Radio Sombra Debut & The Future of Internet Radio In East L.A.

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 20, 2011 11:50pm | Post a Comment
Last Thursday, I took part in the debut of, a new Internet radio station based out of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. My show was one of several that debuts that night as part of a new collective. Among the debuts were The Tao Of Funkahuatl hosted legendary Ruben Funkahuatl Guevara, Art & Grooves, an aptly titled show by art curator and deejay Reyes Rodriguez. Another show is Merkado Negro, hosted by Nico from Los Poets Del Norte and DJ Libre. their show concentrates on everything underground in the real Eastside from subversive art and music to community –building projects. My personal favorite is the brilliant Heart Break Radio, hosted by Lady Imix from Imix Books. Just like the title insinuates, it's a collection of songs to cry yourself to sleep.

Discos Immigrantes is the name of my show. It will focus on the migration of records and people, which in some cases are quite similar. In future shows, I will have interviews from folks who have either immigrated to the U.S. or who are the product of immigration (i.e. first generation Americans) The show will focus on their stories and music they have brought with them, whether in the physical form or in their memories.

Radio Sombra is the brainchild of Marco Amador, a musician and long time community activist, who set up the station and for the time being, is financing the operation. I spoke to him briefly on why he felt the need to start an Internet station in the heart of East L.A.

What made you start this station?

I felt although the technology to start an Internet radio has been around for some time now, it was not something common in our neighborhood. Sure, people have access to join other Internet radio stations around Los Angeles and that is good, but we wanted to create radio programming that is unique to our community. I feel that it is important to have our own space, our own voice. Our goal is that our station would be defined by the community its in.

What was behind picking the hosts for the debut?

All the hosts are people have spaces for creativity or create great art themselves. The hosts have created spaces such as Imix Books and Tropical De Nopal, events such Eclectica and CaminArte, or in the case of Ruben Guevara, have been creating music and movements for decades. It is important to introduce them to the community that may not know them. The best thing about Internet radio is that it is worldwide, in a sense; we are introducing some of the most creative minds of our community to the rest of the world. I want to give a voice to those who have been doing great things in the community for a while. 

As you mentioned earlier, there are many great avenues for people to have radio shows in Los Angeles. Dublab.Com has been strong for 10 years. Killradio.Org opens its doors to new programming on a regular basis. Even KPFK 90.7, allows some sort of community programming. Why not them instead of starting another radio station?

Our primary objective is to make it available to people in the community of East Los Angeles and not only offer them the chance to broadcast but a space to create as well. Yes, you can find other avenues but you can’t find it in East Los Angeles, and that’s a problem. Most community programs offered in East L.A. are geared towards children, which is great, but what about adults? What avenues are given to artists or the community organizers to express themselves? There needs to be something for them as well. A way to express themselves artistically as well as socially. Some of the other progressive stations have an all-talk format throughout the day, with a few music shows at night. We want to have a balance of both. On top of that, Internet radio is great for learning to link with other community through out the world. Our voices will be globally as well as locally.

What is next for Radio Sombra?

We will continue to build our programming; we also will be broadcasting live from Eastside Luv on November 30th. It will be musical performances by some special surprise guests & myself. It will also feature DJ sets from our Radio Sombra DJs. That will be from 8 pm to 2 am. PST

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.

So in the spirit of Brendan Mullen, I give you my humble suggestions of some shows to check out this week. The music ranges from Metal, brass bands, Latin Reggae, Cumbia, Afro-Beat to good old Rock and soul, but it all has that rebellious spirit that I hope someone like Brendan would have appreciated. R.I.P. Brendan, you will be missed by more than you will ever know.

TUESDAY 10.13 10PM

Mas Exitos w/ special guest deejay Tropicaza (Mex DF)

Tropicaza has a knack for pulling out the perfect jam like a magician pulls a rabbit out of hat. Expect the unexpected from one of Mexico’s best diggers. Rare Mexican 45’s all night with resident selectors
(and no slouches either):




Colombia to Africa, Brasil to the Balkans.

Rani D’s Wednesday night World soul sessions bring another stellar guest, the world renowned DJ Nu-Mark, formerly of Jurassic 5, playing cuts from Colombia to Africa, Brasil to the Balkans.

FREE / 21+ / 10pm-2am
Footsie's Bar
2640 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065

THURSDAY 10.15 9pm


Help celebrate the birthday of a legend, not only of East L.A. music, but the entire world-- the one and only Ruben Guevara! As he said, you only turn 101 once! Ruben’s Rock & Soul punch has never been sweeter and with a crack band filled with great musicians [including a rhythm section of John Avila (Oingo Boingo) on the bass and Ramon Banda on the drums]. You can’t go wrong!

FREE / 21+ / 10pm-2am
Los Angeles (Boyle Heights), CA

FRIDAY 10.16 9pm

Funk Aid for Africa" CD release party + NextAid Benefit
Faeturing deejays ObaH (Dubspot/Giant Step/NYC) J-BOOGIE (OM Records/SF)
JEREMY SOLE (Afro Funké | KCRW | Musaics)  GLENN RED (Afro Funké)

Funk Aid for Africa will benefit Los Angeles-based humanitarian organization NextAid. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this compilation are going directly to charity. Funds will be going toward the construction of a “green” sports facility at a community center in Dennilton. The sports facility will be in addition to the 10 structures already completed in the eco-friendly center.
Dakota Live Music Lounge (formerly the Temple Bar)   
1026 Wilshire Blvd.   
Santa Monica, CA

SATURDAY 10.17 9pm

B-Side Players
(San Diego 2009 World Music Champs)
W/ Dj Sloepoke (Little Temple/Rhythm Lounge/Root Down)
The B-Side Players haven’t been to L.A. in a while and Sloepoke plays better when supporting them. Cumbia/Reggae at some of its finest.

The Mint   
6010 West Pico Blvd   
Los Angeles, CA

SUNDAY 10.18 8pm

Aztlan Underground, Geronimo and Kilsonic @ The Troubadour

This is the official record release party for Aztlan Underground. It’s been eight years since their last release, 2001’s Sub-Verses, and with the addition of Ignacio “Caxo” Lopez (drums) and Alonzo Beas (guitar, keyboard, synth) to the band, they have only become more intense over the years, giving new blood to a band that original members Yaotl and bassist/flutes Joe “Peps” have been doing for almost twenty years. Also on the bill is Geronimo, an insane journey through the forest of Swans, Goblin and The Locust. Kilsonic's sometimes twenty piece orchestra sounds like a trip to The Balkans via Sun Ra. See three of the best "out" bands in L.A. all in one night.

The Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd   
West Hollywood, CA

Shows: A Pictorial Blog

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 15, 2009 10:15pm | Post a Comment

Quantic at Mas Exitos. He played some great records, but Chico Sonido stole his thunder with a great set before he went on. Call it home town advantage.

Jun and Eric with pretty girl in the middle at Mas Exitos

The Latin Project at Real Wednesdays. It was a live Brazilian House set by these world travelers.

Ruben Guevara & The East Side Lovers. Ruben becomes Funkahuátl, The Aztec God Of Funk, from the top of the bar at East Side Luv in Boyle Heights. The former Ruben & The Jets legend (and one-time Frank Zappa colaberator) rocks harder at his age than most people in their twenties. That night, he put everyone to shame.

Cute girl at Tormenta Tropical

Toy Selectah returns to L.A.

The VBC (Very Be Careful) at El Gallo Giro in East L.A.

The Timeless Classics Of Cheech And Chong - Mexican American, Earache My Eye, Me and My Old Lady

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 14, 2007 01:13am | Post a Comment
There were so many to pick from, so I narrowed it down to three.

"Mexican-American" (from Next Movie)

Favorite line: "Mexican Americans are named named Chata and Chela and Chema and have a son and law named Jeff..."

"Me And My Old Lady" (from Things Are Tough All Over)

This is one that slipped my mind for a minute. The song has that country-era Freddy Fender feel to it.

Favorite line: "Sometimes people space us out, so we make like a bread truck and haul buns out of there."

"Earache My Eye" (From Up In Smoke)

I was watching this recently and noticed that one of the horn players is none other than my mentor Ruben Guevara of Ruben and The Jets fame. A few weeks back I got see Ruben perform with members of the band Ollin at The Knitting Factory. They did a version of "Con Safos," Ruben's underground hit from the early 80's.

Favorite Line: "The basketball coach he just kicked me off the team, for wearing high heeled sneakers and acting like a qquuueennnn!!!!"