Mexico-based garage punk band, Le Butcherettes, was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Throughout the years and many changes, the band has finally evolved into the band it is today. One thing for sure is that the band looks and sounds better than ever.
Last week the band released their latest album, "bi/Mental" produced by Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads. Not only does this album showcases a brand new side of the band and their sound, but also Teri GenderBender's vocals and lyrics. This album explores what she consider's "The Other Side" while telling a story based on "familial strive". This story line translates into GenderBender's performance as she has a monologue between songs indicating that the mother does not believe her about what her father is doing to her and she states, "no, no Papito es bueno. El es bueno" in a child-like voice. Clearly contradicting what she told her mother. These very strong and suggestive themes were carried out in Spanish and that really helped the transition between songs as well as carry the show in a story-like manner.
Walking in from the the side door at the Bunkhouse Saloon, came Teri GenderBender with feathers on top while wearing a red coat, red fishnet-tights and red face makeup. Red, her signature color. She was followed in by band members Rikardo Rodríguez-López, Alejandra Robles Luna, and Marfred Rodríguez-López. Teri quickly scanned the crowd and she chanted while commanding attention. As soon as she finished chanting, it is like she transformed and the first notes from "Burn the Scab" began blasting through the speakers.
As soon as the song ended, "spider/WAVES" began and there was no turning back. Not once, did Teri's energy go down. There is nothing like watching this high-energy, badass front woman belt out her song while dancing in a spastic fashion. It's hard to not keep one's eyes off of Teri, but it was great to see the great chemistry between the Rodríguez-López brothers as they played off on the side and remained in sync the whole time. Additionally, Alejandra's drumming was amazing and tied up what every other member was doing.
It was truly mesmerizing. This seventeen-song set almost felt too short! Several times throughout the show, it seemed as though Teri would break into tears between screeching howls and beating her chest. No words can describe her aura and stage antics. Es una chingona. I felt chills when she sang "strong/ENOUGH", and she chanted the words, "my heart is heading out the door, don't need your abuse no more". It really is a powerful anthem especially for anyone who has ever walked away from any type of abuse.
"bi/MENTAL" tour is a must see! I highly recommend for any Butcherettes fans and first-time listeners! It is a thrill from beginning to end. Some tour dates are listed below!
"It connects you to the universe." - Cienfue on his Ayahuasca journey that influenced his new material.
If you are reading this, I invite you to press play on the video below and enjoy the "chill energy" transmitted form Cienfue's music, essence and vibration. Let that "tropical psychedelia" guide you through this wonderful insight on an artist and gem in Panamanian music.
Cienfue is no stranger to music. He has several albums and does not plan on stopping anytime soon. Cienfue has clearly gone through interesting life experiences. From living in a Panama under military rule to studying at the Berklee College of Music in the United States, and all that has made for great life experiences that definitely reflect in Cienfue's beautiful music.
He recently released the video for his "Life in the Tropics" single and plans to slowly release the album single by single. The video is full of magnificent colors and symbolism. A few days ago, I asked Cienfue whether it had a deeper meaning to him other than just "tropical psychedelia" and ayahuasca-like influences. I also asked him whether living in Panama has somehow impacted the way he approaches any project, especially this new one.
He answered by saying that, "Panama has influenced me a lot. It is a melting pot. A meeting point. A sancocho where everything mixes: from indigenous to Chinese to Caribbean and so much more." He added that growing up in the 80's under military regime and experiencing early stages of now modern reggeaton has really influenced him. Cienfue also mentioned that "with the video I was trying to transmit the shamanistic rituals in the Amazon. The sacrament of the Ayahuasca. You know, the sacrament used to be a very special. It rids one of "evil spirits. It connects you to the universe." No doubt, he is able to transmit all of that in his music video.
To follow that up, I asked Cienfue why he decided to make this album in English, considering that it's his first time doing so. "I grew up bilingual and people didn't really know that. You know what? It would bother me when musicians would try sing English and it did not sound good at all. However, on this new album I was inspired by surfing. One time I was in Hawaii and I was asked to sing, but I had nothing in English. This was was a catalyst in me wanting to reach more people." Cienfue reiterated the fact that he was inspired by the tribe-like surf culture. Out of that he mentioned that his new album is mostly inspired in surf, nature, and the tropics.
To end the interview, I asked Cienfue who his favorite musicians of the moment were and he mentioned fantastic artists like: Señor Loop, Making Movies and Javier Medina. He actually has a playlist: Panamá Namá! (Link below).
A big thank you to Cienfue, stay tuned for new singles!
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.