- Posted by David Dacks
Sat., March 19, 12:30AM CT at Havana Patio (709 E 6th St.)
Jose Carlos, Flickr
A trip to Austin at any time of the year wouldn't be complete without experiencing the funk/rock/salsa explosion generated by hometown heroes Grupo Fantasma. The veteran ensemble has jammed with Prince among others, and recently earned its first Grammy for its latest release, 'El Existential.' Years of touring have yielded a supertight live experience, and Fantasma are sure to give it 110 percent in celebration of a career-affirming highlight.
Fri., March 18, 8PM CT at Venue 222 (222 E 6th St.)
One of last year's most viral songs was dancehall singer Gyptian's 'Hold You,' especially once Panamanian-American rappers Los Rakas got a hold of it and translated it into 'Abrazame.' Oakland-based Raka Dun and Raka Rich represent some of the best in Spanish-language rap coming out of the US, with a classic flow married to beats that draw from dancehall, future bass and good ol'-fashioned boom-bap.
2nd Annual Chilean Music Showcase
Sat., March 19 at Maggie Mae's (325 East 6th St.)
Samael Kreutz, Flickr
Last year's initial Chilean Music Showcase was a big hit, and it's back with an excellent lineup. Chico Trujillo lead the pack with a sound rooted in cumbia but incorporating rock, ska and traditional rhythms. Also on the bill are ace techno/disco DJ Mathias Aguayo and a clutch of bands representing Chile's most popular musical movement: indie rock/pop. Gepe, Intimate Stranger, Inverness and the highly touted Protistas will bring the noise.
El Hijo de la Cumbia
Enaes De Troya, Flickr
Carrying the torch for digi-cumbia from Buenos Aires is El Hijo de la Cumbia. His most recent release was the 'Soy El Control' EP from last fall. The once minimal sound of Argentina has become increasingly full-bodied over the years with live instrumentation and more intricate rhythms. But that takes nothing away from El Hijo's originality, as he adds dashes of hip-hop and dancehall to the addictive head-nodding momentum that is the essence of cumbia.
Cycling back to homegrown talent, it can't get any more bananas than the Tormenta Tropical showcase thrown by Austin's own Peligrosa crew. The lineup hasn't been confirmed, but this crew will be spinning the most mind-bending, culo-shaking Latin hybrids for the dance floor. Expect also to hear today's Tex-Mex music: Tribal Guarachero, which is Aztec-inspired rave music and Moombahton, which blasts reggaeton into a more psychedelic headspace.