Tier 3

music / / poetry / / philosophy / / -ology by Nick Courtright

Concert Review: Ocote Soul Sound

Sometimes, you just want a band to shut up and play some music. And sometimes, that band you want to shut up just won’t shut up, and feels the need to talk between every song, perhaps in an effort to overcome the vocals-less music. Sometimes, that talk you just want to stop is way too preachy for anyone’s good. Sometimes that talk severely undermines really fine musicianship.So that’s the dig on Ocote Soul Sound, an effortlessly talented seven-man collective led by our little talker himself, the well-loved TV on the Radio collaborator and Antibalas founder Martín Perna. While his flute playing was practically flawless, and the always-chill songs progressed smoothly and seamlessly, what got old really fast was his maddening need to spout enviro-love and anti-fencehood to a predominantly left-wing crowd that had heard such platitudes a million times before.

And that’s a shame, because the band’s Latin-infused jams are really quite good. Using a full range of instruments and rhythm-melting techniques, the amazingly relaxed band—at ease on the stage, always professional, and with no need for a pulpit—pulled off fine renditions of songs from their 2006 album El Niño y El Sol. If only those songs had been all we’d heard, well, that would have been nice.

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