alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals

Flyer on the Web Post yours here
See more flyers here

 V.19 No.8 | February 25 - March 3, 2010 

Dirt City Archives

¡Un Grito Electrico!

The Chinese Love Beads

A treasure chest full of Chinese Love Beads
Captain America
A treasure chest full of Chinese Love Beads

Not long ago, the musical road between the ’Burque and El Chuco (that’s El Paso, Texas, to you) was well-traveled. It was easy to find records by Paseños such as Faction X, Not So Happy or Fall On Deaf Ears. Since many Tejano punks were from El Barrio de Ysleta with familia across the border, they also opened that path to exciting Juárez outfits like Setenta Dos Horas. In El Chuco one evening, my greatest regret was having to decline an invitation to a show en otro lado over the Rio Grande. A guero like me couldn’t have asked for a better escort, but being on the New Mexico state payroll I had to work early next morning with a clear head sin crudo.

The best of the bunch—The Chinese Love Beads—called El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and Albuquerque home. De veras, the international border created by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo never held much authority on Chuco’s south side anyway.

Unlike the slew of stateside garage punks who styled their look and sound after some imagined ’60s throwback, The Love Beads were twice as raw and 10 times as real. When you grow up in the barrio, glorifying the trash side of life (as suburban white punks tend to do) is not important. Your lo-fi wail is your grito, your passion-filled declaration of who you are and where you’re from.

The Chinese Love Beads was tough without having to try. Sometimes a four piece, sometimes a trio, the band was always fierce as chinga. The three-man lineup is the one I knew best. Frontman Ernie “Guido” Ybarra howled vocals that were as distorted as a Danelectro Shorthorn guitar played through a gritty tube amp. He thumped grimy basslines while Pauli B. (now Pablo Novelas of The Dirty Novels) slashed some of the most furious riffs he’s ever played. Drummer Mike Morales (later of proto-emo band Siva) punched the largest set of pots I’ve ever seen, sounding like John Bonham and Neil Peart rolled into one robust package.

The band released a few 7-inch singles on its own Discos Yucky Bus / Vaselino Productions label, but my ferocious favorite is the self-titled release recorded, mixed and distributed in the late ’90s by Bob Tower (of defunct record and book store Mind Over Matter). Side B never fails to get me out of my chair and jumping around the room. Although I can’t zip it up anymore, I still wear my old blue-collar jacket and its Chinese Love Beads patch con mucho orgullo.


  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    Outdoor Cats & Birds
    Outdoor Cats & Birds4.6.2017