As I was sitting in the front seat with my lil niece goddaughters in the back, they were singing kiddie songs for a while, the cutest sound ever is listening to my 2-year-old baby niece-goddaughters, both of whom are barely learning to talk, sing out the words! Imagine “chee” for “tree” in their little high baby voices …. looove them. I didn’t want them to know that I was recording them so you’ll see the road as you listen to the cuteness.
After they sang their songs, I turned on the radio, which I always do for my 8-year-old niece-goddaughter, this girl knows ALL of the top songs on the radio and, as I was listening to her sing all of the words to song after song, I love that she knew all of the words and I also know that there was no way that she could have really understood what she was singing – as many of us did when we were that age. And she kept saying what we’ve all said, at one time or another, ‘ooooh, this is MY song, I love that song!’
There is so much music that I get into these days that I’ve loved for years, but only NOW do I get it. I usually find myself saying, “yup”, “y si!”, “oh yeah” or “umm hmm!” and think to myself, “wow, what a great song, I love the way he or she sang/wrote this!” Songs may as well be musical blog entries: they usually talk about one feeling or emotion or event or person because songs usually fit into 3 to 5 minutes. The song hooks repeat over and over again and I see them as blog titles or clever hash tags, don’t you think? It takes a little bit of living, loving, losing, or lamenting to really have a lyric hit you right in the face. It takes a little bit of courage to admit, even if it’s just to yourself, that you ‘get it‘ and, in that way, music helps you recognize the good, bad, and ugly in yourself and can either help you heal, get you mad enough to change your situation, to realize that you were right (or wrong) about a certain person or situation, to, as my famfriend Jorge says, ‘get your drank on and cry like a lil bitch’– especially if you were telling yourself to be strong and not cry. Music can be some of the best and cheapest therapy ever!
I grew up in a musical household so I’ve had music in my life since like forever. Music in English and in Spanish. My father, Mike Torres, is a musical legend in our community, he sang Spanish Mass for many, many years at our church, he was part of the local Mariachi Los Jilgueros as a guitar player and singer, he founded the Trio Los Torres as well as The Mike Torres Band, a straight-up fun party band! The MTB is now managed by my brothers and sister and has included, from time to time, cousins, nephews, and nieces. Dad now plays whenever he feels like it, he’s earned it. To this day, my father practices his music e v e r y day. My parents also communicated via music — what they could or would not say to each other, they would play or sing at each other: Mama would play a song LOUD and/or Dad would sing a song. Depending on the song, we could surmise when it was ON or when they were making up LOL! My father has also said that music has ‘saved’ his kids’ sanity: nearly all of my siblings and nieces/nephews have been part of school bands, rock bands, latin bands, sing, rap, in both languages. Music in the house always, and we are surrounded by music: my current next door neighbors are a small garage studio and a larger recording and rehearsal studio used daily by one family member or another and their fellow musicians. The video above is our 4th generation of future musicians LOL; below you will see the first, second, and third generations. This won’t be the last time that I feature my fun and superblessedtalented musical familia and this is only some of them!
I am constantly being asked why I’m not in the band, or if I sing? I have mad respect for musicians and lack the patience to sit and learn how to play instruments. Does karaoke count? Because I do have the nerve to do karaoke and without drinking shots LOL. Mostly, I am a fan of all types of music and of my awesome fam: please enjoy part of Music Appreciation Night Torres-style! #52essays2017
My godson nephews having laff attack with their grandpa LOL
Here is part of the 3rd generation, STE2 and MT3, once they stopped laughing, singing the classic “Nunca Jamas” with Grandpa Mike Torres.
Below are Mike Torres I, Mike Torres II, Mike Torres III singing the famed Mexican corrido “Siete Leguas” at what was a very happy day for our familia, at a 40th Anniversary celebration of The Mike Torres Band.
Here is the fun-loving, energetic, Mike Torres Band…Dad, front and center, Mike, Jr., on accordeon/vocals, sis Christina on keyboards, brother Martin on drums, nephew STE2 on sax … this vid is a few years old and the band lineup has changed slightly but I love it because this captures how much fun the family has onstage and how they can fill a dance floor faster than most bands, maybe it’s because, once they start the first musical note, they are onstage with no breaks for up to four hours! I don’t think that Dad has to worry about his musical legacy with the 3rd and 4th generations of Torres musicians learning, playing and practicing and appreciating the gift of music.