Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Music: Grupo Fantasma, Mike Herrera, and Bomba Estereo in town

Readers of HispanicNashville.com might appreciate these live performances in Nashville from three very different out-of-town musicians:

Bomba Estereo, last night at Mai (my bad; sorry about the late notice)
Mike Herrera, this Wednesday, May 4, 8pm at Exit/In
Grupo Fantasma, next Thursday, May 12, 8pm at Exit/In

Bomba Estereo in the studio. Photo by 100% Café de Colombia. Licensed via Creative Commons.
Anyone go to see the Colombian duo Bomba Estereo at Mai last night? Their music sounded pretty good on the Internet; I'm sure it was 1000 times better live. If you check out the tour dates on their web site, you'll see Nashville's sister city in Argentina on the list - these folks get around. Too bad I noticed the writeup in the print edition of the Scene last week but didn't publish it here in time. I have to admit that I was distracted by the giddily defiant writing of Sean Maloney's three-paragraph screed against the backwards tendencies at Legislative Plaza (read it yourself - starting with "If our, um, esteemed state legislature is any indication — and dear God, let's hope it's not — Americans at the moment are far more interested in stocking their bunkers with assault weapons and Andy Griffith DVDs, making bogeymen out of major religions and polishing their tinfoil hats, than engaging in dialogues with different cultures," and ending with "Something tells us Bomba Estéreo will feel right at home." Seriously, put my site down and read those three paragraphs right now.)

Mike Herrera performing in Brazil. Photo by Alexandre Cardoso. Licensed via Creative Commons.
Also coming to town is Mike Herrera, of MxPx and Tumbledown, doing a solo gig Wednesday at Exit/In. What you need to know about Herrera: he has some Mexico in his blood, Tumbledown counts among its influences "Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash," and Herrera is Christian, as are most of MxPx, but they don't like to be called a Christian band. Dude, I think you are going to fit in just fine in Nashville.

Mike Herrera plays Wednesday, May 4, 8pm at Exit/In

Finally, there is Grammy Award winner Grupo Fantasma, next Thursday. They've played with Prince, they've been heard on HBO's Weeds - they are more famous than you are, by far - but you won't be jealous when you're soaking in their show. Here are the details of their upcoming Nashville gig, from the e-mail I got from David Lobel:
Thursday, May 12th, 2011 - 8pm
Exit/In - 2208 Elliston Place
$15, Warren Hood opens

Acclaimed Austin-based Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma receives their first Grammy Award, garnering “Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album” for their latest album. Released on Nat Geo Music, El Existential is being praised by critics including the Huffington Post who declared it “a sound done so right that you have to hand the crown to this group,” while Billboard states that by “tightly weaving Anglo, Afro and Latin musical genres, El Existential takes on an identity of its own.” Though this is Grupo Fantasma’s first Grammy, this was their second nomination, which they celebrated with a short tour of the Southwest. Grupo Fantasma are widely known for their energetic live shows, which NPR declares “seamless…whenever and wherever they’re on stage.” The 10-piece orchestra has received praise from The Wall Street Journal, La Opinion, and by USA Today, calling the band “Latin-funk masters.”

Brought together by Austin’s bustling music scene, Grupo Fantasma formed in 2000 and is comprised of musicians with Latin American and Texan backgrounds. Praised as one of the most important independent acts in the Latin genre, the band draws from influences including cumbia, salsa, old-school funk, reggae and more.

From the Press...

"Latin music both new and traditional...vibrant fusions that transcend easy classification" –Wall Street Journal

“Seamless…whenever and wherever they’re on stage.” – NPR

“One of the sickest live bands ever” – Philadelphia Weekly

“Real musicians playing real music.” – Prince

"An orgy of creative musicianship" - San Francisco Weekly

“One of the decade’s most important artists in the Latin genre.” – All Music Guide

“They’ll knock you down with the grooves.” – The Village Voice

“The ten members of Grupo Fantasma represent a new generation in Latin music.” – Washington Post

“Listening to Grupo Fantasma is like watching the Iron Chef at work; they create a sprawling feast for the ears.” – Boston Phoenix

"Grupo Fantasma was as tight as one would expect from a band that routinely backs up Prince" -LA Weekly

“Famous for their incendiary live shows.” – Toronto Sun

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