Jenny & the Mexicats and Bang Data
To say Jenny & the Mexicats were bilingual from the start isn’t just a reference to the fact that their albums have lyrics sung in both English and Spanish. When trumpeter Jenny Ball first teamed up in Spain with percussionist David Gonzalez Bernardos, Ball didn’t speak Spanish and Bernardos spoke no English, but they still found themselves sharing the same language of music. Recruiting others who favored the same kind of Flamenco, folk rock, and rockabilly influences led to forming a band and relocating to Mexico City in 2012, where they released a debut album that scored several radio hits: “Verde Mas Alla,” “ME Voy a Ir,” and “Flor.”
Their sophomore album Ome seems to be somewhat more dance-centered, even a bit disco, especially the funky lead single “Labios,” which online references indicate is still omnipresent on Tijuana and Mexico City dance floors. 2017’s Mar abierto/Open Sea album keeps the boogie bubbling, even if you just spin through portions of the tracks as I did. Their June 21 appearance at Little Italy’s Music Box will be opened by another Latin-influenced and hip-hop inclined ensemble, Oakland’s Bang Data, fronted by Deuce Eclipse from Zion I. Breaking Bad fans will remember hearing their music in the season four episode “Salud,” and they received a lot of positive, if often bemused, press for their 2016 Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute album, Quiero Creedence.