A band that mixes and matches disparate musical genres is about as surprising as a Bulls win these days–from Naked City to Fatboy Slim to any of the dozens of lame ska-pop outfits on the club circuit as we speak, everybody’s doin’ it. What distinguishes the Latin and South American bands connected by the fairly new rock-en-espa–ol rubric (besides the shared language) is the uninhibited glee with which they do it. Buenos Aires’s Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have been channel surfing for more than a decade now; on their last album, Rey Azucar (SDI), they included a woozy cover of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and carved out guest spots for new-wave icons Debbie Harry, Mick Jones of the Clash, and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of the Talking Heads. On the more recent and more impressive Fabulosos Calavera (BMG U.S. Latin), they manage to boil bits of heavy metal, funk, rumba, soul, and surf music into an unbelievably natural-sounding brew. “A Amigo J.V.” is a dissipated torch song worthy of Tom Waits; “Amnesia” blends pretty piano balladry, mariachi horns, and swinging hard rock; “Ni–o Diamante” mixes Santana-esque guitar with drifting psychedelic textures and an interpolation of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.” The stifling reverence for rock history that plagues many North American genre hoppers never seems to touch Los Fabulosos Cadillacs or other south-of-the-border bands like Cafe Tacuba, Los Amigos Invisibles, or King Chango; in a certain sense these relative latecomers to rock are way ahead of the curve. The appalling Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Greenhouse open. Thursday, April 9, 7 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn; 312-527-2583 or 312-923-2000. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.