Welcome, boys and girls, to yet another installment of The Setlist, the only weekly column shining a spotlight on the weird, wonderful world of the Porteño underground music scene. We hope you got to enjoy some of that little splash of springtime in the middle of our winter, as it’s likely to return to grey, rainy dreariness for the next couple of days. But nevermind the weather! Here at The Setlist, we get our fix of vitamin D from the combination of neon bar lights, smoke machines, guitar amplifiers and hastily strummed power chords*. There’s so much great live music to see, so let’s go see some of it!
*Note: bar lights, smoke machines, guitar amplifiers and power chords are not actually a good source of vitamin D. Consult your physician if you suffer from actual vitamin D deficiency. Seriously, don’t take medical advice from a music column. For real.
Thursday | August 10th
Start your week of music off on the right foot with this great showcase of local talent: the loud, lumbering guitar-rock of Romphonics; the perky, synthy, New-York-New-Wave sounds of Dos Lugares; and multifaceted musician Vale Sosa‘s first solo show. Also featuring DJ sets and cool exhibits by local illustrators, this shindig takes place at Naranja Verde, which has quickly grown to be one of our favorite venues in Buenos Aires. Just be sure to pay close attention to the address: the club’s entrance is an inconspicuous little door that we may or may not have walked past several times in our first clueless attempt to attend a show there.
10 PM | AR $70 | Naranja Verde | Av. Santa Fé 1284
Fantasmagoria are true veterans of the Buenos Aires indie-rock scene; we’ve seen them more times than we can count, in all manner of venues, and it’s a blast every single time. More often than not, there’s a part in the show where they doff their instruments and step up towards the audience and stomp their feet on the ground as they sing an acapella rendition of one of their songs, and the enraptured audience sings and hoots and hollers rapturously along. It’s only then that you really start to understand this band’s appeal, and how they’ve managed to distill the tired old rockn’roll swagger persona into something that still feels vital and new. They’ll be playing selections from their long career as well as their latest work, El Mago Mandrax, with support from Francisco Bochaton.
9 PM | AR $200 | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
Friday | August 11
Speaking of long-running acts: the mighty PEZ return to the Niceto stage to debut cuts from their new release Pelea al Horror, as well as to, you know, just melt the entire audience’s face off with their brand of jagged, blistering, muscular, kinetic and sharp-cornered angular rock, delivered with all the Dyonisiac gusto and boisterousness of the loudest, fastest punk bands, but with ten times the musical ability. Their songs are so loaded with furious guitar riffs and sharp rhythmic turns, you’d think you’d be required to sign some sort of liability waiver before attending one of their shows. And, to be honest, it’s possible that you do; the whole experience kind of feels like a blur of volume and flailing momentum after the fact.
9 PM | AR $250 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510
And for something on the complete opposite side of the musical spectrum: Elefante en la Habitación‘s Canción Sobre Canción series carries on with their exploration of experimental collaboration; for those unfamiliar, the show consists of two well-matched musicians playing their own work as well as joining forces onstage in a kind of musical sparring session. This time around, Santiago Vázquez and Pablo Enelotromundo team up for what is sure to be a lovely, intimate evening of dreamy, otherworldly music.
9 PM | AR $200 | Café Vinilo | Gorriti 3780
Minima Discos presents the tenth installment of their Ciclo Nuevo Puerto series, which showcases rising talents in the BA underground scene. This time around, we have Mauro Valenti (whose album Danza Clínica we wholeheartedly endorse), Alelí Cheval and Gustavo Plaza’s Telefonema (whose album Pasajes Para Dos is like a wonderful fever dream), La Plata New Wave-influenced Lynx (whose Bandcamp page is littered with great tracks, particularly “Ilusión”) and Re Signados (whose web presence is, apparently, next to non-existent. Mysterious!).
11 PM | AR $90 | Naranja Verde | Av. Santa Fé 1284
Cool Ghost Records hosts the 27th Fiesta Cool Ghost, featuring El Sur‘s anthems of youthful exuberance, as well as Chico Láser‘s peppy garage-pop, Los Playa Grande‘s noisy shoegaze, and Nicolás Ferreiro‘s plucky folk-rock. Cool Ghost Records throws a heck of a party. I mean, they sort of have to. Their name is Cool Ghost Records. That is one of the best names we’ve ever come into contact with. If you went to a party thrown by an organization called “Cool Ghost Records”, you know that it’s going to be either very cool or very spooky. Or some unholy combination of both. Here’s hoping for both.
11:00 PM | AR $70 | Espacio Cultural Mi Casa | Agüero 787
Saturday | August 12
Ah, Poseidótica, the wonderful convergence of sludge, prog, jazz and thrash, managing to sound both expansive and claustrophobic, and, somehow, as if the monolith in 2001 is being slammed like a cosmic tuning-fork against the rings of Saturn. It’s not particularly easy to describe their music. Is it futuristic? Is it rawer than The Stooges? Is it a 6000-page Wagnerian score rolled tight and smoked by a hung over Charles Mingus? The truth is, it is all those things and more. Joined in this occasion by the equally mind-bending Sur Oculto and Translúcido, this promises to be an evening of brutal instrumental beauty probably a lot of guitar hammer-ons.
8 PM | AR $150 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510
One of The Setlist’s favorite bands, the wonderful Pérez, bring their style of reverb-laden, subtly experimental, maddeningly hooky desert rock to the Club Cultural Matienzo stage, playing the entirety of their new album Caracas as well as perennial fan-favorites from their storied career.
9:30 PM | AR $120 | Club Cultural Matienzo | Pringles 1249
Dreamy synth-pop trio Glass‘s debut album is a thing of beauty, eschewing traditional melodicism for something that feels slightly alien and askew, but no less compelling. This Saturday, they’re marking the physical release o their album with a show at La Tangente, along with the similarly synthy and melodic Guazuncho and Queridas.
9 PM | AR $100 | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
Sunday | August 13
El Mar combines elements of folk, jazz, Balkans music and various tropical rhythms to reinvent the folk song form in its own image. Their excellent self-titled album (see above video) feels like a running record of a long journey through various lands and cultures, incorporating a little piece of each land it crosses to create this expansive, wide-ranging thing. Definitely worth checking out. They are joined by Ruiseñora, the new project by songstresses Lucila Pivetta and María Pien, as well as folky Portuguese-language duo Marazú.
9 PM | AR $80 | Roseti | Roseti 722
Tuesday | August 15
Bienal Arte Joven is a program that seeks to signal-boost and aid in the development of young artists in Buenos Aires; Bienal en Concierto is their live music series, and this is the third installment thereof. This time around, the show features drone-based jam band Pandelindio, multifaceted musician Trostrigo, velvet-voiced singer-songwriter Agustín Donati, indie-folk songstress Solentina, eclectic indie-rock band Ragazzas, and dreamy pop singer Anamoli taking the stage at Centro Cultural Recoleta.
7 PM | Free | Centro Cultural Recoleta | Junin 1930