City Paper is not for tourists
It makes sense that Rupa & the April Fishes have performed with circus stilt-walkers. After all, the music of this San Francisco group is already a juggling act: To start, there’s guitarist Rupa Marya’s French, Spanish, and English language lyrics, which she sets to bouncy accordion rhythms straight out of Parisian cafes; alternately perky and melancholy Eastern European horn blasts; Hindi percussion; sentimental cello and bass strums; and south-of-the-border brass-pop riffs. Even leftist rapper Boots Riley of The Coup once guested on an April Fishes song. And while this multicultural big top can sound overly busy, it’s undoubtedly logical to its leader. Marya grew up in France and in her parents’ native India, and now splits her time between her band and her work as a doctor in the Bay Area. For Marya, more is more, but she can also keep it simple, as on the 2009 song “Este Mundo,” in which she softly intones world-weary poetry about life.
RUPA & THE APRIL FISHES PERFORMS AT 6 P.M. AT THE KENNEDY CENTER MILLENNIUM STAGE, 2700 F ST. NW. FREE. (202) 467-4600.