Latinos movin’ on up with the Best of Austin Chronicle 09

4 09 2009

Yeah, go Latinos! I did a round up of Latinos getting some love from the Best of Austin Chronicle 09. Muchos props to Austin Chronicle staff (see critic’s picks) for highlight the good work of the hardest working Latinos in Austin. We’re movin’ on up!

From the Best of Austin Chronicle 09

Critics Picks…

Best Municipal Rocker: Bobby Garzamanejabeto (far left)
The demands of being a City Council aide are tough enough – with a scant seven council members for a city of almost 800,000, aides act as de facto council members themselves, sussing out the issues for each office. Despite the workload, Bobby Garza, family man and executive assistant to Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, finds time to – what else? – rock. He’s a singer and percussionist with reunited Latino indie rockers Maneja Beto, and also sat on the high-profile Live Music Task Force. Crank the agenda up to 11, Bobby!

Best Ode to the (Namesake of the) Road on Which It Resides: Rayo de Esperanza

photo by Sandy Carson

Right outside the Terrazas Branch Library she looms. The César E. Chávez Memorial Project – awarded by the city of Austin Art in Public Places program to Connie Arismendi and Laura Garanzuay – is a literal nighttime beacon as brilliant as its potential to inspire hope. Like a (no disrespect intended) bat signal to justice, freedom, and equality, this soaring United Farm Workers phoenix ignites the night and reminds us that: ¡Sí se puede! … because yes we did! And with due diligence and the dedication to create a better world, yes, we will again!

Best Place to Discover Latino Music: Austin
From such old-school promoters as Jerry Avila on Primetime Tejano and Isidoro Lopez on KOOP Radio’s Fiesta Musical and the Premios Texas awards hosted by Austin’s Univisión affiliate to longtime Horizontes host Michael Crockett on KUT, to Johnny Ramirez’s Indie Live Austin, to Paul Saucido over on ME TV (and beyond), to youngblood promoters like Brandon Badillo, to Alba Peña’s Conexion Rockera website, to new festivals like Pachanga Fest, and the monthlong events of Latino Music Month — there’s no reason, no way, no how for anyone in Austin to say they don’t know what’s going on in Latino music. And let’s not forget Alicia Zertuche’s work pumping up the Latino music presence at South by Southwest. Old, new, cutting edge, folky, funky, and fabulous, Austin is quickly becoming the city to watch for what’s happening in Latino music outside the usual places of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. Pachanga Fest, which had its second successful festival earlier this year, promises to be the next must-hit Latino music festival in the nation. Yeah, that’s right. You read it here first.

Best of the Fests: Pachanga FestivalpachangaLogoCircle-Small
With a lot of ambition and heart, Pachanga Fest ’08 showed a lot of promise to annually showcase Latino musicians in a fun festival setting. In ’09, however, Pachanga Fest truly lived up to its potential with a dazzling array of acts that included the edgy Mexican Institute of Sound, the all-female Mariachi Las Alteñas, the eclectic Los Bad Apples, and hot hot hot singer/accordionist A.J. Castillo. That’s what founders Rich Garza and A.J. Vallejo were hoping for, and it’s a good indicator that for t

Hardest Working Vato in the Music Biz: Paul Saucidosaucido
Remember last year when ME Television started to go down in flames and laid off everyone? Well, ME TV is still around (barely), and when it started to get its act together, the first thing it did was rehire VJ Paul Saucido. Even if ME TV goes away, Saucido will survive. VJ job? He don’t need no stinkin’ VJ job! As soon as the ground started to crumble, Saucido went to work on his own website (, providing regular commentary on, hosting music shows all around town, and generally working it. Most people would have ditched Austin. (In fact, Saucido pulled a good April Fools’ prank on Facebook when he announced that he was leaving Austin and going back to Los Angeles. The response was swift, forlorn, and heartfelt. Funny, Paul. Very funny.) Who knows what’s going to happen at ME TV. But for Saucido, the only way to land is feet first, facing the sky.

Most Socially Responsible Hip-Hop Crew: The Cipher

Best 3am Grocery Shopping, 1997: Fiesta Mart

Best Way To Keep the Conversation Going: Southwest Key

Best On-Air Mayor of East Austin: Isidoro Lopez, KOOP-FM

Best Mayor of South Austin: Mayo Pardo, Jovita’s

Best Cool Down With a Cold One: Rabbit’s Lounge

Best Museum Refreshment: Mexic-Arte Paletas

Best Drowning Flautas: The Screaming Goat

Best Eastside Juiciness: Veracruz All Natural

Best Farmers’ Market Maestra: Suzanne Santos of the Sustainable Food Center

Reader’s Poll…

Best Council Member: Mike Martinezmmartinez
Community: It’s what he saved in his many years battling fires and what focuses his vision during his years thus far on Austin’s City Council. His leadership on diversity issues, including spearheading the Hispanic Quality of Life Initiative and his continued visibility as a firmly entrenched East Austinite make Mike Martinez a continued favorite of our readers and beyond.

Best Bathroom: Vivo

Best Bar Staff: Nomad – Peeps from EPT!

Felicidades to everyone! Check out all the ganadores at the Austin Chronicle!