April 10 2013 03:45 PM

Let our Hit List guide your nighttime activities

Viet-Ruse is a little bit punky, a little bit Latin rock ‘n’ roll.
- Photo by Josh Huskin

Quinceañeras and Mexican weddings are amazing for lots of reasons, but mostly for the free-flowing tequila and the effect it has on all the tias that hit the dance floor. Aunties on tequila can get down in a way that's uncomfortably sexy. Add some cumbia or salsa music to that combination and you're likely to have a new cousin in nine months.

As movies like Dirty Dancing and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights taught us, you don't have to be Latino to learn the ways of the hip-swiveling auntie. Here are a few nights of Latin music where you can cha-cha or, at the very least, do your best white man's overbite.

Get a sampler of traditional Latin flavor at Croce's (802 Fifth Ave., Downtown) on Friday, April 12, as Gio Trio Plus 1 play songs in English and Español, so you can practice your verbs while getting your boogie on. Shake it to salsa, cool bossa nova, samba and more at the famed jazz bar.

If you're looking to do a little afternoon jamming that veers toward the rock ‘n' roll side of Latin music, head to The Roots Factory (1878 Main St. in Bar rio Logan) between 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, April 13. School of Guerilla Arts will hold a screen-printing workshop while San Antonio's Viet-Ruse hits the stage. The band blends indie and punk rock with reggae and rock en Español to create a sound that encompasses not only different genres but also different cultures. It's never too early to party.

If there's one genre of Latin music that is a surefire party starter, it's cumbia. The folks at Live Wire (2103 El Cajon Blvd. in University Heights) must've caught wind since they're now doing a monthly Cumbia Night starting Monday, April 15. DJs Unite, Mada and V-Rock will spin the jams that burn your gams. You're gonna need fuel for all that butt shaking. It's a good thing San Diego Taco Company will be grilling up delicious tacos all evening. Just try not to shake so hard they come back up.

Write to alexz@sdcitybeat.com. You can also bug her on Twitter.


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