When taking a multi-city trip, travel snags are almost sure to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise when one of my flights was delayed as I headed into Austin from Mexico City. Rushing from Nrmal Fest to the music portion of SXSW, I wasn’t necessarily prepared to be stuck on the tarmac for four hours but being in the same plane with Argentine rockers La Beriso, along with dozens of groupies, put my weekend into perspective.
Hours later, and after finally managing to find a ride to downtown Austin, I find myself in Bush Square Park for the first showcase of the day we’ll be covering, Sounds from Spain. This is the tenth consecutive year this cultural platform takes place at SXSW and I was ready to dive into the music, as well as the food.
Now known as ‘The Paella Day Party,’ let me tell you, the long line to get into the showcase was nothing compared to the line for the paella and it was totally worth the wait. After enjoying a taste of the deliciousness, the succulent aroma seemed to waft all around us, filling the entire area and, yes, I’m guilty of eventually getting pulled back into the hour-long waiting line to get more. In those brief moments of culinary satisfaction, music was forgotten… but not escaped.
This lineup of superbly diverse musicians allowed the attendees to immerse themselves in a variety of sounds, especially from artists making strides across Spain. The brilliant performances were full of explosive sounds and an overall energy so contagious we were all united in dancing, non-stop jumping and laughing all the way through to the ending beat of Triángulo de Amor Bizarro’s last song. By five o’clock that afternoon, the vibrant spirit from the Sounds of Spain showcase set the overall mood for the entire day. What a way to start our SXSW experience!
Luckily, we managed to chat with some of the bands that had just performed. They had huge smiles on theirs faces and were so engaging when showing their appreciation to the crowd.
Here’s a little recap of my interviews with some of the bands and artists I spoke with at the Sounds of Spain tent. Make sure to like our Ondas Chicago page on Facebook to keep updated on our upcoming SXSW 2017 podcast recap. There’s just so much!
I spoke with Carlos Pereiro of Novedades Carminha, a garage-punk rock band formed in Galicia in 2007 who told us a bit about the band’s experience. Their latest album “Campeones Del Mundo” is by the far the lighter one in comparison with past works since with the band’s evolution there is a new feel which beautifully pays tribute to retro sounds.
“We arrived three days ago and have been received with a very positive response from the public. We’re also definitely excited and feeling the anticipation for our upcoming shows in Mexico City and then we head back to Spain where we’ll be touring in cities like Valencia, Zaragoza and Granada throughout the month of April,” explains Pereiro.
We also discussed their video, “Ritmo En La Sangre,” which caused major controversy and was highly criticized in Spain. It was even censored from certain social media outlets because of its explicit sexual scenes.
“We’ve always had criticism about our music videos and negative and positive reviews are shared. But, what we do with our music is for the public… a public who always welcomes us as if we were in our own home. That feeling of that ‘happy place’ is what we try to express during our set where ‘siempre es verano,’ he tells me with a smile.
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro
If you missed the magnificent debut performance from Triángulo de Amor Bizarro at Ruido Fest, wow did you miss out!
This post-punk, indie rock band from Galicia came together in 2004 and if you didn’t guess by now, their name comes from the New Order song “Bizarre Love Triangle.” Their most recent album, “Salve Discordia,” has been highly acclaimed and won numerous awards. They actually started 2017 with an award given by the Association of Music Journalists in Spain confirming their last release as Record of the Year. And infamous bloggers from Rock en las Americas say that, “Salve Discordia confirms Triángulo de Amor Bizarro as the band of this decade.” They’re just that awesome and it was one of my favorite performances of the showcase.
In Austin, they performed all over the festival including shows at Lucille’s, Hotel Vegas and The Blackheart. I spoke with Isabel Cea, the band’s bass player and co-vocalist, about their success and accolades.
“Yes, as you mentioned, this year we have won many, many awards… so many that we leave them lined up on top of the counters in our mother’s homes,” she laughs. “So far our experience in the festival has been very stimulating and being surrounded with all these amazing bands and this crowd, who might not know even who we are, give us the passion and even more reason to be on our game and be more energetic.”
We also spoke about the band’s creation process, and the type of sound they’re trying to create, maintain and innovate.
“The fluidity and spontaneity of our music process, even though Rodrigo takes charge for the most part, is to maintain that feel of classic rock during rehearsals. This way, when we are up on the stage, we are able to give it our all. There is no faking and its pure energy until the very last note. Our music demands that from us,” she says.
And that, my friends, is the recap of my time at the Sounds of Spain showcase. I’ll have the nitty gritty details of everything that happened at the showcase on our next Ondas Chicago podcast. Stay tuned!
A special THANK YOU to Rocio for making this all possible.