Welcome, boys and girls and all the various stages of in-between, to another installment of your weekly round-up of live music in the city of Buenos Aires! This week finds us once again staring at our calendar apps in disbelief, as we’ve finally broken into the “-ber” months of the year; a year that still feels very much like it just started, even though such a gargantuan amount of stuff has already happened in its 9 rocky months. Of course, this leads down the rabbit hole of existential despair about how we’re rapidly barreling toward nothingness and any and all of our life’s pursuits are incomprehensibly small specks of not-even-dirt in the face of the cosmos’s enormous, cold indifference, but you’re not here to watch us freak out about the meaninglessness of everything. Quite the contrary! You’re here to bask in the light of the one thing that can make said meaninglessness bearable: live music! So let’s talk about some shows!
Oh, but before we do that, an announcement: as useful as the Facebook Events “Discover” feature is, we have found a few instances where something really cool has slipped through the cracks and failed to get featured on our weekly list of recommendations. To this end, we’ve set up an e-mail address where you — if you are an artist, promoter, or simply an enthusiast — can send us your scoops for live music events in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Got a gig coming up? We want to know about it! Hit us up at email@example.com
Wednesday | September 6
And because here at The Setlist we put fiscal responsibility ahead of just about everything else, we kick things off with a FREE show at the lovely Centro Cultural Recoleta. The new installment of the Radar Música series features the irresistibly groovy, laid-back sounds of La Gracia; the jazzy, tango-infused compositions of La Dispirada; and the fun, vibrant eclecticism of Valbé, who play around with sounds such as Bossa Nova, funk, hip-hop jazz and Marplatense rhythms to make something that honors its influences as much as it reinvents them in its own image. A perfect way to start the musical week.
7 PM | FREE | Centro Cultural Recoleta | Junin 1930
Thursday | September 7
The solo project of Mujercitas Terror’s Marcelo Moreyra, Envidia is a suitably dark-tinged musical project, folk songs that sound like spooky, misshapen lullabies. Miguel Molins, meanwhile, makes music that blends the deliberately-difficult sounds of krautrock with shoegazey loudness (as well as having a name that almost challenges music writers not to open their write-ups with groan-inducing alliteration). Norwegian singer-songwriter Annie Woodward makes musical travelogues with a quirky folk sound and a punk-rock edge. Together they’re taking over the Ladran Sancho stage for the new edition of Ciclo Interzona.
8 PM | AR $70 | Ladran Sancho – Espacio de Arte | Guardia Vieja 3811
Tango is inescapable in Buenos Aires. It’s part of the culture in a way that’s comparable to other national pasttimes such as complaining to cab drivers about the weather and not picking up after your dog’s poop. So when an artist is able to put their own spin on such a well-worn genre and re-shape it into something that feels fresh and vital, it’s cause for excitement. Such is the case of Astillero, a six-piece band that makes rhythmic, serpentine, off-center, decidedly experimental music with a tango bent that is more interested in carving out new emotional spaces in well-tread musical terrains than simply repeating what’s come in the past. Always exciting when artists do that. They’ll be officially presenting their excellent new album Quilombo at Café Vinilo.
9 PM | AR $200 | Café Vinilo | Gorriti 3780
Friday | September 8
Minima Discos’s wonderful series showcasing the freshest sounds in the Buenos Aires Underground, Ciclo Nuevo Puerto, comes roaring back with a new installment. This time featuring the loud, richly melodic pop-rock sounds of Palmer (backed by Los Extranjeros), the bedroom-rock melancholia of Los Besos, and the winning combination of loud guitars and maddeningly memorable hooks of longtime Setlist favorites MeGaFauNa. All of this plus a set by DJ Ana Logue. Heck of a line-up, if we do say so ourselves.
11 PM | AR $90 | Naranja Verde | Av. Santa Fe 1284
Reverb-laden indie rock band Tobogán Andaluz, who, with a few albums under their belt, has already mastered the arts of restrained playing and dynamics– you know, knowing when to be kind of quiet for a bit before lettig loose and going hard on that power chord at the end of the second chorus, that kind of thing which somehow eludes most up-and-coming bands for some reason– will be hitting the La Tangente stage to feature some old favorites as well as new tracks from their upcoming album due out in December. Get psyched!
8:30 PM | AR $150 | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
If you want an evening of quieter arrangements and delicate melodies that feel like they melt gently into the space around them, have we got the show for you! Cerros makes music that sounds simultaneously sparse (often, their songs only feature a violin and a piano) and, somehow, also lushly orchestrated (those two instruments jump all over the harmonic range, filling the sound out considerably). They’ll be featuring songs from their upcoming new album. They are joined by Dúo Kolodens Trinchero, who make similarly intimate, thoughtful music with a cinematic bent.
10:30 PM | AR $60 | La Dama de Bollini | Pasaje Bollini 2281
Saturday | August 26
Porteño rockn’roll stalwarts Fantasmagoria team up with garage-bluesers Souljunkies, new wave-inspired ethereal post-punkers Juvenilia and lo-fi freak-punkers Los Muchachos de la Secta. Let me tell you about the first time I went to Salón Pueyrredon. It was 2010 and San Francisco punk pioneers NOFX had decided to play a secret, unannounced show at the tiny but legendary punk club. Thousands of people proceeded to show up, most of which weren’t able to even enter the venue. I thought I could get in. I tried real hard to get in. I couldn’t get in. I ended up in the pizza place around the corner eating a bad fugazzeta and muttering angrily at myself. None of this has anything to do with this show, but it’s my only Salón Pueyrredon story. It isn’t even a great story. I’m not entirely sure why I even felt the need to tell it, to be honest. Anyway, come to this show, it sounds great.
10 PM | AR $150 | Salon Pueyrredon | Av. Santa Fe 4560
Altocamet make expansive, grandiose pop music that sounds like it’s being blasted by a giant speaker installed on the side of a really tall mountain somewhere. It’s real hard to sound so fundamentally huge while also retaining a sense of space and intimacy in the songs, but they pull it off with aplomb. They’ll be featuring songs from their upcoming album Atrapando Rayos, with support from delicately dreamy Sobrenadar and DJ Lisa Cerati.
11:30 PM | AR $150 | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
Tuesday | September 12
The sound of the early-aughts garage-rock revival is alive and well in Buenos Aires, as Hojas Secas bring their delightfully catchy, kinetic throwback sounds to the Niceto stage, along with legendary rock and roller Fer Pita and the excellently-named Los Bluyines.
8 PM | AR $150 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510