Sound and the Fury
In recent months, Sin 13 has been dogged by neighborhood complaints that have brought police officers, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commissioners, and the fire marshal to the club. For the last two weeks, the goth-and-electroclash mecca has been forced to operate on a BYOB basis, without an alcohol license. As a result of all this adversity, rumors have spread that the club might be on the verge of closing.
But rumors of the bar's demise are greatly exaggerated, according to Sin 13's Kelly Warren. "We're in the middle of reinstating our liquor license," Warren says. "We'll be changing our liquor license over to someone else, and we may even change our name. That's something that probably won't happen for a couple of months."
In the meantime, Sin 13 soldiers on, hosting veteran aggro-punk band Prong on Wednesday, May 26.
Call and response
Aniceto Molina, "El Tigre Sabanero," punctuated his two sets at Ritmo Latino on Friday, May 14 with a series of geographical shout-outs. As he recited the names of various Mexican states, followed by Central and South American countries (finishing, naturally, with his beloved homeland Colombia), groups burst into applause; whole sections or just a few proud individuals, depending upon where they were from.
While musicians everywhere work the crowds by doing this to varying degrees - "are you ready to rock (insert name of city here)?" - as part of their act, Molina's call-and-response census served another purpose. For the legendary Molina, who has resided in San Antonio since 1984, the roll-call told the multigenerational audience, comprised largely of immigrants and their children, that we're all part of a larger community - predominantly, but not solely Mexicano in origin. In a way it was a Latino answer to James Brown's list of United States cities in "Night Train."
If Molina's music reminded many of their homelands, the wistful paralysis of nostalgia swiftly gave way to the throbbing rhythm of the cumbia, the counter-clockwise movement on the dance floor, and the sense of ownership which comes with belonging, not longing.
Fuerza Colombiana opened with their mix of old and new tunes, including several faithful renditions of classic Colombian cumbias. Presumably, the group learned the tunes from studying under the mentorship of Molina, who they thanked throughout the evening for his support and assistance. Not for nothing is Molina known as the "ambassador of cumbia in America."
On Friday, May 21, Ritmo Latino goes Tejano with Michael Salgado. •