Dr. Loco's Blues
This year's CineFestival ends on Saturday, March 6 with a special screening of Alambrista!, director Robert Young's tale about the immigrant campesino experience, recut with a new ending and a soundtrack that better fits the movie's themes. Following the film, José "Dr. Loco" Cuellar, a professor of Raza Studies at San Francisco State University, will discuss the process it took to resurrect Young's picture, and perform tracks from the soundtrack album he composed in collaboration with "sus Tiburones del Norte," a four-piece conjunto outfit.
Cuellar's CineFestival-sponsored homecoming blends both his passions - performing music and teaching Chicano studies - with a return to his San Quilmas roots. He left SA decades ago with a few of his buddies and played music up and down the West Coast.
"They really hadn't heard the kind of music `from San Antonio`," he says in reference to the late '50s, early '60s música del barrio. It's the the kind of pachuco-orquesta saxophone sonido he still plays today.
Cuellar recalls seeing Alambrista! when it premiered in 1978. He didn't come from a farmworker's family and didn't know much about working in the fields, but says that viewing Alambrista helped him put a human face on the issue.
Following the CineFestival screening and discussion, a bevy of local musicians joins Cuellar onstage in a soundtrack performance-slash-baile to close out the festival. This isn't Dr. Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band, Cuellar's Bay Area grupo which plays a mezcla of Tower of Power funk-cum-Little Joe tejano, but the same spirit which guides los Jalapeños (an homage to KEDA's Radio Jalapeño) runs through Alambrista's conjunto-driven (and country-tinged) socially conscious score.
Glaude To Be Back
All those fancy little First Friday art receptions conveniently end around 10 p.m., leaving San Antonio scenesters time to suck down a few more brews at Bar America, then make it to a late show. A couple of choice considerations for the afterparty this Friday, March 5: Sin 13 (1902 McCullough, 785-9461) is hosting a David Bowie tribute; Boxcar Satan will be rocking out Taco Land (103 W. Grayson, 223-8406), with Gorch Fock, Oh, Beast!, and the Bontempi Bros; and hip-hop collective Lotus Tribe and the Beatards will be at the Lounge at Avenue B (1033 Ave. B, 224-4005). Oh, and veteran house DJ Donald Glaude, the "James Brown of DJs," will be bumping Planeta Bar-rio (3830 Parkdale, 593-0411), with Sir Jackson, Keeque, Dizzy, and Massimo. •