LA’s Musica a la Mexicana: One Flaco with a Mexican Radio in Ozomatli Sauce

 

Flaco jimenez

Flaco jimenez

“Where’s Flaco?” were reportedly Bob Dylan’s first words upon arriving in Austin during a swing south in 1976. Such is the legend of Flaco Jimenez, the world’s reigning rey del acordeon. They played together on Doug Sahm’s 1973 solo album, of course, must’ve bonded over some good hooch or a spliff. Since then he’s played around with the best, rock and conjunto and some country, too. Remember Dwight Yoakam’s version of ‘Streets of Bakersfield’? I knew that was Flaco the first time I heard it twenty-some-odd years ago, Googled it just now to make sure.

But Flaco’s best gig was probably with Sahm and Freddy Fender and Augie Meyers as the Texas Tornadoes, Tex-Mex super-group par excellence, and cut short only by Sahm’s early checkout a few years ago, then Freddy’s. But Flaco’s still going strong and he’ll be at Skirball Cultural Center out in the hills west of LA next Thursday, free except for the parking, but you better allow some extra time given current politics since Skirball is Jewish and security clearance is tighter than… the El Al counter in Munich, ’nuff said…

 

Ceci Bastida

Ceci Bastida

Thursday’s a long ways away, though, and you’ll have to decide between Flaco and Santa Cecilia even then, they the hottest thing these days in musica Chicana, also free and not so far away at Santa Monica pier. If I were a younger man, say three years ago, I’d try for both. Till then you could go for Ceci Bastida tonight 8-8 at Levitt Pasadena, ex-Tijuana No! and understudy to Julieta Venegas, if I remember correctly. She’s good. Then there’s Mariachi Divas same place on Saturday night if you’re hard-core.

But Saturday is the big downtown trifecta, starting with Chinatown Summer Nights’ (http://chinatownsummernights.com/) various grooves and beats early on close to downtown, then continuing at Grand Performances on Bunker Hill with Mas Out There, an Ozomatli spin-off, and finally ex-Wall of Voodoo front-man Stan Ridgway down the street at Pershing Square. Remember them? Then there are the Little Tokyo celebrations going all weekend (http://www.visitlittletokyo.com/); maybe I should go fer a four-fer. Sounds like fun. I might even drink a beer, or two…

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