This Sunday, October 1st, West Hollywood’s House of Blues will welcome the Musica Fresca Festival, featuring four fantastic and eclectic bands who slice, dice, and rep the musical cultures of the Spanish-speaking Carribean as well as Mexico and Los Angeles, for one low, low price. A battle of two local bands sponsored by Telemundo will fire things up prior to the show’s commencement.

This is not only a chance to make a thali-type sampler of different latino musical genres, but a perfect opportunity to experience four diverse artists at the peak of their game who are exploring their own brands of global fusion.

The Battle will pit Mexi-merican songwriter Cava versus homeboys Domingo Siete before the smoking Yerba Buena rock through the ryhthmic history of their native Cuba, with an emphasis on Afro-Cuban son, whipped around with a little modern afro-beat, hip-hop, and funk. The mixed musical collective sort of remind us of a Spanish-tinged Black Eyed Peas or Chumbawumba, minus the sucking big ones part. In fact, let’s change that to the Spanish-tinged Go Team. Similarly, their last album was nominated for a Grammy, while thier latest sound incorporates cumbia and gypsy elements, ever reaching to integrate ususual or underutilized instrumentation in their Cuba by way of New York energy.


Radio Mundial has an urgent, cuatro guitar-soaked sound, drawing on their Puerto Rican/Peruvian homelands for strains of bomba, plena, and solid song craftsmanship. They have a jumping sound that even Carlos Santana “borrowed” on his hit ‘El Fuego’ and their live shows could compete with Springstein for pure energy. Representing Brooklyn, Radio Munidal ‘s sound speaks to the urban East Coast Latino experience from the Caribbean to South America.

Voltio, also from Puerto Rico and formerly of underground heroes Masters of Funk, adds a Jamaican verbal assassin’s intensity to his driving, psychotically frenzied reggaeton, a unique variation that pays homage to D.R. and Cuba with its touchdowns into merengue and mambo. You’ve probably heard his tune ‘Bumper,’ with that sexy vieja asking us to beat it up in her more-effective-than-Viagra breathy chorus.

We have really gotten into shows by Radio Mundial and Yerba Buena on many occasions, they keep rumps bouncing like the room is full of hydraulically-heinied dance cyborgs. But we are most looking forward to experiencing Los Angeles’ own Akwid live for the first time as they promote thier new album. Los dos hermanos Gomez combine easy, G’d up rap styles of their hometown South Central with the banda and norteno of their Mexican birthplace, their widely influenced sound helps speak for las calles ouestes with combined black and latino influence. In any case, we are suckers for horns, lose our shit for Spanglish, and can’t get enough of that Westcoast gangsta’ shit.

Any one of these bands live would be worth more than the price of admission alone. At only $18 a ticket, Sunday looks ready to be a night jampacked with hip-circling, sweating heinas, and high-pitched shouting, charged up madness. Get your tickets for Musica Fresca at House of Blues’ website, they are currently still available.