La Santa Cecilia Win a Grammy!

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Humberto Howard
That's Grammy Award winning La Santa Cecilia thank you very much!
Fresh off their Friday night performance at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, La Santa Cecilia took home the Grammy award last night for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album! Yay! The honors went to Treinta Días, their major label debut. Competition in the category was diverse and fierce with Café Tacvba, El Tri, Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas, and Los Amigos Invisibles all nominated, but the Los Angeles band rooted in Olvera Street prevailed.

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Yes, America: Mexican Music is Violent. Get Over It.

Categories: Español Music

From Movimiento Alterado's "Sanguinarios del M1"
BuKnas de Culiacán singer doing what he does best--vamping!
America's liberal class and MSMers are abuzz right now over Narco Cultura, a documentary about Mexico's horrific drug war and the musical movement that has risen around it. These libs (and more than a few conservatives) are telling each other and the two Mexicans they know about how Mexican music nowadays glorifies the drug trade, how artists will write songs for narcos on commission, how musicians go on stage with AK-47s, bulletproof vests, and bazookas, how those songs revel in being as gory as possible--and how terrible all of this is.

Never mind that the music groups highlighted really hit their height in Mexican culture in 2010. Never mind that almost no media outlet had reported on this new wave of narcocorridos--alternately called el movimento alterado ("the altered movement"--"altered" as in "high as shit") or corridos enfermos ("sick corridos") until now, and now everyone is tripping on themselves to report this "new" news. NPR and the New York Times did stories on Narco Cultura recently, so it's now news! And you know something is the liberal flavor of the month when they're going to Ry Cooder--the only person progressive gabachos trust for their ethnic music--so he can cluck about the sadness of it all.

SNORE. Yes, America: Mexican music is violent. Get over it.

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Signa Elevates Latin Alt-Rock Sounds With Help From Vampiro!

Julio Salazar
From left to right: David Barrera, Paul Droste, Abel Muñoz, Beto Gudiño
Signa, a Costa Mesa-based rock en español band, is back with an impressive new recording. Produced by none other than César "Vampiro" López--the guitar virtuoso of Jaguares and Maná fame--Temporales is a clean toned, highly polished four-track EP that elevates the musicians to a higher plane. Always spiritually minded, Signa held firm to their commitment to follow up their debut Cuando se ponga el sol with a heavier rocanrol sound. Vampiro plays guitars on "Cielos Abiertos" (available for free download) while Humberto "Beto" Gudiño's vocals, among the most underrated in OC in any language, shine on the title track that ponders the temporal nature of earthly existence. The rhythm section is locked tight in the grooves while the guitar work is exemplary--all of what is to be expected given Signa's talent and Vampiro's guidance.

The band even belted out an immigrant anthem "Pinches y Jardineros" (also available for free download) with the solidarity slogan "Todos somos ilegales." Check out video of an acoustic version of the song before guitarist/vocalist Beto Gudiño gives the Weekly his spare notes on Temporales.

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Why the Latin Grammys Remain America's Biggest Anti-Mexican Sham

Categories: Español Music

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Chente, sad that the Latin Grammys suck so much

Over a decade ago, I wrote an op-ed piece for what was called Pacific News Service but is now New American Media bemoaning how pathetic the Latin Grammys were due to their lack of Mexican music. "The definers of Latin culture," I wrote then, "have decided that the most popular Latin music genre in the United States isn't worthy of promotion because it might lead people to believe that Latinos are poor and culturally backward, not slick and 'with it.'"

Back then, the Latin Grammys had just weathered a 2000 boycott by major Mexican music labels protesting the invisibility of canción mexicana in the event. Flash-forward 11 years later, and little has improved. Sure, scheduled to perform are Mexican recording artists like Calibre 50 (one of those groups that combine accordions with tubas that drive us traditionalists crazy but is what the kids like nowadays) with Banda Carnaval; Newport Beach's own Mariachi Sol de Mexico ( problematic in their own, Balboa Bay Club-patronizing, way) teamed up with ranchera feminist Paquita la del Barrio; and Latin alternative songstress Natalia Lafourcade no doubt performing something off her so-so album of covers from the Agustín Lara songbook. But this year's iteration--November 21 in Las Vegas, in a ceremony anticipated by only by NBC/ABC/FOX/CNN/Insert-name-of-major-American-media-network-giving-token-attention-to-Latinos Latino reporters seeking to score free tickets--proves the Latin Grammys will continue to be what it's always been: an anti-Mexican sham of a show.

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The 10 Best Songs About Illegal Immigration

Categories: Español Music

Los Tigres del Norte: champions of mojados
Over the past decade, a slew of art devoted to the cause of amnesty for illegal immigrants has flourished across the United States (check out the work of my former KPFK-FM 90.7 producer, Long Beach chingón Julio Salgado), everything from music to YouTube videos, posters to poems. It follows in the grand tradition of Mexican protest songs about la frontera and migra, a genre that goes back a century and has produced some of the most touching (or, conversely, hilarious) songs in the Mexican canon. Following are the 10 best, going back decades and involving some of the biggest names in music. Enjoy!

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La Santa Cecilia Return to Santa Ana for Delhi Center Zocalo Fundraiser!

Humberto Howard
La Santa Cecilia has popped up in some very unexpected places recently. La Marisoul, frontwoman of the alt-Latin act, performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for a duet with Elvis Costello backed by The Roots. Then they hit the airwaves of NPR for its Tiny Desk Concert. The band just played the Lincoln Center and dates await in Mexico next month. But when La Santa Cecilia returns to Santa Ana for the Delhi Center's annual Zócalo Fiesta fundraiser, it will be on familiar ground.

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La Familia Valera Miranda, Acclaimed Cuban Son Group, Make a Rare Visit to Santa Ana

La Familia Valera Miranda gettin' down!
La Familia Valera Miranda hasn't been stateside since 2001, but the musicians from Santiago de Cuba are currently on tour. Lucky for us naranjeros, they will make a stop in Santa Ana along the way! The septet from la isla are virtuosos in the tradition of Cuban son. The musical style spread widely throughout Latin America decades ago but recently became popularized once more before audiences in the United States with the emergence of the Buena Vista Social Club.

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Enjambre Finally Comes Back to Anaheim for a Hometown Show!

Hey, these guys look familiar!
Five years ago, Enjambre, a Latin Alternative band founded in OC, left for Mexico City in search of their musical dreams. It was a risky move, but one that ultimately paid off as they've encountered greater success in a vibrant scene. Ever since their departure, though, the band has always mused about returning to play cities across the United States, but especially in OC. All that finally comes to reality with Enjambre's first U.S. tour that stops this Friday at Club Ember in Anaheim! "I'm just excited, man," says lead singer Luis Humberto Navejas. "I don't know what's going to happen."

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Video: Molotov Are the Mexican"Jägermeisters"

Josue Rivas
Tito of Molotov taking a shot of Jäger during the show at The Observatory.
Molotov may not be Jägers, but they are definitely "meisters" (masters) when it comes to their music. Since 1995, the quartet from Mexico City has raised desmadre everywhere they go. From Buenos Aires Argentina to Moscow Russia, Molotov captivates the crowds with songs filled of controversy, satire and freedom of speech. Despite the fact some LGTB groups here in El Norte asked them to refrain from playing their controversial song "Puto" on their set during the 2013 Jagermeister USA Tour, the natives of chilangolandia have continued to delight their fans singing it louder than ever. Recently they played a sold out show at The Observatory in SanTana and we got the opportunity to talk to them, play some soccer in the parking lot and of course we enjoyed a Jäger shot together. See the video interview after the jump.

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Dr. Shenka of Panteón Rococó is a Mexican Ska Rebel

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Josue Rivas

Luis Román Ibarra also known as Dr. Shenka may not be a real doctor, but he can surely prescribe the perfect dose of consciousness and revolution through his voice. The vocalist of Panteón Rococó grew up in the harsh streets of Mexico City, the largest city in the world. Back in the day him and many of his peers on the streets used ska as a way out of the streets and as a form of expression. So as a youngster, forming a ska band was inevitable for Ibarra.

Since then, Panteón Rococó has toured all over the globe, making them ambassadors of a unique blend of sounds only passionate musicians can produce. Although the journey hasn't been an easy one Dr. Shenka and his banda have remained faithful to the philosophy of moving forward even if their own government attempts to shut down a soon to be musical revolution. The Panteonés stopped by La Naranja selling out The Observatory in Santana last Sunday and we got the chance to chat with El Doctor.

See also: Panteon Rococo - The Observatory - Aug. 4, 2013

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