We told you that all our McMenamins Music Tours were about to kick it into high gear, and we weren't kidding. Tonight, the Wiyos kick off their Small Batch Tour (which will hit three properties in two days!) at the Kennedy School.
There's old-school, and there's way old-school, and the Wiyos definitely fit the latter. This crew of modern Tin Pan Alley crooners seems to hail from an era when newsboys crowed from street corners and a fedora topped every head. These anachronists somehow manage to infuse their songbook -clearly taken from the popular music of the 1920s and '30s, with an almost imperceptible modern-ness. The result is both a nostalgic look at the past and an eye on the future.
I challenge anyone to really describe Y La Bamba (currently on the Great Northwest Music Tour) accurately. This band is so original, so genre-bending, so strange (in a good way), they defy the usual modus operandi of lazy music writers everywhere: comparison. Comparing this Portland group to any other band is simply impossible.
So we'll have to do the best we can, with snippets of aural imagery and forays into the band's personality. So let's try: Moody, melodic, multi-cultural post-folk (that is, folk with a bit of a backbeat -which in this case feels like a melancholy heartbeat) centered on singer Luzelena Mendoza's swirl of a voice. No, "swirl" is too weak of a word. It's strong and feminine, like a Frida Kahlo painting, this voice. No, not like a painting -- like Frida herself.Read More