Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural Events October 29 – November 3

weekly list

Happy Halloween and Dia de los Muertos week! Besides the festivities are a lot of great music, starting with 2 awesome Australian bands on Wednesday: Hiatus Kaiyote at the Skirball and Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes at Sainte Rock. Wear your costume to La Chamba Chicha‘s 4 year anniversary party at La Cita! Thursday, our favorite annual Halloween tradition is the West Hollywood Carnaval! And this year, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day follow on Friday and Saturday, so there are spectacular Day of the Dead celebrations all over LA! Friday, our favorite LA afrobeat orchestra Mexico 68 will be playing at a free Day of the Dead event in Long Beach, while Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes have another show with another 2 of our favorite local acts: The Dustbowl Revival and Raquel Rodriguez. Saturday, we’re going to honor and celebrate our dearly departed loved ones at these 3 Dia de los Muertos celebrations all close to each other and community-driven…sorry Hollywood Forever Cemetary, you put on a good show too, but we just couldn’t see ourselves braving the traffic congestion and paying $15 when we can support our communities and great acts like Irene Diaz / Niña Dioz / Maria del Pilar / Mexican Institute of Sound at Eastside Luv, Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich+Fussible / El Conjunto Nueva Ola / Cumbia Machin / Raul y Mexia / La Chamba / Subsuelo at Grand Park, and Grammy-winning Quetzal / Arabian Prince & more at Self-Help Graphics. We’ll leave you with this classic animated short to put you in the right macabre mood, as the rich cultural and indigenous roots of these festivals remind us that death is a natural part of life.

TUE 10/29    WED 10/30    THU 10/31    FRI 11/1    SAT 11/2    SUN 11/3


Luna Lovers Premiere and 10 Reasons why I Love Las Cafeteras

It was quite a party at Las Cafeteras Luna Lovers premiere party last week. La Santa Cecilia, Maria del Pilar, Irene Diaz and La Chamba Chicha Cumbia were in the house and big shout out to John Cantú and crew for their work on the gorgeous video and Mucho Musica and Vincent Price Art Musuem for hosting the event open to the community. It was great to see how far Las Cafeteras have come…it reminded me of the reasons I dig them so much, not just as a band but a fine group of decent, hardworking and dedicated people. Enjoy their Luna Lovers video at the end of the list!


10 Reasons why I love Las Cafeteras Continue reading

Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events July 29 – August 4

weekly list

Enjoy the last days of July! I’m already going through early summer withdrawal as I scan ahead at the remaining summer concerts in August. There won’t be many free summer concerts left after August, so take advantage while you can! Check out the full schedule of summer goodness here:

This week’s list is always a work-in-progress (still many more events I have to post when I get back to the computer, as well as new ones I learn about as the week goes along!). So keep checking back! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know!

Have a great week, Angelenos…will leave you with this sublime song by Irene Diaz who’s having her EP release party this Wednesday.

MON 7/29    TUE 7/30    WED 7/31    THU 8/1    FRI 8/2    SAT 8/3    SUN 8/4


John Carlos De Luna: Life Lessons of Boyle Heights Artist on Dressing Well and Staying True to Yourself

© Farah Sosa
If you’ve been to Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights for Subsuelo, Ecléctica, or any of the nightly libations there, you will no doubt have been greeted by a dapper, finely dressed gentleman by the name of John Carlos de Luna. It wasn’t until I’d been coming to ESL for a while that I started to strike up conversations with John and realized there was a lot more to John than just being the door guy at one of my favorite joints.

Besides our mutual experiences of escaping the corporate rat race and our dislike for pretentious hipsters who find their way to East LA, there are many reasons why John thinks you should always look your best and other inspirational thoughts about his upbringing and pursuing his artistic endeavors to both sustain himself and his community in Boyle Heights. Watch the photo essay on him by Rafael Cardenas, another talented Eastside denizen you probably have seen at ESL, and enjoy my interview with John.

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Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events July 22-28

weekly list

Another beautiful July week! Here are the week’s highlights I recommend: there’s usually one night that’s more jam-packed than the rest and this week, it’s Thursday! It’s the opening night of the 4th Annual Awareness Film Festival that runs thru Sunday. If you want to dance, there’s plenty to choose from: Con Todo at La Cita in downtown features Bajofloja and DJ Ethos of Subsuelo among others! Canyon Cody of Subsuelo is spinning at the new monthly Cloud City in Santa Monica along with the weekly Afro Funke featuring my friend Sista Adama Jewel’s singing debut with African Soul International. She just danced the hell out of Sunday’s Fela Kuti Celebration this past Sunday. Also on the Westside is Mandeep Sethi at the RG, a great MC who’s knocked em dead with his powerful lyrical style at many Subsuelos. And if you’re in Pasadena, you can miss Bachaco, an Afro-Caribbean band at the Levitt Pavilion.

Friday, I’ll be at Grand Performances for University of Gnawa and Ethio Cali and nearby is Buyepongo at Levitt Pavilion, MacArthur Park. Saturday, Grand Performances knocks it out of the park again with Chico Trujillo from Chile and my LA favorite, Las Cafeteras. Viver Brasilia will be celebrating their 15 years of Afro-Brazilian music and dance performances at the Ford Amphitheater and the 18th Annual Central Park Jazz Festival runs thru Sunday. I always end my Sundays at my friend DJ Potira’s weekly bunda-shaking Brasilia night in Long Beach with baile funke dance lessons!

Don’t forget there are tons of free summer concerts and activities each week, so check out the full schedule of summer goodness here:

This week’s list is always a work-in-progress (still many more events I have to post when I get back to the computer, as well as new ones I learn about as the week goes along!). So keep checking back! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know!

Have a great week, Angelenos…will leave you with this song by Mandeep Sethi.

MON 7/22 TUE 7/23 WED 7/24 THU 7/25 FRI 7/26 SAT 7/27 SUN 7/28


Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival May 17-19

The 10th Annual Reel Rasquache Art & Film Festival showcases films by or about the U.S. Latino experience in all genres and formats. In addition to around-the-clock film programs, the weekend-long festival will include live music and dance, a Youth Filmmakers’ Showcase, filmmaking workshops, directors’ roundtable, an art exhibit, networking receptions, and the annual closing night award ceremony that recognizes leaders, pioneers, and trailblazers in U.S. Latino film and art.

The festival is at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights and these are just some of the great films showing. You can find the full schedule here.


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Subsuelo 2 Year Anniversary Wed May 15

Yo don’t miss tomorrow’s 2 Year Anniversary of Subsuelo, LA’s best underground party. The Subsuelo crew are on the cutting edge of combining so many genres of music and collaborating with so many DJs and artists, far and wide, with their global bass nights. For a musicphile and dance-a-holic like myself, it is the stuff of pure bliss and the secret’s been out for a while now with rave reviews on the LA Times, LA Weekly, and ABC/Univision.

Tomorrow’s birthday bash features a crammed list of returning guest DJs who have contributed to Subsuelo’s hot sweaty nights the past 2 years, alongside the Subsuelo hosts, resident DJs and performers: DJ Gozar, DJ Ethos, Farah Stop, DJ Gazoo, La Tigresa, Juxli, Canyon Cody, Gerardo and Gabriel.  Subsuelo will also be releasing a 7″ record of original music produced by Gnotes and Canyon Cody, featuring a custom-made scratch pack by DJ Ethos. In keeping with the 7″ theme, all DJs will be spinning those little 7″ discs…No computers, no LPs, no 12″s. All 45s!

It’s $5, 21+ and back to basics where it all started: the intimate, small Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights. Just judging by the roster of 20 DJs, I shouldn’t have to warn you to be there EARLY — or else be prepared to celebrate vicariously in the line outside!

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G-Dog opens Docurama Film Festival on April 22 – 7 films in 7 weeks

Docurama Films has been presenting compelling documentaries since 1999 in a vast array of subjects, from arts, history, politics to social, ethnic and gender issues. On April 22, they present a national film festival that will feature 7 documentaries in 7 weeks, starting with G-Dog, about Father Greg Boyle, a white Jesuit priest who’s spent 25 years in East LA helping gang members turn a new path with counseling, job training, education and tattoo removal through his non profit organization Homeboy Industries. His motto is “Nothing Stops a Bullet like a Job”  and his vision of providing hope and real opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty and violence has become a global model for social reform. Continue reading

Cambalache Fiesta with Grammy winning Quetzal Sunday April 21

Just got back from Quetzal‘s performance at the Central American Resource Center and Cesar Castro of Cambalache was playing with them. Son Jarocho is traditional folk music from Veracruz, Mexico combining elements of indigenous,  African and Spanish influence and there is a big camaraderie and collaboration within the thriving Son Jarocho scene in Los Angeles as well as with Veracruz, where Cesar Castro is from. Today, Quetzal will join them at their celebration of reaching their Kickstarter goal to crowd fund their first and long awaited album! They will also be joined by Banda de Santa Ana and other special guests. It’s fun and free for the whole family and will be at the new Floricanto Center in East LA (4232 Whiteside St., Los Angeles, 90063). Continue reading

Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales): A trilingual play in English, Spanish & American Sign Language April 5-28

Tamales de Puerco (Pork Tamales) is the first trilingual play of its kind, telling the story of an undocumented Mexican mother to a Deaf son. She must learn to navigate three different worlds to escape an abusive husband who cannot cope with their disabled child. The play is based on the experiences of Mercedes Floresislas, the playwright, who struggled with depression and an abusive relationship while raising her Deaf son. Continue reading