La Otrabanda
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La Otrabanda

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF

Madison, Wisconsin, United States | SELF
Band World Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Long distance obstacles don't keep La Otra Banda from spreading sounds of their native land"

Glenn Fung considers his band's music a "sweet revenge" against the cultural colonization that, in part, helped create it.

Drawing on influences as diverse as the Clash, Bob Marley, Inti Illimani, Manu Chao and the folk music of Venezuela, La Otra Banda (Spanish for "the other band") is a conflux of globalism, tradition and Third World colonization. Three-fourths of the band live in Madison, while the lead singer resides in Spain.

Fung grew up with lead singer Alvaro Gonzalez in Venezuela, where they played in ska and rock bands together as teenagers, hooking onto the music that came, like McDonald's franchises, by way of colonization.

It took leaving their homeland to realize how much they valued the traditional music that surrounded them.

"For us, you grow up thinking that the stuff that comes from outside is better than what you have in your own country," said Fung, who now lives in Madison with his wife, a West High School graduate.

Gonzalez lives in Spain, but he's here this month to join Fung and the rest of La Otra Banda's Madison-based members -- Puerto Rican native José Madera and Francisco Martinez, originally from the Dominican Republic (and also a member of local Afro-Cuban quartet El Clan Destino). They'll be playing a few gigs, including a CD pre-release party on Tuesday at Restaurant Magnus.

The band has more reasons to celebrate than their upcoming album, "Pueblo Vivo/Vibrant People," and being in the same city together: this past week, the John Lennon Songwriting Contest announced La Otra Banda as the recipient of the 2008 Lennon Award in the world music category for their song, "Indigenas."

The band is essentially a recording project, since Gonzalez -- "the heart of the band" -- is in Spain, said Fung. The distance doesn't hamper their musicmaking, he added: "We grew up together, making music. We understand each other musically."

La Otra Banda focuses their lyrics on an uplifting and unifying message, one that resonates both in the United States and in Venezuela, where Fung says president Hugo Chavez has sharply polarized Venezuelans against each other.

The band was using the phrase "Yes, we can!" in a chorus "way before it became a cliche with (president Barack) Obama," he said.

Gonzalez returns to Spain at the end of May, but he'll return in September for what the band hopes will be a more involved tour.

In the meantime, they're getting their songs heard any way they can. Their music was recently picked up by Muzak, Inc. for a "Global Destinations" mix.

The word "muzak," deserved or not, has become synonymous with bland, piped-in elevator music, but Fung isn't bothered by the connotation.

"I know what we're doing is very honest," he said, so whether it's heard during a yoga class, at a restaurant or in his neighborhood back home, he's happy.

complete article here:

- Wisconsin state journal

"VIbrant people in"

A while back I introduced you to the band La Otrabanda. After I featured their video as the “music video of the week” they were gracious enough to contact me and thank me, and they offered to let me have a preview listen to their album Pueblo vivo/ Vibrant People. Not having heard a lot a lot of music from Venezuela, their home country, I was not sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by an eclectic sound featuring myriad of instruments (including bagpipes in the song “Pasaje“), and several rhythms I don’t often hear in America. Definitely worth a listen. -

"La otrabanda in the IMA spotlight"

ARTIST NAME: La Otrabanda

HOMETOWN/CURRENTLY BASED: Madison, WI , USA and Galicia, Spain


INFLUENCES: Venezuelan Folklore (Simon Diaz, carota ñema y taja, golpe tocuyano), Caetano Veloso, Kassim + 2, Mano negra, Adrenalina Caribe, Tom waits, Ben Harper, Aldemaro Romero, Vitas Brenner, Fugazzi, Jeff Buckley to name a few.


1) We won the grand prize and the Lennon award in the well-known John Lennon songwriting competition in the world music category with the song “INDIGENAS.”

2) Winner of the West coast International songwriting competition in the world music category with the song: “Salida.”

3) Our video of La cebolla was picked for regular rotation in the latinoamerican channel (sun channel) and it was picked by Vimeo to play in the HD channel.

WE SUBMITTED TO THE INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS BECAUSE: Our music is an eclectic mix of Venezuelan folkloric music with more nontraditional contemporary sounds so by definition, our music is not mainstream. We believe that The IMAS we will give us a chance to expose our music to the right audience.


WE’RE PROUD TO BE INDEPENDENT ARTISTS BECAUSE: Creating music without strings attached is the only feasible choice for us.


1) We are just about to release (January 2010) our first LP: Pueblo Vivo / Vibrant people that will be distributed electronically worldwide by Ropeadope. The CD will be also available physically in November 2009 trough CD baby.

2) We are planing our European tour for the winter.

3) We will tour in the US in the spring 2010.

SUCCESS = Getting our music heard. Playing in small venues with people engaged in our music. What else is life about?

WHAT MAKES OUR BAND STAND OUT: We are a group of musicians originally from Venezuela, that create an unique world beat amalgamation of Venezuelan-folk melodies infected with global influences that portrays the idiosyncrasy of our vibrant country in a fresh and optimistic way.

WHERE WE TOUR: Mainly midwestern USA and Spain.

OUR FAVORITE VENUE TO PLAY: Small venues with people engaged and enjoying our music. What else is life about? Is there anything better?


1) C4trio - C4trio
2) Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 – White Lies for Dark Times
3) Rafael Gomez – El Norte
4) Phoenix – Wolfang Amadeus Phoenix
5) Gustavo Cerati – Fuerza Natural
6) Death Cab for Cutie – Plans
7) Sumo – Fever
The Shins – Wincing the Night Away
9) Hector Lavoe – The Best
10) Tha1guy – The Moon is Disgusting

Article link: - independent music awards website

"Wisconsin state Journal "pueblo vivo / vibrant people review""

La Otrabanda
"Pueblo Vivo/Vibrant People" (Sanjonero Records)
In an interview last year with 77 Square, La Otrabanda bassist Glenn Fung called the band's music "sweet revenge" against the cultural colonization that, in part, helped create it.
The Madison- and Spain-based band isn't just culturally aware in its Manu Chao-like blend of world folk music, particularly Venezuelan traditional tunes and Afro-Cuban rhythms. The songs also vibrate with the politics of globalism. In between shimmying guitars and rich percussion, the band splices audio from street protests ("We are people, we are human beings!") and children's singsong voices.
The unadulterated hopefulness of La Otrabanda makes the overall message less one of revenge and more one of human unity - and maybe that's the ultimate revenge against colonization. They're so playful, it comes off sincerely. From a translation of the title track: "I wish our people to be alive, sustained not by stories / to emerge free of obstacles, free and in constant movement." Sí se puede!
- Katjusa Cisar, The Capital Times

You can find the original review here: - Wisconsin state journal / 77 square

"The Zipstream: Midwestern journies with Phonetic One, Latin travels with La Otrabanda"

La Otrabanda, Pueblo Vivo (Vibrant People)
The word "vibrant" dies a little death every time a developer uses it to plug his latest condo-retail monstrosity, but the first album from La Otrabanda restores some innocence and cheer to it. The band's members all hail from Venezuela, and are currently split between Madison and Galicia, Spain. Naturally, it's hard to get everyone together in one spot, so you don't see them playing live around town too often, but member Glenn Fung says the band is putting together a Spring tour. Pieced together from recording sessions in both cities, and with the help of more than a dozen guest players, Pueblo Vivo does indeed ooze optimism, comfortably embracing everything from merengue to Ben Harper. It achieves that through the ramshackle, communal mingling of bright guitars, cuatro (a small Latin American stringed instrument), percussion, and earthy group vocals, not through utopian studio polish. The production and feel change a bit from one track to the next, but that just makes the album flow more naturally. A perky muted trumpet and circling electric guitar line lead "La Cebolla"—which, according to Fung, will be included on a forthcoming DVD compilation from prominent world-music label Putumayo—while "Camino Del Olvido" takes on a more pensive, sweeping feel. Download here (name-your-price).

The original review can be found here:,36980/ - The onion AV club

"La Cebolla - La Otra Banda"

La Cebolla - La Otra Banda

Como dice Drexler: “la vida cabe en un click”.

La Otra Banda lo sabe muy bien. Los panas viven en ciudades y países diferentes; con costumbres, educación y uso horario variopinto -aunque en su corazón lleven tatuado la palabra “Cabudare” y los rapiditos de la Chucho Briceño- y desde sus laptops y conexiones internacionales se dedican a armar el rompecabeza de la capital musical de Venezuela.

Debo confesar que la historia contada en el videoclip posteado, me recuerda al pana optimista que todos tenemos -o deberíamos conseguir con urgencia- ese que siempre lucha contra Murphy y sus reglas.

Vale la pena mencionar que el protagonista del material audiovisual presentado -Álvaro González (Low Fai)- hizo de “diablo” durante las presentaciones de El Pacto, por allá en el 98. El actual bajista de “La Otra Banda“ tocaba en el underground guaro con “La Brújula del Boomerang”, que como bien postea esquizopedia: “lograron editar un caset que probablemente se ha perdido en esa era prehistórica de AI (antes de Internet)”.

Actualmente comercializan de manera online el EP “Cuatro Tunes”. Se tripean toda la información a través de de este link.

♪ No debe faltar

un buen caldito´e gallina

un buen puñado de buena fe

ya usted lo vé

bueno que es ♪


"Music Video of the Week: La Otra Banda “La Cebolla”"

This video is both technically stunning and absolutely fun to watch.

I think this video is the prime example of what I love about both music and music videos; despite the fact that I have not a clue what the band is singing about, this video does such a brilliant job of capturing the essence and spirit of the song.

An interesting note about La Otra Banda, they won the 2008 John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize in the World category for their song “Indigenous”.

link to the video review:


"La otra banda triunfa en el exterior"

Una llamada telefónica desde España confirmó la noticia. La agrupación venezolana de rock-folk, La otra banda quedó seleccionada el pasado 4 de marzo, en el prestigioso concurso de composición musical Jonh Lennon Song Writing.

Una canción titulada Indígena, logró calar en el jurado, quien de inmediato la clasificó por las melodías y su letra llena de un mensaje y significado particular.
"La otra banda tiene dos años de creada, aproximadamente. Esta agrupación está conformada por mi compañero en la música Glenn Fung (Glencho), quien es bajista y el productor. Contamos con dos amigos, quienes son los encargados de mezclar Germán y Nerio Gutiérrez. Y yo, que estoy como vocalista y guitarrista", comentó uno de los integrantes de la agrupación, Álvaro González, mejor conocido en el ámbito musical como Low Fai.
La comunicación desde el país ibérico, hasta la capital musical se extendió. González, quería ofrecer todos los detalles de esta agrupación que captura el éxito en el exterior. Álvaro (Low Fai), vive en España, mientras que Glenn Fung (Glencho), habita en Estados Unidos. La distancia no es inconveniente para que estos dos músicos trabajen. Unidos a través de internet y las nuevas tecnologías, intercambian ideas y conceptos, los cuales hacen crecer a La otra banda.
En cuanto al hecho de haber quedado seleccionados en el prestigioso concurso de composición musical Jonh Lennon Song Writing, González explica que todo comenzó gracias a que La otra banda pertenece y está incorporada a una página web en Estados Unidos, <> es el portal donde estos jóvenes larenses han colocado su música, fotografías, vídeos, para promocionar sus actividades y dar a conocer su inventiva.
"El jurado de este premio en Estados Unidos, ingresa a la página web y comienza a ver el trabajo de cada una de las agrupaciones que están inscritas. De 36 bandas, escogieron a dos, los que nos debe llenar de orgullo. Ganamos la sesión 2 de este prestigioso concurso internacional de composición y disputaremos la final en la categoría de World Music junto con la agrupación Mamadou and Vanesa. Si llegamos a triunfar, pasaríamos a la gran final y ahí si concursaríamos entre todas las categorías que son 15 en total", explicó Álvaro González.
Las personas que deseen respaldar el talento nacional, pueden entrar a la página web <>, y allí en la categoría World, votar por la agrupación venezolana con su tema Indígena. Las votaciones son hasta el 27 de abril.

Germina música nueva

La otra banda tiene su historia, enmarcada en otras agrupaciones y movimientos musicales.
"Ya Glencho y yo habíamos participado en grupos musicales. Desde los años 90, estábamos tocando, cantando e intercambiando a través de la movida artística que se generó en Venezuela. Nos conocimos en Brújulas del boomeran, a raíz de eso, se estrechó nuestra amistad. Hicimos seis agrupaciones más. Cuando nació La otra banda, le colocamos así porque en las afueras de Carora hay un sitio con este nombre. También porque era otra banda más que hacíamos, pero esta vez teníamos confianza en que ésta si daría sus frutos y no nos equivocamos", indica Álvaro González.
La otra banda tiene un estilo particular. La fusión es su gran aliada. Tiene la influencia del folklore venezolano, y también el de países latinoamericanos y de otras fronteras, que le aportan ritmos y musicalidad diferente a sus composiciones.
Unen, combinan y conjugan todos estos ritmos y factores. ¿El resultado?, una mezcla única que sin dejar al lado lo autóctono de las regiones venezolanas y latinoamericanas, incorpora gran variedad de elementos nuevos, que le dan un toque especial.
"Observamos y escuchamos todas los géneros. Tenemos una influencia muy rica gracias a esto. A mi me causa gracia, que cuando estoy componiendo, toco la guitarra como un cuatro y el cuatro como una guitarra", manifiesta el vocalista y músico de la agrupación venezolana.

Un indígena triunfador

El tema que cautivó al jurado y a todo el público que ha entrado en el portal web y que ha confiado su voto a estos talentosos jóvenes venezolanos, se llama Indígena.
"La letra nació en Niquitao, Trujillo en plena montaña arriba. Luego me vinieron algunos acordes. Se la mostré a Glenn Fung y fue la primera canción con la cual trabajamos juntos. Nos dio animo para continuar, seguir adelante. Después de ese tema, hicimos nueve más y el disco lo titulamos Pueblo vivo. Con respecto a Indígenas, se la dedico a un artesano y tejedor de Niquitao, a Cecilio Santiago", expresó Álvaro González.
"La utopía de un gran mundo que con fuerza esta cambiando", es parte de la letra de esta hermosa canción. Y según el compositor y vocalista de La otra banda, "con esta letra se da paso a que quizás el rumbo de las cosas cambien de dirección, sobre todo si estamos pensando en la buena venturanza de nuestros hijos y en la tierra que nos da lo que realmente necesitamos".

ver el articulo original aqui:
- El impulso (Barquisimeto newspaper)

"La otra banda"

A trio of musicians originally from Venezuela, now slowly transplanting to Madison, bring us a teaser of their world beat amalgamation of South American melodies purposely infected with global influences. - Maximun ink (madison , WI)

"La otra banda 3"

La Otra Banda
Por Inti en Música, Recomendaciones, Rock, Tendencias, Venezuela

Una de las mejores bandas de Rock de Venezuela fue La Brújula del Bumerán, una banda barquisimetana de principios de los 90s. Aunque con una trayectoria muy corta lograron editar un caset que probablemente se ha perdido en esa era prehistórica de AI (antes de Internet), cuando las bandas underground luchaban a muerte porque unas 100 personas lograran escuchar su música.

Siglos después de aquellos divertidos y oscuros 90s, llega La Otra Banda conformada casi que a plenitud por aquellos rockeros noventosos de la Chucho Briceño de Cabudare que formaron aquella mítica “Brujula”. Y aunque estos nombres tan venezolanos no te digan nada, al escuchar su música entenderás que es tan internacional como local, tanto que uno mismo se confunde. Realmente les recomiendo mucho que los escuchen.

La banda está conformada por Alvaro Gonzalez (Low Fi) en voces, guitarra, cuatro y percusión, Glenn Fung (Glencho) en bajos, coros y percusión y Fran Martinez en batería, percusión y coros. El año pasado sacaron el EP Cuatro Tunes, con 4 temas que se vende por iTunes y Amazon.

Recientemente ganaron el gran premio de la afamada competencia internacional de composición John Lennon en la categoría de música global (WORLD music) con la canción INDIGENAS. Y ahora puedes votar por ellos para que ganen el premio del publico.

Y como son buenos muchachos intentare que puedan regalarnos esa canción para que puedan bajarla desde aquí mismo de Esquizopedia. Veamos si los años no les han endurecido el corazón. Por otro lado, seria genial si recuperaran el caset de La Brujula y lo subieran a Internet. :D -


1) First EP entitled: "Cuatro tunes" (2008)

2) First LP "Pueblo vivo / Vibrant people" Just released (Sept. 2009)

liste to it here:




Get the CD free here:

Nice review in the Wisconsin state journal:


La Otrabanda (the other band) is a project is originally formed by Venezuelans living outside their country to share our Venezuelan-folk inspired music that portrays the idiosyncrasy of our vibrant country in a very fresh and optimistic way.

Latest News:

-We are in the Independent music awards artist spotlight:

-Our New CD will be out next month and it will be distributed digitally by the amazing label ropeadope!

We grew up in a part of the world where there are two things that keep you from sleeping until late in the mornings: the roosters and the omnipresent melodies usually coming from all directions, even in the early morning hours. It's this music that provides some relief from the tough and unpleasant routine of poverty. Music provides respite: at least everyone has the power to choose the radio station they hear during lunch, even when for some people their plate of food looks the same every day.

Music makes up a fundamental part of daily life in Venezuela, and, in our experience, throughout Latin America. When we say "music", we don't mean just salsa, merengue and local folk music. we mean all the music that the process of globalization and the strong influence of the so-called "first world" have brought to us: rock, pop, jazz, etc.

There is a consequence of globalization and cultural colonization that to us feels somewhat like a sweet revenge. In the same way that huge, transnational companies have taken our local riches and transformed them for their own interests, we took their music, transformed it to also make it our own. This serves as the basis for new, exciting musical experimentation.


-winners of the 17th Annual Billboard World Song Contest Winners in the latin category!!!

-Honorable mention in the 12th Annual Unisong International Song Contest

-Winner of the West coast International songwriting competition in the world music category with the song: "Salida".

-We just won the grand prize and the Lennon award in the well-known John Lennon songwriting competition
in the world music category with the song "INDIGENAS".

-We were selected as honorable mention in the 3rd songwriting peacedriven award.

Thanks and saludos from La otra banda!