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For generations of musicians, gigging at Taco Land has become a sort of unwritten rite of passage, which in turn makes owner/operator Ram Ayala the most unlikely of gurus: half burly biker, half benevolent benefactor, and undisputed grandfather of the San Antonio music scene. Every musician and aficionado in SA (and perhaps Texas) has

Birthday boy Ram Ayala. File photo by Mark Greenberg
a favorite Taco Land story, and all revolve around Ram in some way, shape, or form. He is, by deliberate understatement, quite a character.

On Thursday, April 10, SA celebrates Ram's birthday (it's rumored that the cantankerous old man will be 70) with an all-out, balls-out fest on two stages - indoor and out - featuring the Swindles, Suzy Bravo, the Mescaleros, Buttercup, Pistola, the Rummies, White Heat, Scotty Karate with JoJo Buns, an acoustic performance by odie., and Sid & Claire.

Artist Mig Kokinda will be selling commemorative poster prints designed exclusively for the show. Admission is $4, 21 and up only. You can try to call Taco Land, but the chances of someone actually picking up are about as good as your chance of not being called a pussy. The phone number is 223-8406.


That little hole-in-the-wall down a bit from the Green Onion-turned the Reverb-turned-Rixx-turned-hip-hop venue, the Lounge at Avenue B, used to be known as Club Irie before it closed without warning, as most dives do. It has recently been reincarnated as the Burning Spear, another attempt at a reggae dancehall. However tentative its history, the venue's current lineup sounds promising. Jamaican reggae singer Chrisinti will appear on Thursday, April 10, promoting his debut CD release, Comfort My People. Cover is $17. Megladon Soundsystem and DJ Dish 1 are featured in the club's regular "More Fire Dancehall Extreme" every Saturday night. Burning Spear is located at 1011 Avenue B.


In its last performance of the season, the San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers - and the UTSA Concert Choir - present a program of music in conjuction with the Institute of Texan Culture's current photography exhibit, Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina. Images from the exhibit will be projected on the screens of the ITC Dome Theater while the Mastersingers perform selections from Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus, Randall Thompson's Alleluia, and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. The Concert Choir will perform Maurice Durufle's Requiem.

The "Requiem/Images" concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11 at the ITC. Tickets are $18.75; reservations can be made at 458-2259. The ITC warns that the exhibit slides include "material of graphic nature that may not be appropriate for all audiences."


And now for the Current's weekly Symphony update: Not that anyone would ever deliberately access, a site dedicated to "the latest news and information on Toyota coming to San Antonio," but for those of us who received an unsolicited e-mail PR plea (exactly whose PR is unclear) to donate spare change to the Symphony, the highlighted link begged to be hit.

Local Wells Fargo and SouthTrust banks, as well as Falcon International Bank are part of the "Change That Counts" campaign to support the poor Symphony. Supporters are instructed to start a change collection cup or jar and ask friends, family, and neighbors to donate their spare change. Donations can be dropped off at the participating banks, where it will be counted, then given to the Symphony. Bank locations and printable receipts are available online.


Local punk band Perk has recently been signed to Austin label Establishment Records, contracted for three full-length releases, as well as an exclusive merchandise line, designed by Establishment Clothing. The three-piece is scheduled to record a track in coming weeks for an Establishment compilation that will be distributed through Hot Topic stores nationwide, and will embark on a Texas tour in June, co-headlining with Austin-based, pop-punk powerhouse Dynamite Boy.

Pitbull Daycare frontman Steven Bishop.
To hear Perk MP3s, go to


After Strutters shut down on N. St. Mary's Street last November, it was rumored that owner/operator Steven Bishop's industrial-strength band Pitbull Daycare had collectively moved to LA. That was only partly true. Pitbull drummer "Bones" did go west to play with former members of the Beautiful Creatures, but the rest of the dirty dogs remain.

"This may have been a bad situation," says Bishop, "if we had not stumbled across another bad ass named Jason West," who previously played with Neurotica. Pitbull's next show with the new dude is on Monday, April 14 at the San Antonio Bikefest. Check out Pitbull on the Web at


Although it won't be as cheap as downloading free shit off the Internet, music buyers should check out Underground Sound at 2571 Jackson Keller Road, 525-0228, for some serious sale items in coming weeks. After eight years of serving the dance and DJ communities in SA, owner Chris Fisher is permanently closing shop on Wednesday, April 30. Underground carries some of the finest classic and cutting edge vinyl in South Texas, and more dance CDs than you can shake your booty at. R.I.P Underground.

Compiled by: Wendi Kimura, Anjali Gupta

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