Thee Commons Are an East LA Rarity With Their Psychedelic Cumbia-Rock Sound

Categories: Latino scene

thee_commons.jpg
Thee Commons and thee cactus!
Thee Commons are living proof that the creative musical soil of East Los Angeles is still richly fertile. Bands have emerged from its epicenter for decades reshaping the sounds of each coming generation. Brothers David and Rene Pacheco are making sure that new groups can still catch a buzz by offering up an energetic blend of cumbia, pysch and rock. Inspired by a tireless work ethic, Thee Commons are making their mark on the scene in the short time they've been together.

"What makes us a little different is that we are a three-piece," vocalist/guitarist David Pacheco tells the Weekly. "We've learned to embrace it because antes we were trying really hard to fit in to that traditional cumbia sound."

More »

SLV Returns to SanTana with This Kind of Music

Categories: Latino scene

slv_duo.jpg
Shirley Rodriguez
Dynamic Duo
Sandra Lilia Velásquez and Sean Dixon joined forces with the mission of unearthing new sounds. The creative tandem known as SLV (Velásquez's initials) debuted with Dig Deeper, an EP produced by bass virtuoso Meshell Ndegeocello, that grooved along relaxed and pensive vibes. Velásquez, former vocalist of raucous Latin Alternative band Pistolera, continues to evoke the sultriness of Sade on This Kind, the duo's full-length follow up.

SLV brings their new tunes to town when they pass through SanTana from their New York base later tonight. They'll be performing at Beatnik Bandito, a most intimate of spaces to embrace the duo's sounds.

More »

Drag Queen Tribute Celebrates Selena's Life Tonight in SanTana, 20 Years After Her Death

Categories: Latino scene

selena pic.jpg
Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano Music, died tragically 20 years ago today. Yolanda Saldivar, the disgraced former president of her fan club, shot and killed the singer during a motel meeting in 1995. Saldivar's bullets ensure her place among the Mexican pantheon of villains alongside Hernan Cortes and El Cucuy!

Selena's legacy, on the other hand, continues to shine bright long after her untimely death. DeColores Queer OC, a SanTana-based LGBT group, is paying tribute to the slain singer tonight at the Frida Cinema with a film screening and drag queen show including a performance by Selena impersonator Ms. Luna.

More »

East LA Band Quetzal Brings its New 'Animal Style' to Santa Ana

Quetzal1.jpg
Quetzal
The brightly colored feathers of the guacamaya in flight inspire son jarocho musicians in Veracruz, Mexico. But what animals do jarana-strumming Chicanos sing of when they live in LA's mass urban sprawl? The question sparked Quetzanimales, the first concept album for Grammy-award winning East Los band Quetzal.

"Son jarocho has been a huge part of the music that we've created over many years," says singer Martha Gonzalez. The centuries-old tradition has always been lyrically informed by the natural world around it. "We started thinking about our landscape, nature, and the animals that we cohabitate with."

More »

Fernanda Ulibarri Will Make You Fall in Love With Her Latin Alternative Polkas

fer_uli.jpg
Santiago Ruiseñor
Fernanda Ulibarri achieved what Family Matters TV nerd Steve Urkel could never do: make polka cool. The Latin Alternative songstress returns to the scene with Polkas de Amor. The four-song EP bounces along with tales of romance sung in Ulibarri's high-pitch, sugary sweet vocals. The Mexico City-born musician based in Los Angeles is reading a preview of her newest work in SanTana this weekend ahead of the EP's official release show.

More »

Las Cafeteras Get Remixed Into 'Conscious Clubbing!'

hector_flores.jpg
Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Hector Flores leads the crowd during the premiere of "El Chuchumbé" Remix
Las Cafeteras crossed another musical border Wednesday night hosting an exclusive release party for a remix EP of their songs. La Junta Sound System deejays radically re-imagined cuts off the son jarocho-flavored Latin Alternative band's popular 2012 It's Time debut album. Las Cafeteras, having already carved out an identity as hybridistas, premiered the songs designed to get the social justice club turnt up before a sold out crowd at East LA's Cities Restaurant & Lounge.

More »

Viento Callejero Reinvents Cumbia Classics With Urban Sounds

Categories: Latino scene

viento_callejero.jpg
Piero F. Giunti
Viento Callejero
Growing up messing around on the streets in Boyle Heights, guitarist Gloria Estrada remembers her mother saying "Como eres callejera!" An accomplished musician, Estrada later found herself at a crossroads after leaving the rapidly up-and-coming band La Santa Cecilia. Assembling the pieces of her new trio Viento Callejero in the aftermath almost didn't happen. "At the time, I really thought I was going to leave music altogether," Estrada says. "I was trying to take a break." Luckily for cumbia lovers, she kept on strumming!

More »

La Santa Cecilia Win a Grammy!

Thumbnail image for la_santa_cecilia2.jpg
Humberto Howard
That's Grammy Award winning La Santa Cecilia thank you very much!
Fresh off their Friday night performance at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, La Santa Cecilia took home the Grammy award last night for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album! Yay! The honors went to Treinta Días, their major label debut. Competition in the category was diverse and fierce with Café Tacvba, El Tri, Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas, and Los Amigos Invisibles all nominated, but the Los Angeles band rooted in Olvera Street prevailed.

More »

Little Willie G of Thee Midniters Fame is Ready to Party on the Plaza

Categories: Latino scene

little_willie_g.jpg
Keepin' it old school!
As a vocalist for the legendary East Los Angeles band Thee Midniters, Willie Garcia, better known as Little Willie G, crooned all their 1960s hits including "Sad Girl" and "Land of a Thousand Dances." He will be performing a spectrum of songs including what he likes to call those 'neighborhood classics' in helping to kick off the Segerstrom Center's Off Center Festival tonight alongside Grammy-nominated group La Santa Cecilia!

More »

Signa Elevates Latin Alt-Rock Sounds With Help From Vampiro!

signa_green.jpg
Julio Salazar
From left to right: David Barrera, Paul Droste, Abel Muñoz, Beto Gudiño
Signa, a Costa Mesa-based rock en español band, is back with an impressive new recording. Produced by none other than César "Vampiro" López--the guitar virtuoso of Jaguares and Maná fame--Temporales is a clean toned, highly polished four-track EP that elevates the musicians to a higher plane. Always spiritually minded, Signa held firm to their commitment to follow up their debut Cuando se ponga el sol with a heavier rocanrol sound. Vampiro plays guitars on "Cielos Abiertos" (available for free download) while Humberto "Beto" Gudiño's vocals, among the most underrated in OC in any language, shine on the title track that ponders the temporal nature of earthly existence. The rhythm section is locked tight in the grooves while the guitar work is exemplary--all of what is to be expected given Signa's talent and Vampiro's guidance.

The band even belted out an immigrant anthem "Pinches y Jardineros" (also available for free download) with the solidarity slogan "Todos somos ilegales." Check out video of an acoustic version of the song before guitarist/vocalist Beto Gudiño gives the Weekly his spare notes on Temporales.

More »
Loading...