Friday, July 11, 2008

queering el taller mecánico, 'down argentine way'

"chica de calendario." i first heard this song by kumbia queers when somehow i stumbled on their myspace page, let's call it research. somehow these punkrockeras-turned-cumbiamberas are connected to me through those six degrees of queer separation. i donwloaded the song "chica de calendario" (oh and "la isla con chicas") to my ipod and have been listening to it (on and off) for a few months.

then i saw that the "chica de calendario" video was posted on youtube. i watched with similar delight as i had listened. fascinated by the way that this all-girl self-defined 'punk tropical' band had re-signified the hyper-masculine working class space of the mechanic shop, particularly its penchant for semi-nude calendar girls, and, oh yes, grease, lots of grease. and i laughed, of course, but always being conscious of these dykes's own level of consciousness. even their name's playing on the tejano kumbia kings group. have a look/listen:

this band of mostly former (and current) queer punk rockers is also, to my surprise, mostly made up of argentines (save one of the lead singers, whose mexican and sings in "chica de calendario"). but what throws me off is listening to the afore-mentioned "la isla con chicas," which sounds alot like "la isla bonita"...all the "yo's" become "sho's" and you hear "sheno" and "sha"...i confess, not used to argentine's digging cumbia, then i came across this podcast one day when i was cruising by the fine colectivo la tribu. which led me to this one; turns out that during the argentine 'dirty war' cumbia was used to ease the pain. so this is a post on re-thinking 'cumbia' and 'argentina.' so argentine cumbia has a bit more nuances than i was aware of...

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