Lotus Plaza Live in SF, CA (05/09/12)

Best known for his work at the lead guitarist for Deerhunter, Lockett Pundt recently embarked on his first major tour for his solo project Lotus Plaza in support of their magnificent 2012 LP “Spooky Action at a Distance”. Along that tour Lockett and the Lotus Plaza band made a stop at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco and played a wonderful show that I managed to capture a few videos from.

The band only played eight songs and after a crowd encouraging an encore effort, Lockett came out to apologize saying “sorry we only learned eight songs. next time, we’ll have more”. However, despite the limited amount of songs played, the set was really enjoyable as each song sounded great live and fit in well in the context of all the others.

As mentioned previously, I took live videos of three Lotus Plaza songs: “Come Back”, “Eveningness”, & “Jet Out of The Tundra”. Take a watch/listen below for yourself, it’s worth it.

El Guincho Debuts New Pop Negro Songs Live

El Guincho (aka Spain’s Pablo Diaz-Reixa) is readying the follow up to his sensational 2008 album Alegranza! and in support, he recently decided to travel over to the states to host a brief tour at a couple of choice cities. I caught his show at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco this past Friday, July 9th and El Guincho didn’t disappoint by being sure to bring a storm of tropical funk with him (which those who hear it will not soon forget).

Unfortunately, El Guincho’s live band was without their touring bassist due to an emergency back in their home Barcelona so (as they explained), prior to the show they had to go into the studio with him to record all of his bass tracks down into samples for Pablo to play on one of his SP-404’s in addition to his usual tasks of singing, playing samples on his other SP-404, playing his drum pad, and playing the keyboard too (believe me, this guy keeps himself busy on stage). The duo lamented a few times that they were nervous playing and it felt like a very “intense” show for them; however, there were no discernible hiccups and I thought they did a great job of handling it all. They could have easily said nothing and no one would have assumed that anything from their show was even missing.

El Guincho played through a staple of Alegranza! songs while also playing at least as much new material, if not more. I was fortunate enough to capture a couple of new songs from his upcoming album Pop Negro on video (see below), which he said should be coming out around September. The first one posted below, (that I now know is called “Bombay”) is a sweet tune with some nice live funky guitar on it, which is a fitting addition nowadays to his tropical sampler sound.

Update: El Guincho recently posted the recorded version of “Bombay” on his official website which you can freely download below (or stream from his site).

El Guincho – Bombay

I also caught one other new song (Untitled 2), which (as he stated right before playing it) is Pablo’s favorite song on the upcoming album. So as you might guess, it’s a good one and sure to be a Pop Negro highlight.

Personally, I always enjoy when I hear artists playing/reinventing older songs in new and different ways and El Guincho exhibits a good example of this thought with his live version of “Costa Paraiso”.

Lastly, I caught the fitting encore of the Alegranza! gem “Antillas” which featured “the dancing guy” from the opening band multi-person collective Still Flyin’ (which I couldn’t help but liken to a local poor man’s Broken Social Scene, which I assure you is a compliment) and it had the crowd rocking until eventually everyone else felt like it was also time to jump on stage and join the El Guincho dance party. Quite a fun experience to end another great show, this time courtesy of El Guincho and the Rickshaw Stop.