CAFÉ TACVBA: Niu Güeis Tour 2018
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
This event is all ages
Cafe Tacvba is widely recognized as Mexico’s leading alternative rock band and indeed one of the most influential alternative groups to come out of Latin America, spearheading a non-conformist musical movement with their blending of elements such as rock, indigenous folk, electronic and punk music. With a career spanning over 25 years, they continue to expand an already massive audience of devoted fans throughout the Americas, Europe and beyond. They have won multiple Latin Grammys and a Grammy, and their album, Re, was named the “Number One Latin Rock Album of All Time” in 2013. (Rolling Stone)
Starting out in the ‘80s as a garage band of graphic design students in the northern Mexico City suburb of Satélite, the band took the name Cafe Tacuba (changed later to Cafe Tacvba) in 1989, when they solidified the lineup as lead singer Rubén Albarrán, guitarist José Alfredo Rangel (Joselo), bassist Enrique Rangel (Quique), and keyboardist Emmanuel del Real (Meme). Their flare for presenting a mix of rock, new wave and regional Mexican sounds with light-hearted irreverence made them a sensation on the club scene in Mexico City, and caught the attention of then up-and-coming Argentine producer Gustavo Santaolalla. After arranging their contract with Warner Music, Santaolalla produced their first album, Cafe Tacuba, (1992), beginning a long and fruitful collaboration for albums to come. The band’s original lineup of four remains the same today, though they have diversified their roles within the band. Each a musician/composer in his own right, they continue to pursue individual artistic projects as well. Regular adjunct musicians include Alejandro Flores, violin, beginning in 1994, and drummer Luis “El Children” Ledezma, in 2003.
One constant throughout Cafe Tacvba’s career is innovation. While commonly regarded as the most prominent band to come out of the “rock en espanol” movement of the early ‘90s, the label has always been too narrow for Cafe Tacvba’s music. The lyrics are in Spanish, however their songs - rooted in Mexican culture yet incorporating multiple genres and influences - cross barriers with a musical language that is constantly evolving through experimentation and collaboration. They don’t so much honor rock traditions as break with them. As noted in the NYTimes, “Cafe Tacvba has earned its reputation as Mexico’s most visionary rock band…treating rock as a genre worth sustaining only if it could be exploded, repeatedly.“
No Cafe Tacvba album is like another. Each studio album is guided by an overriding artistic vision, from the styles of songs and instrumentation used, the collaborators involved, and the design of the packaging (usually done by themselves) - frontman Rubén even assumes a different stage name for every album and touring cycle. Each album feels like a reinvention: whether it’s the seminal Re (1994) with it’s wide range and dramatic style-switching (earning it comparisons with the Beatles’ White Album), the reimagined cover songs of Latin music classics in Avalanche de Éxitos (1996), the experimental electronica of the two-disc Revés/YoSoy (1999), the lush post-punk rock sounds found on Cuatro Caminos (2003, with drummers Victor Indrizzo and Joey Waronker from Beck), Si No’s (2007) classic rock vibe, or the lyrically introspective El objeto antes llamado disco (2012).
The LA Times noted, “On record, Cafe Tacvba comes across as one of the most innovative, versatile and lyrically smart bands in contemporary rock. On stage, it comes across as one of the most likeable.” Being compelling as a live band is in their DNA: they originated as a live act with a cult following, refining their music through multiple performances before ever recording. Their creative energy on stage seems boundless. Exuberant and playful, they can connect with an audience of 80,000 in Mexico City’s Foro Sol. “Beyond the incredible live performance, what stunned me was the rapport the Tacvbos, as they're known, have with their audience.” (NPR Alt.Latino).
Awards include: GRAMMY “Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album” (Cuatro Caminos), Latin GRAMMY “Best Rock Album” (Revés/YoSoy), Latin GRAMMY “Best Alternative Album” (Cuatro Caminos), Latin GRAMMY “Best Rock Song” (twice, for Eres and Esta Vez), Latin GRAMMY “Best Alternative Song” (Volver a Comenzar) iTunes “Best Latin Album of the Year” (El objeto antes llamado disco). Their music appears on soundtracks of the award-winning films Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama También. Music video awards include: “MTV Legend” award (2009), Latin GRAMMY “Best Long Music Video” for Un Viaje (2006) as well as multiple MTV Viewer’s Choice and Premios Lo Nuestro awards. In 2015, they were recognized with the “Icon” La Musa award of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Whether it’s their collaboration with the legendary producer Rick Rubin, kudos from the likes of Zane Lowe and the BBC, or a string of memorable performances from the hills of Glastonbury to the deserts of Coachella, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter siblings Henry and Rupert Stansall, known by their amalgam-created moniker Ruen Brothers, are making a mark with a throwback rock and roll sound that intersects the early days of the genre with a dynamic present day act. The two have gone from sleepy English steel town obscurity to craft-smiths ready to make a global impact.
Inspired by their music aficionado father who raised the duo on a steady diet of The Rolling Stones and The Everly Brothers, the two would rehearse in the family kitchen while scrounging for gigs in their blue-collar hometown of Scunthorpe, England. Laughs Rupert, “We’d walk into pubs and clubs as kids and ask the owner if we could play something for the local drunks at 2pm.” It wasn’t until a move to London and the success of their track “Aces,” a song recorded in their studio apartment, that the boys from Scunthorpe went from pub performers to BBC radio staples.
The brothers quickly collected a global audience of fans, none more influential than iconic producer Rick Rubin, who quickly recognized their talent and promptly took the brothers under his wing. “I liked that their songwriting seemed like it was from another era,” explains Rubin. “It’s making something new again with these traditional influences.” Henry adds, “The album was recorded using all real instruments and a live band, resulting in a different sound than what’s present in much of today’s popular music.” Adds Rupert of the collaboration, “It was incredibly exciting - he’s worked with some of our favorite artists of all time and is such a versatile producer. He helped us recognize the strength of Henry and I playing and singing together; it was a foundation to build upon and the guidance we needed.”
The brothers’ artistic background and pedigree come into full focus on their debut studio album ALL MY SHADES OF BLUE (out 6/01 via Ramseur), produced by Rubin and featuring Henry on acoustic guitar and Rupert on electric and acoustic guitar, harmonica, and bass. The album also includes the talents of such boldface names as Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums, along with The Killers’ Dave Keuning on strings and Faces and Small Faces legend Ian McLagan on keyboards. The record features both music and lyrics written by the boys throughout their improbable journey. Says Rupert, speaking about both the album and the duo’s entire career, “We’re very lucky in the sense that we’ve been able to do whatever we’ve wanted musically and had it all recorded to the best quality with the best musicians and collaborators. In today’s industry, you don’t usually get that freedom. If nothing else, we’re making the music we want to make and that’s enough for me. Hopefully people will appreciate and enjoy it as much as we do.”