Aterciopelados, Alex Cuba, Making Movies | House of Blues | International | Chicago Reader

Aterciopelados, Alex Cuba, Making Movies Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Sun., April 5, 9 p.m. 2009

It’s not easy to keep a band alive for nearly two decades, and it’s much harder to stay relevant for that long—but the veteran Colombian duo of singer Andrea Echeverri and guitarist-producer Hector Buitrago have done both. On last year’s Rio (Nacional) Aterciopelados sound as driven and curious as ever—their warm, upbeat pop songs, subtly gilded with electronics and aglow with tropical vigor, speak to the beauty of nature and the human body and to the political and social forces that impair our enjoyment of them. On the title track Echeverri laments the pollution of the Bogota River, and on “Madre” she celebrates femininity and motherhood, elaborating on the central theme of her 2005 solo album. Musically Rio is the band’s most ambitious outing in years: infusions of reggae, Andean chant, hip-hop—Gloria “Goyo” Martinez of the hot Colombian group Choc Quib Town drops some deft rhymes on “28”—and even khoomei-style throat singing color the hooky, effervescent melodies. Even better, this eclecticism isn’t just a smoke screen—the core of each song is rock solid, with Buitrago’s lithe, ringing guitar lines cradling Echeverri’s sanguine singing. Alex Cuba opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $24.50-$27

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