He also forwarded me a “cover” by the German heavy metal group Rammstein:
I’ll admit I was fooled — and incredibly perplexed — for the first few seconds. It’s actually a well done mashup (of course), and there are a lot more in this vein: metal concerts and videos with the music replaced by Mexican styles.
Here’s Guns ‘n’ Roses playing cumbia:
Metallica playing norteno:
Korn playing banda:
There are dozens more stretching back to 2007 (a sort of YouTube heyday in retrospect). They’re cheekily labeled “covers” and, Doors and Susan Boyle versions notwithstanding, seem to really hone in on metal. So why? Perhaps contrast. Whereas metal presents itself as serious and dark, the Mexican genres are sonically (if not lyrically) lighter, made for dancing. A sprightly accordion part seems on the other end of the spectrum from a distortion-fueled guitar solo. And yet, it’s the similarities that make some of these work so well: full band set-ups, lots of instrumental breakdowns, percussion solos, machismo, and huge, wild drunken crowds. Generically far removed, but as social worlds, closer than we might think — a point these videos drive home.
And they do cut both ways: