PHOTOS: #TodosSomosAyotzinapa Protest in San Bernardino

A small group of protesters gathered outside of the Mexican Consulate in downtown San Bernardino to protest the kidnapping/disappearance of 43 student-teachers from a rural area in the state of Guerrero.

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The Football Jerseys of Supersonico 2014

I guess it’s no surprise that a festival that catered to a Latino audience would result in a crowd dressed in a variety of football jerseys from local clubs and national teams, as was the case at last weekend’s Supersonico Festival. I photographed as many as I could as a personal project.

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A todo volúmen: así vivió Panamérika el Supersónico

No sé las razones por las que los fans de la música alternativa de Latinoamérica en Los Ángeles tuvieron que esperar tanto tiempo para poder gozar de un festival como el Supersónico. Han sufrido por muchos años viendo a campos, estadios y salas promoviendo festivales con grupos de Rock en Español cuyos días alcanzaron sus puntos máximos al fin del siglo. Por favor, ¡ya no inviten a Maná!

 Por algún tipo de milagro que desconozco, todas esas quejas por fin fueron calladas el sábado, 10 de Octubre cuando las puertas del Shrine Auditorium se abrieron al Supersónico Festival. El evento organizado por Cookman International y Goldenvoice unió a artistas famosos, como Café Tacvba y Calle 13, con artistas independientes, locales, y no muy conocidos, como María Y José y AJ Dávila, de la música hispanoamericana. Por primera vez, Los Ángeles tuvo su primer festival al estilo Vive Latino o un Fuck Yeah Fest (FYF) Latino.

 El día comenzó con grupos Angelinos en cada escenario. El DJ/músico Gomez Comes Alive tuvo el honor de abrir el festival como el primer artista del programa en el Illuminati Lounge (nombrado así porque el fundador del Shrine era un Masónico, jojojo). No era tanto un salón sino un pasillo largo y ancho donde también uno podía salir a un vestíbulo a comprar camisetas y discos de los mismos artistas del día por precios de festival.

Esta nota continua en Panamérika.

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Do they come to see a man fall?

…or to see him fly?

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Antemasque Wrap Debut Tour With Energetic Set At The Roxy

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala performing with Antemasque

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala performing with Antemasque

Note: This review was originally written for another publication three weeks ago. That website never published it nor did they ever inform me as to why they didn’t publish it despite previously accepting the pitch. In the industry, we call this situation “bullshit.” So I’m publishing it here.

The concert at The Roxy in Hollywood this past Wednesday, August 13th was a homecoming and a public display of reconciliation for singer Cedric Bixler Zavala and guitarist/producer Omar Rodriguez Lopez, the founding members of Antemasque, who wrapped their debut US tour that night. The duo had been here before 14 years ago with At The Drive-In as the opening act for Rage Against The Machine.

A lot happened during that time. Zavala and Lopez left hardcore outfit At The Drive-In and formed the much more experimental The Mars Volta a year after that show. That much-loved, Grammy winning band came to a sudden end in 2013 when Zavala lashed out against Lopez on Twitter and officially ended TMV. Two lifelong friends were suddenly enemies much like Morrissey and Johnny Marr.

But then, earlier this year, the two reconciled and announced Antemasque, their new project together. They quickly released their debut self-titled album online and announced their first tour featuring Le Butcherettes as the opening act.

If anyone ever had any doubt as to the duo’s reconciliation, those doubts were put to rest the instance Antemasque stepped foot on the stage. Zavala and Lopez, flanked by drummer Dave Elitch and Lopez’s brother Marfred on bass, performed together as they have for years.

If there’s one word to describe Antemasque, that word is “freedom.” The duo have long been tied down to one genre or another for much of their careers: Hardcore Rock/Punk with ATDI, Dub with short-lived project De Facto, and Progressive Rock with TMV. As Antemasque, they’re free to do as they wish jumping from Classic Rock to Pop-Punk/Pop-Rock to Punk to Acoustic ballads.

Age has yet to slow Zavala down as he jumped, shimmied, leapt off Elitch’s drum kit, and smashed his cymbals on the floor as he’s done since his days with ATDI. Lopez joined on backup vocals a few times throughout the hour-long set where the band played all but one song from their debut album. They performed an untitled new song in its place.

Lopez, who in the past had a reputation for noodly guitar antics, kept the guitar solos to a minimum until the second-to-last song of the night, “Providence.” Halfway through the song, the band gave its Volta fans a nod with a drawn-out jam session during which Zavala ad-libbed new lyrics on the fly.

Openers Le Butcherettes set the tone for the night as singer/guitarist/keyboardist Teri Gender Bender (Teresa Suarez), drummer Lia Braswell, and tour bassist Chris Commons fired up the crowd for an hour playing a mix of tracks from their latest album, Cry Is For The Flies, and their debut, Sin Sin Sin.

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Luis Nariño and the Strange Behavior of his Noble Creatures

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Dedication is the best word to describe Luis Nariño, the founder and frontman of Latin Alternative Rock/Pop group Noble Creatures. Today, September 2nd, marks the end of a five-year quest to complete and publish his band’s debut album, Strange Behavior.

The journey began about a decade ago when Nariño arrived in L.A. from Kansas for the sole purpose of launching his career as an artist. A rotating cast of musicians and a debut EP for the Luis Nariño Band eventually gave way to the solidified lineup of Nariño (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Marcos Mora (drums), Ruben Salinas (Tenor Sax), Evan Mackey (trombone), Brina Simon (trumpet), David Bowman (bass), and Cliff Beach (backup vocals) in Noble Creatures.

I spoke with Nariño at a restaurant in the Farmer’s Market about the album and how his Colombian-American upbringing shaped his life and music. The edited interview is below as a playlist.

Strange Behavior is now available on iTunes and other major online distributors. Noble Creatures will play a album release party at The Virgil on Saturday, September 6th.

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GameCrate!

I forgot to mention that I picked up another writing gig in late June. Gamecrate is a website dedicated to electronics entertainment (that’s the adult phrase for “video games & etc.”).

Check out my work so far.

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