TITO & TARANTULA Tarantism (1997) plus… THE PLUGZ Electrify Me (1978) & Better Luck (1981) + THE PSYCHOTIC AZTECS Santa Sangre (1998)

Tarantism (1997)
Rock & Boogie Blues: Mexicali Style

My first dose of Tito & Tarantula was seeing the crazed, south of the border barroom scene in the Robert Rodriguez (& Quinten Tarantino) flick, From Dusk Till Dawn (watch below). The band performed two songs, a raging “Angry Roaches” and the hypnotically sultry “After Dark,” receiving equal screen time with a ravishing Selma Hayek. Tito Larriva’s history in the music biz dates back to 70s punkers, The Plugz, and Mex-roots rockers, The Cruzados. His acting career has helped to draw attention to the obscure, but outrageously cool, Tito & Tarantula, mixing Texas boogie blues rock with a Mexicali aesthetic. He’s also been a regular in other Rodriquez films, Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico and that cool Machete trailer from the Grindhouse project. Rodriguez, a hot-shot guitarist in his own right (check out the incredible Chingon, HERE), co-produces this self-released debut. Find T&T @ Amazon, HERE

After Dark (3:44)
Smilling Karen (3:58)
Slippin‘ And Slidin (3:43)
Strange Face (5:38)
Angry Cockroaches (4:39)
Back To The House (That Love Built) (4:32)
Jupiter (6:08)
Sweet Cycle (4:58)
Flying In My Sleep (3:58)
Killing Just For Fun (4:23)

THE PLUGZ Electrify Me (1978)
THE PLUGZ Better Luck (1981)
PSYCHOTIC AZTECS Santa Sangre (1998)
Tip Of The Iceberg

Here’s a small sampling of some earlier work from Tito Larriva. The Plugz are largely considered one of the very first LA punk bands, though, their early spiky take on raw, ragged rock (now) pales in intensity to what would follow (hear “The Cause,” below). It’s still effective, though. Electrify Me was their 1978 debut, but I’m often drawn to 1981’s Better Luck, as the band widened their horizons beyond punk, while keeping much of the spike (hear “Red Eye #9“). If you ever give one of those music ‘Blindfold Tests,’ “Red Eye #9′”s a must use – as unknowing listeners will be totally confused by the Roger McGuinn vocals and Monkees production. The Psychotic Aztecs’ Santa Sangre, from 1998, is defined more by the darker, heavier, more ethnic edge Larriva’s work developed in later years – the kind of stuff that initially drew me to the guy in the first place (hear “Levantate“). Electrify Me (HERE) goes for big bucks at Amazon, if you’re looking for a hard copy. You won’t have any better luck with Better Luck (HERE), which is also rare. Fortunately, you can still find The Psychotic Aztecs cheap, (HERE).



  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    December 14, 2009 - 14:48 | Permalink

    Find it all HERE

  • 2
    December 14, 2009 - 20:56 | Permalink

    Viva Tito! Mi Numero Uno Hombre!! Thanks

  • 3
    Same as it ever was
    December 15, 2009 - 20:57 | Permalink

    Muchas Gracias. Awesome post, I remember watching that movie without reading any advances about it. Thought it was just another kidnapping / ransom type movie, but good. Then after this clip all hell broke loose…
    And the music!!! magnificent!!!
    Thanks again

  • 4
    Capt. Willard
    December 15, 2009 - 21:03 | Permalink

    I had the exact same experience (which is why we're not tipping anything here). I tuned in for some Tarantino action, which the first half delivered without fail. Then just 30 seconds after this scene… the shit hits the fan. Thanks for commenting.

  • 5
    December 22, 2009 - 20:39 | Permalink

    Wish I still had Electrify Me by the Plugz, which in my memory (and maybe reality too!) was the first actual LP of LA punk…. it still holds up… and not just in my memory….

  • 6
    December 22, 2009 - 20:42 | Permalink

    Hey, that's Tarantino at 2:16….
    Tito, Tarantula, y Tarantino…

  • 7
    buzz baby jesus
    November 24, 2011 - 09:43 | Permalink

    There weren’t all that many punk albums available in 1978. As a result “Electrify Me” got a lot of play. It was my roomate’s album, so I haven’t heard it since 1980, but have kind of had an eye out for it all this time. I remember it being obvious that they could really play their instruments. Happy Turkey Day.

  • 8
    buzz baby jesus
    November 24, 2011 - 09:50 | Permalink

    It’s even better than I remembered! I was a punk in LA at the time and I saw these guys a bunch.

    • 9
      November 24, 2011 - 10:58 | Permalink

      I’m jealous. I was clueless at the time (and nowhere near LA) so I only caught on to these guys later. Tito’s stuff, then and since, is like a whole other world. Wish I could have seen him then, and now.

  • 10
    November 25, 2011 - 12:46 | Permalink

    I love the song in the video here, but my God, how smokin hot is Selma Hayek? I know thatsnot a news flash, but ……words fail me actually…. as FZ once said “Great googily moogily”

    • 11
      November 25, 2011 - 12:59 | Permalink

      She definitely makes it easier to listen to the song.

  • 12
    November 30, 2011 - 14:20 | Permalink

    And while we’re at it, Viva Los Cruzados. And God bless Robert Rodriguez.

  • 13
    December 3, 2011 - 20:03 | Permalink


    Thank you kindly. I was missing that first album. Also for the hot video. Salma has had me captivated for a very long time. This vid is just a small example of just how hot she is.

    Again, thanks for sharing.


  • 14
    March 25, 2013 - 21:03 | Permalink

    Yeah. That scene with Selma….let’s just say I’m not quite that dead! whoa!

    Thanks Williard!!!

    • 15
      March 25, 2013 - 23:43 | Permalink

      I thought I was spotlighting the music. But… you’re right. Part of the reason I posted it is so I can check it out myself on occasion without having to look for it.

  • 16
    January 17, 2014 - 02:33 | Permalink

    many tanx! What music? Are you saying there was music in that video? I’ll have to play it again with my eyes closed.

  • 17
    May 24, 2014 - 21:15 | Permalink

    Very very cool post…I mean really! Thanks as always…….

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