I almost wanted to recommend more new music, this time from the Mars Volta, but I’ll save it for later, because I’m leaning heavy into prog rock lately. Instead, I’ll share this happy song from the award-winning Café Tacuba — or Tacvba — who are icons of the genre, Rock en Español. This song jams harder than music featuring a folk violin has any right to!
Café Tacuba is best known for songs such as “Eres” and “Como te Extraño.” The titles mean “You Are” and “How I Miss You,” in English, respectively; the second song, “Como,” is from the 1996 cover album Avalancha de Éxitos. And this song, “Ojalá,” first appeared on the same album, except this version was recorded while the band was on tour. It made the tracklist of the band’s first live album Un Viaje — meaning a trip or, better yet, tour.
This song’s title, “Ojalá Que Llueva Café,” more or less means, “Hope It Rains Coffee,” and is sung from the perspective of a narrator daydreaming of food falling from the sky. The bounty of coffee, tea, fresh cheese and honey would rain down on those who harvest the fields, on folks who till the soil, and, “in reality” who suffer and struggle just to feed themselves and their families.
But don’t let that sully the joy of the song: it’s a life-affirming anthem that Café Tacuba stole from Juan Luis Guerra — another icon of Latin American music — and covered in the most ebullient way possible! At least, that’s what I get when I hear this version with Alejandro Flores playing the violin and jarana — a sort of tiny guitar played in traditional Mexican music, among others.
And here’s some bonus material: Rage Against The Machine’s Zack De La Rocha playing the jarana, strumming folk music known as son jarocho. Thing is, I’m not just on a prog rock kick, but a live music kick, too. I’m mentally preparing to see one of my all-time favorite bands in Mexico City, and this Café Tacuba song just happened to be recorded in the heart of the Mexican Republic.