By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
When not shaking her shekere or singing the praises of various orishas, Bobi C. displayed a worldly-wise playfulness and world-class vocal stylings. She pushed "Son Caminos" ("Path of the Son"), a love letter to Cuba, to multiple peaks, as her nephew and musical director Guillermo hammered the real montuno shit on piano, the horn charts careened toward arterial collapse, and the percussionists mounted and rode the clavé like Preakness jockeys. Conjunto Céspedes’ gifts of celebrative redemption helped us forget our troubles and dance. (Tom Cheyney)LIBIDO, WIREWOOD
A handful of locals mingled with a wash of industry hipsters at the Mint the night Norway’s Libido made their L.A. debut. Wirewood, the band preceding Libido, are from Australia, and feature a bespectacled singer who tricks the audience by looking like Elvis Costello and sounding like a Hootie–Gavin Rossdale combo, with that mumbly, earth-tone baritone that has characterized so many male vocalists over the last half-decade.
Bergen, Norway’s Libido are fronted by an actual singer, Even Johansen, who has the choirboyish lilt of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and an emotive hissing-cat scream as well as a latter-day-Lennon sunny-day-sailing style. He really means those things he says about girls and dreams. He’s got a peculiar sort of stage presence as well — his shoulders, hips and feet twist as if each section were attached to a Sit ‘N’ Spin rotating in opposite directions. The other two-thirds of the trio — the jumpy Cato Eikeland on bass and the hulking Jorgen Landhaug on percussion — hold down the fort without overpowering Johansen.
The sound is fairly anonymous, which is to say that, unlike so many other new groups, they don’t rip anyone off outright. Libido could be described as a sort of Britpop-Mudhoney-Beatles-Replacements hybrid, an unpretentious, white-T-shirt sort of band with solid, catchy, efficient rock songs. Nothing fancy. They plowed through numbers from their recently released debut, Killing Some Dead Time (Velvel/Fire Records), including their single, "Supersonic Daydream," dramatic, Britpoppy swoops with shimmery guitar bursts. The more subtle ditties, like "In My Shadow," "Crash Out" and a moving version of Kate Bush’s "Running Up That Hill," showcased Johansen’s pristine voice.
Libido’s official U.S debut came at South by Southwest. It’s not hard to foresee a handful of hit alt-rock singles, numerous KROQ Weenie Roasts and a Saturday Night Live appearance or two. (Skylaire Alfvegren)