Aterciopelados, Rabanes, Lara y Reyes, Andrea Echeverri, Manu Chao, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Jaguares, Saúl Hernandez, Puya, Santos Inocentes, Moenia, Migala, Orixa, and Los Mocosos
Próxima Estacion Esperanza, Clandestino, Esperanza, Next Stop Hope, Chau, Hola, La Marcha del Golazo Solitario, Cuando La Sangre Galopa, When the Blood Gallops, Fundamental, Union, Megaton, Le Modular, Arde, and Escena AlterLatina -- The Future Sound of Español (Virgin)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., July 27, 2001
Latin BeatLatin Grammy nominations broke out recently on two of this year's South by Southwest rock en Español headliners, Aterciopelados and Rabanes, as well as for San Antonio's perennial Elephant Room acoustic duo, Lara y Reyes. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of hombres, and in Aterciopelados' case, the bewitching Andrea Echeverri. Next year, look for a treasure chest full of nominations/awards for Manu(el) Chao, pirate mastermind behind Mano Negra, the riotous, 1985-95 Parisian rock/rap combo best described as the Euro-Arabic version of Mork From Ork & the Bad Seeds -- by way of the Panama Canal! Neé a Paris to Spanish Republican refugees, the now Barcelona-dwelling rock & roll en Español/Français/Portunol legend-in-the-making hits la lotería with his second solo album, Próxima Estacion Esperanza (Virgin). A tour de force where his 1998 solo debut Clandestino was merely a minor masterpiece, Esperanza (aka Next Stop Hope) finds Chao in musical scarecrow mode, flopping through rich, indigenous bounce (reggae, mariachi, folk) avec all the charm and humor of Jack Haley in The Wizard of Oz. With an acoustic guitar and his cucaracha marijuano raps over a sparkling bed of steel strings, brass horns, and calliope keyboards, the tropically lush suite of politically astute quirk flows like the A-side of your favorite beat-box chill tape. Top Diez of 2001 seguro
Second to none in the roc revolución are Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, whose second disc of a two-volume live set just happens to be titled Chau. Available separately, Hola and Chau (BMG) serve as bookend tour souvenirs for '99's sober La Marcha del Golazo Solitario, and like the group's La Zona Rosa stopover that year, Argentina's answer to the Clash rock like the 20-year-old institution they are: totalmenté After three LPs (seven including seminal pre-history as the beloved Caifanes), Mexico's Jaguares are themselves hot on the heels of institution status, and with their new Billboard "Heatseeker," Cuando La Sangre Galopa (BMG), they're poised for the kill. Post-Pearl Jam alt.rock encrusted on Seventies AOR radio -- from Kansas to the Eagles -- When the Blood Gallops lives and dies with the melodrama of precious-voiced frontman Saúl Hernandez, who'll have the 15-year-old chicas going loco and their boyfriends tearing down his pinups Sanctioned by both machos and Billboard magazine are Puerto Rico's Puya, who took home the Billboard Latin Music Award for "Rock/Fusion Album of the Year" with '99's brute Fundamental. Follow-up Union (MCA) bends the quartet's metallic stomp with even more roiling Latin rhythm 'n' roots and finds the sweet spot between Ozomatli and Sepultura. Grammy goes to... As a matter of fact, name a genre and there's a pertinent Spanish translation. Crystal Method: Argentina by way of Madonna, Santos Inocentes and their electronic apocalypse debut, Megaton (Maverick). Depeche Mode: Mexico's Moenia and the trio's playstation processor, Le Modular (BMG). Calexico: Spain's best export since Manu Chao's parents, Migala and their bilingual singer-songwriter gem, Arde (Sub Pop). Best New Band. Finally, Escena AlterLatina -- The Future Sound of Español (Ark 21) bags Best Compilation for sampling Rabanes, Santos Inocentes, Orixa, and Los Mocosos among otros. When the Second Annual Latin Grammys go off in Miami September 11, for some of these acts, it will be a harbinger of things to come. Bueno.