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Wednesday, Oct 21 2009

In the mid-'90s, it looked as though the exploding Latin demographic in the U.S. meant the rock en Espanol genre would storm the pop charts. That didn't happen, though it did make cocktail party fixtures out of Café Tacuba and Manu Chao. Locally, the best purveyor of the style was Orixa, an Oakland-based quartet that crossed over to the mainstream by rocking harder than its "rock in English" brethren. The band broke up in 2006 because of singer Rowan Jimenez' health problems; it's back for its first gig in three years as Jimenez sports new lungs (literally, thanks to a transplant). If Orixa is in anything close to peak form, this is a show not to be missed, with thrashing guitar riffs scraping against salsalike choruses.

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Ezra Gale


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