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Musical Guilty Pleasure: El Colesterol

I would like to share another musical guilty pleasure with you, which I just discovered today in Atlanta. My job brings me to Atlanta on occasion to visit clients, and there’s definitely a larger Mexican population there than the DC area. One benefit of this is the food– while I’ve not yet had any autentico tacos, I have seen documented evidence of tacos al pastor!! This is very exciting to me.

Equally exciting is the music– I try to take advantage by tuning in to a Mexican-style radio station while I’m zipping around in my tiny rental car. While the prevalence of norteña does sometimes push my ear drums to their limits, I usually hear enough good songs to make it worthwhile. Which brings to me to this afternoon, when I came across a gem that I’d never heard before.  Usually I can barely make out the lyrics to songs in English (we’re talking “hold me closer Tony Danza“-style, folks), much less songs in Spanish.  But today I was struck by a catchy tune that kept mentioning chaparritas (the term witty strangers constantly used to refer to me in Mexico) and chicharrones… and the refrain seemed to be “Me sube el colesterol” (my cholesterol is rising). Huh? I was intrigued.

I jotted down the lyrics at a stop light, and checked things out tonight on the Google.  The song is indeed entitled “El Colesterol” by Fito Olivares, who hails from Tamaulipas. I wouldn’t exactly call this an award-winning song, but there are two reasons to listen/watch:

  1. the lyrics are at least semi-amusing
  2. the video combines wearing horrible suits while dancing (and by “dancing” I mean “swaying back & forth like you’re in junior high”) with what feels like a poorly-made documentary of one man’s visit to a low-end hospital

Anyway, I know this is song is from 8,000 years ago but for those like me who are a little behind the Mexican music times, I present “the official video” of El Colesterol:

If you find lyrics tricky like I do, check them out here or watch the subtitles in Spanish on this YouTube video. For you non-Spanish speakers, the song’s basically about how this guy’s doctor tells him he’s fat, his cholesterol’s too high, and he needs to cut out sweets/sugar/flour/fat. AND THEN he gets home & his honey calls out from the kitchen, “Do you want some fried pig skin, a piece of ham, or some fried chicken, love?” So he explains how his cholesterol’s rising & his doctor has ordered him to put on his belt….no pig skin for him!

Even if you don’t find the song entertaining, it should win some sort of award for Awkward Music Video.  Some portions feel like Grey’s Anatomy… if they filmed Grey’s Anatomy in a tired office building with doctors who, instead of constantly having affairs with each other, moonlight as cumbia band members. Replace secret trysts in the break room with secret saxophone practice sessions. Someone needs to write this pilot & send it to NBC….or Univision… We’re sitting on a goldmine!

Musical guilty pleasures

Much like in the US, if you go out to enough bars/clubs/restaurant or listen to enough radio in Mexico City, you will hear the same popular songs 8 million times. Some you will come to loathe & each encounter will feel like a thousand music notes stabbing your eardrum. Perhaps one or two will be a legitimate classic that will live on past this 6 month period, possibly in the annals of Mexico’s karaoke bars.

And then there are the songs you know you really shouldn’t like, but somehow latch on to your subconscious & won’t let go. You might not actively profess to your friends that you love these songs (except possibly under the influence of tequila), but you will:

  1. know all the lyrics (or at least the lyrics as you interpret them) & sing along cheerily
  2. shout “OMG! We have to go dance to this one!” every time the song comes on in a dance-y venue.

One day, you will give in to the siren call of these songs, go onto iTunes & pay good money to download them, so you can hear them even MORE frequently. I reached this stage yesterday with two regulars on the Mexico City music scene as of late (or better put, regulars within my musical bubble in Mexico City– I am sure some chilangos may argue the inclusion of these two gems). :)

I tracked down their respective videos on YouTube to share with you. Having watched both videos, I am now even dumber than after just listening to the lyrics alone. If I can offer any advice that might help you judge me less, it is: listen to these videos with your eyes closed.

Song 1: I Know You Want Me
Artist: Pitbull
Video Summary: In this video, a not-overly-attractive man wearing dark glasses stands around making light sexual innuendos with his eyes/arms/words. Meanwhile, several busty, scantily-clad women, who seem only marginally interested in the task at hand, stand in place- moving their hips & other “assets” while shifting their weight from one leg to the other. Some of them appear to have lost a battle with a tub of glitter, and one is wearing her “Sexy Flight Attendant” costume from Halloween 2007.

Song 2: Celos
Artist: Fanny Lu
Video Summary: Fanny Lu has been transformed into the size of King Kong, thereby making it easier to scamper around a miniaturized city while stalking her boyfriend (or perhaps just some random dude she’s going all “Fatal Attraction” on). While doing this, she is wearing a white tank top thinly veiled as an actual dress. She also repeatedly demonstrates a horrible dance wherein you stick your arms straight out (like you might be pushing a low grocery cart) & wiggle them/your hips back and forth.  (You might have to watch a commercial first on this one; apologies.)

As you can see, my cultural acclimation is reaching new peaks. 😉

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