Video: Dënver - "Profundidad de Campo"

You'd think by now Dënver would've given "Torneo Local" (the catchiest track in Fuera de Campo) the single treatment, but they've bravely chosen for the wonderfully nuanced and string-syncopated beauty of "Profundidad de Campo." After winning the prize for Music Video of the Year at FESAALP (Festival de Cine Latinoamericano de la Plata), as well as topping our own list with "Revista de Gimnasia," Bernardo Quesney is once again in charge of the frame. Recruiting Chilean actor Eugenio Morales once again as a TV host and dance music choreographer, Quesney plays with the analog signal nostalgia of variety shows (sacrificing the comfort of widescreen and adjusting the ratio of the frame to fit the era). With a bold sign on the background that reads "Tocando las estrellas!," this has to be Dënver's most extroverted clip yet. Mariana is rocking a pink wig, while Milton owns the new look. Both teasing the camera in a tongue-in-cheek manner and showing off their quirky moves. Our favorite duo has sure come a long way since appearing as kidnapped victims on the trunk of a car in that unforgettable breakthrough clip of "Lo Que Quieras."

Video: Los Punsetes - Me gusta que me pegues

While CANADA's style has remained a popular reference point for countless indie videos (and indie video dissections), their latest work for Los Punsetes combines a familiar aesthetic with an even more exaggerated commercial and pop motif. What I'm getting at is that this is kind of Kyary-esque. Anyone who has followed Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's videography over the years should instantly recognize certain visual elements of marrying cute with creepy. “Me gusta que me pegues” might not strictly adhere to Kyary's dogma (what does?), but it still gets there. Consider the scene in which singer Ariadna, dressed in a gold lamé sweater, delivers a knockout roundhouse kick, or how her victim (a pretty freaking creepy piñata man) tumbles down as gracefully as it occurs only in anime. Don't even get me started on the performance shots with candy graphics swirling inside the band. This kawaii masochism is soundtracked by a brazen and addicting single that charges through like a fuse, you can't blink because it goes out that quickly. It's the first taste of LPIV (out November 4th on CANADA Editorial), which also reunites Los Punsetes with Pablo Díaz-Reixa (El Guincho) as producer.

Javiera Mena - "Otra era"

So, it's finally happening. The full details of Javiera Mena's new album are out and Otra Era is due to arrive in a mere two weeks. Our written track record on her recent material might reflect some closeted skepticism, yet in spite of our weak faith, we have been rewarded with a third single. "Otra era," by far the most transcendent and memorable moment of the new album cycle, succeeds where "Espada" and "La Joya" did not. There are no vocal leaps that test the ear palate, no messy structures that overindulge in dance rhythms. Javiera sounds wistful and enlightened: a rare pop wisdom now on full display.

The synth grooves on "Otra era" sound foggy, the house pianos muted. One can feel a distance between the beats, which easily affect the body, but cannot reach the afflicted mind. Not when it's busy contemplating such a mesmerizing and haunting beauty ("¿Acaso no eres de acá?"). Javiera pulls on every resource she can: on history and the impact of great empires, on the metaphysical and platonic ideals. When no lasting conclusions can be reached, she finally surpasses the limitations of language: those altered pitch shifts come in and signal a complete reset. Only through rebirth can she acquire what she really wants, ("contigo llévame a una nueva, nueva, era, era, era...").

Supersonico : Festival Report

The first edition of Supersonico was nothing short from a hit for Cookman and Goldenvoice. Despite my reservations with about a third of the lineup, Supersonico turned out to be the fast-paced and wonderfully packed event it was designed to be. Ok, perhaps not fast enough for those that brought an appetite -the lines were unlike anything I've ever seen... worst than Disney. Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds welcomed 10,000 attendees on a sold out "cultural happening," according to the organizers. With such bright results, it's not a surprise to confirm this as the first edition of many to come.

As always, festivals serve as a grand showcase to see people. I was surprised by how many hipsters showed up (long gone rockosaurios), and surprised by the low number of anglo latinophiles amongst the crowd. Not that the festival wasn't welcoming to those curious about Latin Alternative music, but it was refreshing to see that the festival wasn't catered towards the NPR/KCRW audience as we all thought. Instead, it seemed to be an integrationist event exercising a populist approach at its very core.

It will come off snobbish and not very progressive, but our party planned to hit the event held on Downtown L.A. late enough to miss any SKA act (Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra), boring cultural tailoring (La Santa Cecilia), or cheesy/comic filling (Los Master Plus). But that wasn't very smart of us, as we didn't realize Ceci Bastida played really early on. Four out of five colleagues I ran into pointed to Ceci's performance as the most pleasing, if not the best of the night -which is the same reaction that's been heard from her performances at SXSW and Vive Latino.

Coming to the fest, it was no secret the act I was most excited about was María y José. After five years of blogging about him, I can say I was not disappointed one bit. Not even by his unapologetic choices, like that of singing Magneto's "Vuela Vuela" at what could be his most industry-important show yet. It was thrilling to see Gallardo own that Illuminati stage, acquiring visibility and movement one track after the other. Whatever transmutations he put into the live version of "Kibose," he needs to re-record that (as many times as necessary) -it's so good I wonder if that's been his magnus opus all along. Yes, we can be as romantic as we want applauding the orchestration/pedigree of instruments, but Macbooks can fill a room with joy as well. Also proven by fellow Tijuanenses and ruidoson makers, Los Macuanos, new digital folk should be on the agenda for future Supersonicos to come.

The other highlights of the night weren't necessarily surprising. Café Tacvba still is the most entertaining live act I've ever seen. A worthy headliner of this or any festival out there really. A lesser known band that certainly gained new fans is Bomba Estereo. Although most people didn't recognize them until "Fuego" boomed through the speakers, Liliana Saumet won that audience like no one else did on the main stage. There were also acts with less inconsistency. Los Rakas and AJ Dávila were a bit disappointing in how they decided to approach the festival. Both acts seem to have maximized their sonic output, designing it for a big crowd (Los Rakas by bringing a full funk band, and AJ Davila by choosing to shout before an almost empty stage). You can't really blame either band though. Transferring music discourse is a fragile transaction (especially if they set you up against Calle 13 on the main stage).