Welcome to the 30th edition of The Setlist. Whoa! Have there really been 30 of these? It feels like we should say something to mark the occasion, so we’ll be uncharacteristically brief: thank you for reading. If over the course of the last 30 weeks we’ve convinced you to attend a local show, compelled you to check out a new artist, or just gotten you to chuckle at our inanity, we’ve done our job. And we’ll continue to do so for as long as you’ll have us. Conventional wisdom says that 30 is the age where you’re supposed to settle down and get serious, but that feels pretty outdated at this point, and we’re feeling exceptionally silly this week. So let’s talk about some shows, yeah?
Wednesday | May 17
Argentine songstress Juana Molina has had a fascinating career path. Back in the 90s, she was in a very famous TV show which she abruptly quit at the very height of its popularity to pursue her musical curiosity and record her first album. Initially panned by a music press who had no idea what to make of her, she emerged as one of the most celebrated and forward-thinking singer-songwriters of her generation, releasing a string of albums of beautifully askew folk/pop/electronica songs that bubble, sizzle, scribble and scratch their way out of the confines of any discernible genre. She presents her new album Halo tonight at Niceto Club. And yes, I snuck a BoJack Horseman reference into this write-up. What are you going to do about it?
9 PM | AR $460 | Niceto | Niceto Vega 5510
Few things are as thrilling as live jazz, especially when all musicians on stage are locked into a groove and following it wherever it takes them. The joy of continuous discovery! The rush of rhythmic and harmonic exploration! The excitement of knowing that someone could hit a bum note and everything could collapse onto itself at any moment! It’s a bit like a Tinder date in a way. Guitarist Andrés Perini, bassist Ignacio Long, saxophonist Camila Nebbia and drummer Athos García Argüelles hold a live jam session at Vuela el Pez; a fun and super-affordable option for jazzheads looking for live thrills.
11 PM | AR $30 | Vuela el Pez | Cordoba 4379
Thursday | May 18
It’s almost June and the temperatures in Buenos Aires are quickly dropping; to quote some television show about games and thrones that everybody keeps talking about, “winter is probably going to be here soon”. Trust us on this one: you need the sunny, shimmery, forever-summer three-minute guitar-pop songs of Las Ligas Menores now more than ever, the musical equivalent of a vitamin D shot. D Champions and Ovvol open.
8 PM | AR $130 | Niceto | Niceto Vega 5510
If you prefer your live music louder, more abrasive and heavy on the tremolo, angular rockn’rollers Los Rusos Hijos de Puta, garage-punkers Los Peyotes (who, by the way, may have my favorite song title of all time) and acid surf-rockers Los Seitans join forces for a night of sixties-throwback raw power, and likely a lot of sneering.
8 PM | AR $100 | Niceto Lado B | Niceto Vega 5510
Friday | May 19
On the opposite end of the sonic spectrum: golden-voiced singer/songwriter Dolores Cobach and perennially-chill Luciano Larocca perform together at El Gorrión Negro. Folk, blues, soul and all the in-betweens; this promises to be a night of impossibly pretty melodies and gently plucked guitar strings.
9 PM | AR $100 | El Gorrión Negro | PM for Address
Mauro Valenti‘s new album Danza Cínica is very pretty in its own right, sounding at times like a forgotten classic from the 1980s with its wash of guitars, its bright keyboard lines and its juxtaposition of bluesy sensibilities and synth-pop aesthetic. The (heartily-recommended) album is already available to stream on Spotify, Youtube and Bandcamp, but its official unveiling will be this Friday at Liverpool Bar with the support of post-punk power trio Corazón Primitivo.
9 PM | AR $70 | Liverpool Bar Palermo | Arévalo 1376
Alternative rock band Pérez feature an ideal blend of straight-ahead meat-and-potatoes fist-pumping rock anthems and more esoteric desert-space shoegazey influences. Their excellent 2016 album La Hora de los Pájaros is also available online, and they play in support of it along with garage rockers Robert Delirio and psychodelic brit-pop revivalists The Cherry Bomb Peppers.
11:30 PM | AR $100 | El Emergente Bar | Francisco Acuña de Figueroa 1030
107 Faunos represent the exact kind of jangly, upbeat, finger-snapping, guitars-held-neck-high goodness you want to reward yourself with after a week’s grind. You deserve as much. Adrogué’s own alternative rockers Los Reyes del Falsete open.
Midnight | AR $120 | Club Cultural Matienzo | Pringles 1249
Saturday | May 20
If bopping along to electronic music is more your speed, here’s an event for ya: Witches, an electronic dance music party celebrating their 30th edition (Hey! So are we!). DJs Ana Helder, Chico Terror and Lngchps will be spinning records and pressing buttons and turning knobs and most likely motioning enthusiastically at the crowd.
Midnight | AR $80 | Vox Buenos Aires | Hipólito Yrigoyen 968
Julio y Agosto‘s Baroque folk-pop explorations of a more grounded, more melancholy psychedelia, incorporating elements of both Argentine folk music and European influences, might somewhat obscure the fact that these darn catchy songs, with soaring melodies and ornate arrangements that are pure ear candy. There might be sudden tonal shifts, and they might be a little jarring, but the end result is an incredibly rewarding listening experience. They play at Teatro Margarita Xirgu along with Los Besos.
9 PM | AR $120 |Xirgu Espacio Untref | Chacabuco 875
Los Totales, Cabeza de Asteroide, Playa Sintética, Santino Beltramino and Le Faune at El Cíclope Dorado
Los Totales, Cabeza de Asteroide, Playa Sintética, Santino Beltramino and Le Faune play El Ciclope Dorado, an event that showcases the new wave of Porteño indie artists, both musical and visual; there are also works of local illustrators on display. Between all of this and their promise of “8-bit and 16-bit videogames” in the Facebook event description, the event is shaping up to be a heck of a lot of fun.
10 PM | Espacio Cultural 1917 | PM for Address