There is nothing more rhythmic and more magical than when Making Movies and Las Cafeteras unite musical forces. "Ritmo de Mi Pueblo" is the second to last song on the five-song collaboration EP between the two bands, which is set to premier on August 10th! So far the songs on the EP include: "Tormenta", "Feo Mas Bello", "Montaña", "Ritmo de Mi Pueblo", and a fifth track which happens to feature Flor De Toloache which is soon to be announced!
Their latest single, "Ritmo de Pueblo", has such an infectious rhythm that it's hard not to dance and chant along with Denise as she sings "vamos a bailer el ritmo de mi pueblo". Es una cancion que de verdad invita a mover las caderas y celebrar el ritmo del pueblo en el que vivimos. It's truly an up-beat and celebratory song to ones roots. From the chorus to the hip-hop verse, it is a joy ride. Both bands bring all the best of their abilities when they are together to create such wonderful music.
I had a chance to interview and see Making Movies about a year ago after discovering their music a few months prior. There is no justice for how good they sound live. The band is made of two Panamanian brothers, the Chi's, and two Mexican-American brothers, the Chaurand's, from Kansas City and together they bring to life the wonderful band that is Making Movies. They sing in both Spanish and English and it is amazing to hear how they fuse rock with traditional sounds. During their show they incorporate the folkloric Panamanian mejorana lute and not only that, but the Chaurand brothers often stop playing drums and percussions in order dance ballet folklorico on stage. "The band's political idea is straightforward enough that they can express i in four words: "We are all immigrants"."
Las Cafeteras on the other hand, is an also an amazing band from East L.A. Las Cafeteras is known for fusing roots music and adding a modern flare to it. Often it is accompanied by the band singing in English, Spanish and even Spanglish while using traditional instruments and often fusing hip-hop, rancheras, and rock amongst other genres. Right now Las Cafeteras has been recognized as the band who has the "Yo No Creo In Fronteras" t-shirt for merch in addition to their music since it made news after Trump mentioned the shirt during a statement he was giving. "Las Cafeteras use their music as a vehicle to build bridges among different cultures and communities, and create 'a world where many worlds fit.'"
Although the joint tour with Making Movies and Las Cafeteras is over, Making Movies still have two shows left on their tour which includes: Clevland, Ohio and New York, New York. Every ticket sale will be donated to "RAICES Texas, a nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas."
Please check out their latest single "Ritmo de Pueblo" below:
August 10 l Cleveland, OH l Beachland Tavern l TIX
August 15 l New York, NY l Joe's Pub l TIX
Playing this year at La Tocada Music Festival is a wonderful band from Guadalajara, Jalisco: Porter!
Since the release of their 2015 Latin Grammy nominated album, "Moctezuma", Porter has been traveling a lot. From playing different venues to several festivals to touring around the world, they are currently finishing up their newest album whose release date has not been confirmed, but it is set for sometime this fall!
Ever since David Velasco joined Porter as the vocalist, the band has seemed to revamp and transform into this amazing energy that is full of stories of Mexico’s past while paying tribute to their roots. Not only that, but their sound is stronger than ever. It just makes it overall more exciting to see what new path they take on their new album.
This past week I got a chance to catch up with Victor “Villor” Valverde, guitarist and pianist for Porter, as the band prepares to play a few shows in California as they head up to play La Tocada being held at L.A’s historic park on August fourth.
I started our conversation by asking Villor whether Porter was excited to play at La Tocada since this also happens to not be the first time Porter has played in L.A.
“We are happy to be back in California we always have fun. We will be presenting some of the new material as well as playing our old stuff. We really want to connect with the people out there and where better than California.”
As someone that has never seen Porter live, I asked Villor what one could expect of one of their shows. “All of our shows are one unique. None are the same. We are going to play some new songs, which will bring a dynamic curve to the show. We have never played Cuxillo over there and we will be playing it as well.” He also mentioned that the band will be bringing in the energy, it will be fresh and they will be playing the best of Porter.
It’s really exciting to know that Porter will be playing some of their new material at La Tocada, especially since they have not released an album since 2014. I took the chance to ask Villor if there is anything he could tell me about the new album whether it would also be inspired by a book like "Moctezuma" or something else. He mentioned that this new album is rather based on their life experiences and emotions and the “magical world” that involves that.
“We wanted to take a new direction with it in which we broke down our paradigms and we each created our own worlds. The album itself will be very emotional and epic. Lots of different sounds and psychedelic as well.” It sounds epic already!
While the conversation took a new turn, I asked Villor what were Porter’s favorite things to in Los Angeles to which he quickly answered, “we love going into shops with instruments, but we also like going to bazars and local shops. We like getting to know the local culture as well. We always try connecting with the city one way or another. We also love going downtown and I personally love going to look at paintings. Part of our history and blood is there (L.A) as well.” There is no doubt there are not only a lot of cultures within L.A, but there are a lot of Latino communities around there and from that there is great Latino inspired art, music, and food. It’s easy to see why Villor brought that last part up.
Porter is a band that is constantly learning and trying to sort of “teach” their audience what they learn through their music and I asked whether there was anything specific that was inspiring them at the moment or at the time of making the new album and he said there were a lot of things that were inspiring them. Whether it was a movie like “Historia Sin Fin” to “Labyrinth” or even the “Goonies”.
“We also listen to all kinds of music, especially psychedelic music like that from the 60’s and 70’s. A mix of all those things helps us create a new “world”. There is so much inspiration from everywhere that at the time of “building” it, it feels like we created something completely new.”
There is no doubt that Porter’s music is something new and other worldly. It is unique and their perspective on it is as well. I hope that people can take a moment to check them out whether it is listening to them for the first time or watching them at La Tocada.
Photos by Diego Lucero.
All the way from Southern Cali, comes the very good-looking and mellow MainMan band made up of Morgan Demeter (singer), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (bass), Nick Chamain (guitar), and Ryan Dean (drums). Last week they came to El Paso to play at the Lowbrow Palace as they headed their way to Float Fest, which took place yesterday.
The show itself was full of retro-funk sounds accompanied by the beautiful vocals of Morgan, whose voice is very nostalgic and very fresh at the same time.
During their set, MainMan played some of their most popular songs like “Feeling” and “WWH” as well as some of their newer material, which can only be heard at their live shows at the moment!
I had the chance to catch up with the band before the show and there we talked about the band’s origin, new material, as well as their favorite jams on the road. We were sitting in the green room at Lowbrow where the band started off by introducing themselves and I asked them how their stay in El Paso had been so far and how their stop at The Outpost had been.
Morgan quickly said that it was his first time in Texas and therefore El Paso. “So far I love it and everyone has been super friendly here and the food has been awesome.”
Ryan added that The Outpost was overall a fun experience and that “it’s awesome bands can just roll through and get a little hookup. They give you a little place where you can chill and relax.” One thing that the guys seemed excited to agree on was the fun game of giant Jenga they played.
I took that moment to ask the guys what prompted them to start a band besides a friendship and the love of music. Chris answered, “me, Morgan and Nick were in a band called “Bear on Fire” and that broke up because everyone kind of wanted to do their own thing. We still wanted to make music so we had our buddy, Mike, come in and play drums. He was the one to name the band MainMan. Things really didn’t work for him personally and he left the band. That is when we ended up bringing in Ryan. Nick and I have known Ryan for about ten years just from the Valley and L.A. life and yeah, we asked him to come jam. Ryan just breathes music and sounded great and he even introduced us to our manager, Rachel, and things are going well. We are touring and playing festivals now.”
I then asked the band why they chose to do such a small tour and specifically the cities listed on there and Chris responded with, “the main reason we are doing this tour is that we are playing Float Fest at the end of the week on Sunday (yesterday) and you know instead of flying out there and coming back, why not get some practice we have never been on the road as a band and so we booked a route to San Marcos, Texas. We play good and long sets and the songs have been feeling more comfortable.”
Morgan quickly added, “going on tour is a good way to dial in everything we are trying to do on stage and it’s been a good learning experience as a band and as performers. Everyone has been great and has been receptive and it’s been a blast.” Nick and Ryan seemed to agree with that and mentioned that they would love to come back to El Paso to play. I am glad the band decided to make a tour out of their journey to Float Fest otherwise fans and show-goers wouldn’t have enjoyed such a good show full of great music on that hot Wednesday night.
MainMan debuted their “Mistaker” EP last year and out curiosity I asked them whether they had any new material planned for anytime soon and Nick mentioned that last Friday they released a single called, “Still Remains”. He also mentioned that they will try to put a new song out at least every couple of months. “We are releasing music that way and we might release another song late August, early September.”
Morgan added, “we have a few songs we have already written and actually play live, which is interesting. We have some songs that are really old songs and we are re-introducing them as new songs.” He mentioned that being in another band, there were a lot of songs that “never saw the light of day” and they are now finding a way to re-introduce them with MainMan.
As a traveling band at the moment, I wanted to ask them what their favorite on-the-road tunes were. The guys laughed and Chris said, “ a Howard Stern podcast every hour. Nick is obsessed with Howard Stern.” Nick smiled and said, “I do like my Howard Stern, however, it is not a podcast it’s a radio show.”
They also mentioned that they listen to a lot of new and old stuff. Chris added that they have been jamming out to the new solo album by Jim James, vocalist of My Morning Jacket, and that they all dig it. Morgan added to what Chris said and mentioned that he just checked out the new Jonathan Wilson record called “Rare Birds” and he found it “real cool”.
Soon after a moment of mentioning artists they were listening to, Ryan mentioned that they actually have a MainMan Spotify playlist called “California to Texas” where they are trying to fill it in with their favorite stuff and things they are listening to on the road.
It was such a good show and I recommend MainMan to any music lover. Please check out their music and check out their Spotify, Instagram @mainmanband, and other social media handles to keep up with them!
Taking place in L.A's Historic Park on August 4th is La Tocada Music Festival! This year's all Latino line up is made up of internationally known Café Tacvba, Mon Laferte, Molotov, Panteon Rococo and Jesse & Joy! Not only that, but also playing are the very popular indie-rock mijos: Porter, Little Jesus, Caloncho and Camilo Septimo! And also live lucha libra as a plus! All the good bands and vibes needed for a fantastic festival.
La Tocada Music Festival is growing more and more each year and it only gets better and better. There is already excitement and buzz surrounding this year's line-up! I know for a fact I am excited as well. As someone who has been able to see Mon Laferte, Café Tacvba, Caloncho, and Little Jesus in previous festivals before, they definitely deliver and bring todo el power during their sets! Hearing Mon Laferte's voice live is definitely an orgasm for the ears, it's mesmerizing and she is just powerful. I am in awe each time. While Café Tacvba in a Shamanistic-like state takes one on a trip down memory lane as they play popular songs from their albums. They are definitely a must see!
Little Jesus and Caloncho are still relatively "new" to the game, but nonetheless their shows and stage presence is enough! It's also such happy music like Little Jesus' "La Magia" to Caloncho's "Optimista" that it's hard not to groove along and be happy the whole time! I had the opportunity to interview Caloncho when he opened up for Mon Laferte and Juanes during the "Amarte Tour" and apart from a lovely conversation, I asked him if he was excited for La Tocada and he said that he was and that he loves L.A. After that interview, he came back to El Paso to play at Neon Desert and his show left people who had never heard him before as fans. His combination of indie-rock, reggae and other genres is hard to resist.
I also had the opportunity to interview and see Little Jesus during Neon Desert and they too made people dance and have a good time despite the summer heat! I also got to ask them whether they were pumped for La Tocada for which they all responded with a resounding "yes"! If you have not heard them before, you will become a fan after you see them play.
I can only imagine the energy that Panteon Rocco will bring to the crowd. I have always heard it is a nothing but a good time! I can already see the crowd getting the crowd getting wild! While Molotov's music is not political, but also fun and there is nothing better than chanting along their classics like "Puto", "Frijolero" and "Yofo"! I also can't wait to see Jesse & Joy, this fantastic duo comes to la frontera often and they always put on a good show. I know for a fact that I will be found singing my heart out to "Espacio Sideral" and "No Soy Una de Esas"!
As for Camilo Septimo and Porter, their last albums were beyond good! I can only imagine how grandiose their stage presence is as well as how good their shows are. Every time they play at festivals they always draw in big crowds and I have only heard great things!
In other words, don't forget to get your Tickets for La Tocada! It's a great opportunity to see such talented and wonderful artists with such great trajectory in one day especially in the wonderful city go Los Angeles!
"During the making of this I was questioning my abilities and my sanity. The mind is a powerful thing, but making these songs were my therapy.” - Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes.
Le Butcherettes is a Mexican garage punk band that was born in 2007 in Guadalajara and is currently made up of the captivating Teri Gender Bender (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Alejandra Robles (drums), Rikardo Rodríguez-López (guitar, synths), and Marfred Rodríguez-López (bass). Le Butcherettes has recently released a video for their song spider/WAVES along with an EP called struggle/STRUGGLE. They are also currently getting ready to kick off their tour next week as they play with The Flaming Lips in Chicago.
I had the opportunity to see Le Butcherettes last year when they opened up for At The Drive In at the El Paso County Coliseum. Se me cayo la baba. Teri came out with a green one piece and red heels and as soon as the first notes were played and she began singing, it was mind-blowing. During the performance, Teri took off her green on-piece to reveal her stage staple, red dress and red tights, never distracting away from the performance. She is truly a force to be reckoned with. Not once did the energy go down and even when Teri’s keyboards fell down the show went on like nothing had happened. It was all raw energy. I could never put into words (and still cannot) how awesome seeing Le Butcherettes live was.
This past week, I had the honor to be able to have a phone interview with Teri Gender Bender, wicked front woman of Le Butcherettes. It started off with a timid “Hola” on both sides, but it soon turned into a wonderful conversation.
Throughout the years, Le Butcherettes has under gone changes with the band members so the first thing I asked Teri Gender Bender was, “who is Le Butcherettes in 2018?” She answered right away, “the band right now, is a line-up made up of all Latinos. Throughout, the years we have had a lot of different cultures within the band, but now we are talking more in Spanish and going back to our roots. We are in a good place right now. It’s about being in the moment.” It is evident the band chemistry is good and organic at the time and so far it has produced awesome content like spider/WAVES and the three versions of struggle/STRUGGLE.
Talking about their latest singles, I asked Teri to walk me through spider/WAVES, including the music video because Le Butcherettes is known for using a lot of symbolism and metaphors within their work and after watching the music video many times there is no doubt it is full of them.
Previously, Teri mentioned that she wore a Chichimeccan warrior outfit in honor of her grandmother, but I asked her about the rest of the video like regarding the milk-filled tub she was in as well as other scenes. Teri laughed, “according to myself, when I am alone in the video I am trying to be a mannequin, but there are also bad people there that want to hurt me. I don’t have my parents taking care of me at this point.” She then started explaining that the milk in the video is a nasty substance that she is drowning in as part of the bigger meaning of the video. “There is a point in the video where I am in the car with three dead bodies. They happen to be the bodies of my band mates and I am this stuck with guilt and it represents the guilt I carry and one carries. There is a spider in the video and I am scared of spiders, but making this video was cathartic and it helped me channel and deal with a rage I was feeling inside."
Teri Gender Bender, has always had most control over the creative process when it comes to producing her music. It was always mostly she, her songs and a producer. Yet, there is something different about the new material and I asked her how the process for this latest EP differs from Le Butcherette’s previous work, especially since the band is now signed to Rise Records.
“Normally, I would write the songs and then once they were done I would give the band members their own parts, but this time it was different. When I worked on my songs with Jerry Harrison (producer and member of The Talking Heads) it was a new experience. He is a genius! Es un cabron, un maestro! He taught me to be patient. He taught me that it is okay to be stuck on the same song for five hours as long as the process is going right. During the making of this I was questioning my abilities and my sanity. The mind is powerful, but making these songs were my therapy.”
At the beginning of the interview I told Teri that I don’t always have the honor to interview a Latina front woman and as a final question I asked her what her experience with the music industry has been as a woman and as someone who has had control of her work. “I think that in order to have a project and grow, there has to be uncomfortable conversations with your team. Talking is key. At the beginning, I would let people step on me and use me like a “towel”." Teri mentioned that she, however, became assertive in her project decisions and communicates often what she needs. She said that as a business woman it is okay to micro-manage. “Do what you have to do.”
I want to give a big thank you to Teri Gender Bender for this interview. Follow up on what the band has going on under @lebutcherettes on Instagram! Stay tuned for some awesome new things!
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.