Amoeblog

So What's New With You? The Shameless Self-Promotion of Gomez Comes Alive

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 10, 2011 11:33pm | Post a Comment
A few people have wondered why I don’t use the Amoeba Blog to promote myself, so here I go. I promise to return to World Music and Amoeba Hollywood on my next blog.

As a deejay I’ve had some great gigs recently. I have performed with the likes of Celso PiƱa, Very Be Careful, B-Side Players and Buyepongo. Anda! A monthly retro- Cumbia/Salsa/Merengue party that DJ’s Juan Lennon, Gazooo, Mando Fever and I started three years ago is still going strong. Our Next Anda on May 7th will have DJ Nu-Mark as our guest. If you haven’t heard Nu-Mark’s latest mix, “Take Me With You” on the Mochilla label, you are in for a treat. It is a mixtape of Jurassic worldly proportions, to say the least.

Anda With DJ NU-Mark

NU-Mark Take Me With You

I have a new residency at the Grand Star in Chinatown, joining the Intensified crew every second Saturday of the month. Intensified features great Reggae, Rocksteady and Latin sounds with The Lawless One and King Steady Beat. I am very happy to be joining them. Speaking of King Steady Beat, we will be releasing an all-vinyl Cumbia mixtape as The Mucho Lucho Sound System. That will be released in May. Artist Lalo Alcaraz did the artwork for the CD. He is the creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip "La Cucaracha” and it’s an honor that his art will be on the CD.

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Two Great Shows On Wednesday, 10/20/10

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 18, 2010 09:18am | Post a Comment
The problem with living in a town as big as Los Angeles is sometimes you have too many choices. October 20th will be one of those days.

Celso Pina w/Blanquito Man

Celso Piña's monster hit, "Cumbia Sobre El Rio" was the best song that came out of the last decade, in my opinion. Its crossover appeal makes people of all ages dance their ass off when the track is played in a club or party. It’s the first song in recent memory that was championed by immigrant culture, gangsters and by hipster Latinos. It's also said that this song was key in influencing the whole Cumbia remix, mash-ups and Digital Cumbia culture of the last several years. Celso was already one of Mexico's biggest Cumbia artists when 2001’s Barrio Bravo was released. But with the help of Blanquito Man and Toy Selectah, they gave Cumbia a new twist, adding their Hip-Hop and Dancehall Reggae influences and making Celso Piña became a household name. Celso has released dozens of excellent Cumbia albums before and since Barrio Bravo, but that was his brightest moment.

Celso returns to L.A., along with Blanquito Man (formerly of King Chango), with dj sets from the Mas Exitos Crew.

Celso Piña-"Cumbia Sobre El Rio"

Maneja Beto

Also on Wednesday and just a few blocks away is the return of the Austin, Texas based Maneja Beto. Maneja Beto continues on a path that bands from Mexico no longer follow. Maneja incorporates traditional Mexican musical influences with their Anglo and Roc N' Español influences. They are part early Café Tacuba, part The Smiths and part Texas flavored Cumbia. They write great songs and play all assortments of electric and traditional Mexican instruments. A trip to L.A. for Maneja Beto is a rare thing these days, as one of the main songwriters, Alex Chavez, has become a college professor at Notre Dame. Maneja Beto will be rocking out at Mucho Wednesdays, located at La Cita. Also performing will be a new group called Chicano Son, a mixture of L.A. and Austin Texas Son Jarocho musicians with a different take on the classic traditional Mexican music.

Mas Exitos On The Move!

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, May 19, 2010 11:33pm | Post a Comment
Mas Exitos Footsie's
One of my favorite nights in Los Angeles for the last few years has been Mas Exitos. Every visit ensures that I will hear a gem that only a devoted digger would find or a lost classic that most wouldn’t think to drop. I dare you to find another pachanga that marries dirty Cumbias with East Los backyard freestyle jams, 60’s Mexican Beat, lost Chicano rockers and driving Boogaloos. My personal favorites jams are what the Mas Exitos crew, DJ Lengua, Ganas and Enorbito, call “paisadelic-psychedelic freak outs,” usually a single cut from a Regional Mexican LP that dipped into the psychedelic sounds of the time. You would never guess these nuggets would have come from guys that look like a wedding band from the 70’s, but it just goes to show you how important it is to dig!

Thursday, Mas Exitos will have their first night at a new location. Mas Exitos will now be a monthly at Footsie’s Bar in Highland Park. They have also moved from their Tuesday slot to a Thursday. Footsie’s also houses another great night in Rani D’s excellent Soul In The Park, which happens every other Wednesday. Between those two nights, you might as well camp out in the HP! They also get a pretty good selection of guest deejays that come through to drop some deep cuts. Guests in the past have included Cut Chemist, Quantic, Roger Mas, Tropicaza and countless others. If you haven't been in a while, come on down and dig the new scene. If you have never been, you are in for a treat.

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Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 9, 2009 09:18am | Post a Comment

When Los Angelenos - The Eastside Renaissance originally came out in 1983, I was not aware of all the Chicano bands that were popping up all over my back yard. Sure, I knew about the groups that came out in the seventies such as Tierra, El Chicano and Malo because oldies radio had been playing them for years. The only thing that I listened to at the time that was similar to The Eastside Renaissance was Los Lobos’ now classic …And A Time To Dance. Although groundbreaking in many ways, Los Lobos’ music was rooted in Traditional Mexican music and Americana. It was the kind of music that could be easily digested by the readers of Rolling Stone as being adventurous. However, to a fifteen-year getting into punk…not so much.

A few years later, thanks to the Alex Cox’ underground classic film Repo Man, a whole new world was opened to me. The soundtrack to Repo Man contained punk groups I dug at the time such as Fear, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies and The Circle Jerks, not to mention Iggy Pop performing the theme song. However it was The Plugz on the soundtrack that really knocked me out. It was Punk En Español and it had a sound all of its own. The songs “El Clavo En La Cruz” and their Spanish version of "Secret Agent Man (Hombre Secreto)" made it in every mix tape that I made during those years. Most of my friends that were into punk rock at the time didn’t get my fascination with The Plugz. They could never understand how excited I was that there was this band that were Mexicanos that sang in both Spanish and English.

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In the Spirit Of Brendan Mullen

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, October 13, 2009 01:47am | Post a Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the city I love, even though the name of this blog is called Los Angeles Me. Originally, I wanted to write about Los Angeles and the music and cultural scene of the city that you don’t hear about in most Los Angeles publications. Los Angeles has been my home for forty years now and I love it now as much as I ever have. I have been blessed to live and be a part of many communities, geographically and culturally. I’ve met some great people in L.A.; some are still here, some have moved to other cities and some have unfortunately passed on too soon.

The sudden passing of Brendan Mullen over the weekend has much of L.A.’s music community in shock. Brendan, who started The Masque in the late 70’s, was, as Paul Tollett of Goldenvoice said, "The first promoter of punk rock in this town, everything started with him." I couldn’t even begin to imagine a Los Angeles without bands such as X, The Germs, The Go-Go’s, The Weirdos and The Plugz, just to name a few that played at The Masque. The bands that played there influenced many others to not only play music, but to create art and expand their horizons. It could be said that Brendan wasn’t just valuable as far as helping music in Los Angeles grow, but that he helped the entire city grow as well. 

I met Brendan while performing at the L.A. Weekly Music Awards back in 2001. I remember he said some very complimentary things about the band I had at the time and how honored I was that he did. This was a man who not only championed the punk scene, but also all music that had the same rebellious spirit. He had a way of making you feel good about yourself, which is probably why he was such a great promoter of music.

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