Celebrating 25 Years of Cafeta, 20 Year of their hit album "Re"
By: Ellen Flores & Rosario Garcia
The Rock en Español scene has seen many bands come and go since the 80’s peak that saw the birth of bands like Soda Stereo, Caifanes, Los Prisioneros, Hombres G, and Los Enanitos Verdes. One band that swooped in with its punk variety, pure Mexican rhythms, and no nonsense attitude was the phenomenon known as Café Tacuba. Founded by Ruben Albarran (vocals), Emmanuel del Real Diaz (Meme, Keyboard), Jose Alfredo Rangel (Joselo, lead guitar), and Enrique Rangel (Quique, bass) they stretched the boundaries of Mexican pop, folk, punk, and rock creating the rebellious “Ingrata” and the reimagining of the poppy Flans hit “No Controles” that took them into punk rock history.
In celebration of 25 years of Café Tacvba, and 20 years since they released "Re", the band has gone back on the road to play the album that danced between norteño, punk, folk, banda, rock, and the bolero genres, to audiences around the world.
Don't be an INGRATO and make sure you check out this show on Saturday, October 18th, at the legendary Lincoln Theatre where you will relive what it felt like 20 years ago to listen to Las Flores, Esa Noche, El Borrego, Ingrata, El Baile y el Salon, and so many other jewels found in the "Re" Album as if for the first time.
Meanwhile we’ve dug up these 20 little known facts about the legend that is Café Tacvba.
1. Café Tacvba’s style is an essential part of the esthetic of the band, especially with lead singer Rubén. Case in point, los Tacvbos have funded a shop and clothing line in México under the brand of Kaá.
2. Guitarist Joselo is a published author. His weekly columns appear in the Excelsior newspaper, and his book “CRócknicas Marcianas” along with his online writing collective (with fans and the internet alike) “Textos Mutantes” have expanded Cafeta’s music to a whole new audience.
3. Did you know that Meme has produced multiple musical projects? He’s one of the creative forces behind Juanes’ new chart topping album, “Loco De Amor.”
4. To celebrate 25 years of rock royalty history, Argentinean Latin Rock leaders Los Autenticos Decadentes personally selected Café Tacvba to perform on the song “Corazón” as part of the commemorative concert celebrated at Mexico’s prestigious Palacio De Los Deportes.
5. In celebration of Cafeta’s milestone album “Re” which turns 20 this year, The New York times published an in-depth review of this benchmark album in Latin Rock history, where they compared “Re” to the infamous Beatles “White Album”; the first time an Anglo publication has given this consideration to a Latin album.
6. Lead singer Rubén is a humanitarian. He is a spokesperson for PETA and many indigenous tribes in México and across Central and South America.
7. Is it us, or does Rubén only wear his hair down on stage? The singer very rarely lets his locks loose when out in public and around town.
8. Café Tacvba’s collaborations are as versatile as their music. Some collaborations include: Calle 13, Inspector, Julieta Venegas and María Barracuda.
9. “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco” Cafeta’s last studio album, was recorded in front of a live studio audience and in multiple cities across the world. This is the first time a Latin band has recorded an album in this format.
10. Emmanuel del Real (Meme) is known in the Mexican Electronica scene as "DJ Angustias" and released an album with this collective in 2005.
11. Rubén (lead singer) has performed under a different name for every Café Tacvba album and world tour. It began after the release of the first album, when fans used to call him “Pinche Juan” after their first underground hit. He has since performed using: Gallo Gas, Elfego Buendía, Cosme, Masiosare, Anónimo, Nrü, Amparo Tonto Medardo In Lak’ech o At Medardo ILK, G3, Rita Cantalagua, Sizu Yantra, Ixaya Mazatzin Tleyotl ó Ixxi Xooy ahora Cone Cahuitl.
12. Joselo and Quique participated in Julieta Venegas’ debut album “Aqui”, a time in which Joselo and Julieta were a long time couple.
13. Café Tacvba owes their name to a bar and restaurant called “Café Tacuba” located in Centro Historico, Distrito Federal. Before this name they went as “Alicia Ya No Vive Aquí” a tribute to Martin Scorsese.
14. Café Tacuba went from being a garage band to a concert act in 1989 after Argentinean music producer, Gustavo Santaolalla discovered them while playing a cultural club in Coyoacan called “El Hijo del Cuervo.” Santaolalla has produced every Caféta album to-date with the exception of Cuatro Caminos which he co-produced with Dave Fridmann (Flaming lips), and Andrew Weiss (Ween).
15. The first song Café Tacvba ever released was called “Tamales de Iguanita” released by Warner as part of a Christmas-themed rock en español compilation.
16. Meme has written some of the bands biggest hits including La Ingrata, Las Flores, and Avientame and Eres where he also sang vocals.
17. Café Tacuba paid homage to their influences by recording “Popurrock” a 5:31 minute song that covers Maldita Vecindad, Gran Silencio, Mano Negra, Fabulosos Cadillacs, Babasonicos, Enanitos Verdes, Aterciopelados, Caifanes, and El Tri.
18. “La Chica Banda” is a song describing a Punk girl of the Mexican punk 80’s era. Some bands mentioned in the lyrics are Atoxxxico and Rebeld’Punk. When performing this song Ruben calls out invites the females in the audience to an all-girl mosh pit.
19. Ruben, Quique, and Joselo design their own album covers thanks to their graphic design education from Mexico City’s UNAM University.
20. Café Tacuba’s “Avalancha de Exitos” is entirely a cover album. Cafeta’s approach was to perform covers that were so different from the originals they would be unrecognizable. See, Ojala Que Llueva Café, and the electronic Perfidia.
Thank you Cafeta for remaking this song into this awesomeness!