Cannibalist Manifesto

Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia on the pitch

Marcelo D2
Marcelo D2

In 1946, Brazil and Argentina played a particularly nasty football match for the South American championship. Less than 30 minutes into the game, the Argentine captain suffered a career-ending broken leg, rival players brawled on the pitch, and riotous fans swarmed the field. The teams refused to play each other for another decade.

Be it football, politics, economics, or actual wars, these South American giants have long been bitter rivals. The two neighbors bring a friendlier competition to Austin as more than a dozen Brazilian bands and almost as many Argentine acts play South by Southwest 08. Throw in two Colombian bands, and it all adds up to the largest showing ever at the music festival for South American artists.

Of the Argentine contingent, more than half (Axel K Soundsystem, El Remolon, Frikstailers, Tremor, and King Coya & el Trip Selector) belong to a bubbling underground Buenos Aires club movement that mashes up cumbia with dancehall, house, hip-hop, and reggaeton. The loose collective of artists are the masterminds behind Zizek, Buenos Aires' hottest weekly dance party named for the Slovenian-born philosopher Slavoj Zizek, who married an Argentine scholar and lingerie model. Like Zizek's philosophy, the collective's electro-cumbia is a hodgepodge of ideas that is fun, elusive, and wholly original. Having been blessed with the Diplo stamp of approval, the Zizek crew brings its underground dance party to Ninety Proof Lounge on March 13. Don't miss multi-instrumentalist Axel Krygier's Axel K Soundsystem, who spices up his dubbed-out big beats with live percussion and accordion.

Axel Krygier
Axel Krygier

Brazil has its own philosopher whose ideas manifest in the country's music, though he may not have eloped with an underwear model. Oswald de Andrade's 1928 Cannibalist Manifesto suggested that the country's great strength is the way in which Brazilians devour foreign influences in the process of creating something uniquely Brazilian. It's a philosophical thread that weaves its way throughout Brazilian music history and can be seen in the stable of Brazilian artists playing SXSW 08, many of whom meld the modern with traditional, indigenous with the foreign.

From São Paulo, Curumin injects traditional samba with splashes of soul, reggae, funk, and hip-hop. Signed to San Francisco's Quannum Projects, this modern sambista stands out on a label full of left-coast lyricists. Yet the mix of breezy melodies and boom-bap beats on his 2005 release, Achados e Perdidos, fits the Bay Area vibe, be it San Francisco or São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos.

Lucy & the Popsonics
Lucy & the Popsonics

Like Curumin, Brazilian hip-hop legend Marcelo D2 mixes old with new, mining heavy 1970s Brazilian funk as a canvas for his rapid-fire Portuguese rhymes. The MC got his start with Planet Hemp and has since collaborated with Sergio Mendes and traded verses with of the Black Eyed Peas and Chali 2na of Jurassic 5. His 2006 release, Meu Samba É Assim (Sony BMG), solidified his place as one of Brazil's most important young artists.

Those who enjoyed the freaky coming-out party of Bonde do Role at last year's SXSW will want to check out the noisy lo-fi electro-rock of Lucy & the Popsonics. The guitar duo doesn't dabble in baile funk, but the maddening effect of its music – a raucous off-kilter dance party – is the same. It doesn't hurt that Lucy herself is the most adorable punk rocker you could ever hope to see.

A historic number of South American artists play SXSW this year. Let's just hope the Brazilians and Argentines can play nice.

Artsy Argentine Avant-Garde

Pedro Menéndez Ensemble


Argentine Electronic Dance

Axel K Soundsystem

El Remolon


King Coya & el Trip Selector

Zona Tango

Classic Bossa Nova

Pierre Aderne

Alexia Bomtempo

Hard Rockeros


Valerio Rinaldi



Modern Samba

Tita Lima


Latin America

Axel K Soundsystem, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Thursday, 10pm, Ninety Proof Lounge

Capsula, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Wednesday, 11pm, B.D. Riley's

El Remolon, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Thursday, 9pm, Ninety Proof Lounge

Frikstailers, Cordoba, Argentina,, Thursday, 1am, Ninety Proof Lounge

King Coya & el Trip Selector, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Thursday, 11pm, Ninety Proof Lounge

Pedro Menéndez Ensemble, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Saturday, TBA, Elephant Room

Valerio Rinaldi, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Saturday, 11pm, Club 115

Tremor, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Thursday, 8pm, Ninety Proof Lounge

Zona Tango, Buenos Aires, Argentina,, Friday, TBA, Elephant Room

Pierre Aderne, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,, Thursday, 12mid, Copa

Alexia Bomtempo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,, Thursday, 11pm, Copa

Curumin, São Paolo, Brazil,, Thursday, 9:30pm, Prague

Debate, São Paulo, Brazil,, Saturday, 12mid, Club 115

Fruet & os Cozinheiros, Porto Alegre, Brazil,, Saturday, 8pm, Club 115

Tita Lima, São Paulo, Brazil,, Thursday, 1am, Copa

Lucy & the Popsonics, Brasília, Brazil,, Thursday, 9pm, Flamingo Cantina

Marcelo D2, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,, Thursday, 12mid, Momo's

Nancy, Brasília, Brazil,, Saturday, 1am, Club 115

O Quarto das Cinzas, Fortaleza, Brazil,, Thursday, 10pm, Copa

Telerama, Fortaleza, Brazil,, Saturday, 9pm, Club 115

Monareta, Bogota, Colombia,, Wednesday, 1am, Copa

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