Bands Across the Border

Psych rockers Crystal Antlers will entertain All My Friends in TJ.
  • Psych rockers Crystal Antlers will entertain All My Friends in TJ.

Hailed by Spanish magazine Plástica as “one of the most important happenings in Latin American music [and] in general for Mexican music,” the third annual All My Friends Music Festival, set for November 17 this year, is extending a hand across the border for the first time to include bands from sister city San Diego to as far away as Brooklyn.

“This year AMF proudly becomes a festival accessible to the community,” says coordinator Marty Preciado, who began booking acts with the festival last year, effectively turning an overcrowded house party into an internationally acclaimed mini-fest with over 2000 in attendance.

“[This year] we become an all-ages show and will invite bands from the United States, in this manner serving the rich cultural and musical exchange lived throughout the U.S.-Mexico border,” says Preciado. “We are striving to become a festival that continues to empower not only our local scene in Tijuana but all of Mexico.”

The lineup is a who’s who of more than 35 prominent and underground indie acts on four stages in an all-day showcase that will serve as a blueprint for festivals for years to come.

“We are sure this event will have a positive effect in our beloved Tijuana,” says AMF’s general director, Argenis Garcia.

Highlights from the north include Brooklyn’s whimsical one-man Latin electro-folk innovator Helado Negro, Los Angeles occult drone-folk artist Chelsea Wolfe, Long Beach Touch and Go psychedelic act Crystal Antlers, San Diego sunny-day treats Tropical Popsicle, and El Centro/Mexicali fronteracore post punks Batwings.

Mexicali no-wave/dance-punk trio Maniqui Lazer will be out representing Baja’s capital along with the ambient desert soundscapes of Vampire Slayer, aka Valentin Torres of Maniqui Lazer and experimental/dance/punk/electronic label Indiangold Records.

Recently reunited post-rock outfit Ambiente will be flying the Tijuana banner in addition to, among many others, TJ/Chula Vista hardcore crusties Bumbklaatt, TJ/Vegas doom-folk troubadour Late Nite Howl, ruidoson ambassadors Los Macuanos and Maria y Jose, power-violence outfit Calafia Puta, and moody darkwave duo Dancing Strangers (members of the Electric Healing Sound and Shantelle).

Last year’s location — the tack-fabulous Millionaire’s Mansion in the hills over-looking downtown TJ — will be hard to beat, but the historic Casa de la Cultura looks to be a promising alternative.

One of Tijuana’s oldest buildings, Casa de la Cultura is a former World War II espionage center that now serves as an art school capable of accommodating the expected 2500–3000 attendees.

With presale tickets (amfmf.com) at 100 pesos and the rest at 150 (that’s roughly $8 and $12 USD, respectively), you’ve got no excuse not to head south, rock out, and whoop it up.

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