Review: ‘One Night Stand’ album by Subrosa Union

Did Subrosa Union replace pot with Jäger shots as their vice of choice? When I saw them at Flamingo Cantina a year ago, the Austin-by-way-of-El-Paso trio was jamming the kind of reggae-rock odes to Mary Jane that made Sublime and 311 popular with college kids in the ’90s. But when Subrosa Union’s latest full-length, One […]

Mitote 101; the traditional side of Maneja Beto’s Alex Chavez

Mitote is an Austin-based ensemble that, as vocalist and guitarrista Alex Chavez puts it, “seeks to explore the vast musical terrains of Mexican traditional son but with a Chicano sensibility.” Their focus is on son jarocho, the traditional sones and instruments of southern Veracruz, Mexico. “We are inspired by both the grounded yet virtuostic musicality […]

Benjamin Bratt and cast of ‘La Mission’ on machismo, lowriders and love

If a nation’s political landscape is any reflection of its culture, then ballot initiatives like California’s Prop 8 and legislation like Arizona’s House Bill 2281 indicate two things about life in the American Southwest in 2010: It’s tough to be a gay man in love or a Latino proud of his heritage. Yet, both of […]

Bomba Estéreo set to ‘blow up’ the Pachanga stage

Simón Mejía is the musical mastermind behind Bogota’s hottest Latin alternative act, Bomba Estéreo. The Colombian electro-tropical fusion act blends its nation’s namesake rhythm, the cumbia, with pulsating bass, hip-hop beats and the spitfire flow of charismatic emcee Liliana Saumet. Their highly energetic live shows have made Bomba a staple of the Latin American and […]

Review: ‘1977’ album by Ana Tijoux

It’s getting to the point with hip hop that you have to sound throwback to sound refreshing and different. It’s the glossy, auto-tuned and over-produced nature of nearly every rap record getting top-40 airplay that makes me tune out these days, often looking for underground alternatives or just skipping hip hop altogether. Not that I’m […]

Amplified Heat’s Gian Ortiz turns up the heat and the volume

Three Colombian brothers with roots in California and Houston have been burning up the Austin blues-rock/hard-rock scene for a decade. Not everyone in town has heard of them, but those of us who have know what a face-melting and skull-jarring experience an Amplified Heat show can be. The trio got its start in Sixth Street’s […]

Get to know your Amigos: Q&A with Los Amigos Invisibles

Los Amigos Invisibles are one of those bands that needs no introduction in the Latin popular music world. Since 1991, these Caracas, Venezuela natives have been lighting dance clubs and fútbol arenas on fire with their up-tempo and fun brand of disco/acid-jazz/funk-rock. The Amigos were in Austin for a slot on Austin City Limits fest […]

Concert Review: Brownout at Antone’s

On Friday, I saw something I’ve never seen at a Brownout show. To date, I’ve seen the Latin funk big band perform at Mohawk, Creekside, Scholz Garten, Pachanga Fest and who knows where else. At each of those shows, I’ve seen a wide variety of faces, be it old hippies, young hipsters or middle-aged Hispanic […]

Album Review: ‘Coconut Rock [Deluxe Edition]’ album by Ocote Soul Sounds

Despite its political posturing and lyrics about revolution, Ocote Soul Sounds‘ latest album, Coconut Rock, reveals itself to be a lover, not a fighter. C’mon… The lilting funk guitar riffage and perky vintage keyboard notes mixed with slow, rhythmic Latin percussion and sensual multilingual vocal harmonies. Relaxing world-music flute and seductive female vocals singing in […]

Album Review: ‘Baionarena’ live album by Manu Chao

A Manu Chao concert is a religious experience. I don’t mean it in the hackneyed, spiritual New-Age sense. What I mean is that at some point during the show you’ll find yourself dancing and sweating harder than you thought possible, and just as you get light-headed from lack of hydration and think you’re gonna fall […]