HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Mexican Institute of Sound

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Each Labor Day weekend, the fine folks at Club Congress host the city's biggest musical bash of the year. It runs Wed. Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 3. The Tucson Weekly is down with it.

We here at
TW HQ so down with it we'll be doing power previews like tequila shots of bands and artists performing the HOCO Fest, local and international. Here's the cliche-destroying Mexican Institute of Art, a must-see on Friday, September Sept. 1.
Camilo Lara is the mighty Mexican Institute of Art. - NACIONAL RECORDS
  • Nacional Records
  • Camilo Lara is the mighty Mexican Institute of Art.

Political, whip smart, ironic. Just one of these three adjectives is hard to pull off with musicality, but Mexico City’s Mexican Institute of Sound gano the triple crown. Whether directly addressing the problems in “Mexico,” where violence and corruption has citizens “saber que el tuyo no es tuyo,” (knowing what is yours is not yours) or playing against Latin-lover stereotypes, “Escribeme Pronto. Soy pasionante, pero yo no soy tanto” (Write me soon. I am passionate but I am not stupid), the singsong/rapped lyrics are always on point—witty and aware of US and Mexican cultural shortcomings. But it’s not just the lyrics in this post-Beck hip-hop outfit that succeed. On “Mexico,” traditional, heroic-sounding horns are slowed down to be clownish; turning a cultural touchstone on its head. In “Escribeme Pronto,” sped up mandates to “Dance!” are dropped in above ’50s Mexico-by-way-of-Hollywood orchestration. This is parody at its finest—razor sharp, danceable, fun. Like Ozomatli, this banda just gets better live. All hail group leader Camilo Lara! Not to be missed.


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