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Mucho Wednesday's Ricky Garay

By Monk Turner
Published: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 10:56AM
Ricky Garay takes a well deserved break Monk Turner [Flickr]

Ricky Garay takes a well deserved break. Typically, you'll find him in the center of a crazy party at La Cita.



Back in the late 90's there was a buzz around Latin Alternative music. Bands from all over the US, Latin America, and Spain were receiving major attention and creating a new type of music for a new generation. Then Ricky Martin had his comeback tour and left a giant turd on what could have been an amazing new music scene. Reggaeton was the nail in the coffin.

Skip ahead to just two years ago when a group of pachanga scientists decided to start throwing Latin nights at a local Mexican Bar known for its occasional small concerts on the weekends. Add a new found excitement for Latin Alternative and you have the beginnings of a very exciting movement happening right here in Downtown. Ricky Garay is right in the middle of it.

I had the rare privilege of meeting with Ricky in a quiet location so we could do an interview.

MONK TURNER: Tell us about the beginnings of Mucho Wednesday.

RICKY GARAY: Initially my friend Land, Marjorie Garcia, and I were doing a party called Magnet which we did with Sam Sparro in Little Toyko..

MT: I know Sammy!

RG: Oh.. ok. Well see then you know! When we'd be out promoting we'd always listen to Spanish Pop and at the time we'd always comment that there wasn't anywhere we could go and enjoy a night of all Spanish Pop. Around the same time I started working at La Cita as an assistant manager and I met Carl Lofgren. I was a part of a lot of the conversations regarding the night, the music, and the parties. Out of the blue I put the two together: I knew that we wanted a place to go listen to Spanish Pop and I knew La Cita needed something young and hip for the Latino audience and I asked and they said yes so we tried it.

MT: Has there always been such a large draw?

RG: It's always been a consistent draw. It has always been a big draw. But I think that initially it was real word-of-mouth. We started out with pretty much a core group and kept expanding and expanding. Now we have a real new batch of fresh faces every time.

MT: ...coming mostly by word-of-mouth.

RG: I think so. I think a lot of people tell their friends about it after they've been here once. A lot of people get really passionate and we have a lot of people where it is a weekly destination. It's their hang. It's where they go and they party.

MT: Does having it downtown add a special element to the night?

RG: I think so. I think downtown is a very central location to the city. It is in the middle of everything. East-side, west-side, north-side, south-side. That really makes it accessible to people no matter where you are it is a fair drive. I think that's been a huge part of it.

MT: Tell us a crazy story. One crazy night at Mucho Wednesday.

RG: I'll tell you one and hopefully I won't get in too much trouble. What pops in my mind is recently at a Very Be Careful show during their residency. If you've ever seen them they're pretty big guys. In the middle of their cumbia set, the cowbell player decided that he needed to go crowd surfing. So the crowd picked him up and carried him around the entire dance floor. [laughter] Then the accordion player got a little jealous and so he got up and the crowd picked him up and carried him around the whole dance floor while he was playing the accordion. The whole time my heart is in my throat because I'm terrified that someone is going to drop someone. It didn't happen...

MT: No ambulances?

RG: No ambulances needed. They gently placed him back on the stage and I was able to start breathing again.

MT: That's magic. Perfect. What can one expect at Mucho Wednesdays?

RG: A really broad range of Spanish Pop. When I say Spanish Pop I mean electro, banda, norteƱo, cumbia, meringue, Juan Gabriel, Javiera Mena, Amandidita, Los Bukis, Kinky, Afrobeta, Cumbia Queers. Also, it is a very mixed crowd. Gay, straight, male, female. It's a real happy smiley faced easy going crowd that come to dance.

As eloquent as Ricky is, there are really no words to describe Mucho Wednesday. Go for yourself. The show takes place every Wednesday at La Cita (336 S. Hill). Get there before 10pm and there is no cover. After 10pm it is around $5 and all the money goes to support the live music. In November they'll be having a special event at the Echoplex in Echo Park in case you are feeling sassy. The website is at http://www.myspace.com/muchoparty and you can follow the twitter at http://twitter.com/muchoupdate

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Music Profiles

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