SXSW. Photo: courtesy
South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival is an internationally recognized annual festival in Austin, Texas taking place from March 13th to March 19th, 2017. The festival includes conferences with multiple panels, exhibitions, and it has served as a platform for thousands of musicians of all genres around the world. Check out these recommendations by Rocío Santos of Vocalo 91.1FM. She’ll share her day-by-day highlights on her Diario de SXSW next week.
Déjate llevar hasta “Euromaquia” with Sounds From Spain (SFS) showcase as they celebrate its 10th anniversary at SXSW supporting the global expansion of Spanish artists from all genres. SFS tiró la casa por la ventana bringing España’s most favored acts from the indie alternative scene.
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro. Photo: courtesy
One of the gems worth checking out is Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, a cuarteto from Galicia who won Premio Ruido at the beginning of the year granted by the Asociación de Periodistas Musicales de España for best Spanish album of 2016 after releasing their fourth LP Salve Discordia (Mushroom Pillow). It’s definitely one of the most powerful bands to see on stage. They make headbanging an act of elegance. After more than a decade together and success in their home country, they are still planting seeds in North and Latin America. In 2015, they had a successful stop in Chicago’s Ruido Fest and California’s Viva! Pomona Fest. Triángulo has created a limitless sound personality by blending many rock subgenres such as post-punk, shoegaze, noise, dream pop, psychedelia and more. You’ll be blown away by Rodrigo’s lead vocals and riff-driven attitude while encapsulating the listener into worlds of paganismo, social critique, and romanticismo with a touch of black humor. You’ll be surprised to Isa’s contrasting voice singing so subtle as if you were in a dream in Cocteau Twin’s Victorialand. And you don’t have to understand español to get into the bizarre zone. Isa’s stage presence as bassist is ferocious, and Rafa Mallo will accelerate your adrenaline from head to toe while Zippo digs into your subconscious through the sound making of his synthesizer and guitar. Y sí, their name makes homage to New Order’s 1986 hit ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’. You can guess what their influences are and how these have shaped their multi-genre sound and songwriting.
Check out “Nuestro Siglo Fnord” based on the video game El Conde Lucanor:
Novedades Carminha. Photo: courtesy
Another gallego act that will make you rock is Novedades Carminha. These campeones have been around for a decade with the same line-up made up by Carlangas (vocalist/guitarist), Jarri (bass) and Xavi (drums). Last year, they released their fourth album Campeones del Mundo (Ernie Records, 2016) where they step out of their comfort zone of garage punk and go on to explore Latin and African music to bring out a more caliente sound vibe with a fresh blend of rock’n’roll, surf, rockabilly and more. They also went on to explore the roots of chicha and covered “Cariñito” by los Hijos del Sol, one of the most recognized cumbias from Perú, without taking a cumbia approach and instead doing a more tropical rock take. They love to have fun, tomarse la vida como un juego and make their audiences go crazy by taking them to the dance floor while Carlangas sings in comical Spanish about their social context, follar and other random stories. Their directos make people go insane. Recently, they had to stop performing at a Madrid venue since the fuse in the room blew up because of the intensity of their crowd.
“De vuelta de todo” is a visual road trip.
Joana Serrat. Photo: courtesy
SFS will also feature Joana Serrat, one of the best young folk voices hailing from Vich, a city in northern Spain. She is a favorite in her country and around Europe where she has toured extensively with her latest album Cross the verge (Loose Music, 2016). This album was meticulously crafted in Canada with engineer and producer Howard Bilerman, former drummer of Arcade Fire. Although Joana has never been in the U.S., she grew up listening to Americana at home, while also taking inspiration from Roy Orbison and Neil Young. Her singing and songwriting in English has always been natural and that has been an advantage for her career. She has paved her way for the past five years by releasing three albums exploring folk, pop and country through the themes of love, introspection, nature and other facets that makes us human while throwing some catalán in her 2012 self-released debut The Relief Sessions. Her ethereal voice and languageexplores the dark side of the heart so beautifully that it will make you ver una luz al final del túnel. Joana’s songs are cathartic and emanate so much sensibility inviting the listener to travel through melancholy and hope. Her show at SXSW will be intimate and there’s no doubt her voice will open your corazón.
Wednesday, March 15 at Lucille (77 Rainey St.)
Thursday, March 16 at West Tent - Brush Square Park
Lineup: Izal, Joana Serrat, Novedades Carminha, Ramirez Exposure, Triángulo de Amor Bizarro, Yung Beef
Rocío Santos. Radio producer and host for Domingos en Vocalo, Sunday’s Spanish-language cultural programming with a curated block of Latin-alternative music on Vocalo 91.1FM (Chicago Public Media). On Wednesday nights she co-hosts Rock Sin Anestesia on WLUW 88.7FM, the longest Latin-alternative show in Chicago.