Rock me en español

In a city that boasts a roughly 22-percent Hispanic population (by the 2000 census), it is striking that Sacramento does not have a more obvious Spanish-language live-music scene. One might wonder, in fact, if there is a legitimate “rock en español” scene at all.

But with a little digging, live-music fans will find a handful of rock bands that continue the longstanding tradition of Spanish-language rock, from the Latin-based rhythms of Raigambre to the metal of La Bestia and the British-styled pop of Diciembre Gris. These bands are putting rock en español back on Sacramento’s musical map.

Until recently, Sacramento’s rock-en-español scene has lacked a focal point. Having a specific venue is more important than it may seem at first; it can provide a regular location from which to rally around a particular cultural and musical identity. This is the function, for example, that Luna’s Café has served for the poetry scene, and it is hoped it will become the function that La Terraza serves for Sacramento’s rising rock-en-español scene.

La Terraza, located at 1027 Second Street in Old Sacramento, has been presenting live Spanish-language rock bands in its upstairs room every Friday night since June. This is important not only in terms of focusing an otherwise disparate music scene but also in putting Sacramento on a national and international map within the greater rock-en-español community. For the first time, touring Spanish-language rock bands have a dedicated venue where they can perform, letting audiences hear some great music they might otherwise miss.

One potential problem with the venue came up in last weekend’s show, with terrific San Francisco-based punk band La Plebe ( Despite the fact that La Plebe is a relatively well-known band in Spanish-language rock circles, its Sacramento show was very poorly attended. La Terraza doesn’t have a built-in draw, meaning that some touring bands have difficulty bringing people through the door (there was no local act on last weekend’s bill). Another problem is that the venue is located in Old Sacramento, an area not often frequented by live-music patrons.

But the idea of La Terraza is a good one, and it’s well worth your time. Come early, and you can have dinner, too. There’s no music calendar at the time of this writing, but restaurant information can be found at

Also in the news, local hip-hop fixture Mr. P Chill ( will be holding a food and toy drive on Thursday, December 18, at Shady Brady’s in Roseville. Admission is one new, unwrapped toy.

Also, local viewers of the new ABC Family network’s teen home-decorating show Knock First should start listening closely to the soundtrack. “Just What I Wanted,” a song penned and performed by local pop outfit the Kimberly Trip, will be featured in an upcoming episode. Visit for more information.