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Record Grooves and Salsa Dance Moves: The Viejoteca Phenomenon in Cali, Colombia Author(s): Lise Waxer Reviewed

work(s): Source: Popular Music, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan., 2001), pp. 61-81 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 02/09/2012 20:15
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UniversityPress,pp. 61-81. Popular Mtlsic (2001)Volume20/1. Copyrightt) 2001Cambridge Printedin the United Kingdom

and Record grooves moves: the viejoteca Cali, phenomenon in





Distrutar recordando tiempos ayer de al compas mlisicaaprendida de a fuerzade bailarla. Revivirla emocion aquellos de Momentos involvidables y sentirquesomoslos mismos. . . Slogan on a poster for Chango Viejoteca,1995

To enjoy while remembering moments of yesteryear to the rhythm of music learned by force of dancing to it. To live again the emotion of those unforgettablemoments and feel that we are the same . . .

In the southwest Colombianmetropolis of Cali, recorded music has come to exert an unusually strong force on local popular culture in this century. Not only did recordings play a key role in establishing Cuban music, and later, salsa,as the principalmusical style of the city, they also became the basis for the record-centred dance scene that predominatedin Cali during the 1940s through to the 1970s,and continued to be importantas the live scene flourished during the 1980s and 1990s. (the The centralityof recordedmusic for Calenos inhabitantsof Cali) challenges the privileging,in most scholarlywork, of live performanceas more 'real'or 'authentic' than its mediated versions. Indeed, for many decades, 'playing music' in Cali literally meant putting on a record, as a source of music for other social and expressive activities. The term disco(literally, record disc) still exists as a local a ese synonym for 'song', even when it is a live renditionof a song, e.g. 'vamos tocar disco' (let's performthat song). This paper exploresthe significanceof recordedmusic, as disembodiedsound, in catalysingembodied musical experienceand memory.In Cali,recordgrooves, the materialrepositoriesfor documenting and storing musical sound, have harboured great potential to generate dance moves - the physically ingrained modes of self-expressionand social interactiontied to these sounds. Moreover,as one young collectorand disc jockey explained to me, recordshave served as a 'vinyl museum' for the preservationand maintenanceof Calenopopularcultureand identity.l A telling indicator of how importantrecordingsare in Cali's musical culture was the unprecedented revival of the old, record-centreddance scene in 1995. Looking for ways to increase flagging profits, local discotheques began holding or Sunday afternoon dances called viejotecas, 'old-theques', borrowing the name from a similar activity initiated in a local senior citizen's club two years earlier. Initiallyrestrictedto people aged forty years and older, clubs soon abandoned the 61


Lise Waxer

age barrier, and Calenos began flocking to the viejotecas en masse to dance to and other genres that had guarachas boleros, recordings of the old Cuban mambos, and bugalu,two early forms of been popular during the 1940s and 1950s.Pachanga New York salsa that were enormously popular during the 1960s,were also added to the mix. By the end of 1995,nearly every nightclubin town featureda 'viejoteca' at least once a week, startingin the afternoonand lasting far into the night. Several new establishmentsalso opened that featuredviejotecadance music all week long. Radio stations, long dominated by the music industry's promotion of new salsa, began to broadcastviejotecashows, hosted by famous local salsa radio announcers from the 1960s and 1970s. Even live viejoteca concerts were organised, bringing together ageing New York salsa pioneers such as Joey Quijano and Joe Cuba to perform the old pachanga and bugalu hits they had popularised over thirty years earlier. Much like the 'golden oldies' revival in North America, the viejoteca phenomenon has tremendous implications for our understandingof the role that mediated music can play in the formationof local identity, popular memory, and individual subjectivities. Unlike the North American context, however, where popularrecordsfrom the 1950s,1960sand 1970sare now mainly just listened to, the viejotecasrevived the actual dance scene that was centred around old recordings. of Throughthe combinedtrajectories sound and physical movement (i.e. dancingto old records),local subjectivitieshave been virtually re-membered- in other words, recreated,put back together, and reaffirmed.But what memories?And why is this significant? particularly formof recreation(read're-creation') particular In the following pages, I attempt to answer these questions through tracinga salsa dance scene in Cali and its rise to the fore social history of the record-centred of local popular culture. My analysis begins with a sketch of how recordings entered local popular life in the early decades of this century. I then move to a dance scene in the 1960s and 1970s,its discussion of the rise of the record-centred decline in the 1980s, and the revival of this scene with the viejotecas in the mid-1990s.My researchis based on fieldwork conducted in Cali between 1944and 1996 (see Waxer 1998).2

into local popularculture The entryof Cubanrecordings

Salsa3and its Afro-Cubanantecedents have formed an importantmusical current in Colombianpopular life since Cubanmusic first reachedColombianshores in the 1920s. Cuban radio broadcasts were picked up by short-wave radio sets on the Atlantic coast and as far inland as Medellin during the early part of the decade (Gonzalez 1989,p. 41). By 1927,78 r.p.m. recordingsof Cubanmusic had appeared By and in Barranquilla, were played on local radio stations (Ibid.). the next decade, Cuban recordswere also availablein Cali. Dancing to records of Cuban music and salsa has long been a favoured practice in Cali. Instead of taking up instruments and imitating the sounds they heard on records, Calenos poured their creative energies into dancing, using recordings as the primary source for musical sound. Owing to the significanceof recordsas culturalobjectswhose local meaning and value extended far beyond the catchy rhythms in their grooves, it was not until the 1980s that Calenos actually witnessed the development of a significant live performance scene. Tracing the historicalconditions through which records of this music first entered the city may

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Figure 1. Colombia Colombia.jpg).



help us understand why recordings have superceded live performance in local musical life. To begin with, let us go back to the 1930sand 1940s,when Cali began to boom as a regionalurban centre (see Figure 1). Although the city of Santiagode Cali was officially founded in 1534, it remained a sleepy provincial town through the early


Lise Waxer

twentieth century. The city's growth in the 1930s and 1940s was stimulatedby the rising world market for coffee, which was harvested in the Colombian interior, transporteddown the Cauca River to Cali, and sent out via railroad to the port for town of Buenaventura shipment to North Americaand Europe.During the same period, black Caribbeansailors on merchantships introduced recordings of Latin Americanmusic into Buenaventura,especially records of Cuban music. (music of the antillana Cuban sounds, referred to in Colombia as musica bars and brothelsfrequented SpanishAntilles),soon caught on in the Buenaventura also by these sailors. The black sailors, called chombos, introduced the dance style that went with this music, which locals quickly learned. The music also spread de inland to Cali'sred-lightdistrict.Betweenthe 1930sand 1950s,the Zona Tolerancia in Cali, a twenty-five block zone officially sanctioned for prostitution,became a hot-bed for the receptionof Cubanand Cuban-derivedgenres. Heard on jukeboxes throughoutthe neighbourhood,musica antillanabecame extremelypopular. Significantly,many of the people who worked in or frequentedthe Zona de (people of mixed African and Toleranciawere from Cali's large black and mulato Europeanancestry)working-class,descended from the large slave population that (largecolonialfarms)during the had been broughtto labourin the region'shaciendas eighteenthand nineteenthcenturies.Although we cannotessentialiseracialidentity, it is quite possible that the musical features that link many African-Americanand Africanexpressionsfacilitatedthe acceptanceof musicaantillanaamong Sub-Saharan black Colombians, since this style was already close to local musical aesthetics.4 this Reinforcing sense of culturalsimilarity,nearlyall the recordingartistswere black and mulato,and lyricsmade frequentreferenceto black/mulato identityand to daily experiencessimilarto those of blackColombians.5 Reinforcing the growing influence of recordings in local musical life were movie musicals, diffused from Cuba, Mexico and Hollywood. While acetate recordings provided a key source of music, their celluloid counterpartsplayed a critical role in providing images and models for dancing. In Buenaventura,the chombos frequentingthe bars and cabaretsof La Pilota had a strong influence on local dancers, which was relayed to some extent to Cali. This process continued well into the 1960s,when OrlandoWatusi,a young dancerfrom the port, developed a style based on that of the chombos, which he subsequentlypopularisedin Cali. Dance routines from musical films also had a great impact on dancersin Cali. as Fromthese films, Calenoslearnedthe basic step of Cubansonand guaracha,6well the as the elaborate twists, turns and shakes of mambo, Latin dance craze then sweeping Mexico and North America. Mexican film stars such as 'Tin Tan' and Alberto 'Resortes' Martinez were especially influential. 'Resortes' (literally, bed-spring)had a particularlystrong influenceon local male dancers,who imitated ('scissors', i.e. his moves and assigned imaginative names to them: las tijeretas (the flea jump), la de splits), la caida la hoja(the falling of a leaf), el saltode la pulga (the roulette wheel).7Hollywood films (dead man's fall), la ruleta del caida muerto such as those of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, on the other hand, spurred local dancers to take up North Americanstyles such as fox-trotand charleston. In the Zona de Tolerancia,the best dancerswere considered to be men, many (Camajan, of whom styled themselves as zoot-suited hustlers known as pachucos. borrowed from Cuban usage, was another term used to describe these types.) An eroticised male social actor, the pachuco was a figure whose physical prowess on the dance floor was matched by his reputed sexual powers off it. Dressed in baggy

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pants, oversized jacket, shiny two-toned shoes, with a long watch chain draping from one pocket and hair slicked into a pompadour, the pachuco was influenced not only by images from Cuban, Mexican and Hollywood films, but also from the on-land dress codes of the chombos. In Cali's Zona de Tolerancia,the pachuco's worldly flair enhanced the cosmopolitan associations of musica antillana. The Caleno pachuco paralleled 'hustler' figures in other cities of the Americas during this time - most notably the African-American'zoot suiter' in Harlem, and the Mexican-Americanpachuco in Los Angeles. As with his Mexican-UScounterparts, the celebrity of the Caleno pachuco was levelled by his marginalisation from mainstreamsociety. musica antillanaspread Fromthe bars and cabaretsof the Zona de Tolerancia, to households in the working-class neighbourhoods adjacent to this area, a taste presumablytransmittedby adult males, who had the ability to move between these two spaces. Indeed, BarrioObrero,to the immediate west of the former red-light district, is still considered a stronghold of 'old-time' musica antillana fans - many people active in the local salsa scene, including legendary vocalist 'Piper'Pimienta, grew up in this neighbourhood.

life identityand neighbourhood Cosmopolitan

Perhaps the most significant factor in the adoption of musica antillana,and later, salsa, in Cali, over and above regional or national musical styles, was the symbolic and hence, cosmopolitanstyle - at a significancethis music had as a transnational, time when the city itself was becoming increasingly tied to world markets. By 'cosmopolitan', I refer to the ways in which increased transportation and communicationslinks, colonialism,mass media, and other channelshave helped to spreadpracticesand values aroundthe globe, so thatthey can no longerbe linked to a specificplace of origin (see Turino2000).Thetermis moreuseful thanthe Eurocentric in notion of 'Westernisation' understandingissues of globalisationand modernity. Let us come back to the black sailors who initially introducedthis music, and whose role in helping forge this cosmopolitansensibilitycannotbe underestimated. Although certainly not from the elite socioeconomic ranks of those usually considered to be 'cosmopolitan',sailors have shared a similar position of moving between different culturalspheres and locations. By the very nature of their work, they have been central to processes of commodification, commerce, and the movement of internationalcapital that has shaped contemporaryglobalisationand cosmopolitan technologies. Connected to multiple localities and distinguished through particularcodes of dress, physical bearing,talk, musical taste and manner of dancing - themselves adapted and resignified from other cosmopolitanstyles sailors transmittedan alternative 'working-class'cosmopolitanismto urban black Colombians. While economic growth and technological developments were tying working-classpeople in Cali to internationalmarketsand culturalflows, they were blocked for reasons of socioeconomic status, colour, and lack of resources from accessing the elite spheres of cosmopolitan culture. Musica antillana and salsa, hence, became accessible signifiers for 'being in the world', adopted from sailors. As such, they became central expressions of urban working-class identity, a sensibility that was simultaneouslylocal but also connected to the largerworld. The cosmopolitan meanings ascribed to recordings had a particularlystrong impact on the development of local urban sensibilities and cultural practices.


Lise Waxer

Recordingsacquired great value among members of Cali's working class because they were a rare and of their ties with the sailors who brought them. Furthermore, relatively expensive investment for people who barely earned enough to keep food on the table and had little left over for luxury items. The difficulty of obtaining recordingsenhanced their value as symbolic capital- dealers and record collectors had to travel to Buenaventurain order to purchase the latest records from New York and Cuba brought in by the sailors. The affective impact and immediacy of musica antillana- as a source for the bodily pleasures of dance and listening - no doubt contributed to working-class conceptions of recorded music as more 'essential' than other luxury items such as automobiles or fine jewellery. Among working-classCalenos,therefore,recordsbecame a key signifierof social distinction (Bourdieu 1984; also Douglas and Isherwood 1979). Those who had playback equipment (a gramophone,or later, stereo) and who invested in the latest records from New York, Cuba and Puerto Rico, became important people among their neighbours.They were the ones who provided music for others on the street, and it was their houses that served as meeting places for neighbours to gather, drink, argue about soccer teams, and eventually, form impromptu dance parties. Victor David Caicedo,a long-time salsa fan born in BarrioObrero,describeshis memories of such scenariosduring the 1950s:
Caicedo:I rememberthat, on that little set, it was a gramophonethat my dad had there in BarrioObrero,every Saturdayand Sunday was spent by that gramophone,drinking there on the walkway and listening to music. Why? Because there was a room, of course it was very small, the first friends arrived with a flask of aguardienteor half a dozen beers, and startedto talk about soccer.Thatis, the subjectwas soccer,they startedtalkingabout soccer. Waxer:It's said that there's a very close link between salsa and soccer in Cali. Caicedo:Yes, in Cali they'reinseparable,they'rejoined, they run parallelto each other.Yes? So the first and main topic was soccer.After that, talkingabout soccer,they dranktheirbeer, their aguardiente,and when their spirits rose, when they got into a good mood, right, they that was startedto listen to music. Especiallythe music of the SonoraMatancera, Waxer:Oh, okay. So, first soccer, talking without music, and after- ? Caicedo:And afterwards,talking about soccer with music, because they didn't - that is, the whole menu was soccerand music. Otherwise,one without the other,it doesn't work. Never! Not that I know, it never worked . . . Here there's always been a strong rivalry between America [local soccer team], the fans of America,and the fans of DeportivoCali [local soccer team], right?So, the arguments startedbetween friends,argumentsabout which of the two was better.And these arguments would get more and more heated, and so to calm down a little, this mannerof, the tension createdby the argumentsover soccer, then 'No! Let's put on some music!' First thing they right? And they continued talking about soccer, but now much put on was a calmer.Thatwas like the incentive,like the, how do I tell you? Likethe, somethingto reduce the tension.

Caicedo explained that after this stage, sometime during the afternoon perhaps, people would tire of arguing about soccer and would become more interested in listening and dancing to the music. By this point, the women of the household (wives, daughters, sisters) would have completed household tasks and would join the men, and often, more neighbourswould have dropped by.
Around the aguardienteflask and the beer, they would startlistening to music. But like good Calenos, with the blood, the vein for dancing, sitting around a flask when it would get someone going, then he startsto dance alone, still sitting. Then with the second flask, forget it, he pulled the neighbourout to dance, his wife, his daughter,no? And finally the whole neighbourhoodwould gather and in that moment, hard feelings were forgotten.9

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Informal conversations with other people confirmed Caicedo's anecdote about typical weekend gatherings in the barrios (neighbourhoods). Of particular significance is the way in which the boundaries between domestic and public spheres (house/street) in these working-class neighbourhoods became blurred within the context of friendly social activity, hence reinforcing a sense of social collectivity and community that could be called upon in times of need. As an important point in the weekly cycle of work and leisure among Cali's working-classes,these informal gatherings were not merely a routine way to pass time. Rather,they became cultural rituals in which recordings of musica antillana were intertwined with other importantelements of local culturalpractice- dance, drink, sport and conversation- to establish and strengthensocial ties. For Calenos, dance has become a modusvivendiin itself, entrenchedas a key expressive practicethat underscoresculturalidentity and patternsof socialisation. I was told that people in Cali will get together to dance under any pretext - as I (a found out one night when accompanyinga local salsa orquestato a bingobailable dance where bingo games alternatedwith sets of live and recorded salsa music). Dancing to records of musica antillana and salsa - as a 'technique of the body' (Mauss 1973)- has inscribeda particularsense of urbanidentity in Caleno life, one that was heightened during the 1960s and 1970s.

The rise of the record-centredsalsa dance scene

During the 1950sand 1960s,Caliunderwentan even greaterrateof urbanexpansion. This growth was spurredin part by the influx of ruralmigrantsfleeing La Violencia (a bloody civil war that lasted from 1948to 1964),but even more importantwas the boom in the local sugar industryafterthe United Statesceased tradelinks with Cuba following the 1959Revolution.Since the fertile lands surroundingCali are ideal for sugar-canecultivation,Calibecame the centreof the Colombiansugar industry,and an importantsupplierfor the US sugarmarketduringthe 1960sand 1970s.In addition to the displaced refugees of La Violencia, hundreds more flocked to Cali seeking employment in the sugar mills. Although heightened rural-urbanmigrationwas a general tendency in all Latin American countries during this time, the combined effects of La Violencia and local industrialexpansion resulted in Cali's exceptional growth throughthis time. Between 1951and 1964alone, Cali'spopulationmore than doubled, from 284,000to nearly 638,000.By 1973 the population had reached just The short of a million (991,549).1 pace of urban development during this period of markeda new stage in the urbanisation Cali. The majorityof Cali's growing populationformed a black,mulato, and mestizo (mixed race,i.e. of indigenous, Europeanand Africanorigin)working class. Thrown together in a highly unstable and constantly changing urban environment, they identified neither with local musical traditions practised in the areas directly surroundingCali,ll nor with the municipalbrass band traditionthat had prevailed in Cali itself at the turn of the century.l2During the 1940s and 1950s, large dance band orquestas had been a focal point of live musical activity in Cali, but such ensembles performed mainly for the city's elite, at private social clubs. Cali's working classes, on the other hand, embracedrecordedmusic as a prime source of musical entertainment.Recordings of musica antillana and salsa- cosmopolitan items conveying cosmopolitan sounds - became significant cultural objects that indexed Cali's new urban reality.


Lise Waxer

During my conversations with Calenos residents in the mid-199Os,many people recalled the 1960s with great nostalgia, claiming that it was a time of supposed innocence and 'clean fun', in contrastto the violent ambienceestablished by the Cali cocaine cartel during the 1980s. More careful recollectionsof this era, however, point to the 1960s as a time of substantial upheaval, caught up in the struggle to establisha foothold in the city. An archiveof personalmemoirsof barrio life, called 'Recuerdosde mi Barrio',attests to the battles of Cali's new residents to transformtheir squatters'camps into legitimateneighbourhoods(see Various1984). Requests to city authorities for running water, electricity,and paved roads were often ignored or interminablydelayed, spurring people to set up illegal taps on water and power lines. Worse, the municipal government sometimes sent police troops to oust migrantsfrom their camps - a practicethat continues to this day in outlying shanty-townsof AguablancaDistrict. Music and dance became an arena for negotiating the effects of this daily struggle. In addition to providing a safe outlet to let off steam and temporarily forget one's troubles, music and dance also formed an important avenue for reaffirmingthe communitybonds needed in other contexts for group survival and development. Thomas Turino describes a similar process of community bonds forged through music and dance among highland migrants in Lima, Peru (Turino 1993).As in the case of Cali, the links created among Limenos served as the basis for communal work projects such as building houses or adding rooms to one's residence. A special form of neighbourhooddance party emerged in Cali's newly established barrios during the 1950s and 1960s, held to raise funds for projectssuch as building a local school or church,or paving streets and sidewalks. These would be basis, or by the local organised within each barrio,sometimes on a street-by-street an juntacomunal, autonomous neighbourhood collective that oversaw all comwere held in neighbourhoodcasetas munity interests.Such dances, called festivales, (pavilions), usually on Saturday nights, rather than (small dance-halls) or kioscos the Sunday afternoon of the bailes de cuota. Alejandro Ulloa, writing about the social history of his own barrio,founded in 1963, observes:
have Formany years, the festivQles been (togetherwith soccergames) the main entertainment of the locals, and the most effective medium for integrating neighbours and acquainting young folks. But beyond that, the festivales were the best and perhaps only form of raising funds for the common good. (Ulloa 1986,p. 46)

Both economically and socially, the fund-raising festivales helped to build community spirit and integration.Ulloa might have overstatedthe efficacyof such gatherings as 'the most effective medium for integrating neighbours and acquainting young folks', since other sorts of neighbourhooddance partiesalso provided opportunities for neighbours to socialise. In terms of collective organising at the grassroots level, however, the festivales were indeed the most directway to instil a spirit of solidarity among neighbours. Through the 1960s, the range of culturalpracticesand semiotic nuances tied that to recorded music expanded. During this decade, nightclubs (called grilles) specialised in musica antillanabegan to open up along the main road connecting the docks on the Cauca River to the railway station in town. The popular activity of dancing to recorded music shifted from neighbourhood house parties to these clubs. The music featured in these establishments included recordings of 1950s

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Cuban son, guaracha, bolero and mambo, well as the newer rhythms of pachanga as and bugalu that began to emanate from New York City. At the same time, teenagers- barredfrom the grilles because of their youth establishedtheir own public dance spaces, called aguelulos. Alcohol was not served at these events, and the dances were usually held on Sunday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 8 or 9 p.m. The name aguelulo derives from agua 'e lulo, or lulo fruit juice (made from an acidic fruit native to the region),but soda pop tended to be the main beverage provided at these dances, not juice. The aguelulos were held in private family houses, but also spread to larger spaces such as grilles, which would open their doors for these afternoon events. In both cases, a small entrance fee was charged. Attracting teenagers from throughout the city, the dances moved from barrio to barrio every weekend, and news of upcoming aguelulos was usually spread by word of mouth. The youngsters who frequentedaguelulos were called agueluleros, since Coca-Colawas the main refreshment,cocka or, colos.13 In both the aguelulos and in the grilles, dancers developed high standardsof athletic prowess and stamina, inventing complex and virtuosic new dance moves. Local salsomanos (salsa fans) developed a lexicon of colourful phrases to describe good dancing:l4 castigar baldosa la azotarbaldosas sacarle brilloal piso meneando esqueleto el moverla angarilla machacando pasito brillar chapas sacarle brilloa la hebilla (punish the floor-tile) (whip the floor-tiles) (polish the floor) (shakingyour bones) (move the saddle-bag,i.e. hips) (grindingup a step) (polish belt-buckles)l5

Although now dated and in disuse, such phrases typify the frenzied spirit that characterised local salsa dancing during the 1970s.I occasionallyheard middle-aged dancers use these lines from their youth (sometimes to complain that they weren't able to 'punish the tiles' like they used to). During the 1960s and 1970s, Calenos developed a unique style of dancing, characterised a rapid, 'double-time'shuffle on the tips of the toes (Figure2). In by Colombia,this idiosyncraticlocal style is still known as the el pasocaleno(the Cali dance step). It is distinct from the way that salsa is danced in the rest of Latin America (and in other parts of Colombia,for that matter),where the basic 'shortshort-long' step developed from Cubanson is the norm (see Footnote6). High kicks and rapid footwork also became a hallmark of Caleno salsa dancing. The Caleno style was a hybrid of elements from Cubanguarachaand mambo,along with North Americanpopular dances such as jitterbug,twist and charleston.The hyper-kinetic shimmy of film star La Tongolele,whose performancesof ballroomrhumba,conga and mambo graced many Mexican movie musicals, was also influential.A unique fusion of these forms was introduced into Buenaventuraby the chombos (sailors), and spread to Cali by influential local dancer Orlando Watusi (HernandezVidal 1992, p. 37).16 Fast dance tempos became key for Caleno dancers.The upbeat pachangawas ideal for this, but other rhythms were felt to be too slow - especially bugalu, a fusion of son with rhythm and blues that was all the rage in the mid-1960s. In a creative use of media technology, Caleno youth began playing their 33 r.p.m. bugalu recordingsat 45 r.p.m.!l7 Hence, a widely loved bugalu numbersuch as Pete


Lise Waxer

Lise step dancer notecharacteristic on tips of the toes(photograph: Waxer). 2. Figalre Caleno

from its original recordedin 1966,would be transformed 'Micaela', Rodriguez's tunes,but fastenough J= 65 tempoto J= 85,stillnot quiteas fastas mostpachanga 'Palo bugalutunesuchas EddiePalmieri's popular Another to satisfylocaldancers. from its originalJ=160 tempo to de Mango',however,would be accelerated by J= 220,well withinthe rapidpacepreferred salsomanos. of to were central the development thisrapiddancestyle, Theteenaguelulos since teenagers morethan anyoneelse - had the requisitephysicalenergyand life novelaboutteenaged in Caliduring In stamina. QueVivala Musica,a celebrated the this time,AndresCaicedodescribed ethosof dancingsalsaat this accelerated tempo:
The 33 r.p.m.recordingat 45 r.p.m. is almost as if one were flayed while dancing, with that need to say it all, so that there's time to repeat it sixteen times more and see who can stand us, who can dance with us. (Caicedo1977, p. 138).

where youngsters site The aguelulosbecamean important for youth subculture, p. 109).Throughdisplaysof 1990, vied for prestigeon the dance floor (Arteaga Caleno for and physicalstamina competition the most inventivedancevariations,

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teenagers created their own public spaces, creating a fervour for dancing to salsa records that spread throughout local popular culture. (I discuss the aguelulos in greater detail in Waxer (1998), describing the social codes and techniques of the body that characterisedthese social spaces.) By the late 1960s, the practice of speeding up records had been adopted by DJs in the grilles (nightclubs),becoming entrenched as a unique feature in Cali's dance scene. Indeed, when New York superstars Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz performedin Cali at the 1968 DecemberFeria,they met with requests to speed up the tempo of their bugalu numbers, in compliancewith local practice.
The Puerto Ricanmusician, whose band has enlivened New York'sbest nightclubs,seemed very surprised by the singular way in which Calenos dance bugalu. At first, Richie Ray played one of these rhythmslike he normallydoes, but he was immediatelyadvised that in so Colombiaand especially Cali, people preferto increasethe speed of their record-players that the tempo is faster,upon which he acceleratedthe music therebyputting in motion the which last night and the night before was fit to burst.l8 giant Caseta Panamericana,

Keepingwith tradition,some currentlocal salsa bands perform'golden oldies' such as 'Micaela'at the accelerated45 r.p.m. speed, and not the original33 r.p.m.tempo. Indeed, one night I heard the all-women salsa band Canela performthis tune at a concert, and the combined effect of the fast tempo and higher-pitchedwomen's voices created an uncanny reproduction of 45 r.p.m. playback - kind of a feedbackin the cycle between live and mediated music! 'hyper-real' Baudrillardean, Through the late 1960s and into the 1970s, dance competitions became a regularfeatureat many grilles, which spurreddancersto furtherrefine their moves and to invent new steps. The winners of such events usually received little more ('fire than a free bottle of aguardiente water', i.e. cane liquor), although some also received cash prizes,19but dancers competed mainly for enjoyment and social prestige (Ulloa 1992,p. 411). Salsafloor shows also emerged in the early 1970s,with such groups as the Balletde la Salsaperformingchoreographedsalsa dance routines (Figure3). The local sphere of competitive salsa dancing reached its peak in the de Mundial la Salsa(World Salsa mid-1970s, with the staging of the Campeonato Dance Championship),held in 1974 and 1975. One of the judges in the first year was legendary Cuban vocalist Rolando LaSerie, whose presence was seen to consecratethe event. The second year, building on the success of the first, featured live salsa by rising Colombian band Fruko y sus Tesos. With a grand prize of a 100,000Colombianpesos (equivalentto roughly $30,000US back then), these were majorcompetitionsindeed! Although nearly all the contestantswere actually from Cali and no internationaldancers participated,these 'world' dance competitions served as public spectacles that no only reinforced salsa's prominence in local popular life, but also underscoredthe cosmopolitan sensibility that was linked to salsa and musica antillana.Dancing to salsa, in other words, became the expressive mode through which Calenos conceived of and projectedtheir own position in the world at large. The fact that Calenos proclaimedtheir city to be the 'world capital of salsa' by the late 1970s stems less from whether or not Cali was actually a bonafide 'salsa capital', but ratherfrom the conviction that Calenos believed they were more passionate about salsa than anyone else on the planet. The emotional investment with which Calenos defined themselves as world-class salsa fans, therefore,constituted a move to stake their position on the internationalpopular culturalmap.


Lise Waxer

Figure3. El Balletde la Salsa.1971 (El Occidente, reprinted in Ulloa 1992, p. 23a).

The decline of the dancescene

During the 1980s,the local record-centred dance scene declined, owing to a number of factors. The teen aguelulos had already ended in the early 1970s, owing to the logistical complications and gang violence associated with the increasingly large gatherings (I was told that the last aguelulo drew nearly two thousand people).20 The nightclub scene also shifted towards a wealthier clientele, as money poured into the city with the rise of the Cali cocaine cartel. This period coincided with a new period of rapid urbanisationin Cali, since the influx of wealth also lent itself to the constructionof luxury condominiums,shopping centresand residentialvillages. The tendency towards material display and high spending in the new salsa nightclubs led to economic inflation throughout the local scene. By the early 1990s, clubs were charging as much as 40,000 pesos ($50 US) for a bottle of local rum or aguardiente (which cost only $2-3 in the store);imported whisky could easily run over a hundred dollars per bottle. The city also became much more violent than it had been in prior decades, as cocaine mafiosos began to attend nightclubs armed with pistols and sub-rifles, and people risked getting shot in the crossfire of a sudden dispute. The sharp rise in muggings and hold-ups further discouraged individuals from going out to dance.2lGiven the combination of high nightclub prices and urban violence, most Calenos simply chose to stay at home. As a result of these developments, local popular culture developed two distinct branches. One was the flourishing of the live salsa scene in the 1980s, associated with the rise of the cocaine cartel. Cartel bosses are said to have patronised local salsa bands and sponsored the formation of new groups. Internationalsalsa orquestaswere brought to the city on a regular basis, inspiring younger musicians to take up instruments and perform. There was a constant demand for salsa bands, in the luxury nightclubs that appeared on the scene, and

Record grooves salsadancemoves and


in lavish partiesheld at privatemansions and countryestates. Importantly, style the of salsa performed by new local bands during this period was not the 1960s/70s salsadura('hard/heavy' salsa) that had been popular in the earlier scene. Rather, the live scene was associatedwith salsa romantica (romanticsalsa), a style developed in Puerto Rico in the late 1980s and heavily promoted by the internationalsalsa record industry. Following the commercialtrend, local radio stations and luxury nightclubs also played salsa romantica,instead of the classic sounds. In contrastto 1960s/70s salsa, which was strongly tied to the working-class and to leftist university students, salsa romanticawas marketedthroughout Latin America as a glamorousproduct for the middle classes. Following this internationaltrend, much of the Caleno audience for this new style hailed from the city's growing new rich, and also from Caleno middle-classyouth. In contrastto this scene, die-hard fans of classic salsa dura establishedspaces of their own. Record collectors opened small speciality bars called salsotecas or tabernas, where aficionados could gather to drink beer and listen to recordings of classic salsa and musica antillana. Although there was virtually no room for dancing in these establishments,the salsotecas and tabernasflourished.Formedin part as an alternativeto the flashy excess of the new live scene, Cali's salsotecas became an important 'rearguard' in local popular culture, preserving and maintainingthe sounds that had been popular in the earlierrecord-centreddance scene. Listening to records became an important new practice in local popular culture, and new codes of expertise replaced the earlier emphasis on virtuoso dancing:e.g. learningas many facts as you could about artists,recordingdates, and stylistic developments, showing off records in your own collection, and so forth. Salsoteca and taberna disc jockeys emerged as meta-musicians whose ear for selecting and mixing good salsa tunes paralleledthe technicaland expressive skills of actual musicians. Through the 1980s and l990s, the salsotecas and luxury nightclubs emerged as parallel salsa zones in Cali. With few exceptions, their physical location and the style of music they played mapped onto the socioeconomic stratificationof Cali's neighbourhoods.Luxurynightclubs,featuringsalsa romantica,prevailed along the Avenida Roosevelt, the Avenida Sexta and the Calle Quinta near Imbanaco (Carrerra - all majorroads in middle- and upper-middle-classneighbourhoods. 39) The salsotecas and tabernas,on the other hand, with classic salsa dura and Cuban music, were concentratedalong or near Calle 44 (dubbed la callede las salsotecas (the salsoteca street), a three-milelong arteryrunning through the heart of several working-classbarrios. This dual salsa culture is unique in Latin America.By the early l990s, luxury nightclubs and salsa romantica had largely replaced clubs playing salsa dura in centressuch as New York,SanJuan,Miamiand Caracas.While some entrepreneurs in Cali followed the trends for up-scale salsa romanticanightclubs,local salsa dura aficionados maintained public spaces in which to gather and collectively reaffirm their love of this style. The very recordings that were the focus of Cali's earlier dance scene were easily transferred the new spaces of the salsotecasand tabernas, to maintainingan active role for recordedmusic in local popular culture.

The vlejoteca revlval

* * -

The first viejotecasappearedin 1993,during the height of the live scene. They were created initially as a recreationalactivity for senior citizens, and were gradually


Lise Waxer

adopted by a few venues in Cali's working-classneighbourhoodsas a special sort of dance for people over forty years of age. The key draws of the viejotecaswere: (I) cheap liquor prices (a flask of aguardiente cost only one or two dollars above grocerystore prices);(ii) a chanceto be among people of one's own generation(and not feel overrunby youth); and most importantly,(iii) the opportunityto dance all afternoonlong to the music that one had grown up with. The turning point for the viejoteca phenomenon came in July/August 1995, after the leaders of the Cali cocaine cartel were captured and many of those associated with their illicit trade left town or went underground. For luxury nightclubs, this meant a significant loss of clientele. Looking for new ways to salvage plummeting business, these clubs adopted the viejoteca idea, with unprecedented success. A huge and long-neglected market had been tapped, one that had felt alienated by the modern salsa, the high prices, and the threat of violence that was standard in the nightclub scene by the early l990s. Viejotecas mushroomedthroughoutthe city. Many places abandonedthe age restriction(forty years and older), and teenagers and young adults, who had grown up listening to their parentsplay this music at home, also attended en masse. Some older customers told me that they resented the presence of younger folk, seeing the viejotecas as but their special territory,22 most seemed to enjoy the convivial family atmosphere that emerged in these places - recapturing the feel of the 1940s and 1950s neighbourhooddance scene. Notably, the viejotecascene witnessed a revival of the unique local dance style associated with the aguelulos and salsa nightclubs of the 1960s and 1970s. While the dance style of this earlier scene did not die completely during the 1980s, maintainedin small neighbourhoodbars and clubs in Juanchito(an all-night party spot on the city outskirts),by the mid-1980smost Calenoshad adopted the standard With the emergence of the 'short-short-long' step of internationalsalsa dancing.23 many old dancers unpacked their old dance shoes, ruffled satin shirts, viejotecas, fringed dresses, and other garbassociatedwith the golden era of local salsa dancing. Professionaltroupes, such as Evelio Carabali'sBallet de la Salsa, presented tightly choreographedroutinesin the viejotecaclubs. Some dancersmade a junketof going around to viejotecason weekends, performingimpromptunumbers for club-goers in return for a few pesos or a round of drinks. I rememberone fellow, outfitted in a ruffled shirt and baggy pants, who performedan outrageously funny act with a life-size rag doll attachedto his shoes - he never failed to bring down the house. Many people with whom I spoke talked about the viejotecas as a 'returnto the good old days', when Cali was pure festivity and dance. When I returned to 1999/2000, the viejotecas the field in January1997 and again in December-January were still going strong, despite the fact that some places had raised their drink prices considerably.It is clear, nonetheless, that the viejoteca revival represents a symbolic victory over the perceived 'evils' wrought by the Cali cocaine cartel on the local salsa scene. The economic bonanza associated with the cartel certainly and rapid growth of the local scene, providing resources fostered an extraordinary for the presentationof internationalsalsa bands, for the rise of local orquestas,and for the promotion of salsa in local media. This expansion, however, caused a significant rupture with the older dance scene, displacing a large sector of salsa fans who did not identify with the new style of salsa being promoted.

and grooves salsadancemoves Record the How in the devilcan we understand rise of the viejotecas?


Among most Calenos,animositytowards the cocainecarteland its dominationover city life ran deep, but public criticismof this intrusion could not be openly voiced without incurringcertainreprisal.A tale that began to circulatewidely in the early l990s, about the appearanceof the devil in a salsa nightclub,reveals these prevalent but necessarily muted sentiments. ThroughoutLatin America and the Caribbean, tales of Faustian encounters with the devil exist, as Michael Taussig (1980),Jose Limon (1994)and othershave discussed. The Cali devil story concernsa diabolically good salsa dancer (what else?), who seduces local women with his charms.I know four versions of the Cali devil story, but, given the Colombian penchant for spinning a yarn, I am sure that more variantsexist. Notably, all of the versions are located in Juanchito,an Afro-Colombiansettlement on the city's edge which has become an all-night salsa party spot for Calenos. I will not recount all the versions of this tale, in which the devilish dancer's racial identity is portrayed variously as black or white. In the rendition that concerns me here, a handsome, well-dressed white man pulls up at Agapito (the most popular salsa nightclub in Juanchito)in a brand new red jeep. Red jeeps are a status symbol that, by the early l990s, were associatedwith the upwardly mobile ranks of cocaine mafiosos in the city. It is not enough that he pulls up in a flashy car, however - he also commits the blatant sacrilege of pulling up to this club to dance salsa during Holy Week, a time of solemn religious observance(in this very Catholiccountry).His expensive clothes and elegantly pomaded hair catch the eye of other non-believerswho have also gone to dance, and people crowd around his charismaticand seductive figure before realising that he is the devil in disguise. While this fellow is dancing with an attractiveyoung woman, he begins to levitate, before disappeazing in a billowing, sulphuric cloud of smoke. This sighting supposedly occurredin 1991 or 1992, and was reported in all the newspapers the next day. of This story resonates with a similar tale shared among black campesinos the rural area south of Cali, who have encapsulated their losing battle with the powerfu] sugar cane industry as an encounterwith the 'green devil' (Taussig1980). The Cali devil narrativeparallelsthis. It is clearly a metaphorfor the encroachment of the cocaine mafiosos on the local scene - an allegory about their unholy traffic and its conspicuous intrusion into the lives of 'decent folk'. As in the case of the black peasants, the devil is cast as a white male made evil by wealth (white, in this case, also indexes the colour of cocaine powder). The presumably working-class female dancer, and onlookers of both sexes, are inferred as the innocent and guileless victims (perhaps of darker skin?) taken in by his power. According to various informants,this metaphor was clearly understood by Calenos, especially because of the red jeep, associatedwith the mafiosos.In this version of the Juanchito devil legend, there is also an implicit pairing of racial and gender terms, where blackness and femaleness - representedin the figure of a woman dancer from the working-classbarrios- are constructedas categoriesof weakness and vulnerability, in a way that mirroredthe actual relationshipbetween the cocaine barons and the citizens of Cali. The viejoteca revival can be seen as a grass-rootsresponse to the upheavals caused by the Cali cartel. Significantly, in contrast to the tendency of cultural


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revivals to be romanticised,middle-class appropriationsof working-class expressions (Livingston 1999), the viejotecas are primarily working class, dance by established and for the populacewho developedthe record-centred with the cartelnot only boom associated culturein the firstplace.The economic from a scene,it alsogalvanised hugewaveof migration the changed localnightclub careaboutsalsa,choosing Not otherpartsof Colombia. all of thesenew migrants This music(suchas vallenato and theirown regional insteadto promote with other commercialstyles that were being development,in conjunction promotedby the nationalmedia and recordindustry,opened the city to new image of Cali as a to culturalflows, furtherthreatening displacethe established culture marka seizingbackof localpopular therefore, The 'salsacapital'. viejotecas, at the momentat which the cartel'shold on the city was broken,beforeother were ableto dislodge influence factionsthathad enteredas a resultof the cartel's salsa'sprimacy.

Recorded music and collective memory Recent scholarshipin psychology suggests that the emotionalintensity of a memoryresidesless in its meaningat the time an event took place,than in its at significance the time of its recall(Singerand Salovey1993,pp. 51-2). Underinvolveslookingat the of standingthe mechanics collectivememory,therefore, momentsare selectivelychosen and sustainedby a ways in which recollected a groupin the present,as a tool for maintaining cohesivesocialidentityduring of currenttimes of flux and upheaval.The re-enactment those moments- in Cali'scase, throughdancingto classicsalsa records- is not only 'recreational' of as a leisure pastime,but also as a constantreconstitution the social body. since and Cali has undergonesuccessivewaves of rapidurbanisation instability Calenos,however, have chosen to the middle of the century.Working-class existence the remember 1960sand 1970snot as a time of struggleand precarious and but at the city's margins, as a time of innocentfun, when new friendships The together. semantic bondswere forgedthroughdancingto records community a have cemented collecdanceand recordings, ties and affective linkingmemory, workingclassesthroughthe tive identitythat anchoredthe city's predominant new and unsettlingchangeswroughtby the cocaineeconomyduringthe 1980s and l990s. at the A posteradvertising viejoteca Changonightclubinvokesthese links imagesof Hollynostalgic imageof two dancers, the 4).25 (Figure Framing central palm with moviestarsare interspersed thoseof phonographs, wood and Mexican of trees,and famedvocalistsand musicians the 1940sand 1950s.At the top of the to (citedas the epigraph philosophy of a posterappears poeticmanifesto viejoteca (feel The this article). finalline, 'sentir que somos mismo' thatwe are the same)is playedin establishing and powerful, pointsto therolethattheviejoteca particularly imageof a Calibeforethe drugcartel. a stopped-clock stronglywith recentworkby William revivalin Caliresonates Theviejoteca and the who explores linksbetweenphonographs popular (1999), Kenney Howland Kenney'swork is one of the first memoryin the UnitedStatesfrom 1890-1945. construcmusiccanplay in generating studiesof the rolethatrecorded full-length in differences multi-ethnic/ socialand cultural tions of groupidentity,mediating tracesthe complex Kenney In classenvironments. a lengthyand detailedanalysis,

Record groovesandsalsadancemoves


Figure DzPoster advertising Chango viejoteca.

processes through whichrecordings influenced, also reflected, sensibilities but the of variousUS listeners duringthe firstfourand half decadesof phonograph technology.Key amongtheseprocesses was the successof recordings creating in new audiencesfor certaintypes of music,breaking throughbarriers socioeconomic of class,ethnicity geographical or distancethathad previously prevented such links. Thisprocess occurred Cali,wheretheentryof recordings musicaantillana, also in of an latersalsa,established ferventlocalaudience a musicalstyle created a for thousandsof milesaway. Notably, 'stopped-clock' the technology recordings of virtually captures musical performances freezes those momentsfor perpetuity,serving (much as and


Lise Waxer

photographsand films do) as the basis for constructinga selective memory of the past. This memory, while legitimised by an appearanceof reality, derives meaning and emotional impact from its usefulness in the present. Kenney, for instance, observes that phonographmusic served as a basis for the constructionof a romanticised, tranquil past for people in the United States during the turbulent social changes of 1890-1945.Certainsongs and genres 'helped to generatecollective aural memories through which various groups of Americans were able to locate and identify themselves' during the tumult of new influences inundating the cultural landscape (Kenney 1999, p. xvii). Similarly, in Cali, recordings have provided a cultural terrainthat has helped people to maintain and situate themselves during continued struggles over urban space. In the viejotecaphenomenon,we see the indisputablepull that recordedsalsa music continues to have on popular memory and culturalidentity in Cali. What is unique about Cali's dance scene is the primacy of recorded music over local musicians. While this is partly related to the lack of financialor other resourcesto support more live ensembles prior to the 1980s,the main reason for this lies in the strong historicalrupturesthat gave rise to Cali's unprecedentedurban growth and economic expansion in the middle of this century.Musica antillana,and in particular the consumer object of the record disc, became important signs for the new transnationaleconomic flows affectingdaily life. Recordingsof musica antillanaserved not only as an index of these growing links, but also as symbolic capital in a new arena of cultural consumption and expression. Musica antillana and salsa did not carry the baggage of being associated with particularlocal or regional traditions,and they did have the advantage of being widely diffused and fashionable Latin American styles - quite suitable for a budding urban centre. Furthermore,musica antillana's cosmopolitan links were not those of the upper-class elites, but rather were tied to the working class, enabling its reception among the general populace. Rather than taking up instrumentsto learn how to play this new style, however, the majorityof Calenos concentratedtheir creative talents in dancing. Musical performancerequiredmastering an instrument first, but dancing to records of this music was something everyone could do, even if one could not execute the fancier or more athletic steps. For scholars of global popular culture, Cali offers a potent illustrationof the articulationof transnationalcapital flows (as manifest in the production and consumption of records and related media) to local cultural practice and everyday dance scene has been a productof, and a response experience.Cali's record-centred to, global forces of rapid technologicaldevelopment, urbanisation,industrialisation and social change in this century. Through the diverse cultural practicesshaping salsa's local adoption, we can detect, as ArjunAppaduraiwould say, 'the workings world' (Appadurai1996, p. 63) via which of the imaginationin a deterritorialised Calenos have sought to reposition their sense of local identity at a particularly unstable point in recent history. Dancing to recordsof salsa has emerged as a quotidian but significantact through which Calenos remember- in the literal sense of re/membering - how they first experiencedand made sense of the city's transformation into a majorurban and industrialcentre.

and grooves salsadancemoves Record


1. Kike Escobar, personal communication, 11 April 1996 (interviewCol96-59). 2. Financialsupport for this projectwas generously providedby grantsand doctoralfellowships from the SocialSciencesand Humanities Councilof Canada,the Wenner-Gren Research Research,the Foundationfor Anthropological AmericanAssociation of University Women, the Nellie M. SignorFund, and the University all of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, of which I gratefullyacknowledge.Briefreturntrips to Cali in Dec/96-Jan/97 and Dec/99-Jan/00 corroborated the main part of my field research.Some of the materialhere appearsin a differentversion in Waxer(1999). 3. Salsa is a populardance music that developed in the Latinobarriosof New YorkCity during the 1960s and 1970s. Based largely on Cuban styles of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s (e.g. son, salsa also incorchachacha), mambo, guaracha, porated Afro-Puerto Rican elements and jazz and rock. influencesfromNorth American The term 'salsa'literallymeans 'sauce',with a culinary metaphor that evokes images of a spicy concoction - somewhat mirroring the music's own hybrid origins and infectious appeal. 4. By this I referto the musical traitsthat derive Africanmusics:interlocking fromSub-Saharan vocals, impropolyrhythms,call-and-response visation over a rhythmic/melodic ostinato, percussion, and a preference for dense or buzzy timbresand textures. 5. Forexample:eh,negro(hey, blackman),mulata africano linda (pretty mulatta), el tambor/ritmo (the African drum/rhythm), and so forth, as well as lyric referencesto cutting cane, being closeto the sea,thehot tropics,lovers'spats,etc. 6. This step involves alternatingleft and right feet on each beat of a 4/4 bar, but stepping back on the same foot for beats 4 and 1 (or beats 2 and 3, if the move is inverted to start on the second half of the bar).Hence, the step is: left-right-left-left/right-left-right-right/ left-right-left-left/, etc. Some dance instructhis tors conceptualise as a seriesof two 'short' (lastingone beat) steps and one 'long' (lasting two beats) step, alternatingleft and right feet: short (L)-short (R)-long, short (R)-short (L)long, etc. 7. Evelio Carabali, personal communication,8 May 1997 (interviewCol96-63). is 8. Sonorazo local 1950s slang for a 78 r.p.m. recording by popular Cuban ensemble La which accordingto Caicedo SonoraMatancera, made up about60 per cent of the music played at his father'sgatherings. 9. Personal communication, 30 July 1995 (interviewCol95-18). del 10. Source:AnuarioEstadistico Vallede Cauca 1972-74.Thesefiguresare based on the official nationalcensus. 11. These included the mestizo bambucos and pasillos of string-basedmusica andina to the north and northeast, and Afro-Colombian styles such as currulao on the Pacific, in addition to seasonal forms such as the Black town band traditionof Adoracionesin the southernCaucaValley. 12. Ulloa describes some of this early musical activity (Ulloa 1992, pp. 340-1). Town bands performed regularly in open-air concerts in Cali'scentralplaza, playing a varietyof genres that included Colombianbambucosand pasillos in addition to mazurkas,waltzes, pasodobles, danzas and fox-trot.Some bands also featured numbers from Spanish zarzuela (operetta)and other light classicalpieces. 13. Esneda de Caicedo,personal communication, 30 July 1995 (Col95-19). Cascalena: 14. This list is taken from 'Lajuventud tiga la baldosa'(Caleno youth punish the 6 floor-tiles),in El Occidente, July 1974,p. 13. 15. This refersto dancingso close to one's partner and so rapidly that one's belt-bucklegets polished. According to Carlos Ramos, this expressionwas also used among PuertoRican 2 youth of the 1970s(personalcommunication, June 1997). 16. Watusi'sinfluenceon Calenodancinghas also for been corroborated me on many occasions by MedardoArias, who was a boy in Buenaventurawhen Watusiemergedas a prominent local dancer. 17. In a recent interview, Panamian reggaedancehallartistEl Generalnotes that when he was growing up in the town of Rio Abajo during the 1970s, he and his friends would similarly speed up recordings of Jamaican reggaemusic, for a fasterdance-hallfeel (Latin 27 MusicOn-line, May 1997,front page). 18. Reported in El Occidente newspaper, 29 December1968,p. 3. Ramos recalls winning as 19. Amparo 'Arrebato' much as 500 pesos at one contest,a significant amount back in the late 1960s (personalcommunication, 25 August 1995, interview Col95-28). 20 20. GaryDominguez,personalcommunication, November 1995 (Col95-34). 21. The growth of the Cali cocainecartelis tied to the sharp increase in local urban violence during the 1980s. The Cali ringleaderswere themselves much less incendiary than their


Lise Waxer

thatI could go to observethese spots (personal rivals in Medellin,using briberyand political 16 communication, May 1996). influence on government and court officials, cousin of the is ratherthan outrightattacks(Bushnell1993,p. 24. Vallenato an accordion-based lands developed in the cattle-ranching cumbia, 264). The notoriousfeud between membersof Atlanticcoast of the easternpartof Colombia's the Cali and Medellin cartelsometimesled to region and stronglyassociatedwith the city of attacksfromthe Antioquenoswhen retaliatory Valledupar.Despite its stylistic similarity to they felt the Calicartelwas infringingon 'their big the tropical, cosmopolitan, band vermusica ). business' (Ibid For most Calenos, however, sion of cumbia that swept the nation during the growth of the cartelwas most keenly felt the 1940s and 1950s,vallenato was for many or by the sudden boom of traqueros, 'thugs' years disdained as a semi-rural,unsophistitied into the lower echelonsof the drug mafia. cated style for cattle hands and peasants.It is These consisted mainly of hit-men, bodysaid that duringthe 1970sand early 1980s,the guards and dealerswho worked for the cartel drug cartelsof SantaMartastrongly marijuana leaders,and most Calenoswith whom I spoke promoted local vallenato music, contributing traceda directlink between traquerosand the to its eventualnationalprominence(see Marre increaseof shoot-outsin local nightclubs.The 1984). influxof wealth into Caliduring the 1980sand Carrilera, lyric genre form performedon a to 1990salso promptedcrimesattributed 'marguitars, has been popular among rural and ginals' from the city's poorersectors,as nightworking-class people in the mountainous time revelersbecametargetsfor muggingsand region of Antioquiasince the 1950s.Similarto homes were subjectto break-ins. the Dominican bachata,carrilera expresses 22. Amparo Ramos, personal communication,25 and themesof heartbreak domesticstrife,often August 1995 (Col95-28). with explicitlyribaldlyrics. 23. Professional Caleno salsa dancer Andres Leudo explainedto me that differentstyles of 25. Chango, whose name invokes the Yoruba deity of thunderand force,is a popularnight1970s salsa dancing, associatedwith different club in Juanchitothat was the first place to barriosand even with specificclubs,have suradopt the viejotecaidea, afterthe demise of the vived into the mid-1990s.Unfortunately,we Cali cartel. were never able to coordinateour schedulesso

Anon., 1974. 'La juventud calena: Castiga la baldosa', El Occidente,6 July, p. 13 1997. 'Interview with Panama's El General', Latin Music On-Line (, 27 May, front page Anuario Estadisticodel Valle de Cauca 1972-74. 1976. (Cali: Gobernacion del Valle de Cauca) Appadurai, A. 1996. Modernity at Large:Cultural Dimensions of Globalization(Minneapolis) Arteaga, J. 1990. La Salsa, 2nd rev. edn (Bogota: Intermedio Editores) Bourdieu, P. 1984. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. by Richard Nice (Cambridge, MA) A Bushnell, D. 1993. The Making of Modern Colombia: Nation in Spite of Itself (Berkeley) Caicedo, A. 1977. !Que viva la musical! (Cali: Editorial Victor Hugo) Douglas, M., and Isherwood, B. 1979 [1996]. The Worldof Goods:Towardsan Anthropologyof Consumption, 2nd edn (New York) Gonzalez Henriquez, A. 1989. 'La influencia de la musica cubana en el Caribe colombiano', Huellas, 25, pp. 3442 Hernandez Vidal, 1992. 'Bailadores', Gaceta, 13, pp. 35-9 Kenney, W.H. 1999. RecordedMusic in American Popular Life: The Phonographand Popular Memory, 18901945 (New York) Limon, J.E. 1994. Dancing With the Devil: Society and Cultural Poetics in Mexican-American South Texas (Madison) Livingston, T. 1999. 'Music revivals: towards a general theory', Ethnomusicology,43/1, pp. 66-85 Marre, J. 1983. Accordions and Shotguns: Music of the Marijuana-GrowingRegions of Colombia(Schanachie 1205) Mauss, M. 1973. 'Techniques of the body', Economyand Society, 2/1, pp. 70-85 Self Emotionand Memory in Personality (New York) Singer, J.A., and Salovey, P. 1993. The Remembered Taussig, M. 1980. The Devil and CommodityFetishism in South America (Chapel Hill, NC)

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Turino,T. 1993. Moving Away from Silence: Music of the Peruvian Altiplano and the Experienceof Urban Migration (Chicago) 2000.Nationalists, Cosmopolitans,and Popular Music in Zimbabwe(Chicago) Ulloa, A. 1986.San Carlos, Te Acordas Hermano:Historia del Barrio San Carlos (Cali:EditorialFeriva) 1992.La salsa en Cali (Cali:EdicionesUniversidaddel Valle) Various.1984.Recuerdosde mi Barrio:Historias de los Barriosde Cali. Archiveof personalmemoirsby 196 residents of Cali, submitted for a competitionheld by the Mayor'sOffice of Santiagode Cali in now storedat the Melendezcampuslibraryof the Univercelebration the city's450thanniversary, of sidad del Valle. UniverWaxer,L. 1998.'Cali Pachanguero:a socialhistoryof salsa in a Colombiancity',Ph.D.dissertation, sity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign salsa scene in Cali', in Sound Identities: Popular 1999. 'Consumingmemories:the record-centred et Music and the Cultural Politics of Education,ed. C. McCarthy al. (New York),pp. 235-52