By Alex Distefano
By Daniel Kohn
By Aimee Murillo
By Nick Schou
By Nate Jackson
By Nate Jackson
By Dave Lieberman
By Daniel Kohn
Pinche means "fucking." Puta means "whore." Culero means "asshole." Cochino means "pig." Pinche cabrónmeans "fucking asshole." Pinche gabachomeans "fucking white asshole." Pinche puto pendejo baboso means "fucking, fucking, fucking asshole." Chupa verga means "go suck dick." Vete a la madre güeymeans "fuck you," basically, as does a la gran puta. Te voy a madrarmeans "I'm gonna kick your motherfucking ass." And chinga tu madre, of course, means "go fuck your mother."
The punk rock thing we'll explain as best we can, but now at least you'll be able to understand a little bit more what Manic Hispanic is singing.
"Other musicians are like, 'God, why didn't we think of this first?'" laughs bassist Warren "Oso" Renfrow. He means, take a bunch of longtime punk veterans—in this case, members of the Adolescents, Cadillac Tramps and the Grabbers, to hit the high points—with deep Mexican roots, get them playing enthusiastic covers of the songs they've loved for about 20 years, and then get Gabby from the Cadillac Tramps (who's hilarious even without 20 years of punk classics to rifle through for inspiration) to redo the lyrics with a manically Hispanic flare. It's somewhere between parody and punk rock karaoke—parakaraoke?—and it's a riot and a half.
Like "Mexican Tar" over Johnny Thunders' "Chinese Rocks"? And Gabby sings, "I'm livin' on Mexican tar/Everything I own's in my car"? Or "Bored With You, Esse" over the Clash's "I'm so Bored With the USA"? Billy Zoom himself helping spin "White Girl" into "Brown Girl," with lines like, "I find out nothing/When we're talking shit"? Or even obscuro-classic "Babylon Must Fall" by Claude Bessy's Catholic Discipline revved up into "Tijuana Must Fall" and bulging with in-jokes both Hispanic and punker ("My uncle Bobby Pyn, he says, 'Meaaaaauuuauauauauagahhh! I got you trabajo at Oki Dogs!'" Simply inspired!
"Obviously, it's about having fun," says Renfrow. "But for me, it's the two biggest influences in my life, the two things I identify with the most: growing up Mexican and being into punk rock. They're my two biggest identifiers—and probably most of the other guys would say the same thing."
Among the six members of the band—including guitarist and member-of-every-band-there-ever-was Steve Soto, Ruben and Maurice from Huntington's Grabbers, and, um, Mad Ralphy on vocals, too, at least on their recent BYO CD, The Recline of Mexican Civilization—they've got something like 100 years of onstage experience and a résumé that reads like an encyclopedia of OC punk rock. Fuck, Renfrow just joined the Damned—yeah, that Damned—to fill in for Patricia Morrison on their upcoming tour ("He's good, and he likes to drink," Captain Sensible told a Vegas paper), so you can trust that their chops are just as sharp as their wit. And c'mon, The Recline of Mexican Civilization? That's pretty sharp—especially when you check out the shirtless Gabby-as-Darby cover shot. Inspired! And they've got lots more where that came from, too!
"We're doing that Dickies song 'You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla),' and it's coming from the experience of my mom coming in in the morning and going, 'Ay, get up, you lazy bastard!' So it's 'Get Up, You're Late! (Ay Mijo!),'" Renfrow says with a laugh. "The running joke is that the songs write themselves—I mean, it's all songs we grew up with, and then all having the Mexican background . . . For every song we've ever recorded, we've probably learned or played around with at least three, all just stuff we love. I wonder if my brain's gonna actually run out of room!"Manic Hispanic performs with the Distillers and Union 13 at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.galaxytheatre.com. Sat., 8 p.m. $15. All ages.