I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10 years old. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am that much better at it now than when I was 10, but I try hard, and that’s gotta be worth something. Today’s column is about Mexican music.
There are three distinct kinds of music in Rocky Point. The first is what you hear from a car that arrives outside your house at 3 AM and sits there until noon. Cars like that are basically speakers on wheels. The men who drive them have very large egos and I suspect not much else of any size, if you get my drift. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what they play because only the bass notes can be heard—all the way to Houston—and can loosen a crown if you don’t grit your teeth hard enough.
The second kind of music is played on extremely low quality boom boxes with the volume, treble and bass controls turned to 10 for maximum distortion. If there are words involved, like someone is singing, you wouldn’t know it because all you hear is something that sounds like 14,000 babies are screaming and shaking cheap rattles at the same time. What is really interesting is the same CD is playing in the boom box as in the car above.
The third kind of music is played by roaming street artists. It could be either one or two guys with guitars or a mariachi group. The singles or doubles will play and sing requests for a few bucks. The mariachis include as many as eight musicians. They have an impressive arsenal of instruments ranging from a round-backed guitar called a vihuela, a guitarron which is a bass guitar, a trumpet or two and some violins. Mariachis, in fancy sequined outfits, are welcome at many restaurants, and tend to play older, traditional tunes. While they are sometimes loud, you can still make out individual words. They do not play the same music as the aforementioned speakers on wheels and boom boxes. And for that you should be very glad. And generous.