Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva, two-thirds of the power-punk alternative trio Girl In A Coma, want to emphasize that their new project, FEA, doesn’t mean the popular San Antonio-based band is breaking up. But with singer (and Phanie's sister) Nina Diaz embarking on a solo record, Alva (bass) and Diaz (drums) felt the time was right to flex their creative muscles.
The Beatles were all over television this last weekend in national TV commemorations of their US arrival. Locally, they were celebrated at the South Texas Popular Culture Center. Hundreds gathered to mark the occasion and listen to bands pay homage to the Fab Four. I went there to speak to a couple of notables involved in the effort. The music I've used in my story (hit "listen" above) was the Blue Note Ringos' version of "Strawberry Fields."
I spoke first to Express News Columnist and Krayolas front man Hector Saldaña.
With all the holiday-themed events scheduled there’s something you may have missed: the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. It's coming to San Antonio, and as extravaganza Producer Cynthia Muñoz said, it’s a week full of special events, and music.
"The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is a seven-day mariachi music festival that starts Sunday, December 1 and runs through Saturday, December 7. It’s in its nineteenth consecutive year as the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in Texas," Muñoz said.
On November 21, 1963, in Houston, Texas, President John F.Kennedy and his wife Jackie, along with Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, were entertained by San Antonio musicians. Fernando Herrera and other musicians gave the distinguished visitors a taste of Texas at the Crystal Ballroom in the Rice Hotel.
Herrera remembers the night well, and he had a great deal of interchange with the president himself.
"Much to my surprise, Kennedy was familiar with all the music because those Kennedys traveled all over the world. He knew my outfit," Herrera said.
Downtown will be alive with Jazz this weekend as Travis Park is the epicenter for Jazz'SAlive, a live Jazz music event that’s been drawing San Antonians and top flight musicians for the last three decades.
"Strangely enough we have several bands that played in ’83 when this first started," says Executive Vice President of the San Antonio Parks Foundation Judi Deleon.
"We’ve got Small World, we’ve got the Regency Jazz Band, we have Beverly Houston who’s been around a long time, we’ve got such great talent," Deleon says.
It wasn't all that shocking or unusual to see San Antonio listed in the past as one of the least fit cities in the nation. There were plenty of excuses - the local cuisine, the hot weather, poor self esteem. But now San Antonio is bucking the national trend of weight gain and obesity. A new study shows that local get-active efforts and health eating programs are showing results.
For over fifteen years, San Marcos-based singer and songwriter Terri Hendrix has been creating music on her own terms, and encouraging others to “own your own universe,” to borrow a line from one of her signature tunes, “Wallet.” Hendrix, originally from San Antonio, has found success as a true DIY artist, controlling all of the master tapes for her music, recording on her terms, and personally responding to fans that sign up for her email list, which she also maintains in-house.
I was in high school, playing drums in a band with some pals in the mid-'70s, when I got a call from my uncle: Would I like to play a couple of dates with his norteño band over the summer?
While my drumming skills were decidedly high-school-level in terms of the rock and pop music of that era, I thought to myself that I was good enough for the two-step waltzes and cumbias that are a staple of accordion-fueled dance parties all over the Southwest and northern Mexico.