piazzolla was in Troilo's orchestra he hated tango dancers - they cramped his style, they wanted "tangos", he hated old tangos, he thought "La Cumparsita" was the worst piece of music ever written; the dancers hated him because he wrote arrangements for the dance band that were hard to dance to. Troilo asked Piazzolla to cut it out because the dancers used to throw fruit at the band and throw coins on the floor and walk off. Maria Castello remembers seeing Piazzolla in a televised recording of a concert in Buenos Aires where they audience threw coins at the musicians on stage. Once when Piazzolla was giving a radio interview, embittered tango fans came to the station, entered the studio, and beat him up.

    Listen to this great interview with Piazzolla where he talks about how, by the time he was studying in Paris, he was sick and ashamed over having been a tango musician. He was embarrassed to let Nadia Boulanger know he had played in a cabaret to earn a living. And yet he cared enough to Osvaldo Pugliese to listen to his new tango and opine whether it was tango or not. "Yes, it is tango," said Pugliese.

    Astor Piazzolla on KPFA's Speaking Of Music, May 11, 1989, Exploratorium Theater, San Francisco

    Also, this CBC broadcast by Guadalupe Jolicouer devotes a lot of time to Piazzolla. It's been a while since I listened to it; she either has some of Piazzolla's remarks on tape or reads remarks he had made about his music. (This is where I learned that Piazzolla sought Pugliese's tango blessing on his music.)

    Posted by joegrohens at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

    February 15, 2005

    Play Count

    For what it's worth: The most played tracks in my iTunes.

      Name • Artist
    1. Real Rock • Sound Dimension
    2. Nueve Puntos • Carlos Di Sarli
    3. A La Gran Muñeca • Carlos Di Sarli
    4. Champagne Tango • Carlos Di Sarli
    5. Yo soy de Parque Patricios • D'Agostino / Vargas
    6. El Flete • D'Arienzo
    7. Sentimientos • Jaime Wilensky
    8. Grazing in the Grass • Hugh Masekela
    9. GOLGOTA • Rodolfo Biagi
    10. Hotel Victoria • D'Agostino / Vargas
    11. Pénsalo Bien • D'Arienzo, Juan
    12. Una Emocion • Tanturi Campos
    13. Track 16 • Enrique Rodrigues
    14. Prelude • Metier
    15. La Cumparsita • Miguel Villasboas
    16. cumparsita • DI SARLI
    17. tuba something • Tuba Tango
    18. Cafe Domingues • D'Agostino / Vargas
    19. El Morochita • Enrique Rodrigues
    20. Corazon de oro • QUINTETO PIRINCHO (Vals)
    21. El Tango • Hi Perspective
    22. La cumparsita • Florindo Sassone
    23. Chega de Saudade • João Gilberto
    24. Vida Mia • Osvaldo Fresedo
    25. Tequila • Wes Montgomery
    26. Track 06 • Enrique Rodrigues
    27. Bailongo De Los Domingos • Tanturi
    28. Del pasado • ALFREDO DE ANGELIS (Milonga)
    29. Mi corazón • Campo
    30. Don Juan • Carlos Di Sarli
    31. Zorzal • Carlos Di Sarli
    32. El Internado • La Solistas De D'Arienzo
    33. Prisionero • Tanturi-Campos
    34. Voulez•Vous? • Arling & Cameron
    35. Festejando • Color Tango
    36. Cornetín • DI SARLI w Rufino, Florio, et al
    37. Track 14 • Tuba Tango
    38. Marisabel •
    39. Adios Arrabal • D'Agostino / Vargas
    40. Bim Bom • João Gilberto
    41. La Mariposa • Color Tango
    42. Corazón • DI SARLI w Rufino, Florio, et al
    43. Track 13 • Tuba Tango
    44. Forma • Supervielle
    45. Yo Soy de San Telmo • Carlos Di Sarli
    46. Reliquias portenas • FRANCISCO CANARO (MILONGA)
    47. Confianzas • Gotan Project
    48. Desafinado • João Gilberto
    49. Sonar y nada mas • ALFRED DE ANGELIS (VALS)•
    50. Champagne Tango • Carlos Sarli
    51. La Viruta • D'Arienzo
    52. Montevideo • Miguel Villasboas
    53. A Evaristo Carriego• Pugliese
    54. The Look of Love • Ron Isley
    55. Nostalgias•Lomuto
    56. Dindi • Astrud Gilberto

    Much of this is due to my playing through my laptop for dances and practices. I cannot account for why I seem to have played "The Look of Love" as often as "A Evaristo Carriego", but there you go. (Ron Isley is pretty good, though.) I'll try to do this again in several months and see what has changed. Oh... by the way, I have recently used "Real Rock" and "Grazing in the Grass" as cortinas, which exaggerates their frequency, as I only play 20 seconds or so.

    And... I apologize for the inconsistent entry of song titles and artist names. I'll clean that up someday.

    Posted by joegrohens at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

    January 02, 2005

    Torito's web site

    Rob "Torito" Nuijten of Amsterdam publishes a very interesting, and attractively designed, web site for tango in Netherlands. Links of interest:

    From browsing his "Tango agenda" just now, I learned of the death of Jose Libertella, cited below.

    On a lighter note, Torito reports on a great tango video clip ( "Uniquely Spikey".) from a TV commercial of the Singapore travel industry. (Requires QuickTime).

    Fun: Webmovie commercial spotted: Dancing Tango for Singapore. Bold man with lady in selfmade SM bra. (Who are they, do you know?)

    One must note that Torito takes some very nice tango photographs, as I have mentioned previously.

    Posted by joegrohens at 01:41 AM | Comments (0)

    Jose Libertella R.I.P

    Many of us from Urbana and Purdue saw the great bandoneonist Jose Libertello leading the Sexteto Mayor in concert with Tango Pasión in Chicago last year (October 2003).

    The fueye has taken its last breath in his hands.

    From Torito's website:

    A great loss. Jose Libertella (Sexteto Mayor) dies in Paris, on wednesday Dec 8, at the age of 71, while on tour with Tango Pasión. The maestro has been flown back to Buenos Aires. Jose Libertella in Torquato Tasso, BsAs, in December 2002. Photo © Rob Nuijten, Amsterdam (Torito.nl)

    Posted by joegrohens at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

    December 30, 2004

    Junior Cervila

    Read Jackie Wong's interview with Brazilian dancer, actor and filmmaker Antonio Cervila Junior, who was seen in Carlos Saura's Tango and figured prominently in the final dance sequence.

    Junior: You can dance tango to EVERYTHING. Well, I can because I want to. Piazzolla is a genius. Great to dance, but traditionalists don't like him. So they don't want to dance to his music. Then of course, it becomes impossible. The only possible things are the ones that you believe.

    I came from Copacabana and would turn tango into salsa, mixing the two dances. I loved it. And then turn Milonga into Merengue. Anyway, I don't like to say that I am right and traditionalists are wrong because there is no right or wrong. It is only what you really feel. And everybody agrees that tango is a feeling. So, if you don't feel Piazzolla, don't do it. But shut up and let other people be happy.

    In the forties Julio De Caro was considered too modern and people from that time used to say that the real tango were the old ones from 1910. So the question is not what is tango, but WHEN. A 40's tango was not tango for a 1910's dancer. So a 2000's tango will never be tango for a 60's dancer. And it's not a physical age, but where in the timeline you place your head. There are teenagers that are more traditional then older people.

    [...]Tango is so stuck in one place. I think tango can give much more than it is giving. Tangueros only have to realize that everything is changing. We can't dance exactly like in the 40's because we are not in the 40's. The world has changed and so has changed people. If a tanguero is very traditional and thinks that everybody has to dance like in the 40's ONLY, I think that he should not use TV or cellular phones. He has to live like on those days. My choreography is modern. My dance at the milonga is calm and subtle: introspective. My productions try to bring young people to tango.

    I became intrigued by Junior back in 1999 when Alberto and Valorie brought to town a CD music compilation that Junior had made. I don't know if the CD was ever published; it may have been just a pre-release version. It was called "Tangos Instrumentales para Bailar," but Carlota and I always referred to it as "The Junior CD" (as in "oh, that tune was on the Junior CD!"), and it influenced our tango listening at an early stage.

    Here is the playlist.

    Tangos Instrumentales para Bailar
    1. Cafe Dominguez - Angel D'Agostino
    2. Gallo Ciego - Osvaldo Pugliese
    3. Nochero Soy - Osvaldo Pugliese
    4. Bahia Blanca - Carlos Di Sarli
    5. El Pollo Riccardo - Leopoldo Federico
    6. El Andariego - Osvaldo Pugliese
    7. Racing Club - Angel D'Agostino
    8. Inspiracion - Annibal Troilo
    9. Recuerdo - Horacio Salgan
    10. Comme Il Faut - Carlos di Sarli
    11. Fuego Artificiales - Armando Pontier
    12. Boedo - Francini / Pontier
    13. Shusheta - Horacio Salgan
    14. Cuando Llora La Milonga - Alfredo Di Angelis
    15. El Internado - Los Solistas de D'Arienzo
    16. El Chamuyo - Domingo Federico
    17. El Rey del Compas - Juan D'Arienzo
    18. El Cencerro - Juan D'Arienzo
    19. Ataniche - Roberto Firpo
    20. Sabado Ingles - Roberto Firpo

    And now there is his very exciting show Latin Dance Carnival. Not just anyone can put together a dance review like this one! This guy is deeply talented and intellectually very interesting. View the 2002 show video and 2004 show slideshow.

    Posted by joegrohens at 10:48 PM | Comments (0)

    December 27, 2004

    Bajofondo Tango Club

    Pirineos Sur, Festival Internacional de las Culturas

    July 10, 2004 Lanuzza, Spain (Pyrennees)- The international culture festival "El Festival Pirineos Sur" included the first live performance of Bajofondo Tango Club, with Adriana Varela, Javier Casalla y Cristóbal Repetto.

    Read here for some interesting Background on some Bajofondo members. Reading this you quickly realize that these musicians do not think they are producing "tango" music. They are trying to create something new, that integrates tango, rock, electronica. I love the creativity and intertextuality of this music. In the song "Corazon", for instance, they sample Polaco Goyenache "senors, senoras...." I get goosebumps.

    To quote keyboardist Luciano Supervielle:

    - The fact is that I do hip hop. The things that serve me as the tango are those that I can associate with my genre. As in all work of experimentation, there are things that stay of side. But the tango and the hip hop share a dance origin, then there are many things that one knows that can be associated. Anyhow, if I do a contribution to some evolution it is to that of the hip hop or of the electronic music, not to that of the tango. The new tango is going to arise from a type that is tanguero, that he dedicates ten hours per day to doing tango. And if it approaches the electronic music, it will do it from the tango. I am of another side. { from }

    J.Campo says the same thing in a different interview:

    I think it's clear that this is not tango in a traditional sense. It's electronic music with a Tango flavor. We tried to mix both genres and we got something totally new. We'll wait and see how the public reacts. { from }

    Anyway, one of these days, a tanguero musician will weigh in with some contemporary sounds, and then we'll have music for a milonga. On the other hand, Adriana Varela is one of the outstanding singers of tango argentino. The sound of her voice on Perfume and Mi Corazon definitely infuse these tracks with tango weight.

    Watch a video of Bajofondo Tango Club in Performance: Bajofondo Tango Club - Sadler's Wells - June 2004

    Sample Bajofondo tracks at Tangostore.com.

    More links:

    a Wifiblanes.com weblog » Bajo Fondo Tango Club en La Paloma(review of show in La Paloma)

    MensTennisForums.com - Music (interview with Campo)

    Posted by joegrohens at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)