Noche Absenta: Lucid Lyrics and Prose

El Clan is a venue that makes you feel like you're at a friend’s garage party and swank night club all at once. With a nondescript door, low lighting and atrium dance, it exudes exclusivity.

Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso
Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso

Its small stage, young patrons and impressive events calendar make it inviting and ideal for hearing music; intimate and unpretentious with the promise of sweaty dancing in dark corners.

Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso
Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso

This night was no exception, with two bands on the forefront of the Chilean rock music scene. Francis and La Causa, accompanied by the lyrical talents of poets Ljubica Villa, Oscar Uribe, Elias Hienam and Loreto Parra, performed as absinthe was served liberally for CP$2,500 (U$5).

Absinthe has been a choice drink among poets, musicians and the curiously eccentric throughout its history. The combination of this peculiar, intoxicating spirit with the chosen musicians and writers could not have been a more perfect pairing.

Francis opened with a jarring, dramatic a capella entrance by singer Diogenes Matus, who, with his flirty croon and shock of long, black curls, demanded attention. The music itself was moody and mellow with undertones of The Cure and Depeche Mode. Francis is a musician’s dream: a collective of musicians, a coming together of ideas, minds and sounds but with a greater theme in mind. The real treat is the incredible skill of the female drummer, Nicole Gomez, who auditioned during casting calls in 2009.

Despite having yet to record their first EP, most of the audience knew all the lyrics and Matus engaged the crowd to sing along.

Photo courtesy La Causa
Photo courtesy La Causa

Random photos dripped behind the performers casting eerie shadows across the bar and people’s faces, the same pasty green as the absinthe in their glasses.

The crowd switched gears when La Causa went on. A band with an obvious 80's rock influence, they have a sound much more difficult to define. Ranging from dance rock to heart-wrenching lullabies, La Causa is a band you want to play at your party; they feed off the energy of the crowd and make you nostalgic for something you never knew you had.

Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso
Photo courtesy Jose Manuel Mora Troncoso

The musicians were young and talented and most importantly, hungry. The lead singer, Tomas, was animated, interesting and driven. The authenticity of La Causa is what sets them apart and is what will make them great.

The poetry was racy, sexual and politically provocative. The feverish delivery led to hushed voices, murmurs and drinks being drunk a little more deeply, a little more anxiously. The room was tense...what will they say next? A guy with an ironic mustache drinking absinthe next to me said, "She's making me uncomfortable" as Loreto Parra rounded out the evening. And isn't that ultimately the point of spoken word? To create a feeling, to cause questioning, to make people think?

The faint smell of licorice and cigarettes loomed afterward, the poetry still sticking to the walls. A feeling, timed to music and lyrics and absinthe, to make it all go down just a bit easier.


La Causa

Poetry by:
Ljubica Villa, Oscar Uribe, Elias Hienam and Loreto Parra

El Clan
Bombero Nuñez 363

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