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2012 is shaping up to be a fine year in local releases, and we can add the new album from Y La Bamba to that pile. Court the Storm, the long-awaited followup to Lupon, comes out February 28 on Tender Loving Empire, and it was produced by Los Lobos saxman (and Portlander) Steve Berlin. It also features a guest appearance from Neko Case on the title track.

Y La Bamba singer Luz Elena Mendoza crafted many of these tracks during a cold winter when she began writing songs with her drum teacher Paul Cameron—who, as it turned out, was an exceptional guitarist and has since joined the band on guitar and vocals. They wrote a hefty batch of songs (many in Spanish) almost immediately, in a style Mendoza dubbed "Tragos Amargos"; Mendoza and Cameron even played a few gigs under that name.

The songs on Court the Storm have been incubating for a long time, so it's exciting that we'll finally get to hear them in February. Y La Bamba play Holocene on Thursday, December 15. Meanwhile, Mendoza has a couple solo gigs slotted: Saturday, December 10 at the Waypost and Wednesday, December 14 at Kelly's Olympian.