Friday, January 30, 2009

Y La Bamba: Mythical and Post-Modern

As I've mentioned before, I'm a fan of PWRFL POWER. And when I went to see him play on December 6 at the Artistery, I really didn't know anything about the opening acts.

When I walked in, I was surprised by how many people there were. I wasn't expecting four dozen people because on my walk down the stairs into the venue, they had been silent. It was between songs and the entire crowd seemed like they were in a trance. Then Luz Elena and Ben of Y La Bamba started another and I saw why.

There was one word in my mind. Otherworldly. The Latin-folk harmonies were like time travel. But the music was also shattered, like a Cortázar story. So it made sense to me when, while I was interviewing her for this story that appears in today's Oregonian, Luz Elena said that when she sings in Spanish, "there's an alchemy about Latin and the roots of it. I feel like it's stained with magic."

Y La Bamba plays in Seattle tonight and at Backspace tomorrow with Black Whales and Oh Captain, My Captain.

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