Hello, friends, and welcome to a new installment of The Setlist! This is your one-stop resource for live music in the city of Buenos Aires, and we’re serving up recommendations like ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Speaking of summer: you feel it, don’t you? The first timid signs of the sweltering heat wave that’s sure to envelop us in the next few months? Sure, it’s all outdoor-beers and short-shorts right about now, but just you wait; come January, when you’re sweating all over some stranger in the subway and the humidity is so unbearably thick that taking a walk to the corner kiosco is a task akin to kayaking down a stagnant estuary, you’ll be longing for the chillier, spend-forever-indoors decadence of the Buenos Aires winter. For now, though, let’s enjoy this milder approximation of the summer months. You know what’s a great way to do just that? Seeing some live music!
But first! A quick reminder. We want to make sure we cover as much material as possible each week; with a scene this active, a lot can slip through the cracks. So, in our effort to remain on top of things, we’ve set up an e-mail address where you — that’s right, you, dear reader — can submit your own suggestions for shows for us to cover. If you have a gig coming up, or you know of one, we want to hear about it! Hit us up at email@example.com. On with the music!
Thursday | November 16
Fresh off of being declared one of the winners of Bienal Arte Jóven and cementing his place as one of the most noteworthy young voices in the Buenos Aires folk scene, singer-songwriter Agustín Donati officially unveils his debut album at Matienzo. A collection of melodically rich heart-on-sleeve compositions that toe the line between folk, pop-rock and sideways-Americana, Lo Irreversible is already available to stream online. The elegant, ornate folky stylings of Titi Stier serve as the opener for this night of gently strummed guitars and upsettingly pretty melodies.
10 PM | AR $150 | Club Cultural Matienzo | Pringles 1249
Hey! What says “summer” better than progressive psychedelia and shifting time signatures? Absolutely nothing, I say. Ayermaniana, Hijos Amigos and La Tumba del Alca all make music that could reasonably be described as “explorations of the human psyche when exposed to huffing paint”, with various degrees of kinetic, nervous energy and trippy darker-recesses expansiveness. They are loud, they are technically proficient, and they’re not afraid to make music that sounds like the soundtrack to the various stages of mankind’s inevitable descent into utter chaos. Come join the end of the world party at El Emergente at a very reasonable price.
11 PM | AR $50 | El Emergente Bar | Francisco Acuña de Figueroa 1030
Friday | November 17
Chilean singer Javiera Mena’s music is bright, bubbly, 80s-tinged pop; if we’re sticking to this whole “summertime vibes” theme, I’ll compare it to perfumed neon summer nights, all youthful exhuberance and catchy melodies over the brightest synth-pop lines this side of Ignacia. She’ll be showcasing her songbook at the Studio Crobar stage.
7 PM | AR $400 | Studio Crobar | Marcelino Freyre y Paseo de la Infanta
Espacio Cultural Mi Casa continues to live up to its reputation as the Porteño CBGBs; a surefire choice to find an eclectic hodgepodge of emerging talent, local or otherwise; this weekend, they’re hosting a three-day party with the likes of La Suma de Todos Los Tiempos, Julen y La Gente Sola, Niños Envueltos, Javi Punga Turbo and El Sur. And that’s just day one! Check the Facebook event linked above for the full three-day line-up, consisting of a lot of power, hooks, and grit. If the Facebook event photo is to be believed, crowd-surfing is encouraged.
9 PM | AR $150 | Espacio Cultural Mi Casa | Aguero 787
Is crowd-surfing to fist-pumping rock music in a deliberately run-down punk rock dive not quite your speed? Here’s something completely different. Legendary — and I don’t use this word lightly, especially in this case — jazz saxophonist Kenny Garrett comes to our town to regale us with songs both old and new at Teatro Coliseo. Come bop your head to some bop, man. (We think that’s how jazz cats talk.) (We’re not even sure if anybody calls them “jazz cats” anymore.) (Or if they ever did.) (We will stop adding parentheticals here.) (Promise.)
9 PM | AR $650 | Teatro Coliseo | Marcelo T. de Alvear 1125
Maybe you do feel like a brutal, aggressive guitar attack. Who could blame you? Not us. If you’re in the mood for aggressive chugga-chugga guitars and explosive, crashing drums, here’s a show for you: the-brutally-aggressive-yet-adorably-named Ardilla, the heavy, blues-tinted sludginess of Guazú, and the more-measured yet equally-trippy, jangly power-pop of Shura Multivac.
9 PM | AR $100 | Ladran Sancho Espacio de Arte | Guardia Vieja 3811
If there’s one thing you can say about The Setlist is that we are a couple of unbearably pretentious dorks. If there’s two things you can say about The Setlist, you’d say the first thing, and then you’d also add “– but at least they’re not scared of trying out new things.” You see, it’s easy to get yourself so ensconced in the indie-rock world, that you forget there are other things out there. Things like dance hall / cumbia / reggae songstress extraordinaire Miss Bolivia, whose sole purpose in life seems to be getting people at her shows to have the best possible time. Indie rock is great, but you know what’s also great? Shaking your booty. And here’s a perfect opportunity for some guilt-free booty-shaking.
Midnight | AR $250 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510
Some shows allow you to get your indie-rock on and also dance yourself silly. It’s a crazy notion, but it works! Here’s a great example: the upbeat rockabilly / throwback garage sounds of The Desastres, which manages to rock as hard as it swings. Curious what that sounds like? You could click on their linked profile here and check out some of their songs, or you could just show up at this show and let their take on 60s proto-punk blow you away with no preparation.
9 PM | AR $100 | El Gorrion Negro | PM for Address!
Saturday | November 18
Going back to the “summery” shtick we’ve half-heartedly decided to insert into this post: the combination of arpeggios, tremolo and reverb could be considered the aural equivalent of a solar flare; if so, Atrás Hay Truenos are really good at this shimmery summer-song thing. They’ll be playing the Roseti stage with support from idiosyncratic 60s-folk- influenced El Asesino del Romance.
10 PM | AR $150 | Roseti Espacio de Arte | Roseti 722
Because sometimes, you want to say NO to summer. You want to stay indoors, decadent and cold, and if you’re not lucky enough to own a morbidly overpriced AC unit in this city, listening to icy-cold music such as that made by electro-noir duo Telefonema could serve as a reasonable facsimile thereof. Another similarly chilled, synth-driven duo is Re Signados; a third duo, the quietly intense Magic Tundra, act as the icing on this ice-cold drink of lemonade on a hot summer’s day.
10 PM | FREE | POE | 3 de Febrero 2772
El Ciclope Dorado: Juanitzo y el Lobo, La Noche Que Estuve A Punto De Morir, Méndez Cánepa y los Enemigos Naturales, Unidad 01, FLANGR
An acoustic set by FLNGR, the jagged dream-pop of Unidad 01, the folky pop tunes of Méndez Cánepa y los Enemigos Naturales, the bluesy psychedelia of the very cumbersomely-monikered La Noche Que Estuve a Punto de Morir and the alternative indie rock of Juanitzo y el Lobo make up this date, which is easily the most interestingly-named of the entire week; not only the band names, but the name of the event itself. The golden cyclops! That sounds terrifying.
10 PM | Espacio Cultural 1917 | PM for Address!
Festi Wicca: Los Rusos HDP, Marina Fages y La Oscuridad, Riel, Katana, Mene, Lola Bhajan & Enanomalhecho, Galanjah, Kenya Shark
Finally for this week: a summer tradition. Witchcraft! Well, no, “Festi Wicca” is just the name of the event, but we’re pretty sure there’s no actual Wiccan ceremonies taking place. Just a killer lineup of local talent: gloriously weird post-punkers Los Rusos HDP, sharp-tongued pop artist Marina Fages y La Oscuridad, power-duos Riel, Katana and Lola Bhajan & Enanomalhecho, multifaceted multimedia artist Mene, dance-hall / hip-hop MC Galanjah, and Kenya Shark rounding out the pseudo-wiccan-but-not-really fest. It sure does feel like summer already.
6 PM | AR $200 | G104 | Gascon 104