Archive for October, 2015

Madonna showed L.A. last night why she is the Queen. Her concerts are not just concerts, they are some of the best live shows out there in any format. Besides the decades of hits, you also get the acrobatics, the amazing choreography and the state of the art stage. This is why she has some of the highest earning tours in history and I’m sure the Rebel Heart Tour will be among the top tours too. Yeah, you get a lot of the new stuff (which not everyone loves) but it blends in so well with the older songs that it all just feels like one great dance mix. She included some rarely performed classics for our show and the crowd was loving it. Some of them were: “Burning Up”, “True Blue”, “Deeper and Deeper”, “Dress You Up”, “Material Girl”, among many other classics. These are songs she has not performed in many many years. Of course, she also included the more popular hits “Like A Prayer”, “Vogue”, and “Holiday”. The prices tickets are high, VERY high, but you can see that your money is being well spent on the production of this extraordinary show. To be honest though, I would still pay this high price if only to hear some of those rare classics she performed last night. There were many celebrities in the audience (as they usually are in LA), which included: Beyonce, Jay Z, Salma Hayek, Queen Latifah among others. A very special guest, Katy Perry, was front and center and ended up coming up on stage to help with one of Madonna’s skit. That’s probably the one criticism I have of the show, less skits and “comedy” next time. Overall, Madonna proved that age is just a number and showed the younger pop tarts that they have VERY big shoes to fill and have to step up their game with their own concerts. As I stated in my first sentence, Madonna showed everyone why she is Queen.

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La fiesta continue para un segundo dia y el ambiente siguio igual de prendido como el dia anterior. El dia de Domingo se vio con las presentaciones de Gloria Trevi, La Arrolladora Banda el Limon, 3BallMTY, y cerrando como se debe cerra la noche, el Sr. Juan Gabriel. Me encanto que 3BallMTY tocaron en el Dance Hangar stage que era un escenario pequeno y nos dio la oportunidad de ver a estos chicos up close. El highlight de la noche fue poder ver a Juan Gabriel cantar exito tras exito por casi dos horas y ver al alrededor a toda la gente cantando sus canciones y disfrutando al maximo su presentacion. El press release de Univeral Musica nos dice que ubieron 35,000 personas en asistencia y espero que sea exito suficiente para poder tener este mismo festival otra vez en 2016. Mis recomendaciones seria un lugar mas pequeno y mas central a Los Angeles. Me gusto mucho la idea de los diferentes escenarios con diferentes generos, espero que continue este set up. La idea de combinar el arte latino a este festival tambien fue genial y espero lo continuen. Una buena idea para el festival en 2016 es tenerlo en el mes de Septiembre, ya que es Hispanic Heritage month aqui en los Estados Unidos y seria una buena celebracion para nuestra gente.

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El primer L Festival tomo lugar este pasado fin de semana y parece que todo fue un exito. El primer dia del festival fue el Sabado y se vieron actuaciones de La Santa Cecilia, David Bisbal, Los Angeles Azules, Enrique Iglesias, Julion Alvarez entre muchos muchos mas. El set up de los diferentes escenarios con diferentes generos de musica fue genial. El principal escenario fue el Universal Stage y aqui fue donde estuvieron los bigger artists y donde estuverion la mayoria de la gente. Lo malo de esto fue que los otros escenarios y artistas mas pequenos no tuvieron mucho publico. Te todas maneras, fue una buena idea que espero continuen este set up el proximo ano. Lo interesante fue que Enrique Iglesias no cerro la noche, ya que el es una artista reconocido por todo el mundo en Espanol y Ingles. Aunque yo no sigo mucho la musica regional mexicana, tengo entendido que Julion Alvarez esta arrasando por donde quiera que va y es uno de los artistas del momento en este genero. Por esto, yo creo cerro la noch de Sabado ya que el publico del evento es mas entrado a este genero. Sea lo que sea lo bueno fue los artistas cantaron casi un set completo. No salieron a cantar cinco canciones nada mas, si no cantaron mas de una hora y esto fue increible con la magnitud de artistas (mas de 30!) que participaron. Eso solo fue el primer dia….todavia faltaba el Domingo!

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Flaca Covers Como La Flor

Posted: October 22, 2015 in New Music
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Did you know Flaca from Orange is the New Black sang? Neither did I. Did you know Flaca just released a new video? Neither did I, until today. Technically, it is not Flaca herself but Jackie Cruz, the actress that plays the not always bright, chola looking, latina inmate in Netflix’s series. Jackie Cruz can sing and who knew it? She just released a video to “Como La Flor” with a chilled acoustic version of the song. I like it, I like it a lot. It doesn’t sound like her trying to duplicate a Selena song, instead she is making the song into her own style. I hope to hear more music soon!

Shakira was already a household name when she released “La Tortura” ten years ago. It was the first single for her Spanish album Fijacion Oral Vol. I and it instantly became a huge hit in Spanish and English media formats. In the Spanish Billboard charts, it set a record by staying at #1 for 25 consecutive weeks and became the biggest Spanish single of 2005. Interestingly enough, the single reached #23 on the English charts and had regular airplay on popular English radio stations. The video earned several MTV Video Music Awards nominations and Shakira with Alejandro Sanz were invited to perform. This was the first Spanish performance made on the VMAs. After the success of this single, Shakira continued to make more hits but it is important to acknowledge the language and cultural lines “La Tortura” surpassed to become one of the biggest singles of 2005. For this, I chose it as my TBT blog. Enjoy the video below and also I included my personal video from Shakira‘s last concert in LA exactly five years ago on October 23, 2010.

Janet Jackson came out swinging at the start of her show on Friday night, Ocotber 16, 2015 at the Forum in Los Angeles. She didn’t slow down until half way through the concert. Surprisingly, she managed to fit most of her hits and some songs from the new album Unbreakable into her almost 2hr show. She opened with “BURNITUP!” and jumped right into it, hit after hit after hit after hit- “Nasty”, “Feedback”, “Miss U Much”, and on. It really felt like a medley of over 30 songs. I didn’t feel like there wasn’t a real break until she slowed things a bit for some of her ballads, “Again”, “Come Back To Me”, “Let’s Wait Awhile”. She then amped things up again and ended the show with more hits and the last two songs were from her new album. At the end of the show, she had a nice surprise when her long-time producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis surprised her with flowers and the news that her song “No Sleeep” continues in the #1 R&B slot and shared the news with the crowd that her new album landed in #1 and she is one of  three artists to have a #1 album in the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s. The show was sold out and a much bigger venue compared to her last LA stop in 2011, where she performed at the much smaller Universal Amphitheater. Her dates for the Unbreakable Tour have been selling out at arenas and she will be coming back to LA to play the legendary Hollywood Bowl in May 2016. In attendance to Friday’s show were her family and many well-known celebrities, including Beyonce. It is safe to say that Janet’s absence for the last few years created a huge appetite for more Janet and the sold out shows and album sales are proof of this.

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Rihanna Gets Closer to Album Release

Posted: October 8, 2015 in New Music
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On Wednesday, Rihanna shared the album artwork to fans and media at a small art gallery in Downtown LA. The artwork was created by artist Roy Nachum and below is a preview. RiRi announced that the album’s name is ANTI and release date is very close. It’s safe to say, fans went batshit crazy online. Why wouldn’t they? RiRi has accustomed us to getting a new album EVERY year (except 2008, we only got a re-release album) from 2005 through 2012.

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Damita Jo had not released an album with original songs since 2008’s Discipline and fans had clearly made her aware that they were tired of waiting for new stuff. She gave us a #1 hits album and tour in 2011but had been MIA since getting married in 2012. This summer she surprised us with a tease to the album and news of a fall tour to support it. The tickets to the tour quickly sold out and additional dates and venues were scheduled. These venues are much bigger than the smaller venues she performed at in 2011, I saw her at the Universal Amphitheater but now she is performing at the Forum and the Hollywood Bowl here in LA. This demonstrates that the fans really did miss her and are anxious to see her perform live. Now that the new album Unbreakable has dropped, I’ve had about a week to digest it. It’s a slow album, let’s start with that. Very slow, compared to her previous albums, which were full of R&B Pop Dance songs. Slow is not bad…it’s just different. It sounds very Janet without it being too Janet. The dance songs are out, only “BURNITUP!” with Missy Elliot would be considered dance. The other songs have a strong R&B slow groove vibe to them. It’s a good album to chill and have as background music at a small party. It is definitely not aimed to the youngsters out there. This album is aimed to the true Janet fans, which are probably older and more matured. They’re probably not looking for the next Electronic Pop song out there and instead are looking for music with quality and substance. Interestingly, the missing component of this Janet album is Sex. The album is sensual and seductive but without the ooohs and ahhhhs of many of Janet’s albums. Trust me, I was on board with sexy Janet in the Janet and Velvet Rope albums but it did get a bit tired in the 2000’s. Glad to see that she put that away for this album. It is predicted, this will be Janet’s 7th number one album once Billboard finalizes sales next week. To top it off, Ms. Jackson has been named one of the nominees for the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is clear, Ms. Jackson is back and remains in Control. On a side note, great choice of “No Sleeep” featuring J. Cold for first single.

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I’ve been following Disclosure for a couple of years now and I was lucky enough to see them at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood before they blew up. There last album was hot from first to last song with some unknown guests (at the time), like Sam Smith. For this new album Caracal, they’re not holding back with the A+ guests and they’ve brought back Sam with the first single “Omen”. But what has me losing my shit, is the second single “Magnets” featuring Lorde. My first thought hearing this song, was damn, Lorde should’ve held on to this song for her own album! The song is bad ass and the vid is even badder. I can’t picture anyone else doing this song besides Lorde, the beat and Lorde’s voice blend in perfectly. So far Disclosure has two for two hits and it looks like they’re going to replicate the success of their last album. Wait until they release “Nocturnal” with the Weeknd!

I first discovered Linda Ronstadt in the late 80’s when my mom took me to Linda’s concert for Canciones de Mi Padre. I remember enjoying the full concert, mostly because I’ve always liked mariachi music. A few years later I saw Linda performing an English song on TV at the Grammys with Aaron Neville. I wasn’t familiar with her music history and I was immediately interested in discovering more. This search took me to the early 70’s with pop/rock; into the 80’s with pop standards and country; and finally to this Grammy performance of “Don’t Know Much”. I instantly became a fan and listened to her music as I grew up into adulthood. A few years ago, I heard Linda had retired from singing due to Parkinson’s. I was bummed because I would not be able to see her live in concert again but this week I was lucky enough to see her in person and hear her life story. Linda shared her life story for almost two hours at the Valley Performing Arts Center but it wasn’t enough. Her life story is as amazing and eclectic as her music. From her childhood in Tucson, to being part of the rock movement of the 70’s, to crossing over from English to Spanish with her Mariachi album…what an amazing career. Dan Guerrero, who is also a friend of Linda, was the interviewer and kept the conversation moving smoothly and provided some laughs throughout the night. I don’t usually pay to go see someone speak (I rather spend that money on concerts) but this was a exception and I’m glad I went. Also glad to hear Linda give praise to Brittany from Alabama Shakes, when she was asked about today’s music scene. Now the question is when will we get a Linda Ronstadt movie…I’ll even settle for a TV movie.

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