Friday, February 23, 2007

Criticar Por Criticar

Song: Criticar Por Criticar
Artist: Fangoria
Album: El Extraño Viaje

In Spain, Fangoria have Madonna status as the pop band of the moment. Last year saw the release of “El Extraño Viaje” which continued in their guitar driven electro-pop vein. The band is comprised of lead singer Alaska and Nacho Canut who originally formed a different band, Alaska y los Pegamoides in 1977. They changed their name in 1982 and then again after group member Carlos Berlanga left in 1989 to “Fangoria” after the American horror enthusiast magazine. The new vibe was emphasized by songs such as "La rebelión de los electrodomésticos" or "The household appliance rebellion".

My friend Harley, whom I went to visit while there, was hearing lots about the band there and recommended I check them out. While we were in Sitges, a seaside town about 40 kilometers southwest of Barcelona for Carnival, we saw a Fangoria themed float during the parade which featured a slew of people dressed up like Alaska. I took a little video of it on my camera:

I am not sure which song that is playing during this clip… it’s honestly so hard to figure out when the songs aren’t in English! I must say though, the couple songs that I have heard form them are impressive musically. For the most part, as I paid attention to the music being played around when I was there, the Spanish language songs came off as a bit goofy or a little dated. Fangoria in general sounds very current to me, and their current hit, “Criticar Por Criticar” even sounds a bit like the Scissor Sisters “Filthy/Georgeous.” Harley said that Fangoria are known just as well for their lyrical content (biting, sarcastic, and funny) as their groovy beats. They seem to have an outrageous “life’s a party” image, as evident in the official music video for “Criticar Por Criticar”:

In general, as I listened to the music being played in Spain I was surprised at how little it changed from place to place, or more-so just the variety in what was played. Indie dance-pop would be followed by a Madonna song, then something from Kylie or Robbie Williams, then even an old washed up goofy hit from years ago like “Mambo #5.” And oddly, songs like that and “The Macarena” were played without irony… the crowd got into it! Overall, as I knew, Europeans have a bigger interest in pop music of all genres as well as underground dance tunes. I also heard a lot of remixes and mash-ups being played from 80’s new wave stuff and 90’s pop. It was really something.

While in Sitges for Carnival, the parade consisted of several floats all blaring different types of music. While Harley pointed out the Fangoria float, we also witnessed a Queen themed float which had all the male and female dancers dressed as Freddie Mercury. But consistently, everything was upbeat and rooted in dance music… basically anything from 70’s disco to the present. I found this video of some the insanity I found myself in, so you can get an idea of what it was like:

All of this was a reminder at how much I wished we were a bit more musically adventurous here in the states. I love seemingly random playlists and that’s how it was in Spain. What was missing, and very odd for someone so use to pop music here, is the lack of hip hop being played. It’s just not as big there as it is here and in other parts of the world. So while diverse, they obviously lean toward things that are relevant within their culture. And while some Spanish language pop was played, it seemed English pop songs were in the majority.


1 comment:

Pol Pink said...

The first video that you posted is about the song "Bailando" it's a perfect song from the Golden Age of Spanish Pop hehehe.
Fangoria it's the best spanish group for me, and now they are in a tour, very, very good tour.
If you want songs in english of Fangoria search "Sorry I'm a lady" it's the B side of the single "Ni contigo, Ni sin ti" and it's performed with Dover (rock group of the moment in Spain) Yes, it's the song of Baccara hehehe
I recomend you the group Nancys Rubias it's like NY Dolls "made in Spain" that's cool ;)
Fangoria & Nancys Rubias are two big groups of the gay ambient in Spain.
Don't miss you Nancys Rubias ;)