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New York Music Beat: The Latin Alternative Music Conference
So the Latin Alternative Music Conference began this week with concerts at Summerstage and various other venues (see www.latinalternative.com for details). The conference – one of the few week-long music events that I consistently attend as a freelance writer – is always something I look forward to not only for the quality of the music but for the interesting contacts we can all make while there.
Since this year I am not blogging about the conference for anybody (I have been assigned to write a review of the event for BMI Music World – this time around the Miami New Times chose not to assign me to contribute to their blog – something I did in 2007 and 2008), I would like to give you an update of what is going on: last night I headed for Summerstage, where I heard Brazil's Latin Soul innovator Curumin, who took the stage with a small band that sounded like an orchestra, thanks to the electronic equipment they brought along. Curumin played drums and sang lead for most of the show, but he also took an electric cavaquinho for some samba-inflected funk. He closed with a cool version of MJ's “Beat It” geared to a more – let's say “tropical” mode. Following him was Argentina's Juana Molina, who did her creating music on the spot thing. Her fans loved it, but I must confess that after an hour I got kind of tired of it.
My wife Renata (who is an aspiring photographer) took some great pictures there, which will be available once we choose which ones to publish. After that I headed with a friend to downtown's Mercury Lounge, where we got to see three bands – when we arrived, my friends from Monareta were just wrapping up their set (I finally got to see them live after all these years), and then there were two more bands until I decided to call it quits and head back to my Staten Island apartment.
Later this afternoon I will be attending the acoustic showcase at SOB's and a larger show at the Bowery Ballroom – I am pretty excited about hearing Federico Aubele, who I recently interviewed for the New York Press (see article below). Then there are Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados at Celebrate Brooklyn and Calle 13 and Eric Bobo at Summerstage on Saturday... It should be a good conference. In the meantime, follow my updates and Tweets.