Borderline Latin: Tom Tom Club – "Kissin' Antonio" (free mp3)

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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.

We have featured one third of the founding members of Talking Heads in this column, which really comes down to one man. But the other two thirds of this legendary band have an interesting story of their own, one that has led them to circle around the borders of Latin music and flirt with the other side. They are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, husband and wife, a powerful rhythm section, and the core of a legendary band on its own merits: Tom Tom Club.

Tom Tom Club was formed in 1981. Talking Heads was going through a hiatus (one of them), so Tina and Chris decided to fly to the Bahamas and record their new band’s first, homonymous album, Tom Tom Club. This album spawned the single “Genius of Love,” which became a worldwide hit. The song has been sampled by everyone from Mariah Carey to Tupac Shakur –in his pre-hologram years. Closer to home, Kinky, Ozomatli and the Mexican Institute of Sound have remixed Tom Tom Club’s music; their versions can be found in a album called Genius of Live, released last year through Nacional Records.

Chris Frantz assures us that “you can’t get any more anglo” than him, so how did they end up in Nacional Records? Well, their first adventure in the Latin American music scene came about, as you know, when they produced Rey Azúcar, by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. That experience alone is reason enough to consider them borderline Latin. This year they released a new album, Downtown Rockers (available on ). Chris spoke to us about it recently over the phone, so wait for the interview. In the mean time, here’s a freebie.

Click HERE to read more “Borderline Latin” profiles. For comments and tips, please contact me at:, and for more info on my “Borderline” works, visit Borderline Projects.