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Dia De Los Muertos @ Self Help Graphics

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 3, 2008 08:59am | Post a Comment
Self Help Graphics in East L.A. had their final Dia De Los Muertos celebration at their current location on November 2nd. The property that housed the event for the last thirty odd years was sold earlier this year. Self-Help Graphics not only held the longest running Dia De Los Muertos festival in Los Angeles, but many other events as well. Self Help provided a space for Chicano artists to work and display their artwork. It was also the location of The Vex, an all ages punk club that housed many classic early punk rock shows in the early 80’s. Many great artists have either performed or shown their artwork at Self Help Graphics, too many to list them all.





Malo

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 29, 2008 12:07am | Post a Comment

A co-worker expressed the opinion while listening to Malo’s first album  that perhaps the worst thing for both Malo and Santana were the Santana brothers themselves. The need for Carlos and Jorge to ruin the groove set by the rhythm section with a guitar solo plagued each band as time went on. Their audience loved it but soon it became formulaic and an instant cliché for Chicano bands for years to come. But when the style was fresh, everyone around the world wanted to sound like them, including the artists themselves who originally influenced the Chicano sound. Notice how many artists, including Miles Davis, The Rolling Stones, The Fania All-Stars and The Isley Brothers, started to sound like Santana, Malo & El Chicano at one point or another.

Malo’s self-titled album came out in 1972. By then, Carlos was world famous and jamming with the likes of John McLaughlin and Miles Davis. Malo came out of two San Francisco bands-- The Malibus and Naked Lunch (named after the infamous William Burroughs book). There were a few differences between Malo and Santana. For one, Malo had a horn section, giving them that Chicago/Blood Sweat & Tears sound. The other difference is that along with the jams, they had songs. Songs like "Café" and "Pana" are still the blueprints of Chicano Rock today, from the house band at Rick’s Burgers in Alhambra to Carlos Santana's multi-Grammy award winning Supernatural. Like most Chicano bands, Malo was a mixed race band and a hodgepodge of both Latin and Anglo influences. You can hear flashes of Miles Davis In A Silent Way on "Just Say Goodbye" and Joe Bataan’s influence on "Nena."

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Tres De Mayo-Pt.2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 6, 2008 02:24am | Post a Comment
After the Cinco De Mayo Parade (and when I was done with my laundry), I went to my show @ The Knitting Factory. I deejayed between the groups that played that night. Rebel Diaz from Chicago were the headliners, with Jroz & Ethos, Los Poets Del Norte & Olmeca on the bill as well. There was a low turn out for the show because of the numerous fight parties that were happening the same night all over East L.A. Last week all the clubs blamed their low turnouts on Coachella. For the East L.A. set, a fight with Oscar De La Hoya on the bill is death to whatever event you are planning at the same time. Though the numbers were smaller, the groups were red hot!



It's been a minute since I've seen Jroz1 & Ethos. Good to see them still rocking the mics & tables. I first met Jroz when she was still in high school. She won a freestyle battle, humiliating MC's who thought they were much better than they were.

Nico & Shortee from Los Poets Del Norte. Part Culture Clash, part Last Poets, all Boyle Heights. They performed with two bands on either side of the Poets. Los Pequeños Del Norte played Norteños and two guys from the band Resistencia played behind them as well.

This was my first time that I got to check out Rebel Diaz. They were political without being preachy and just rocked it on stage. Homegirl (I forgot her name) has star potential written all over her. She can sing like Celia Cruz and rap like Biggie. Awesome.

Teatro East Of The River

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, March 2, 2008 02:16am | Post a Comment
Teatro East Of The River, from East L.A., describe themselves as: Teatro Xicano, Theater Of The Oppressed, Hip-Hop theater, spoken word, flor y canto, using theater as a form of education, inspiring, organizing, enlightening and liberating.

...and on top of that, they have a new production:

The Complex
A Theatre of the Oppressed / Rebelde Production
Investigating the Prison Industrial System in the U.S.
Part of the USC Visions & Voices 2007-2008 Program


Companion community event of
"The Press"
March 2, 2008*
2:30 - 4:30 pm
FREE ADMISSION
(bring your resistence - traite tu resistencia)

at the
24th St. Theatre
1117 W. 24th Street (corner of 24th and Hoover)
Los Angeles, CA 90007

In this play, theatre takes on the political realities of prison life and asks us all to investigate what is trapping millions behind bars, including many of our youth, often for life sentences without the possibility of parole. What is really behind "the complex?" USC Senior Lecturer Brent Blair collaborates with activist/artist Mario Rocha, LA County Probation officer Rick Vidal and parents of incarcerated youth, along with other artists, activists and stakeholders from several groups within the general community affected by the "Prison Industrial Complex." This event loosely follows the framework of "forum theatre" informed by the techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal, where audience members are invited to trade places with the protagonists to derive solutions to this socio-political rupture.

Barack Obama & Super Tuesday In California

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 11, 2008 03:08am | Post a Comment
Obama’s biggest downfall in his campaign was that he underestimated Latinos. This cost him big time in California. There was so much he could have done to get our vote and he didn't.

For instance, He never really spoke out on immigration issues, which Hilary openly did. For example, Hillary came out in support of AB 540 (The Dream Act), which would allow illegal immigrants to attend college as long as they follow certain provisions. Hillary also started early, rounding up support from Latino heavyweights such as L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilwomen Gloria Molina, Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers. In fact, Villaraigosa pledged his support  for Hilary back in 2006. It also didn’t help Obama cause that many Latinos prospered during the Clinton years and are looking for a return to that prosperity.

Then there is the unfortunate reality that African-Americans and Latinos are socialized in this country to hate each other. We are taught this in the public school system, where neither of us are taught our true history. We are made into street soldiers to fight each other in our ever-increasing incarceration in prisons. We are taught to blame each other by politicians for the lack of jobs, lower wages and increasing cost of living. Truth is that some of us are so messed up that we find it easier to fight each other rather than to come together and fight the true source of our problems.

Obama knows this and has addressed this, quite elegantly, in fact. My thoughts that I have written are not much different from what he has said in interviews and in his speeches. Problem is that he didn't tell this to Latinos. People like my mother, who became a citizen back in 1994 yet still gets her information through the Spanish speaking media. Obama did very little with the Spanish speaking media until just before the election. He chose rather to court Hollywood insiders during his time in Los Angeles. The Chicago Tribune reported that the Obama campaign office in East L.A. was opened mere days before the election. Even with a huge rally at East L.A. College with Sen. Kennedy and Maria Elena Durazo as his co-chairperson for his campaign, Latino voters knew very little about Obama and as a result lost the Latino vote to Clinton by a 2-1 margin, the worst defeat of his campaign.

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