Planning to catch some shows at this year’s SXSW? Here are 10 must-see Latin acts at the annual Austin fest:
Venezuelan pop singer/songwriter Mariana Vega will make her SXSW debut this year. In the midst of urban, hip-hop and rock showcases, this Latin Grammy-winning artist will lure you into her March 16 showcase at CU29 Cocktail Bar.
SXSW may seem like an unlikely place to listen to Argentine tango, but when you hear Rascasuelos, it will make sense. The Buenos Aires group of musicians and dancers bring tango’s past to the present, calling it “a form of cultural resistance.” Rascasuelos represents Buenos Aires neo-tango, a passionate scene of accomplished musicans — too seldom seen in the United States, who reinforce the fact that tango was punk before there was punk.
The pierced and tattooed players embody the long relationship between rock and tango in Buenos Aires, and the band further stakes its claim to the underground with a name that’s an ironic take on the Spanish word for skyscraper. In describing themselves — and Argentina — the members of Rascasuelos refer to the group’s music as “the contemporary accompaniment to a society whose streets remain forever on fire.”
Rascasuelos performs at Russian House March 17.
If you’ve never been to a Panteón Rococó concert, prepare to dance, sweat and enjoy a politically charged showcase. The Mexican ska/reggae band told Billboard the SXSW audience can expect a medley of their classics and a message of unity.
Morenito de Fuego
Monterrey, Mexico, MC Morenito de Fuego mixes cumbia, hip-hop and humor. He counts among his collaborators Latin electronic honcho Toy Selectah, DJs El Dusty, 3Ball’s Erick Rincón and other leading tropical dance DJs.
Morenito de Fuego performs at Flamingo Cantina March 15 and March 16 at Half Step.
You can count on Grammy-winning artist iLe for a fusion of old-school boleros, ballads and Latin funk at the BMI Sonidos Alternos showcase on March 16 at The Townsend.
Walk into Speakeasy early in the evening on March 15, and you’ll have stumbled upon something unexpected that we bet you’ll be talking about the rest of the night. São Paulo innovators Mauricio Takara and Henrique Diaz — as the duo ToTi — plug in a small Brazilian cavaquinho guitar, program a Venezuelan cuatro and ride a skateboard that’s rigged to make electronic rhythms.
ToTi performs at Speakeasy March 15 and at Friends on March 17.
Los Amigos Invisibles?
Known for their upbeat jazz/disco beats, expect this Venezuelan band to get funky with their performance at Half Step on March 15.
La Vida Boheme
La Vida Boheme is scheduled to play three times in Austin next week, including a one-hour set at the Palm Door on Saturday night (March 18). Our advice? Get there early.
The Venezuelan purveyors of poetic tropical rock’s music ranges from Ramones-influenced calls to disorder to mournfully lyrical studies of Venezuela’s downward spiral. The band members, who now live in Mexico, will debut the songs from new album La Lucha, set for release on March 24.
The group returns to SX for the first time since its first appearance in 2012. LVB frontman Henry D’Arthenay promises “to knock your socks off.” La Vida Boheme performs March 17 on the International Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center and at Speakeasy. Catch them March 18 at Palm Door.
Things will definitely get weird (the good type of weird) at the Silverio showcase March 15 at Half Step. Known for performing in his red underwear while cursing and yelling obscenities at the crowd, the Mexican artist’s electronic set will get you on the dance floor.
You may not have noticed that Boogarins were nominated for a Latin Grammy (for best Portuguese language rock album), but you’ll want to catch the show of this buzz band from Goiânia, in Central Brazil. SXSW was a springboard for the psychedelic pop band members when they performed their first U.S. show there in 2014 and went on to gain an international following. Be there for their triumphant return.
Boogarin plays Sidewinder Outside on March 15, The Townsend on March 17 and at Hotel Vegas, where the group did a residency last summer, on March 18.