Alan Palomo of Neon Indian
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For nearly two decades, the Muffs have been one of LA punk’s best-kept secrets: a band that makes wonderfully catchy punk-pop that makes you smile. Frontwoman Kim Shattuck has one of the greatest screams this side of Roger Daltrey. I caught up with Shattuck following the Muffs’ spunky St. Patrick’s Day show at Beerland.
At 2am Wednesday night/Thursday morning, I am utterly exhausted. Between the music industry panels, wonkish talk about the industry’s alleged health and sickness, official and unofficial showcases, label and press parties, there is so much music in Austin right now. It’s at once dizzying, blissful, and nearly suffocating.
There was no real stage, but that didn’t seem to matter against the beautiful backdrop of the New York City skyline. The roof of the Cooper Square Hotel, the venue for a new musical showcase hosted by former music publicist Annie Ohayon, was entertaining enough, but it served as the perfect venue for this event, which promised to be part artists’ salon, part cocktail party. Officially titled the Annie O. Concert Series, the curated evenings will be open to bands and musicians from around the world.
Led by a pair of former choirgirls, Las Rubias del Norte are a melting pot of Latin music and song. Like the city they call home, Las Rubias represent a mixture of culture and sounds, all under the leadership of Allyssa Lamb and Emily Hurst.
Celebrating the release of their third record, Ziguala, the band played an intimate early set at Joe’s Pub Friday night. A self-described exploration of world music “if rock ‘n’ roll never happened” the record’s songs skip from country to country. Backed by congas, timbale, maracas, upright bass, glockenspiel, vibes, electric guitar, keyboard and ukulele, the songs were either assertive or beguiling, but always rhythmic. Peruvian, French, and Bolivian songs supplanted the title track, a Greek tune, all with an underlying Latin beat. By comparison their only English song, a drowsy Western, “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”, seemed lethargic and uninspired.