Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tango on the Rocks Festival Loco Tango Milonga playlist

So happy to be back in Denver and Boulder and to DJ at the Avalon once again! We had to cut our California adventure short, and to start driving East in the dead of the night, after Homer and Cristina's Berkeley practica, just to catch a short rest home and then to keep driving East to meet them again at the Merc 4 days later. But whatever it takes to support our dear Colorado friends in their most recent, most crazy project. Welcome to Tango on the Rocks, John Miller and Jesica Cutler's radically novel concept of a tango festival - an anarchically decentralized event where 3 nights of the milongas are organized by the notable local hosts at their classic venues, and only the Saturday matinee and night milongas are fully festival's. We had a blast at the Merc and Savoy and La Rumba and the Avalon and of course the Cheesman Pavilion! Homer and Cristina taught class after class, John and Homer and Marc and Jessica La Vitrolera DJ'd, Orquesta Tipica Natural Tango played live - with an amazing powerful bando section and a stunning shivers-down-your-spine trumpet solo, Grisha and Erskine and Olga jammed together too, Jurni and Naseema volunteered, Halina created an unbelievable dinner meal for the milonga, and it all would have been just like coming to root for the hometown team except this time around I signed up to play along, too. Thank you for your work and your talents and your sleepless nights, friends! Thank you for the tandas and the conversations and for your companionship! Here's to many more Colorado nights together!
Memories of the Merc, Savoy, and Cheesman milongas
(including photos from Naseema and Kim)
So my "work shift" falls on Labor Day's night. The dinner at the Avalon Ballroom is soo good, and so well advertised, that the crowds of people start filling the space right after the first chords of the first tango. But it still takes 3 full tandas before the first couples actually make it to the dance floor :) Everyone is so busy with their delicious baked salmon and their dinner table conversations :) But then, almost in an instant, el gente's on the floor dancing. (Later at night I learn that despite Halina's traditionally opulent super-abundance, the food actually ran out this time ... maybe that was the secret to the sudden shift of the public from the tables onto the floor ;) ... anyway, the music of the opening tandas provided a nice backdrop for the party).

001. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "Champagne tango" 1938 2:30
002. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "El garron" 1938 2:27
003. Quinteto Don Pancho - Instrumental "Loca" 1938 2:57
004. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
005. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "A media luz" 1941 2:31
006. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "Te busco" 1941 2:26
007. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos  "A oscuras" 1941 2:48
008.  "Katyusha"  0:33
009. Rodolfo Biagi - Alberto Amor "Paloma" 1945 2:28
010. Rodolfo Biagi - Alberto Lago  "Amor Y Vals" 1942 2:48
011. Rodolfo Biagi - Andrés Falgás "Dejame Amarte Aunque Sea un Dia (vals)" 1939 2:55
012. Carmen Piculeata  "Egy kis cigainy dal" 2013 0:29
013. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Jamás Retornarás" 1942 2:28
014. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Cuatro compases" 1942 2:43
015. Miguel Caló - Raúl Berón "Que te importa que te llore" 1942 2:44
016. Victor Tsoy  "Blood type (cortina)"  0:36
The first alternative tanda is united by its spring-like "up" feeling - the closing track stands out a bit because it achieves this effect with any guitar strings, just by exuberant singing a capella, but it is the sweetest piece of the set and I'm confident that it belongs there. Yet I am really stressed at this moment - as I was pretty much all day, actually - because it's such a difficult task for me, to try to build a semi-alternative playlist which will accommodate all tastes and rock everybody with its energy waves, those who love alt and those who sit it out. I wrote at length about "the alternative allure and quandary" last time when I DJ'd here. Tonight, too, several classics-only dancers remain uncomfortable with the musical format, and it weighs heavily on my mood. But the floor fills up with people, and I field my first "what-was-that-cool-thing" questions for the night, and my stress level begins to dissipate.
017. Fool's Garden  "Lemon tree" 1995 3:09
018. Jason Mraz  "I'm Yours" 2008 4:20
019. Damour Vocal Band  "Sway"  3:49
020. The Blues Brothers  "Theme From Rawhide 1" 1980 0:21
The vibe is passed on to a springy, smiley mixed-orchestra milonga set, getting just a touch more grounded at the end (where we leave Uruguay and return to BsAs ... but perhaps Miguel Villasboas's "El sentir del corazon", "La mulita", or "Mozo guapo" or even "Pena mulata" could have completed the tanda instead?)

021. Emilio Pellejero - Enalmar De Maria "Mi Vieja Linda " 1941 2:26
022. Miguel Villasboas - Instrumental  "La Milonga Que Hacia Falta" 1961 2:18
023. Julio De Caro - Luis Díaz "Saca Chispas" 1938 2:30
024. Carmen Piculeata  "Egy kis cigainy dal" 2013 0:29
025. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Tú, el cielo y tú" 1944 2:58
026. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Llueve otra vez" 1944 3:05
027. Carlos di Sarli - Alberto Podestá "Lloran las campanas" 1944 2:57
028.  "Katyusha"  0:33
029. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "Tango argentino" 1942 2:37
030. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "En la buena y en la mala" 1940 2:26
031. Enrique Rodríguez - Armando Moreno "Como has cambiado pebeta" 1942 2:37
032. Victor Tsoy  "Blood type (cortina)"  0:36
The lone alternative vals tanda for the night ... I love the classic Argentine valses so much, and there could be so few vals tandas anyway, that I'd be hard pressed to give them up to play any more alt's. But this is a nice ethnic-vibe tanda mostly gravitating to the Old Bygone Poland. The first track is in Yiddish, a beautiful song inspired, as I understand, by an Ukrainian tune. Alas, to put it in the beginning of a tanda, I had to cut a wonderful segment of joyful klezmer from the ending section, just to make sure that a waltz transitions seamlessly into the next waltz...
033. Klezmatics - Chava Alberstein "Di Krenitse (milonga cut)" 2001 3:39
"She was pretty like an angel and fat like an intestine sausage". A humorous Polish folk romance from the antebellum Lwow which has been nicely remixed but, alas, largely without the flavor of the (now extinct) local dialect. For the milonga, I cut the ballad at the verse where it becomes clear that the star-crossed lovers are going to die, creating a new crescendo finale and skipping several more verses about their death, burial, etc.
034. Zespół Starling  "Ballada o pannie Franciszce (milonga cut)"  3:14
Felipe Antonio's is a small Argentine band playing classic scores with a distinct folk vibe, which kind of fits to this very folksy waltz tanda
035. Felipe Antonio  "A mi madre"  2:27
036. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
We start in the antebellum Poland again, and continue the European oldies tanda in Austria / Latvia / Russia and France. I wrote many more details about the stories of these songs last time when I played in Boulder (and still more here) - there is so much talent and so much pain and heartbreak behind their lines - please follow the links if you're interested!
037. Jerzy Petersburski - Mieczysław Fogg "To ostatnia niedziela" 1936 3:19
038. Frank Fox - Piotr Leschenko "Chernye Glaza (Dark Eyes)" 1933 3:15
039. Rafael Canaro - Roger Toussaint "La Melodia Notre Adieu" 1936 3:15
040. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
The Tanturi-Castillo tanda gradually accelerates in preparation for the nuevo milongas:
041. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "La última copa" 1943 2:39
042. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "Recuerdo malevo" 1941 2:33
043. Ricardo Tanturi - Alberto Castillo "La Vida Es Corta" 1941 2:23
044. The Blues Brothers  "Theme From Rawhide (long vocal cortina)" 1980 0:33
045. Otros Aires  "Un Baile De Beneficio" 2010 3:42
046. Juan Carlos Cáceres "Tango Negro" 2003 3:45
047. Kevin Johansen  "Sur o No Sur" 2002 4:53
048. Carrapicho  "Tic Tic Tac cortina 1" 2007 0:17
049. silent pause
(a call for birthday valses which turn out to be quite chaotic ... so many birthday boys and girls show up, and so many other guests don't know them well, that figuring who's staying on the pista and who's leaving is all but impossible. Well, tango can accommodate a lot of chaos in it ... but ... note to self: if we ever play a birthday vals at a well-attended milonga with many out-of-towners, them we need to mark the birthday tangueros more clearly. Give them wreaths or bright ribbons for heads or arms? Introduce them better, too. A microphone may be necessary, too)
050. Enrique Rodriguez - El "Chato" Flores "Los Piconeros" 1939 2:47
051. Carrapicho  "Tic Tic Tac cortina 1" 2007 0:17
and the following tanda is for the Avalon's traditional community / "waterfall" dance:
052. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Recuerdos De Paris" 1937 3:12
053. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Condena (S.O.S.)" 1937 2:39
054. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Solo una novia" 1935 3:23
055. Francisco Canaro - Roberto Maida "Invierno" 1937 3:25
056. Carrapicho  "Tic Tic Tac cortina 1" 2007 0:17
057. silent pause  - a call for chacareras
058. "Chacarera del violin"  2:12
059. Carlos Carabajal  "De la Banda a Santiago"  2:21
060. Russian Folk  "Kalinka-Malinka 2 (cortina)"  0:25
And, phew, the many specials, however wonderful, are over, and it's time to "whip the milonga back into action" with D'Arienzos - which works like a charm.
061. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Que Importa" 1939 2:08
062. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Indiferencia" 1938 2:31
063. Juan D'Arienzo - Alberto Echagüe "Mandria" 1939 2:22
064.  "Katyusha"  0:33
065. Edgardo Donato - Hugo del Carril "El vals de los recuerdos" 1935 2:18
066. Edgardo Donato - Félix Gutiérrez "La Tapera - vals" 1936 2:54
067. Edgardo Donato - Horacio Lagos "Quien Sera - vals" 1941 2:15
068. Victor Tsoy  "Blood type (cortina)"  0:36
a cooldown / dreamy vibe alternative tanda
069. Jem  "Come On Closer" 2004 3:47
070. Mecano  "Hijo De La Luna"  4:29
071. Haris Alexiou  "To Tango Tis Nefelis" 1998 4:07
072. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
and back into the energetic roll with the tanda of softly rhythmic Di Sarli instrumentals setting the stage for the trifecta of Otros Aires's milongas:
073. Carlos Di Sarli - Instrumental "La Trilla" 1940 2:21
074. Carlos Di Sarli - Instrumental "Shusheta" 1940 2:24
075. Carlos Di Sarli - Instrumental "Nobleza De Arrabal" 1940 2:07
076. The Blues Brothers  "Theme From Rawhide 1" 1980 0:21
077. Otros Aires  "Milonga Sentimental" 2005 3:57
078. Otros Aires  "Rotos en el Raval" 2005 3:53
079. Otros Aires  "Los Vino" 2010 2:43
080. Carmen Piculeata  "Egy kis cigainy dal" 2013 0:29
the grounded, highest intensity tanda of the night:
081. The Alex Krebs Tango Sextet  "La Yumba" 2011 2:57
082. Fervor de Buenos Aires  "E.G.B." 2007 2:26
083. Ojos De Tango "El Adios"  3:13
084. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
085. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda  "Malena" 1942 2:57
086. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda  "Sorbos amargos" 1942 3:22
087. Lucio Demare - Juan Carlos Miranda  "No te apures, Carablanca" 1942 3:29
088. Victor Tsoy  "Blood type (cortina)"  0:36
A surprise, unplanned special here - Grisha Nisnevich, Erskine Maytorena, and Olga Tikhovidova jamming together! When they finally dared to do it less than half an hour earlier, I suggested that they start after a more melodic / romantic randa - and here they blast in with two final milongas of the night.
089. Kayah & Bregovic  "Ta-Bakiera [This Tabakeria]" 1999 4:17
090. Kayah & Bregovic  "To Nie Ptak [Not a Bird]" 1999 4:40
091. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
The time is almost up and we swirl towards the dramatic crescendo with some of the best Uruguayan tangos, followed by a merged late De Angelis - Pugliese tanda.
092. Donato Racciatti - Olga Delgrossi  "Hasta siempre amor" 1958 2:57
093. Donato Racciatti - Olga Delgrossi "Sus Ojos Se Cerraron" 1956 2:47
094. Donato Racciatti - Olga Delgrossi  "Queriéndote" 1955 2:49
095. Zhanna Aguzarova  "Old Hotel cortina long"  0:38
096. Alfredo de Angelis - Instrumental  "Felicia" 1969 2:47
097. Osváldo Pugliese - Roberto Chanel "Rondando Tu Esquina" 1945 2:48
098. Osváldo Pugliese - Jorge Maciel  "Remembranza" 1956 3:41
099. Alfredo de Angelis - Instrumental  "La cumparsita" 1961 3:33
100. silent pause  0:31
(followed by last-hugs & cleanup / furniture moving set)
and I doubt if I could ever possibly end the night without "Los ejes" if I ever DJ the closing milonga of a Colorado tango weekend again, because it's always the endless I-80 across the prairies of Wyoming which awaits me after it's over. Always the same repeating lines: "Es demasiado aburrido seguir y seguir la huella! Es demasiado aburrido seguiiir y seguiiir la huella..."
101. Paco Mendoza & DJ Vadim  "Los Ejes De Mi Carreta" 2013 3:23
102. Alacran  "Reflejo De Luna" 2010 3:44
103. Souad Massi  "Ghir Enta" 2008 5:06
The stats? Well, if you let me be "greedy" & count all contemporary / outside of Argentina tandas as non-classic, even the post-Cumparsita set, then we end up with an (arguably inflated) 11 / 13 alt / classic ratio. Wow. Could it even be true? Perhaps a more reasonable thing to do would have been to tally the Uruguayans among the classic, and to stop at La cumparsita. Then the alternative / classic ratio tallies as 8 / 15, with fully half of the remaining alt's being totally faithful to the classic tango and milonga genres. Now that's more or less what I had in mind.

P.S. Jessica already has (most of) her Pavilion Tango Colorado playlist up on Spotify, and Homer will probably add his alternative milonga playlist to his great DJ Resource page soon, too.