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

Categories: Español Music

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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Should Waka Flocka Flame Really Be Our Next President?

Categories: LOL, Rap, politics

"I'm dead ass running for president in 2016."
The Internet has been on fire with news that rapper Waka Flocka Flame wants to run for president. He actually said it back in 2012 on Twitter and even when we caught his official statement on April 20th (aka 420) that included, "The first thing that I'll do when I get in office is legalize marijuana," well, we still had a hard time believing it was true. Upon hearing from Rolling Stone (a reputable source, no?) that Waka's decision to launch a presidential campaign is in fact reality, we started thinking and questioning, how stoned was he when he thought this up? Is this "campaign" making a mockery out of the race for presidency? Will 'Murica take this satire in stride? How hard is it for a celebrity to get 5,000 signatures anyway?

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Top 10 Musicians Whose Artwork Doesn't Suck

Categories: Top 10, top 10

You'll never guess who created the artwork featured in our #1 spot...
Art begets music and music begets art; we're pretty sure that's in the Bible. Musical ability and visual art skills usually coincide, but rarely does someone carry enough talent in both media to be recognized for each art form--unless celebrity is involved.

We'll be the bad guys and say it: some musicians' artwork could spawn a career in the arts and some musicians' artwork is recognized because the person who painted it is famous and an art gallery wants to profit. Not to knock creative expression, but have you ever seen a painting by Paul Stanley? Yikes. Ditto for Ringo Starr's digital artwork and for Courtney Love's And She's Not Even Pretty series (that we discredited after watching her process), which is a shame because she creates great titles (i.g.: "Suicide Fuck Bomber," "I Can't, I Can't, I Didn't, I Didn't," and "Valentine Menstrual").

What makes judging artistic ability difficult is that art is subjective. We might never fully appreciate Kazimir Malevich enough to salivate over a black canvas, but that doesn't stop someone from paying $60 million dollars for one of his works.

While it's true the artist will forever be more famous than his art, we've curated a list of contemporary musicians whose work we'd actually hang on our walls--even had Jane Doe on Etsy painted it in Minnesota, not David Bowie.

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10 Rock Classifieds That Changed Music History

Eleven Seven Music
Guess which one of them answered a classified ad?
By: Matt Wake
A few things you can easily find in classified ads: phone sex, apartment rentals, tarot card readers, telemarketing jobs, and a used Toyota Camry with low mileage. Look a little closer, and you might also find your path to rock 'n' roll glory.  

OK, answering most musician classifieds won't automatically punch your ticket to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's more likely to result in an awkward jam session at some stranger's residence with three dudes who are twice your age but only know one song all the way through.

Still, the seeds for many very successful bands were sown in the classifieds section. Here are some of them.

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Wordsmith Mark Gonzales Asks Us to Wage Beauty Amid Terror in New Book

Categories: books, interview

Mark Gonzales, chief storyteller
A better world begins with a better story for Mark Gonzales. The acclaimed poet, teacher, and writer has traveled the globe's five continents over the years witnessing the trauma of displacement and the human spirit of survival that defies against all odds. These experiences are folded into the pages of his new book In Times of Terror, Wage Beauty. Gonzales finely crafts prose that reads like a manifesto for the wounded warriors of the world. An elder in the making, he subversively sculpts ideas that ask us to consider anew what we thought we knew about power, language, values and healing on both an individual level as well as a collective one inherited through generations.

Gonzales recently returned to Riverside City College where he attended as a non-traditional student in his late 20s. The campus brought him back, this time as a closing keynote, to talk with youth from different community colleges about leadership. He expanded on the thoughts of his new book with the Weekly before taking the stage.

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The Return of Faith No More is Beyond Epic

Categories: Bands We Like

Dustin Rabin
Faith No More always make it okay to be weird. The band's sound--thrash metal spliced with funk, hip-hop, punk and loose shards of many other genres--is unparalelled. And whether or not their '90s radio hit "Epic" is what first grabbed you, the band had so much more to offer once you dug past the singles. After an 18-year hiatus from recording, eccentric front man Mike Patton, drummer Mike Bordin, bassist Billy Gould, guitarist Jon Hudson and keyboardist Roddy Bottum are at it again, releasing a new record, Sol Invictus, on their own label, Reclamation Records. We spoke to Bordin about the band's new chapter before their show at the Observatory.

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15 Queer/Trans Musicians You've Never Heard Of (And Some You Have)

Categories: Lists

Nate "Igor" Smith
Big Freedia, queen of twerk
By: Amanda Savage

It's no secret that the world has grown a bigger conscience when it comes to the understanding and acceptance of the LGBT community, and with that many openly gay, bisexual, transgender etc. musical talents have emerged from their hiding places.

Whether you're gay, curious or just looking for some new music, here are 15 singers, songwriters, producers and musicians who are out and proud and making waves in music.

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Pete Yorn Plays Things By Ear When He's on Stage

Categories: Bands We Like

Andrew Youssef
Since the release of 2010's self-titled album, Pete Yorn has stayed busy. Between his work with The Olms, his collaborative project with J.D. King and happenings in his personal life that includes getting married, the singer/songwriter hasn't had the time to put his own solo work into consideration.

Yorn has been at work on his sixth studio effort, but at his own leisurely pace. That's why when he decided to do a quick, stripped down tour he calls You & Me, it was an exciting change from his work with his own touring band and other projects like The Olms and famously his work with actress Scarlett Johansson. Though there are a few songs that he'll play, the set is generally a free-flowing, freeform process where Yorn will take requests from fans and go deep into his catalog if he's in the mood for it. The requests have varied from night-to-night, with some deep requests leaving the singer to dig deep into his memory to remember how to play a particular track.

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Five Memorable Percy Sledge Samples

Categories: Lists

Percy Sledge, R.I.P.
Last Tuesday, we at the Weekly were saddened to hear of the death of one of R&B's all time most memorable voices, Percy Sledge. Most famous for "When A Man Loves a Woman," a song adored by any and every living organism with two ears and a heart, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's legacy is sure to be around for as long as there's music. While we at the Weekly knew of his music's success worldwide, we (perhaps foolishly) didn't realize how far his influence and impact resonated overseas as much as it did here. In loving memory, we present five memorable Percy Sledge samples.

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The 10 Best 420 Metal Songs

Categories: Metal

Andrew Youssef/OC Weekly
Black Sabbath at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

For those not in the know, 420 is a day (and time) where all cannabis connoisseurs, stoners, potheads and heshers unite to celebrate the good green herb and partake in rituals, smoke outs and never ending smoke-filled sessions. We decided to get in the right mindset, with a list of metal songs perfect for this green holiday. To some of these bands, and some of YOU reading this, every day is 420. So pack a bowl and get your stereo speakers ready. These are the 10 best metal songs to listen to on April 20th.

See also: The 10 Best Historical Metal Bands

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