TUESDAY TUNES: Soda Stereo,”Pic Nic en el 4 B”

As a music fan and once and future critic, few things are more poignant than finding out about an artist in the wake of his death.

I’d heard of Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati’s band, when I started listening to rock en espanol, but found his recorded output intimidating.  He put out so many albums over such a long period that finding a good starting point proved challenging.  He didn’t seem to be active back in 2011 or 2012, so I stuck to the artists I knew and who were consistently putting out music and figured I’d get back to him.

A few weeks ago, I learned about why Cerati had been silent for so long.  After suffering a stroke at the beginning of the decade, he went into a coma.  He died on 4 September of this year.

A few radio shows and podcasts to which I subscribe had put together tributes to the musician, which allowed me to hear some of his work, and I managed to track down a Soda Stereo compilation.  His late 1980s work with Soda Stereo was especially wonderful.  The combination of strong songwriting, impassioned vocals, and cheesy ’80s production reminded me of other bands I love, like Split Enz, The Church, and Television (specifically their 1992 reunion).  “Pic Nic En 4 B” got stuck in my head for days, and I’ve been listening to the album from which it came while I’m at work.

Felix and Jas at Alt Latino put together a great tribute that gives Cerati’s work a greater context, while Remezcla gives us Rene “Residente” Perez Joglar’s tribute.

RIP Gustavo Certati.

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