Our lovely, monstrous, sprawling metropolis to the North otherwise known as Los Angeles has seen new talent fuse with established artists to create a revival of sorts in the broad Latin Alternative music scene.
Supportive venues like La Cita in downtown Los Angeles, and Eastside Luv in Boyle Heights have played their part in hosting and exposing all the great talent to audiences feigning for the vibes.
If this genre piques your interest, take this as a short hand guide I've compiled of Latin Alternative music based in the city for those folks who seek to venture north, or take note when these musicians come down south. Don't forget to listen to their stand out tracks as well. (The OC Edition is coming soon!)
1. La Santa Cecilia
La Santa Cecilia, the city of angels' buzz band, is still buzzin'. Consistent media exposure, shows in Chicago, Texas and other places sustained the presence of the Latin genre-mashing six-piece. The buzz, however, needed another shot to keep it from wearing off. La Santa Cecilia, still selling hand painted CD covers containing their debut EP, remained unsigned-that is until this week.
The band penned their future with Rebeleon-a new label-and has a brand new album, Noche y Citas ready to be released on December 14 at La Fonda. Their ascension continues!
Upcoming shows: Besides La Fonda, La Santa Cecilia is rumored to return to Anaheim in January at the Juke Joint!
2. Pilar Díaz
Pilar Díaz is an indispensible artist in the indie Latin Alternative scene. Having made a name for herself as lead singer of Los Abandoned, the Chilean-born, California raised singer-songwriter has spent the last couple years venturing solo. The result? An eclectic self-titled CD that spawned four music videos, a t-shirt line, and great music performances all over the city. Díaz is done in the states for the year. She's taking her show down south to her native country of Chile next month to perform. Watch for new music from the musician to come when she returns, and as we enter the New Year.
You're going to have to wait until 2011 to get your Pilar on-unless you want to fly to Chile!
Direct from East LA are folk-rockers Ollin. Their 2006 EPSan Patricios
will have you dancing to cumbia-infused arrangements one song and pondering Irish defections to the Mexican army during the war of Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 on the next title track. They are definitely grounded in history and execute the cross-section of that discipline with their musical talents in a compelling manner. Ollin is a band that will make you think and dance all at the same time. They last visited our humble county back in September to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence at the Bowers Museum with Cat from Aparato joining in for a few corridos!
Upcoming shows: Stay tuned for future performances on www.facebook.com/eastlosollin
4. Fawksie 1
Fawksie 1 is a hard working MC you don't want to miss. A solo artist as well as a member of the Earthstonez, the rapper from North East LA released her EPDon't Take Me Lightly
earlier this summer. With underground sensibilities, Fawksie 1 rocks the mic right with a proper and skillful delivery. As the album title suggest, you shouldn't take her lightly at all. Fawksie 1's EP is available at Amoeba Records and you can check out the tracks onher soundcloud page
Upcoming show: Catch Fawksie 1 at the 5 Star Bar in downtown LA on November 27th.
5. L@s Cafeter@s
Did you know that Los Angeles is as obsessed with Son Jarocho as Santa Ana is? Perhaps even more so? If jarana strumming is your thing, L@s Cafeter@s is your band. Formed five years ago from inside the walls of El Sereno's Eastside Café, these dedicated community musicians have taken their unique interpretation of the centuries-old cultural tradition everywhere it stands to be heard. As with any experimentation with folk music, the co-ed L@s Cafeter@s has their detractors. Pissing off purists only means you're doing something right!
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Upcoming show: Check theirFacebook page
for their next performance. In the meantime, ask about their Live at Mucho Wednesdays CD.
Can't get enough "Latin Alternative" music from Los Angeles? Check out more of these "Must Listens": Wait.Think.Fast, Lysa Flores, Umo Verde, Upground, Guerilla Queenz, Strangely Attractive and more!