SXSW 2013 Recap

My trip to Austin was as fun and exhausting as my previous one. I travelled to SXSW with the talented guys from QUITAPENAS. That story, and a few photos, is up on Remezcla. I was able to catch a few bands at the Sounds From Spain and Sala De Espera showcases, all of which delivered. I was most excited to see El Mato A Un Policia Motorizado on my last night out in Austin. I wasn’t disappointed.

Check out a few photos from SXSW below. The complete set of photos is on my Flickr.

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The Road To SXSW 2013 feat. QUITAPENAS (preview)

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be returning to Austin for SXSW this year with an added bonus: I’m travelling with a band!

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I’ll be on the road photographing/partying with QUITAPENAS for a tour diary that will be published in Remezcla.

The band is a eight-piece cumbia tropical group from the Inland Empire. It’s their first performance at SXSW and first show outside of California. Stay tuned!!!

Meet Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado

It didn’t take long to find my new favorite band of 2013. I’ve been obsessed with the music of Él Mató a un Policía Motorizado (He Killed A Motorcycle Cop) since late December. My obsession grew worse after the band released its second full-length album, La Dinastía Scorpio (The Scorpio Dynasty), on Spotify about a month ago.

Courtesy Georgetown Radio

The band hails from La Plata, a district of Buenos Aires, the capital province/city of Argentina and features Santiago Motorizado on bass/vox, Doctora Muerte on drums, Pantro Puto and Niño Elefante on guitars, and Chatrán Chatrán on keys. Él Mató, who got its name from a line in Die Hard, released its self-titled debut album in 2004 followed by a trilogy of EPs focused on the themes of birth (Navidad De Reserva, 2005), life (Un Millón De Euros, 2006) and death (Dia de los Muertos, 2008).

The group’s sound is similar to that of alternative/indie rock groups of the 1980s-1990s such as Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Yo La Tengo, Guided By Voices, and Sonic Youth. The characteristic lo-fi sound of the genre is more prevalent in the earlier releases probably due to the fact that it was the best they could afford at the time.

That’s not to suggest that Scorpio sounds like a completely different beast altogether. The guitars are still distorted, the drums still layered enough to sound like there are four drummers in the studio playing simultaneously, and so on but, it’s all cleaner and more polished, an organized mess were no instrument drowns out another. Plus, Santiago’s vocal skills have improved greatly over the past decade.

La Dinastia Scorpio

The band released Scorpio in early December last year in its home country and shared it internationally on February this year. They’ll also make their SXSW debut next week at a few showcases. Listen to four tracks off Scorpio below including my two most favorite songs, “Mujeres Bellas Y Fuertes” and “Mas O Menos Bien.”

Bigott’s a Funny, Elusive Guy With a Huge Mustache

As I mentioned last week, Spanish folk/pop artist Bigott made his L.A. debut last week following his trip to SXSW. I was able to meet with him and his impressive facial hair (hence the name Bigott after “bigote” [mustache]) afterwards for a brief interview. He didn’t divulge much (something he’s famous for) but there were plenty of laughs to be had.

Did you swing by L.A. because you were in SXSW a few days ago?

That’s it. We were close by and thought we’d swing by Los Angeles or Charlie or St. Raphael or whatever.

When did you arrive? Saturday?

Yes, Saturday. Well, I’m a little confused as to exactly when but I think it was Saturday.

And what have you done so far here in L.A.? Did you go to the beach?

Yeah, we rented some bikes here in the Venice of L.A.! Venice is the name of the beach. We were all over the place. Continue reading “Bigott’s a Funny, Elusive Guy With a Huge Mustache”

Bigott, Ritmo Machine Make Their L.A. Debut at Eastside Luv

It was a great week for new music in L.A. as Bigott and Ritmo Machine performed at Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights for some post-SXSW action.

Spanish Folk/Pop artist Bigott made his Los Angeles debut on the 20th with some help from the fine folks at Sol Art Radio and Ku De Ta.

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Bigott is the project of singer/songwriter Burjo Laudo, a native of Zaragoza, Spain, who has five albums under his belt in almost as many years. He sings in English with a voice that, amazingly enough, fluctuates somewhere between that of Donovan, Colin Meloy, and Tom Waits.

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Bigott was a live wire on stage who swung on bars and hooks reserved for the burlesque dancers who are there on the weekend. He and his band played a long set that covered possibly every track they’ve ever recorded and included an encore of his current hit single, “Cannibal Dinner.”

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Check out the full set of photos on my flickr.

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The following night featured the L.A. debut of Ritmo Machine at Eastside’s most popular night, Subsuelo, the monthly global bass party presented by Gnawledge. The duo features Eric Bobo, of Cypress Hill and son of Afro-Cuban jazz percussionist Willie Bobo, alongside Chilean dj Latin Bitman who released their debut album, Welcome to the Ritmo Machine, last year on Nacional Records.

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Machine played their hits, some stuff I didn’t recognize, and Bobo rocked out with a few percussion solos. A few songs in and Bobo introduced a very special, surprise guest: producer/musician Money Mark!

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He played guitar on a number of tracks including “Follow Me,” which he also performs on the album. Later on in the night, Bobo introduced their second guest: Sick Jacken of Psycho Realm. He rapped on a few tracks including “La Calle” and “Sabe.”

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Check out the full set of photos on my flickr.