The Insider’s Guide to LAMC 2012: the movers, shakers, and the artists who matter
Ana Tijoux is ready for you.
By NURIA NET
Summer in NYC. The Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) is about to start. Bilingual bands, big and small, play all week. I asked my “colleagues in the industry” (i.e. my friends, those who I wish were my friends, and artists, managers, and journalists) to complete the following survey so we can get a #conversation started about “the scene.” Here, they answer those age-old questions such as “where is the hottest after-party?” (Hint: stalk the people below on Twitter.)
Clear trends emerged from this completely biased sample: we all love Calle 13, Mala Rodríguez, Ana Tijoux, and the country of Chile.
Univision News contributor Ed Morales suggested I start a band called Colleagues in the Industry, and I just might. Auditions will be held at the New Yorker Hotel this Thursday and Friday, but just know: you must sing your favorite non-Latin alternative song acapella…translated into Spanish. That is alternative.
Official lineup: latinalternative.com
LAMC 2012 Mixtape (20 free songs from iTunes): Remezcla.com
Ulises Lozano / Keys, accordion of Kinky / MONTERREY & LOS ANGELES
How many times have you been at LAMC? Three. Our first time in 2000 was our international launching pad and the first time we had the chance to play outside of Mexico.
Who are you excited to see? Mala Rodriguez, Calle 13, Ximena Sariñana and many more.
Who do you wish would be here? Molotov.
Monika Fabian / Freelance writer / THE BOOGIE DOWN BRONX, NYC
How many times have you been at LAMC? Four or five.
Who are you excited to see? 3Ball MTY, Las Acevedo, La Santa Cecilia, Adrianigual, and Alex Anwandter. I’m also looking forward to seeing Xenia Rubinos (who’s local, yes, but I haven’t had a chance to catch her live yet).
Who do you wish would be here? Edson Velandia, Fakuta, Matias Aguayo, Tony Gallardo II/Maria y Jose, Kumbia Queers.
What does alternative sound like to you? It’s more a sensibility or a set of sensibilities than a particular sound. There’s the hybrid/fusion type. Then there’s the economic kind—which tends to be independent (non-corporate, non-commercial), often DIY music. But there’s also the alternative that springs from a sense of freedom from cultural, economic, gender and/or societal constraints that dictate what music should sound like.
When does alternative become mainstream? When it makes its way to morning television and/or awards shows. Those are two tell-tale signs.
Juan Data /DJ Juan Data / Bondi Blaster / Stronghold Sound / Remezcla / The Hard Data / Press Junkie PR - OAKLAND, CA
How do you describe your style? Equal Opportunity Offender.
How many times have you been at LAMC? Four.
Why are you here? Meet a lot of people I work with/for for the first time face to face.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? DJ Raff.
Who do you wish would be here? Koxmoz.
Ed Morales / Univision News / NEW YORK
How do you describe your style? Psychedelic urban bilingual.
How many times have you been at LAMC? Almost all of them.
What is your mission at LAMC? Find new stories, avoid old ones, finally attend a panel I like.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Mala, Ana, René, Eduardo, Ximena.
Who do you wish would be here? Systema Solar, Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, Maluca, Cultura Profética, Robi Draco Rosa
What does alternative sound like to you? Punk, hip-hop, electro-indigenous, syncopated, suelto como gabete.
When does alternative become mainstream? When its quality forces the mainstream to accept musical innovation.
Alejo Angee / Drummer, Minimal / MIAMI
How do you describe your style? Styles change so often, I am usually late to choose….
How many times have you been at LAMC? Four.
Why are you here?I love to discover new artists, and occasionally complain about the almost deplorable state of Latin Alternative Music in the U.S. of A. today.
Who are you excited to see? Carla Morrison, Calle 13, Kinky, and La Vida Boheme.
Who do you wish would be here? Monsieur Perine (Colombia), Bigott (Spain), Neon Indian (US).
When does alternative become mainstream? All alternative music has the potential to become mainstream (bands and artists like Cafe Tacuba, Calle 13, M.I.A. or the Beastie Boys have proven that.) Sometimes you get some stuff that sounds revolutionary (like when Cafe Tacuba’s RE came out) and it genuinely catches on through word of mouth, touring, music conferences, etc. But ultimately, marketing and support from big players has more to do with it. If the artist has some brands use them for commercial advertisements, or if they manage to get some support from a label with some remaining power, then a heavy process of “mainstreamization” does begin to take place…
Karlo X. Ramos / Staff Photographer, LAMC / DALLAS, TX
How many times have you been at LAMC? This is my 3rd year in a row working with the LAMC.
Why are you here? My mission here is to create photos and visual content that help communicate the experience of the LAMC both to the public and the sponsors that work hand in hand making LAMC possible each year.
Who are you excited to see? Last May after watching and shooting Calle 13’s show for the first time in Austin at Pachanga Fest, I was blown away by the live show. I would like to see Monica Lionheart, Alex Anwandter and Carla Morrison.
Who do you wish would be here? I really miss my friends from Puerto Rico Los Petardos!, Davila 666, Circo, Las Ardillas. On the international side I wish I could see El Columpio Asesino, Las Robertas, Banda de Turistas, Torreblanca, Afrodita, Los Claveles, Los Planetas,Los Negretes, Los Romanticos de Zacatecas, Los Foder Mokers. Anyway I have to stop here this is starting to look like “The KarloFest” lineup LOL.
Isabela Raygoza / Music Editor, Remezcla / Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC
How do you describe your style? Eclectic, bohemian, alt rock Latina.
How many times have you been at LAMC? It will be my 2nd time :)
What is your mission at LAMC? To discover exciting and unfamiliar acts — to shed light via media on new and thriving artists. To see who’s really in the game of the Latin Alternative scene as a whole.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Calle 13, 3Ball MTY, Kinky, Ana Tijoux, Javiera Mena, Cero39, Adrianigual, Alex Anwandter, etc. So many!!
Who do you wish would be here? Manu Chao, Astro, Rey Pila, Kali Mutsa, Juan Cirerol, Céu, CSS.
What does alternative sound like to you? Mixing and remixing sounds, new and traditional. It’s an umbrella covering tons of different styles.
Pamela Rodriguez /Songwriter-singer-musician-painter / Venezuela, Peru, Spain
How do you describe your style? Organic pop music.
How many times have you been at LAMC?This is going to be my first time at the conference. Really looking forward to it.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Im excited to see everybody. I am going to every concert that I can. There is people that I already know that I want to see; and people that I don’t that I am looking forward to discover.
Who do you wish would be here? My 3-year-old daughter Luana.
Armando Bellmas / Producer/Writer / CHARLOTTE, NC
How do you describe your style? None whatsoever.
How many times have you been at LAMC? First time.
Why are you here? To meet people who share a passion for the music.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Gepe, La Vida Boheme, Calle 13, Ana Tijoux.
What does alternative sound like to you?Alternative is just that, an option outside of the mainstream for those who seek to connect with something different and deeper.
When does alternative become mainstream? When more people make the connection. The music doesn’t change (hopefully), only the public’s acceptance of it. LOVE when that happens.
Porfirio Piña / Senior Director, BMI / LONG ISLAND CITY, NY
How many times have you been at LAMC? Attended all of them.
What is your mission at LAMC? To inform artists, songwriters, managers about performing rights and BMI. Network and listen to new bands/artists.
Who are you excited to see? Calle 13, La Mala Rodriguez, Carla Morrison.
Who do you wish would be here? Francisca Valenzuela.
When does alternative become mainstream? When it reaches the Billboard charts and there is interest by the major labels (the three that are left.)
More: I wonder how a commercial radio (SBS, Univision, Clear Channel) station will do in revenue and audience if they would program at least a 4 hour latin alternative show?
Alex Anwandter / SANTIAGO DE CHILE
How many times have you been at LAMC? First time.
Why are you here? To show NY what my version of Chilean pop is all about.
Who are you excited to see? All my Chilean artist friends who will be there.
Who do you wish would be here? Juan Gabriel, even if he’s not too alternative.
What does alternative sound to you? Music that not everyone things is all right to do (yet).
When does alternative become mainstream? When it doesn’t surprise.
More: “Start spreadin’ the news… (tap tap tarara) “
Yuzzy Acosta / H.M.I.C Eclectic Media / NEW YORK
How do you describe your style? Eclectic with a punk rock soul.
How many times have you been at LAMC? 13 times counting this one.
What is your mission at LAMC? To introduce Peruvian chanteuse Pamela Rodriguez to the U.S.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Carla Morrison, Calle 13 only cause I’ve never seen them live (I know…last person on Earth to do so), the acoustic showcase & all my friends & colleagues.
Who do you wish would be here? would love to see the emerging bands from Chile, (The Ganjas, Pontiac, Astro, amongst many.) This country has a long tradition of crafting cutting edge talent and interesting sounds. In general I’m always interested in seeing more of the new, less of the old established talent.
My tip: For those attending, please remember to respect the performers, by not talking your butt out while they are pouring their hearts out on stage during their performance. It is plain disrespectful. And don’t forget the cardinal rules of surviving the conference: strong coffee in the morning, wear comfortable tennis shoes, and hydrate…Have a great LAMC!
Ao Logics / Emcee, ArtOfficial / MIAMI
How do you describe your style? A live hip-hop band with jazz and funk elements thrown in the mix.
How many times have you been at LAMC? This will be our first time.
Who are you excited to see ? Ana Tijoux. We just did a show with her here in Miami. Great artist.
Who do you wish would be here? Manu Chao.
More: Check us out at LAMC on Wednesday at Mercury Lounge at 9pm. We’re all about bringing that energy and funk to our shows. We’re the square peg in the round hole. It’s definitely going to be different and fun.
Describe your style: Alternative to the Alternative.
Why are you here? To create more awareness for the groups that were invited: La Santa Cecilia and Carla Morrison.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Ana Tijoux is always awesome. Not anybody in particular but that’s why it’s exciting — finding good new stuff.
Who do you wish would be here? Guadalupe Plata — one of the best live acts I’ve seen in ages.
What does alternative sound like to you? It can be anything as long as the artist and the team has a DIY ethic and uses their imagination to overcome budgetary shortfalls.
When does alternative become mainstream? When you stop doing the above. It’s natural to evolve and that is the nature of what an artist does but if you can’t strap on an acoustic guitar to play a song for someone because you haven’t done that in years — using indie or alternative as a way of describing yourself is no longer accurate.
More: It’s important to have forums such a LAMC and the upcoming TriTone Music Festival because it’s important to remind the public and press that this music is by in large wildly imaginative and passionate.
I laugh when I hear things like “music is boring” or “rock is dead.” The notion of listening to music in only one language is dead. Once you get over whatever preconceived notions that people have about alternative music sung in a different language you get not only a great reservoir of new music but you get a better sense of yourself and community in this big world.
Claire Frisbie / BAM, Club Fonograma contributor, melómana sin causa / BROOKLYN
Describe your style: Colorful, patterned, layered (that goes for clothing and musical preferences).
How many times have you been at LAMC? This will be my 8th LAMC (!!!).
Why are you here? As always, I’m here to see new music and old friends. My mission this year is to catch up on my Chilean slang and dance tribal. And hopefully NOT lose my voice in the process.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? 3Ball MTY, Adrianigual, Alex Anwandter, Ulises Hadjis, Cero39.
Who do you wish would be here? Astro. Protistas. Algodón Egipcio. Rebolledo.
What does alternative sound like to you? The 90s. I think we can all agree “Latin Alternative” is an antiquated term, but it’s the name of the conference, so what are you gonna do? What was once “alternative” is now “indie,” right?
Xenia Rubinos / Artist / BROOKLYN, NY
Describe your style: Alternative beat pop.
How many times have you been at LAMC? This is my first time.
Why are you here? To learn about all the innovations that people are making in Latin music, and to hear new music and artists I’ve never seen. I’m also here to play and proudly represent Brooklyn, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Napoli and the music I write.
Who are you excited to see? I am excited to be sharing the stage with La Santa Cecilia at our indie showcase at the Mercury Lounge; also looking forward to catching Ana Tijoux.
Who do you wish would be here? Los Cojolites from Jaltipan, Veracruz, Mexico - my good friend, talented filmmaker Armando Croda, introduced me to their music recently. They make the hairs on my arm stand up. To me, their music sounds like what it is to be alive.
Gabo Rodriguez . Supercrush Studio / Solo Dame Indie Pop! / BROOKLYN
Why are you here? I organize the unofficial showcase called “Solo Dame Indie Pop!”. It’s our 4th year, so we want to keep doing this, for sure!
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Alex Anwandter, Adrianigual, Javiera Mena, all the Chillean crew!
Who do you wish would be here? Astro, Los Planetas, La Habitación Roja, El Columpio Asesino
What does alternative sound like to you? Sounds like an outdated term.
When does alternative become mainstream? When you hear your favorite band on the new car commercial. I imagine artists have to find new ways to make a living, with the whole piracy and all.
Marlon Bishop / Staff Writer, MTV Iggy / BROOKLYN, NY
Describe your style: Calm and collected urbanite on the outside, ancient warrior wielding sword of fire on the inside.
How many times have you been at the LAMC: 4!
Why are you here? As a writer who specializes in covering the Latin scene, the LAMC is my chance to get a zillion in-person interviews with the top artists around today in just a few days. So I’ll be the dude running around with a microphone, haplessly chasing artists around the New Yorker Hotel. I’m also here because it’s hella fun and I get to see friends and associates from all over the country/world who come through for the occasion.
Who are you excited to see at the LAMC this year: I’m excited about Carla Morrison. 3Ball MTY because it’s their New York debut and they represent this new generation of futuristic kids who are totally changing the Latin pop and electronic paradigms, and it’s going to be wild. And I’m excited to see Uruguay’s Martin Buscaglia.
Who do you wish would be here? Chile’s Astro, Juan Cirerol from Mexico, who plays Norteño,and Rita Indiana, because she is the best thing ever and we desperately need some Caribe representing this year.
What does alternative sound like to you? I think the mainstream in general is less powerful than ever, making the whole idea of “alternative” music kind of silly. Alternative to what? There’s a lot of music to get excited about in the world today, let’s hear it all.
When does alternative become mainstream? When they put me on the radio, doing experimental rap in Portuguese over bird calls.
Natalia Linares / conrazón / BROOKLYN
Describe your style: Bold, purple, wacky and natural.
How many times have you been at LAMC? 5 (3 Years working it; 2 years attending with artists Los Rakas + Zuzuka Poderosa.)
Why are you here? Spread the word about NYC rock band Outernational’s new video “We Are All Illegals,” Los Rakas upcoming project electronic/dance-centric release “Raka Party,” and Zuzuka Poderosa’s “Carioca Bass” EP. Also to reconnect with friends and colleagues from all over the world. Also would love to see my old boss, Tomas Cookman.
Who are you excited to see? Mala Rodriguez at SOB’s with Los Rakas because it’s such a classic place to see Hip-Hop in NYC (I saw Kanye West’s first solo show there, por ejemplo) and at Summerstage, of course. Also Xenia Rubinos at Bembe on Saturday and 3Ball MTY at SOB’s on Friday the 13th joining the very creative Venus X for my series #FUTUREROOTS. I also really wanna see my friends Las Cafeteras live finally! Also after booking Ana Tijoux at NYC for an all-female hip-hop line-up, it’s exciting to see she’ll be performing on Celebrate Brooklyn!’s stage!
Who do you wish would be here? Systema Solar, Paco Mendoza, Mima, Milka La Mas Dura, Jiggy Drama
I listed all my events going on during the conference here: JOIN ME!
Katia “Katro” Rodriguez / Creative Director, Remezcla.com / BROOKLYN
How many times have you been at LAMC? Just once!
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Looking forward to all the showcases and the conference, plus we have something very exciting in our booth this year so stop by!
Who do you wish would be here? Astro, Rey Pila, Quiero Club, She’s a Tease, Sybil Vane, El columpio asesino!!
What does alternative sound like to you? Undefinable. As Matt Barbot put it on our spread in the LAMC magazine, “Marcando Pauta.” Everyone is trying to define what Latin Alternative means instead of embracing the complex and unconventional ways music is evolving and merging into new genres and sub-genres.
Marissa Lopez / Director, Latin Writer/Publisher Relations, BMI / ARLETA, CA
How many times have you been at LAMC? 8
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Many: Pamela Rodriguez, Carla Morrison, Gepe, La Santa Cecilia, Alex Anwandter, Javiera Mena, LVB, and Ana Tijoux.
Who do you wish would be here? Monsieur Periné — they are a wonderful Colombian band that I saw at SXSW. They were one of the highlights from the conference.
What does alternative sound to you? Good question. What is alternative? Is it anything alternative to commercial music? Because if that’s the case then anything pop or hip-hop would not be considered alternative.
I feel as though we have lumped everything from rock to singer-songwriter, or folk to pop or tropical to hip-hop. Yes, perhaps the band/artist is non-traditional to the genre but it still is within that genre. I feel as though we aren’t giving the music the opportunity it deserves by lumping it all into Latin Alternative. I would say collectively we should take a look at what we are calling the different types of genres being called Latin Alternative — I feel as the music continues to evolve so does the definition and terms.
Monica Lionheart / Singer-songwriter, Pacha Massive, Zigmat / NEW YORK CITY
Describe your style: Bilingual electro-acoustic.
Why are you here? Attending LAMC is a celebration of music. It’s an experience designed for the artist, the industry and the public of any taste and origin to gain aptitude for the alternative.
Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Carla Morrison @ The Gramercy Theatre.
(Photo: Inti Gajardo, Facebook.com/anitatijoux)