We're inevitably bound to meet someone that shares a lot of the same interests that we do. Because the city of Los Angeles is such a vibrant area, chances of meeting the ying to your proverbial yang are high in a myriad of places, including a parking lot.
For Lady P, the free spirited frontwoman of Spanish rockers Los Abandoned, her first encounter with her musical soul mate, free wheeling guitarist Don Verde, occured in a parking lot near a venue where their bands (P's Pescadores Pescadores and Verde's Tijuana Bibles) were playing. Eventually those bands drove off, leaving both Lady P and Verde as deserted parts amongst the musical heap of L.A.
That meeting in the parking lot was not their last, the two teamed up with bassist Vira Lata and drummer Dulce, and a vehicle fit for four was formed. They embarked on a ride where prior bumps in the past were just a distant memory.
“We didn't want to go through with it [a band break-up] again,” Lady P says. “It's hard having a band, period; any kind of band, even if you're garage band. We just gave it our all, and it worked.
“I think what was so easy was that people really liked our music. We had no idea that they would like it. They wanted to hear something new, so it was all a matter of the timing being good for us.”
The poppy synths and crunchy guitars on tracks like “A La Mode” off the band's debut record, Mix Tape, are standards of today's indie rock, but the playful bilingual (English and Spanish) vocals of P that accompanies them is very nuevo y fresco (new and fresh for all you Anglos). According to Lady P, it isn't so much wanting to be in a bilingual band like Los Abandoned and performing as one, it's about what comes natural.
“I grew with both languages at the same time, so it's just how I write and think and go about my day – which can be very confusing,” she says laughingly.
Her messages that lie beneath the sheen of punk pop are clear, though. The handclaps, resonant guitars and Spanglish vocals of “Van Nuys (es Very Nice)” are present, but what is most telling is the walking perspective of an artist who was born in Santiago, Chile and settled in the San Fernando Valley.
Even if the lyrics indicate a bewail on immigration, “Van Nuys es very nice, but it's not paradise/dejaste los Andes por el cemento y los swimming pools” (“You left the Andes for the cement and the swimming pools”), the reaction has not been critical. Lady P received a positive response from those in the area to the song.
“I'm not pro or con. I just wrote the things that I saw growing up. As far as the immigration issue, it's more of my point of view of being a daughter of an immigrant. It was my way of seeing through my eyes and not my father's eyes. He wanted to come to the United States for freedom, for stability, creating a family here and actually making a living.
“My take is completely different. Why come to something so plain and boring when we used to live by the Andes Mountains, something so majestic, so beautiful. I just wanted to show the other side.”Mix Tape is currently available. Los Abandoned will perform Feb. 9 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. For more information, visit www.losabandoned.com