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Posts Tagged ‘venezuelan bands’

Dame Pa’ Matarla is a band based out of Yaracuy that is just starting to gain attention outside of their hometown. They have been frequently seen on the beaches near Chichiriviche, hawking CDs and performing for passersby. Now, they’re giving concerts in Caracas and all around Venezuela. And they have a blog!

We recommend the song, “Alzemos la voz en favor de la paz,” which means, “Let’s raise our voices for peace.” It is a social commentary with a positive message sung in perfect harmony. Watch the video below.

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Meet Latin pop music’s new Juanes, the saucy young Johnny Sigal of Venezuela.

This baby-faced singer is very familiar with the stage, for he became famous while starring in a stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar — that’s right, he played Jesus.

In the past few months, Johnny has thrown off his robes, released a self-titled album, and spent time touring the U.S. If all goes well, he may be vying for Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys next year.

Check out the video for his catchy single, “Quedo en nada.”

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Autopista Sur is one of the best new rock bands on the scene in Venezuela. The quartet formed in 2005, and has performed at clubs and festivals throughout the country, often alongside other groups we like, such as Los Amigos Invisibles and Papashanty.

The band members are all from Caracas, and they gather inspiration from the urban landscape and the awkward fractures of its modern aesthetic. To read more in Spanish, click here.

To hear music by Autopista Sur and watch videos, visit their MySpace page. The song featured in the video below, “Caracas se quema” (Caracas is burning) is the title track of their brand new album.

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What does Venezuela sound like? The best answer to this question is perhaps provided by the band Los Vasallos del Sol (in English, “Vassals of the Sun”). This 25-member group interprets diverse musical traditions that speak of local heritage in many different parts of the country, from the Afro-Venezuelan rhythms of the Caribbean coast to the llanera ballads of the inland plains.

Formed in 1990, Los Vasallos have recorded five albums to date, most recently the 15-year anniversary disc, Quince años (2005). While in the past they were solely supported by the private sector, now they also receive government support and exemplify Venezuela’s new vision of cultural inclusiveness. They are best heard live, for their drumming, dancing, and costumes will dazzle spectators and inform them about Venezuelan culture.

Luckily for us, Los Vasallos are taking their act on tour in the U.S. next week and will be performing in San Francisco, Washington DC, and Houston. For details on these concerts, visit the Venezuela in Your Town section of this blog.

For a sneak peek at Los Vasallos, watch a video here or listen to their song “Malembe de Mendoza” here.

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In musical circles, Venezuela was once known for the llanera ballads of its rural plains. But in today’s urbanized 21st century Venezuela, you are more likely to hear reggae and ska.

These pop sounds are influenced by rock and Caribbean rhythms, and boast lyrics that explore themes relevant to today’s youth: love, partying, politics, racial issues, national pride, and the chaos of city life. Here is a quick guide to some good reggae and ska bands in Venezuela.

Veteran ska group Desorden Público (pictured above) was formed in Caracas in 1985, and has become one of Venezuela’s most famous bands. Mention the song “Allá cayó” to any Latin American rock music fan, and they are sure to know it. Behind the dozen or so albums already released by the group is a philosophy of racial and social equality.

Like Desorden Público, Sin Sospechas writes lyrics that express a strong social consciousness, and their sound is a “musical mestizaje“: a blend of different influences, both local and foreign. Los Mentas bill themselves as “rockabilly,” which sounds like sped-up ska. Their new release is called “Sopa, Seco y Jugo.” Finally, the more laid-back sounding reggae band Papashanty Saundsystem is gaining fans fast, and is on tour in Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico this spring.

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Venezuelan music is replete with diverse influences, from Andean, Caribbean, and African rhythms and traditional folkloric instruments, to North American and European rock, jazz, and electronica trends.

Babylon Motorhome is a ska and reggae band that is making a splash right now in the local music scene in Caracas. The 12-person group blends different styles to come up with a unique and varied sound. On their Myspace page, they describe themselves as “a collective that presents the vibe from Caracas in a varied and multicolor form through the combination of music, graphics, technology, improvisation and ideas.”

This video clip is Babylon Motorhome’s re-mix of a classic by the Venezuelan musical great Simón Díaz. It is included in the compilation Simón Díaz Remixes.

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