Category Archives: DC Promo

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Lots of new music hit this week.

The Latin Breed – Come and Get It – Known for their ability to go from Tejano to R&B in an instant, the legendary Latin Breed lays down some amazing musicality with this funky tune. Give it a listen and enjoy the vocals of Ben Miranda and the hard-driving Latin Breed horns.

Los Palominos – No Le Digas A Nadie – They’ve been warning us that they were dropping a sure hit and they came through. Uvalde’s own Los Palominos released this first single, and Humildes classic, since their personnel change. One thing is for sure, they have not lost any of their commitment to the legacy sound that put them on the map decades ago. If anything, this recent musical styling brings back some 90s hey-day memories. Our friends at Tejano Nation have more.

Grupo Fuerte – Mucho Corazon – The Houston-area’s own, Carlos Maldonado y Grupo Fuerte, has a long history as a heavy-hitting conjunto. This rendition of a classic on their 25th Anniversary, with some nice pasaditas on the bajo sexto, the dueling saxes, and a great vocal, is what we needed.

Joe Lopez y El Grupo Mazz – Dame La Mano – This is another Tejano single which has been charting in Mexico radio and on online platforms from the King of Tejano’s latest album, Love From The Heart. Written by Lopez, the tune has more of an 80s synth sound that fits in with the current demand for new tunes. The entire album is definitely a must-have.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Wow, I’ve missed a few tunes that are quite welcome in the Tejano sphere of things. Here are a few that ended up on my radar.

Joe Lopez y Grupo MazzAndo Que Me Lleva – The King of Tejano is back with a full-length album, Love From The Heart. The 12-track album offers up a mix of rancheras, cumbias, and ballads, boosted by the legacy sound that put Mazz at the top of the charts and touring schedules during the 90s hey-day. Although he’s put out a couple of tunes as singles, the one that really captured the legacy sound is Ando Que Me Lleva, with its powerful drumming and smooth accordion accompaniment. Give it a listen and listen to the whole album on YouTube before buying it.

Grupo Alamo – Confianza – One group that’s always captured my attention is Grupo Alamo from SATX. Led by accordionist Ernie Gonzalez and backed up by some amazing session players and fronted by DLG Alum Mark Ledesma (of LaDezz), they never fail at putting out some really good music. For good measure, the players include Grammy-winner Juan Trevino and current Mavericks squeezebox player Percy Cardona on Keyboards, which one really notices on this particular tune.

Santiago Jimenez, Jr. – Brincando Cercas – El Chief is back with a new album, Still Kickin’, and kickin’ and squeezin’ he is. Santiago offers up some classics played in his own way and backed up by Max Baca on Bajo Sexto and Noel Hernandez on the tololoche (upright bass). Brincando Cercas is a tune about a guy literally caught with his pants down when “en la movida.” It’s a funny tune and sounds great done in the traditional “singin’ ’round the fire” style.

Behind the Mic with Little Joe – My Friend AC Cruz has a new podcast up featuring the legendary King of the Brown Sound Little Joe Hernandez. After 60 years of recording and touring, Little Joe is still on the road. This podcast takes us through his career, his civil rights and labor advocacy, and even singing with Willie Nelson! Click here for the podcast.

Cartoonista Lalo Alcaraz in the News

Lalo Alcaraz and Me at the 2007 Latino Book and Family Festival

Recently, editorial cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz was awarded the Herblock Prize for his work on La Cucaracha and his syndicated editorial cartoons. Lalo has been a finalist for a Pulitzer twice, with the last nom not being awarded to any of the nominees for some reason that even ended with the category being cancelled. The Herblock is huge nonetheless, considering Lalo is the first “nonwhite” to earn it.

The judges stated “Powerful versatility. That is one way to describe the work of cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz. Alcaraz is equally as comfortable creating a faux woodblock print to address our country’s history of racism and xenophobia as he is mocking up a blueprint to satirize a rich white billionaire with a space rocket. From a stark dripping red MAGA hat that could be the corporate logo for the bloody January 6th insurrection, to a complex movie poster parody ridiculing right-wing conspiracies, Alcaraz’s cartoons always hit their mark.

and

Alcaraz is active in using cartoons and animation to battle vaccine hesitancy and Covid misinformation in the Latino community with the organization CovidLatino.org and the California Department of Public Health. He is currently Virtual Artist In Residence for the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University. He is a graduate of San Diego State University (BA in Art) and UC Berkeley (Master’s in Architecture).

The New Yorker’s Graciela Mochkofsky penned a feature on Lalo describing his long journey to “mainstream acceptance.” Is it really acceptance? Well, that’s a question whose answer continues to develop, but the road to get this far hasn’t been easy.

Now he has finally been accepted. Or has he? “I get a lot of hate mail,” Alcaraz said in his acceptance speech. A few days later, during a Zoom call from Los Angeles, he told me, “There is still this American societal attitude that we are foreign.”

It’s a great read, particularly the reminder that at one point the local fish wrap (The Chron) buckled to their right-wing readers’ offended sensibilities and banned La Cucaracha. A low-point for the Pulitzer winning operation, huh? (I guess that category wasn’t cancelled.) That impromptu protest against the Chron at the Latino Book and Family Festival was fun!

Anyway, read the New Yorker piece about Lalo Alcaraz. Learn something.

Tollways to Trailways Approved by County

La Leona

ABC-13 and others reported on this new plan from the Harris County Toll Road Authority to spend $53 million on connecting 236 miles of hike and bike trails along the Sam Houston Tollway.

According to Commissioner and avid cyclist Rodney Ellis, expending money from toll road surplus monies for this work is in compliance with the statute that created the Toll Road Authority as it improves accessibility, safety and transportation. Connecting the trails would provide, in the long run, an opportunity for an 80 mile loop around the region.

It is definitely something that is needed as Houston competes with the Central Texas region which is creating a San Antonio to Austin trail which runs for 100 miles and would connect the Great Springs of the region, including Barton, San Marcos, Comal, and San Antonio springs. Like HCTRA’s, this is a long-term project. No doubt, such projects create opportunities for economic development and tourism, not to mention healthier communities.

As far as paying for it, the 2 right-wing, naysaying commissioners who voted against it feel that the toll road authority wasn’t created for this purpose. But alternate transportation on 2 or 3 wheels is still transportation and we need to get beyond Cagle and Ramsey’s concrete and air pollution thinking.

Personally, I like the idea as we need more connected trails out here on the West side of town and the trails/lanes need to reach inward toward the Galleria area (my neighborbood). That means we need a new County Commissioner who actually listens to the people to work with a supportive city government. Precinct 4 is not well-represented at the moment, as Cagle’s no vote on so many Dem-supported programs tells us. La Leona, my Trident Trikes recumbent trike, is ready for some new trails and connectors.

We are learning just how important elections are, and a Democratic majority on the Harris County Commissioner’s Court must remain for these innovative programs to continue.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

There’s been a lot of good toe-tapping music dropping recently. Here are a few that hit my radar this week.

Destiny Navaira – Si No Fue Amor – Destiny is riding high on the release of her new album, Dime Como Se Siente. The album has a variety of genres, showing her versatility as well as the trust of her producers. Working out of Monterrey, Destiny stated in a recent interview with my friend AC Cruz (Podcast) that the move has opened doors for her that would not have opened if she had stayed in Texas. I’d have to agree that Monterrey has a great love for Tejano artists that spreads to all points. This new Tejano-styled ranchera is already a hit while keeping that Navaira legacy going strong.

Irany & David – Besos – Irany is one artist who caught my eye on Instagram with her accordion-playing abilities, but I had not really listened to her music. Well, this artist from Mexicali, along with her brother David, have dropped this really good ranchera and are showing that Norteño/Regional Mexican music can still be fresh and exciting. At 18, she has a long, successful road ahead of her, especially since she is on Pepe Aguilar’s Machin label. More on her here.

Oscar G – Porque No Te Importo – The alum of DLG University, all of the former David Lee Garza vocalists, dropped this tune recently. The Eagle Pass native and educator has continued his career in one way or another since his popularity was at a high in the 90s. He’s always a welcome attraction at DLG y Los Musicales reunion concerts. This new tune is simple and to the point, but it’s his recognizable voice that really brings it home. Enjoy!

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

It’s Easter Weekend and we are in need of good music. Here are a few that hit my radar this week. The hits keep comin’!

David Marez – Cuando Vivas Conmigo – I’ve heard this Jose Alfredo Jimenez classic with various vocalists and various styles. But David Marez’s horn-heavy bolero coupled with his Voz de Oro just knocked me out. Give it a listen.

Roel Martinez – Rayito de Luz – Back in the 90s, Martinez got a lot of airplay while trying to compete with the big name bands. He held his own as a vocalist and always had some of the best musicians backing him up. This single is no different, which includes one of the top drummers in the industry, Aaron Holler.

El Holandes – Silencio – You all know El Holandes, Dwayne Verheyden, as the acordeon prodigy from The Netherlands. He dropped this cumbia single a couple of weeks ago and it’s a good one.

Is COVID-19 Creeping Back Up?

Based on folks running around at various unmasked, high-attendance indoor events, I’m pretty sure no one has noticed the COVID-19 positivity rate creeping up these last couple of weeks. Houston Health Department reported this morning “slight” increases from last week’s rate, but they still call it “low” at 3.5%.

The City of Philadelphia noticed their cases creeping up and has decided to reinstate its mask mandate in a week while hospitalizations remain low in order to keep them that way. As their Mayor Tenney stated, “Our city remains open; we can still go about our daily lives and visit the people and places we love while masking in indoor public spaces.”

And that’s the general attitude that we have needed here in Texas, but leaders–elected and community–have failed us by going around unmasked to mass events as if this thing is over. They have failed to be an example of what leadership is while proclaiming themselves leaders. I always chuckle when I see their social media posts.

The Gridiron Club dinner in DC where 72 attendees, including members of Congress left infected, is an example of what can occur in an instant when one jumps right into an unmasked event. One member of Congress stated he avoided COVID-19 these last two years only to get it by going unmasked while boosted. In other words, if you’re around an infected person, you can get it.

Thank your shots and boosters all you want, the goal should still remain to NOT get sick, rather than getting it and spreading it to vulnerable loved ones, while still surviving yourself.

To further make this point about caring about the vulnerable–the elderly, the immunocompromised, those with comorbidities–here’s a good op-ed from the NYTimes, which points to the lack of caring for vulnerable populations at all levels of government and now in both parties in this race to re-open.

After a couple of weeks of watching the positivity rate go below 2%, I dove into society a little, attending a lunch with friends in a nice uncrowded restaurant, I ate lunch at Dot’s with family on the way to Hobby (a little scarier because it was packed), and I ate lunch at a restaurant in Sharpstown (Taqueria Mexico Lindo) to enjoy some menudo and tripas tacos. I walked into all places masked, masked up when the staff came to the table, but unmasked while eating. It’s still a scary experience for me because I tend to trust no one. Still, I enjoyed myself. But I think I’m done once again while this creep-up occurs. At the very least, I’ll stay masked wherever I go.

I was hoping to time my 2nd booster for the next color-code change, but I may need to do it sooner.

If you’re indoors, mask-up. Get double boosted. Keep clean. No one is telling you to shut things down, but just be cognizant of how you can affect your loved ones. It’s about personal responsibility.

Kuff has more.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

Apologies for being among the missing (online, that is) as I’ve been busy with a move lately. But there’s always time for music! So, here are some new tunes that got on my radar recently.

Joe Lopez y Mazz – Igual Que Ayer – The “King of Tejano” returns with a new single which will be part of a brand new album–the first album since his return to the stage. Lopez has enjoyed his return backed up by some of the best musicians in the business, including his 90s Mazz bandmate Brando Mireles on keyboards. And this new tune brings back memories of that heyday. Even the smooth guitar playing by Juaquin Cura has a “Jimmy” feel to it. Let’s hope the rest of the album is released soon because we really need new music.

Ricardo Montaner – El Dia Que Me Quieras – The Argentino-Venezolano crooner just dropped this classic Carlos Gardel tango, one of my favorites. Unlike Luis Miguel’s orchestral version back in the 90s, Montaner stays true to Gardel’s original sound. And that’s a good thing since his album is titled, Tango. I’ve really enjoyed this tune.

Monica Saldivar – Este Dolor – Saldivar dropped this new ranchera this week. The Grand Prairie native was selected in 2020 Best Female Artist at the Tejano Music Awards and deservedly so. Saldivar is one of the new talents en la onda Tejana. Check out her story here.

Tacho’s Sabado Playlist

We’ve got great new music this weekend. Enjoy it at your weekend BBQ.

Intocable – Si Me Duele Que Duela – Intocable dropped its newest single, a cumbia, on Friday. Once again produced by the legendary Don Was (producer for Rolling Stones) and written by Pablo Preciado of Matisse, Intocable offers up some powerful vocals from Ricky Munoz, a tough cumbia beat back-ended by Rene Martinez, Sergio Serna, and Felix Salinas, and dueling bajos from Alex Gulmar and Johnny Lee Rosas. It’s a really hooky tune that all will enjoy. Intocable is also providing a “How we made it” vid to accompany the release.

Joss Favela – Gato de Madrugada – Joss Favela also dropped a new tune on Friday on the Sony label. This Norteño-infused ballad penned by Favela is poweful with its soaring vocals, amazing guitar playing, beautiful acordeon, and a tough bottom beat. Enjoy!

Wences Romo – Tu Gordito – I’ve been following Wences ever since I saw him in a Siggno video…as an actor. I wondered who this bearded dude was. Turns out, he’s a Mexico-based Norteno artist whose music doesn’t fall far from the Tejano genre. This new tune which dropped a couple of weeks ago has more of a Country feel with a line-dancing beat. Wences even throws in some Ingles making it a bilingual hit. Check it out.

The Joe Bravo Sabado Playlist – QEPD

The world of music lost a legendary performer this past week. Joe Bravo’s sixty-year career is emblematic of the ups and downs of Tejano music performers and Bravo experienced it all in his career. From a beginning working with El Zarape Records to a 90s hey-day comeback under the guidance of Manny Guerra, to once again working with the Legends of Tejano (Agustin Ramirez, Freddie Martinez, Carlos Guzman, Sunny Ozuna, and Carlos Miranda), he never lost his fandom or his unique voice. I remember meeting him at a performance at Chicano Park in Austin in the 90s–I even got his autograph. Such a gentleman. I was glad I got to see him perform a few weeks before the pandemic hit at the Freddie Records 50th in SATX.

So, here are a few tunes that I enjoyed beyond his huge hit, Que Casualidad. Actually, there are too many, but these are on my mind this morning.

And one of the last songs here recorded with Avizo.