Bachata King Romeo Santos Is the Greatest Latin Lover of Them All

Categories: Español Music

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Omar Cruz
So Nasty!
For more than a century, every generation of American women has had their Latin lover, their tanned man that provoked swooning and screaming and spontaneous chonis melting. Flappers had Rudolph Valentino; the Mad Men generation threw woo at Ricardo Montalbán. Ladies of the 1980s went crazy over Julio Iglesias, while their daughters went nuts for Enrique Iglesias and Antonio Banderas.

That's a lot of hombre there. Yet the lot of them seem like chavalas when compared to the titan of testosterone that is Romeo Santos--yeah, the pretty boy wearing the cute sweater in the photo above. With that precious earring and pout. None of the other smoldering señores sold out Yankee Stadium two nights in a row, as the 33-year-old did last year. Ninguno of the men re-defined a genre twice in the way of the self-proclaimed King of Bachata. While all Latino superstars have tried to cross over to American tastes, Santos has superstars cross over to him; his last album featured cameos by Nicki Minaj, Drake and even Kevin Hart, all of whom know that the best way to crack into the Latin market is by latching on to Santos.

Want final proof he's the greatest Latin Lover of them all? Last year, noted sportscaster Beto Duran texted me that he had scored tickets to Santos' concert at the Staples Center but had never heard of him. "There's no 10s here," Beto wrote, referring to the caliber of shrieking chicas at the sold-out show. "They're all 12s and 13s!"

"EXACTLY," I texted back.

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Santa Ana Singer's Music Video About Violence in Mexico Selected in Mexican Art Exhibit

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Ruby Castellanos
The music of Ruby Castellanos answered the call when Fenómeno 43, a socially conscious Mexican exhibit, asked for artistic expressions to "wake Mexico up" in the face of rampant violence. The '43' refers to the 43 disappeared students in Ayotzinapa last year whose remains, save for one, have yet to be unearthed. The Santa Ana singer's music video for her single "Todo Sana" (Everything Heals) fit perfectly with sought after submissions. It's been selected and will be part of Fenómeno 43 in Puebla, Mexico this week.

See also: Ruby Castellanos Experiences the Healing Power of Trova

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Los Tigres Del Norte Tackle Controversial Subjects, From Immigration Reform to Gay Rights

Categories: Español Music

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Photo courtesy of the artist
Los Tigres Del Norte
By: Pablo Chacon Alvarez

There is very little that Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte haven't done. With over 30 million records sold, the ensemble has earned six Grammy Awards, six Latin Grammys, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Active since 1968, Los Tigres Del Norte have released over 20 albums, with the most recent one, Realidades, coming out in October 2014.

From the very beginning, lead vocalist and accordion player Jorge Hernandez has been the group's creative director. The Weekly spoke with Hernandez (in Spanish -- all direct quotes have been translated) about the band's new album, their ongoing U.S. tour and the song "Era Diferente," which recently earned Los Tigres Del Norte a Special Recognition Award at the 26th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The track, a cut off of Realidades, tells the story of a lesbian teenager who falls in love with her best friend.


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Fernanda Ulibarri Will Make You Fall in Love With Her Latin Alternative Polkas

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Santiago Ruiseñor
Fernanda Ulibarri achieved what Family Matters TV nerd Steve Urkel could never do: make polka cool. The Latin Alternative songstress returns to the scene with Polkas de Amor. The four-song EP bounces along with tales of romance sung in Ulibarri's high-pitch, sugary sweet vocals. The Mexico City-born musician based in Los Angeles is reading a preview of her newest work in SanTana this weekend ahead of the EP's official release show.

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Las Cafeteras Get Remixed Into 'Conscious Clubbing!'

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Hector Flores leads the crowd during the premiere of "El Chuchumbé" Remix
Las Cafeteras crossed another musical border Wednesday night hosting an exclusive release party for a remix EP of their songs. La Junta Sound System deejays radically re-imagined cuts off the son jarocho-flavored Latin Alternative band's popular 2012 It's Time debut album. Las Cafeteras, having already carved out an identity as hybridistas, premiered the songs designed to get the social justice club turnt up before a sold out crowd at East LA's Cities Restaurant & Lounge.

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Adíos, La Rockola, the Best OC Radio Station You Never Listened To

Categories: Español Music

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Los Angeles de Charly
Many media outlets reported this past November that Liberman Broadcasting was selling KHJ-AM 930 to a Catholic radio network. The station, of course, was a legendary frequency in Southern California during the 1960s and '70s, home to the mighty "Boss Radio" format that launched an army of famous LA DJs. Those November reports mentioned that history, with some noting that 930 had broadcast Spanish-language music since the 1990s under the nickname "La Ranchera," featuring nothing but classic corridos, norteñas and more Vicente Fernández than your mustache can ever handle.

A smaller amount of reporters noted that Liberman was moving La Ranchera to its FM station, Santa Ana-based KWIZ-FM 96.7. But only one newspaper, a trade website, mentioned the format it was replacing: "La Rockola," which AllAccess.com described as playing "regional Mexican" music.

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Jenni Rivera Estate Sues Learjet Company Two Years After Fatal Crash

Categories: Español Music

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Jenni Rivera--RIP
The memory of Jenni Rivera's tragic death resurfaced Monday when her estate filed a negligence lawsuit against the owners of the Learjet that crashed near Monterrey, Mexico, killing the Long Beach-based singer and former Weekly cover girl and four members of her entourage in 2012.

The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Starwood Management LLC a day before the second anniversary of the entertainer's death. Also named are Learjet Inc. and Bombardier Inc., which serviced the aircraft, according to the suit.

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A Song About the Plight of a Day Laborer in OC

Categories: Español Music

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Los Jornaleros del Norte!
Outside the Anaheim home of Michael Tebb two years ago, an oppressive sun beat down on protesters but not their spirits. The contractor hired Guatemalan day laborer José Ucelo back in May 2012 outside a nearby Home Depot. At the end of 10 hours of toil, Ucelo didn't receive a dime from Tebb. Instead, he ended up in the clutches of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after the contractor called Garden Grove police claiming that Ucelo robbed him!

Los Jornaleros del Norte (The Day Laborers of the North) kept the music going at the protest where lawyers tried serving Tebb with a wage theft lawsuit. "Ese güey no paga" (That Dude Doesn't Pay) became an improvised slogan and jam session with members of Son del Centro joining in.

Now the slogan returns as a full-fledged song courtesy of Los Jornaleros del Norte.

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Lupillo Rivera, Mexican Music Superstar, Fights Anti-Immigrant Protestors in Murrieta, Gets Spat On

Categories: Español Music

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Fonovisa
Rivera: Despreciado by Know Nothings

Yesterday, about 200 Know Nothings protested in Murrieta, the Colton of Riverside County, to try and block buses from unloading children who had come to the United States illegally. It was as ugly an ant-Latino protest as has been seen in Southern California in at least 20 years, but an unlikely figure was there to help battle the racists: Mexican music superstar Lupillo Rivera.

Over the past 15 years, Rivera has crafted an image as a party man par none--for chrissakes, his newest album is called El Rey de los Borrachos (King of the Drunks). Though sometimes personally participating in pro-amnesty rallies, his music has been aggressively non-political, a soundtrack to parrandear (party) instead of revolution. No one in Mexico or the United States has taken him seriously as a pundit on anything, instead paying more attention to his late sister, Jenni Rivera--but that might all change because of Lupillo's actions in Murietta.

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The 10 Most Mexican Morrissey/Smiths Songs of All Time

Categories: Español Music

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Photo by the late, great Andrew Youssef
Morrissey at his finest
Tomorrow, Morrissey will defy his doctor's orders and play a show at the Observatory. The show sold out in seconds despite the hefty price tag, and the show will overwhelmingly be Mexican, as they have been in Southern California for the past 20 years or so. I wrote about the phenomenon back in 2002, and Morrissey has only become even more Mexican since then.

Yet the question continues to get asked: Why do Mexicans like Morrissey so much? I will answer it anew in the video version of my ¡Ask a Mexican! column this coming Monday, but the short answer is the music: as I wrote in my article so long ago, "For all the machismo and virulent existentialism that Mexican music espouses, there is another side--a morbid fascination with getting your heart and dreams broken by others, usually in death." In other words, Morrissey--and behold 10 proofs for my conclusion: the most Mexican Morrissey/Smiths songs of them all.

See also:
Review: Morrissey - The Observatory - May 8, 2014


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