While I am not a crazy-go-nuts fan of the Indigo Girls, I sure am wild about Indigo Girl Amy Ray’s Daemon Records label. Her not-for-profit concern is as diverse as it is packed with quality. Ray’s own punk, indie-noise CD Stag is an eye-opener, and I also particularly enjoy the Moto Litas, Rose Polenzani and Danielle Howle and the Tantrums.
But most of all I like Cordero. Led by Puerto Rican-American singer-songwriter Ani Cordero, their contagious, thoughtful brand of Latinized Brooklyn indie-rock tosses together Throwing Muses, Mazzy Star, Madder Rose, with assertive Latin percussion, plaintive horns and Cordero’s commentary on life and culture (especially adjusting to Brooklyn after Atlanta and Tucson) from both sides of the linguistic divide.
Codero’s Lamb Lost In the City was one of last year’s more interesting debuts and when I heard that the band was opening for Los Lobos here in Cleveland at the Beachland Ballroom, on a Saturday, we just had to go.
The band – drummer Chris Verene (The Rock*A*Teens, Merge Records), guitarist Lynn Wright (James Hall, Geffen Records), bass player (and Bee and Flower violinist) Jon Petrow, and multi-instrumentalist Blasco Ballroom provides keyboards, backing vocals and lapsteel – rocked gently but persuasively through favorites from the album including “Vamos Nenas” at the midpoint between Brooklyn and San Juan; “Hellfire” is beat-heavy enough to reflect a hip-hop influence under a mysterious Southwest desert sky; “Mia” is a beautiful minor key syncopated shuffle; “Scholar” is lovely, delicate Mazzy Star alt-pop; “Todo Por Ti” is a heartbreaking classic tango.
The crowd of mostly 40- and 50-somethings was receptive, but doubtless distracted a bit by the shuttle tragedy of earlier in the day, and looking ahead to the first Los Lobos performance in Cleveland in years.
After their performance, Dawn bought a Cordero shirt from their swag table in the lobby and the entire band signed it. We chatted for some time with amiable bassist Petrow, who appreciated our appreciation mucho and told us this was the band’s first show with Los Lobos so they had nothing to compare it to. Altogether a tremendous night – I will discuss Los Lobos separately.
Check out Cordero’s Lamb Lost In the City on disc, and see the band live with Los Lobos through this week, or with Indigo Girls the following week. Viva!
Monday February 3 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rosebud
Tuesday February 4 – Harrisburgh, PA – Whitaker Center
Thursday February 6 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theater
Friday February 7 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Saturday February 8 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
CORDERO TOUR DATES WITH INDIGO GIRLS
Monday February 10 – Bloomington, IN – Indiana University Auditorium
Tuesday February 11 – Lexington, KY – Singletary Center
Wednesday February 12 – St. Louis, MO – The Pageant
Friday February 14 – Columbus, OH – PromoWest Pavillion
Saturday February 15 – Oberlin, OH – Finney Chapel/Oberlin College
Monday February 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Benedum Center