Haven Underground presents cross-cultural beat for ‘indie rock geeks’ | TheUnion.com
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Haven Underground presents cross-cultural beat for ‘indie rock geeks’

The Haven Underground present Y La Bamba beginning at 8 tonight at the Nevada City club.

Hailing from Portland, Ore., Y La Bamba hopscotch across genres. Led by the multi-lingual Luz Elena Mendoza, the band throws klezmer music, traditional Mexican folk songs and layered indie-rock into their musical gumbo with thrilling results. One minute, they sound like a vintage 78 record from South of the border, the next they’re spinning fractured folk harmonies over ghostly toy pianos. It could be argued that Y La Bamba are doing for traditional Mexican folk what the Pogues did for Irish music; they’ve reinvented a classic genre with a healthy dose of youthful energy, amplifying the things they love and eschewing what doesn’t rock. In a time when indie bands are borderline xenophobic in their influences, this adventurous combo infuses vibrant rhythms and multi-lingual harmonies into their compositions.

Sacramento’s Exquisite Corps will join Y La Bamba tonight. Fronted by vocalist Bryan Valenzuela, this sextet fills out their sound with a full rhythm section as well as a three-piece string section composed of cello, violin and viola. The resulting music has all the intensity of a modern band but with a delicate twist.



Rounding out the bill at Nevada City’s Haven Underground is the eclectic genius of DJ Sweet Anomaly. This young record slinger uses his turntables as a musical cruise ship, visiting ports as diverse as India’s Bollywood, Kingston Jamaica and the modern British club scene.


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