The band Cordero released 2 albums for Daemon Records 2002-2004. Ani Cordero went on to work with Bloodshot Records and took her band through different incarnations, every one of them interesting and successful. Here is their 2004 band bio that appeared upon the release of their 2nd Daemon album.
The question that started it all was: "Why can't a Latina start a bilingual band that has Latin dance rhythms and an indie-rock heart?" In 1999 Ani Cordero answered the question by founding the five-piece band Cordero. Ani's vision saw an alternative rock/Latin rock band that could stay true to her roots yet thrive in a New York scene known for bands like Interpol and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. With three years together, a debut album, a live album, and many months of touring under the band's belt, Cordero now prepares for its second CD release, Somos Cordero, set for national release March 9, 2004, under Daemon Records/Koch Distribution.
Cordero's bilingual garage-rock infused Latin sound personifies the founder's life. A Georgia-bred Puerto Rican, Ani Cordero didn't have an easy time being one of very few Latinos in Atlanta. She didn't have the support of a large Latin community, nor had most of her school friends even heard of Puerto Rico. At the age of 14, Ani felt like an outsider -- and it wasn't long before she was swept away by the unique and rebellious punk rock local scene. "My mom and dad were so cool. I had guys come over with mohawks and polka dot cars and they never judged them. There was a real punk rock community, and I belonged," recalls Ani. At that time she also discovered she had a passion for drums. With money she earned from babysitting jobs that same year, she bought her first drum set and began playing in punk bands around town.
At the age of 17, Ani began to move into indie-rock and joined many bands as a drummer. Four years of college went by while maintaining a national touring and recording schedule. This included a tour with Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker, another Georgia female-rocker. The most successful band of this phase of Ani's life was Number One Family Mover. Signed to Pearl Jam producer Brendan O'Brien's label, the band was dropped after one album due to the record label's doubts about how to sell such a band that was "less rock than experimental." Disappointed, Ani moved on and found a gig touring as the drummer of Man or Astroman's female "clone" band Gamma Clones, where she was given the name "Tweety Tone, and wore silver pants made of the most horrible plastic," Ani remembers with laughter. She was ready for a change of scene, and decided to give herself a "sabbatical" in Tucson, AZ, where she taught herself to play guitar and worked on recording her own compositions with the help of newfound friends Howe Gelb of Giant Sand and Joey Burns of Calexico. The result was Cordero's first album Deserter, which was never officially released but made available on Cordero's website
With such accomplishments at a young age, it was tough for Ani to sit back and wait for something to happen with Deserter. By July of 1999, after six months in Tucson, she moved one last time to Brooklyn, New York, where she set out to put her own band together. Ani hooked up with Chris Verene, former Atlanta Rock*A*Teens' drummer/artist (art exhibitions at The Whitney Museum and a book by Twin Palms Publishers), guitarist Lynn Wright and bassist/violinist Jonathan Petrow both Bee & Flower members, and keyboardist/lapsteel guitarist F.A. Blasco of Blasco Ballroom. It was late 1999 and Ani Cordero was the frontwoman of a band that bore her name, Cordero. It was time to bring together all of the band's experience to fuse Ani's bilingua llyrics and Latin music background with the band's mostly indie/punk/southern rock influences. The band's self-produced debut CD, Lamb Lost in the City, was released in October of 2002 by Amy Ray's (Indigo Girls) Georgia based indie label Daemon Records.
Beloved by national and New York press, Cordero kicked off its first year with features in New Yorker, Billboard Magazine, Village Voice and Time Out New York. The album sold over 3,000 copies during its first few months and was played on roughly 400 radio stations in the U.S. and Europe. Cordero was invited to open for the legendary Los Lobos on part of their U.S. tour. Fans dubbed the band, "Los Lobos Junior!" Cordero has also performed with and toured with Neil Halsted, Smokey & Miho, Indigo Girls, Jesse Malin, Howe Gelb, and Trailer Bride in over 140 live concerts supporting "Lamb." In September 2003 Cordero released a live (enhanced CD) album titled Cordero En Vivo! (Digital Club Network) featuring 11 tracks from a concert in June 2003 at Arlene's Grocery, NY, with a Quicktime video of "Vamos Nenas," performed that night. Ani's talents can also be seen as a singing drummer for Artemis Records' Josh Joplin Group, and with Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham (Luna, Galaxie 500).
Cordero went back into the studio to record their sophomore album, this time with a major producer! The band was ready to try new directions in the studio and recruited respected NY-based Grammy-nominated engineer/producer Charlie Dos Santos to help them. Charlie's diverse background was just what the band was looking for. He has worked on Cuban and salsa albums for renowned artists Los Van Van, Marc Anthony, and recent Grammy-nominee Barbarito Torres (Buena Vista Social Club). He's worked with R&B and hip-hop artists such as Heavy D & the Boyz and Sista Soulja (Public Enemy), and with alternative rock and punk artists Carnival Art and They Might Be Giants. "We were looking for a producer with experience recording Latin percussion and indie-rock guitars and that shared our aesthetic. Charlie had all those things," says Ani.
The new album, recorded and mixed in New York, is titled Somos Cordero, meaning, "We Are Cordero," because it presents a state of the union of the criss-crossing of the band's musical influences and ethnicities. The assorted talents and ethnic backgrounds (Puerto Rican, French/Spanish, and American) of the five band members make a new statement about what rock and roll is today. The 13-track bilingual album carries six songs in English, six in Spanish and one split into both languages for good measure. It's an introspective, exciting, and personal album written by Ani Cordero with four songs co-written by the other Cordero members.
The CD is a journey opening with "Had You Fallen Away," a song that shows off the band's rock chops, with sweet vocals and harmonies reminiscent of Lush. The English/Spanish indie-rock stomp "Traveler," with cool distorted guitars and smooth vocals, has been made into Cordero's debut music video to be released mid-spring 2004. "Emiliano y Jovita" is a standout dance track at the beginning of a song trilogy (in order, tracks 13, 7 and 11) dedicated to the love saga between Ani's great-grandparents. Somos Cordero is tied together by real life experiences and stories of happiness, depression, abuse, love, death, suicide, friendship, loneliness and compassion. There are a couple of guest artists to listen out for, such as the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra's horn section, and the lead singer and other members of Palm Records' band Radio Mundial.
LAMB LOST IN THE CITY