Free Week Photo Recap: Austin Vida showcase at Frank

Vinyl Dharma at Frank during Free Week. (photo by Kristie Bocanegra)

One of the goals I wanted to achieve when my friends and I took over Austin Vida three years ago was to change the way people viewed what a “Latin” band was and/or how Latino musicians were perceived. Sure we pay our respects to grandfather Tejano and  love large member, mini-Latin orchestra style salsa bands. It’s all part of our culture. The staff and I love it and embrace it.  However, here in Austin many Latino bands and musicians are in bands that are influenced by more by popular sounds from American rock and roll and European-based electronic music or new wave. For lack of a better word, they are in indie bands.

While Austin’s local music scene is made up of indie bands of some sort, whether it be ’60s style garage rock or post-something, few notice how many Latino musicians are present. As we individually or collectively attended local shows over the years, we noticed  more and more up-and-coming indie bands were comprised of either all Latino members or the majority of Latino members. Most, if not all, were also singing in English. None, however, were being featured in Spanish language media or other Latino media outlets.  Again, another inspiration for us to continue to do what do and break down stereotypes.

Latinos are more indie than ever and we decided to showcase young Latino indie bands on the website and in live music showcases we produced. Our third Free Week showcase this year was our indie showcase at a great new to music venue, Frank. We featured two of Austin’s best young indie bands, Vinyl Dharma and headliners Politics. We filled in the gaps with openers Friday Avenue from Brownsville, Texas, and arguably the best young indie band in San Antonio, Pop Pistol. While neither wave their brown fist or sing in Spanish, there is no denying their ethnicity, cultural pride nor their talent. These four bands are emblematic of  the new generation of Latinos in Austin.

*This show was sponsored in part by The City of Austin, Pachanga Latino Music Fest, Red River Noise, Ultra 8201and SATX Music.

All photos by Kristie Bocanegra.

Ian Morales

Editor in Chief

Ian is a product of Round Rock High School and St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He is an alumnus of the National Hispanic Institute and learned to dance at a young age with the Round Rock Ballet Folklórico. Ian also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Austin Vida’s sister site, Red River Noise.

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