en Nueva York chida la cumbia ya se baila

Literally minutes after my arrival in Mexico City this spring, we found ourselves in a packed restaurant with fluorescent lighting, and 3 flatscreen TVs all on the same channel. I was eating the best octopus taco I’d ever had. A wrinkled old man walked in, going from table to table carrying an ancient wooded box with ‘Toques’ engraved on it. Scrappy wires attached two metal rods to the box.

He was selling electric shocks. Apparently it’s something you do, sometimes, often when drunk: friends buy a ‘touch’ , hold hands, and everybody gets mildly electrocuted. About 10 minutes after he left a young woman comes in selling books of poetry. I’ve been plenty of places where someone comes in with their homemade chapbook, but she had ‘real’ books from a publishing house.

While neither vendedor ambulante made any sales (to my knowledge), at that moment I fell in love with D.F. Electric shocks and poetry. There has been no turning back. Out of all the places I have ever been to (many, trust me..) this is the place I’m most looking forward to return to.

So I’m pleased to announce that next Friday, I’ll be back in Mexico for a picnic…. “off- and on-line conversation about property, capital, and content, from the capital of chaos.” In this edition of ‘Theories of Chaos’, the invited speakers are Mariana Delgado of Proyecto Sonidero and myself – we’ll be talking about these issues in relation to our other love, cumbia. Needless to say, I’m super excited.

After the nocturnal picnic, we’ll head over to the Centro Cultural de Espana (this event is also free) where I’ll DJ their roofdeck party.


here’s a quiet, melodically intense old cumbia from Los Wawanco, an international assortment of musicians based in Argentina. 50 Years of Partying! announces their website.


Los Wawanco – Vienen Las Brujas


  1. thats a great great roofdeck to be deejaying a party. Its directly behind gigantic cathedral @ Zocalo. estoy celoso.

  2. What an amzaing sound to my northern ears. Love the duelling male voices. Where in Mexico is this fascinating story taking place?

  3. the Macao song is available on CD — i have it on a comp, released by Barba Azul i think

  4. K padre el evento, nos vemos alla! Pero tu dices es el viernes, pero la informacion dice el sabado, cual es? hay un rsvp o algo? Muchas gracias!!

Leave a Reply