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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Today In the Mix: Cabaret burlesque and Echo Park funk on tap for the weekend

A video sample (above) of the sights and sounds of Funky Sole at The Echo, Echo Park

By Jennifer Cuevas

I’m one of those rare people who appreciates the rain. But for those of you who need a mood-lift from all these gray So Cal skies, I have two musical remedies: Remedy One: L.A. transplant, singer-songwriter Marisa Ronstadt-Mendoza who’s on our radar to watch. She will be performing Saturday in East Los Angeles and we have a Q&A with her later in the column. Remedy Two:  Go out and explore some local funk in Echo Park. Click on the link below for more music picks and that Q&A.

Eastside Luv Wine Bar Y Queso
Tonight, get your dance on with an eclectic mix of music from 80’s, funk, punk to hip hop with resident DJ/VJ at Eastside Luv Wine Bar Y Queso tonight, plus get your dose of mariachi music at midnight. Worried about parking? Hitch a ride on the Gold Line and get off at Mariachi Plaza. No cover until 8 PM; $5 after.

“That’s What She Said”
On Saturday, October 23, below Self Help Graphics in East Los Angeles, is “That’s What She Said,” produced by local thespians, Marisol Torres, Joanna “Mixpe” Ley and Marlene Beltran, otherwise known as the theatre trio, Las Ramonas. This ‘one night stand’ will redefine the cabaret burlesque with plenty of compelling music, including the luminous vocals of soulful singer-songwriter, Marisa Ronstadt-Mendoza (Montecarlo 76) and the commanding voice of hip hop lyricist, Cihuatl Ce. The night will feature films by In Lak Ech and Wombyn Image Makers’ very own Claudia Mercado, filmmaker Amanda Vigil, and premier new film projects by Marisol L. Torres and Las Ramonas.  The event is 7 PM to 11:30 PM, with a $5 donation. 21 and over. Cash wine and beer bar. Located at 3606 Cesar Chavez Blvd. in East Los Angeles.

Funky Sole
Also Saturday, you will find Funky Sole at Echo. This weekly incarnation that rotates DJs and live musicians, features the finest funk and soul DJ sets by Resident Music Man Miles (a Highland Park resident and bandleader of Breakestra) and Clifton. The night is FREE. Echo is located at 1822 Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park. 21 + over.

A Q & A with Marissa Ronstadt-Mendoza

Q: Is your Self Help Graphics performance part of a solo project?
A: Yes!  Jeremy Keller (guitarist for Monte Carlo 76) and I are working on some new tunes for our solo project.  Quetzal Flores and Martha Gonzalez (of Quetzal) will also be producing the album. I’m really excited about what has transpired so far.

Q: How would you describe your music?
A: It will definitely have lots of soul, a little bit of funk and some R & B.  Right now we’re still in the mix of the writing process and beginning stages but most of what I write has a lot of soul. Oh, and the show will be acoustic—guitar and vocals.

Q: How long have you pursued music?
A: I’ve been singing since I was 7 years old.  So practically, my whole life. I was in a group back home in Phoenix for 12 years. It’s called “Los Amigos.” They teach you how to dance, perform and some of the students who wanted to sing had to play an instrument. After I got a little older I got classically trained at an arts high school. It was all classical and jazz training. I play a little guitar.

Q: What brought you to Los Angeles?
A: Music.  The opportunity to write, record and perform music with a slew of other extremely talented people.  I didn’t know what to expect.  But once I got here, things just started to fall into place and I was introduced to a whole new world of opportunity and community of people willing and wanting to work with me.  I am incredibly thankful.

Q: Do you have a YouTube link or website I can link to on the site?
MRM: Yes!  Here is the latest song I worked on with Jeremy Keller and Maya Jupiter (Emcee).  It’s called “Freedom” and is about all of the heartache and hurt SB 1070 has caused in Arizona:

Q: How did you get linked up with this all woman showcase?
A: Marisol Torres (from Las Ramonas) is a friend of mine and asked if I would be interested in performing.  I immediately said yes. I love Las Ramonas and everything they do!  I am very happy to be supportive of these talented women and share in their art.

Q: Have you performed in East Los Angeles before and are there any upcoming events in the area where you’ll perform?
A: When I moved to Los Angeles almost 5 years ago, Quetzal and Martha (from Quetzal) introduced me to David Gomez, whose band is Monte Carlo 76, was birthed in East LA.  Being a part of the band  [singer] we’ve done many shows on the Eastside.

Q: Do you spend a lot of time in the East or Northeast L.A. areas? If so, do you have a favorite place you would like to share?
A: One of my favorite places to perform at and just hang out at is Eastside Luv. Very chill and fun vibe.  I know I’m always in for a good time at Eastside Luv.  My favorite restaurant in East LA would have to be Tamales Lilianas!  The most delicious tamales (next to my Tia Kika and Katalina’s tamales of course J)

Marisa Ronstadt-Mendoza is scheduled to take the stage at 8:30 PM on Saturday.

In the Mix appears on Fridays.  Please send press releases or story ideas, at least two weeks in advance, to jeneratemedia@gmail.com.

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