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Culture Beat on Ensenada's downtown nightlife strip exhibits a similar aesthetic to San Diego's World Beat Center (Rasta/Mayan fusion, happy flowers, a shoddy Marley mural), except it's three stories high and housed inside what looks like a halved aircraft hangar.

The crowd is sparse - Ensenada’s free wine and music celebration, Verbena, is in full swing across town - but the mood is festive. We drink dollar cans of Yerba Mate as a band sets up and Blonde Redhead plays over the sound system.

Fender Guitars quality control overseer and Mexicali native Cesar Esquer, a former Reader album review contributor, organized a two day mini-tour with six bands in Ensenada and Rosarito.

Mexicali indie-psych rockers Hosanna remind of Pavement, Unwound, and Dungen. Observe.

Fellow chicalense (er, Mexicalian) disco punkers Noise Beat Propaganda get the dance floor moving.

Drummer Shyno was also booked to play with two piece X=R7, but bassist Alex Tonella (Tron) wasn’t able to make the trip.

Here’s a video of Hosanna guitarist Shema and Shyno jamming at Shyno’s house in Mexicali a few months ago.

Interested in checking out more of Mexicali’s unique punk/experimental scene?

Here are some noteworthy shows coming to Bar Monaco, the city’s prime venue for music outside of the mainstream.

Saturday, August 20 - Blake Miller of LA dance-punk band Moving Units, Therapist (Calexico/Phoenix)

Saturday, September 3 – Subtitle (LA), Batwings (SD/Mexicali), Sludgebutt (SD), Letters From Readers (Mexicali)

Friday, September 16 – Retox (SD), Batwings, Maniqui Lazer (Mexicali), Noise Beat Propaganda


Saturday, September 17 - 2Up (Japan), Upsilon Acrux (LA), Innerds (SD), Tron (Mexicali) and DJ Monsterpussy (SD) @ Bar El Andariego

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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