The up-and-coming Venezuelan Punk Rock band La Vida Bohème—famous at home for holding free impromptu concerts at clubs nationwide—came to New York last week for a first-ever series of concerts as part of the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC).
Their U.S. premier last Wednesday at the Mercury Lounge on New York’s Lower East Side drew a heavily Venezuelan (but also international) crowd of rock aficionados for a 40-minute set which the band kicked off with their newest hit Radio Capital. They also drew the attention of New York Times reporter Jon Pareles, who covered the show and described the band’s music as “hard-nose, cowbell-happy dance-rock akin to both LCD Soundsystem and the Rapture and their late-1970s punk-funk sources like Talking Heads and Gang of Four.”
Though not overtly political, concertgoers surely couldn’t miss the rebellious tone and lyrics that not only typify the genre, but were in this case also clearly adapted to convey an undercurrent of youthful discontent of a uniquely Venezuelan variety. Nor could one help but wonder what the Jackson Pollock-esque smattering of pastel-colored paint covering each of the band members must symbolize coming from a group that hails from the Western Hemisphere’s most violent country.
Be sure to look out for future AQ coverage of La Vida Bohème in the Fall 2011 issue of Americas Quarterly or see them live on July 16 at Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Music Hall. But for now, have a listen and draw your own conclusions...