26 July 2012

Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Frankie J - rock the Prudential Center!!

It's been a long time since I have been impressed by pop stars for their vocal and dancing ability. Well last week, I was impressed. Not only did these three Latino pop stars put on a good show, they SANG really well.

Frankie J opened the concert at the Prudential Center last Friday, July 20th with a new song and some oldies. He sang beautifully and the crowd (all be it small for this concert) was really into it. People mainly remember him for "Suga, Suga" and "Don't Wanna Try" but he did sing this beautiful, new Spanish song "Tienes Que Creer en Mi". I think he won some Real Housewives of New Jersey over with his beautiful song.

Next up came frat boy, Enrique Iglesias. Though he was never one of my favorites, he did put on a great show! He sang some oldies and some of the newer songs like "Dirty Dancer" and "Baby, I Like It". Even with his jeans, white t, and worn-out, faded baseball cap, he did make me reminisce about some of those songs from the late 90s like "Be With You." Oh that one really took me back! His band was great and so was the light show...

But nothing compared to the show that JLo put on! Wow she really worked it. Not only did she come out dancing, full speed and high energy, she sang really well. I don't think people believe that she is the best singer out there, but to put on that type of dance routine for each song, then sing while running back and forth across the stage, I was impressed. She looked amazing too - her abs were cut and her hair and make up was really beautiful. Her dancers and the routines really stole the show. She took us down memory lane singing a couple of songs from each of her albums. By far, the best set was the slow set! She sang "Alive" while home videos and photos of her and her kids looped on video behind her. It was really great and touching. She looked normal, like a mom with 2 cute kids. Of course before the encore she did a little dance number with her new boyfriend and everyone cheered. She closed the show with a special surprise! Wisin Y Yandel showed up for the final song, "Follow the Leader". They were originally on the bill for this concert but backed out a few weeks ago. It was a definite crowd pleaser, having them perform with JLo on the song that is doing so well for them. 

Overall, it was a great concert and like I said I was thoroughly impressed by the singing. It made me want to hear some of these great songs again. If you can check it out, definitely try - give pop starts a chance!

05 October 2011

So much has happened...where do we begin?

So much has happened these last 9 months, in TV, books, movies, life, politics, etc. So where do we begin...let's start with Jennifer Lopez...

Did we or did we not love J.Lo on Idol? I thought she was great. Everything from her outfits to her advice, to the way she really pulled for the Latino/a contestants was great. Despite her lack of singing ability, she is a great entertainer and her story is pretty awesome so why wouldn't up and comers want advice from a multi-millionaire? Then she gave that great performance with ex-husband (more on that) Marc Anthony's rendition of Aguanile! It really put Latino pop/salsa at the forefront of American Idol! They both get props on that!
Then came the album - Love? - or I should say the single "Get On the Floor" featuring Pitbull. The song was amazing thanks to great producing (RedOne). Overall her song propelled her popularity into mainstream media again (along with Idol). The album itself is not great, most of the songs sound the same but it did fairly well considering her perfect timing of the release. The only other song that did okay was the one with Lil' Wayne "I'm So Into You." Overall, I think most albums focus on the first two releases and the rest is filler...(For the fans at least.)

Well then the news broke, they were breaking up! After 7 years of marriage and twins, our Latino power couple (I mean really who's left? Gloria/Emilio) were officially divorcing. Word spread quickly that Marc had cheated on J.Lo and that she had also become romantically involved with William Levy...but they claim cheating had nothing to do with it...

So J.Lo has had a busy year. She is also working on the movie, "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Overall, I hope that Ms. Lopez keeps workin' it in 2012!

11 January 2011


There is something I love about the southwest - not just that it is the homeland of my people (family, friends, ancestors, etc.), but that it means something to understand what it is all about. 

This past winter vacation I spent two weeks in my beloved southwest and I was reminded, daily, that life and culture(s) are soooo not like the northeast (Thank GOD!) Below are my observations:

1. Over any type of intercom you will hear Latino last names pronounced correctly - not Hair-nan-deez but Err-Nan-Dez.

2. White people seem afraid and uncomfortable. For the most part white people are suspicious of non-white people. 

3. Everything is cheaper - cars, houses, gas, food, luxury goods, hotels, etc. This means that middle class is a large, large portion of the population. To find the highest income people in the city takes a lot of looking! Unfortunately, this holds true for the lowest income groups as well. Good luck finding those neighborhoods. 

4. There is cultural infighting (or at least discomfort) - e.g. Mexican-Americans complaining about Mexican immigrants draining the city's resources. Mexicans complaining about how rude Mexican-Americans are to them...etc. 

5. Everyone knows basic Spanish. Vietnamese, Filipino, Chinese, African-Americans - everyone can say basic things like "Quiero un cerveza!" or "Bano?"

6. Being a (fair-weather) Catholic is not the norm anymore. There are hundreds of new churches popping up all across the SW. Lord, I hope this doesn't contribute to the growing number of registered Republicans in SW too.

7. The best paying jobs on the border for Latinos is the Border Patrol. Where do I even start??

8. The SW cuisine is quite diverse and quite yummy, but that also leads to mi gente eating way too much: http://www.menshealth.com/fattestcities2010/ (5 of the top 10 are in Texas) DIABETES PEOPLE!!

9. Despite diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure - our abuelitos are still eating horribly and no one tells them anything! SHAME!

10. My SW is still the kindest place in the world. People are still nice to you - everywhere.

28 November 2010

Marriages Gone Awry - Lopez & Longoria-Parker

Two seemingly happy, stable marriages end within a few weeks of each other - Eva Longoria-Parker and Ann Serrano Lopez file for divorce this November.  Eva Longoria-Parker ends her 3-year marriage with San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker after a 7 year relationship.  Ann Serrano Lopez and George Lopez file for divorce after 17 years of marriage. While both circumstances seem different, both are hugely disappointing due to the very public relationships they have lived. 

Eva and Tony spent the last 3 years in the public eye; happy pictures of the couple sharing their cultures, love of basketball, and supportive relationship flooded tabloids, tv shows, and the media for the past three years.  Though not terribly shocking that Tony cheated on Eva (this M.O. is popular for professional basketball players), it is pretty disturbing that such a positive, beautiful, caring woman like Eva was the victim. Parker was allegedly sending text messages to a former teammate's wife and had cheated on Eva before. It was also sad to see Eva talk about her love for Tony on Ellen just a week before the announcement. You can't fault the girl for trying - she was really in love.

For George and Ann, no details about the divorce have been announced, other than "irreconcilable differences." After 17 years of marriage, one wonders what exactly could not be reconciled. She gave him a kidney for crying out loud! But as with most marriages/relationships, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. They say they will remain partners in the various charities they manage.

As with all celebrity marriages, it is EXPECTED that they end sooner as opposed to later. It just makes me sad that our wonderful Latino/a couples are no different in this realm. I guess it's up to J.Lo and Marc Anthony and Penelope and Javier to prove us wrong...and for some of us those hopes still rest with our grandparents and/or parents. Our perhaps for those of us who have yet to tie the knot - it may lay within us (just stay realistic)!

That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing real succeeds.

15 November 2010

The Strain and The Fall - AMAZING!

Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan kill it! Literally! I just finished reading "The Fall" the latest installment of The Strain Trilogy. These books do not follow the typical vampire mythology. I figured that I should read something scary around the Halloween holiday - and I chose correctly. The virus breaks out in NYC (of course) but the characters are like none others in any other vampire stories out there. The authors really take advantage of the diversity of NYC in the backgrounds of the characters. There is a former Mexican wrestler who plays a large role in the second book - complete with Spanish slang and wrestling culture. I cannot wait until the final installment set to come out in 2011 - The Night Eternal. I also think that with Del Toro's amazing directorial eye, once these books are turned into movies, people will look at Vampires in a whole different light.

28 October 2010

Mondo Guerra - Project Runway Inspiration!

Today, Thursday, October 28th, 2010 television history will be made. Okay, maybe not television history, but definitely Latin pop culture history will be made as Season 8 of Project Runway comes to a close and the winner of this season is announced. If you have been following PR this year, you are well aware that the most talented person this season is Chicano Mondo Guerra. You also know that he's not just a talented fashion designer but he has also been an inspiring young person to admit for the first time to his family, on national TV, that he is HIV positive.

Setting aside all that has happened this season I think it is fair to say that he is probably one the most talented designers this show has featured. His styling, color combining, architecture and sewing abilities are unmatched this season - and in my opinion - any season. He has a knack for combining color and pattern: 
His story is also remarkable. He mentions often that his parents were strict Catholic parents raising him to be "macho". In the show featuring his mother's visit, he talks about the difficult decision not to share his HIV status with his parents for fear of disappointment and sadness. However since the show aired several articles feature interviews with Mondo explaining just how supportive his family really is: 

And even with this going on in his life he has stayed true to his culture. The line that will be featured at Bryant Park in tonight's show pulls inspiration from traditional Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos. 

So tonight - Project Runway - Team Mondo!

08 October 2010

FTP (s)- Republican Racists

Racist Ad 1   Racist Ad 2  Racist Ad 3

It is incredibly racist not to mention inaccurate to vaguely cite Harry Reid's voting record with immigration. She is obviously not concerned with Nevada's Latino population. She is ignorant and I find those few images of "illegals" she used repeatedly offensive.

Its so offensive that the Colbert Report featured it as well: The Colbert Report - Fear Tactics!

I hope to God and Coatlicue that Nevadans come to their senses and realize that these types of Republicans do not solve problems, they just perpetuate the problem with ignorance and intolerance. If you must vote Republican at least chose someone with values, like respect for others and their situations. People who understand the greater context of problems facing our country- for example: YOU ARE NOT GETTING RID OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. Since that's not going away, figure out who we can assist people with a work-to-citizenship pathway and the deportation of felons. Fear mongering doesn't solve problems - it make her look tough on crime but in reality it makes her a bigot.

Little does this ad show about the many families that are coming to the US for work and family. The hundreds of children that make this voyage. Controversial ads does not make you a good politician - practical public policy-making and coalition building does.

So finally in the words of George Lopez - "F*#$ That P%&a!" or "F#$% Those P@#$s!"