Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Electropop Night With Belanova

All Photos Courtesy Of: Claudia Guzman
It has been four long years since Belanova toured in the Bay Area. And, this past weekend, they more than made up for the time lost by having three shows, two in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Belanova performed at a gay club in San Francisco this past Saturday night, and they were the headliners of the latin stage at Pride festival on Sunday.

But, their three day stop did not end in San Francisco – on Monday, the band had an unbelievable show at Oakland’s The New Parish. Fans gathered at the venue, anxious to finally see the return of Belanova to the stage.

Lead singer Denisse Guerrero looked flawless when she got on stage – dawning a crop top, high waisted shorts, and a retro bandana inspired hairstyle. The fans went wild! There was a cluster of people who had been standing in the front of the stage for about two hours, while others chose to take a view in the upstairs part of the venue.

The curiosity was increasing, what song would start off the show? And, the opening song did not disappoint, as Belanova decided to go with "Rosa Pastel" – and, if you are a true Belanova fan, well, you most certainly know the lyrics by heart.

Denisse engaged with the audience, she talked about how certain songs of the repertoire for that night’s show were of significance for the band, and put them on the music map. One of those songs was “Me Pregunto” from their 2006 album Dulce Beat.

The concert at The New Parish was an absolute success, and it did not matter that it was a Monday night. The setlist also had a vast variety from Belanova’s discography. Some of the songs included: “Mariposas," “Cada Que," “Tus Ojos," “Aun Asi Te Vas," “Baila Mi Corazon'" and  “Por Ti.”

Credits: Jaffe Events

Friday, June 13, 2014

So, It’s Official! I’m In Love With Sam Smith!

Yes, I know most of you have known about Sam Smith from that contagious collaboration with Disclosure on the track “Latch.” And, while I love that song, and “La La La” which he collaborated on with Naughty Boy – the song that got to the chords of my soul was “Stay With Me.”

You see; if you are anything like me, certain songs or lyrics, represent your current state of mind, or that of your heart. Perhaps it’s been broken, let down, or recovering from unrequited love. Whatever the case may be, Smith’s debut album In The Lonely Hour will speak to your muscle of blood. 

And, while the album does not debut in the US until June 17th, our friends over at NPR scored a streaming version for us to enjoy, and, TRUST me when I tell you this – you will want to buy the album IMMEDIATELY!

I have been playing the album all day (seriously!), and as I type away, each track reveals to be so relatable! such great melodies, such heart-felt lyrics.

Ahhh! The track “Not In That Way” talks of that unrequited love – how many of us have fallen for someone who simply didn’t want us? Or have changed their minds about wanting to be with us. Well, Sam Smith knows your struggle! “And I hate to say I want you when you make it so clear you don't want me…” Or, how about the track “I’ve Told You Now” ….. “But why the hell, why do you think I come 'round here on my free will? wasting all my precious time…” 

Amazing albums are hard to come by nowadays – artists rely so heavily on the “technical” aspect of an album, that they often forget that what is important is the content. Thankfully, Sam Smith came to the rescue! In The Lonely Hour is a gem from beginning to end! At 22, Sam is wise beyond his years!

He will be hitting the road, and his show at the FoxTheater in Oakland is officially SOLD-OUT! (let’s hope a second date opens up.) He is the HOTTEST ticket around since Lorde made her debut.

I leave you with the video for the song “Stay With Me.” In The Lonely Hour comes out on June 17th, available on iTunes & Amazon

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Chat With Foals Lead Singer Yannis Philippakis

Indie Music,
Foals At Fox Theater In Oakland

I had the opportunity to have a little chat with Yannis, lead singer of one of the most popular bands in the world after their big success over the years, having their latest album as one of their best albums they have recorded so far called Holy Fire. This casual conversation took place at a bar in San Francisco a few days ago.

Yannis and the rest of the band were drinking and I happened to show up at the bar, and the band was there in a corner with a group of friends. I decided just to have a drink and head over to say hi to them. Yannis Philippakis said hi to me, and I introduced myself. He then said: "Hi my name is Yannis I play on a band called Foals." He began to introduce band members from Cage the Elephant; Matthew the lead singer, and Brad the guitarist.

So then we started talking for a while and Yannis treated me to a drink. I certainly accepted and realized how cool this guy was. So as we talked, I began asking him about everything. I told him that I enjoyed all of their music and loved their latest album Holy Fire. Yannis asked me what song was my favorite and I answered "Late Night" and "Out of the Woods.” He nodded and told me that he loves playing "Late Night" & "Providence." Yannis said that his favorite song to play is "Providence." I asked him if he ever gets tired of playing the same songs, he answered of course and that's why he tries to play different songs during their sets, but he also said that there is one song he will never get tired of listening and playing to... "Spanish Sahara."

I asked him if he prefers to play at big venues & music festivals or if he rather play smaller shows. He responded that he prefers the smaller shows because they are more intimate and they go with his personality. He gets to interact with his fans at the shows jumping, crowd surfing, making everyone scream and dance to the lyrics.
While talking about music I asked him about his biggest music influences. He said that Nirvana, The Pixies, Placebo and a lot of underground bands. And that he hates bands like the Sex Pistols or bands that are too mainstream. He explained to me that he has an appealing taste for underground bands. He is constantly on the look for up-and-coming-bands.

As we were talking, I told him that I own almost all of his vinyls, and some of them are really rare and expensive, and that I love buying records and CDs.
He also confessed that he is addicted to shopping for records online, and that he tends to buy unique vinyls at ridiculous prices. He also told me how he loves playing in Mexico and UK, he stated that fans are the craziest when they are at their shows. He loves their energy and said that they sing like there is no tomorrow. He asked me if I ever seen them play in Mexico or London. I, unfortunately, haven't seen them there, but that it is on my bucket list. He smiled and said that his favorite place to play is London, he loves London culturally and loves living there. He began to tell me how beautiful London, Manchester, Oxford and some other places are, and that I should visit. He said that he loves playing here in America for the fact that they can go out freely and not many people know them.

Something that I couldn't resist asking was how he likes meeting people and being asked for pictures and greeting fans all over the world. I told him that he seems so down to earth and that I really appreciated the fact that he is very friendly and very easy to talk to, unlike other bands like Arctic Monkeys, who are not so eager to meet and greet with the fans. He smiled and said, “you got to understand that Arctic Monkeys since their early beginning, they have been successful and they are rich.” He said that he has questioned a few times Alex, and then Yannis said to me "When you work on this industry you got to prepare for these things, is something natural, as natural as someone asking for a picture or media getting on them all the time." Talking about Arctic Monkeys; I asked him what band or album he has been listening to recently. He said that he barely has time to listen to new music because of the constant touring and the busy life he is living, but the latest album was AM from Arctic Monkeys. He said: "such a great album, definitely the best album from them." Then he smoked a cigarette and said that his favorite song was "I Wanna Be Yours" song which was based on John Cooper's poem and converted this into a masterpiece.
We talked about so many things, and I even managed to score some info about the new album. He said that they need to finish their tour, go back home and relax and bit, and then they will focus on a new album. They already have some songs in the works, but have a long way to go.

I thanked them all Yannis (Foals), Jimmy (Foals) and Matt (Cage the Elephant) for hanging out with me, and for the chat – safe to say that it was one of the best nights of my life!

Guest post by: Adrian Jusue

Adrian is a music fanatic who always scores meeting band members, he is also a freelance photographer. 

You can check out some of his work HERE, or follow him on twitter.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mindy Lahiri Is The New Carrie Bradshaw

"Guys don't break up with girls they secretly want to be with." - Mindy 

Let’s talk about the season finale of The Mindy Project for just a second. I was so excited for Mindy and her new love interest Charlie aka “I’m not a guy. I’m a man.” Charlie is exactly the MAN that Mindy needs – a caring, secure of himself and wise man. Sadly, during the season finale I was terribly disappointed, angry, sad, heck devastated!

Tim Daly, Mindy Kaling

How could Mindy have fallen for Danny Castellano AGAIN? He catfish her, he stood her up at the Empire State Building; he is selfish, controlling, and possessive! HOW?!?!?! WHY?!!?!?! Actually, I know why! For what seems to be FOREVER, tv shows, have led us women to believe that it is OK to forgive the jerk, that these men we tend to fall for will eventually get it, and they will want to be with us, full on, no hiding, no BS. But it is ALL A VILE LIE! It is! Let’s keep it one hundred percent real – we women usually fall for the sweet talk, and sadly (as a friend told me), we get “dicknotized.” Once these men whisper sweet things, what we want to hear, we automatically forget all the wrongdoing. It is frustrating and exhausting!

And, you see, Mindy did it, she fell for it. And back in the late 90s, and early 2000s Carrie Bradshaw did it too. She let go of wonderful, caring, sweet Aidan, and fell into Mr. Big’s lies. May I remind you all that HE LEFT HER THE DAY OF THE WEDDING! And, she forgave him!

I just don’t get it! Why do we (women) allow these situations to happen? And if you are reading this, and you say that you have never been in a similar situation, you are flat out lying! We have all done it. We let go of the “good guy,” the “silver fox,” only to go back to the guy who broke our hearts, the one afraid of commitment, the cheater, the liar. I mean, the list goes on!

TV shows make us believe that going back or staying with these men is OK! that, in an alternate universe, these men will change into the men we let go of – those we should have stayed with to begin with. Mindy Lahiri and Carrie Bradshaw have failed us! They were supposed to set the example for the rest of us, and not let us fall into the spiderweb of lies.

Instead, Carrie let go of perfect Aidan, and Mindy fell into the trap of Danny Castellano, and entirely shut out sexy silver fox aka Charlie.


 Photo Credits: The Mindy Project on FOX

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Haciendo Historia – Because Only The Best Ones Make History

Jorge Medina, El Mexicano Presents, San Jose Convention Center
Photo Credit: Banda El Recodo

Lately, I’ve been playing nothing but Banda El Recodo, it could be that their songs reflect what my muscle of blood (aka my heart) is going through.

Thankfully, the guys of El Recodo are currently on a very extensive tour called Haciendo Historia (Making History), and they will play a show here in the Bay. The venue of choice, San Jose’s Convention Center, this Saturday April 19th. I highly suggest that if you want to see them live this time around, get your tickets now! The show is a guaranteed SELL-OUT.

With a name like Banda El Recodo, and with their record of over 76 years in the music business, the guys aren’t safe from controversy. Just a few weeks ago, Jorge Medina from La Arrolladora Banda El Limon gave an interview in which he said that those who have been lead singers of El Recodo, end up not doing anything with their music careers once they leave the band. He even dared to say that it was a “curse” to be part of El Recodo. He later apologized for what he had said, but the damage was done, the guys of El Recodo did not take Medina’s interview lightly.

And, let’s face it, if there is a band/group that has withstood the test of time, the changes in the music industry, changes within the organization, and more – well, Banda El Recodo, they are the ones who have.

Let the haters hate, ultimately, it is the fan base who decides who is boss in the music world. Recodo’s last two videos combine over 40 million youtube visits, the band is as popular as ever. And, I don’t foresee them going anywhere but the top - they are Mexico & Sinaloa’s music royalty.

I don’t know about you, but I plan on singing along these two songs come Saturday night…

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