As it is said, everything must come to an end; the good, the bad, the weird, the irritable, the orgasmic, the horrendous; except the unforgettable. And there were so many of these moments at last week’s Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) that we captured right inside our skull and transmit onto this post. Here’s a list of such moments below:
What would Martín Buscaglia do?
Being the true savior of Uruguayan funk himself, Martín Buscaglia loves religiously-charged jokes (album title example: El Evangelio Según Mi Jardinero; song title example: “El toscano del Papa”). He also happens to have an undeniable knack for guiding the crowd into unexpected directions, like a true prophet.
On his intimate acoustic show at S.O.B.’s he took a big risk asking the crowd to sing along with him to the gospel-infused chorus, “Jesus is my coach.” After explaining that it was an inside joke between him as his former manager, named Jesús (“It’s a common Spanish name,” he clarified) the crowd all of a sudden became a choir of a Southern Baptist chapel. If James Brown was the Godfather, Buscaglia is the true Godson of Soul. -JD
Las Cafeteras get Rowdy and pisses off The New Yorker Hotel
There’s nothing more exciting than making noise in spaces you probably shouldn’t, even if it means getting the boot. Thought it may seem ironic considering that everyone in attendance of the LAMC is there for music (for the most part), and okay, the New Yorker Hotel ain’t no library either. LA’s Las Cafeteras came fully-armed with instruments and they were all ready to put those jaranas and zapateado board to use. The indoor balcony of this mentioned hotel became a fandango pachanga for about seven riveting minutes, and Remezcla shot it all behind cams (coming soon!), which as a result got us some friendly-maddog stares from Nacional staff (whoops!) and a very big warning. Las Cafeteras proved that rowdiness in undisclosed places is what’s up. -IR
The Sconek-T covers Café Tacvba & Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
The strings-and-percussion Mexican ensemble is known for their all-instrumental symphonic renditions of rock classics of the likes of Nirvana, Metallica, The Beatles or Pink Floyd. In a sense similar to guitar virtuosos Rodrigo & Gabriela, but with violin, cello and cajón instead of Spanish guitars. They were playing short sets in between acts at SummerStage for a crowd that was mainly there just to see La Mala Rodríguez and lust after her sexy short dress and long legs. So, of course, they were having a really hard time trying to get the crowd’s attention until they busted out some recognizable covers that appealed directly to the Latin Alternative crowd. “Hey! That sounds familiar?” I overheard people in the crowd, “Which one was that?” The-Sconek-T (read: descontecte, as un unplug) was doing back-to-back covers of Café Tacvba and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Delightful. -JD
Alex Anwandter’s fat purple hickey
We were smitten by the number of flamboyant disco pop-playing Chileans that graced us this year at the LAMC (that number was actually gonna be larger, we’ll wait for the serious invasion next year). And we were certainly stoked to finally see Alex Anwandter do his thing onstage, this guy has no limits, especially in expressing his love to his fans, like really. Not only did he dance with us in the crowd and threw hand-heart signals at us **heart**, but right smack dab middle of his S.O.B.s performance during the Acoustic Showcase, he pauses to speak in between songs. He says, “This city has been great so far, but there’s only one complaint I have about New York. I have a giant hickey, and I don’t remember who it’s from.” Ok, the pic below isn’t from the S.O.B.s’ performance cause I couldn’t get a good angle shot of this purple monstrosity, but here’s one of Alex dancing his booty away at our booth <3 -IR
This moment was pretty spectacular as well, same day. Adrianigual‘s Diego has some muscle behind his petite body, as he completely lifts Anwandter over for the win of the boot battle.
Calle 13’s Surprise Guest
The paladins of Puerto Rican alternative rap are known for always performing with a full band, unlike your average rapero who usually prefers the basic two-turntables-and-a-microphone setting. For their Prospect Park show however, they surprised the fans by adding a DJ to their orchestra and not just any random DJ. Nicaraguan-born by the way of Miami, FL DJ Craze is known worldwide for being the only turntablist in history to win the DMC world championship three years in a row. Unfortunately, he didn’t stay for the whole show, he only did the intro and the first couple of songs, but that was enough to amaze us all with an acrobatic beat-juggling routine and precise scratch arrangements. If Residente and Visitante are seriously considering adding a steady mix master to their team, they’re definitely looking in the right direction. -JD
Los Auténticos Decadentes: Reyes Del Carnaval
It got really hot on Saturday at SummerStage, during the last LAMC event, specially in the middle of the tumultuous crowd of soccer-jersey-wearing South American fans improvising a murga moshpit of sorts. And then, out of nowhere, Los Auténticos Decadentes‘ percussionist Gastón Bernardou, a.k.a. El Francés, came up with a hose and started sprinkling all over them recreating momentarily the Argentinian legendary corsos de carnaval where Los Decadentes cut their teeth over two decades ago. -JD
Ximena Sariñana & Javiera Mena Pointy Boot Battle
This was one of those awesome overlap bookings (seriously, non-intentional) that seemed like it was all a skit. Well folks, here you have it, Chile’s discopop queen Javiera Mena and Mexican songstress Ximena Sariñana battling each other, cute as ever, in tribal dance-a-thone mode in aims to win that prestigious pointy boot battle throne. They even wore similar clothing. Again, this was NOT planned. Check out these lovely ladies show off their tribalero moves-n-grooves below. Who would you announce as the winner? -IR
Confronting a record audience at Prospect Park (LAMC events had never congregated that many, since Manu Chao in 2000) wasn’t an easy task for turntablist/percussionist duo Ritmo Machine as the night’s opening act. Obviously the majority was there to see Calle 13 and didn’t even know who Latin Bitman and Eric Bobo were, nor were they familiar with their repertoire. Solution: after a couple of their own compositions went by unnoticed, Bitman mixed in the percussion-heavy classic “Ran Kan Kan” by Tito Puente and let Bobo do this thing during the breaks. The crowd went nuts. For the closing number the duo repeated the strategy with another classic, this time an all-time b-boy favorite: “Apache” by the Incredible Bongo Band. “This is real hip-hop!” exclaimed the Chilean DJ/producer, “We couldn’t leave Brooklyn without doing this one.” -JD
Umm, is it weird that I have kind of a thing for chicks grabbing their crotch like dudes? Naah, not while they’re spiting some dope rap rhymes (especially if one of them is wearing like a really skimpy/sexy short dress). It’s totally normal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lesbo, a gay dude, or a straight one, these chicks are super duper hot, and it got us gazing even harder when headliners La Mala at SummerStage and Calle 13‘s PG 13 at Celebrate Brooklyn did their thang. And nope, those weren’t no Michael Jackson moves. Wham!! -IR
Juan Data does Murga
Talk about getting in the funk. This was definitely one of Remezcla’s unforgettable moments. Firstly, Juan Data and I just met in person after over a year of working together. And over this year, I’ve learned that this cool, snarky DJ/writer/rapper does many things well, especially if whatever that is is Argentinean rooted. Take this “camara infragante” video for example. Mr. Data had no clue that our sneaky li’l Katro Rdz (RE’s Creative Director) was acting the spy, and films him dancing murga to Los Auténticos Decadentes! Hehehe!! No need to say more, other than those are some hard steps to follow. -IR