MONDAY

Café Tacuba vocalist Ruben Albarran changes his name to a new goofy moniker on each CD his Mexico City–based combo releases. Albarran, who now goes by Elfego Buendía and was once known as El Pinche Juan, is also fond of altering his vocal delivery from song to song and album to album. On Tacuba’s 2003 Cuatro Caminos, this means invoking his love of folk-rock and the Smiths on the Latin Grammy–nominated single “Eres” and snarling like Frank Black on “Cero y Uno.” He also whines in an exaggerated, almost comical manner on such numbers as “Que Pasará,” recorded by Ween producer Andrew Weiss, simultaneously demonstrating Albarran’s love for art-rock and grandiose Sgt. Pepper’s–era Beatles. Ever eclectic, the band’s style is reflected in covers of rhythmic bachata songs by Dominican Juan Luis Guerra, romantic pop by Argentine Leo Dan, and wordy folk by Mexican Jaime Lopez. Together since 1989, Albarran, guitarist Joselo Rangel, bassist Quique Rangel, keyboardist Emanuel DeReal, and several guest drummers and drum machines have occasionally gotten too quirky—with melodramatic warble and New Wave, art-school instrumentation bogging them down. But at its best, this ambitious bunch keeps those tendencies in check and lives up to the hype that fellow crit faves and sometime Tacuba collaborators Kronos Quartet and Los Lobos have received. Café Tacuba plays with Ely Guerra at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, at the Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. $25–$30. (703) 549-7500. (Steve Kiviat)