Welcome to another edition of The Setlist, the only weekly column highlighting the best of what’s happening in the Buenos Aires independent live music scene! You know, we often hear this grumbling of “ugh, there’s just no good music being made today;” invariably, this is uttered by someone who hasn’t really been paying attention to what’s really all around them. There’s so much worthwhile, interesting stuff happening in the fringes, on the periphery of pop culture’s fickle affections. That’s where we come in. Let us direct your attention to some of it. From pop to punk, candombe to death metal, here are some shows worth checking out this week!
Wednesday | July 12
We get things started with a free event at Centro Cultural Recoleta (which happens to be one of our favorite Centro Culturales). This is part of the Radar Música program which pits established artists of the Argentine rock scene with fledgling up-and-comers. This time around, we have Oesterheld‘s amalgamation of progressive rock and autochthonous rhythms, Cactus de Rosa‘s groovy, funk-tinged dance-pop, and Lumens‘s brand of angular, instrumental rock music, all scratching decidedly-different parts of your live-music itch. And for a price like this (again:free), you can’t afford not to go! Or maybe you can. We don’t know your financial situation. To be honest, that’s 100% your business.
7 PM | Free | Centro Cultural Recoleta | Junin 1930
Keeping with the theme of “cool stuff to do on a Wednesday evening that also happens to be free”, POE, one of the coolest little underground nooks in Buenos Aires, is putting together a “Super-Jam” centered around rockn’roller Pato Lange, who will be presenting songs from his own repertoire as well as a few strategically-picked cover versions, and several special guests from Buenos Aires’s burgeoning music scene. Sweet!
9 PM | Free | POE | 3 de Febrero 2772
Do you enjoy live jazz? Do you like bobbing your head up and down as you try to follow along with whatever crazy modulations the saxophonist’s improvisational whimsy guided them towards? Do you like smirking discretely yet noticeably to yourself as you catch a reference or musical quote to a famous jazz work, as if to say “deliciously satirical; I wonder if anyone else caught that”? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? And thankfully for all of us, Artistry Big Band, purveyors of thrilling, lushly-orchestrated big-band style jazz, are great at all of those things. They’ll be featuring cuts from their second album, Secreto en Maschwitz, at Bebop Club. And we’ll be there, taking it all in, bobbing our heads up and down, feeling pretty good about our station in life.
9 PM | AR $200 | Bebop Club | Moreno 364
Thursday | July 13
Here at The Setlist we’re big fans of dense, layered, multi-instrumental musical journeys, but by gosh, there’s something so thoroughly satisfying about the stripped-down guitar-and-vocals stylings of a good folk show; here’s a double-dose of duos, featuring the pair-ups of Lucila Pivetta & María Pien; along with Julian Oroz & Facundo Galli, who just recently recorded a delightful little EP together.
9 PM | AR $150 | CIRCE Fabrica de Arte | Cordoba 4335
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum, here’s something with a decidedly more ear-splitting, guttural-voiced, accidental-demon-invoking edge. Death-metal outfits INNERTE and Victimario, sludgy thrashers Vil Murra and punk-rockers DUHALDE bring loud guitars, breakneck tempos and snarling attitudes to the forefront to “Jueves de Terror” at Club V. What to expect from such intimidatingly titled affair (and bands)? In short: an ephemeral burst of noise, passion, color, thrashing, light (raging against the dying of), violet liqueurs drunk from shivering goblets of skin scrawled with blasphemous names, other girls’ phone numbers, new things to do with drop-D tunings, and cosmetic retailers. Lo, and Lucifer saw that it was good.
10 PM | AR $50 | Club V | Corrientes 5008
You know, we do a good amount of research to bring you this weekly live music recommendations column. Yes, we get a lot of show invites, but there’s also a lot of scouring the outer reaches of the “Discover” tab on Facebook’s Events section. As such, we read a good amount of Event descriptions, and most are self-congratulatory pablum. Every once in a while, though, we stumble upon a rare gem that transcends the format and cuts through the noise, achieving its own kind of beauty. Such is the case with the Facebook Event description for the upcoming show by Diego Savoretti and Uruguayan singer Lea Ben Sasson, which is loaded with such a level of dry, self-deprecating wit that it reads more like a comedy roast than the kind of tepid self-aggrandizement you usually get with these things. And if the aforementioned description wasn’t enough to get us to wholeheartedly recommend this show, well, the music’s pretty great too! This deserves your patronage; it definitely earned ours.
8:30 PM | AR $165 | Torquato Tasso | Defensa 1575
Friday | July 14
We’re big fans of this particular event because it features three musicians who operate on fairly distinct musical genres and stylings, yet they share an overall aesthetic that transcends the specifics of what subgenres they navigate or what instruments they’re playing, all the while keeping in line with the event’s spacey, ethereal theme. More concretely, all three artists make music that sounds like beautiful, faulty transmissions crackling in from some far-off galaxy, glitching into gloriously otherworldly harmony by distance and digital noise. Experimental post-rockers A Casa, celestial synth-popper Eugenia Renata, and the nocturnal sounds of Super Super Dub Station attempt to bring you one step closer to understanding what alien music would probably sound like (if aliens had music).
8:30 PM | Silencio de Negras | Luis Sáenz Peña 663
11:50 PM | AR $160 | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
Saturday | July 15
Radio Tribuna, one of the most interesting bands in the porteño scene, is taking a temporary break from Buenos Aires stages as they prepare to embark on a Mexican journey, so they’ve decided to have a proper send-off with an all-out bash at Temple Bar featuring singer-songwriter Francisco Villa and experimental ambient/electronic rock group Libelulas. Lost luggage and jetlag are a pain in the neck, so come wish them a good trip!
9 PM | AR $70 | Temple Bar | Las Heras 1822
El Gran Búfalo Blanco have taken it upon themselves to once a month fill the POMO stage with their infectious synth-laden pop songs, a noble goal in of itself. This time around, they’ll be joined by the post-punk wanderlust of Los Darwin as well as the psychedelic folk-rock of Niños Envueltos (which, translating to “Wrapped Children”, earns them the title of Favorite Band Name of the Week).
11 PM | AR $70 | POMO, distrito de arte | Santa Rosa 5157
Seeing Sergio Pángaro live is a bit like seeing a stand-up comedian, a bit like seeing a talk show host, and a bit like seeing “Only the Lonely”-era Frank Sinatra. This time around, he’ll be performing with a jazz trio at Bebop Club, a setting which is especially fitting; having seen this consummate showman in a range of venues, from giant industrial warehouses to old-fashioned showrooms in the wrong side of town, it’s always the more intimate spaces where he shines, working the crowd like some great vaudeville performer.
11:50 PM | AR $200 | Bebop Club | Moreno 364
La Saga de Sayweke, a truly awe-inspiring progressive instrumental group making music that expands in different directions while thrusting forward with intense momentum, will be joined by special guests and previewing material from their upcoming album. Sounds fun. Let’s go.