Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tribute to Bill Withers

Bemba Entertainment presents Still Bill A tribute to Bill Withers

Venue: Momo's at 618 West 6th Street in Austin, Texas

Date: April 3, 2010

Event: Screening of "Still Bill" an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers

Musical Line Up: Akina Adderley and The Vintage Playboys, Margo Valiante and Adam Rogers

Time: 7:00 PM

Cost: At the Door $15, Advance Purchase $10 thru Frontgate Tickets

I remember Bill Withers back in the early 70's and especially his soulful voice and song. His voice was very distinct and had a soothing effect and sound. All his songs had a story and I found myself listening to those stories. If you know of Bill Withers, you probably know him from my favorite song "Ain't No Shine," "Lovely Day" or "Lean On Me" from movie soundtrack "Lean On Me." Bill has several other great songs but you'll have to come to the show.

"Still Bill", a documentary of soul icon Bill Withers will also be screened at the tribute. So you have music and film all in one show. Hope to see you there.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Austin Vida Showcase at Ruta Maya

If Manny Go Crazy were to put together a showcase, I would have picked the exact same bands. These four bands are on my "Top Favorite List" of Austin bands. I have seen these bands multiple times and look forward to seeing them again and again.

Event: Austin Vida showcase and La Guerrilla CD Release Show

Date: April 1, 2010

Location: Ruta Maya on 3601 S. Congress Ave. Austin, Texas

Musical Line Up and Times: El Tule @ 9 PM, Este Vato @ 10:15 PM, La Guerrilla @ 11:30 PM , and Headliner - Maneja Beto @ 12:30 AM

Cost: $5 for 21+ and $7 for Minors

Drink Special: Miller High Life $2; Harp, Red Stripe and Dos XX for $3

"Maneja Beto is an extremely popular Austin, Texas band. Their music is not easy to describe because it has elements of Mexican Cumbia, pop, rock, folk, "indie-en-Español" and some fusion, all blended into a mellow, upbeat, lounge and Latin sound" (Source: Rock y Roll Radio Blog). If you're familiar with Maneja then I'm sure I'll see you at Ruta Maya. On the other hand, if you've never seen Maneja Beto, here's a "don't miss" opportunity to also become a new fan of the best indie in Espanol band in Austin.

La Guerrilla is a band with a lot of charisma and energy. Their music is upbeat, happy and makes you want to dance. La Guerrilla combines Reggae, Ska and World Music influences and occasionally includes theatrics to enhance La Guerrilla experience. This show will be La Guerrilla's official CD release show. Come and check out La Guerrilla , you''ll love them and then you'll buy their CD to continue the party anytime, anywhere you want.

Este Vato is a band that I have followed since their debut at Flamingo Cantina in October 2008 and have seen them progress extremely well musically and in establishing the Este Vato name. They are a band that combines Rock, Cumbia, Latin, Fusion and recently Funk. Their songs convey a message of pride in heritage, the struggles of our fore fathers and families and the power that we have collectively. Although the subject matter is on the serious side, the music still rocks. Este Vato just released their new CD as well. Come see them perform and also get their CD.

El Tule is also a very popular and a well established band in Austin. "Musically the band projects the Latin soul that Cumbias, Salsa and Merengues were meant to have." (Source: Rock y Roll Radio Blog). They bring the party to any event or venue where they perform and you see their name everywhere. El Tule also released their second CD in November 2009 and you should also purchase their Volumen II to complete your music library.

This showcase is one you shouldn't miss. It offers four of the best Latin bands in Austin and regionally that have a broad appeal. This showcase is the event of the year and may not occur again anytime soon because getting four extremely popular bands together at one time is very difficult. Hope to see you there, I know I will.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Austin Vida & Go Hispano Present Sexy Marvin at Stubb's

Austin Vida and Go Hispano presents Sexy Marvin, produced by Vivo Alternativo.

Venue: Stubb's Bar-B-Q (indoors) 801 Red River in Austin, Texas

Date: March 31, 2010
Time: Doors Open at 9:00 PM

Line Up: Rubik, Vinyl Dharma and Sexy Marvin

Cost: $8 Advance and $10 at the door
Tickets: Available at

"Sexy Marvin is an indie band from Monterrey, Mexico who made their name after opening shows for Muse, The Killers and Coldplay. They are heavily influenced by Brit-pop and bands like Depeche Mode, Interpol and of course, Morrissey. Mexicans love Moz more than anyone. You'll love them too." (Source:

View and listen to Sexy Marvin's "Follow," I know you'll like it:

"Opening for Sexy Marvin is Austin's own, Vinyl Dharma. Those of you who have been following the Austin indie scene for a while know the name. They were on MTV2 Austin Week back in 2008 and made quite the name for themselves around that time. Theses young Latino, Rio Grande Valley transplants are a good fit to play with Sexy Marvin. Their influences and sound is similar but different enough not to be too "samesy". Vinyl Dharma reminds me of bands like New Order. I'm looking forward to seeing them live again. Check them our here on MTV2." (Source:

Rubik is an Alternative/Grunge/Brit Pop band from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. They have been together for seven years and their popularity has steadily grown in Mexico and now in the U.S. They first came to Austin in November 2009 to play El Sol y La Luna, a popular venue on Sixth Street. I did get to see Rubik in February at Ruta Maya Coffee House and Organic Coffee Importing in South Austin, Texas and they made more fans with their fantastic music and sound. I do have to say that I do like the rapport that they establish with the audience, it's warm and witty. I'm looking forward to seeing them perform again because I became a fan as well.

Hope to see you there!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Austin Vida's Nacional Records Listening Party March 30, 2010

Austin Vida will be hosting another Nacional Records Listening Party for the release of Maldita Vecindad 's new CD "Circular Colectivo." The last party was a blast and this party promises more fun, tamales, drink specials and music.

Date: March 30, 2010

Place: Mi Casa Tamales and Cantina
Address: 503 East 6th in Austin, Texas

Time: 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Cost: FREE

Music and Listening Party DJ: DJ Chorizo Funk

Give Aways: Pachanga Latino Music Festival Tickets, Nacional Records CD's and T-shirts

Sponsors: Autin Vida, Bemba Entertainment, Pachanga Latino Music Festival and Nacional Records

Lead single off Maldita Vincedad's "Circular Colectivo":


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tortilla Factory: The Legend Continues

Tortilla Factory performed at Momo's World Music KUT 90.5 presented by Bemba Entertainment on Tuesday night in Austin, Texas and it was history in the making. I remember the name Tortilla Factory back in the early 70's and hearing them on the radio. They played primarily Texas "Chicano Music" and they filled dance halls throughout Texas and beyond. They were one of the premier dance bands out of Texas along with Little Joe and The Latinaires, Sunny and the Sunliners, the Royal Jesters and the Latin Breed, just to name a few. The Tortilla Factory originated in 1973 and here they are 2010 and still making music.

I had lost track of the Tortilla Factory for several years but was happy to see the band resurface last year with a Grammy nominated CD, "Tortilla Factory and All That Jazz." When I heard that they were going to play at Momo's, I knew I had to go see them. I really didn't know what to expect because I still had visions of the 70's Chicano Music and knew that they had incorporated Salsa into their music. When the Tortilla Factory took the stage, Wow!, they had a complete orchestra of 12 musicians and a commanding stage presence. The five piece horn section, for me, was the focal point and I couldn't wait to hear them. The band's founder, Tony "Ham" Guerrero, was present off stage although the band was under the direction of his son, Alfredo Antonio Guerrero, and his daughter, Laura Lynne Guerrero. Alfredo and Luara were also the lead vocals for all the songs.

The first song was a funky, bluesy song which reminded me of The Tower of Power, which I've seen perform. I was blown away by the beat and the strong, solid brass section and exceptional musical arrangements. Tortilla Factory also mixed in some Salsa music plus used rappers to give a couple 0f their songs an urban appeal. I saw the band perform from 8:00 PM to 12:oo AM and was surprised that the band didn't play any Chicano or Tejano music, mainly because that's where it all started.

Overall it was a fantastic night and I was very glad to see a new and updated Tortilla Factory. They are in fact a legend and have created some fantastic music and history since 1973 . For many reasons, I saw this performance as a debut of the "New Generation" Tortilla Factory. First, I never imagined Tortilla Factory at Momo's. I envisioned them at a huge ballroom or at the Palmer Event Center playing to a large crowd. Momo's is a great venue but does not have the capacity of a dance hall. You play at Momo's to expose yourself to a new audience or possibly crossover. Second, Alfredo and Luara at the helm of the band. With Ham's health a concern, I've read that Ham has given his son and daughters control and direction of the band. Third, I didn't hear the band play any Chicano or Tejano music. They played modern funky, hip, urban music for a younger audience and Salsa music for the broader, mature Latin audience. In order to continue the legend, Tortilla Factory has to appeal to a younger, more hip audience who listens to hip hop, reggaeton and rap. This audience does not listen to Tejano music and the evidence is on MTV, Mun2 and MTV3. Salsa music has broad appeal to both young and old and a large cross section of people. It doesn't mean you have to abandon Tejano music but inorder to continue the legend you have to evolve or re-invent yourself to appeal to the current audience or market. Lastly, Tortilla Factory hired a publicist, Dean Lofton. You hire a publicist to put your name out there to the public who does not know your name.

You need to see Tortilla Factory perform. You will definitely like what you hear and you'll ask yourself "Why haven't I heard this band before?"

You can see Tortilla Factory perform at:
El Sol Y La Luna on March 18, 2010 Austin, Texas
Pachanga Latino Music Festival on May 22, 2010 at Fiesta Gardens Austin, Texas

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review: Austin Vida's Nacional Records Listening Party

I attended Austin Vida's Nacional Records Listening Party on Tuesday March 2nd and had a great time. This is the second Listening Party in this series that I have attended and you will definitely find me at the next party on March 30, 2010.

There are several things I have enjoyed about the Listening Party:

First, I like the venue, Mi Casa Tamales and Cantina at 503 East 6th Street in Austin, Texas. Mi Casa has a long bar where you can sit or just hang out while you watch three big screen televisions. There is plenty of additional sitting with tables and chairs and a long bench sit the length of the venue. Mi Casa not only provides a really comfortable atmosphere, they have tamales! They offer delicious pork, chicken, chicken with verde sauce and vegetarian tamales and they are large and over stuffed with the filling. This fact that they offer tamales as well as drinks sets Mi Casa apart from surrounding venues. Additionally, they have a good sound system and ample floor space for dancing or just standing close to the band or DJ.

Second, the DJ and the music. DJ Chorizo Funk spins some excellent funky, soulful Latin tunes. I've been to a lot of events and venues where the DJ is the focal point and the DJ either makes or breaks the event. DJ Chorizo Funk makes this party happen. He grabs you with his music as soon as you walk in the door and keeps your attention for the rest of the night. I found myself, as well as other people, saying "Damn he's good." The Nacional Records CD releases have also been pretty good with Chocquibtown being my favorite. Check out DJ Chorizo Funk's website,, and listen to his music, I promise you'll like it as much as I did.

Last but not least, the Give Aways! When you come into Mi Casa, you are given a ticket that will put you into the drawings for prizes. The prizes include copies of Nacional's CD releases, Nacional Records T-shirts and stickers plus the Grand Prize. The past two grand prizes have been pretty good and definitely a good reason to come to the Listening Party. The first party gave away two tickets to Austin's Carnaval and this recent party gave away two tickets to Los Amigos Invisible show on Friday April 2, 2010 at Antone's.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important reason I like the Listening Party, the people I've met. I've met some really cool people and shared some tamales and good conversation. Tuesdays are that much better. Hope to see you there next time.

The Listening Parties are also in association with Bemba Entertainment.

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