Borderline Latin: Ramones, New York City

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Borderline Latin is an exploration of the influence of Latin music in styles, places and rhythms beyond its traditional borders, and of different types of cross-pollination between Latin music and other musical creatures. Each week, we will feature a song or musical style whose rhythm, themes, melodic inflections or influences have earned it the name of Borderline Latin.

No, they are not related to Don Ramón, and they did not take their name from Don Ramón either. Their name comes from a pseudonym Paul McCartney had used for a little while during the ’60s. None of the Ramones members are Latin, and their music was not influenced by any Latin rhythm –although it has been argued here in Remezcla that the origins of punk can be found in Latin America, so there you have it. But beyond the debates regarding the origins of music movements, there is the attitude. In the case of these New York natives, it’s all about the attitude.

It’s all about the attitude, and that one record they decided to call ¡Adiós Amigos!once again, the use of that opening exclamation point is more than appreciated. It turned out to be their last studio album –hence the title. It features their cover of Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” as well as the awesome, melancholic feel-good song “Life’s a Gas.” With lyrics such as “Life’s a gas/So don’t be sad,” its poetic force rivals with that of such tunes like “Cielito Lindo” –I’m dead serious about this. Only better, because it’s punk.

Ramones disbanded after ¡Adiós Amigos! They kept making appearances and performing here and there, though. The original Ramones have passed away, but Joey Ramone recorded several songs that have been released posthumously. His second posthumous album “…Ya Know?” was released earlier this year. It features an acoustic version of “Life’s a Gas.” Earlier this week, the video for the song “New York City” was released in YouTube. And here it is, from Joey Ramone’s latest album. We love zombie Joey.

[insert-video youtube=2WhlcwcznSo]

Download Joey Ramone’s “New York City” below:

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