LAMC Entry #2: Don't you see we're having a moment here?

I spoke too soon about being able to successfully navigate the city because the first thing I did Thursday morning was get lost. And at the Port Authority subway station, no less! That place is massive and confusing to someone operating on little sleep and zero coffee. I still made it to the hotel in time for my interview with Furland, who are the nicest guys, by the way. It was the band’s first time in New York and their first time playing in the States and they were very excited.

Right after that, I had another interview lined up with the lovely Ana Tijoux. We looked for a quiet place to chat, and ended up sitting at a piano. Tijoux asked me to play a little something, to which I gladly obliged. (I play a mean “Yankee Doodle.”) We talked about her music and collaborations, and the conversation eventually ended up on the topic of extraterrestrials, which I won’t get into right now. You’ll have to wait until I post the interview.

Later, I met up with the guys from Chico Mann for a quick chat about their music and the world they create with that music. It’s a world you want to inhabit, trust me. After a quick granola bar break, I tracked down Los Rakas, the most sought after act of the day. Though the dynamic duo must have been tired from their marathon of interviews, they still had a great energy and I could tell they had a genuine passion for their music.

Then I mistakenly walked by the Jack Daniel's table and, well, it was free, so I got some straight up before heading in to catch the last part of the From Colombia to Coachella, Mexico City to Tokyo: Latin Alternative’s Global Rise in the Touring Market panel. And, being the poor vegan that I am, and having only had a bowl of cereal and a granola bar that day, I got a nice little buzz right away.

Photos by JP Abello

The acoustic showcase at Le Poisson Rouge, where I met up with JP, was a little awkward because the bands only played two songs each. La Bien Querida was up first and, before I knew it, she was leaving the stage. We also caught performances from Locos Por Juana, Alex Cuba, Jumbo, The Pinker Tones, Sol Okarina, Los Punsetes, San Pascualito Rey (there was a Jamiroquai hat involved for this one, and it was very distracting), Furland, and Moderatto. Yes, Moderatto played an acoustic set, and it was not was bad as it sounds. It was actually kind of awesome. And Jay de la Cueva, or Brian Amadeus Moderatto, or whatever you want to call him, was sporting a big, scraggly beard and giving me a total Charlie Day vibe (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, anyone?). I seriously thought it he was going to bust out the Green Man suit.

When we got to Bowery Ballroom, the stage was still being set up, so we headed upstairs to chill in a cozy little nook, or, as JP put it, the baby-making alcove. But our space was invaded by a group of people who could not see we were having a moment (read: tweeting about having a moment). So, we headed back downstairs just in time for a performance by Los Rakas, a great way to get the show started. Also performing were Afro Cuban Punk, La Bien Querida, and Isa GT, who, in her leggings and leopard print jacket, got the crowd dancing to her M.I.A.-esque beats. But the real show that night, at least for me, and by the looks and sound of it, for a lot of other folks, too, was Mexican Institute of Sound. Best way to end the night that I can think of.