Moe's Alley presents a night of live Cumbia & Latin dance music with LA MISA NEGRA + THEE COMMONS.
VIDEO- La Misa Negra- Misa Medianoche
VIDEO- Thee Commons- Live
La Misa Negra (Black Mass or Black Ritual) is an 8-piece band from Oakland, California that plays a unique blend of 1950's and 60's style cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music. The symbolism behind their name pays tribute to the genre’s African roots and Caribbean heritage, and celebrates the spirit and ritual of dance. Powered by horn and accordion-driven riffs, a fierce rhythm section, and a vintage Colombian sound, La Misa Negra delivers an electrifying performance that explodes with infectious dance grooves and punk rock energy. Since their live debut in the fall of 2011, they have been dropping heavyweight cumbia, porro, and gaita - proving through dance and sweat that La Misa Negra is more than just a band. It’s a PARTY!
Founded by guitar and accordion player, Marco Polo Santiago, La Misa Negra consists of Diana Trujillo (lead vocals), Justin Chin (tenor sax, baritone sax), Morgan Nilsen (clarinet), Shane Cox (trumpet, trombone), Erich Huffaker (upright bass), Craig Miller (drums, percussion), and Elena de Troya (percussion). On the strength of their wild and one-of-a-kind shows, La Misa Negra has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands to emerge from the Bay Area in recent years, garnering a diverse fan base that transcends musical, cultural, and generational divides. After playing shows and festivals with a diverse list of artists that includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Florence and the Machine, Lenny Kravitz, Arcade Fire, Thievery Corporation, George Clinton, Julieta Venegas, Ozomatli, Lila Downs, Budos Band, Ana Tijoux, and Bomba Estereo, La Misa Negra now releases their much anticipated debut album, Misa de Medianoche.
Consisting of ten tracks, Misa de Medianoche (Midnight Mass) is a journey across various styles of cumbia, porro, and gaita, beginning with a fast-paced, monster title track meant for a midnight voodoo dance. The cumbia kicks into mid-tempo groove with songs like the sensually hypnotic, “Por la Bahia”, the rootsy, accordion-laced “Cumbia Milagrosa”, and the album closer, “La Cumbia Cura”, which encourages listeners to leave their pills on the table and let the cumbia do the healing. By capturing the raw energy of their live shows and the classic Colombian sound they have become known for, Misa de Medianoche serves as the perfect introduction to anyone who has yet to witness what these Oakland cumbia peddlers can do with a cowbell and a crowd. Branded as “hella bailable” and guilty of fueling spontaneous dance parties, Misa de Medianoche invites the soon-to-be converted to dance at the altar of La Misa Negra.
THEE COMMONS- Since banding together in 2012, psychedelic cumbia-punk trio Thee Commons have made waves in and around their hometown of East LA. Featuring los hermanos Pacheco and one of several lively session bassists, these romp ‘n’ rollers have managed not only to marry two unlikely genres -- world’s apart -- in perfect pastiche harmony but have also compiled a prolific catalogue of music to which they toured through the United States in an extensive 32 days, 35 shows tour in the Summer of 2016. Named #15 on LA Weekly’s “LA’s 20 Best Live Shows of 2016” outranking the likes of ELO, Bruce Springsteen and The Who, Thee Commons have created a buzz with their vivacious performances. Chris Ziegler founder of LA Record wrote about Thee Commons, “Live, they’re fearless, confident and ready to go off-script at a moment’s inspiration. It’s wild stuff, just as it absolutely should be.” To which Chris Kissel of LA Weekly further comments, “If Thee Commons aren’t the best live band in Los Angeles, they’re damn near the top.”
Altogether, Thee Commons have played well over a hundred shows, gaining in the process hundreds more in fans -- those eager for something new to call their own. They have performed at several of Southern California’s prestigious venues and festivals, including Echo Park Rising, Desert Daze, Viva Pomona, The Echoplex of Echo Park, The Regent Theatre of Downtown Los Angeles, the Glasshouse of Pomona, the Roxy of West Hollywood and the Observatory of Santa Ana; have been hosted for a residency by pocho wine bar Eastside Luv of Boyle Heights -- which consisted of a weekly burlesque-dancer-entangled-affair dubbed the “Cumbia Psicodelica Cabaret”; and have opened up for such acts as Chicano Batman, Bomba Estereo, Thee Midniters and even unofficially -- by way of an impromptu guerilla-style street show -- for The Pixies.
Discographically, Thee Commons’ “DIT” (do it together) hard work ethic has yielded them a debut 7inch vinyl EP paradoxically titled Sunburn at Midnight -- self-released spring 2013 -- and a fragmented compilation entitled Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors, which is to say an 8-volume limited edition EP series, the volumes of which they released successively throughout 2014. As of 2015, however, Rock is Dead is available, as a full-feature 20-song CD, and as a specialty, limited edition cassette and 10-inch -- 10-song -- vinyl originally co-released by the independent O.C. label Burger Records. 2016 brought about their sophomore album “Loteria Tribal” co-released with Burger Records on CD, Cassette and limited edition Flexi Vinyl. The same year also brought about two new 7-inch vinyl’s that include their refreshing cover of Los Saico’s “Demolicion,” on Denver, Colorado’s Heavy Dose Records, and a single of “La Fiesta” an obscure swinging Mexican cover b/w a grungy cover of Selena’s “La Carcancha” on Steady Beat Records out of San Pedro, CA..
Looking forward, 2017 Thee Commons plan to release the ambitious 18 song junior follow up album “Paleta Sonora” out later this year. Teamed up with Cosmica Artists Management group and Monterey Int. Booking Agency, the future looks auspicious for these young and determined “chunsters” who doggedly strive to perfect their hypnotic yet invigorating act -- which includes an intertextual take on Nirvana's “Love Buzz” and a punk cover of Selena’s “Baila Esta Cumbia”-- and disseminate the perfect pastiche that is psychedelic cumbia punk.