When It’s Beautiful Out and Your Memory Gets You More Than You Bargain For
August 23, 2008, 12:54 am
Filed under: Latinos, Music, Rock | Tags: , , , , ,

The Internet functions like a massive id harboring the collective recall of our species in the digital age, frequently accessed by its users egos at will (but more often whim).  While excitedly making plans to spend one of the last Saturdays of this summer at the beach tomorrow, a refrain from my childhood suddenly leapt to my attention: “Vamos a la playa…oh, oh, OH OH OH!!!”  Not knowing whose song it is, or not remembering having heard the song in its entirety, I quickly turned to the unconscious lurking in Google Inc.’s servers for answers.

I could have sworn that the renditions of Vamos a la Playa as a young man were salsa and cumbia versions that were the pretty obvious soundtracks on our ventures to Likin in Guatemala, or Zuma/Point Dume in L.A.  Needless to say the Latino versions were incredibly difficult to find, and I came across Righeira, who are credited with the original rendition of the song, which apparently has nothing to do with iendo a la playa pa’ comer papaya.

Righeira is an Italian take on Kraftwerk.   In their use of language, they adopt Spanish instead of English as their their means of conveying their quasi-robotic, post-apocalyptic musings.  Unlike the German Electro pioneers whose name describes their approach to sound, Regheira opt for a thicker, more garish aesthetic that makes for occasionally interesting and catchy party music.  Then again, it’s difficult to imagine Kraftwerk turning out dance-floor packing summer jams.  To Righeira’s credit, their teletext-inspired website is visually interesting,  (But I can’t vouch for the music on their site, most especially their cover of Devo’s “Girl U Want.”  You’ve been warned.)

Vamos a la Playa’s haunting lyrics though seem to keep the song from plunging into the abyss of sheer tackiness.  Righeira’s nuclear-singed new Eden is whispered on by the breath of radioactive winds, chemically-altered light leaving people with blue tans, and flourescent waters inexplicably free of stinky icthyeous nuisance.  All that’s needed is the shocking green radioactive sand to make castles with and run along, and Righeira’s tawdry scene is set.

At first blush, it’s a song that seems more fitting performed by the likes of German-Mexican band Los Los.  Their brooding and lurching metal cover could best serve as a parodic way to celebrate Walpurgis Night with a beach campfire.   With lyrics below, and very dated, Dutch-captioned video above, here’s my post for the week. An end-of-the-month review is in the works for next week, but only after enjoying some time at lovely Crane’s beach, replete with cool breezes, piping plovers, and lovely beige sand. Stay tuned.

Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh.
Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh.
Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh.
Vamos a la playa oh oh.
Vamos a la playa,
la bomba estalló,
las radiaciones tuestan
y matizan de azul.
Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh…
Vamos a la playa,
todos con sombrero.
El viento radiactivo
despeina los cabellos.
Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh…
Vamos a la playa,
al fin el mar es limpio.
No más peces hediondos,
sino agua fluorescente.
Vamos a la playa, oh oh oh oh oh…


Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: