Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 14, 2014
As the clock struck midnight at the Palm Door on Sixth, festivalgoers took a moment to honor the victims of the South by Southwest crash, a tragic event that has put a dark cloud over the festival this year. Several venues across the city also held moments of silence at midnight before music filled the air once again.
While the SXSW buzz focused on big shows like Lady Gaga, for lovers of Latin alternative music, the place to be was at a showcase presented by Nacional Records, a record label known for attracting cutting edge artists.
Among those on the line-up included Argentine singer/songwriter Natalia Clavier, who you might know from the Thievery Corporation. Her soulful and distinctive style gives her bilingual global grooves added depth. Clavier teamed up with local producer Adrian Quesada for her latest album "Lumen" and at her showcase, the two came together once again. Quesada, who also performs with The Echocentrics with Clavier, played guitar throughout her engaging set that included everything from Argentine folk to psychedelic-inspired songs. It’s not only Clavier’s voice that captures audiences, but her charismatic stage presence that had the crowd swaying and cheering.
Another powerful Latin American artist who performed at the showcase was French-Chilean MC Ana Tijoux, who was also a featured speaker at a SXSW interview on Thursday. Tijoux, backed by a full band, infused the venue with energy as fans began packing the club. She mixed up her set list with new songs from her latest album "Vengo" as well as songs from previous albums such as "Shock" and the popular "1977" that many "Breaking Bad" fans recognize from the award-winning show. Tijoux brought the right kind of balance of harder edge beats and softer jazz-inspired vocals that make her a force in the music world.
Bostich + Fussible of the Nortec Collective played a DJ set after the moment of silence, but will be backed by the full band at a free Friday show at 9:45 p.m. at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.