Heavy Cumbia: Q&A with Celso Piña

More than 30 years ago, Celso Piña introduced cumbia into Mexico and established his native Monterrey as the seat of the genre. In this millennium, the accordionist then revolutionized the popular Afro-Latin dance music and its cousin vallenato when he collaborated with acts like Mexican electro-rockers Cafe Tacuba to produce otherworldly fusions. “El Rebelde del Acordeón” remains in demand everywhere.

Much has changed over those decades. Piña’s made his mark on Europe, the U.S., and South America, but he can hardly play his hometown. After a stopover at South by Southwest (see “SXSW Live Shots,” March 18), he returns to Austin for Pachanga Fest. We spoke Spanish with the cumbia pioneer by phone to Monterrey.

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Hickory Street Renewed and Reopened

Austinites of all stripes were shocked and sad to hear of Hickory Street’s closing in October as the 27-year-old establishment was seemingly set to be demolished to make way for new buildings downtown. But alas, along came three knights in shining armor – Brendan Puthoff, owner of Third Base and Barcelona teamed up with Nate Howry and Mason Wheeless to renovate and reopen the restaurant just in time for SXSW.

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tenOak review

The owner of Imperia, Speakeasy and Cuba Libre revamped the space formerly known as Cuba Libre and created tenOak, a dimly lit lounge with rustic, yet modern decor and amazing cocktails. But perhaps most impressive is the amount of thought and care put into the bar’s menu, which boasts local produce and free-range meats.

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Barley Swine restaurant review

Tired of your weekly routine of restaurant rounds and sticking with the usual path to inebriation? Head over to Barley Swine for a makeover to your palate, courtesy of Chef Bryce Gilmore. Named for Gilmore’s fondness of pork and beer, Barley Swine is a not just a restaurant/bar, but an entire experience.

The new brick and mortar space on 2024 South Lamar is the incarnation of Gilmore’s original Odd Duck Farm to Trailer, with the same great tastes and a much bigger space.

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