Welcome back to another edition of The Setlist! Your only equal-amounts-snarky-and-genuinely-enthusiastic weekly roundup of live music in the city of Buenos Aires. Guys, there’s a strange tension in the air. We’ve felt it permeate every waking moment for the past few weeks, and slowly-but-ever-so-surely build up into an almost suffocating and unavoidable malaise that has taken complete hold of this city we hold so dear. What is this unshakable unease that seems to grow ever headier? Well, it’s election season, of course! And the general populace is tugged in every possible direction regarding the future of the country with increasingly aggressive campaign ads and sloganeering.
Thankfully, it all seems to come to a head this Sunday as Argentines take to the polls to cast their votes. We just gotta weather a couple more days of this toxic environment before the results inevitably lead to another wave of controversy and debate. You know what’s a good way to relieve all the tension from such a heavily loaded political season? Live music, of course! And thankfully, there’s a lot of good stuff going on in the next few days!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
On with the music!
Wednesday | October 18
You know, writing this weekly column, there’s a few truths you come to figure out about the live music scene in Buenos Aires: 1) the scene is filled to the brim with sensitive guitar-wielding dudes that are ready to tell us all about their man-pain, 2) people tend to be generally very bad about putting all the pertinent information in Facebook event pages, and 3) the ever-trusty Radar Música program is always a great option for live music on a Wednesday, which is by all intents and purposes the redheaded step-child of the week. This time around, we have bouncy indie-rock songs of Sambara, the expansive, eclectic sounds of Sigmaluca, and the charmingly-named psychedelic swing of Cisne Elocuente. They also do a really good job about putting all the important information in the Facebook event page, so they’re alright with us.
7 PM | FREE | Centro Cultural Recoleta | Junin 1930
Bobrowicky Quintet at Bien Bohemio
If you’re looking for the visceral thrill of live jazz, look no further than Bien Bohemio; the venerable Almagro institution will be abuzz with the swinging sounds of Bobrowicky Quintet, featuring Luciano Perotti on the drums, Ivan Lee on the double bass, Emiliano Mercuri on the guitar, Tomas Bobrowicky on the clarinet, and Josefina Álvarez Gorelik on vocals.
9 PM | Pay what you can! | Bien Bohemio | Sánchez de Loria 745
Also happening tonight! In celebration of the 30th installment of the Nuevos Pero Rotos radio show as well as the release of the Teché de Menos Argie Pop compilation, El Emergente brings together five different bands bringing their unique flavor to its stage: the shimmering dream-pop of Fervors, the funk-tinged stylings of Archi, the groovy, bluesy desert rock of Lobela, the throwback 2-Tone ska of Malambo Ska Band and the jazzy, soulful Jamaican sounds of Skatax. Pick it up, pick it up.
9 PM | AR $150 | El Emergente | Francisco Acuña de Figueroa 1030
Thursday | October 19
The ever-excellent Placard, with their roaring guitars and tightly-wound rhythm section and explosive arrangements and sharp compositional turns, had their worst nightmare come true: their rehearsal space was ransacked and they lost, among other things, the computer where they had been recording their new album. Pretty harrowing, right? Thankfully, through the support of the local scene, this digital-backup-averse band was able to bring the album into existence, and it is truly wonderful: El Disco Robado is one of the best releases of 2017. They will be showcasing the album at Club Cultural Matienzo, along with the slinky, freak-funky, kinetically ethereal sounds of the similarly excellent GULI. Heck of a one-two punch, if you ask us.
9 PM | AR $100 | Club Cultural Matienzo | Pringles 1249
The eery, strangely-sweet ghost-folk of Envidia is, in part, eery by association; with Mujercitas Terror, Marcelo Moreyra married spooky imagery with shimmery summer-punk to great effect. Similarly, with this solo venture, there’s an odd sense of mystery to the proceedings, even when the songs themselves are pretty little major-chord folk ballads. This results in some tonal dissonance that gives the songs an added emotional resonance, not dissimilar to that feeling you get when you realize your cat has been staring blankly at you for hours. Sure, it’s an adorable kitty, but what is it staring at? What exactly does it know? Can it gaze upon the darkness of our souls? Is it privy to the secret dances of the damned that occur just beyond our astral plane? Or are cats just kind of dumb? We will never know.
9 PM | Congo | Honduras 5329
Friday | October 20
Ah, Juana Molina, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. We love the thrillingly misshapen, evocative, richly textured music you make. We love your unrelenting creative curiosity. We love your strident sense of independence. We love the strange zigzags of your career. And we love that you’re playing the opening of Studio Crobar this coming Friday with support from future-pop singer Juan Ingaramo. We love it all. It’s all love here.
8 PM | AR $390 | Studio Crobar | Paseo de la Infanta, Arco 17
Are you looking for a night of neon-lit after-hours synth-pop? Of course you are. Who wouldn’t be? Thankfully for you, you’ve got a heck of a duo here in Brôder and La Femme D’Argent, both artists specializing in the art of making nighttime decadence sound glamorous and fun. Sounds like a party.
Midnight | La Tangente | Honduras 5317
Ciudad Cultural Konex is one of the coolest venues in town– an old industrial warehouse turned into a hipster live-music haven — which is why we’re about to hit you with not one, but two great music festivals you can go to in order to shake off the election-cycle anxiety this weekend. First up, Ruchofest! Featuring the indie-rock of the adorably-named Bestia Bebé, the soulful slow-burn of Francisca & Los Exploradores, the high-energy power-pop of Cabeza Flotante and rapper Malajunta Malandro.
11:30 PM | AR $200 | Ciudad Cultural Konex | Sarmiento 3131
Saturday | October 21
And the next night, at the very same ultra-cool venue, you’ve got the second installment of Festival Viaje del Agua, featuring the mind-altering jazzy/prog/sludge creations of the mighty Poseidotica, the wonderfully cathartic aggression of Uruguayan thrash-rockers Motosierra, the sludgy blues of Güacho, the post-punk psychedelia of Atras Hay Truenos, the swaggering bluesy throwback of Las Diferencias and the angular, off-the-wall math-rock of Hungría. Also: a “surprise band”, which is as of yet unannounced, so we’re going out on a limb here and saying that it’s… Carlos Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Yes. (disclaimer: we don’t actually know if the surprise band is actually Carlos Santana featuring Rob Thomas)
9 PM | AR $300 | Ciudad Cultural Konex | Sarmiento 3131
Dallas are an indie rock band that is heavy on the synths and on the driving, pummeling beats. They are showcasing their debut album at CNB Contemporánea, with support from Gerardo Fáez y La Marea Oceánica.
7 PM | FREE | CNB Contemporánea | Riobamba 985
The galería across the street from the old Palermo zoo will be hoppin’ this weekend to the sounds of all this cool local (and, in one specific instance, not-so-local) talent. Come join the Carnaby party with artists such as: punky-yet-heartstring-tugging anti-folker Emilyann // Emiliana, the synthy sounds of Indigencia Vip’s own Lautaro Soto, post-punker Gonza Mal Amado, indie rocker Bad Manu, singer-songwriter Penny Peligro, Excursionistas’ Juan Tranier, and the slinky, shoegazy sounds of The Puñeters. The party starts at 5, so come early!
5 PM | FREE | Av. Santa Fe 4096