A week on the scene
While in St. Louis over the Christmas holidays, the members of local synth-pop favorites Hyperbubble saw a group they accurately describe as a "pretty boy electro-goth dance duo." They proceeded to invite that duo, called Femme Fatality, for a gig in SA. On Tuesday, February 22, Femme Fatality (whose appearance suggests young models going for the Benjamin Orr look) will bring their immaculate coifs to the Sanctuary (1818 N. Main). They'll be joined by Hyperbubble and Sexy Robots.
Another noteworthy Sanctuary gig happens on Friday, February 25, when garage-rock elder statesmen Sons of Hercules play their first local gig in seven months. They've been holed up recently writing material for their forthcoming followup to the 2002 Suprema full-length, Right Now.
Politics and progressive conjunto
When Celso Piña y Su Ronda Bogotá took the stage at the north central nightclub Ritmo Latino on Friday, February 11, he launched, quite unexpectedly, into a ferocious cover of the classic "Cumbia Sampuesana."
The song's trilled opening notes and catchy bass hook packed the dance floor for an extended set that featured both new and classic material from Piña's multi-decade recording career, including favorites such as "Cumbia de mi patria," and a rendition of his millennial hit "Cumbia sobre el río," done with a playful nod to one of its many remixed incantations. Aside from "El Porro Magangueleño," the lead single off his new album, Piña didn't touch any of the more politically charged tunes from that disc. "No se puede tocar aquí," Piña told S&F, referring to how his label forced him to change some of his lyrics, although his native Mexico imposes no such restrictions. Undeterred, he shrugged it off, saying "Ese es el pedo."
Two nights later, Conjunto Aztlan shared the love at its CD release party at the Guadalupe Theater, playing a blend of progressive conjunto and bilingual Chicano barrio blues before a packed house. In a live context, the tracks on From Aztlan With Love sounded richer than on the recording, thanks to the number of guests who joined Conjunto Aztlan onstage, expanding the neo-traditional ensemble well beyond its initial four members.