Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Note About "La Musica"

A couple of weeks ago I added a wiget to this site from that -- I'm sure is annoyingly apparent -- plays music upon landing here. The playlist is my selection, mostly (for now) Latin music that I happen to like for one reason or another, together with some older and newer country, western swing, bits of classical/opera and, of course, Piaf.

Much of it, obviously is not in English. As for me, I can get by (with lots of study, or some native-speaking help) in Spanish and French, can sort of stumble along in German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian, and if I have time to practice, I can cough up some phrases in Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. I know some words in Cherokee and the Navajo language, and while I studied Irish, I am still a complete dunce both speaking and reading that impossible tongue. (In fact, I discovered that Irish Gaelic is not nearly as hard as it seems to be from trying to read it or make any kind of sense of its written form. I asked a man from Belfast once why written Irish was so difficult. He said, "Ah m'lad, it's so the British Bastards won't know what we're talkin' about." And he laughed. Honestly, he didn't know what I was talking about. To him, written Irish was perfectly clear... OK....)

From time to time, I expect I will add and remove selections from the playlist as it is not hard to do. Personally, I like to leave the playlist open while I surf other sites. I added it in part because from the outset of this blog I was including YouTube music videos that I either liked or that illustrated a point, but of course they scroll off or they're deleted from YouTube and are no longer available. So with the playlist, I can have some of the music I like easily accessible any time.

I know it can be very annoying, however, to have to listen to somebody else's musical selections. It's easy to turn it off: just press "pause."

It is set on "random selection" and jumps all over the list. If you see something on the list you want to hear, click on the title and it will start playing. The next one that plays will not be what's next on the list, it will be a random selection.

If you want a playlist of your own (and I am not being paid nor am I an agent) just go to, sign up and search for whatever suits your fancy. There are an immense number of tunes to choose from, all free, unless you want to pay 2.99 a month to have a player on your own site without ads. It can be a little tricky to add the player to your site, but the instructions are pretty clear.

And if you are really, really annoyed with the one here, let me know.

Change is good.


  1. Dear Che,

    I like it! I use it as you do - let it play while I'm reading your blog and others. In fact, my 5 year old son heard something he liked the other day (an uptempo Spanish guitar piece) and he started dancing.



  2. Gwen,

    Bless your heart! Glad you like it. If you have any requests, let me know.

    For your son, ¡Vamos a Bailar!


  3. I like the music, too. As a matter of fact, I found La Hamaca Grande by Carlos Vives on a music download site, and Aquarela Do Brasil by Fransico Alves on iTunes, and downloaded them both. I challenge anyone to sit still while La Hamaca Grande plays! I might download a few more.

  4. Hey lea-p!

    Glad you like the Latin stuff.

    A Note: We discovered Carlos Vives on a Colombian telenovela called "Escalona" long time ago now. He was playing the character of Rafa Escalona, famous vallenato composer and troubadour from Valledupar in Colombia. The story was a "magical reality" version of Rafa's life, and it was really wonderful.

    It was largely from watching that telenovela that I learned most of the Spanish I can understand now -- even though I was taught Spanish in school and learned it from listening to Spanish speaking neighbors and friends. The thing was, the telenovela was in Colombian Spanish, which is spoken very fast, incredibly so, with a highly sibilant accent and what seem to be an enormous number of idioms. Prior to that, I was only used to Mexican Spanish which is spoken much slower, is far less Castillian sounding, and is far more easily understood by Anglo ears like mine. Keeping up with "Escalona" was a real challenge, and it was magical and musical as heck, and we loved it. Cried, literally, when it ended. Sometimes I'll pull up the last scene on YouTube and I'll still choke up. Carlos and his band came to San Francisco when he was promoting his CD, "Classicos de la Provincia" -- a lot of the music from "Escalona" -- and we got front row seats and had a wonderful time... we knew the words to most of the songs so we could sing along. Which caused some of the audience around us to wonder, WTF? They were really surprised to find someone as Anglo as me having such a good time, I guess! "La Hamaca Grande" is from that CD.