Y La Bamba

Y La Bamba

Smash crossover folk-pop chart-toppers The Lumineers have taken the music world by surprise, and have been traversing the globe to capitalize on their recent radio successes, with venues in several cities being upgraded to meet the demand. The most recent leg of their tour created some additional buzz with the addition of Portland Oregon’s Y La Bamba as a support act. Unsuspecting audiences have been mesmerized by the six piece band’s blend of atmospheric indie folk and traditional Latin sounds, featuring lyrics in both English and Spanish. Singer-songwriter Luzelena Mendoza slowly pieced her band together while evolving her sound from home recordings to bigger productions, collaborating with The DecemberistsChris Funk and Los LobosSteve Berlin.

Catch the band at Boston’s House of Blues tonight, February 4, and later on March 1 at Seattle’s Showbox at the Market. We’ll keep you updated as dates are added. If you’re not near one of those cities, tide yourself over with this performance from NPR, and stay tuned for an exclusive OurStage session with the band, coming soon. Check out the official video for Michoacán after the jump.


Riffs, Rants, And Rumors: Los Lobos Look Back On 'Kiko'

It was 1991 and Los Lobos were pissed. We had recorded [1990 album] The Neighborhood and toured that record nonstop, remembers saxophonist/keyboardist Steve Berlin. The Neighborhood took us about a year to make, for no good reason. We had a co-producer who had an agenda, and we were dealing with his agenda and not trusting ourselves. We came home from that tour pissed-off, broke, we had sort of bought this idea that we were big rock stars and that we needed to have all this rock-star stuff, like lights, and two buses, and lots of stuff that we really didn’t need, or even want, for that matter. (more…)

Selwyn Birchwood Band To Melt Minds At Sarasota Blues Fest 2011

Last Saturday, five of the Sunshine State’s hottest blues acts tore the house down at The Gator Club in Sarasota, Florida. The amps were turned up to eleven”scales flying at a frenetic pace”enough they say to wake Stevie Ray Vaughan from the grave. The reason? These worthy five artists were competing for a chance to win $750 cash and a performance at the legendary Sarasota Blues Fest so bringing anything but their A-game was simply not an option.

Face-melting performances aside, only one act could walk away victorious. That act is Orlando natives Selwyn Birchwood Band, Grand Prize Winners of the “Sarasota Blues Fest” Competition. Frontman Selwyn Birchwood was first turned on to the blues at a Buddy Guy concert. He has since built an impressive career for himself”hitting the road with Sonny Rhodes and making waves in regional and national blues competitions including the International Blues Challenge.

Selwyn Birchwood Band will join the festival lineup this year alongside heavy hitters Los Lobos, Ryan Shaw, Shaun Murphy and more. Stay tuned for our upcoming interview with the winners and be sure to show them some love on their OurStage profile.


Exclusive Q&A: The Bronx Bring Mariachi To The Punk Masses

For the past three years, The Bronx have been living a double life as a hardcore punk band and a troupe of mariachi musicians.  After releasing three ferocious punk albums, the band took a decidedly different musical direction.  Their 2009 debut mariachi album proved that The Bronx was equally comfortable playing brain-rattling distorted power chords as well as intricate, authentic mariachi music. With the release of their second album as Mariachi El Bronx this August and a summer tour supporting the Foo Fighters, the band cements their relationship with mariachi not as a one-off gimmick, but as a serious musical passion. We sat down with frontman Matt Caughthran to talk about the personal draw of mariachi music, the band’s dining habits and how we can get our hands on their special brand of cologne.

OS: There’s a lot of old horror movie imagery in your album covers and merch.  If you could record the score for one movie, which would it be?

MC: Oh, wow. I would say Apocalypse Now. It’s my favorite. It’s very much the movie about the journey, you know? I kind of find a parallel with that movie and my own life. I feel sometimes like I’m going up this river to find whoever my Colonel Kurtz is, with all the chaos that happens along the way. It’s always struck a chord with me. It’s such a great story and it’s so easily relatable to anyone that’s ever been down a long, strange road.

OS: Lucha libre is also an influence in The Bronx’s merch and videos.  If you were a luchador, what would your theme song be?

MC: Ooh that’s a good one.  Let’s see here.  It’d probably be “Short Sight of Nothing” by Los Lobos.  That’s my favorite Lobos song.  It’d be a good song to come out to, I think.  “La Pistola y El Corazon,” too.  That’s a great Lobos song.  That would kind of get the crowd going.

OS: While you’re standing up on the turnbuckles and doing your thing?

MC: [Laughs] Yeah, exactly!