From acid and folk to tacos and Korean short rib, the tradition of melding unlikely elements is deep in the blood of this city. Thee Commons are the new musical torchbearers of this practice — a band that pull together cumbia, punk and psychedelic rock tighter than the strings on a Fender Jaguar. Frontman/guitarist David Pacheco and his brother, drummer Rene Pacheco, are inspired in part by the cumbia sounds they grew up with — music that, for all its subversive power, can't really be said to rock. Now it does. In their short tenure, Thee Commons have hosted legendary live shows, from an early album-release party at the Teragram Ballroom that ascended into chaos to the unhinged carnival that constituted their Coachella set. (From the stage, Pacheco memorably proclaimed: “East L.A. invaded Coachella, baby!”) Their new album, Paleta Sonora, is a Technicolor popsicle of sound, spiked with the sly silliness that makes their shows so fun. The record takes the band even further afield sonically, into disco, space jazz, goof-rap and more. It's their best work yet. If you're still not hip, catch the band before they blow up, and let the carnival carry you away. —Chris Kissel
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