Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Los Lobos: "La Bamba" (1987)

I haven't written here in a while. I was buried beneath a pile of end-of-term duties and unblogged books and movies and records (and more books and movies and records). Don't have time to blog much now, but let me say:

There's nothing quite like barreling down I-10 from Phoenix to Tucson at 80 miles an hour with Los Lobos' "La Bamba" thundering out of the stereo. Is there a more perfect song for the occasion than that? The hardpan crack of the drums, the tumbleweed agility of the percussion, the rattlesnake shake of the rhythm guitars, and that solo! It's aridity itself, a wind off the desert, full of sand and fire. And then the way the whole electric tin-and-gasoline machine dissolves into a lace of mesquite boughs at the end.