San Francisco Brindo por “El Aguante” En #MultiviralTour


Escenario Calle 13

El escenario listo para recibir a Calle 13 en the Warfield de San Francisco, Calif., el viernes, 10 de octubre del 2014. (Fotografía por: Natalie Rodriguez)

Ni la visita del Presidente Obama al área de la bahía pudo impedir que el Warfield de la Ciudad de San Francisco se llenara para brindar por “El Aguante.” Calle 13 llego desde Puerto Rico con una explosión de talento en su gira Multiviral.

Multiviral es la quinta producción discográfica de la agrupación Boricua bajo su propio sello, El Abismo. La producción del disco corrió a cuenta de Eduardo Cabra, mejor conocido como Visitante.  El álbum salió a la venta el 1o de marzo del 2014. Cuenta con grandes colaboraciones como lo son las de Eduardo Galeano, Silvio Rodríguez, y Julian Assange entre otros talentos.

La cita para iniciar el concierto era para las 8:00 p.m., sin embargo, la visita de Obama ocasiono que no solo los asistentes del concierto llegaran con retraso, si no también impidió que Residente, Visitante y la PG-13 llegaran a tiempo a su propio concierto ya que se encontraban hospedados en el mismo hotel que el presidente.

Jovenes Calle 13

Josué (20), Sergio (20) y Orlando (18) esperaron desde las 6:00 p.m. y manejaron diez horas para ver a sus ídolos de Calle 13 en primera fila en the Warfield de San Francisco, Calif., el viernes, 10 de octubre del 2014. (Fotografía por: Natalie Rodriguez)

En la espera y entre la multitud tan diversa conocimos a Orlando de 18 años, Sergio de 20, y Josué de 20. Tres jóvenes que viajaron diez horas desde Oregon para estar presentes en su primer concierto de Calle 13. Los tres alineados en primera fila admiten que mientras ellos estaban presentes en el teatro desde las 6:00 p.m., sus padres ni idea tenían de que habían viajado tan lejos para ver a sus ídolos.

Al preguntarles que en donde pensaban sus padres que están, respondieron los tres muchachos, “¡en la escuela!” ya que los tres estudian en Oregon State University. Sergio admite orgulloso que su hermano se casa al día siguiente y que no llegara a dicha boda. Jamás habían hecho un viaje tan largo para asistir a un concierto, sin embargo Orlando nos explica que tenían que asistir puesto a que es lo mas cerca que a llegado Calle 13 de Oregon y aman las letras de Residente por que el dice las cosas sin tomar en cuenta las opiniones de los demás.

Residente Calle 13

René Pérez Joglar, mejor conocido como Residente, vocalista de Calle 13 cantando en the Warfield de San Francisco, Calif., el viernes, 10 de octubre del 2014. (Fotografía por: Natalie Rodriguez)

¡Momentos después de conversar con los jóvenes estalla la bomba que es Calle 13! En esta gira es imposible no contagiarse de la “Fiesta de Locos” y si “aquí se baila como bailan los pobres,” ¡que rico! Como el buen amante de su publico que es, Residente explico la razón de la demora y se disculpo antes de brindar por “El Aguante.”

Los buenos conocedores de Calle 13 no se sorprenden de que la energía de ritmos y bailes tan contagiosos que ofrece la agrupación, esta cargada de mensajes de concientización política, pasión y amor. Sin embargo, al ver el rostro de Residente interpretando sus canciones y exponiendo sus introducciones a ellas se le nota un brillo especial, una nueva cualidad. Es notorio ver su pasión por la vida elevada a un exponente nuevo; el nuevo sentimiento encontrado tras sus letras; enamorado como posiblemente nunca lo había estado. En este Residente nuevo, vemos el orgullo, coraje y valor de un padre. Hace apenas dos meses que nació su primogénito Milo o “Saltarín.”

Visitante Calle 13

Eduardo Cabra, mejor conocido como Visitante, músico y productor de Calle 13 haciendo coros y tocando en the Warfield de San Francisco, Calif., el viernes, 10 de octubre del 2014. (Fotografía por: Natalie Rodriguez)

Entre el romanticismo y amor de “Beso de Desayuno” y “Ojos Color Sol,” Residente nos recuerda que “No podemos morir haciendo lo que no nos gusta,” y nos invita a darle “La Vuelta al Mundo.”

Pero el mensaje de Calle 13 va mas allá del amor y de la critica social. Sus letras, y aun mas sus acciones son en realidad una llamada, un grito, a la acción. “Multiviral” el primer sencillo del disco con el mismo nombre fue escrita en la embajada Ecuatoriana en Londres junto al periodista Australiano y fundador de WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. Incluye la participación de la vocalista y escritora Palestina Kamilya Jubran y el guitarrista Americano de Rage Against the Machine, Tom Morello. Para introducir su éxito Residente lo hace en ingles, haciendo énfasis en lo importante que es que todo el mundo comprenda el mensaje del tema y pide “paz para Palestina!”

Tras pedir la paz en Palestina, nos recuerda a los estudiantes “en especial los que han desaparecido en México” y les dedica el tema “Calma Pueblo.” En septiembre, desaparecieron 43 estudiantes de la Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa en Guerrero, México.

PG-13 y Residente 4

PG-13 y Residente de Calle 13 brindando por “El Aguante” en the Warfield de San Francisco, Calif., el viernes, 10 de octubre del 2014. (Fotografía por: Natalie Rodriguez

La ultima llamada de acción de Residente fue antes de cantar el himno “Latinoamérica,” pues anuncio que había gente colectando firmas para la liberación de Oscar López, preso político que a estado encarcelado en Estados Unidos por 33 años por luchar por la liberación de Puerto Rico según Residente.

Imposible no salir contagiados del virus de camaradería de esta gira Multiviral. Al salir, nos encontramos asistentes hablando Ingles, Español y otros tantos idiomas. Los acentos de ambos idiomas tan variados como los rostros de los asistentes desde los mas jóvenes hasta los mas maduros.

El álbum y fechas del resto de la gira están disponibles a través de lacalle13.com. ¡No te pierdas de la oportunidad de vivir esta experiencia en carne propia!

 

Agradecimientos especiales a Goldenvoice y el equipo de Prensa y Comunicaciones de Calle 13.




The Book of Life: A Review


My family and I were recently invited to a pre-screening of The Book of Life. I have to admit, I was torn between to go or not to go at first. Granted, just knowing that Guillermo del Toro has his magic hand in on this and that MY Diego was cast as the main character made it hard to resist. I was also tempted to check out what Jorge Gutierrez, director and writer, had come up with since his work on Nickelodeon’s El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. On the other hand, I am so tired of Latino culture being marketed through “mainstream” tactics! Let’s face it, with an estimated 54 million Latinos in the U.S., is there any reason why this film should ever be marketed as a Halloween movie?

The beautiful animation and big names finally moved us to take a chance and take a peek. I was thrown back to see that this movie has more big names than I’ve ever seen in an animated film put together. Not only is there a beautiful diversity in the cast, there is enough talent to make your head spin!

Diego Luna, Kate del Castillo, Ricardo Sanchez “El Mandril,” Eugenio Derbez (the Mexican); Zoe Zaldaña (the Dominican-American); Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Gabriel Iglesias, Angela Johnson (the old and the new school Chicano kings and queens); Hector Elizondo (the Boricua); Placido Domingo (the Spanish tenor); Channing Tatum and Christina Applegate (the Anglo); Ron Perlman (who is of Ashkenazi Jewish decent); and Ice Cube (the Black brother)! Although everyone is just amazing, I do have to add, that only a true G like Ice Cube could bring his character, the Candle Maker, to life and flow with the family vibe of the film as well as he did.

Autistic son and all, my husband, sister and I headed to the theater. And then MAGIC happened! Where do I even start? I kept waiting for the moment when the little sir would have a freak out, or be too scared, or let us know the volume was too high. Let me just say that this NEVER happened. Every now and then we struggled with keeping his 3D glasses on, but considering this child CANNOT sit still for more than 15 minutes, I’ll take it as a win.

What did happen? Despite the fact that our Little Love has limited verbal skills, his reaction to La Muerte, voiced by Kate del Castillo, was an incredibly excited “Pretty!” His non-stop laughing made my heart melt. When the music started I could literally see my entire family’s jaw drop. Husband could not keep his eyes away from the screen the entire time and little love to this day will not stop singing “I will wait, I will wait for youuuu” (at all hours of the day AND night). Heads up for all, if you already LOVE my Diego, wait until you hear him sing!

It is refreshing to know that Gustavo Santaolalla has given this film his magic musical touch. Husband immediately pointed out that he was also responsible for the Amores Perros (starring Gael Garcia Bernal) soundtrack. If you’ve never seen Amores Perros, the Mexican love drama, perhaps you’d be familiar with his work in Babel, The Motorcycle Diaries, or Broke Back Mountain. As a side note on Garcia Bernal, keep an eye out for as he plays an Iranian Canadian journalist in John Stuart’s production, Rosewater.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have ANY issues with the stereotypes, particularly with the exotic representation of Latinas. Luckily, and without giving too much away, our heroine Maria, voiced by Zoe Saldaña, kicks butt! This is always a fantastic message to send to our girls and young women. You don’t have to be the güerita ice queen to be smart, strong, independent, and fierce. The film is simply loaded with beautiful and empowering messages of friendship, forgiveness, bravery and selflessness.

This is a movie, an animated film, in which our brown children can see characters like themselves. One in which they can see the beauty of our cultures and our traditions. This is a gift to parents like myself who didn’t have cartoon characters that we could identify with, who didn’t hear our accents, our beautiful accents, in movies or television as heroes and sheroes. This is a gift to los abuelos, like my own and like my son’s, who hold tradition and authenticity dear to their hearts! Make sure to keep an eye out for cultural icon Frida Kahlo; religious icon la Virgen de Guadalupe; and the pre-Columbian Aztec mother of the gods, goddess Coatlicue.

Thank you. Thank you for making a movie about Día de los Muertos that is not scary, a common misconception about our holiday. Somehow, zombies, witches, and monsters are all acceptable and profitable in mainstream America without them being problematic. Thank you for giving such a well thought out and thorough explanation of what it is and why it is celebrated. Thank you for making a movie that spotlights tradition, authenticity, beauty and talent. But above all, thank you for making a film that anyone from any cultural background can watch, understand and appreciate.

Thank you for giving our kids, thank you for giving ME, an animated film that I can finally identify with in mainstream America.

The Book of Life hits theaters tomorrow, Friday, October 17. Check your local theaters for availability and show times.




Help Save Romo's Caffe


Romo’s Caffe from Natalie Rodriguez on Vimeo.

Laura Hernandez from Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, Mexico, crossed the border by walking at the age of 12. She is a hard working woman who with the help of her girlfriend Allison Downs, and her two sons, Adan and Mario Jimenez has established a coffee stand, Romo’s Caffe, at the Laney College Flea Market in Oakland, Calif. On Sunday, March 30, 2014, their trailer with all of their supplies and materials was stolen outside of their apartment building. This is Laura’s story.

For more information on how you can help Laura and her family save Romo’s Caffe visit: fundly.com/help-laura-save-her-business?ft_src=widget_campaign_card#gallery/1




Is Justin Bieber An Example of Immigration Laws that “Discriminate”?


Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber has recently drawn attention to himself due to an arrest and release in Miami Beach, Fla. While fans pledge their unconditional support, others have created petitions urging the Obama administration to deport Bieber. Still others urge the attention to be shifted from the celebrity to other immigrants who face deportation due to “lesser offences.” In this podcast immigration attorney Paula Joachin who practices law in the city of San Diego, Calif., explains why this celebrity case is an example of what Milli Atkinson of Centro de Ayuda Legal Para Inmigrantes referred to as laws that “are written to really discriminate against Mexico and Central America,” in October of 2013 as a part of The Conversation on Immigration Reform.

On Sunday, January 23, 2014, Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired driver’s license in Miami Beach, Fla. Since the day of his arrest, several petitions have been created on the website We the People seeking supporting signatures in a petition to the Obama Administration asking to both deport and protect Bieber from deportation.

One petition in particular seeks to “Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card” on the grounds that “he is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth.” The goal of the petition was to receive 100,000 signatures, as of Wednesday, January 29, 2014; the petition had 170, 973 supporting signatures.

The American Civil Liberties Union has published a brief article titled “What Justin Bieber’s Arrest Would Mean for Another Non-Citizen.” Through this article, they urge readers that “While the media is focused on what will happen to Bieber, let’s instead focus on what will happen to all of the other immigrants who are detained and deported for lesser offenses than his.” According to Joachin during the Obama administration, the amount of immigrants who have been put into detention for being undocumented, without a prior history of violation of laws, “sky rocketed.”

Joachin remains hopeful that a “comprehensive and holistic” immigration reform will pass. “We want the legalization of the people who are already here, whose only offense is a civil one, and that is entering the U.S. without ‘proper documents.’”




The Desert Angels


The Desert Angels are a non-profit, humanitarian group of volunteers, based out of San Diego, Calif. They conduct search and rescue missions of lost people in the desert areas near the United States and Mexico border. Rafael Larraenza is the organization’s director. He has helped in not only finding undocumented immigrants who become lost in their journey to the United States, but also in recovering bodies of those who have lost their lives along the way.

More from Larraenza on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in regards to the proposed immigration reform.