Before all of you students start whining that it’s back to school season (we gava ya that list last year), millions of nine to five workaholics nationwide will celebrate a short lived 3 days off Labor Day weekend. Woot! Like most Friday’s, Juan Data and I give ya a hefty 10-track compilation with songs that talk about ditching work, disliking work, protesting the work system, bumming it while not working, the office routine, office scandals, and more about not going to work!
Happy Labor Day and 3 day weekend everyone! Happy listening!
10. “No vamo’ a trabajar”
by Rodolfo Zapata
When it comes to anti-work anthems this is always the first one to come to mind. This is a classic amongst classics. Released in the mid-’60s by Argentine folk singer Rodolfo Zapata (what? you thought all the Zapatas were Mexican?), the song has since gained life of its own and until these days the amateur-singer-friendly tune is still chanted by high-school students and soccer hooligans in Argentina with some variations on the lyrics. You ever need an excuse to not go to work, this song provides you with one for each day of the week! -JD
09. “Gente que no”
by Todos Tus Muertos
Way before Calle 13 and Café Tacvba collaborated on “No hay nadie como tú,” Fidel Nadal‘s former band Todos Tus Muertos did a similar concept song (an anti version) about all the types of people that exists that are “no” people. People who make you wanna do shit you really don’t want to, including people who make you wanna go to work. Boooooo to no people. -IR
08. “No quiero trabajar”
by La Liga
These cumbia villera guys basically made a career out of promoting the “vagancia” lifestyle as their main philosophy. After their debut, aptly titled Peor Es Trabajar, they followed up with the topic on their second album with this anti-work anthem. “Let me live my life / laziness is my only routine” says in the chorus and then expands: I don’t wanna study, I don’t wanna work, I don’t wanna wake up early in the morning and you can easily guess all the rest. -JD
07. “No Me Hallo”
by El Personal
Guadalajara’s El Personal sung blithely tunes that still haunt me to this day. Lyrically, the group subjected themselves towards lots of debauchery and self indulgence in a sarcastic and ironic manner. Musically, the band paralleled with the sounds of their contemporaries like Caifanes and Maldita, but their expression made them unlike any other from their time.
“No he hallo,” title-track off band’s debut, encapsulates their personas. The song’s about not finding their purpose in life, neither through school, work, or drugs. As quickly as they came to fame, they also burnt out, most of them dying of AIDS and overdoses. Putting that aside, No Me Hallo is one of my all time fave albums. Check out the rest of their stuff. – IR
06. “Acoso Sexual”
by Mama Ladilla
“I know each vein of my boss’s cock” claims the poor harassed worker here, who also adds he knows his boss’s cock better than his boss’s wife. But what else can he do? He has to eat… his boss’s cock! Is this the funniest song ever or is it just me and my oral fixation? Also: wouldn’t it be sublime if a female singer covered this universal masterpiece of Spanish poetry? -JD
05. “No voy a trabajar”
by Grupo Bermudas
Emerging at the start of the millenium, Veracruz’s fusion quintet Grupo Bermudas took Mexico by storm with this super contagious one-hit-wonder “No voy a trabajar” and across the Atlantic becoming a hit in places such as Denmark, Italy, Spain, and France.
With there mixture of danzón, cumbia, hip hop and ska, these guys were one of the last to ride the wave of Mexico’s ska/rock phenomenon.
The ditty is pretty much straight forward. As every day of the week passes by, there’s a very good excuse to skip work, and it should become the motto of my upcoming week after Labor Day. Yours too! -IR
by Ana Tijoux
The cubicle lifestyle, the rat-race, the routine of those climbing the corporate ladder are the topic of Ana Tijoux‘s (back then still Anita) first single off her first solo album. It’s not explicitly against work, but there’s a tacit criticism against the tedious routine and the fake rewards that keep us pushing forward like donkeys trying to reach the carrot. It’s also Ana’s funkiest, most up-tempo tune and the video includes a surprise cameo of her friend Julieta Venegas. -JD
03. “El dinero no es todo”
by Los Auténticos Decadentes
With countless songs about partying, and ditching work like the awesome classic “La Guitarra,” this one made the list because really, and for the most part, the only shit that keeps your ass on check at work is getting that pay check at the end of the day/month.
Despite having bank or not, ultimate party band Los Auténticos Decadentes resists the establishment of the traditional work field, and if making music weren’t the the case, they’d be hustling some beer: “Con el diario en la mano, salí a buscar un trabajo, no encuentro un carajo, mangueé una cerveza, me quedo en la esquina tomando sol.” -IR
Get up and go to work, every morning, every day the same story, the damn routine. We all know it but in case we need someone to remind us, Barcelona’s Sólo Los Solo did a great job in their 1998 debut with their meticulous description of the worker’s tortuous life. At the end of the song they say they dedicated it to their hard-working parents and to all those migrant workers who leave their land and families behind in search of a dream job. -JD
01. “La Carencia”
by Panteón Rococó
This the ultimate anti-work track. Hands down. With a hyper upbeat rock/ska tempo and lyrical genius-ness, it totally make me think, “Why am I still typing?” I wanna mosh. I want my 3 day weekend!
But really, Mexico City’s Panteón Rococó channels my my thoughts in the intro verse and what I go through five days of the week. It’s also a conscious tune about the working class hero, the difficulty of upward mobilization, and the societal misplaced low-income population. They also give all kinds of shout outs, and get rhyme kinky stuff too. Basically, it’s a well rounded track that deserves to be number our number one on this list.
Check the studio version HERE and sing along to it. And if you wanna watch frontman be ballsy at Vive Latino ’08, Check it below, I recommend it. Peace! -IR