The streets of New York City are paved in sweat at the moment. You know what that means: it’s time for the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC). Rockeros, music industry suits, and wannabes from all over descend upon our sticky shores either hoping to be discovered, hustling to sign the next Kinky, or just get a hickey or two. Of course, a lot of the artists can be hit or miss and many non-official LAMC shows spring out of nowhere. So we’ve consolidated it all for you. This year there will be a lot of old-school rock en español types as well as a few new gems that might surprise you. Here are Remezcla’s recommendations for the must-see at LAMC: old, new, and everything in between.
Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park
Also performing: Fidel Nadal and DJ Toy Selectah.
We gotta admit: we were SO into Ozomatli a few years ago that we got burned out. But things change. With a new album out, Fire Away, the magic of the LA bilingual band is undisputable: their live shows are full of energy and passion like no other. The Grammy winners are one of the few bands that have both a hard-core American following and a Latino core. Their songs, while bilingual, are mostly in Spanish, but people just don’t care. Their beer bellies are rounder, they’ve got wives and kids back home, but Ozomatli’s fans are still their number one priority. We can’t wait to see them go off stage and jam with their drums among the crowd at Prospect Park.
Also performing: The Pinker Tones and Ocote Soul Sounds.
Truly rock en español pioneers, Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio were formed in el DF in 1985. This is one of those bands that are so legendary in Latin rock, that the entire audience melts into one big chant of adoration. Expect: plenty of screams, Mexican flags waving high, mosh pits de muchachas, and maybe a few tears when they sing their mythic “Kumbala.” Talk about reverse influences: lead singer Roco was influenced by Chicano culture and pachucos way before Lady Gaga started dressing up as a chola. This is the first time they’ll play Central Park, so you know this will be a big celebration. Just like that not-so-distant memory of Mexico beating France 2-0.
LAMC Acoustic Showcase
Also performing: Los Punsetes, Sol Okarina, Alex Cuba, La Bien Querida, San Pascualito Rey, Furland, Locos por Juana, Jumbo
OK, so they’re not really veterans. But it feels like they are! The Barcelona DJ/producer trio (Mister Furia, Professor Manso, and new official member DJ Niño) were “discovered” by Nacional Records and LAMC owner/founder Tomas Cookman at LAMC in 2006 and the rest is history. Two albums, a Warped Tour, and many TV sync deals later, they’re way more famous in the U.S. than in their native Spain. Crowds from Miami to Seattle have succumbed to their infectious, energetic live shows, in which they always don their signature sunglasses, and jump up jump up and get down.
Music on the Oval
Also performing: DJ Brennan Green
For you ‘80s babies, you know Delorean as the Back To The Future flip-door car (the wonderful invention by the coolest drug trafficker ever: John DeLorean). But it’s that decade rehash that the Barcelona-based band brings: Ibiza techno, repurposed into an easy-to-digest, 2010 dream pop. This year, Delorean have been everywhere: from SXSW, touring with Miike Snow, playing Primavera Sound Festival, to any and all gigs they can play in between. If you don’t know them yet, you might soon be sick of them, so catch them during LAMC week before the inevitable Delorean overload.
Also performing: Nortec Collecive Presents Bostich + Fussible and El Guincho
Also performing at: Apple Store SoHo
There’s been a lot of hype about Anita this year (especially here at Remezcla), but don’t blame us. Just go see her: she’s the real shit. Born in France and raised in Chile, the trilingual Tijoux is a combination of fierce rhymes, natural stage presence, jazz, and old-school hip hop influences. Even if you don’t like hip hop, we think you’ll like Anita.
Also performing: Mexican Institute of Sound, Los Rakas, La Bien Querida, Isa GT
Also performing at: Apple Store SoHo
Technically, this faux metal band has been around for at least 10 years. But they’re virtually unknown here in the U.S. For all of you out there trying to make it, listen to this success story: In 1999, several well-known musicians in Mexico City got together to form a glam-rock side project, solo pa’ joder, full with back story and costumes. They became so successful beyond hipster circles that they have actually become the very eyeliner-wearing idols they set out to make fun of. A Latin Spinal Tap if you will. Lead singer Jay de la Cueva (performing as Brian Amadeus Moderatto) is a 5-foot-4 walking legend (also a member of Titán, Fobia, and Victimas del Dr. Cerebro). Moderatto’s height of success was two years ago when they did a song with Belinda (ja!), so we’re itching to know why they’re at LAMC now (besides the obvious fact that they have a new album to promote).
*Fun Fact: Molotov drummer Randy “El Gringo Loco” Ebright was part of the band for a couple of years under the monicker Eddie Van Helden.
The Best of the Rest
Why would you go to any other after party? Once you’re done with the concerts, the panels, the booths, and the back and forth taxi trips (and the locura!), cap it all off with the official LAMC after party at SOB’s, featuring all-out performances by Panama/Oakland duo Los Rakas, New York’s Zuzuka Poderosa, Qué Bajo?!’s Uproot Andy, Tormenta Tropical’s Oro11, and DJ Isa GT. It’s going to be a long night.
This is where you’ll be warming up for what will be a late-night musical week. Mestizaje (Spain/France), Maleco Collective (LA), Palenke Soultribe (LA), Locos Por Juana (Miami), with D’Marquesina, Que Bajo?!, and R.O.A.R DJs.
Some of the best New York City alt-Latino bands (Balun, Kordan, Sweet Electra), as well as Madrid’s own Los Punsetes get together for some LAMC indie goodness. DJ Amylulita (Nacotheque) also spins.