Americans have Saturday Night Fever; Jamaicans have The Harder They Come. For young Latinos, the soundtrack that defined a generation is the album that accompanied the 2000 Mexican film Amores Perros. It grouped together some of the best Latin alternative groups into a double-disc masterpiece: songs of love and hate, flippin' great tunes that span the genre from banda to Beatles-y pop to hip-hop. And one of those groups, the Mexican electronic trio Moenia, performs at the House of Blues this Monday.
Moenia contributed only one track to the Amores Perros album, and "Lado Animal" ("Animal Side") starts off boring and dull with echoing bass thuds. But then lead Moenian Alfredo Pichardo begins to sing, "What we do when nobody sees/Tastes of liberty," in a lush, deep voice that sounds like Paul Robeson doing techno. The song transforms into a Darwinian reduction of romance, one where "Little by little, you stop thinking/You're left only with your animal song," all while pessimistic scratches and beeps twist around its five minutes. Such is the typical Moenia tune: shackled by the genre's inherent, artificial coldness but imbued with humanity thanks to Pichardo's aching voice and lyrics. You'll dance to Moenia but probably think too much for your own good afterward—but that's where sponsor Corona steps in, right?
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Moenia at the House of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-BLUE. Mon., 7 p.m. $40-$50. 16+.