Posts tagged Republica Dominicana
You've Come A Long Way Bachata

Que Fria! By Randy OrtizFrom the dusty floors of the local Dominican dive to sold out seats in Madison Square Garden, Bachata has seen it's fair share of criticism and huge success throughout its history. I remember the big Bachata boom and when I first started liking it (early 90's) where it welcomed acts like Antony Santos and Luis Vargas amongst others, also the overall opinion folks had in DR years ago told by my father. He used the term "música de barra" which translates to bar music, according to him you would only hear that in places where the alcohol runs as loose as the women did. Not necessarily family friendly or a place that people spoke highly of, it was embraced by campesinos and mostly ignored by middle-class or those with money. In recent years it has skyrocketed into something that goes beyond being enjoyed only by Dominicans or Latino people.

Bachata songs are mostly about heartbreak or love and some have incorporated more modern-day electronic instruments into its bitter-sweet sound as well, to best compare the type of lyric or basis you can say it's our version of country music or Blues. From its beginnings and ties to the bars it was perfect to go along with your visit to heartbreak city, it was also looked down upon in society due to its nature and sound. It went under the same bashing/scrutiny Rock, Punk and Hip-Hop went thru and some people from older generations still won't think of it as good music. When you first listen to a Bachata song the first thing that you'll notice is the high-pitched guitar play and bass which dictate the dancing rhythm (step 1, 2, 3 front, step 1, 2, 3 back) and swaying of the dance floor. By the time the 90's came around it already went thru certain transitions, from bar music to double entendre (Luis Segura comes to mind) to highly requested party music and now stadium acts.

It's gone from Ramon Cordero being the faint backdrop sounds of a heartbroken man looking down at a bottle to Romeo Santos selling out MSG and the concert being played on HBO, quite a gigantic feat for a genre from a small tropical country. Now you see people from all sorts of backgrounds AND countries enjoying what many of us have been for quite some time, no longer is its home a place of sadness and despair. I'm sure the roots were firmly placed in releasing the pain from within but now it's all sorts of emotions and stories, it can be highly infectious and loved once heard.

It shows the power of music and natural progression of society embracing something which was unnecessarily frowned upon and that my friends is a beautiful thing.

What's Going On Dominican Republic?!

Image courtesy of WGMeetsToday is a bit saddening... I've been reading a good deal of DR news and media issues going around recently, unfortunately it seems that Dominican Republic is in need of some major society help and restructuring now more than ever. It doesn't help that there's a poverty issue as well, the youth concentrate on materialistic ideals and certain media personalities are acting a fool publicly. Couple these issues in with lack of knowledge in certain instances and you can have a major problem with delinquency, energy spent on the wrong things and shameful portrayals in the media. It truly makes me sad to see this unfolding because it's a beautiful country and I know my Dominicans are better than this. We tend to be a bit loud and usually ready to party but in the end you will find people who are kind, honest, family oriented and always willing to help someone. Certain family ideals are being tossed out the window because money is at dire need, dishonest (muggings, robbery, drugs) work is rampant at an alarming rate from what I keep seeing/reading... but where do you go and make things better? More and more kids are hitting the streets with horrible (if any) schooling and bad intentions, I think it might be wise to concentrate on getting thru to them before we try the adults. Corruption in government isn't new especially in the Dominican Republic but with strong young voices in positive action, I think things can start to turn around for the better and much of the crime can turn towards a productive future which can disseminate throughout the country. Yes the adults are the ones in positions to dictate but the youth can truly make a change as it seems they are in control of society right now, the problem is that the older folk (set in their ways) just wrap it up with "damn kids messing everything up" but don't help or see why they do it. I am vowing to do my part to help with what I can from the US to the country I love so much and care about, I will be looking up resources to get something started over there for a brighter day for kids as they are the ones that will govern in the future.

If anyone has any information that would prove beneficial to this cause, please email us with it and hopefully less misguided youths stay in the streets. If you are an organization or group interested in collaborating feel free to inform us about your company or movement.

RepDom My Shalom

As with all of our travels I always have more than one post with photos. Already I miss the street vendor yelling to sell vegetables on the block, the coffee that tastes better when it's accompanied by family and the sweet breeze of DR. Relaxed and weather pleasing as ever, I have never experienced a cooler December in my entire life. It would be 11PM and we were chillin eating outside at Rico Hot Dogs with t-shirts on ahhhhh, try to do that here and you catch death! Our cousins who took us anywhere they could were as usual fantastic, we love you guys a ton!

Here are some random pieces of things I saw DR, Enjoy.