Sí Señor!

Pachanga 3

Now in its third year – and second in the Eastside's bucolic Fiesta Gardens – the Pachanga Latino Music Festival has blossomed into Austin's most down-home musical gathering. Last year's headliners, Mexico City cumbia rockers Mexican Institute of Sound and Chihuahua-born black-hat Tejano Michael Salgado played the heavyweights, but the perfect spring day down on the water belonged to the locals: David Garza, Vallejo, Ocote Soul Sounds, Brownout, El Tule, Charanga Cakewalk, Maneja Beto, etc. (see "Cumbia de la Pachanga!," Music blog, June 2, 2009). In studly accordionist A.J. Castillo lay both new discovery and a future ATX all-star. This year, look to Willie Alvarado to fill the Next Big Latino spot. Promoters/bookers Rich Garza and Alex Vallejo have kept local talent traditional and the international acts freshly cut. After Saturday, you too will be hard-pressed not to exit Fiesta Gardens on a warm Saturday night repeating Pachanga's unofficial mantra: ¡Otra! www.pachangafest.com. – Raoul Hernandez


1:40pm, Pavilion Stage

Don't call Vitera "crossover." That's too soft a word for the tough, bilingual rock this local quintet makes. Brothers Haydn and David Vitera prefer "rock alterLatino," particularly given the former's electric and electrifying fiddle and golden (brown) voice. The group's debut is forthcoming. – Margaret Moser

Brian Lopez

2pm, Patio Stage

Tuscon's Jeff Buckley, guitarist Brian Lopez steps out from Arizona's Grupo Fantasma – Pachanga juggernaut Y la Orkesta – but not too far: Orkesta leader Sergio Mendoza holds down the piano and accordion under the sextet's violins and cellos, while Salvador Duran provides guest vocals. That leaves Lopez on shred and emote duties, his specialties. – Raoul Hernandez

Amplified Heat

2:40pm, Hierba Stage

Ever wonder what Amplified Heat's skuzzy Texas blues would taste like bottled and distilled? The local power trio has its own Big Daddy's Hot Sauce (Mean Smokin' Green Hot Sauce), whose smoked jalapeño flavor perfectly complements the Ortiz brothers' classic Red River shuffle on 2007's How Do You Like the Sound of That (Arclight). – Austin Powell

Tortilla Factory

3pm, Pavilion Stage

Tortilla Factory was way ahead of the game as a mixed-race 1970s Chicano soul outfit performing across the country. Four decades later, they're essentially a family band, still led by the legendary Tony "Ham" Guerrero and still pumping out exuberant, nonstop pop, rock, and soul. Guerrero and original vocalist Bobby Butler reunited in 2008 for All That Jazz, nominated in 2009 for Best Tejano Album in the Latin Grammys. – Margaret Moser


3:20pm, Patio Stage

Like the J.B.'s to James Brown or Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll, Brownout is the mostly instrumental alter ego of Grupo Fantasma. Once regarded as either warm-up or an after-hours wind-down to the main attraction, the eightpiece ensemble has gained near-equal footing thanks to last year's sophomore stunner, Aguilas and Cobras (Six Degrees), a surreal collection of Latin funk jams that features contributions from members of White Denim and Hacienda. – Austin Powell

Y la Orkesta

4:30pm, Pavilion Stage

Sergio Mendoza's Pérez Prado covers night has ballooned into Tucson, Ariz.'s 10-piece cumbia and salsa rock big band Y la Orkesta, starring the Calexico cell member's Willie Nelson, Calexico guest vocalist Salvador Duran, and Pachanga showcaser in his own right, guitarist Brian Lopez. "Indie mambo" grooved by sixpiece horns and two drummers. – Raoul Hernandez

Pachanga Schedule

Pilar Díaz

5pm, Patio Stage

Jetting in from Madrid two days before her Pachanga debut, Chilean-born L.A. multitasker Pilar Díaz imports her snappy Bangles en Español-like video "Ilegal en Estyle" just in time for immigration legislation making its way through the Southwest. Formerly of Neil Young's Vapor Records' rockers Los Abandoned, Danny Elfman collaborator, and onetime Bulgarian choirista, Díaz remains her own cottage industry of multicultural/-dimensional voz. – Raoul Hernandez

Mariachi las Alteñas

6pm, Pavilion Stage

Good mariachi music strikes you in the chest. Such is the case with San Anotnio's ninepiece Mariachi las Alteñas. Awing last year's Pachanga gathering, the musically astute ensemble not only delivers instrumentally, its all-female vocals are as rich and robust as any of its male counterparts, with the added pleasure of razor-sharp harmonies. ¡Sí, señora!Belinda Acosta

David Garza

6:40pm, Patio Stage

Last year's unofficial Pachanga emcee, David Garza returns for another festival match of Six Degrees from Dah-veed. In addition to last year's Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom reunion, Shed Light, Garza's free best-of from his new millennial digital archives, just hit MP3, and he's begun recording a follow-up to 2008 mainstream comeback Dream Delay. Bets on who Garza's guesting with this year will be taken at the Pachanga box office. – Raoul Hernandez

DJ Dus

8:45pm, Chicano Soul Cafe

Dusty Oliveira's collection of mixtapes and mash-ups knows no borders. The Corpus Christi DJ's adept at mixing cumbia with dance and hip-hop, finding that sweet percussive spot, and mining something he calls "the science of the vibe." A walking sample sale. – Audra Schroeder

Pachanga Schedule

Bomba Estéreo

9:30pm, Hierba Stage

"Suddenly, the phone rings with a call from Colombia. Juan Carlos Losada, a very good friend of mine, is screaming and very excited about this crazy music festival in Austin, Texas, a place I had no reference for." So wrote Bomba bassist/looper Simón Mejía in March for a "My SXSW" diary about his Colombian quintet's 2009 voyage here. Seductress Li Saumet out front of the group's electro/acoustic bilingual slink (think early Manu Chao) guarantees more chapters in this tale. – Raoul Hernandez

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More Pachanga Latino Music Festival
Phases & Stages
Pachanga Latino Music Festival
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Raoul Hernandez, May 18, 2012

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Pachanga Latino Music Festival, Willie Alvarado, Roberto Pulido, Grupo Fantasma, Larry Harlow, Girl in a Coma

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