Botanitas: July 1, 2009

East LA school playground

Botanitas is an ongoing feature bringing you stories and news from various sources, upcoming events and other bits of ephemera that might be of interest to LA Eastside readers. Suggestions welcome!

Click below for Eastside punk podcasts, online river representation, sea monster slides, mixtapes and fun music events!

East Los Punk Podcast

Jimmy Alvarado has put together an awesome audio piece on East Los Punk Rock.

Punk was very regional when I first got into it and I had it drummed in my noggin early on that you put your best effort into supporting your home scene first. While it’s been a while since I’ve even attended, played or put on a backyard gig, I do try my best to keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhoods, so let this two-part podcast serve as part of my continuing support for the home teams.

Check it out at the Razorcake website!


LA River

LA Eastside contributors and readers are quite familiar with the Los Angeles River, it is often our reference point and a demarcation on the map defining the Eastside of the city from the other side. Interestingly, and despite the concrete the suffocates it, it continues to be one of the last wild spaces in the city. KCET has created a new site featuring photographs, audio portraits and other information on the Los Angeles River. For instance, did you know the river was called Paime Pahite by the Tongva? I didn’t and I thought I knew a lot about Los Angeles history. Imagine all things you will discover?

KCET (PBS Los Angeles) recently launched an online documentary of the Los
Angeles River. The documentary maps the fifty-two mile river and is
narrated by river advocates, residents, and political figures. To view and
interact with the documentary, visit

Visit the site here.


Photo courtesy of The Friends of La Laguna website

La Laguna playground designated a historic landmark!

The sea monsters are safe! Like many other folks who read this blog, I spent a good many Saturdays playing on the wondrous concrete sea monsters at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel. These beautiful sculptures were created by Mexican artist Benjamin Dominguez in 1965. Recently, there was some controversy when the city of San Gabriel discussed tearing down the fantastic sea creatures in order to build more “safe” play structures. Uh huh, like the thousands of kids like myself that played on them since the 1960s left the playground all mangled up. Geesh, we left with big old smiles on our faces! (If only we could have saved the Aztec playground Dominguez built at Lincoln Park. The destruction of that playground still kills me inside.) Read more on the historic designation here.



A mixtape, composed of songs that are conceptually linked by the compiler, allow the listener to enter a highly personal narrative. By meticulously selecting the theme, songs, order, and duration, a multilayered story is woven. The usage of such a popular form, music, thus creates a highly subjective experience for each individual listener. Each artist in this exhibition uses a song, a lyric, or musical subculture as the conceptual model or point of departure.
Juan Capistran, Irina Contreras, Marco Dimas Sanchez, Sandra De La Loza, Hazel Mandujano, Jacob Rhodes, Shizu Saldamando, Rich Shelton

316 W. 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-2787‎

I heard you get a free mixtape at the opening. I’m there! (I loved Shizu Saldamando’s IPOD playlist for the Phantom Sightings show).



En Tu Ciudad Tour @ La Cita-Tonite, July 1st!

We are psyched to continue our concert series co-presented by MySpace Latino right here in LA at the famous La Cita Bar.

Headlining the show will be none other than those vallenato-crazy party boys Very Be Careful, along with the lovelies (and just as raucous) La Santa Cecilia. Opening up, pretty pop buzz band Wait.Think.Fast.

If you go to the website, you can get in free with a secret password.


Ashgrove Summer Intra-National Event

Conjunto Los Pochos will play the Ash Grove Summer Intra-National Event,
Sunday, July 12th on the beautiful grounds of a private home at 939 San
Vicente Boulevard (at Larkin Place) in Santa Monica, 1:30 – 5:30. The
event is an Ash Grove Foundation fundraiser for its Summer Festival in
August (date/location TBD). Performances start at 1:30 p.m. and include
Michelle Shocked, blues guitarist Bernie Pearl, pianist/songwriter Sheila
Nicholls, musical humorist Roy Zimmerman, poet/writer S. Pearl Sharp,
S.H.I.N.E Mawusi women’s drum alliance, Get Lit players – teenage
wizards with poetry from the sonnets of Shakespeare to hip-hop, Conjunto
Los Pochos and Richard Montoya of Culture Clash. Tickets are $40 per
person. For information: (310) 391-5794 or

The fundraiser is one of a series of community events that has been held at
various cultural centers around Los Angeles since the November election and
billed as “Beyond November – Party with a Purpose” – bringing
together an assortment of artists, advocacy and social action
organizations, to entertain, to inform and to enthuse by tapping into the
vast energy for positive change sparked by the Obama campaign. The
culmination this year will be a large free Summer Festival in August 2009
that will feature musical guests, community artists and speakers, in
addition to an area where health, housing and other service organizations
will provide direct counseling, referrals and aid to people in need.
Visitors can learn about and join groups and/or actions around these
critical issues.



You might’ve missed Tierra this past weekend in Lincoln Park so I’ll leave you all with some homegrown Eastside sounds. The founders of Tierra, the Salas brothers are from right here in Lincoln Heights and this song, Together is definitely a contender for the Eastside Chicano anthem. There’s a certain charm in this lo-fi Youtube clip, thank you Unsold Chicano wherever you are for posting it…

9 thoughts on “Botanitas: July 1, 2009

  1. Muy Suave Chimatli! The LA River is very dear to my heart, it was practically our neighborhood playground as kids in Lincoln Hts.
    And as far as I’m concerned “Together” should be the anthem of the Eastside, it’s not only a great song but has a positive message for all. BTW, I went to Lincoln High at the same time the Salas Bros were there and remember them with thier guitars on the grass by the front entrance, playing for all the vatos during lunch.

  2. my father once told me “angel baby” was the official anthem of east los angeles, and i’m inclined to agree, with comparsa universitaria’s “mi ultima parranda” vying for the number two spot.

    now, if there’s a caveat in the nomination process that stipulates the song be penned and/or performed originally by someone from east l.a., my vote would go to the thrusters’ “the little duck.”

  3. “Anthem of the Eastside” sounds like the makings of a post/poll!
    I don’t know The Thrusters-The Little Duck but I’ll go search youtube right now…

  4. Sounds like your on it Chimatli!

    Here’s a few of my nominations for anthem of the LA Eastside besides the Salas Bros “Together”, and why can’t we have a dozen anthems for the Eastside?

    Los Chucos Suaves, Lalo Guerrero
    La Bamba, Ritchie Valens
    Pachuco Hop, Chuck Higgens
    This is Dedicated To The One I Love, The Shirelles
    All Night Long, Joe Houston
    Low Rider, War
    Sleepy Lagoon, Harry James
    Viva Tirado, El Chicano

  5. And if that coyote El Chavo produces an album of LA Eastside anthems we should all get a free Mexican 7 course dinner.
    Tu Sabes! A six pack of Bud Lite and a Taco

  6. “If that coyote El Chavo produces an album of LA Eastside anthems we should all get…”

    DQ, pray its not a giant 128 Oz. can of ‘delicious’ Juanita’s Menudo or a giant jar of decafe crystals. hmmm (-;

  7. “Samba Pa Ti” was the song my wife walked the isle with.
    “Lowrider” played when the wedding party entered the reception.
    “Viva Tirado” greated us as we newlyweds were introduced.
    “Together” played for our first dance.

    Ohh…the soundtracks of my life.

    I nominate,
    Cannibal and the Headhunters, “Land of 1000 Dances” to be the anthem for the eastside.

    I Love E.L.A.

  8. Thanks for putting this video here on this site I posted this originally on youtube Im just keeping the Music Alive…….
    I grew up 1 block from Lincoln Park on Parkside Ave in The HEIGHTS up the street actually were the LUNA MOTEL is… awwww now you know once i said

    Tierra the Salas Brothers use to practice and Lived a block down On Keith Street i remember watching and hearing them practice

    This is a classic cut by Tierra it was acually My sisters Wedding Song ,,back when the cars were decorated with tissue Flowers made out of tissue paper

    I missed it on Saturday Tierra was back in the Barrio LINCOLN HEIGHTS
    I remember the 5 de Mayo Festivals at Lincoln Park even the last one were the riot broke out in 89 or 91

    Oldies are a Huge Part of Chicano Cultura especially on the East Side Well The Heights is on The Northern EastSide of Los Angeles But still the East Side,,,,,

    I dedicate my Extra time To Do an Oldies Show At my Website to Keep my Cultura and its Music Alive ….

    Its not what your cultura does for you..its What do you Do 4 your Cultura?!

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