PICK: Los Saicos Experience feat. original member Papi Saico w Trapp Hill Collision, Alex Lee Ratner and Delicate Whip

Saturday, Aug. 12 at Bandito's Burrito Lounge


If there's any claim I've heard ad nauseum over the last 35 years, it's "insert band name here" actually invented punk rock. As always, it depends on how you're defining it. Casual listeners often say someone like the Stooges, the Ramones, MC5, New York Dolls, the usual suspects.

Other record nerds (and we say that lovingly) might dig deeper and find a lesser known band like Charleston Grotto playing songs such as "Kill Your Teacher" in 1961. Or another unique contender that has earned traction is the Peruvian band known as Los Saicos, which formed in 1964 in Lima, Peru. The teenaged band belted out a gnarly blend of growled garage rock and surf instrumentals that definitely sounded demented for its time. It's as if they heard the Trashmen in the States and said, "We can do that." Which is about as close to an ethos as punk should have: Do it yourself. Noisey even has a short film about the possibility that punk was born in Peru.

But does it really matter who did it first? Arguing about the first punk band feels mighty un-punk (it reminds me of seeing two mohawked white guys on Telegraph Avenue in Berkley, Ca. coming to blows over whose look was more authentic. Blehh). Why get hung up on definitions? Suffice to say that Los Saicos rocked out like only "wild teen punks" can. And this weekend, Richmonders can check out the Los Saicos Experience, a DC-based tribute act to the group this time featuring original member Papi Saico (César Castrillón) when they headline Bandito's Burrito Lounge on Saturday.

Local support on the bill includes Delicate Whip, Trapp Hill Collision and Alex Lee Ratner.

The Los Saicos Experience takes place Saturday, Aug. 12 at Bandito's and also features Alex Lee Ratner, Delicate Whip, and Trapp Hill Collission. 8 p.m. start. 21 and up. $12.