(818) 845-2425. www.vivacantina.com

Best of L.A. issue
L.A. Weekly, October 5-11, 2012

Best Country Venue Viva Cantina - (click here for more information)


VIVA CANTINA, 900 W RIVERSIDE DR, BURBANK. For info call 818-848-8810. For dinner reservations (818) 845-2425. www.vivacantina.com

Here are highlight's for Viva Cantina's live music the week of July 5-11. Named "Best Country Venue" in LA WEEKLY's prestigious 2012 "Best of L.A" issue, but Viva has so much MORE to offer. With everything from big bands to punk rock to rockabilly, psychobilly, garage trash Italian, hard funk and straight up country, bluegrass and Western swing, both our Cantina and Riverside Rancho room have been jumping ferociously and pulling in an eclectic array of celebrity attendees like Pat Boone, Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon, Poison Ivy Rorshach, Ketty Lester, Johnny Tillotson, Off!-Circle Jerks-Black Flag singer Keith Morris, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Marky Ramone, comedian Tom Kenny (the voice of Sponge Bob Squarepants), filmmaker Julien Nitzberg, the infamous "Dancing Outlaw" Jesco White, former Elvis Presley back up singer Kathy Westmoreland, and Blasters frontman Phil Alvin, dropping by to check out the freewheeling roster of performers who are quickly establishing Viva as the hottest music spot in Los Angeles. No Age Limit, No Cover, No Minimum and acres of free parking across the street at Pickwick Gardens!

FRIDAY, JULY 5 COW BOP The brilliant jazz guitar champion Bruce Forman and his singing spouse Pinto Pammy saddle up for another astonishing evening of hard bop-tinged Western Swing, 8 p.m. Free. First, sensational 15 piece aggregation THE WOODY JAMES BIG BAND kicks off another wild weekend at Viva, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Free.

In the Riverside Rancho Room: Real Boss Hoss & Russell Quan present, direct from Japan, the wild garage rock champions THE STOMPIN RIFF RAFFS, unhinged troublemakers THEE TEE PEES, the great instros of THE BOSS-TIDES, all female rockers THE FLY TRAPS, 8:30 p.m. Free.

SATURDAY, JULY 6 Another swinging session with Bruce Forman’s COWBOP, 8 p.m. Free.

In the Riverside Rancho Room: Rev. Martini's Rockabilly Club with music TBA, DJs ,dance lessons, more, 9 p.m. Free. First, a set from LUCKY BOB, 8 p.m. Free.

SUNDAY, JULY 7: DEBRA LEE & TRIGGER HAPPY Have a ball at this boot-scootin' country music line dance party overseen the sassy, charming, big voiced entertainer Debra Lee, her hard-charging, rhythm wrangling, dance-floor packing Trigger Happy band and a host of special guest performers, 6 p.m. No cover.

MONDAY, JULY 8: BLUEGRASS NIGHT with TOM SAUBER & FRIENDS No cover, plus great food and drink specials (details of which can be found at vivacantina.com). 7:30-10:30 p.m. Free.

In the Riverside Rancho Room: TROY WALKER is back! As the LA Weekly described him recently: “Troy Walker is one of the Los Angeles music underworld's most gleefully infernal practitioners. This rafter-rattling, big-voiced, outrageous, gender-bending entertainer first flipped wigs along the Sunset Strip some fifty years ago (when his fans included Gregory Peck, Ethel Merman and Elvis Presley), and this mad, rad showstopper still delivers enough voltage to jolt you into the next dimension. Combining foul-mouthed satirical spontaneity with an excruciatingly perfected balladeer style, Walker's schizophonic mix of country, soul, standards and rock & roll make for an invariably dizzying and thrilling earful. Sorta of like a demented mixture of Roy Orbison, Frankie Laine and Kay Starr, he is a one of a kind sensation: openly, outrageously queer, he nonetheless became an in-demand regular fixture at country music shrine the Palomino in the mid-70's--that's how good he is. The ability to win over the hearts and minds of movie stars and drunken rednecks alike is rare indeed, and, decades later, Walker remains a peerless local treasure.” With BIG MIKE & BLUES DELUXX, who will lay down an opening salvo of their high-voltage blues, 8 p.m. Free.

TUESDAY, JULY 9: Another swinging, live-wire all-Italiano session with DON CODIONI & THE FLYING ARMANI BROTHERS. Always featuring an impressive ensemble of guest vocalists, it's a night of earthy, exciting music that runs the gamut from Louis Prima-style hilarity to swingin' 1960's Roman rock, to straight up Old World "Funucli, Funicula," even world class operatics, 8 p.m. No Cover. First, DEBRA PRICE returns with her marvelous Classical Hour, 6:30 p.m. Free

WEDNESDAY, JULY 10: THE HEATSEEKERS, Your favorite movie & TV theme songs get a wild new treatment at the zany hands of this VERY entertaining combo. Always a blast! 8 p.m. Free.

In the Riverside Rancho Room::THE GLEN ROBERTS BIG BAND The 17-piece group brings decades of experience, musical passion and perfected technique, with an amazingly expressive crew of talented veteran soloists, fine, swinging arrangements and superb choice of material. Beautiful, classic American music. 7 p.m. No Cover. Next, MARTINI'S ROCKABILLY RECORD HOP, with discounted drink specials, guest DJs. 10 p.m. Free.

THURSDAY JULY 11: Go from bluegrass to blues with the great MARK HEYES, 8 p.m. FREE.

In the Riverside Rancho Room: MARTINI'S ROCKABILLY DANCE CLUB PARTY with special guest DJs, discounted drink specials, 10 p.m. No Cover.

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2013


Free, All Ages Freak Out features Cataclysmic Musical Collisions Guaranteed to Wreck your Mind!

Messaround shotcaller Jonny Whiteside very happily welcomes back the brilliant, hard-hitting SHAG RATS, a youthful Eastside combo whose juicy mix of Rhythm and Blues heat, punk-tinged frenzy and mad, rocked up S-O-U-L just keeps getting hotter and tighter. The best of the new East Los Breed, these are also the kids who recently resurrected legendary 60’s psych-garage titans the Premiers, filling in alongside MIA ELA architects Lawrence and John Perez (talk about a ringing, rocking endorsement). Prepare to flip!

Savage seven piece sensations BIG DICK, the incendiary Little Richard tribute band who are so good that original Penniman drummer Charles Keep A-Knockin’ Connor often sits in, bring their driving beat, beautiful golden saxophones and the devastatingly capable pipes of frontwoman KATE FLANNERY for what’s certain to be a mind-rippingly memorable Messaround debut. Gonna ball it up!

It’s another Messaround first with this cherry-busting visit from long running, salty, psyched-out, souped-up, surf-centric, instrumental insurrectionaries LAWNDALE. Prized for their classic mid-80s SST long players Beyond Barbecue and Sasquatch Rock, Lawndale’s reliably offbeat and brilliant guitar barrage will bring a riptide of irresistible grooves crashing onto your sconce with more devastating impact than the Indonesian Tsunami. Hang 13!

Punk and beyond provocateurs THE GYPZ make a most welcome re-run on the Mess and, with their signature bizarre choice of material, synapse-short-circuiting knack for destructo song re-arrangements and a peculiarly tangy brand of psychic tension, the infernal twosome of Stench Radio’s Mike V (AKA Gears bassist Mike Manifold) and guitar slingin’ Rock Goddess Cinx, with plenty more riotous roar from John “Bosco" Calabro (D.I.) and Circle One’s Jody Hill, never fail to flabbergast. Rockpocalypse!

Jonny Whiteside’s Messaround at Viva Cantina, 900 West Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506; Sun., July 21, 6 p.m.; all ages; no cover. FREE PARKING across the street at Pickwick Bowl (same owners). www.vivacantina.com