Over the years, the Latin Alternative Music Conference has become one of the industry’s biggest yearly events, highlighting underground Latino artists, professionals, and fans in the United States and Spanish-speaking countries. LAMC has grown to include many corners of the Latin American music industry in its events, growing with each successive year to become more inclusive, and the 2016 edition is no different. The conference, which takes place from Wednesday, July 6 to Saturday, July 9, 2016, includes a who’s who of the business side of the industry, featuring panels on the role of technology in music, touring, syncing music for movies and TV, the Grammys, streaming and online presence, a special look at the music coming from Spain, as well as many opportunities to watch bands from all over play live.
Of course, there are many artists featured at LAMC who need no introduction; established voices like Carla Morrison, Zoé’s León Larregui, Joe Crepúsculo, or Miranda! abound, but there’s plenty of new acts presenting something fresh to conferencegoers willing to take the pulse on what’s happening in Latin America right now. With that in mind, we gathered a list of acts as well as info on where to catch them. As a bonus, check out our Before You Go playlist below:
Vaya Futuro (Mexico)
Tijuana’s Vaya Futuro is one of the most inspiring acts to rise from Mexico’s indie landscape. The four-piece band has been busy ever since they changed their name from Celofán, releasing two full-length albums (2014’s Ideas A Medias and 2015’s Perro Verde y Triste), touring across major cities, and dropping eye-catching videos on a regular basis. Part of their success can be attributed to their music – a very charismatic take on 90s guitar music that combines an ultra melodic approach and dissonant chords and rocking rhythms. It’s kind of a throwback, but it’s saved from full-on nostalgia thanks to their energy and personality. 2016 seems to be the definitive year for Vaya Futuro, thanks to tours that will take them to Viva Pomona, Ruido Fest, Liverpool Psych Fest, and of course, LAMC.
Vaya Futuro plays Highline Ballroom on Thursday, July 7 at 7:30 pm. For more info, click here.
A teenage wunderkind from Tijuana, Eduardo Amezcua has been performing under the Grenda moniker for a little over two years, aiming to bring his art to bigger audiences and perfect his vision. Grenda blends dream pop and modern bass, displaying a deep love for hip-hop and headier styles of electronic music. His debut LP Untouchable Skin demonstrates that he’s capable of composing amazing music while keeping the beats tight, tipping his hat to everyone from Clams Casino to classic trip-hopper Tricky. Eduardo has been showcasing his style at stages like NRMAL, Festival Marvin, and SXSW, and he’ll be playing Viva Pomona this year as well.
Grenda will play LAMC’s SummerStage show at Central Park. The show will take place Saturday, July 8 at 5:00 p.m. For more info, click here.
Sexy Zebras (Spain)
Sexy Zebras is the latest band from Spain to deliver a rock ‘n’ roll kick for everyone looking for fast rhythms, loud guitars, and a good time. Like their peers The Parrots and Los Nastys, Sexy Zebras are all about slam dancing and offering concertgoers a chance to lose it completely. The band is currently touring their latest album Hola, Somos Los Putos Sexy Zebras, and having a very big year on the live front. They’ve already perked many ears, including Randy Ebright of Mexican rap rock band Molotov, who guested on their latest single “Hijo De Puta.” If you miss the spirit of true rock ‘n’ roll and getting your nose kicked in is your idea of a good time (or a non-issue), then Sexy Zebra’s frenetic garage rock might be what you need right now.
Catch Sexy Zebras at the Sounds From Spain showcase on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 pm at Highline Ballroom. For more info, click here.
The Chamanas exist almost entirely because of the town they call home: El Paso-Juárez. CJ has a notorious (often stereotyped) history of violence, while El Paso remains a sleepy Texan town; these two sides of the same coin are par for the course for the band, whose music is both modern and cosmopolitan without disregarding its cultural roots. The Chamanas bring electronic pop sensibilities to melodies that harken back to local folk flavor and even 70s Latino balladeers. To top it all off, they’ve also got an amazing Portugal, The Man. cover. Their debut album Once Once boasts some impressive musicianship while at the same time keeping the vocals easy, melancholy, and relatable. Since dropping that album, they’ve epitomized how to reinvent stereotypes about El Paso-Juárez, two towns that just happen to be divided by an imaginary line.