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Los de Abajo, Rastrillos

Mon. August 20th 2007 9pm doors at 8pm Richard's On Richards (No Minors) 9pm doors at 8pm
Tickets at: All Ticketmaster Locations, Zulu Records, Highlife Records
Presented by: Live Nation
on sale fri 7/13 @ 10am

Los de Abajo came together in 1992, formed by Carlos Cuevas (keyboard), Yocupitzio Arrellano (drummer), Liber Terán (vocals) and Vladimir Garnica (guitar). They initially had a Latin-ska sound in mind, but as their ranks expanded, they soon began hosting high-energy gigs at various ersatz clubs and spaces in Mexico City’s largely improvised rock scene.

They soon found however, that they were outside the emerging network for bands. ‘We learned that the only way to survive was to do it ourselves, through our people and our own roots, forgetting about the glamour, and making our way as musicians.’ They began playing political events as well as parties. As drummer and founding member Yocupitzio Arrellano puts it, ‘the context in which we developed was this - injustice, neglect for the poor, and lack of avenues for free expression’.

They take their name from a classic novel about the Mexican Revolution, and they fervently believe that change comes from below. "Of course, the ideas had an influence on the music," says Yocu. "This became the most punk and radical thing: combining our sentiments with the strength and heat of Afro-Latin rhythms."

We were always looking to translate our ideas into scenery, theatre and installation’, says Yocu. The diversity of ideas and concepts was such that no record company could get the entire picture, so they went DIY, recorded two cassettes that spread through Mexico City’s rock underground, and toured throughout the Republic.

Luaka Bop first heard of Los de Abajo when the band sent some demos to the label’s New York office. ‘They were already a pretty exciting combination of rock energy, salsa, reggae and cumbia. We then asked to see what they were like live and were sent a video of the band performing at a union party in a huge outdoor shed-type deal - they were playing their salsafied rock and the audience was pogoing, moshing and jumping around like mad,’ explains David Byrne.

Luaka Bop went down and hung out with the band in Mexico City, at a rehearsal in a makeshift space on the outskirts of town and subsequently Los de Abajo were signed.
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