All posts tagged: Los Del Rio


PopSmarts: The Cautionary Tale of Vitorino and Macarena

It’s high summer, and we’re in the midst of wedding season. And if you’re going to a wedding this summer, then there’s a chance you’re going to find yourself doing the Macarena. This is especially true if you’re attending that wedding in flyover country. The coasts, of course, are generally far too cool for this line dance-cum-hand jive, beloved of white people because it does not require them to move their feet. But in Middle America, the Macarena has carved out its place in the wedding DJ canon alongside the Hokey Pokey, the Chicken Dance, and the Electric Slide. The Macarena has been around for such a long time now (the first Spanish recording of the song, recorded by Spanish lounge act Los Del Rio with a more traditional Latin feel, was released twenty years ago), and was once so ubiquitous and now such old hat, that it can be hard to remember that it was once a new, kinda-hip thing — even a little underground. Its Continental origins gave it an air of sophistication, …

Greatest Un-Hits: Las Ketchup’s “The Ketchup Song” (2002)

Under its actual, original, Spanish-language title of “Asereje,” “The Ketchup Song” is one of the biggest pop hits everywhere in the world except America ever. It’s like the soccer of music, or the Fanta of music. Simple, palatable, inoffensive, and yet impossible for it to make it in the states. Actually, Las Ketchup themselves remind me of the Fanta Girls, that ill-conceived corny-sexy excessively Euro ad campaign that appealed only to Europeans used to shill that stuff that they used to make Americans want to drink weird foreign pineapple soda.

Obviously, the point of comparison here is the Macarena, as both are Spanish, Spain-originated, highly catchy songs with an accompanying stupid-easy dance. But this came out in 2002, which was about five years after Macarena saturation and overload— 14 weeks at #1 for the Los Del Rio song, every goddamn wedding and  team building company retreat ever after for the dance. Also, things were good in the summer of ’96, the summer of the Macarena: the economy …