Skip to main content

The Playlist: Live Music in Buenos Aires, November 7th Edition

The Playlist is our curated, weekly roundup of live music in Buenos Aires.

By | [email protected] | November 7, 2018 10:17am

MGMT Return 2017 Main

Violence, murder, battle, wars… It is not easy to get rid of an instinctive evolutionary mechanism we grew into a couple million years ago. Let’s face it: without our ingrained habit of possession and tribal hatred, we would have never reached this “inverted-thumb” stage of humanity. The strong and intelligent had to wipe the stupid and the weak so that the actual homo sapiens sapiens hominid configuration could arise. We got used to wars, disease, death.

The problem came when we no longer needed them as an aid in our evolutionary impasse between humanity and divinity – something most religious scholars want to phase moving towards our “angel nature” whilst I consider perfect robots the only logical end of intergalatic history. But that’s another banana to chew on. What I mean is, our outward nature has ceased to adapt to our circumstances. Humanity is biologically the same as it was in the time of Jesus. It took us two million years to gain only three inches of neo-cortex.

True – nowadays we are more a planet of mestizos than carefully identified “nations” based on an unique combination of skin-colour, mouth-noises, and walking-limits. But, biologically – that is, on the inside – ew, gross – I pictured that – why am I still  hyphenating this? – we haven’t changed one bit. Once we invented culture, it was our culture that evolved for us. Our technology that evolved for us. We no longer adapt to nature. We adapt to ourselves. And these nasty things that we used to do to keep up a good evolutionary pace, well, we don’t need them any more. But we got used to them. And we can’t do them any more. But sometimes, we keep doing them. Oh, everybody knows it’s ridiculous and useless, and a sad waste of life and love. But our biological mechanisms take very long to subside. So we get anxious at work. We weren’t made to sit all day! We were made to kill! Kill! Ah! No! I’m in the office! No! Bad Johhny! No kill!

So we go and watch “The Purge” on Netflix or get excited about the newest MMA-Boxing con, such as making Tyson fight Macgregor – undewater. Anything to satisfy this two-million-year biological ingrained instinct we have to destroy. Ganging up on our tribal neighbor was what precipitated the development of language, social-interdependence, friendship, and our collusion into kingdoms rather than our dispersion into tribes. It is also what precipitated our discovery of new music.

So, next time you feel the war-pangs of your ancestors aching for a new crusade in your blood, refrain calmly from judo-chopping your boss to death. We live not in a concrete wilderness, but in the wildness of the abstract. It is our wildness that we must preserve. And wildness is not nonsensical violence. Wildness is dancing. Wildness is courage. Wildness is art.

So here you have it – this week’s Playlist to keep the hunters and warriors in our blood satisfied. We do things our way now. We don’t gang up on out tribal neighbors no more. But we keep painting our faces, we keep dancing and singing by firelight. We preserve the wildness of our ancestors, not in a concrete wilderness, but in the abstract feeling of not knowing what we are. And that’s fine. We can live with that.

For those who don’t, hey, you’ll always have each week’s Spotify Playlist!

(I have a couple of vikings drinking ale in my bloodstream every so often. Perhaps that’s why I feel so dizzy all the time. Whom do you have?)

Groove on!


Rosal & Gala Magali

To all those compulsive gamblers having a bad week, or just the regular B.A. citizen trying not to spend October’s paycheck during the first week of November, here I come with free fun for y’all. The Centro Cultural Recoleta is one of the most active cultural spots in B.A., with perennial art installations and weekly guests that range from TED-talks to today’s musical occurrence. Two bands shall be sharing the shtage – sorry about that, I just had to, I had to! – and will be alternating their presence to give not so much two shows in one place but one show in your mindRosal is a soft-rock quintet that plays slow melodies with beautiful lyrics composed and brought together by Maria Ezquiaga; they shall be presenting their new EP titled Te agradezco el amor (“I thank you for love”). Gala Magali, a courageous solo act, will be presenting songs from her newest record  Nueva Era (“New Era” – that was easy!), an acoustic pop assemblage. So if you’re feeling quirky, just a bit jazzy, and have no money in your pocket, this is the place to make some friends today!

9 PM | FREE | Centro Cultural Recoleta | Junín 1930



That this particular band is playing live this Thursday is a gift sent directly by The Ramones from Punk-Rock Heaven. Flema is a legendary band that founded a unique style of music (and appearance) in South America. The band was composed of Ricky Espinosa (Vocals and Guitar), Fernando Rossi (Bass), Luis Garibaldo (Guitar), and Pepe Carvallo (Drums); their songs usually deal with loneliness, alcohol and drugs, friends, women, politics, and complaints about the tough things in life. Typical punk stuff, nothing new here. Their songs have titles like “Borrachos en la esquina” (drunken on the corner), “Semen de buey” (bullock semen) and “el blanco cristal” (the white crystal). Not so typical stuff there, but there’s always a thin line between punk and nonsense. The band leader, Ricardo Espinosa (also known as ‘Ricky’) was a very controversial and beloved figure, and the core and spirit of Flema. Always drunk, always on coke, always in trouble, often the band could not play on a scheduled date because Ricky and other band members were detained at a local police station. Flema was officially given legendary status in 2002, when Ricky fell from a fifth floor to his untimely death. Pretty punk rock move there, btw. Anyway, Flema is touring again, without their beloved singer, in their Espectaulo Flemafonico Tour. This time presented by “Especiales de la Usina” in the Usina del Arte, they will be accompanied by the special appearence of Kapanga, Asspera and Jovenes Pordioseros. The ticket is free, but you’ll have to reserve your seat at the Usina del Arte Webpage.

10 PM | FREE | Usina del Arte | Agustín Caffarena 1

El Kuelge

“El Kuelgue”, in porteño spanish, refers to that brief lapsus of the memory where, after breathing in cannabinoid molecules, one momentarily forgets what one is doing, or should have done. “Me colgué” can be used as a deferral phrase for almost anything. Honey, I smell something burning! Instead of saying, “I forgot all about the chicken in the oven watching Joe Rogan’s new stand-up”, you just say: Me colgué. Why didn’t you bring a black suit for the funeral? Instead of saying, “I thought we were going to your mother’s fun-for-all, but I was so excited about this new social convention that I never thought I might have misheard it”, you say: Me colgué. And this is exactly what this band is about – it is about forgetting where you are, who you’re with, what time is it, what’s your name, etc., all in favor of the truth about the ultimate reality which is pure oblivion undeterred by construction of identity. And all this can come from the music of El Kuelgue, and, well, some special herbs put in the mix. This reggae-rock band is here to stay, and this is only the first date of a month filled with Thursday performances by El Kuelgue in Niceto Club.

10 PM | AR $250 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510


The Rasmus

Back in 2002, The Rasmus’ “In The Shadows” single was perhaps the most played video in MTV. But times change, man. MTV is now perfectly unwatchable, and the Rasmus have released three albums after the eponymous LP that sent them singing to the post-punk stratosphere. Since their debut, they have abandoned their style of fast-paced riffs and melancholic shouts for a more ambient-pop creepy atmosphere punctured by wails and gregorian chants, intertwined with the customary punk-rock verse. But more than anything, The Rasmus has finally become friends with electronic means of music production, so that their overall sound in now closer to Foster the People than it is to Soundgarden. Even though some people accuse them of “selling-out” (as if resembling Soundgarden was a strategy for “buying-in”), most fans consider The Rasmus an overall eclectic band that had never defined it’s genre before delving and diving into the heart of music. Some others preach that music is undefinable, that talking about sounds is something we music critics invent to have something to write about.

9 PM | AR $550 | Teatro Vorterix | Av. Federico Lacroze 3455


This show will be the last time that the radio-pop superstars of Argentina will be playing their “Sin Restricciones / Es Mentira” LP live. Supposedly, after this show the band will go back again into the studio for another year to put together their next album. Some naysayers insist that their talent was spent in their last, and so there is nothing else for Miranda! to do but disband. We hope not, but even if this is the last show of their careers, that only means we have more and better reasons to go and watch the candlelight of talent be snuffed-out with style. Known by their energetic stage performances, Miranda! is a gay-gay-straight, man-girl-man pop act that many people compare with their international doppelgangers, Scissor Sisters. They are the kings (or queens) of black-boot radio pop in Argentina, adored by fans from 16 to 50 years of age since 1999. Their warm-up line-up demands a hicc-up!, too. Bandalos Chinos will be performing before the iconic pop superstars, on their way to become iconic pop-rock superstars themselves. Don’t miss this one!

9 PM | AR $650 | Luna Park | Bouchard 465


Roger Waters

This man needs no introduction. Frontman of Pink Floyd, renowned mastermind of “The Wall”, and a consistent solo act for the last two decades of his career, Roger Waters just can’t get enough of B.A. This is the ninth time he returns to Argentina, and with a good reason to: he just loves us. On more than one occasion, Roger had dubbed the hinchada argentina as the most hardcore fanbase he has ever seen in his shows around the world. Although being super noisy and calling for an encore for over half an hour can turn uncomfortable for any other international superstar, Roger Waters just thrives in it. Did he compose new songs? No. Is he doing something new at all? No. Why should I watch this over-fifty relic from Great Britain? Because he is Roger Waters. There is a very good reason why he hasn’t composed new music in these last two decades – touring “The Wall” is all we need. “The Wall”, arguably the best, better known, and more enigmatic psychedelic rock record in the history of the universe, is even more relevant today than it was twenty years ago. Roger Waters stands indefectibly at the side of human rights and keeps promoting this album as a constant gesture of defiance against oppression. It was relevant when it came out, and it has been snowballing into more prominent relevance for over thirty years now. Plus, he even has a Mapuche band opening for him this time around. If you haven’t experienced the avalanche of feelings this album can generate, step in line and I’ll see you on Saturday. Hail Eris!

7 PM | AR $950 | Estadio Unico La Plata | 32 y 25

Personal Fest 2018

Who would call their band Personal Fest 2018? Sounds like a solitary raver playing drum-an-bass from his mother’s basement in… well, 2018. But no, this is not a band. Together with Lollapalooza (coming next March 2019), Personal Fest is the biggest and most important music festival in the country. The whole musical entourage lasts for two days, so I’ll comment here on the bands that play this Saturday, and below the ones that play on Sunday. The greatest thing about this festival is the variety of genres that span their collection of performances. The small acts of the day include Usted Señalemeló, a local rock band with strong electronic and progressive influences, Airbag, a Chilean famous punk-pop act, and Louta, a hip-hop/trap B.A. underground solo musician. The greatest bands of this date include the infamous British pop-music superstar Robbie Williams, the electronic synth cosmic ensemble La Femme D’Argent and prog-rock gods Mercury Rev. Other bands playing on Saturday are Ainda Dúo, OnOff, Shoot the Radio, Hembro, Leo García, and Satélite 23, among many, many others.

5 PM | AR $1800 | Club Ciudad de Buenos Aires | av. del Libertador 7501


Personal Fest 2018

Personal Fest continues through this week’s last day, with prominent appearances, new acts and old heroes. The strong acts of this date is the psychedelic pop duo MGMT, the glorious teenage dark-dub popstar Lorde, and the band that took the indie scene to its actual fame in the early 2000’s Death Cab for Cutie. Other, lesser known bands also play this date including a personal grudge favorite, Deerhunter who will be making their first appearance on stage in South America, as well as Warpaint, the psychedelic pop-rock quintet, and Vanthra, an electronic experimental act that owes much to the avant-garde scene of London’s burroughs back in 1995 when Coil’s frontman, John Balance, hadn’t lost his balance yet and fallen – like Ricky Espinoza – from a fifth floor to his death. Some people will choose Saturday over Sunday, because they like Robbie Williams the best; others will choose Sunday over Saturday because MGMT tickles their teenage melancholia just right; but others, he-who-writes-among-them, have chosen to buy both dates on a discount price to enjoy the full flavor of two days of constant musical teaching. Which one are you? Don’t miss this! I’ll see you there!

5 PM | AR $1800 | Club Ciudad de Buenos Aires | av. del Libertador 7501

A quick reminder. We want to make sure we cover as much material as possible each week; but 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 protected].