All Points West Music and Arts Festival, aka "Coachella East" will bring many left overs from Lollapalooza to New Jersey’s Liberty State Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 8-10th. Radiohead, Kings of Leon, and Jack Johnson (again!?) are the heavy hitters at this festival, which competes against the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore this same weekend (but hey, not even Bob Dylan can top Radiohead and their eco-friendly set).
Saturday Day Passes for APW have been sold out since June, and Argentinean singer Juana Molina cancelled her appearance, but there’s a few noteworthy Latino talent. Let’s review:
Rodrigo y Gabriela (above): the foul-mouthed Mexican guitar players no longer live in Dublin (they tour non-stop and when they get a chance, relax at the beach at Ixtapa in Mexico), and have hinted their next album will be less heavy metal and more rock. Amazing live performers, don’t miss their set at 3:30pm on Sunday. Their shows are so raw and full of energy, the duo has been known to cancel many tour dates in the past due to exhaustion (and Rodrigo’s difficulty getting a visa because his name is similar to that of a "terrorist" according to US authorities.)
CSS: The Brazilian party animals have a sophomore album, Donkey, which just hit stores. But as with many second efforts, the reviews from critics have been lukewarm, with some calling them "generic" and "restrained." Say it isn’t so, Lovefoxxx! Maybe they are "tired of being sexy" after all. The Sao Paolo band, four girls and a guy (bassist Ira Travern left the band earlier this year. She said it was creative differences, the band says she was a diva and was f*cking their incompetent manager.) We’ve always had fun at CSSs shows so we’re confident their performance on Friday at 5:45pm will be worthwhile.
Forro in the Dark: Our homeys are outgrowing their homebase of Nublu (in the East Village) faster than you can say "Brazilian Girls." The electric guitar-fueled forró band led by Mauro Refosco have gotten backing from David Byrne and Bebel Gilberto in the past, just played Mercury Lounge for Latin Alternative Music Conference and after APW are set to play at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival. Go support them at 3:15pm on Friday.
Amadou & Mariam: These Afrobeat veterans, who have been making music since the mid-70s, are from Mali so not technically Latino. But their excellent last album, 2004’s Dimanche a Bamako, was produced by Mr. Manu Chao (he also sings, of course) and so has a distinct Latin flavor. Ademas, Amadou et Mariam incoporate Cuban son and Colombian elements into their music. Catch their very rare US performance at 2:15pm on Saturday.