Buenos Aires can be a crazy city sometimes. No, I’m not talking about the recent guerrilla warfare we had in front of Congress, or the fact that our President is trying to be friends with Trump’s Brazilian twin – I’m talking, obviously, about Halloween.
In Argentina, we love feriados – holidays – so much, that we will do whatever is in our hands to make them last. And it’s not just a Jungian collective-subconscious activity that takes over the common man; even politicians will jump as quick as they can on the feriado bandwagon. For example, if a national holiday happens to be a Tuesday, Monday is a de-facto feriado as well. This we can have a long weekend to go to Carilo, Rosario or even a short escapade to Uruguay, where weed is legal and people are not hypocrites.
The same happens when a feriado occurs on a Thursday – we’ll do anything to get that Friday off. And even if it happens to be on a Wednesday, like this week’s Halloween, we’ll always find a way to turn it to our advantage. Porteños love Halloween, and not because it is a distant echo of a Pre-Columbian ancestor worship rite, but because we will celebrate any foreign festivity that will let us off the hook for no reason. Halloween, for us, is a sort of kinky Saint Patrick’s day, which, when the time is right, can turn into a whole week.
- Read More: Can’t-Miss Halloween Events in Buenos Aires
And here lies the confusion. Halloween is not a national holiday – yet. But, since it landed on a Wednesday, that means that we can adapt to the social convention that makes out Halloween to be just the 31st of October and just choose whatever day we deem fit to celebrate. Some people dressed up last Saturday, some will dress up today, and some others will choose to celebrate this weekend. This is the type of confusion Argentine thrive on. And, hey, if you’ve already spent half your salary on that kinky wolverine rental costume, why not use it the whole week?
Of course, trick-or-treating is not part of the criollo Halloween. We just love excuses to party, and if it involves dressing up like sexy psychopaths, all the merrier. Keep on reading and you’ll find the perfect musical settings to parade your costumes; and for those who actually do practice Native American ancestral rites, well, for them we’ll always have The Playlist, so that you can speak to the Old Ones with contemporary music.
What will you dress as?
Matias Sundblad, Timothy Shaw, & Santiago Fos
I’ll start this week’s music recommendations with the perfect place to celebrate Halloween, American-style. Niceto’s Club 69 group is well aware that we need a place to be seen on Halloween, and no one knows flamboyancy better than these chiques. They have put up a show featuring local tech-house hero, Matias Sundblad, foreign groove-technician Timothy Shaw and the promising but yet unknown Santiago Fos to turn those mysterious knobs all night for us to dance to.
The premise of the night is clear: it will be a reverse beauty pageant, where the crowned King and Queen will most likely look like the stunt double of Wolverine and a Cruella de Vil who, after realizing she couldn’t clothe herself with dalmatian fur, desisted on any attempt to put any clothes at all. Even though the musical excellency of Niceto’s performers remains unblemished to date, this is a show for the eyes rather than the ears; it is a place where we can all wear the masks that we truly are.
11 PM | AR $200 | Niceto Club | Niceto Vega 5510
La Confiteria is one of BA’s underbelly secret locations of which only few people have heard. Instead of battling the other venues with marketing and publicity, they trust their invitees to spread the word. Since it used to be a 1950’s French-style chateaux, the fact that they have remodeled an aristocratic house and converted it into a music venue is worthy of checking out on its own. The terrace looks over Palermo and Chacarita like Batman’s distress signal, and its dance floor can accommodate over a thousand lunatics before they realize they’re sweating. But that’s not why I’m writing about it now; it’s because they have managed to pull together their greatest gig yet.
A sort of one-day festival, they have invited brought together a group of artists so interesting it is difficult to pass the opportunity of seeing them play together. Under normal circumstances, La Vida en Familia, Nunca Fui a Un Parque, Diversiones and Queridas are in a constant warring state in which they fight for the indie-pop fanbase of Buenos Aires.; and that’s why this is an important gig, because it’s the first time ever that this genre’s most prominent bands will play together. The show is curated by Altocamet, the eldest of the neo-pop adventurers. Formed in 1995, they have shared a stage with Gustavo Cerati, Babasónicos, and Sonic Youth, and even though their sound is as contemporary as it gets, they are the cornerstone in today’s local pop band references.
10 PM | AR $200 | La Confitería| Av. Federico Lacroze 2963
Foster the People
All you other kids, with your pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, faster than my gun… Did you realize that song is about high-school shootings? I just did. Anyways, Foster the People has been a multi-cultural pop reference since they released that single back in 2010. Even though over eight years have passed, that song is still being played in the radio, and for a very good reason: it’s so good that you can even forget it is about something as macabre as mass murder.
Since their debut the band has not stopped composing, releasing four albums since, and playing gigs all around the world. For the first time they come to Argentina, to what most people predict will be an awesome, packed show in Estadio Obras – a place so big it has contained all Ozzy Osbourne’s local fans, twice. This indie pop band has gradually shifted their sound from a radio-blockbuster, chorus-verse-chorus ensemble to a more psychedelic dance routine, while maintaining the sound that brought them to fame. This basically means that they will rock your socks off with the songs you know while they will blow your mind with those you don’t. It’s sure to be a special night. Anybody care to forge press passes for me? Hell, they should give me some just for doing this.
9 PM | AR $850 | Estadio Obras | Av. del Libertador 7395
It is not often that I recommend to my youthful readers (if you blushed reading that phrase, you’re probably not one of them) a folklore band, so I’ll have to explain myself. First, they’re from Uruguay and most of their songs have marijuana references. I’m not a plant-smoker myself, cough, cough, but my studies in ethnomusicology have revealed that a sporadic use of this herb might have something to do with good music. The study remains inconclusive, as further testing is needed. (Any volunteers?)
Second, they’re not a past-glorifying group of countryside boys playing daddy’s banjo – they compose surrealistic soundscapes that have for a narrative the life of the gaucho. Their lyrics could be what Martin Fierro sang to that guy he killed after going out of the club, or pulpería, as they called it back then. And, last but not least, I really like them. They have a very authentic aura about them, and I got to see them once in Uruguay, among other dozen or so beady-eyed spectators at the bonfire. Even though they’re playing big shows now, they haven’t lost an ounce of that down-to-earth spirit that made them pursue the acoustic path of music.
9 PM | AR $150 | Teatro Vorterix | Av. Federico Lacroze 3455
This is the third time Residente, half of the famous Calle 13 duo, returns to Buenos Aires. Everyone knows him as the fit Puerto Rican rapper that gave us the Atrevete song back in 2005, and continued to release hit singles throughout the decade. One of the most interesting things about Rene Perez Joglar – real name of Residente – is his stylistic versatility. While most rappers and hip-hop artists constantly re-hash the first hit that brought them to fame, even to ludicrous extents (looking at you, Lil Wayne), Residente has a knack for genre-venturing, and has composed music spanning from activist latino ska, emo-styled hello-darkness-my-old-friend rap-ballads, and sexy reggaeton tunes still being played today.
Hell, he can be considered a poet in his own sense, for stripping his lyrics from his music still leaves a work of art. Although he is still on good terms with Visitante, his stepbrother and Calle 13’s other half, he has recently taken to perform solo, apparently because his musical shadow just can’t tour so extensively and perform always at the level for which Residente is known. That means this Saturday we’re in for another of his energetic performances where he will take us through the rollercoaster-ride of his musical spectrum steered by the voices of the peoples that speak through him. Residente is, truly, as they say back in Puerto Rico – a Brophet. I can’t wait!
7 PM | AR $950 | Hipódromo de Palermo | Av. del Libertador 4101
Mladen Solomun, better known under his stage name Solomun, is returning once again to set the groove right in BA. This Bosnian-German DJ and music producer grew up in Hamburg, Germany, and rose to prominence and fame after his infamous first performance at Pacha Ibiza, after which he was booked as the only regular act, every Sunday for two years. Mind you, Ibiza is the Party Mecca of the World (so important I had to capitalize it), and Pacha probably Ibiza’s most renowned club. Three-time DJ Awards winner for Best Producer and Best Deep House DJ, he ranks among the top 100 DJ’s in Resident Advisor’s roster. So it’s clear that we are speaking about someone who is ahead of his game – someone who has understood the game so fully he has become its laws.
Accordingly, Solomun is among the few creative minds that keep pushing the limits of what party music can be; I’ve heard him sample the rattle of his Mercedes’ keys into a two-hour long tech-house set. Unanimously loved in Argentina, he always returns here because, as he said in an interview, “Argentines party like crazy.” This will be the sixth time he performs at Mandarine Park, which promises to be as fun and wild as the previous ones. The only difference is that this time he will be accompanied by the German producer H.O.S.H., and his warm-up will be in charge of the locals Max & Nim.
11 PM | AR $700 | Mandarine Park | Acceso Punta Carrasco
Alice in Chains & Judas Priest
Could this week end any better? Alice in Chains and Judas Priest, performing live, in our city! Oh, how I wish my 16-year-old self were here to see this. These two, together with Nirvana, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and G&R, were my favorite bands of all time, and, even if I’ve grown to be a man – which means I have no favorites any longer – they still retain a warm spot in my heart. They are the epitome of hard rock music, and the apex of manliness. Granted, this century’s teachings came in the form of the androgynous nature of reality and the defeat of rock at the hands of hip-hop, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce.
I used to do it when I was studying for the University: whenever things got too stressful for me, I took a ride on the Zeppithon – Jack Black’s coined phrase for listening to all nine Led Zeppelin albums in a row. However, even better than the Zeppithon is seeing Alice in Chains and Judas Priest perform live! Of course, neither of these bands need any introduction. Judas Priest are the image of what a hard rock band will always be, and Alice in Chains was the real founder of grunge. Their show will be opened by Black Star Riders, a neo-grunge band from Oklahoma, and the local bands Helker and Humo del Cairo. If you still have that warm spot in your heart, what are you waiting for? Get the tickets now!
9 PM | AR $600 | Tecnópolis | J.B. de la Salle 4365
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].