Above, raw video of "sureño" cholos dancing to Celso Piño -- together, without women -- during an outdoor concert in Houston. The person who uploaded this video (in 2008) seems aware that the dudes open themselves up to macho mocking, dancing so close and free to one another. "Look cabrones," the uploader writes, "before you start talking shit, if these guys are from Monterrey, Colombia, or Chicanos, recognize that these vatos dance con madre."
Con madre. As in, with balls? Guts? Soul? I'd agree, 100 percent.
Technically I'm from "El Norte" myself (from a southern Mexico angle, I mean), but I've never spent much time in Texas and have yet to see Monterrey. My focus in the last two years has been set intensely on urban D.F. Nonetheless, let's do some excavating. The style of dancing above reflects a style celebrated in the video for "Chuntaro Style" by El Gran Silencio, where norteños in cholo-like outfits, both men and women, dance a poppy, low, gangster-y rhythm to a polyglot beat. Looks like a Monterrey thing.
More: Mexico City photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero has shot a subculture in the deep barrios of Monterrey called "Colombianos." These are urban dudes who are obsessed with Colombian cumbia and Colombia in general. In Montero's post, he says he was introduced to the subculture by the incomparable -- and again, norteño -- DJ Toy Selectah. Montero tells me he still has to hit up one of their parties.
* Previously, "Sonidero on the streets." * Thanks, M. and A.!