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Wednesday, November 25

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Concert Wed Jul 15 2009

You've Got to Dance with the Ghost Group

fantasma.jpgFor years it's been common knowledge that there's something in Austin's water to account for its numerous rock bands that've broken big across the country. (I can't think of a town with a smaller population that claims more popular musicians as its own.) But it's not just the rock bands that are good there. Far from it. On Friday night one of its best live bands, Grupo Fantasma, visit Chicago for their biggest gig here yet.

The Latin/funk/psychedelic 11-piece pulls its influences from early Santana (think Abraxas), Joe Bataan and the Fania All-Stars. Early in their career, especially on 2004's Movimiento Popular, the group's sound was dominated by salsa and cumbia. Over the years they've slid a generous dose of psychedelic rock into the mix. In fact, "Bacalao con Pan" from 2008's Sonidos Gold begins with straight-up psychedelic guitar. But that doesn't mean they've forgotten their roots. The ultra-catchy "Mentiras" from their live album showcases a heavy rhythm section and smooth horns that are solidly entrenched in Latin music. Also on that album is a nod to one of the genre's pioneers with a cover of Ray Barretto's classic "Cocinando."

With slots backing Prince and Spoon (separate gigs, of course) and two appearances on "Austin City Limits" under their belt, Grupo Fantasma won't remain a secret outside of the Latin music community for long. Their reputation as an exciting live band has been growing for most of this decade and they're only getting better at it as they tour relentlessly.

Grupo Fantasma plays at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, on Friday the 17th. Numero Group's Rob Sevier opens at 10PM with a DJ set. The show is 21+ and tickets are $15. (Wear your dancing shoes.)

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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