Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cumbia Rock with Kanko

Last Friday night I headed downtown to The Parrish on 6th to check out a band I first heard about at SXSW. During SXSW I worked a radio showcase over at Habana. Batanga featured a lot of good artists that day, but one band that caught my eye was local Latin Alternative act “Kanko”.

To be honest, I was running around doing miscellaneous errands and production assistant type stuff while Kanko was on. What I did hear from them that day sounded good to me, so I figured since they are Austin based I’d get a chance to seem them later on.

Later on brings us to the end of May. I saw Kanko on the bill for Pachanga Fest. I missed Pachanga, therefore missing Kanko again along with the other bands that played. I’m not too disappointed because I knew I would catch them again some day. That some day finally came Friday night at The Parrish.

Kanko started their set around 11 pm, a good time slot for them. They immediately got started with some music that had all the hot white girls dancing. Enough said there right? Kanko’s music is a good blend of rock and Mexican cumbia....with hints of punk. I call their music “cumbia rock”.

The only other band in town I’ve seen in my made up “cumbia rock” genre is Maneja Beto. Maneja is more of the indie rock persuasion where Kanko’s music is harder and faster cumbia rock. Despite the harder and faster sound, it is still very danceable.

Lead singer Brian Ramos is a very active musician on the scene. I’ve noticed that along with being the lead singer of Kanko, he also plays in another Latin Alternative band called El Sancho. El Sancho played in a Myspace Latino showcase recently there at the Parrish. Ramos also got together with Charanga Cakewalk to create a theme song for Rock y Roll Radio, an internet radio show hosted by Paul Saucido.

With all this talent, drive, hard work and contacts I think Kanko will be around for a while. I am not sure to what level exactly, as they are a semi-new band that only came together within the last couple of years or so. However, with Maneja Beto on hiatus for a while, Kanko will be a good cumbia rock fix in the meantime.

Kanko tracks to listen to: Agua Ardiente, Culero, La Maquina

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