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Rita Indiana And Los Mysterios At Central Park Summerstage, Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Rita Indiana is so striking, six feet, close cropped hair, rail thin, wife beater, androgynous, and flanked by two apparently homosexual men, dancing a storm, she seems to live up to her "The Monster" moniker before you've even heard her startling update of Merengue and the beats of her native Dominican. But once you have, a heavy beat conglom of punk and Meringue plus, the monster takes on whole new meaning.

Backed up by her band Los Mysterios,everything is backing into the rhythm sparked by two tomtom players and a bassist who follows her everywhere, Rita played songs off her 2010 release El Juidero. Early on, a "El Blue del Ping Pong" has her back up dancers slamming imaginary backhands into the audience and a heavy mambo has the audience dancing a storm. Incidentally, Summerstage is packed out when I get there at 315p, by the time Rita hits the stage you can't move.

According to the New York Daily News there is a political edge to her music,, on one song the  "singer breathlessly urges migrants to take "una yola al revés" ("a rickety boat in reverse") and return to their homeland." Which might explain what Rita is saying, since she keeps her English to "turn the keyboards up or I can't sing this". The this in question is "Dulces Suenos" , "Sweet Dreams (Are made Of This)" which accentuates the downbeat  before improvising out on the verses. Finally, she sings a verse in English!

Better still is "Equibol", a variation on "Gloria" which has Indiana panting like a horse or a bull about to charge, it reminded me a little of Patti Smith's cover and it is wonderful beyond belief. The opening track on the album is 15 minutes long and deserves every second.

Best of all is a new song, a punk, Merengue, mash-up with Indiana and her dancers moving furiously from side to side, hands behind there back, and moving like their skipping rope. It sported the best bass of the day, let me try again, punk salsa, funk disco all rolled into one. It is brand new and is still the best received song of the day!

On the same label as Aventura, big things are expected from Rita though what she is going to be doing is promoting her second novel. If she got with a techno producer she would rule US dancefloors.

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