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A week on the scene

Border polemics

Over the course of one weekend, San Antonio audiences had the opportunity to catch three of the biggest rock bands Mexico has produced in the past 20 years.

On Friday, July 8 at Sunset Station, Café Tacuba and Maldita Vecindad split an open-air triple-header (with up-and-coming Kinky) that demonstrated why los Tacubos are simply beyond compare. And, unlike Austin, SA was also treated to Maldita Vecindad's return, after hibernating for much of the last decade. One of the forerunners of contemporary bands such as Café Tacuba, Maldita Vecindad combines ska rhythms with smart political sensibilities - frontman Roco introduced several songs by addressing international injustices - that fit well with the playful, eclectic nature of the entire night.

Two nights later, Jaguares took the stage at Planeta Bar-Rio, a venue with a too-small stage and poor visibility that nonetheless manages to pull in some of the top acts from south of the border. The group's uncompromising stance reflected itself in many ways: According to an employee, the band requested that the club ban smoking and the use of glass bottles for the night, and required bouncers to squat, so as not to obstruct the view; lead singer Saúl Hernández unleashed some well-received polemics against Mexican President Vicente Fox; and the group promoted a campaign, in conjunction with Amnesty International, to raise awareness about the murders in Juárez.

Blakes' poetical sketches

Dallas native Bavu Blakes has been writing poetry since he was 5 years old. After enrolling at the University of Texas, Blakes remained in Austin, where he became a key figure in the underground scene by helping found the long-running Hip-Hop Humpday and performing with acts including De La Soul, Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, Ludacris, and the Roots.

In 2002, he released his debut album Create & Hustle, which vibrantly documented his artistic struggles and received national praise from publications such as Vibe, The Source, and Murder Dog. Blakes is currently touring behind the hot single "Play the Role" and a new mix-tape with Austin mainstay DJ Baby G. The baritone emcee visits San Antonio via The Texas All-State Hip-Hop Tour, which hits the White Rabbit on Saturday, July 16. Other acts include V. Zilla with DJ Comp 1, the Ground Opening Crew, and DJs Tech-neek & Priest TD. The show starts at 10 p.m. and the cover is $4.

Compiled by Alejandro Pérez and M. Solis


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