May 27, 2009
Good move Pachanga! What better place to have a Latin-party music festival than in a place called Fiesta Gardens? Waterloo Park is nice and all, but it’s a little Limey sounding and ultimately doesn’t have the zest of “fiesta,” does it? The “gardens” thing is also a bit confusing. What’s with the pidgin? Would it really have been that challenging for the city to just go whole hog (swine?) and call it “Fiesta Jardines?” Yes, it’s exhausting reading that much Spanish strung together, but Austin is a fairly open-minded city. We’ve been spitting out Auditorium Shores for years now – same number of syllables plus two extra letters. That may not seem important in the big picture, but when you need your sorority sisters to come rescue you from a Porta-Potty disaster, Auditorium Shores is an egregious amount to text. It’s really difficult to tap in “I HV SHT MYSLF N PP @ AS. HLP ME” on your Razor and have people actually understand what you mean – especially when it’s dark, you’re literally shitfaced, and there’s a decent chance they’ll read the first half of your text and decide to pretend not to understand it even though they did. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would. After all, Auditorium Shores is a big place that affords a certain amount of anonymity. At most it’s only a 200-yard dash to Lady Bird Lake. Even with the wind in your face and wearing flip-flops, you should be able to make it to the water in less than 30 seconds – faster if you’re barefoot and buck naked, plus you’ll get extra cool points for keeping it weird. You could do the same at Fiesta Gardens in less than 20 seconds, but there are a few more obstacles. Most importantly, you’ll need enough hops to clear the reeds and flotsam at the water’s edge, because that’s where the snakes and flushed pet alligators hang out. Or do they? Don’t sweat it. Chances are if you avoid the refritos con chorizo and really low-rent tequilas, you won’t have any Porta-Potty emergencies. After all, you may be at a Pachanga Festival, but it’s not like you’re actually en Mexico. Musically, however, you should be pretty close. Headlining the bill are Tejano star Michael Salgado and Mexican Institute of Sound, aka “the Mexican Moby,” aka Instituto Mexicano del Sonido – which is infinitely more poetic than its American counterpart. Salgado and Instituto are miles apart musically, but will be only a few hundred yards from each other geographically this Saturday. The same is true of the rest of the festival, which offers a diverse array of artists sharing their unique take on Latin music: Los Bad Apples, Chris Perez, Brownout, Charanga Cakewalk, and David Garza, among others. And if you can’t get your Latin fix without seeing musicians in matching costumes, Mariachi Altenas, Texas’ all-female mariachi band, are scheduled for the Pavillion Stage at 7:30pm. This might just be the event that changes the gardens into jardines. Regardless, it will definitely be a fiesta.