I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

Dengue Dancing and Buenos Aires Nightlife


by Whitney Weiss
Sept. 5, 2011

There are precious few cities in the world where it's still possible to work on your tan while walking home from the club (or union-run factory). Fortunately, Buenos Aires is one of them, and the BsAs-centric Live Music Show is an attempt to introduce those who aren't already familiar with Buenos Aires' finest DJs and bands to the city's current talent. And after getting to hear and see the music, it only seems right to learn more about the people responsible.

Though it might not seem it, a common thread in the video showcase is Dengue Dancing, a Thursday night party with legions of devoted patrons who spend their days skateboarding, modeling, and writing code. That charismatic drummer in the Yilet and Blue Cherrys videos is Ani Castoldi, one third of the holy trinity responsible for Dengue's existence. She originally landed the night by showing up to a San Telmo club and convincing its two Nigerian owners that they should allow her and a couple of friends to throw a party, a scene she described as feeling very much like that moment in Dirty Dancing when Baby carries the watermelon into the staff-only party. Both the Blue Cherrys and Yilet have played Dengue multiple times, along with the Calefons, whose recent performance had boys screaming like girls and general mayhem on the dance floor. When not touring the world with the Kumbia Queers, Ali Gua Gua puts in time on the decks at Dengue Dancing as well.

Sadly not pictured in these videos but a quintessential part of nightlife in Buenos Aires, Lorenzo "Lolo" Anzoátegui is a grinning, talented sweetheart of a man whose impeccable taste extends from dance nights to theater (his recent one-woman show chronicling the life of Ricky Martin was splendid). He's the benevolent Malcolm McLaren of Buenos Aires, and you should Google him immediately. And since not everyone in BA is fame-hungry and prone to bouts of narcissistic filming, I couldn't share footage of one of Dengue's best DJs, Traviesa, but you should really check his stuff out on Soundcloud, since it's wonderful in mere audio form.

Of course, it's not all Dengue Dancing in Buenos Aires. Though they might not even count as underground anymore, ZZK Records plays a crucial role in exporting local sounds, and their artists, including Fauna and Chanca Via Circuito, have toured the world. While the Frikstailers have up and moved to Mexico, for the purposes of this collection, they're still getting counted as part of the BA underground. The chances that someone from ZZK is playing near you soon is rather high, so you should look into that and go to what will be an unforgettable show.

Another talented Buenos Aires label, Sadness Discos, releases records by Deitrich, Pommez Internacional, and the Furies. Their South American takes on mopey instrumental rock are clever and best experienced live. Wilow from Deitrich is the man responsible for the fun disco song on the Live Music Show, and his Todd Terje-influenced edits are equally memorable. Like plenty of other things in Buenos Aires, it's a local take on international influences that feels pertinent and far-removed at the same time.

Whitney Weiss lives in Buenos Aires, where she DJs, throws a party called Father Figures, and is one-half of a band that bridges the gap between Snap! and Quad City DJs. If you want to hear what she's up to, you should visit soundcloud.com/djwhitneyweiss.