Category Archives: Cultura

DC Reviews: Intocable ~ XX ~ 20 Aniversario

I intocableremember it was 1995 at one of the big Tejano clubs in San Antonio. I took a night off from studying and made the trek from San Marcos to check out a young band that was gaining popularity. I had become an instant fan of Intocable when they released Fuego Eterno. Now, I got my chance to see them live and, man, did they tear the place up. It was like a rock show–lights, smoke, and yes, music.

Lead vocalist Ricky Muñoz gave the band his own voice and acordeón stylings and his band had their own sound. Norteño, yet with hard-driving drumming by Rene Martinez, tough bass lines, and a rock-tinged bajo sexto by Johnny Lee Rosas, it surely wasn’t your parents Ramon Ayala or norteño music. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a twenty year career has earned them millions of albums sold, sold out tours, seven Latin Grammys, and two Gringo Grammys, among other awards.

Twenty years later, the formula hasn’t changed, but they have pushed the envelope, whether through crossover anthems or through back-to-roots albums, or pop-flavored ballads. Twenty years later, they still sell-out huge venues in Mexico and the US–even taking their music to Colombia and Central America, and even The Greek in LA. And twenty years later, Intocable has given us the gift of a live album to celebrate their 20th anniversary.

Seldom do live albums take us from day 1 to today, but XX does. Starting with hits like Vete Ya, Parece Que No, and Coqueta, and on through Nos Falto Hablar and Culpable Fui, Intocable takes us through a career filled with memories and music–for the band and the listeners. Twenty live hits and an hour later it feels like one has gone through a powerful set.

The guys even add one de pilón; a cumbia titled Cajita de Carton.

Musically, the band is as tight as ever, even adding a second bajo sexto years ago to strengthen the sound. Listening to the old hits played by today’s Intocable standards is a treat that all will enjoy.

Anyway, it’s a must buy for the collection.

2015 will be a huge year for Intocable as they hit the road all over the country, but a few tour stops caught my eye:  2/13- Minneapolis; 2/27 – South Bend, IN; 2/28 – Detroit; March 1 – Queens, NY; March 21 – Bolivia. Hope the guys say hello to Evo Morales for me.

Intocable is:  Ricardo Muñoz, Rene Martinez, Sergio Serna, Johnny Lee Rosas, Juan Hernandez, and guest bajo, Alejandro Gulmar.

Track List:

1. Vete Ya
2. Parece Que No
3. Coqueta
4. Y Todo Para Que?
5. Llevame Contigo
6. Eres Mi Droga
7. Donde Estas?
8. Amor Maldito
9. Fuerte No Soy
10. Estas Que Te Pelas
11. Ensename A Olvidar
12. Suena
13. Eso Duele
14. Aire
15. Alguien Te Va A Hacer Llorar
16. Por Ella
17. Tu Adios No Mata
18. Robarte Un Beso
19. Nos Falto Hablar
20. Culpable Fui (Culpable Soy)
21. Cajita De Carton

Enter the Tejano Conjunto Festival Poster Contest

From Juan Tejeda:

Attention visual artists and graphic designers. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center wants you to submit a poster for the 34th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival Poster Contest 2015. The Overall Winner receives a $1,000 cash award and the winning selection becomes the official poster for the 34th Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio 2015 to be held from May 13-17. A Top Selection and Honorable Mention poster will also be selected in the middle school, high school, college level, and open categories. Deadline for submission is February 7, 2015. For the complete rules & guidelines, click here. FEBRUARY 7, 2015 DEADLINE! 

Thoughts on Viernes…01232015

A Little Observation

Looks like the imminently possible announcement of Adrian Garcia’s mayoral campaign has set off a little bit of everything as far as attitudes go on social media. At least from anecdotal evidence, it would seem many of my Latino pals are very much in favor of a mayoral candidacy. On the other hand, many of my non-Latino friends who work hard as Democratic activists have set their attitudes on “groan” because they don’t want to lose the progress that has been made with Garcia in office. Honestly, I can’t blame either group. Like him or not, this is huge, if it does happen.

Ricky Muñoz of Intocable Interviewed by Billboard Mag

Billboard Magazine featured an interview with Ricky Muñoz, founder of the supergroup Intocable, as they are set to release their 20th Anniversary Live album, XX. Based just south of Laredo in Zapata, TX, the band has enjoyed steady climb in the Mexican Regional genre. From their founding, they’ve been called just about anything:  Tejano, Mexican Regional, Grupero, Norteño. What they are is a band that borrows from styles they grew up listening to, including rock themes. They’ve sold out entire stadiums in Mexico, Colombia, and here in the USA. This blogger has been a fan since ’94 when I found their CD at Turntable Records in Austin.

The best response in the interview?

I am a third-generation Texan. My grandparents were born in Texas, my parents were born in Texas, my kids were born in Texas. I feel both [Mexican and American]. For example, during  the holidays, we eat tamales and Mexican food, but when it’s election time, I become a patriotic American and vote and listen.

Check out the rest of it.

Music Break ~ Intocable – Culpable Fui (XX) – Album Release 1/27/15

 

 

Funeral Arrangements for Reies Lopez Tijerina

kingtiger

Rest in Peace ~ Reies Lopez Tijerina, Chicano Movement Leader

In the middle of celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came the sad news that Chicano movement leader and icon Reies Lopez Tijerina passed away at the age of 88. Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez in a speech to activists once stated, “He was our Chicano Malcolm X.”

Tijerina, a former evangelist and fiery orator with roots in South Texas, has often been described as one of the major warriors of the Chicano movement that advocated for civil rights for Mexican-Americans across the Southwest in the 1960s and 1970s.

He relished the attention but preferred to be called an “Indo-Hispano,” a term he said more accurately reflected his ethnic and cultural heritage.

Tijerina, the only major Chicano activist who served time in prison, was widely admired and despised as the former leader of the Alianza, a militant citizens group in New Mexico, that sought to repossess old Spanish land grants in the Southwest. The group contended Mexican-American heirs were wrongfully deprived of their land.

He will be remembered most for his land-grant reclamation movement in New Mexico. One can learn more about Tijerina by watching the video below:

 

The Annual “There’s No Tejano on Go Tejano Day” Post

notejano

I’m telling you. The HoustonRodeo has made it clear that rodeo scholarships don’t go to undocumented students (not even LPRs!), but they get non-Tejano (Mexican banda music) bands that attract sell-out crowds of undocumented folks (among others) for “Go Tejano Day” that bring in a ton of cash for the HoustonRodeo. Talk about getting screwed in all directions. “We’ll take your money, but your kids don’t get squat!”

The Tex-Mex music genre known as Tejano is not respected by the Rodeo. Hell, it’s not respected by corporate radio because what once brought in ad money by the millions had the life squeezed out of it by corporate radio and money-grubbing major record labels that flooded the market, instead of nurturing the best of the best. Nowadays, most Tejano bands release material on indy labels, they gain popularity through nightclub and internet radio DJs, (and bloggers) and go through the daily grunt work of managing and booking themselves around the state and the US. Still, they attract nice-sized crowds, especially when music festivals like Festival Chicano go on for three days at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The genre isn’t dead. It didn’t die when Selena was murdered. What died was the cash infusion into greedy corporations. The music continues!

Anyway, the DosCentavos boycott of the HoustonRodeo continues for another year. Get me real Tejano (Tex-Mex) music on the big stage and maybe I’ll ruin my Justin ropers steppin’ on cow poop at the rodeo. Otherwise…

Local legendary DJ Jumpin’ Jess had a thought on this, too.

For now, here’s Los Texmaniacs playing before thousands at two A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Paul MN.

*Thanks to Jose Manuel Diaz for the awesome “No Tejano for Consuela” meme.

 

 

Lalo Alcaraz Wows ‘Em at Talento Bilingue

 

lalofans

I saw Lalo at his last stop in Houston–at HCC Downtown–in September. The thing about listening to a lecture and slideshow from a editorial cartoonist is that the material is always fresh. Last night, Lalo Alcaraz dedicated his presentation at Talento Bilingue de Houston to the four cartoonists who were murdered in Paris. The drawing below was already featured on the BBC last night– hours after he drew it while flying into Houston.

hebdo

Of the violent day in Paris, Alcaraz stated that he’s gotten used to receiving death threats and racist hate mail from folks in this country incensed by his works, but he’s still thankful to be in the US.

The presentation itself took us through some other current events, including Ayotzinapa, Mexico; Lalo’s latest work on Bordertown, which will be part of Fox’s Fall Line-up; and news that he is working on developing a series that mirrors his childhood. On top of that, a slide-show featuring some of his work from his strip, LA Cucaracha and some of his more popular editorial cartoons. Lalo takes his presentation to Austin on Thursday, January 8, next.

Beyond his presentation, Lalo enjoys meeting with fans, especially young fans. Among his more popular works is one that hangs on the wall of Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, which features his daughter playing “judge” with her stuffed animals, while looking up to the newest justice.

lalosonia

That was definitely a popular print last night. And the Berkeley grad (Lalo) is definitely a role model for young kids as several came with their parents and posed with the cartoonist. Added to the usual advice given to young folks was something equally important:  Always sign your name to anything you draw.

Big kudos to the folks at Talento Bilingue de Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance for bringing Lalo to Houston for another visit.

By the way, another hot seller was his 2015 Calendar. Get yours today!

 

 

 

01/07/2015: Lalo Alcaraz at Talento Bilingue Houston

lalohou

DC Xmas Eve Message

Not everyone will get to enjoy all these Christmas treats, but you can make sure families are fed and enjoy the holidays a little bit.

Make a contribution to the Houston Food Bank today. It really doesn’t take much.

‘Tis the Season for Buenos Diaz Buñuelos

bunueloI made a trip to Buenos Diaz on Tuesday to get my buñuelo fix.

What’s a buñuelo? Well, the easiest, yet falling short, way of describing it is that it is sort of a thin, deep-fried dough (not a tortilla!) that is then coated with a sugar/cinnamon mix soon after it gets out of the fryer. There are numerous recipes, different styles credited to different Latino nations, but I prefer the Mexican Buñuelo. These treats are very popular during the Christmas/New Year season.

buenosThe one pictured (and the 29 others I purchased today) was team-made by Celia Diaz (aka The Buñuelo Lady) and her son Jose Manuel Diaz (who is a FODC-Friend of DosCentavos) and sold out of their storefront at 6319 Lyons in Denver Harbor. All I can say is that they’re pretty perfect, especially during this holiday season.

stacebunAs one of my college classmates was telling me, it’s easy to find buñuelos that are as thick as flour tortillas, but the best are those that are thin and crispy, yet don’t break apart easily. The Buenos Diaz buñuelos are just like this. And no, I did not eat a bag of them by myself, but it was tempting.

Most will eat them with a mug or two of Abuelita chocolate, some with a more daring taste (me) will eat them with glass of Cab Sauv or Shiraz. The bottom line is that you must eat the Buenos Diaz ones or you’re getting the burnt edge of the tortilla. So, take a drive over to Denver Harbor and get yourself a few bags of buñuelos.

It was great visiting with Jose Manuel and Celia. DosCentavos enjoys supporting small businesses and no matter what corner of the county you live in, the trip will be worth it.

Tell them DosCentavos sent you.

(No buñuelos were broken during the creation of this post, but one was eaten.)