Los Pinguos

Genre Rock
City Buenos Aires
Country Argentina
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Street bands are seen all over the world. From the jazz sounds of New Orleans to the deepest blues in New York City, the pavement is where some of the most soulful music can be found. But in a place like Los Angeles where everyone is trying to make it big, do street performers solely want their musical journey to take them to platinum selling albums or does their goal run much deeper than that? Here, we follow the travels of Los Pinguos who began their journey seven years ago in Buenos Aires and now reside in the streets and clubs of Los Angeles. They share with us what playing music means to them and how mainstream musical success might affect their ongoing efforts of sending their message to fans around the globe.<p class="location_review">Walking down the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica on a sunny weekend afternoon, people are seen lining the streets, moving in and out of stores and restaurants. Occasionally, the ocean breeze hits you and you breathe in the cool, salty air for a day of relaxation from the busy work week behind you. Off in the distance comes the sound of accoustic spanish guitars, a Cuban tres, the beat of the peruvian cajon, and infecitious spanish lyrics that even those who don't speak the language find themselves singing along to. A group of people have gathered together outside the Express store, but are not there to buy the latest clothing fashions. Their eyes and ears are tuned into the five street performers giving all their energy into the music they create. &quot;We are Los Pinguos. We are from Argentina and if you like our music, you can buy some of our cd&rsquo;s.&quot; Trust me, after two songs, you just might do that!</p><p class="location_review">Beginning seven years ago in Buenos Aires, where metal stringed guitars dominate the music scene, this group of well-trained musicians envisioned spreading a much softer message through traditional spanish guitars. Lead vocalist and guitarist Adrian &quot;Coco&quot; Buono likes to think of their music as a &quot;message in a bottle&quot;. He says it is the goal of Los Pinguos to &quot;travel around the world. We try to spread our music all over the world.&quot; But playing in the streets and local malls is only one way of acquiring such a mass audience. Los Pinguos has taken their music into clubs all over LA, including the very popular Temple Bar in Santa Monica.

 With the warmth of its red lights and walls, tea light candles lit on every table, and scent of aromatherapy throughout, Temple Bar has become a second home to Los Pinguos; playing a gig once a month on its large stage. The larger space allows the band to bring in other musicians as well, including keyboard players, a drummer, and brass players. Ecstactic fans are also given more room to dance on the large hardwood floor below. Beginning at 11pm, people begin taking their places in front of the stage so as to get the best view of the group and ensure a comfortable area to dance. The versatility of Los Pinguos to be able to play outside and inside venues aids them in achieving their idea of success, which according to Fefe Lee, guitarist and vocalist, can be measured not just by how much money they make on cd or ticket sales, but also by the &quot;clapping of the hands&quot; of each and every person that attends one of their shows. With so much success Los Pinguos has had as a street/club act for the past 4 1/2 years in Los Angeles, it seems inevitable that they will be signed by a big label just itching to get a piece of their hard work and passion for music. But, when I asked them if getting a record deal would affect their music or fan base, Coco said it would depend on the label, &quot;Labels try to make the music different. They try to change the message.&quot; Signing to a larger label wouldn&rsquo;t allow the same creative freedom Los Pinguos enjoys now. Juan Miguel adds, &quot;we are not the business style, like, ok, we are going to go this direction.&quot; Sounds like these guys are pretty &quot;down-to-earth&quot; which can be very rare in an industry that values commercialism over individuality. Through interviews, documentaries, and most importantly their music, the message of Los Pinguos is simple. &quot;Live, laugh, love&quot; (Lead vocal and guitar, Adrian &quot;Coco&quot; Buono). I&rsquo;ll try to follow that advice.

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