Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grupo Payande de Gerardo Cavazos y Victor Trejo

For the past few months, I have been buying up large amounts of old tapes, vinyl, CD's and other media. I had not found much of anything of note, until a few days ago when I was rummaging through a box and came across a cool 8-track: Grupo Payande.

At first, I set it aside, not thinking much of it, other than dismissing it as a Renacimiento 74' clone. I'd never heard of them and I'd figured they must be from somewhere in Mexico, but then I took a close look at the 8 track cover art and, to my surprise, I realized this particular grupo hailed from good old Laredo, TX. After that initial surprise, I googled them and found some interesting facts on this forgotten local band. This particular 8 track is from 1983 for the CAM-Mex record label. I must say I kinda dig the sound, and I'm thinking of writing to their fan club. Maybe someone responds.  Check out some of their videos below. Let me know of any info, memories you have of the grupo from back in the day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Afternoon in downtown Laredo

My job has been keeping me busier than usual. I'm not making excuses, I love my day jobs, but  they do drain the life out of me. Not that I'm complaining, for my jobs pay the mortgage, keep the Schlitz flowing freely and make the wife/s happy. Still, it leaves zero-free time to myself.

That is why when I finally had an afternoon off from work, several weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to once again cruise the crazy streets of Downtown Laredo, where drug deals, rancherismo-dancing, prostitution, panhandlers and cheap, electronic knockoffs keep my blogging back for more

Perfect afternoons away from the work are a rarity for me, so I decided to unwind by sipping on a Ziggy-sixer and stumbling down the streets of my beloved hometown. Below you will find of few of the things I encountered on this particular occasion. 
Who says we have no culture in Laredo? Modern art is everywhere.

Downtown, they take their patriotic duties very seriously. Shops get closed for God and Country.

I was surprised at the amount of shops closed on this particular day. Is it El Guapo's birthday or something?

You can stand in the middle of the street on Salinas Ave at 4:30pm and not worry about a thing.
(except maybe the meter maids) #LackOfParking
Wow! Downtown landlords don't mess around. If you dont pay your rent you get shut down
and go the way of Munden's or the Playmore. #GoneButNotForgotten

So my day off was not a total waste. I was able to get my cheap electronics fix, buy an elote, gaze at the lovely Senoritas before calling it a day by wandering into one of several downtown cantinas. All in days blog. You see how I sacrifice myself for you readers. Keep blogging back for more Laredo downtown afternoon delights. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Ribcage

  Most of the time, whenever a new restaurant opens in Laredo, all the buzz is centered around the northern part of the city. For example, you have chains like Dunkin Donuts and Alamo DraftHouse that have created a local anticipation for months now since their initial announcements.

 Not one to be blinded by that bias, I must give mention a new local restaurant, the Ribcage, that quietly opened up several months ago now. Having frequented the place several times, I must admit I did enjoy the flavor of their BBQ. Who needs Rudy's when the Ribcage in south Laredo offers better choice and flavor, and all without having to drive across the city. In fact, its just around the corner from this blogger's house in Santo Baby, TX. So next time you take a wrong turn on Loop 20 and get lost in south Laredo, give 'em a try, see what you think.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No se fia (ni preguntes)

I work all over Laredo, sometimes picking up merchandise sometimes delivering it (I will leave out the specifics, just in case the good ol' boys at the DA's office are reading this lowly blog). Nonetheless, I found myself far away from the cozy comforts of Santo Nino, TX in the unknown parts of west Laredo.

Having toiled all day under the unforgiving sun and having driven around in search of product, I became a thirsty traveler with an unending thirst. I usually do not find myself west of Santa Maria, but on this particular, odd Sunday morning, I stumbled across an oasis, amidst rumbling locomotives.

Much to my disappointment, this oasis of love and beer, this Mecca of liquid from the gods, had yet to swing open its doors for business, and being it was God's day of rest, and a non-Dallas Cowboys Sunday, I was rejected the opportunity to guzzle down a cold, domestic beer.

No matter how much I kicked at the door, yelled through the windows, or pumped my  fist in an Eddie Macon-fury way, the doors simply did not open for this disenchanted south Laredoan. It was probably all for the best, for all I had in my pocket were 4 varos, not enough for even a 6 pack of Bud, and having learned from their signage, they are not to keen on credit. Oh well, off I go to el Hevito then.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

LareDon't do this to me

For reasons that are not too clear to me at the moment, I haven't stopped by this blog and shared my thoughts with my public lately. There are few things worse in life than letting down all 11 of my loyal readers.

Maybe I was too busy running for office. Maybe I just could not be dragged away from those spinning maquinitas that line every corner of this creepy city. Or maybe I was just too sick from all the carne-asada ingesting, Dallas Cowboys orgy-loving that seems to once again wrapped its kinky arms around this god-forsaken city.

Truth is I have been indulging myself in endless re-runs of shitty TV shows that have made it difficult to drag my fingers from off my remote control onto this aging laptop, with keyboards so sticky you'd think I ate toast with jam over it. Alas, the stickiness is not due to strawberry jam.

Which brings me to my point. One such show that seems to have hit a little too close for comfort is Californication. You might know the show or its premise. If you don't, its cool, I wont bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that, some of the gritty, over-the-top, disgusting moments from that show seem to bare some strange resemblance to the last three years of my life. But as that old disclaimer says, any resemblance to real people is clearly coincidental. I'm not saying I'm David Duchovny, in fact I've been told I look like Paul Rodriguez' ugly younger brother. The point is, I've been busy not blogging due to so discrepancies within my own twisted life.

However, there comes a time in a man's life, even a man like me, a poor schmuck from Santo Baby, TX to grow the hell up. There comes a time to look past the instant gratifications of the flesh, throw caution to the wind and immerse oneself in a good-old fashion, south-Laredo monogamous relationship that even Ricky Ricardo would approve.

Having been married several times already, I figured what the heck, why not again? Maybe because I've had so much practice at being married, I could actually do it right this time. That's what I figured. How many times can a man mess up? Isn't redemption always just around the corner? Having driven around all the the major points of this city throughout this Sunday afternoon, from Meadow to Saunders to Pita Mangana Road, I've come to the conclusion that it's definitely OK to accept my past, but its much more important  to mold a better future for myself. Having said that and having invited a band of cliches to take a seat upon my couch, I decided mucho more than just that.

We all make minor changes within our lives, at one point or another. This blog has always been therapuetic for me and, heck, I can honestly say it has been instrumental in keeping me in touch with who I am and where I come from. And I'm ok with that. Even though I neglect the blog, I know I can always come back to its waiting arms, ever so desperate for my warm embrace. And I know what I am, now. I'm a 30-something year old man from south Laredo with big dreams, no money, zero talent but all the ambition in the world to correct the wrongs and make them right. And I'm OK with that. All it took was a quiet Sunday drive from Meadow to Pita Mangana Road to make understand the obvious.

I'm definitely OK with that.