Mexico and Spain 'hablan' behind your back

Ceci Bastida
Ceci Bastida

Those people speaking Spanish behind your back are talking about you, aren't they? Get over yourself! If you're really wanting, longing, hurting to know what those Spanish-speaking rockeras, headbangers, and crooners are singing about, you'll be happy to know that many of the acts coming to South by Southwest 08 from south of the border and Europe are singing in English as well as Spanish. And they're still not talking about you – unless, of course, you've ever fallen in love, been jilted/angry/hurt/bruised, and lived to tell.

Remember the first time you made love to the one you love? Loved, then lost? Fell into bed with a friend, an ex-lover, or someone plain wrong, wrong, wrong? Lost a friend? Made friends with a former lover? Wrote someone a love song? Told someone to go to hell? Begged someone to come back? Thanked someone for being there? Lived with your head in the clouds?

Music is like math. It's multilingual.

This year's lineup is heavy on rockeras, but of various stripes, from die-hard headbangers to pensive, emo-crooners that you can groove to without spilling your drink. The Spanish bands, particularly those from Barcelona, are the most enticing, but some reliable rockeras from Mexico are well worth stepping out for, too.

Hermanas Are Doing It for Themselves

Mala Rodriguez
Mala Rodriguez

While her South by Southwest 07 showcase was marred by sound problems, Tijuana's charming Ceci Bastida returns to showcase her pliable tunes that bend with ache, perk, and sassiness. Guadalajara's Elis Paprika flips her sweet-and-sour voice like the hem of a schoolgirl's skirt, an amusing match to sometimes acerbic lyrics, as in (go to) "Hell." The queen of this trio is Spanish badass Mala Rodriguez, whose sweet image belies her power as a rapper. "Toca Toca" will get the blood flowing.

Spaniards Chanclean!

You might think Barcelona's Tokyo Sex Destruction belongs on the Japan Nite lineup, but no. Their Black Noise and hard jammin' funk, soul, and punk influences, with vox channeling Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, and Little Richard, is here and now. For more funky fun, check Madrid's Right Ons, while Zarautz's Delorean turns techno to pump up the danceable tunes.

¡Otra! ¡Otra!

These rock en Español bands deliver, all having played SXSW in the past, with the exception of Monterrey's Album, which brings a welcome electronica flair to their alt-rock format featuring highly danceable tunes.



Los Llamarada


Night Caps

There's a distinctive late-night, afterparty sense from these bands that range from that VIP lounge, the night is still young vibe to "narcotica," that welcome, soft landing after a long, hard night of partying: Fobia, Les Aus, Num9

Rockeros con Pop

Love of Lesbian
Love of Lesbian

Pop takes on a sophisticated flair in the hands of those boys in Barcelona's Love of Lesbian. While the band's playful name elicits a double take, its tunesmithing means business. Check out "Los Colores de Una Sombra," which brings together a provocative pop arrangement with pensive vocals. Tijuana's Delux pops equally powerful, while the proverbial Dictionary of Musical Knowledge surely has Barcelona's Veracruz and Mexico City's Los Dynamite listed under "Rawk!" And for true, head-banging, devil heavy metal, turn to Mexicali's Lipstick Terror.

Punkeros y Mas!

Descartes a Kant


Hong Kong Blood Opera

Roca Classica


La Gusana Ciega

Hey Besala


Album, Monterrey,, Friday, 9pm, Dirty Dog Bar

Allison, Mexico,, Saturday, 1am, Spiros

Bam Bam, Monterrey,, Thursday, 8pm, Flamingo Cantina

Ceci Bastida, Tijuana,, Thursday, 11pm, Flamingo Cantina

Chikita Violenta, Mexico City,, Saturday, 12mid, Maggie Mae's

Delux, Tijuana,, Saturday, 12mid, Spiros

Descartes a Kant, Guadalajara,, Wednesday, 8pm, Opal Divine's

Elis Paprika, Guadalajara,, Thursday, 10pm, Flamingo Cantina

Fobia, Mexico City,, Wednesday, 1am, Opal Divine's

Hey Besala, Ciudad Juarez,, Friday, 8pm, Dirty Dog Bar

Hong Kong Blood Opera, Hermosillo,, Thursday, 8pm, Bourbon Rocks

Juan Son, Guadalajara,, Saturday, 11pm, Maggie Mae's

La Gusana Ciega, Mexico City,, Friday, 12mid, Dirty Dog Bar

Le Baron, Mexico City,, Wednesday, 9pm, Opal Divine's

Lipstick Terror, Mexicali,, Saturday, 8pm, Spiros

Los Dynamite, Mexico City,, Wednesday, 11pm, Opal Divine's

Los Llamarada, Monterrey,, TBA

Mockinpott, Monterrey,, Friday, 10pm, B.D. Riley's

Niña, Monterrey,, Friday, 11pm, Dirty Dog Bar

Panda, Monterrey,, Friday, 1am, Dirty Dog Bar

Sussie 4, Guadalajara,, Wednesday, 12mid, Opal Divine's

Thermo, Guadalajara,, Friday, 10pm, Dirty Dog Bar


Delorean, Zarautz,, Wednesday, 10pm, Maggie Mae's

Dorian, Barcelona,, Wednesday, 12mid, Copa

Jet Lag, Madrid,, Wednesday, 8pm, B.D. Riley's

Les Aus, Barcelona,, Thursday, 10pm, Red Eyed Fly

Love of Lesbian, Barcelona,, Saturday, 1am, Fadó

Num9, Madrid,, Friday, 8:20pm, Habana Calle 6 Annex

Remate & Loco Band, Asturias,, Friday, 10pm, Habana Calle 6 Annex

The Right Ons, Madrid,, Thursday, 9pm, B.D. Riley's

Mala Rodriguez, Cadiz,, Thursday, 1am, Flamingo Cantina

Tokyo Sex Destruction, Barcelona,, Thursday, 11pm, Red Eyed Fly

Veracruz, Barcelona,, Thursday, 8pm, Red Eyed Fly

We Are Standard, Basque Country,, Saturday, 10pm, Habana Calle 6 Annex

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