Blogueando el LAMC

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Entry #1: 8/5/05, 12 noon

So registration came first, and this LAMC virgin was pleased to spot a bunch of familiar caritas representando da NYC at da LAMC (apparently we had a poor turnout in years past). Organizer Josh Norek described his relationship with NYC as like one with an ex-girlfriend, saying that “people were taking the festival for granted, until we left for LA. Now that New York has accepted us back, people appreciate it more, and there’s a really good turnout.” (not direct quote at all, but you get the gist–Josh, correct us if we’re totally off! left the tape recorder at home ayer….)

I also bumped into friends of Remezcla in town from Chicago, LA, Miami, and DC, proving that the conferencia is indeed a national thang… Not to mention international… we spotted Dante Spinetta listening in on the Hurban conference yesterday and at SOBs and Bowery Ballroom last night, and were dying to run up to him and shout, “MI NOMBRE ES CULERO CONNOR…!!!” but didn’t quite have the energia in us at the moment. Another face from my high school days was Ruth from MTV, who is now bleach blonde and living in Miami, doing this and that related to music.

Mas gente internacional: DeLux from Tijuana, DeLux Club from Colombia (one of Hector Buitrago from Aterciopelados’ new projects–electronica that is damn good! Remezcla got a copy of their album–that has a chick in bra and panties pouring milk on herself–if that’s not hot, i dunno what is–oh, and the music is GREAT! They’re playing tonight at the Delancey at the Prospect Park after party… be there!), Hector himself, con Andrea Echeverri claro. Los Kinkys y Plastilina Mosh representing for Monterrey, Toy from Control Machete who’s looking older these days (and with longer dreads), who got some love during the Hurban panel ayer for being one of the first DJs to play reggaeton o algo asi (but is that really true? no lo creo… as much love as I have for the man)… and yeah, lots n lots more.

The LA front is muito strong, as was to be anticipated, as well as Miami, as far as the industria goes, but there are folks from surprising places, like the band Palo Viejo who’s here from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Awesome! (Check ’em out tonight at SOB’s, along with Circo, Libido, and Plastilina Mosh.)

Pero bueno, onto the events… my apologies, chamacos, as this is long overdue. But so much has been going on that this daily blog update thang hasn’t been quite the reality. Ms. Montrol will be joining me soon for some back n forth commentary that will surely prove oh so entertaining.

Ze Indie Show-Down

Eventwise, things got started with the Indie Show-Down at Mercury Lounge Wednesday night, with an exhausting (but good!) line-up of seven bands. Each group played about 4 songs, but it still went on forEVER and many folks left before it was over.

NYRemezcla showed up after the first set, where hometown vaqueros The Cuban Cowboys started things off. Frontman Jorge was sweaty and happy under his straw hat, and people were talking about them (in a good way) in the bar en route to the stage, so that makes us happy.

Next up were Miami rockeros Soniko, who, well, rocked out, with what one observer commented was a stolen riff from the White Stripes. I’m not pointing fingers, just passing along what I heard. But as MC Giovanni commented, they are proof that Miami can rock, although their sound is nothing too innovative, despite the boys being solid musicians for sure. I was just wondering how los chicos can maintain their long locks in Miami with all the humidity and whatnot, but we’ll save that for another column… The shout-out to Remezcla was much-appreciated (gracias Toto y chicos!). Arriba Soniko y Fabrika!

Santos de Los Angeles followed, and were exactly how I would imagine a straight-up LA-band, in the best way possible. Clad in button-up shirts and ties, gelled hair, the band’s made up of 8 extremely energetic dudes, and led by frontman “Santos” (also a member of Yerba Tribe, winners of last year’s LAMC battle of the bands). Santos had on a three-piece sute, fedora (was it a fedora? maybe a different type of hat), multiple rosaries, and revealed a tattoo of himself (?!?!?!) on his shoulder despues de quitarse the jacket and vest. But anyway, enough estilo (oh, one last thing: they had un chingo de velas de la virgen prendidas at the front of the stage). The band was GREAT, playing a mix of ska, cumbia, mambo, rock with a bizarre religious-sexual theme–sort of a Maldita Vecindad meets Mighty Mighty Bosstones meets Chingo Bling with a truly chicano flava. One of the highlights was their cover of “Amor de Mis Amores.” People were dancing, and the crowd loved them. We caught up with trompetista/bailador/guitarrista/no se que mas Israel at La Esquina taqueria on Kenmare yesterday, who informed us that the band really just got started a few months ago, and we couldn’t be more excited because they were SO GOOD. You can catch ’em tonight (Friday) at Carlitos Cafe in El Barrio.

Next came Popvert, runners up in the Battle of the Bands (which is not really a batalla de verdad, pa’ que sepan–winners had been selected by Mr. Tomas Cookman himself beforehand). Now, Popvert was good–don’t get me wrong–playing a sort of indie/new wave type of rock/pop, but much of the head bopping was accompanied by a raised eyebrow or furrowed brow as folks wondered the same thing I was asking myself: does a Latino guitarrist (Marthin Chan from Volumen Cero) and an Estar Guars playera qualify a band as Latin Alternative? Not too sure about that one…

The confusion quickly ended, though, as hometown (and NYRemezcla) favorites Pacha took the stage after a bit of a lengthy set-up (as per usual, pero bueno, they sounded good). Mr. MC informed them right before getting on stage that they’d won the battle of bands, so they were absolutely brimming with energy and excitement, which translated directly into their performance. Bassist Camila pumped her fist into the air like crazy, Maya’s smile was even bigger than usual, and singer Johanna’s stage presence was ten times more powerful than before, and they played like the winners of such a competition should. Can you tell I’m happy for them? Oh, and I have to comment on their style, because I notice these things… one word: mamasitas!! Not only did they sound like rockstars, they looked the part too. Chevere. This is what Kinky won a few years back, and look where they are now. Go Pacha!

Next up were Orixa from San Francisco, who supposedly have been the opening band of choice for any major act passing through the Bay Area for years n years now. They rocked out with a sort of a Rage Against the Machine type of vibe, all wearing some sort of red and black combination. “Hoodia Honey” (official dancer and Latina Jew–and friend of Orixa) Alanna Perez was in the front row shakin and gyrating as she is wont to do (wearing a pretty rad “I [heart] MY HAIR” wifebeater), and was even invited on stage for a dance/shake-off with energetic (and compact!) lead singer Rowan Jimenez. Rawk. Those not familiar with the Hoodios may have been kinda confused, but it was cool all the same.

Tijuana punks DeLux (not to be confused with the Colombian electronica group DeLux Club mentioned above) closed up the night, and despite the ever-thinning crowd, expelled so much raw energy that everyone who was there, as tired as we all were, was unable to keep from moving. Not much description of their music is necessary–it’s punk. In Spanish. Estilo early Green Day. What amazed me was how they were able to sing the songs (in Spanish) with a British accent. You know how all punk vocals kind of emulate the Sex Pistols and even dudes f
rom the South or California sound pseudo-British? Well these guys do the same thing, but in Spanish. Amazing. Also amazing were their guitar tricks…. Sponsored by Gibson (like earlier act Soniko), they had a good 6 or 7 guitars onstage, and do this thing where they swing them around 360 degrees. Can’t even describe it, but it’s pretty damn cool. We caught up with Damian y Alex from DeLux at the Bowery Ballroom last night y los chicos son super buena onda (though Damian swears his favorite band is Mana…. hmmm…). They’re big fans of Xoxa, our mascot, and caught them getting down with some pretty impressive dance moves with the ladies. They’ll be playing tonight at D’Antigua in Queens.

So that was the indie showcase. Props to los de LAMC for a geographically and musically-diverse lineup!

More coming soon on the panels, Acoustic Showcase, and show at Bowery Ballroom…. Feel free to post any comments in the forum, or email us at Fotos en el moblog proximamente.

Over and out,

Clarux, blogger extraordinaire

Entry #2

Hey hey ho ho, Montrol Kachete is on the goooooo ’Sup kids?

The LAMC is in full-steam and you’d be insane not to check out any of the events. Yours truly got her first taste of this party mix at last night’s acoustic showcase at SOBs.

I got to SOBs in time to catch the tail-end of Ana Laan’s performance, after having missed Natalia y laforquetina and some other cats. While the sound quality was quite chafa, Mrs. Jorge Drexler (yeah, Jorge Drexler is Mr. Ana Laan! Ca-razy!), was doing this two turntables and a microphone thing. No, she wasn’t spinning, she was in between the two turntables and was doing an echoing sort-of singing that everyone dug, though it was un poco tripi.

The Aterciopelados were next with Andrea’s ode to her three-year-old daughter Milagros “Amorcito‚” and then “El Album.” Andrea has such a sweet supple voice. Kinda like Haagen Daz Dulce de leche.

It was a bummer that the performances were coated in all the industry chitter chatter going on all over the place. Oh guel, I guess that’s what happens when it’s PR reps and label types instead of fans attending a show…

After the velvety Colombians were done, Monterrey’s funnest duo closed up. Plastilina Mosh with their Walter in tow, played un poquito de to’, that Barretta 1988 song, a funktified Peligroso Pop, and that loungey jazzy feeling song on Hola Chicuelos. (See galeria for p-mosh fotos)

The host for both the SOBs showcase and the Bowery Ballroom show which started directly after was Viva Malpache’s frontman Giovanny. Apparently he’s Dominican and is living in LA. No’mbe as my stepfather says: “esta mas perdido que un par de brassieres en las rodillas.” Guau Dominicanos en LA. That’s like Eskimos in Staten Island.

Entry #3: while watching Natalia y laforquetina at Bowey Ballroom…

Montrol Kachete: Hey Claru, what’s up with the LAMC logo? It’s like the Latin Target.

Clarux: Dude, that’s what the guy at the pasta place asked me. But I have nothing witty to reply back. Ni puta idea.

MK: A nipple? Bull’s eye? The top of Sketch’s head?

C: The third. Actually I think it’s a nipple’s bull’s eye. But my mind just might be in the gutter because of Xoxa.

MK: And what’s up with all the middle-agers?

C: One word: Pedophiles!

MK: Viagra Convention latinoamerica?!?

C: No mames, they’re just the only people who can afford this biznez. Everyone under 30 [here] is either in a band or connected (ahem, ahem) or saved their pennies all year for the pass.

MK: Simon carnala…

Entry #4: Full-on Bowery REVIU!

Clarux: So here we are back in action, somewhat recovered from the deluge of shows, invasion of Latin American rockstars and industry execs to our fair city…. My voice is slightly recovered, though my body is still exhausted and resisting work as much as possible, longing for the surreal Puck Building/concert-hopping alternate universe our friends at the LAMC created for us.

So let’s backtrack a couple days Ms. Montrol, to the Bowery Ballroom, where we saw many of the same artists we’d just seen at the SOBs’ “acoustic” showcase play longer sets at a show open to the public. Que tranzas, MK? What’d you think?

Montrol Kachete: The biggest revelation of the Bowery show was how queer Circo is. I don’t know if it was the Ricky Martinesque performance moves or his constant allusions to eating vagina-shaped fruit… quite a bizarre treat. [see gallery for photographic proof]

C: Yeah, they were definitely the revelation of the night in GENERAL to me. I mean, I’d heard one or two of their tracks, but I’d never SEEN them before let alone gotten an accurate feel of who they are. And they’re GREAT! The singer’s voice is amazing. I’d say more than Ricky Martin, he was oh-so Freddy Mercury, but kinda chubby and calvo. And the guy had a huge dragon (though it totally looked like a ninja turtle from far away, as Nuria so aptly noted) tattooed on his bald head. Huh, what? Quite the contrast to eensy weensy Natalia Lafourcade who had every man in the place absolutely drooling (um, gross, she’s a kid!!)

M: Great isn’t the word I’d use to describe them. Pero Natalia isn’t that young either. She’s about our age, give or take a year. But I know what you mean, there’s something extra skeevy (word?) about thirty-forty-fifty(!) year-old men going gaa gaa over her. Natalia y laforquetina’s performance was pretty good. Her stage presence and engagement with the band and the audience were lackluster though. And I still say that the title track “Casa” is totally the Tacubos’ “El Baile y el Salon.” Meme Del Real’s indelible disco-scented prints all over the place. I wish he’d taught lil’ Natalia to dress herself better. I tell ya… the Pippi Longstocking outfit with the Veronica Castro high heels… um, not so much.

C: Yeah, she looked like a 7-year-old playing dress up with her mom’s clothes from the 80s (not to mention blush and eyeshadow). I mean, the girl’s cute, but I just can’t take her for a rockera EVER, not unless she were to grow like a foot or two. Her uber-tall bassist (or is it the guitarist?) doesn’t help the height contrast though. O sea, Ely and Julieta are petite too, but Natalia’s taking it a bit too far, y’know? I like to think these women have lived through stuff, but Natalia still strikes me as a fresa with a gueetar who went wild at Urban Outfitters, y ya. But I admit, I thought she was good. Much better than last year at Celebrate Brooklyn when Control Machete opened for her (again, huh, what?) But I wouldn’t go so far as to compare her to Bjork as Jon Pareles and others have done, though the Meme influence has definitely improved her repertoire.

M: Ouch! C’mon she’s more than that. She had her first hit at 19. She composes most if not all of her music. I’m not sure she’s trying to be a rockera. And since when does clothing make you a rockera? Ely Guerra dresses like a sexpot most of the time. What about that fugly outfit Venegas wore to the VMALAS last year? And these days Andrea looks more like a Care Bear than a rockera. I will take a stand. I am pro-Natalia. I think she follows a lineage set forth by other strong defeñas, namely Frida Kahlo. Granted a little more life experience is needed but she’
s pretty friggin’ rad right now. I mean think about it, aren’t her gringa counterparts Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan?

C: Ha! I’m not saying clothes make the rockera, just that I don’t look at her and think powerful woman, though that’s not necessarily what she’s trying to convey. Guatever. Not sure where I’m going with that, and I’m not ANTI-Natalia, I’m just not absolutely gaga over her, and can’t take her seriously because she’s short. Height discrimination? TOTALLY (though I take Ruben or whatever he’s calling himself these days oh so seriously even though he’s short… Natalia just hasn’t proven herself to me yet). And while she might not physically be able to kick Hilary or Lindsay’s asses, she does so tenfold in terms of talent and coolness. I think the Kahlo comparison is a bit of a stretch though. Enough Lafourcade banter, though. What about Catupecu Machu?

M: I do it with reason. Have you read Kahlo’s diary? Very vivid. Not unlike Natalia’s style and tangent. Both are imaginative. Is she at the height of the genius that is Frida Kahlo? Hell no. Will she ever get there? Ni puta idea. I just think she’s way cooler and creative and imaginative than “rockeras” like La Guzman or others who need to wave their poontangs around to get noticed.

Catupecu Machupichupicachu? Zzzzzzzzz. I was way too interested in the shananigans downstairs. You?

C: OK, yes, Natalia and Alejandra Guzman aren’t even worth comparing pa’ na’. And I guess I have to listen to Natalia’s lyrics before I can comment further. But again, for the record, I’m not anti, I’m just not completely sold. But I am looking forward to hearing what she sounds like five years from now after her heart’s been broken a few times and who knows what else.

And about Catupecu, yeah, totally listened from downstairs, and didn’t hear the one song I think I might possibly know by them. I was too busy trying to figure out what to say to Dante Spinetta. Instead I went over and inspected dude from Circo’s tatuaje. Poor Catupecu, I don’t think ANYONE was up there.

But for the record tambien, I’m one of the only folks who can pronounce their name. Word. So showcase in general, what’d you think? Why those 5 bands? Why that order?

M: Before concluding, can I just say that Dante Spinetta looked like he was ready for a MiGente page, maybe even member of the month. Decked out in white uptowns, baggy jeans, etcetera is he not the Argentine Eminem?

Sorry I just had to get that off my chest. Anyway, were there five bands? Natalia is promoting that new album [Casa]. I’m sure the others could use the exposure. But the selection and the order was very al azar. Or at least it seemed that way. It seemed like seniority decided the line-up… or maybe the fact that Natalia was at SOBs beforehand factored in… je ne se pas, mon aime. Onto the afterhour activities? Or do we ’keep it in the closet’ as mi adorado Michael Yakson sings. Did I tell you we share the same birthday?

C: Woah, my memory –or counting skills–are shot (though, YES, I know you and the gloved one share a birhtday… August 29th, two months before mine)! There were four… For those following along at home, it was Javier Garcia, followed by Circo, Natalia y la Forquetina, and Catupecu Machu.

Mr. Garcia, Ms. Lafourcade, and Circo all played at SOB’s and all have new albums out. Again, no clue about Catupecu, los pobres. Apparently Javier Garcia’s set was killer, though I wasn’t all that impressed at SOB’s (only observation there: he’s half Cuban, half Irish, and has a Spanish accent! Woah! Guess I shouldn’t be talking though). If I’d done it, Circo would have headlined, Catupecu would have opened (don’t care if they’ve been around forever, no one knows who they are!), Javier would have gone second, and Natalia would have been second to last. But the selection was random, I guess.

Wait, there WERE supposed to be five bands!! Spain’s Martires del Compas (supposedly the “new” Ojos de Brujo, but nowhere near as cool or talented or anything as ODB) were a no-show. Funny, no one mentioned that at all. I guess Martires are that forgetful.

Entry #5: The Panels

Montrol: Friday, the LAMC’s second (or technically third, I guess, although I think Wednesday day nothing much happened) full day of panels convened at the Puck Building on Ho. Clarux, por favor, if you can kindly take the stand and swear to share all the detalles of these (meaningless) dialogos entre los mismos de siempre. How’s that for neutral reporting? Ha.

Clarux: HA! Well, being a LAMC newbie, I must admit I was excited to see what they had to offer. But this little energizer bunny’s pilas were getting run-down and I was unable to attend many of the panels. On Thursday, I really wanted to check out the marketing one, but la chamba called, and I had to start the LAMC day later than I’d wanted to. I sat in on the Hurban (cringe…. worst name for a music genre ever!) panel, but had to quickly move on as Mr. Wu-Tang Latino’s inarticulateness was unbearable. But he sure knows how to promote his label–there was WTL shit all over the place outside the Puck Building. Blah.

But Friday I was determined to get my panel on. Unfortunately, I found myself at home typing up an earlier installment of this blog during the Breaking Virgin Ground panel, I walked in at the end of the ringtones etc. panel, which supposedly was really cool. But I made it to the radio panel, which I was really glad about since NYRemezcla has its roots in Latin Alternative radio. It was pretty good, thanks in particular to the AWESOME Gustavo Fernandez from Delanuca Records. I found myself nodding along to everything the man had to say hasta aplaudir a few times, from his comments on Lat. Alt. music itself (“like in any genre, there’s a lot of shitty music out there”) to the need to expand the scope of the genre’s audience and look towards the anglo market, etc etc. The man swore like a sailor and was intelligent as hell–everything I aspire to! I was almost as nervous to talk to him as I was to Dante Spinetta, but I took a deep breath and schmoozed away along with the rest.

But ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand. While I wouldn’t call the panels meaningless, I really would have liked to have heard a bit more about Latin Alternative music and NEW ideas, rather than reggaeton, reggaeton, reggaeton. I mean, Jesus, yes, the genre has exploded in the US, yes it’s in Spanish, but NO, we do not need to harp on it, panel after friggin panel. This is not the RMC, but the LAMC. YA! Kike Posada from Boom! Magazine was pretty good too. But why wasn’t Chelina Vargas on the panel? I know she moderated the Latinas in the Music Industry one, but she’s taking her show (The Red Zone) and syndicating it nationally–that’s HUGE. I would have liked to have heard what she had to say.

You didn’t miss too much, Mo… Though Nuria and I were interviewed by that chick who was wearing the unforgettable rainbow pants on Thursday for some TV show or somethin’ (“Como te la esta pasando en la LAMC?” blah blah blah… she gave us a CD too… everyone’s a musician at the LAMC!) y lo mismo para some new cable access show los de AlternaLatino are doing…. It was fun, I guess, but not really.

M: But that’s precisely why I call them meaningless because they were only discussing the market/commercial sides of the Latin Alternative industry. I would’ve liked panels on aesthetics, compositions, the different corrientes within Latin Alternative music, and as for reaching out to t
he Anglo market, how about first reaching out to the US Latino market, even the Latin American market to a certain extent? As it stands now the only way to get introduced to this music is if you have a concrete connection to Latin America, like if you’ve done some sort of cultural exchange or lived there for a period of time. Much of the music industry money funds the Estefan shit and all that other synthetic Kike Santander Miami crap. What about introducing truly independent and alternative forms of Latinidad such as (and I don’t mean to self-promote) like us rather than promoting the same-ol’ same-ol’. I mean really, what is Method Man and the Beatnuts doing on the compilation album? Aterciopelados as alternative? They’re becoming our unmarried Sonny and Cher, they’re so old.

No disrespect though. The LAMC folks did a commendable job at bring more diversity this year. Their organization was stellar. And if anything just by creating a venue to chat with an admired musico and/or meet other up-and-coming ones es eso si fue where the LAMC shined.

And for the record, the rainbow pants were a skirt and to tell you the truth I’m not entirely convinced that there wasn’t a Latin American circus missing its tent that shit was so fucking ridiculous. And because this is Montrol, I must let it slip that from what I heard homegirl was in heat. Varios me contaron que she was a little too inviting and friendly if you get me drift.

C: Word, I concur on the rainbow girl’s horniness, but I’m just going to leave it at that, because this ain’t quite page 6 yet…. And there was plenty of worthy ass to be gotten at the conference. Haha.

M: Ay no manches, que par de bochincheras. Pero ni mocos….. I mean hey we didn’t do it, we’re just reporting it, que no?

C: Que si! I disagree, however, on some of the who to market Latin Alternative music to, but that’s for a whole other discussion. Another point where we differ is that I DO think it’s important that the panels target and deal with the industry stuff, because they determine most of what goes on, for better or for worse, although I think they definitely should mix it up with some creative/artistic stuff. But honestly, bands aren’t coming to the conference to learn about how to write a better song, they come to possibly get that song played on the radio, or to get a record deal, or a show in another city. Who knows.

M: I do see your point. My biggest qualm with that is that there isn’t a balance. It transforms music making and its value into how much money it can make something which we’d both agree shouldn’t be the meta. And yeah, Ivy Queen performed way back when, but seriously reggaeton is about as alternative as merengue these days. The local radio stations are constantly playing their music.

C: Exactly! One of my big confusions/problems with the LAMC–which I guess is a reflection of the music industry in general is precisely that: the huge separation between lo artistico/concert aspect and the white-haired dudes behind the desks who decide what’s going on/panel aspect. It was awesome that Andrea Echeverri was on the Latinas in the Industry panel, but that’s the only place I saw that interaction. I mean, it would have been cool if there were panels that, say, the members of Kinky were interested in attending or at least participating in and on the flipside, performances that your jaded A&R reps are super-excited to check out. That being said, Mr. Illya Kuryaki and Toy from Control Machete were both presente at the Hurban thing, but I feel like that’s an exception. Maybe Dante’s trying to figure out how to break into the US market with a reggaeton mix of Coolo. But I guess all of this is a matter of time, and one day Café Tacuba will be fighting over seats to listen to Dante and me debate the importance of fashion in the Latin Alternative genre (Josh/Tomas, are you reading this?!?)

M: It seems that we’re asking for some more cultura, that which transcends the monetary enrichment? As far as hitting the Anglo market, it seems that even though the word ’crossover’ has become passé–it seems as if many of the panels and the intentions behind the conference still aim towards mainstream acceptance/$$$. I think that it’s a outdated way of thinking. I mean fuck, folks don’t want la raza to physically ’crossover,’ yet bien que se aprovechan of the labor. And if you think about a similar analogy can be made for Latin Alternative songs like Kinky’s “Mas y Mas” making it to that car company’s ad and Plastilina Mosh’s “Monster Mash” as a background to many an MTV program. Yet zero that their videos and talents get air time on the channel. If anything, Lat Alt bands are going to gain a coolness in a Nic Harcourt KCRW kinda way through underground/indie buzz and self-discovery.

C: TOTALLY! They need to not look to other Latin musical genres/acts for comparison but rather to more indie/underground/non-mainstream anglo bands. Because really, a band like Circo is a lot more like, say, the Postal Service than Shakira. Maybe if Kinky and PMosh were marketed/viewed as purely rock bands or alternative bands or guatever (minus the Latin, because that clearly throws radio programmers and the like off), then their songs could get the recognition they deserve.

Which reminds me, about the compilation. It seemed totally random to me, with new and old songs, major and unknown artists, genre-jumping all the while. Apparently it’s just whatever the mysterious Tomas Cookman (where WAS he, btw?!?! I’m starting to think he’s just Josh Norek’s alter ego or something… I mean really, have you ever seen them in the same room? Or even seen Tomas? He’s like the Wizard of Oz or something), but it’s definitely enjoyable to listen to, and they put some tracks in there by some folks that should have had a greater presence at the conference (like DeLux Club from Colombia… while they rocked the after after party, they should have played the party, know what I’m sayin’?). Next year I’m going to make my own LAMC compilation to give out to folks to let them know who I think they should be listening to. And Ivy Queen won’t be on there though Dante Spinetta might be! (…let’s see how many times I can mention him in this blog.)

M: That’d be rad, Clarux. But I guess in a way that’s what we try to do here in good ol’ Remezcla, que no? Like I would’ve loved to learn more about Los Abandoned, I’m truly diggin their Selena cover. But we are just going to agree to disagree on Spinetta, Circo, y otros, C.

C: Agreed. I’ll happily disagree with you any day! You know, although I was really excited to check out a lot of the bands this year, I feel like many of them have done the LAMC (and NYC) circuit more than once before. I would have liked to have seen someone like Liquits or Vaquero or some band I’ve never heard of playing full sets (as opposed to the mere two songs folks like Ana Laan and Sara Valenzuela were granted). Or even a reggaeton artist if that was the theme of the conference (although I’m not really suggesting that). OK, after some quick LAMC research, Liquits played before… actually, I knew that… I wrote that in my review of their album. But I guess my beef has more to do with the lack of really good new bands than anything else, and that’s not LAMC’s fault. But I’m sure they’re out there. Flipping through the Banda Elastica mag we got with our LAMC bags, I spotted a bunch of really interesting-sounding bands I’d never heard of before. And this is not to say the bands who performed weren’t good, they were. But I’m going off on a tangent. A tangent that leads me to