LAMC Entry #1: Go ahead and enjoy each other!

New York City is like one giant oven right now. Seriously, I could bake bread out here (the vegan kind, of course). The east coast heat wave may be due to science, or whatever, but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s because of the Latin Alternative Music Conference. I arrived at the Roosevelt Hotel Wednesday afternoon to pick up my badge, and there were LAMC posters everywhere. The masked wrestler was amusingly out of place inthe midst of the hotel décor, and the entire mezzanine level was crawling with Carlos’ brethren (the hipster cholos).

With the badge around my neck and swag bag on my shoulder, I headed down to the hotel bar, where folks were gathered to watch the Spain vs. Germany game. This turned out to be a wise decision because, however begrudgingly I now support Spain, they played a beautiful game and the folks in the bar were giddy about the win.

Later in the evening, I headed over to Central Park and met up with my photographer, JP, to see Ana Tijoux, El Guincho, and Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich + Fussible on the SummerStage. Unfortunately, the show’s early start time meant the crowd was sparse at first. Ana Tijoux still killed it and was a total sweetheart about it – an admirable skill. “Sube” was a crowd-pleaser, as was “1977,” for which Tijoux invited two Brazilian percussionist friends on stage to jam with her. Then El Guincho got everyone in the summer spirit, not that we really needed it in the 100 degree weather. He played the hits in his short shorts (bless those Europeans) and at one point, he and his band got really (like, really) into the music. Afterwards El Guincho apologized saying that it had been a while since they had played together and they were just enjoying each other. To which I said, go ahead and enjoy each other!

Then nightfall came, things cooled down, and Nortec Collective began setting up. As soon as I saw their robot computer control center, I knew it was going to be good because how can anything involving a robot computer control center not be good? Dudes were playing iPads all nonchalant-like! The band’s energy was amazing and infectious and soon there was an all out dance party in Central Park.

Photos by JP Abello

After that amazing set, I rushed over to Mercury Lounge to catch the second half of the indie showcase. When I got there, Furland was setting up. I think this is the part where I reveal my fangirldom. Everything I say from here on out concerning Furland will be dripping with praise, so bear with me. They just played such a great show! And little Sergio was so I-just-want-to-pinch-your-cheeks adorable. I felt like a proud mama. San Pascualito Rey followed with a crowd-energizing set of what I’m going to call dad rock, and Chico Mann closed the night with a stirring set of Afro Cuban electronic jams that I wish more folks had stuck around for because the band is bringing some fresh sounds to the scene. But I guess it was a weeknight and people have to work in the morning, or whatever. Also, you should all be very proud of me because I managed to navigate the city all day without getting lost once. Success!