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LAist Rants: Rude Awakening, Mariachi Style

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We'll admit that in the five-plus years we've lived in our neighborhood, we've come to know our neighbors more by sound than by sight. There's been the guy who parks his Hummer in the apartment driveway and is still surprised and violently angered every time it gets towed. One domestic dispute this summer erupted in middle-of-the night verbal fireworks and a he said/she said street show that ran one end of the block to the other complete with strewn open suitcases. lost keys to the car that was left in the street, and an on-foot chase by the cops. We've had fires, television night shoots, and many a party to keep us up into the wee hours. And yes, our street is a colorful one; we've got a gay-friendly church (lordy, the singin'!) and a mentally-disturbed halfway house (tons of loud and verbose, well, crazy people on repeat) mid-block. Recently we even heard something a little naughty coming from the other side of our apartment walls, but we won't go there...

But a couple of weekends ago we had one of the strangest and rudest awakenings of all. We've grown accustomed to the early morning weekend trash collection, even the crash and clatter of the kids who skateboard on the sidewalk just below our window. We have one particular right-across-the-street neighbor who loves his mariachi music. Loves it so much he often feels the whole neighborhood should hear it, or at least that's what we've come to believe since he plays it full volume with his doors and windows open. However, this time, he had a unique amplification system: Wedged into his little apartment was a full mariachi band, including brass section, in costume, playing along with one of his recordings. Did we mention it was first thing on a Saturday morning? As usual, all his doors and windows were wide open--naturally all those musicians needed their air! And even once it got started, the people kept rolling in. We watched, half in awe and half in great dismay, as car after car pulled up and dropped off more contributors in their red and black outfits. When we saw the stretch SUV limo pull up we feared that it, too, was full of bandmembers (it wasn't--we think perhaps at some point it returned to take the band somewhere). This went on for about an hour, and we watched as his neighbor one floor above stood incredulously on his own balcony, on the phone (we hoped) to the policia. Just in case he wasn't, we finally made that call ourselves. We can take the recordings (even, begrudgingly, when our neighbor sings) and we can take plenty else. But we can't take a full mariachi band rehearsing early in the morning in a tiny apartment with all the doors and windows open. We didn't hang on our own balcony long enough to see if the cops ever came. The doors and windows were eventually shut (didn't help much) and the rehearsal came to an end. We hope they made a splash at whatever festival, quinceanera, or party they played at. And we hope to hell they find a more suitable rehearsal space next time.