This is an mp3 blog attempting to document the gross amount of music I listen to. About once a day, I'll post something I like. If you're a copyright holder on anything I host, get in touch, and we'll settle things in a steel cage instead of a courtroom.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Bim bam bum!" - Xavier Cugat

Like all good music nerds, I will occasionally develop a completely inexplicable obsession, much to the chagrin of the discerning dorks who are my friends. When this dovetails with a new found musical love that blossomed out of a random purchase made because of attractive cover art, well, I think you'll find some smilin' fates (although, they might just be smirking that awful ironic hipster smirk, but that's a whole 'nother realm, bois and gurls).

Such is the case for my latest crush, Latin bandleader Xavier Cugat. Thanks to Orpheus Records deciding to break their world music section up into regions, I've been more adventurous, especially with $3 Klezmer, West African, and Latin records looking like they're begging to be given a chance on my turntable. Cugat's album covers typically feature him (or a cartoon version thereof) ogling/bumbling in front of a woman who is easily 63% cleavage. How could yours truly resist?

Yeah, it's poppy and mainstream, but that's not always a barrier to musical satisfaction (just watch out for droolers like Coldplay or the Fray). Sometimes we as human beings need lounge music to bob our heads to while we cook. It's not like it makes sense to marinate a chicken to the freakout strains of Big Black, yanno. Besides, it's not like he was completely unimportant. This Spaniard/Cuban emigre helped popularize a great number of Latin music styles in America, including the tango, the mambo, the rhumba, and the cha-cha. Not bad for the 30's and 40's, when stodgy white America wanted its music as bland as its hamburger helper. And hey, anyone who helps launch the careers of Tito Puente, Rita Hayworth, and Desi Arnez has gotta be doin' something right, y'dig? His only real misstep was marrying Charo, but back in the day, I probably woulda tapped that, too.

For people who wonder why Hispanics get to have their own Grammys.

Benabe -

Bim Bam Bum -

Cocktails for Two -

Mambo Number 5 -

Rumba Rumbero -


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