The four-man accordion punk rock band from San Antonio known as Pinata Protest, performs at the Soda Bar on Monday to promote their EP El Valiente. The Spanish bilingual album, produced by Grammy-nominated Chris “Frenchie” Smith, is a delicious burrito mashup of Ramon Ayala, Sex Pistols, Bad Religion, and the Chicano activist spirit of Edward James Olmos.
Songs like "Vato Perron," "Tomorrow, Today" and the title track are rich with lyrics that document their Chicano experiences amidst Tejano-style accordion musings fused with fiery punk rock elements by way of guitars and drums. Singer/accordionist Alvaro Del Norte is a pioneer in the San Antonio music scene because of his authentic merging of regional Mexican music and punk rock.
“I was sick and tired of bands all sounding the same. I thought long and hard: What can I do to do something different, something fun?” says Del Norte.
Growing up, Del Norte wasn't a fan of regional Mexican music, but he did love the punk rock attitudes of the Ramones, the Clash and Black Flag. It wasn't until he studied music at Palo Alto Community College in San Antonio, that he came to appreciate Tejano and norteño music. Del Norte even fell in love with studying the accordion under his teacher Juan Tejeda, a respected folklorist and founder of San Antonio’s Tejano Conjunto Festival. Del Norte jokingly describes playing the accordion is “like wrestling with an anaconda.”
Pinata Protest shares the same management as fellow San Antonio band, Girl in a Coma, whom they've toured with and hold in high regard as mentors in the music game. Through the grapevine, Del Norte is romantically linked with the bassist of another rad, all-girl San Antonio band, Heathers Go Psycho.
There's a lot to look forward to with this band's refreshing attitude and bicultural swagger. LA Weekly hails Pinata Protest as “festively energetic,” and NPR alt Latino deems them “brilliant” and “mind blowing.”
Dita Quinones is a multimedia journalist born in Tijuana with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. Her main goal is to uplift and inform so that the Latino, Filipino and hip-hop community get knitted into the fabric of American history. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, Fox News Latino, Poder, VidaVibrante, San Diego CityBeat and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter or on Facebook.