Didiu Rio Branco – Political Cartoons & Hip-ee Hop-ee

Researching the The Spirit of Apollo, I came across this video with opening animation by Paulista cartoonist Didiu Rio Branco. It’s pretty funny – Lino Krizz‘s brasileño homage to blowout combs and lowriders.

And from the NASA project, screening tonight at the Los Feliz 3:

More of Didiu’s political and cultural critique can be found at Mundo Mocoh:

Even has his own Havaiianas!


Yo Soy Fiesta! – Rob Gronkowski habla football

On point with recent academic and intellectual developments like Why Spanish Matters, this clip of a bilingual interview with Gronk was submitted by HELA contributor Tommy Tsunga:

The response to the polyglot skills of El Gronk has been phenomenal and dovetailed nicely with the solid relationship that the Patriots have with Spanish Language media:

And it’s done wonders for the Sigue leyendo

Una charla con Rose Mary Salum

An author, an academic, an editor, the founder and director of Literal: Latin American Voices – Rose Mary Salum es una figura muy importante in the publication of content across cultures in the Américas. Put in slightly more accessible terms, she’s kind of a big a deal. El lunes tenemos not one but TWO oportunidades de hablar con ella sobre sus diferentes proyectos. In the morning, the UCLA Department of Spanish & Portuguese is hosting a roundtable brunch where she will discuss two of her publications: “Una de ellas” (published in Literal) and “Editing Journals across Languages and Cultures” (in the 2009 edition of Profession– online access limited to universities and subscribers). That evening at 5:30, UCLA will also be hosting a reception where Salum will get deeper into some of the linguistic and cultural issues that need to be negotiated in a publication like Literal. For those who are concerned, we have it on the authority of the organizers that in the spirit of Teo Ruiz, wine will be served antes de la charla… y quizas después también – if there’s any left – because lit scholars can be a thirsty bunch. Another in a long line of strong speakers that the Department of Spanish & Portuguese has hosted this year, Salum is highly recommended for anyone interested in project HELA.

“Rose Mary Salum is founder and director of the bilingual magazine Literal: Latin American Voices and author of short story collections Spaces In Between (2006), Entre los espacios (2002), and Vitrales (1994). In 2009, she collected works for Amalafa y Caligrafía: Literatura de origen árabe en América Latina for the journal Hostos Review. She recently completed Cuentos semitas, an anthology of short fiction by Latin American authors from Arabic and Jewish backgrounds, and a collection of micro-fiction titled El insomnio del arte. She has earned a wide range of awards and nominations for her literary and editorial efforts including “Author of the Year 2008” from the Hispanic Book Festival, the Ana María Matute Prize from Torremozas, the leading Spanish publisher of literature by women, the Hispanic Excellence Award, two Lone Star Awards (2005, 2006), recognitions from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, the Western Publishing Association’s Maggie Awards, and the Classical Award from the University of St. Thomas, where she completed her masters degree. Born in Mexico and of Lebanese descent, in 2003 US Congress honored Rose Mary for her many contributions to the Hispanic community, and currently she teaches creative writing at Rice University.

I have a dream

I have to admit, I often find myself fantasizing about the child they’d have.


Branjelina a “supercouple”??? TapaLula would CRUSH them. Unless… unless there was a Jennifer Aniston in the story — some jilted haina lurking in the shadows… waiting to destroy their glorious union…

wait a second…


Cuidado Santita. You mess with Cholula’s man and she’ll cut you.

Los Pinguos CD Release Party @ The Mint

I can’t count the number of nights I’ve spent drinking malbec and dancing madly to Los Pinguos. Give these guys an hour and your teeth will be purple and you’ll be drenched in sweat from doing whatever it is you decide to do when you decide to cut a rug: salsa, cumbia, white man’s overbite, free for all hincha de Boca style jumping up and down… it’s all good, it’s all pinguinesca. In the Temple Bar days, there was no better show on the lado oeste than this group of Argentines who channel an unparalleled blend of flamenco, rock, tango, cumbia, salsa… and … who cares… IT’S LOS PINGUOS!

Temple Bar is gone but Los Pinguos carry on and tomorrow night at The Mint they’re celebrating the release of their new album “11-11” with a South American / P. Diddy style “white party” where everyone dressed in white gets a FREE copy of the CD.

But OJO! Bassist and notorious hincha de C.A. Independiente, Santiago “Fefe” Lee made it very clear that you gotta be dressed in ALL white from head to toe. Go white or go home. A philosophy that Fefe assures me is not in any way racist.

More than anything: JUST ENJOY THE AWESOME THAT THEY PUT IN YOUR EAR. My only words of caution? Be careful if you Californicanos wear chancletas. Erin is notorious for dancing all over your feet.

Paz. Amor. Besos. Abrazos. – EPR

Brasilian Astronauts: as colaborações transnacionais da NASA

This movie looks amazing. With their debut album “The Spirit of Apollo”, the two gringo and brasileiro DJs that make up NASA took a musical sharpie and drew a big fat line between los EEUU and Brasil . In this celebration of norte-sur mashups, brasilian funk is the churrascaria and once it’s lit, los deeyays NASA throw every flavor and cut of meat from around the world onto the flame:

David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab, Z-Trip, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, Method Man…. shall I continue?

Aiaight: E-40, DJ Swamp, RZA, Barbie Hatch, John Frusciante, KRS-One, Fatlip, Slim Kid Tre, Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard… dare I go on?

Okay, let’s do it: Tom Waits, Kool Keith, Kanye West, Santogold, Lykke Li, Sizzla, Amanda Blank, Lovefoxxx, George Clinton, Spank Rock, M.I.A., Nick Zinner

…você quer mais?

Tudo bem, então: Kool Kojak, DJ Babão, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, DJ Qbert, The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface, DJ AM.

It’s wild. It’s awesome. And now Sam Spiegel and DJ Zegon are pulling back the curtain on project Apollo with a cinematic documentary of their transcontinental collaborations. I guess it’s not all that shocking then that the visual component doesn’t just mean some dork with an iPhone turned on the video. NASA stayed on theme and brought in a mix of global artists and animators to add sight to the sound. You know, just a couple schmoes like …Syd Garon, Shepard Fairey, Splunny, Sage Vaughn, Marcel Dzama, The Date Farmers, Logan, Didiu Rio Branco, Three Legged Legs and Lorenzo Fonda. Get yer tix and GO!

N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo – Trailer from Connell Creations on Vimeo.

Que vive el deeyay!

In memory of the late DJ Dusk, some amazing artists will be playing a fundraiser for the Mar Vista Family Center this Saturday afternoon. DJ Dusk was a volunteer at the center and the lineup speaks to the stature of the good deejay in the music community and beyond. It’s a pretty stacked day for music lover: Miles Tackett, Geoff “Double G” Gallegos and the rest of the Breakestra will be on hand with Percee P, Medusa, and a fistful of other turntable maestros and musicians. For more info see the WalkTalkin blogspot. Great music for a good man and a most excellent cause.


Why Spanish Matters

Language IS politics. Immigration debate has warped linguistic policy – maybe even made it taboo to admit that we have or need any such policy – but right or left, the need to negotiate a bilingual world is something that can no longer be ignored in the proliferating regions of “Spanish America”. A group of colegas at La UCLA started this conference a couple years ago and are exploring some issues that are muy interesante and super-importante for bringing our attitudes towards linguistic diversity out of the egocentric dark ages.

Among the many badass panelists, you can check out are Armando Guerrero Jr.: “You Speak Good English for Being Mexican”: Language and Identity of East Los Angeles Chicano English (ELACE).

Or if you’ve ever seen people freak out when someone speaking english has the huevos and the gall to pronounce a Spanish word with a Spanish accent, catch Jhonni Carr’s: “One margarita, please! Language Attitudes Regarding Pronunciation in the Language of Origin”

Other speakers looking at current and historical issues in language politics include Ian Romain ”The Founding Fathers and the Original Language Politics in the United States”, Mariška Bolyanatz “Why Language Policy Matters: Effects of Prop. 227 on Minority Populations”, Belén Villarreal “The Importance of Spanish in Communication between Parents and LA Public Schools”, Covadonga Lamar Prieto: “The Silencing of the Californios: Tracing the Beginnings of Linguistic Repression in 19th Century California”, Ricardo Medina “Where Bilingualism Mattered? Translators and the Mexican Borderlands”, Bryan Kirschen “The (not-so) Distant Relationship between Spanish and Arabic”, Nancy Ballesteros “Why Teaching Pronuntiation to Spanish L2 Learners Matters”, and because Brazilians are everywhere, Michelle Addae presents “Spanish in Contact with Portuguese: The influence of Spanish on Barranquenho.”

For todos los de Los Ángeles, faculty sensei Claudia Parodi will speak on: “Latinos and Other Minorities in LA: Their Languages.”

And finally, Chase W. Raymond answers Larry David’s pressing question as to when and where we can take that leap from Ud. to vos to tú in his pronominal opus: “In-the-Moment Pronominal Address in Spanish” …lest we end up like Caesar.

Splendido All-Stars @ M Herrington Gallery

As the icecaps melt and the glaciers start to thaw, las super-estrellas esplendidas will emerge from hibernation to play a neighborhood show at the M Herrington Gallery in nuestro barrio de Venice. I’m excited because The Splendido Allstars are family – literally, mi familia – and it’s been far too long since they’ve shared the love. An organically grown grade-AAA collection of bottled up musical musk, they are my brothers and sisters and I can smell them coming from a mile away. How? Because once uncorked, that bottle oozes a musical energy that launches dust storms of pheromones into the Santa Anas. It’s an angry genie that will sooner breakdance for tacos than get back in the lamp. So if you start to sneeze, sweat, and dance violently, it’s because they’re on their horse and they’re headed this way.

This Friday will also be a little extra wild since the Splendidos are performing during a “live draw” by local Venice master of the erotic: Alberto Bevacqua.

If you’re new to the experience, you should know that the Splendidos are a free-form invitation to musical talent, a shifting rotation of all-stars that is held in place by the backbone of Dave Noel (lead guitar), Matthaeus Szumanski (bass), and Shaun Tucker (drums). As the seasons change, so does the lineup but common featured performers include: Alanna Vicente on vocals and trombone, the beautiful voice of Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the Splendido Wall of Brass (Al Nelson, Chuck Pappert, Marcus Bag-O-Soul, Helga Douglas), Terrence Young on naked cello, and if you’re super-lucky… when Mercury is rising on a full moon… you might get to see the Freestyle Boba Fett of Microphone Mastery aka Jeff “J-Dub” West.

Go. Do it. Join the famiglia.
Herve will smile down upon you.

¡Buen año Carlito! Good Year Charlie @ Genghis Cohen TONIGHT

When an argentine chanteuse channels the outlaw spirit of Jessi Colter you get Sabrina Howells. When this “Hija de Boca” gets on stage with the extremely “snappy” and debonair guitar savant Alex Jessup, you get Good Year Charlie. GYC is an awesome experience because Sabrina and Alex are irresistible personalities and it’s clear that they want little more than for the audience to get drunk, enjoy the music, laugh, dance, and then go home and make babies … or die trying. But cuidado, with a deft shift in tone or a subtle change in harmony, GYC will thrust you deep into the bowels of an empty backwater saloon where the dark meditations of a country ballad will leave you contemplating love, death, and the search for salvation in a bottle of Jack.

Whiskey, sex, love, death, dating, laughing, crying, Boca, River… it’s all Good Year Charlie.

TONIGHT 8:30 pm @ Genghis Cohen they are joined by broadway super-estrella Bill English on vocals and ukelele as well as the maestro Dan Riley on stand up bass and Eric Puestow on drums. GYC stands strong alone but the opportunity to see them with this murderer’s row of talent -all of them muy amigo y como hermanitos de GYC- should not be missed.

Video del dia: Los Lobos ‘Carabina .30-.30’ (1988)

Los brochachos were bien suave back in the day.


Sur-realidad en Sur-California

Only weird because it’s so true. Or is it? Seriously, if you were to cut through El Segundo to get to Marina del Rey… you’d NEVER take Venice. Click photo for the video of blonde Josh Brolin vs. blonde Fred Armisen… vs. blonde Kenan Thompson… vs. the 405.

Respect the Sponge

Brasileiro Guilherme Tâmega lets lose in the thick and heavy of El Frontón – a beast of a wave in Las Islas Canarias. Só posso dizer é… que tem que respeitar. Nuts!

La foto del dia: Patriotismo

In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States | LACMA

In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States | LACMA.