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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

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Arts & Culture

The sound of Luminaria: Music picks for the biggest art party of the year

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Pop Pistol's Alex Scheel: where art and music intersect.

There's lots more Luminaria music choices than the picks found on these pages. But here's some of the most representative (and recommendable) acts you must see at Luminaria on Saturday.

Unlike last year (when adjudicators for each individual discipline chose the artists and performers), steering committees for each discipline narrowed down the artist applications. Troy Peters (Musical Director of Youth Orchestras of San Antonio) and Ernesto Olivo (Art Educator at Artpace and drummer for Langton Drive) formed the music steering committee, which narrowed applications down to 30 music acts and then turned the list to Luminaria's artistic directors (Richard Rosen, Mellissa Marlowe, and Kathy Armstrong).

"There will always be someone who asks, 'Why weren't we accepted'?" Olivo told the Current. "You never quite have the answer they want to hear and some might take it personal. Just like any job that you apply for, there are limitations and not everyone can be hired for the job. It does not always mean that you are not qualified or good enough. We work on a limited budget and we try to make sure that there is representation in all genres of music. I want to make it a point that it is very important that [in the future] those who apply look over the application thoroughly and make sure that all requirements are met."

The presence of both YOSA (7 p.m. at Magik Theatre's H-E-B Stage) and Langton Drive (8:45 p.m. at the Tower of the Americas stage) in the final lineup might raise conflict-of-interest issues, and yes, they're there (maybe next year we could do something about that?). But having two of the most active names in the local music scene at Luminaria 2013 is not such a bad deal, so I'll cut them some slack and look forward to enjoy what, according to Olivo, should look and sound great.

"The overall sound is of great quality," said Olivo. "Full sound system and back-line are always provided. Luminaria always makes sure that they provide as much assistance and support to all their artists. They want to make sure that the performers give a unique and incredible performance."

So here's my picks for this year. Go to and discover your own.

7:45pm Los #3 Dinners
9:30pm Bombasta

I said it before and I'll say it again: older bands can outplay anyone in town, and the younger acts could learn a thing or two about songwriting and how to put on a show. Los #3 Dinners is plain fun, simple rock and roll fronted by the disarming Lenny Friedland, an android equal parts comedian and singer.

The party continues with Bombasta, SA's ultimate party band, now entering a new chapter in their career: professional management by Mark A. Richter, founder of the defunct San Antonio Opera and now General and Artistic Director of Opera Piccola of San Antonio and President/CEO of The Richter Agency. "I'm all over the place, anything from classical to conjunto, and I'm thrilled about having Bombasta," Richter told the Current. "They're like a barrio Big Band train." "He'll start handling our bookings and getting a game plan together for us to try to take it to the next level," Bombasta leader Roberto Livar told the Current. "I'm excited about having more time to work on music and spend less time managing the project." Besides Luminaria, in April Bombasta will play at the Houston International Music Festival and the Oyster Bake and Fiesta in San Antonio. In addition, in May-June the band were contacted to perform all the music for Woodland Theater's In The Heights. "The theater hit us up directly figuring we would be a perfect match, so we'll see" said Livar. "So all and all, we've been staying busy on multiple fronts and have been trying to spend as much time writing."

7pm Saakred

Saakred is one of the most original and intense musician/performers in SA. But don't freak out if you think her "7pm-12am" slot in Luminaria's website is a little, er, too much. "No, that looks wrong," said Saakred, laughing. "I am [also] doing an installation that will be up the whole time. Maybe that's what they are talking about." I hope so. I dig Saakred, but seeing her daring, experimental set requires complete attention for her Pan-American Yoko Ono on the war path-like magic.

11pm Pop Pistol

One of the most acclaimed and popular local bands, and also one that organically blends music and visual arts. Luminaria and Pop Pistol are a perfect match.

Visit for more Luminaria music options.

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