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The Playlist: Live Music in Buenos Aires, October 17th Edition

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

By | [email protected] | October 17, 2018 10:14am

Miss BoliviaMiss Bolivia / Photo via Diario de la Costa

Hallucinatory experiences cannot be defined as sustained perceptions that possess no reality, for there is no reality aside from perceptions. Instead, we must insist in defining hallucinosis as sustained perceptions that reach no social consensus. In that sense, we mistake the validity of seeing or hearing something against it’s nature; we construct reality based on what it is socially acceptable to divulge as seen or heard, and dismiss what does not fit in norm and convention as a hallucinatory process explained by drugs or insanity.

Various philosophers have attacked the presumptions under which our beliefs rest, the axioms on top of which our language is built, and have repeatedly found nothing. The question of reality as a duality – that is, the possibility of its unfolding as real or unreal – has to be abandoned.

Thus I further a doubt: couldn’t reality be a co-conscious construction? Couldn’t matter be just an idea, and our belief in it is what creates it? Couldn’t dreams and hallucinations be considered ruptures in the vortex of co-conscious construction, and be referred as a piercing of our imagination pouring through the nexus of our minds?

Did you understand any of that? I’m not sure I did, but let me tell you, this week looks like a dream taken from a happy excerpt from Phillip K. Dick’s lost novel. La Portuaria, Divididos, Pettinato, Chancha Via Circuito – some of the best bands in the local scene – are making sporadic appearances to bring back the joy of the old days.

Check out the dates below! And for those workaholics, married couples, or philosophers who did understand whatever I said above and that do not believe in consensual reality, well, for those we have all their music in this week’s Spotify Playlist. Groove on!



La Portuaria

Spooktober has many things we love – Spring with no allergies, Halloween, and the Movistar FRI Music Festival. Although its main acts have been known for over a year – Las Pelotas, Massare, El Kuelgue – I bring you today a breadcrumb trail of secrets. First breadcrumb: a sideshow has been announced just a couple of days ago. Second breadcrumb: it’s La Portuaria. Third breadcrumb: it’s an homage to Sumo.

This might be one of the most Argentine circumstances ever, since it combines being late, a tango-rock band, and an homage to our favorite baldie. Sumo was a ska-reggae-rock living manifesto of genius that polluted Argentine radio waves with messages of love and rebellion during the post-dictatorial era, and its frontman, Luca Prodan, is remembered with the greatest Argentine musicians, right beside Spinetta and Astor Piazzola.

La Portuaria generally play tango-rock ballads and illustrious compositions, but they have prepared a show out of their comfort zone to awaken the sacred songs of Sumo. Although tickets are available for free only for those with Movistar phones, this is an opportunity I wouldn’t miss!

7 PM | AR $400 | Samsung Studio | Balcarce 460


Divididos is one of the greatest and most renowned Argentine rock bands of this generation. Their consistency in making far-reaching rock music that combines Argentine Folk and political lyrics led in 2005 to the award of the band with the Platinum Konex Award as the best Rock Group of the 1995–2005 decade, distinction shared with Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota. Divididos (“The Divided”) was the band that was formed out of Sumo, after the death of Luca Prodan in 1988.

They have eventually grown into their own sound, less experimental and playing less with genres, but consolidating themselves as the most go-to Argentine rock band of our times. So if you want to hear Sumo reinterpreted, choose your allegiance with La Portuaria – but if you want to see what Sumo evolved into, come to watch Divididos play live at the Teatro Flores!

10 PM | AR $550 | Teatro Flores | Rivadavia 7800


Roberto Pettinato

And still we go on talking about Sumo! Will we ever cease talking about Sumo? I hope not. Roberto Pettinato started his musical career in one of the best possible ways: as the saxophonist for Luca Prodan’s strange machinations. After Luca’s death, Pettinato did not continue playing with his former mates, relinquishing the possibility of playing with Divididos, and instead deciding for himself to become a TV host and keep playing his saxophone as a hobby.

The events that lead to the rupture of the band, and the chosen name “The Divided” speaks for itself – there was a crucial parting of ways for the members of Sumo once Luca had passed away. And even though Divididos became one of the best Argentine rock bands of their generation, Roberto didn’t do too bad or himself anyways – he fulfilled his dreams of being famous for himself, and not under the shadow of Luca Prodan, and kept playing his saxophone beautifully.

This week he is booked to play in the most old-school jazz club in Buenos Aires – Notorious. So if you prefer the most melodic swing-jazz tunes of Sumo rather than their rock ballads, perhaps you’d also rather be smoking a cigar and drinking whisky at Notorious rather than be shouting in the packed arena of the Teatro Flores. Hey, perhaps you’ll do both!

9 PM | AR $450 | Notorious | Callao 966


Chancha Via Circuito

Chancha Via Circuito released a new album a couple of weeks ago, titled Buenaventuranza. Edited by the Estamos Felices label, it counts among its repertoire twelve unique songs, full of Andean and Amazonian sounds mixed with Latin rhythms, dancing grooves, and electronic space-synths. A master of the sample, the band’s frontman Pedro Canale has reinforced his soundscapes of collaborations with Mateo KingmanKaleemaLido Pimienta, Miriam García, Manu Ranks and Gianluz.

Since ZZK Records distributed the band’s second album, Río Arriba, Chancha Via Circuito has been touring South America with the likes of Nu, El Buho and Nicola Cruz. If you’re up for a cosmic jungle trance, don’t miss this show! I’ll be there dressed as Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

8 PM | AR $200 | Groove | Santa Fe 4389

Juana Molina

Our favorite chthonic witch, Juana Molina will be playing again this Saturday at Niceto Club. She is unforgettable, a rare born mystical creature of subtle heart, and each time she performs live she enters a sort of trance that sticks like glue to the audience as if she were the Styx’s very own boatman of the Souls, Charon, and was leading us into a mellow, more ethereal existence. Daughter of Horacio Molina, the tango singer, and Chunchuna Villafane, the feisty actress, she combines both her lineages into songs that have equal parts expression and lyricism.

A poet in her own way, her music oscillates from ambient to indie pop and from neofolk to psych rock, although she is usually tagged with the umbrella term “folktronica.” So expect the unexpected, as in any of Juana’s shows. Her debut album, Rara, produced by Gustavo Santaolalla in 1996, still remains a seminal album of Argentina’s indie scene, and is the best entry way for anyone to discover her music. That, or seeing her this Friday!

9 PM | AR $350 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510


Miss Bolivia

María Paz Ferreyra, better known as Miss Bolivia, is a singer, composer, producer and DJ from Argentina that combines in her style genres as various as reggae, hip-hop, cumbia, and ska. Before dedicating herself to the world of music she was a practicing psychologist, but she left her passion to subdue emotional trauma personally to take on the job to change the minds of her audience on a bigger spectrum.

In her lyrics we find combinations of strong elements of political movements, where she unfolds a message of emancipation and a calling for a natural reconnection while praising the gifts of life and denouncing the evils of corruption. She is openly bisexual, and has formed a strong nexus with the activism toward the human rights movement. Also linked to the legalization of marihuana and Mapuche activism to reinstate the territories stolen from the original peoples, her militant essence has also gained her a respectable position within the scope of feminism.

From all this we can assume that her show is not only a performance of musical prowess, but a living manifesto toward change – and all this, done with the utmost sense of pure expression that characterizes her tribal-city music.

7 PM | AR $350 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510


Afromama Jams in Makena Club

Afromama Jams is a cycle that celebrates love of all shapes in shapeless music, playing the best of funk, r&b, hip-hop and soul with a crew of itinerant performers that have always lived up to the height of their host, the Makena arena. Even though we promote this event week after week, trust that it’s never the same event; Afromama Jams is a conceptual idea of music that bring together various artists that share the same views on what music should be for – having fun.

Well-rooted in black rhythms, and the evolution of blues into r&b, each band that plays on the Afromama stage is part of a collective of musicians that aim to rekindle the flame of the psychedelic 80’s right here in BA. It is a night of beers, of glances, of dancing, of listening, of shouting. It is a night for whatever you want to do.

After each show the vows erupt with a violence bearing no ill will, save to be born out of the ruthless silence that follows the encore – and our allegiance, as always, rests in motion and the movement of the stars.

11 PM | AR $200 | Makena Cantina Club | Fitz Roy 1519

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].