Hi there! Welcome to a new installment of The Setlist, the only weekly column showcasing all the best live music to see in The City That Never Sleeps But Does Kind Of Zone Out as it Stares Blankly Ahead at the Back of the Next Person’s Neck in a Crowded Colectivo.
The only thing that makes up for the end of the long weekend is the short working week that results directly from it, and that’s the blissful situation we find ourselves in this time around. So hey, don’t let it go to waste! Don’t just hang around your living room in your underwear rewatching old episodes of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (which, by the way, some blessed soul has uploaded to Youtube in its entirety). Get out there and see some live music! There is so much good stuff to see!
Oh, hey, and a quick reminder: Evy will be representing The Setlist as a judge at POMO, Distrito de Arte‘s new battle of the bands Zona Roja Cup tonight, and every other Wednesday thereafter. Gosh, who doesn’t love a good Battle of the Bands? The sound of guitar chords, drum fills and nervousness amplified by the competitive angle. Go check it out; you might just find your new favorite band.
Wednesday | August 23
Multifaceted Mexican songstress Natalia Lafourcade returns for the second of three shows in Buenos Aires promoting her latest album Musas. Having just attended the first of these shows last night, and having still not completely come off of the high generated by the level of songcraft, showmanship and sheer joy put on display over the course of her two-hour set, we can’t recommend this show enough. If this is a bit too short-notice for you (or somewhat out of your price range), worry not; there’s also a free show at Centro Cultural Kirchner just around the corner. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for details on that!
9 PM | AR $700 | La Trastienda | Balcarce 460
Thursday | August 24
Sticking to the theme of pint-sized female singers with mighty voices, Córdoba’s own Fly Fly Caroline — an incredible band that mixes hard-rock song structures and instrumentation with ear-candy arrangements that feature dramatic strings and electronic flourishes — return to Buenos Aires for a free show at the cúpula at Centro Cultural Kirchner. With support from Bambú, they’ll be featuring songs from their excellent self-titled debut. Soaring vocals! Loud guitars! String sections that make certain songs sound like they should be taking place at the top of a mountain while two giant dragons duke it out in the background!
8 PM | FREE | Centro Cultural Kirchner | Sarmiento 151
Friday | August 25
Do you want to just dance yourself silly to the sound of heavily processed synth lines, drum machines, and syncopated handclaps? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? The inaugural edition of Ciclo Asteroide is exactly what you’re looking for. This line-up, made up of stalwarts and up-and-comers of the electro-pop scene, features the blippy, faulty-signal sounds of Diosque, the Krautrock (emphasis on the rock)-inspired sounds of Montevideo’s Sante Les Amis, the irresistible synth-pop of Coiffeur, and the up-tempo sounds of Rayos Láser.
Midnight | AR $200 | Ciudad Cultural Konex | Sarmiento 3131
Ciclo Abismal returns with its fifth edition, showcasing some of the most out-there sounds of the indie underground in Buenos Aires; Mujercitas Terror‘s impossibly catchy goth-punk, Los Acidos‘s trippy Zabriskie Point psychedelia, Dios‘s manic post-punk paranoia, and La Noche Que Estuve a Punto de Morir‘s dark, psychobilly-tinged sounds. Why not take a trip down the darker recesses of the human psyche? I hear they have good drinks there.
11 PM | AR $80 | Espacio Cultural Mi Casa | Agüero 787
If you’re in the mood for something a bit less, um, unhinged, here’s a folk-rock threefer of carefully composed, emotionally resonant singer-songwriter fare. Agustín Donati, David Amado and Tarsitano — three guys who lowkey look like different evolutions of the same Pokémon — come together for the very first time for a night of beautiful melodies, diminished seventh chords, and facial hair that toes the dangerous line between scruffy and kempt.
11:30 PM | AR $100 | Club de Música | Paraguay 5519
Aw, hey, speaking of Pokémon! Los Charmanders play a blend of 90s indie rock with a post-millennial attitude, featuring guitar lines reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. on top of melodies that sound like they could have been written by Stephen Malkmus. Las Edades, meanwhile, have a more lumbering sound, with jagged guitar lines that cut through the rhythmic ornateness of some of their songs. And of course, there’s longtime Setlist favorites Krupoviesa, who live in the intersection between manic, bursting-at-the-seams punk rock and 80s-nostalgia chiptune. Together, they make up a hell of a lineup. Loud, silly and fun. Is this not the essence of rock’n’roll? Ridiculousness taken seriously? Knowing that your decibels actually aren’t audible from space, but refusing to acknowledge it?
10 PM | AR $100 | Club Plasma | Piedras 1856
Saturday | August 26
Singer-songwriters María Pien and Jeaninne Martin, both operating in the outer edges of the folk genre (or perhaps the exact point where folk becomes anti-folk; that distinction was never particularly clear to us), join forces to deliver what promises to be one of the prettiest nights of music of the year. We mean this in two different ways: one, each ladies’ respective songbook is positively littered with beautiful, wistful melodies; and two, it will literally be pretty to look at, as the night will feature live illustrations by Tatiana Catelani that will be projected onto the stage.
9 PM | AR $120 | Espacio Tbk | Trelles 2033
Sunday | August 27
Boom Boom Kid (or, more precisely, Carlos Rodriguez) is a lot of things. Alternative rock icon, noted iconoclast, animal rights activist, indecipherable scatter. But y’know, mostly, he’s just fun. Even if seeing his shows and catching a glimpse at the largely teenaged audience might make you feel helplessly old, there’s something to be said about a performer who can make us all feel the irrepressible excitement of a teenager at a punk show. Even if you can’t quite tell if what he’s singing is in Spanish, English, Portuguese, or an in-between.
6 PM | AR $200 | Groove | Av. Santa Fe 4389
Tuesday | August 29
Get classy with some jazz at POMO. Juan Savizki Grupo brings their blend of Prohibition-era jazz and funkier stylings so you can kiss August goodbye with style.
9 PM | Free | POMO Distrito de Arte | Santa Rosa 5157
And we bookend this edition of The Setlist with Natalia Lafourcade and her wide-ranging mix of traditional Mexican rhythms, turn-of-the-century pop-rock and more obscure avant garde stylings, all performed masterfully with an incredible band of musicians. If you want to attend this free show at CCK, you need to act quick: tickets become available tomorrow, Thursday 24th, at the CCK website, and they are bound to run out fast. Don’t let it pass you by. She’s so good, you guys.
8 PM | FREE | Centro Cultural Kirchner | Sarmiento 151