The Insiders' Guide to LAMC 2013: the Movers, Shakers and Artists Who Matter

PHOTO: Singer Natalia Clavier will be part of the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in NYC July 10-12 2013.
Courtesy Natalia Clavier

The 14th annual Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) starts today in New York City, with panels, showcases, and gatherings of Latino and Latin Alternative bands and musicians you won't be able to hear on mainstream radio or outlets. You know, the good stuff. As is now traditional (ok, this is only the second time I've done this, I think), I asked my friends, colleagues, Fusion contributors and artists in the so-called Latino music industry and beyond to take a lil' survey.

Here you'll get an idea of what are the up-and-coming bands you should be downloading right now and, if you're in NYC, you should go check them out (a lot of the shows are free and open to the public.) Oh, and Ed Morales - I still need to put together the dream band Colleagues in the Industry, perhaps we can start this weekend if Hurricane Chantal derails my plans of returning home to Miami.

pili
PILI MONTILLA, Host/Producer "Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla"

Where do you live? LA

What's your style? Rock n' roll chic

How many times have you been to LAMC? Third time's a charm!

Why are you here? I'm moderating the "DIY 2.0: Tools for the Nueva Generación" panel (BE THERE!), hosting Thursday ight's showcase at the Gramercy, shooting a special for my new music show "Té Para Tres" from the LAMC (Look for me and our cameras. Feel free to have your own cameo appearance on the show!)

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? I'm in love with Astro LINK and I'm really excited to see Catupecu Machu live.
Who do you wish would be here? Dávila 666, Manu Chao (Yes, again. One can NEVER get enough Manu in one's lifetime.)
What does alternative sound to you? Truthful, unique, fresh, hungry. With a mission.

When does alternative become mainstream? When you have nothing to rebel against. For me alternative music has nothing to do with how many people follow you or how many radio stations play your music. Its about your message and your eagerness to be creative and different. Its about creating an identity and sticking to it.

Anything you'd like to add: Support emerging artists by giving some love to "Té Para Tres con Pili Montilla." It's a creative platform where up and coming artists tell their story and share their music. If you have any bands you think should be featured on our show, let me know.

gina
GINA VERGEL, writer Sounds & Colours (UK), contributor Dos Mundos Radio (Toronto), music publicist

Where do you live? Washington Heights

How do you describe your style?I can't quite escape my New Jersey roots (I like to tan and wear big earrings)

How many times have you been to LAMC? I broke my LAMC cherry last year, so this is my second time at this Latin alternative rodeo!

Why are you here? I'm here to discover new music, cover for Sounds and Colours, a South American music culture magazine based out of London, and to network with one of my music publicity clients, the Kansas City-based bilingual indie rock band, Making Movies.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Without a doubt, Ruben Blades. He's one of the great salseros my dad got me into as a little girl. Also excited to see Chileno rockers, Astro, and am hoping to catch the screening of the "Fania All-Stars: Live in Africa" documentary (Hello! You can't go wrong with footage of Celia Cruz in Zaire!), and the spoken word event at one of my favorite New York City gems, La Casa Azul Bookstore in Spanish Harlem.
What does alternative sound to you? when it's not played on New York's La Mega 97.9 or at La Marina outdoor nightclub in Washington Heights.
When does alternative become mainstream? When Pitbull is featured on the remix.

caro arenas
CAROLINA ARENAS, Writer/Publisher Relations Director, Latin at BMI

Where do you live? Brooklyn

How do you describe your style?Sometimes I love Madeleine Peyroux, sometimes El Dusty.

What's your mission here? To inform & educate indie artists about the tools available in the music business, and motivate them to keep up the good music.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Carla Morrison, Fofe y Los Fetiches.
Who do you wish would be here? Anita Tijoux.
What does alternative sound to you? Anything that isn't straight rock or doesn't fall under the usual music genres. Might be alternative rock, indie, electronica or funk with Latin sounds, you name it.
When does alternative become mainstream?When it sounds commercial and is accepted by the traditional radio stations.

Anything you'd like to add: Truly hope attendees come with a mind set of where they want to be and what answers they are looking for. They might be disappointed when they listen to some facts, but it doesn't mean that we dictate this business.

nicolas
NICOLAS VALLEJO, music critic, band leader La MiniTK del Miedo

Where do you live? Bogotá

How do you describe your style?Normal human beingish

How many times have you been to LAMC? Two or three

Why are you here? Playing with my band La MiniTK del Miedo, kicking off our first US (Mini)Tour. Also to meet friends from the industry and catch up with what's happening.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Official showcases: nobody (where's The new?). Unofficial: definetely Xenia Rubinos.
Who do you wish would be here? Uuffff... Lots of people. But from Colombia, which is the scene I know better: Meridian Brothers, Systema Solar and Resina Lalá.
What does alternative sound to you? Like nothing in particular really. I don't understand music in those terms anymore, like alternative as opposed to mainstream or "indie" as opposed to "corporate." I like to think of music as music and of today as a special moment where these tags and specially, the "genre," is finally dying.
When does alternative become mainstream?Mmm... When it wants, I guess.

Anything you'd like to add: LATINOAMÉRICA UNIDA!!!

monika
MONIKA FABIAN, writer, pen for higher! (Independent!)

Where do you live? NYC

How do you describe your style? Style < Substance

How many times have you been to LAMC?The first time was in 2005 and I've lost count since.

Why are you here? As always, my mission is to hear and see as many of my favorite (and future favorite) acts en vivo and sans Apple device.

In a city where space is only second to time in value, the LAMC grants the "alt," indie,--and everyone in between--in the music industry the spaces to gather, generate buzz, and dance. That's very important and that's why I'm here (aside from work assignments).

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Astro, La Vela Puerca, Torreblanca, Bareto, La Vida Boheme, Bocafloja, the Ghetto Brothers and I'm probably forgetting tons of folks.
Who do you wish would be here? Matias Aguayo, Empress Of, Meridian Brothers, Orquesta El Macabeo, Fakuta, Las Acevedo, Bomba Estereo, Kumbia Queers, El Maria y Jose, Juan Cirerol, La Mecanica Popular, Arca, Helado Negro (who's around & gigging but formal inclusion would've been nice), Gepe (he played last year but I would've liked to have seen songs from GP and Alex & Daniel performed this time around)…
What does alternative sound to you? Ni de aqui, ni de alla.
When does alternative become mainstream? When it's entirely subsidized by and serving of corporate interests.

Anything you'd like to add: As a native New Yorker from the Bronx, I'm especially pumped to see the LAMC co-host events in the South Bronx and El Barrio (at El Museo del Barrio and La Casa Azul bookstore)—two neighborhoods extremely important to Latino NYC history and Latin(o) American music. So out-of-towners should definitely try to head uptown to those events and get to see more of NYC along the way.

Also, check out the unofficial LAMC parties and showcases happening around town. SO many other great acts are coming through.

PHOTO: Singer Natalia Clavier will be part of the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in New York City from July 10-12 2013.
Courtesy Natalia Clavier.

Where do you live? Brooklyn

How do you describe your style? Eclectic: a mix of jazz-soul-dub-electronica and Argentinean folklore

How many times have you been to LAMC? Two times with Federico Aubele, first time solo!

Why are you here? Perform and promote my new album "Lumen" that came out last month on Nacional Records LINK

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Las Latin alternative divas! Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas and new Mexican songbird Carla Morrison.
Who do you wish would be here? Juana Molina, Manu Chao.
What does alternative sound to you? Innovative, mix of genres, inspiring.
When does alternative become mainstream? tk

Anything you'd like to add: Open the borders of the world! It's about time immigration laws change around the globe. Paz en el mundo.

nadia
NADIA REIMAN, radio producer, music consultant for Latino USA

Where do you live? Brooklyn

How do you describe your style? Fashion I would say modern vintage meets Mexican street market. Interview style I would just say Mexican street market. Just kidding--I think I ask short questions though.

Why are you here? To hear new and known artists; to meet other folks that cover Latino music on the ground; to celebrate Latino music and culture and to report it to people that were not there.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year?Alex Anwandter and Carla Morrison for sure.
Who do you wish would be here? I wish Tego was still in the lineup!
What does alternative sound to you? I think it sounds more like unexpected. What do people not expect a music genre to sound like? That's alternative to me.
When does alternative become mainstream? When it becomes what people expect a music genre to sound like. For example, when folks expect Latino music to be pop, electro cumbia, hip hop, metal---then "alternative" will no longer be a label to describe it, and that is a good thing! I think it needs to be dynamic--new sounds need to be the new alternative all the time.

Anything you'd like to add: The best thing that LAMC does is it expands many peoples' ideas of what "Latino" music sounds like. Countless times I've had non-Latinos tell me "Wow, this is good! Doesn't sound Latino." Loaded statement! Where do you even begin to unpack that?

fofe
FOFE, singer/songwriter of Fofe y los Fetiches, president and owner of Carecrica Records

Where do you live? Miramar, Puerto Rico

How do you describe your style? Alternative.

How many times have you been to LAMC? This is my 4th time: First time I performed with El Manjar de Los Dioses. Second and third with Circo. And now with Los Fofetiches.

Why are you here? To show the world my newest musical adventure: Fofe y los Fetiches and our debut album Lujo Eterno.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Carla Morrison, Astro, DaPuntoBeat, Lila Downs, Alex Anwandter, Julieta Venegas and Natalia LaFourcade,
Who do you wish would be here? Juan Cirerol, Mima, Alegria Rampante, AJ Davila, Xaviera Mena, Selma Oxor, Fangoria, Las Robertas, Las Ardillas, Los Vigilantes, Los Pepiniyoz, Mimi Maura, Putilatex, Ely Guerra, Zoe... y muchos mas!
What does alternative sound to you? Like a risky approach to music composition, fashion design, cooking and lifestyle.


When does alternative become mainstream? When you need a category called "indie" to represent it? hahaha

Anything you'd like to add: NY is always fun. LAMC is a great excuse to enjoy the city and reconnect with special and crazy friends from everywhere! Im excited to perform 6 times in three days in the big apple. <3

nati
NATALIA LINARES, Jefa-en-Heart, conrazón, producer #futureroots, programming office SummerStage

Where do you live? Staten Island

How do you describe your style? Natural and wild.

How many times have you been to LAMC? Six times (worked for LAMC in 2007, 2008 and 2009).

Why are you here? Help build a bridge with artists pushing boundaries around the world in new digital era genres. I also work with Los Rakas, managing their sponsorship relations and press/media/grassroots efforts for Soy Raka (Los Rakas' label).

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year?Lila Downs, La MiniTK del Miedo, Calma Carmona, Los Chinchillos del Caribe, Mima, Astro.
Who do you wish would be here? Rita Indiana, Omega, Las Amigas de Nadie, Danay Suarez, Dengue Dengue Dengue!, DJ Quality, Munchi.
What does alternative sound to you? Sounds like everything that comes from an individual heart.
When does alternative become mainstream? When the face of the world changes, and change it will.

claire
CLAIRE FRISBIE, collaborator, Club Fonograma, among other things

Where do you live? Brooklyn, baby

How do you describe your style? I try not to.

How many times have you been to LAMC? This is my 9th year! LAMC OG status, right here. Why are you here? To see great live music & discover new favorites, catch up with old friends, and stay out past my bedtime.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Torreblanca, Alex Anwandter, The Ghetto Brothers, Astro, Fofe y los Fetiches, Julieta Venegas, Ruben Blades (tho I'm really confused about why he's here!)
Who do you wish would be here? Matias Aguayo, Füete Billëte, AJ Davila, Matilda Manzana, Porter, San Pedro El Cortez, Tego Calderon.
What does alternative sound to you? A dated term. Nothing like Ruben Blades.
When does alternative become mainstream? It did years ago, but I'm cool with that.


joel
JOEL MOYA, Remezcla.com

Where do you live? In the Heights

How do you describe your style? According to Remezcla's Andrea Gompf, I'm an early 2006 hipster. More or less one of the first Williamsburg colonizers.

How many times have you been to LAMC? This will be my 5th LAMC.

What is your mission at LAMC? My mission is to find true love. Nahh…to network with as many people as I can, reconnect with old friends, catch as many showcases as I can and of course get drunk.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Astro, Torreblanca, Ulises Hadjis SOMETHING ELSE?.
Who do you wish would be here? Denver, Illya Kuryaki, Campo, El Columpio Asesino and Rita Indiana (Is she hibernating?)
What does alternative sound to you? Alternative is any good type of music that Radio Programmers refuse to play.
When does alternative become mainstream? Once they collab with Pibull. Daaaale!

isabela
ISABELA RAYGOZA, writer for Austin Vida, MTV Iggy

Where do you live? Brooklyn

How do you describe your style? Bohemian rocker.

What is your mission at LAMC? My mission is to reconnect with press, industry heads, and artsits as well as to provide extensive coverage for Austin Vida.

Who are you excited to see at LAMC this year? Nortec, RVSB, Astro, and Los Master Plus!
Who do you wish would be here? Juan Cirerol, Dani Shivers, and Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas.
What does alternative sound to you? It's not a defined sound but it exists outside of the conventional. It has an attitude and lots of style. It takes more than a few sentences to explain it.
When does alternative become mainstream? When Billboard gets ahold of it and then it nods a Grammy nom.

Anything you'd like to add: See you at #LAMC2013!

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