Tonight! Josh’s much awaited East Los Angeles Reunion Gig! And yes, my old band “Bad Influence” is playing too

64393_261774903902418_100002097319273_607063_1314584207_n
Sorry for weird ass dimensions of this pic, click for better view!

Ahh! The music writer has become the written about, haha. Well, isn’t this a hell of a way to bust out of this month long writing hiatus (more on that to be covered on next post but in a nutshell…SCHOOL!)

Believe it or not, the East L.A. alternative post-punk rock community is a pretty close knit bunch. Poffy and David Loks of Fotogrofia Desmadrosa will be there documenting this whole urban shindig so make sure to smile and flash those guys. Poffy will also be selling his handmade jewelery “Shit by Poffy.” Word on the facebook street is that there will also be vegan avocado tostadas for sale!

Yup, the good ol’ golden era of punk rock in East Los Angeles is to be relived tonight at Josh’s pad, one of the few legendary “raid-proof” backyard venues ever. In the true spirit of punk rock, I have no idea what time my band will go on, also, I haven’t bought a new guitar yet so any temporary donors are welcome (hoping on my little cousin’s Squire). I’ll buy you a beer! I’ve shunned my band mates these last two weeks so don’t expect too much synchronization between us, haha.

That is all for now, cheers, more beers and fuck you stay punk.

My review of Astrid Hadad and Hoppo’s Dia de Los Muertos show at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on LA Weekly Music

This last Saturday I checked out the Dia de Los Muertos celebration that takes place atop Hollywood Forever cemetery every year. The headliners were Astrid Hadad and Hoppo (singer of Cafe Tacvba’s newish side project). My verdict?

Well…read my review on LA Weekly Music and pay especially close attention to my “Critical bias” confession at the end of the piece!

Click on any of the text underneath to read the whole thing on LA Weekly Music!)

Astrid Hadad
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
10-22-11

Better than…Halloween!

Traffic along Santa Monica Boulevard was a hell of a lot more congested than usual on Saturday afternoon, as Hollywood Forever Cemetery hosted the 12th annual Dia de Los Muertos festival. The traditional Mexican holiday honoring dead loved ones gaining on the other American holidays, in terms of popularity. Angelenos and foreign tourists showed up by the thousands to the unique theme-park-like event taking place atop an, of course, actual cemetery.

This year’s headliners included Rubén Albarrán — the notorious singer for famed Mexico City rock en Español band, Café Tacvba — with his newish spiritual slanted side project, Hoppo. Also on the bill was Astrid Hadad, a Mexican performance artist known by millions for her eccentric and progressive sound.

This cemetery party was mad crackin’ yo. There must have been more than three thousand inside, easily. Altars to popular dead artists were set up along…

My Big Fat Recap of the Pasadena Greek Fest 2011 at Santa Anita Park: PURO PINCHE PARI GRIEGO

OK, so I’ve never actually seen the movie where the pun to my title came from yet per se, but I did go to the Pasadena Greek Fest 2011 this last Friday night!

opa!
Opa!: La Culebra Greca?

This last weekend marked the 53rd annual celebration of the Pasadena Greek Fest fundraiser at Santa Anita Park. The event kicked off its OPAAA!!-intensive festivities Friday night and went on till’ Sunday night. Naah! Who am I? A legit reporter all of a sudden! Haha.

No but seriously, the event was pretty sweet. It attracted over ten thousand visitors last year, and then I saw why when I was there. Well, it probably doesn’t hurt that It only costs $5 to get in and most of the food once inside was affordable too.

lamb chops
Greeks love lamb: Marinated and grilled baby lamb chops with crispy fries.

metaxa
flamin cheese
flamin cheese money shot
Saganaki: Greek aged brandy tastes all the better when flamed with a chunk of cheese!

My favorite of the night was–without a doubt–the Octapodi, plate. Octopus is chopped and marinated in the famed Greek Anise liquor,Ouzo, then seared until crispy in a pan. It’s served with olive bread and marinated olives.

octopus

Joining me this evening in my gluttonous debauchery was the young, food-writing blood brother, Garrett Snyder of the Los Angelicious Times foodblog and L.A. Magazine hood. Professional hedonism warrants an almost-insatiable thirst, we were pretty damn thirsty and were treated to a couple of Greek brew-skies.

hillas beer
A couple of nice n’ frosty Hillas for ya’ boys?

Being modeled here by the beer booth’s attendant, April Kamar. The beer was a solid lager. The main flavor profile is toastiness, similar to any other international good lager. It was very easy-to-drink and hella refreshing, perfect to wash down the rich Greek offerings of the night.

greek dinner
The Greek dinner plate

Of the many food booths there, the dinner plate was the one with the longest line. The styrofoam box order came generously packed with just about everything, including my favorite Greek creation of all time, the flaky spinach pie known as Spanakopita! The bulging plate also came with some Pastitsio (kinda like the Greek version of Lasagna with ground beef, pasta and bechamel sauce, the eggplant version of that dish, Mousakka, some tomato sauce braised green beans, a beef shish kebob, long-grain rice pilaf, another little cheese flaky pastry, a nice Greek Salad and some Dolmathes, the Greek version of grape-leaves that are served warm instead of cold. Mmmm.

honey cake
pasta flora
There is ALWAYS room for dessert

As if my buddy and I weren’t about to burst already, we were quickly escorted to the pastry section of the event and schooled in the bad ass, buttery, delicate world of Greek pastries. My favorite was the Floyer, basically a big fat baklava blunt. The Pasta Flora was bomb too, a shortbread with a thin layer of apricot paste.

greek tray of pastries

And to wash down all the butter and sugar?

Nothing other than a traditional Greek Frappé!

Nescafe
Greek Frappe
greek Frappe

These is the authentic precursor to the modern day capitalistic–and oversweetened as hell–Starbucks “Frappuccino” according to my Greek friend Ted, it dates back to the post war late 1950’s. It’s basically a tablespoon of Nescafe instant coffee in water whipped up with a hand blender with some a little condensed milk, a tablespoon or two of sugar and ice thrown in after for flavor. The thing is literally like drinking coffee flavored air, by the third sip you have drank all the liquid and just sucking the foam. I loved it but then again everyone in Mexico drinks Nescafe too! haha.

A big thank you to Ted Tarazi for inviting me out and treating Garrett and I to everything that evening man! Ted is a master preparer of Greek lamb himself and grew up in the church in which the event was fund raising for, Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church in Pasadena.

DSC07244
Thanks Ted, I owe you a six pack next time man!

This is an annual event and I am already looking forward to next year’s…opa cabron!

MAN VS. BEER Tonight At Far Bar. 20 Japanese Craft Beers for $25. 7 PM. Augustfest!

This just in via the Chuy-Wire…Puro Pinche Pari!

Far Bar in Little Tokyo is hosting the last night of MAN VS. BEER. In celebration of their exclusive “Augustfest” celebration they will offer the chance to taste 20 different, unique Japanese craft beers for $25. Here is the the scoop directly from the website.


As part of the Augustfest celebration, every Thursday come to FAR BAR Lounge and get the opportunity to taste 20 differently unique Japanese craft style beers for only $25. There will be music, Japanese horror and Samurai Movies and free popcorn! Challenge yourself and if you can finish, get your photo on the “WALL OF FAME”. Come early as the fun begins from 7pm-midnight. Only at the FAR BAR Lounge!

Girls-drinking-Beer

Pues, hay que aprovechar! Not sure if this is true or not but I heard that the portions will be allotted to five oz. of each beer. Let’s see x20, that is, hmm, hold on, carry over the one….100 pinche oz. of thick, high Alcohol luxurious Japanese craft beer!

This probably isn’t a good idea, I am the spitting image of a latino-fangled Gumby at 6’3 feet tall and like 135 lbs. But fuuuuuuuuuuck it, one last hurrah before I go back to 13 units of hardcore schoolage next week.

In the words of my beloved East L.A homies, “You’re not doooooown! Ahhh, gonna be a little biiiiiitch or what?”

Haha. I’ll see you guys there at 7 PM sharp, and wish me luck.

Cheers and more beers!