Bands: Alex Anwandter, Ulises Hadjis w/ Torreblanca & Algodón Egipcio, La Mala Rodríguez, Los Macuanos, Franny Glass, Carla Morrison, Dapuntobeat ft. Javiera Mena, Camila Moreno, Tame Impala, Blur
Saturdays tend to be the zenith of festival days. Not to say they only schedule the good stuff on Saturdays. You might have noticed that Friday had its share of highlights. But Saturday was heavy and messy and big. So let’s get to it.
Remezcla’s love for Alex Anwandter knows no bounds, so yesterday was the specialest of days. One of my darkest secrets is that I once aspired to be a video girl. Like a classy one, not like a spandexy one who makes a lot of facial expressions with her tongue. But it never came true. Alas, I was a video-less video girl. But yesterday, the heavens saw it fit to lend us Alex. City editor Andrea Gompf and I had the opportunity, nay, the honor, to serve as Alex Anwandter’s back-up dancers for a split second. Since then, food hasn’t tasted the same and I now understand all that there is to understand. He asked us to go on tour with him where we could wear all the gold-lamé and glitter a girl could want. I wish this last part were true. But Alex goes it alone when it comes to his moves and yesterday’s Make-a-Wish moment was nothing more than just that, a moment.
— LatinMusic Culture (@REMEZCLA) March 16, 2013
I’d been deprived of witnessing Alex Anwandter perform up until yesterday and I am more sold now than I’ve ever been. Alex went through his Odisea and Rebeldes catalogue, playing “Tatuajes,” “Bailar y Llorar,” “Casa Latina,” and “Cabros,” among others. To see this man dance is to see truth. He does the mashed potato, the running man, the Mariah hand wave, the pelvic thrust, the “slap yourself across the face,” etc. It’s pure joy in movement, at once contagious and meditative. His voice doesn’t take a backseat though, as he belted out “Cómo puedes vivir contigo mismo?” with conviction. A fan yelled, “Te amo, Alex.” Alex replied: “Y yo a ti pero ya te dije, no va a funcionar.” I imagine he gets a lot of declarations.
ULISES HADJIS (FT. CHEKY AKA ALGODON EGIPCIO & TORREBLANCA)
Venezuela’s Ulises Hadjis was one of yesterday’s bright spots (pun semi intended as it actually was the only time the sun came out). He probably would’ve been great by himself, but having Cheky from Algodón Egipcio and Torreblanca as part of your band definitely seals the deal. This wet dream of a Latin-alt superband sounded off for a sizable crowd, all of whom sang along when Ulises performed “Dónde Va.” But once Ulises introduced the skinny guy on the accordion as Torreblanca and told us a story about how they met on MySpace five years ago and co-wrote “Las Horas” for Ulises’ second album, the show really came alive, as both Ulises and Cheky distorted their guitar riffs and the fans got louder. Later on when they visited the Remezcla tent they did the “Fakuta” for us, which looks something like this:
The dudes in black, paradoxically backdropped by palm trees, gave the audience a reason to dance, to relish in their moodiness. Playing some of their ruidosón staples like “Sangre, Bandera, Cruz” and “Soldado sin cara,” they weren’t high energy, but the music did all the work for them. Los Macuanos’ sound is usually described as dark but it’s a darkness rooted in joy, an acceptance of the darkness. There are so many layers to each song, you don’t have time to think of your feelings, you just know that there’s uneasiness, a tension, and a jubilance all wrapped up. I don’t think that kind of stage is conducive to their aesthetic, it felt a little too bare and forgotten, but the music introduced such a dynamic quality that you could just shut your eyes and focus on your head banging.
Uruguayans Franny Glass played Carpa Danup to a small crowd. These guys aren’t super well known and I can understand why. They’re not introducing anything particularly new in their sound. It’s familiar chord progression, familiar folk tropes, and familiar-looking dudes.
Elsewhere, Chilean Camila Moreno was freaking out on stage with special guest Ximena Sariñana, check out her performance of “Incendié” here. And cumbia grandaddies Los Angeles Azules invited Remezcla BFF Camilo Lara (of Mexican Institude of Sound) and fellow Mexis Centavrvs, Ximena Sariñana and Jay de la Cueva on stage to set forth the band’s resurgence (a tribute album will follow featuring Carla Morrison, Kinky, Caifanes’ Saúl Hernández, Bomba Estéreo, etc.).
Carla Morrison is an example of someone whom I think is incredibly talented, but I just can’t seem to care. I care that she exists and is happy and healthy and wonderful. I care that she has an unbelievable voice, one that sounded amazing and dynamic last night. I care. But I just don’t care to watch it. I can take it or leave it, but mostly leave it. Of course, everyone disagrees with me and I’m glad for that because I’m jaded and I hate most things and I want humanity to be better than me. This was proven last night when she (wo)manned the main stage (wearing a badass corset and beaded tassels on her heels!) and belted out song after song, all while her very devoted fans sang every single lyric to “Me encanta” and “Compartir” with her. Her following, like Juan Cirerol’s, always impresses me.