The Farce Of July Festival - Live @ Self-Help Graphics 7/4/07

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 9, 2007 01:45am | Post a Comment

The Farce Of July, Xicano Records & Films' annual anti-colonialism celebration, was held at Self Help Graphics. Started by the group Aztlan Underground, The Farce Of July is an alternative celebration of freedom without buying into faux-patriotism. Many East Los bands, deejays and poets have performed for free each year, providing the community with entertainment beyond firecrackers and alcohol. Muralists usually create art on the spot and various independent vendors sell jewelry, clothing and alternative books that you will not be able to find in any mall.

The musical line-up varies from year to year. This year the festival included festival organizers Aztlan Underground; Olmeca, a conscious rap artist who just returned from a extended stay in Chiapas with the Zapatistas; recently reunited 80’s East L.A. punk legends, The Brat; and Quetzal, in one of their final performances for several years. The co-leaders of Quetzal, Martha Gonzalez and Quetzal Flores, are moving to Vera Cruz for a year, then to Washington State while Martha finishes her PHD. They will be sorely missed, not only for their music but for their work in the Chicano community as well.

The highlight of the event was the performance by Geronimo. They are like a modern day Goblin. For those who don’t know aboout Goblin, it was a 70’s –80’s Italian prog group that were responsible for many eerie soundtracks to Dario Argento’s horror movies. Geronimo captivated the audience with their minimalist noise and keyboard swells to go along with a heavy rhythm section. Think Sly & Robbie if they played in the Swans. Horror filmmakers should really check out this band. Geronimo has just signed to 3ONEG, the label run by the members of the band The Locust.

After a few hours out in the sun I was ready to leave the Farce and go home. By nightfall my neighborhood became a mini war zone. My neighbors’ fireworks far outshined the show from Dodger Stadium on the top of Chavez Ravine. Fireworks are illegal in L.A., but so are many other illegal activities that are done out in the open in my neighborhood. My girl and I sat on my porch and watched the madness unfold. Yeah, we missed The Brat, but It was 30 degrees cooler on my porch then it was at the Farce.

Check out this footage of The Brat from last year:

Paul McCartney - Sound Check @ Amoeba June 27th

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, July 3, 2007 01:27am | Post a Comment

I have been fortunate to witness amazing events. I have been blessed to be at the right place at the right time, sort of. I also have unbelievable bad timing sometimes! When I heard Paul McCartney was going to perform at Amoeba, I was excited until I heard which day he was going to play. The evening Sir Paul was to play Amoeba, I had an opening night for Nativo!, a new club that I spin at. This wasn’t the first time a legend was performing and I had to miss it. Once I had a show the same night I had free tickets to see Tom Waits perform acoustic in front of a small crowd. I went to the show anyway but I had to bail to get to my own gig after a few songs. Another time I made the mistake of making a date during a SXSW conference, not knowing the time I made the date was the same time Johnny Cash was performing at Emo’s in front of 300 people, me being one of them. Once again I had to leave early after a few songs to meet my date and then I couldn’t get back in. On top of that, nothing happened between the girl and myself, ever.

I showed up to Amoeba early, hoping to catch at very least Paul McCartney’s sound check. The Amoeba bosses told us that we could watch sound check just as long as we weren’t gawking at Paul during the check. Having done many sound checks myself, I've always hated having people gawking at me while I was checking and know the feeling well. I’m usually trying to get the gallos out of my throat or awkwardly playing a part just to get a sound and it never sounds pleasant. I decided for Paul I would make it a point, from one musician to another, to respect his wishes and not be a fan. I would continue to get the store ready for the instore and not stop and stare.

The band was jamming on stage. Paul McCartney was nowhere to be found. I continued to take down box sets that might inhibit people from viewing the performance. The band blasted into “Ride My Car.” I had my head turned while they were playing the song. I figured one of Paul’s band mates was taking the lead vocal since Paul wasn’t around. I turned around and there he was, singing and playing that familiar Vox bass. I resisted the urge to go closer to the stage and continued to work. But soon the fan in me and in the rest of the staff won out. Slowly, like cats creeping towards some foreign object in curiosity, we all edged closer to the stage. Soon, none of us were working, only watching the “show” that was supposed to be sound check.

I have to imagine that Paul McCartney knew how much witnessing his sound check was a big deal to us. Rather than telling the staff to clear the floor, which was in his right to do, he continued playing, performing nine songs total, including a few he didn’t play during the instore. He played a version Of "Midnight Special" that was pretty cool. When he left the stage we all gave him a big hand! He joked that he thought more people would be at the instore than the staff that was watching him.

At six they started letting people in. I stuck around to see how many songs I could catch before I absolutely had to leave. Set time was for 7:30 but due to the amount of people trying to get in, Paul McCartney didn’t go on until 8:15. In order to get to my set I had to leave no later than 8:30 so, you guessed it, I only got to catch a few songs before I had to leave. Though I had to leave early, I have many great memories of the show, hanging out with my co-workers, which I really don’t get to do all that much, and witnessing the sound check, Jun’s great warm-up DJ set of Paul McCartney tunes that Beatle fanatics just absolutely hate ("Ebony & Ivory," "Nod Your Head" w/"Lady Saw" & "Open The Door," you know... someone’s knocking at your door, somebody's ringing the bell!) and trying to incite two high strung female T.V. reporters to fight it out when neither of them could get the shot they wanted. That would have been fun to witness!

Despite my somewhat rotten luck I have been so fortunate to see such performers as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits and now Paul McCartney in intimate settings and for free. Even if it was for just a few songs, it’s more than most people get to see in their lifetime, and for that, I feel blessed to have lived the life I have.

What To Do Once U Find Out U Can't Get In To See Paul McCartney-Nativo! Tonight @ Zanzibar

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 27, 2007 11:52am | Post a Comment



~ Soulful urban Latin music @ Zanzibar ~


(Ex-Delinquent Habits)


9-10pm: Album Listening Party

12am: KEMO Performs Live!

DJ’s Mexican Dubwiser, Sloe Poke, Mando Fever &
Gomez Comes Alive! spin all night!



Wednesday, June 27th

1301 5th St. Santa Monica, CA.
Info: 310.451.2221
$10 all night or $5 R.S.V.P.

Friday Night @ Amoeba Hollywood - For Those Who Don't Have Sh*t To Do

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 27, 2007 11:04am | Post a Comment

Remember the movie Friday when Smokey (Chris Tucker) says, "It's Friday, you ain't got no job and you ain't got sh*t to do?" Well, summer is here and if you don't got sh*t to do, walk into Amoeba on a Friday night. The store is buzzing with activity.

I thought about this when I was working Friday night. I usually don't work on Friday nights but I switched a shift in order to get the previous night off. At first I started plotting with a customer how to ditch work at go Grand Performances in downtown L.A. to check out Ojos De Brujo, who were playing for free. There were so many people in the store at that time; we figured no one would notice if I stepped out for an hour or two. But soon there was so much going on in the store I had forgotten about ditching work.

There was a grip of people not only shopping, but in to check out an instore performance by Carina Round, followed by a DJ set by Amoeba’s very own DJ Jun.

Carina Round wasn't really my cup of tea. She's good, that I can tell. With the instores, it's never about whether the acts are talented or not. If they are playing here, they are. It just comes down to people's individual taste. Talk to another Amoebite about the same performance and you'll get a whole different reaction. That's the beauty of Amoeba. If we all had the same tastes we'd be boring.

After Carina's set, Jun started his set with Barry de Vorzon’s "Theme from The Warriors." His set was cinematic, playing soundtrack cuts mixed with electro-house instrumentals. Jun ended his set with the Vincent Price spoken piece from Michael Jackson’s "Thriller" (one of the bonus tracks on the re-mastered version of the classic album) and blended it into Italian prog-rockers Goblin’s spooky theme song from Suspiria. I liked that very much.

Speaking of Suspiria, Cinespia will be screening Dario Argento’s Suspiria at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Saturday, July 21st, with Jun spinning before and after the movie.

I had many interesting conversations with customers that Friday night. Many people come here not only to buy music and movies, but also to meet people, to talk music and film and to find out what is going on later that night. I still think Amoeba is one of the better spots in the city to meet people.

Amoeba on a Friday night in the summer is more interesting than a majority of the clubs in L.A!

Notes From Amoeba Hollywood Latin Pop & Rock Section #2

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 19, 2007 04:23pm | Post a Comment
Out now-

Up bustle and out head to Monterey, MX
mix it up with the control machete crew. Reggae + cumbia style electronica.

Highly recommended!

Available in the electronica section.
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