Michael Crockett’s Picks for Pachanga Fest 2014

We’ve asked our Latin music expert and host of “Horizontes” (Fridays 1-4 p.m.) Michael Crockett to share his top five picks for the festival — and he did not disappoint!

You can hear one of Michael’s top five picks, La Vida Boheme, live at 2:30 p.m. on KUTX, Friday. Michael and La Vida Boheme will be joined in our studios by Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd of NPR’s Alt.Latino.

1. Julieta Venegas (Mexico) – She’s the headliner for good reason. A very popular singer and songwriter in all of Latin America who knows how to write pop hooks that stay with you, but also writes seriously enough to attract many respected guest artists to her recordings and sings so beautifully that she is a much sought-after guest artist herself. Besides, she also plays the accordion; what more could one ask for? And finally, as far as I know, she hasn’t been here since she played the ACL Fest in 2003!

2. Gaby Moreno (Guatemala) – I’m curious to hear a Latin artist who sings in Spanish and English and more in the American genres of Blues, Jazz and Country than Latin genres. She was scheduled to play the Cactus Cafe a year or two ago but her career took off (a 2013 Latin Grammy for Best New Artist) and she was diverted to stadiums opening for Latin pop star Ricardo Arjona.
3. La Santa Cecilia (Los Angeles) – This is another band that has taken a career jump in the last year. They also received a Grammy nomination for a new album that features a song with none other than Elvis Costello and having recently seen them at the Festival International in Lafayette, La., I can tell you that their live show, which I have seen many times (who can resist singer Marisol’s voice?), rocks, or should I say “cumbias” more than ever.
4. Chicha Libre (Brooklyn) – This will be the band that’s the most fun to dance to at Pachanga Fest. Mix Peruvian cumbia with its Andean melodies played on an accordion that samples every cheesy keyboard sound you’ve heard and you will simply feel as if you drank the corn liquor for which the band and its music style are named. You will not be held responsible for what happens next. (Check out their KUTX Studio 1A performance of “Danza del Millonario“)

5. La Vida Boheme (Venezuela) – They are excellent rockers with some great vocal and instrumental arrangements that draw from the popular sounds of their homeland, as well as the whole “spectrum of Anglo rock.” NPR sings La Vida Boheme’s praises saying, “It’s taken Latin rock and made it Latin again. Musically, lyrically and thematically.” Their highly anticipated second album, “Sera,” doesn’t come out until May 14th, but we have a sneak preview.

Michael says he plans to see every band at Pachanga Fest and you should too because they are all worth seeing and the festival layout makes it pretty easy to wander from stage to stage with very little effort. See you at Pachanga Fest 2014!

NPR’s AltLatino host Felix Contrerras listed a few of his must-see acts for Pachanga Fest 2014 and they include:
· AJ Davila y Terror Amor
· Brown Sabbath
· Sonido San Francisco
· Julieta Venegas

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