“Sounds of Uruguay” at SXSW
My country, South America’s second-smallest nation, has a population of a little over three million, but an amazing per-capita ratio of musicians and soccer players.
For the first time in South by Southwest’s history, Uruguay (in a collaboration between Uruguayan artists and government) are sending a solid team of bands and solo artists to SXSW. They will all perform on Wednesday, March 13, at Speakeasy (412 Congress, Austin), but the day before (Tuesday, March 12), percussionist Daniel “Tatita” Márquez will perform a free show in San Antonio at the Arneson River Theatre 418 Villita St., 7pm-11pm).
Here’s a quick look:
El Cuarteto de Nos, 1:10 am
The veteran rock band has been playing and recording for over 20 years. In 2012, the band won two Latin Grammys (Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album), and they routinely sell out arenas throughout Latin America. Their last (and best) four albums (El Cuarteto de Nos, Raro, Bipolar, and Porfiado) were produced by Juan Campodónico (Bajofondo, Campo) and show humorous, sharp lyricists who know how to write hook-filled songs.
Max Capote, 12:10am
Grammy-nominated Max Capote is weird, in a lovable way. Latin Grammy-nominated, and named by Billboard magazine as one of the top 10 artists to watch in 2013, his is a strange hybrid of the Italian crooners of the ’60s and ’70s, tropical pop and rock… and that doesn’t even begin to describe his style, which gets even more unpredictable on a live setting.
Martín Buscaglia, 11:10pm
Born in a musical family (he’s the son of Nancy Guguich and the late Horacio Buscaglia), Martín is a provocateur who blends funk/rock/reggae with Uruguayan folk styles and performance art. I recommend his 2006 album El Evangelio según mi jardinero (The Gospel According to my Gardener), which in turn was recommended to me by none other than the great Julieta Venegas (by the way, Julieta was also enthusiastic about El Cuarteto de Nos, whom she interviewed for Rolling Stone Argentina).
The Gustavo Santaolalla-produced and Grammy- and Latin Grammy-nominated electrocumbia/tango/rock fusion project by Juan Campodónico, guitarist for Bajofondo and producer of El Cuarteto de Nos.
Franny Glass, 9:15pm
A unique singer-songwriter with a deadpan voice and an ample stylistic range that goes from Cuban Nueva Trova and folk, to murga, candombe, pop, and rock.
Malena Muyala, 8:20pm
A tango, milonga, and milongón singer who also produces and makes films. Much more than an interpreter, she writes and has a meticulous, hands-on approach to everything she does. One of Uruguay’s key creative forces of today.
Daniel “Tatita” Márquez, 7:30pm
In a country of drummers (Uruguay has the world’s Southernmost Afro-Latin population), “Tatita” Márquez is the best young percussionist and the one with the most developed and active solo career. Now one of two percussionists in Jaime Roos band, he blends the Afro-Uruguayan candombe rhythm with jazz and electronica/hip-hop. Don’t miss his 7pm Tuesday, March 12, free show at the Arneson River Theatre at La Villita.
— Enrique Lopetegui