Mariachiando: Me miro en el espejo

In this issue of Mariachiando we jump from 1999 (last post) to Nochebuena 2006…

In high school, I was part of a mariachi group with other high school friends. We formed it sometime before the beginning of high school in 2003 (we were all in the same year at school) and we performed at private parties, etc., throughout Southern California. Though it was a (tax-free) source of income for many of us, we always hesitated about taking gigs after December 15th because members traveled with their families or had very packed calendars. In 2006, however, almost all our members stayed in South Gate for Christmas and we accepted a gig on Nochebuena only because it was a one-hour performance in South Gate.

We only had one replacement for that night, another mariachi musician from South Gate and a friend of ours (always up to substitute in our group). I arrived at the house about half-an-hour early and warmed up with other the mariachis outside. It was a really cold night, notwithstanding the fact that we were wearing mariachi trajes (not the best protection for legs), but looking forward to a quick performance where there wouldn’t be anyone drunk.

We went in and performed in their backyard. Though they had hired us, they did not seem too much into the songs. Maybe because it was Christmastime, who knows. They had a fire going and all the embers and smoke were blowing toward us, messing up our singing and choking us throughout the performance. When our hour was done, we bowed and started to take our leave. One of the men stopped us and said (in Spanish), “Stay for one more hour.”

“Can’t, it’s Nochebuena and we agreed to only one hour. We have to go with our families.”

“I’ll pay 500 dollars for the second hour.” “Sorry, we really have to go.” “$700?” “Look, we must…” “$1,000?” “We’ll talk about it with the rest of the members.”

One hour of our time in Nochebuena was worth $1,000 to him. Our first hour went for $300. Continue reading

I think some people are confused!!! This isn’t the dream.

Pastor Rick Warren to Speak at the King Memorial
The service is scheduled for Jan. 19 at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta and is included in the official program of the 10-day King Center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, which begins on Jan. 10.
The Reverend Mark Whitlock, senior pastor at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, said Obama’s invitation opened the door for positive communication between the conservative movement and the civil rights movement

From Keith Knights K Chronicles

From Keith Knight's K Chronicles

I always get knowledge reading the Field NegroRick Warren  is speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church!!  This truly floored me. How did this happen. Well I know how this happened. Years of backdoor dealing by the UnGodly megachurches have finally come to this. This is what the Civil Right’s Movement has been working for? Acceptance by a bunch of racist, homophobic, closed minded jerks?
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I hate minibikes

I hate them on Sunday, I hate them on Monday, I hate them everyday!  They’re absolutely ridiculous.  They’re half the size of regular motorcycles but twice as loud.  I’m sure some folks enjoy these noisemachines but I don’t.  I’ve  been having a trio of these drive by my house with their deafening noise for about 2 hours now.  And they’re always ridden by men & never boys. BRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! BRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

IMIX Bookstore

So let’s say despite all the good critiques of avoiding a consumer driven holiday season, you decide you still want to buy some gifts for a few folks. If you’re like me, you avoid anything that has the word “mall” or “Americana” in it. Or perhaps like me, the millions of holiday craft fairs around town have let you down – what to do? One place I always like to pay a visit to around this holiday time (and other times throughout the year too!) is Imix Books (pronounced EE-MEESH) in Eagle Rock. Proprietor Elisa Garcia-Rodriguez is a true bookseller by trade having worked in fabled bookstores like Midnight Special before branching out on her own to start Imix.  She has worked tirelessly to create a beautiful community bookstore featuring the latest in Chicano/Latino titles, radical literature, cool handmade jewelry, artist produced tees, author readings, a special collection of children’s books and local artist shows in the store’s gallery.  This cozy bookstore, nestled in between the ever changing trendy boutiques on Eagle Rock Blvd, has been able to hold out despite the fluctuating economy and the domination of Amazon (which has caused many an independent bookstore to close). Unlike many other businesses, Elisa has always been supportive of other independent enterprises, bookstores, artists and groups and has many a grateful friend in the community. Bookstores like hers are a rare treat in this day and age, stop in for a visit!

IMIX Bookstore
5052 Eagle Rock Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 257-2512

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Eastside 101: Tamal Row

It seems that it’s about time for another installment of Eastside 101, that series that showcases places East of the river that contribute to the unique way of life over on this side of town. Lately there’s been a whole bunch of new fools using the term to give themselves some urban-ness and grit to differentiate themselves from whence they came, even as they look towards the Westside for approval. Yer all sad. Keep it up mofos, we can keep it up longer! Eventually you’ll have to relocate to follow that next media or publishing job and your fake ass “Eastside” will be forgotten. I’ve seen it happen.

But enough about the wannabes, I’m here to present you with a quick roundup of everyones favorite holiday treat: Tamales! There’s a small stretch on Brooklyn with a few different tamalerias which I’ve dubbed Tamal Row, but if there’s another name for this area (Maravilla?) I’m not going to stubbornly try to rename it, just let me know, okay? I figured I’d make it a day trip to compare and contrast their wares! Quieren ver? Pues a la proxima hoja!

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WWECD? (What Would El Chavo Do?)

A New Mexican Food Joint has just opened in my neighborhood this week, and I happened to be walking by the other day and thought I’d check it out. I studied the menu and wondered “What Would El Chavo Do?
I had noticed the construction and renovations going on for some time here, and it seemed to me that this spot had been serving food before, but primarily in connection with an adjacent storefront church. Now I found myself at the Grand Opening of a spanking new Westside place by the name of TARASCOS.
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A View of the 1st LA Anarchist Bookfair

Panel on Anarcha-Feminism

This last weekend, on Saturday I went to the first annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair at the Southern California Library. I’ve been to a few Anarchist Bookfairs up north in San Francisco, so I was very interested in seeing how this would turn out.  I couldn’t make it to all the workshops/panels but I did make it to a few.

More after the jump.

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Newport Coast: The tragic underside of the census. A piece of satire.

So sad!!! The lack of diversity is killing them inside.
So sad!!! The lack of diversity is killing them inside.

Newport coast, it turns out, has become even less black and brown. Newport Coast was so undiverse that in 2001 it attached itself to Newport Beach as to not look so oddly white in a quickly changing multicultural world.

You can’t even find out how white it is, because it’s not only white, but rich and rich people don’t want you in their business.

A lot of us Angelenos take Orange County for granted. Continue reading

2nd Annual Jayden’s Wish Charity Event

Photo by Google of Tijuana Orphans

As a special gift to her son Jayden my friend Krys is having the 2nd Annual Jayden’s Wish Charity Event.
Please come join us this Thursday in downtown Los Angeles for a special charity can drive benefiting the children of ” Casa Hogar La Immaculada” In Tijuana, Mexico.

La Casa Immaculada is an orphanage with over 100 abused and abandoned kids, this event will help donate the much needed food to the orphanage.

Everyone is welcome to come spread the word!

There will be food, drinks, music and a  performance by Jeprocket

Sticks and Stones Magazine will also be shooting photos for their upcoming issue.

Two can minimum entry fee

non-perishable items also taken

December 18, 2008
7 p.m to 10 p.m

Geisha Studio
548 South Spring St #B7
Los Angeles Ca 90013

(562) 230-5417

click to see flyer

“Los Cerebros Infernales”

Growing up on Lucha Libre was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. My father was a luchador in his time known as “Chamaco Moctezuma” and he would have made it to the big time if some idiot didn’t dislocated his shoulder because of jealousy. Plus the fact that he had a family to support, he left that life behind, but he never stopped loving it. I still have feint memories of those years in which my father was wrestling his heart out. Memories of going to matches to even meeting other wrestlers come and go, but his love and passion for the business was instilled in me. Wrestling in Mexico is a phenomenon in itself and regarded with much more respect and love than here in the U.S. Luchadores like “El Santo,” “Blue Demon,” “El Perro Aguallo,” “Tinieblas,” “Atlantis,” “El Rayo de Jalisco,” “Mil Mascaras” and “Mascara Sagrada” are my heroes to this day because I have a devout love and passion for Lucha Libre. Part of that passion was instilled by not only watching their matches, but from watching their awesomely bad movies.

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