January 27, 2006

A music show for bilinguals

“Mex 2 the Max,” which includes Mexican regional music videos and interviews, began airing on KUSI this month.

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

Even though at first sight it doesn’t seem like it, Patricia Lopez knows Mexican regional music to its core.

The television host knows very well how to distinguish between a norteño group and a banda sinaloense, between quebradita and pasito duranguense, between mariachi and tecnobanda.

“That’s the music I enjoy the most,” Lopez said.

No wonder she can easily host her show “Mex 2 the Max,” which since last Saturday, January 21, began to air in San Diego through local station KUSI

The one-hour show, which began four years ago in LATV Channel 57 in Los Angeles, offers a unique look at Mexican regional music, because it’s totally bilingual. So don’t be surprised if one day you watch an interview with genre icons, such as Lupillo Rivera and Rogelio Martinez, completely in English!

Patricia Lopez with guests Patrulla 81.

Even though the main focus of the show are the leading artists in Mexican regional music, such as Tigres del Norte, Vicente Fernandez, and Banda El Recodo, “Mex 2 the Max” also includes artists that take traditional elements and mix them with more pop and urban styles. Once in a while you can see videos and live interviews with Paulina Rubio, El Gran Silencio, Café Tacuba, among others.

“Mex 2 the Max” is a fresh show where people can hear the best gossip about their favorite artists, as well as live interviews and studio performances –in a bilingual format.

Mexican regional music represents about 70% of total sales of Latin music in the United States, Lopez said.

The show closes the generation gap between Latino youth and their parents. Both generations come together thanks to their love for Mexican regional music and their understanding of the two languages.

“The success of the show is because it came to fulfill people’s needs,” Lopez said. “Before there used to be a lot of raza that wasn’t being represented by Spanish-language networks nor by English-language networks.”

LATV’s “Mex 2 the Max” is part of the new wave of bilingual programming that focusses on Latino youth, that feel comfortable in English and Spanish, or better said, in Spanglish.

Other channels that are part of this movement are Mun2 (from Telemundo Network) and Sí TV.

But “Mex 2 the Max” has been the most outstanding one, at least in Los Angeles.

According to a production press release, on Thursday, April 14, 2005, the show got 2.2% (or about 38,000 viewers) of the all Hispanic television viewers in the L.A. area at the 8:00 p.m. slot.

That’s more than the porcentages for MTV (.05), VH1 (0.7) and Mun2 (0.2) combined.

“Mex 2 the Max” has had such success that is being sindicated and soon, in addition to San Diego, it will begin to air in such diverse cities such as McAllen, Baltimore, and Kansas City, according to Lopez.

“These markets are very different but all of them are asking for our shows,” Lopez said. “Mexican regional music will reach all of those places.”

With a unique programming, LATV has become a commercial phenomenon in Los Angeles, where it has reached first place among Latino youth.

It has been on the air since 2001.

Since January 21, “Mex 2 the Max”, one of the most popular shows on LATV, began airing in San Diego on KUSI, one of San Diego’s most important local news stations.

“Mex 2 the Max” will air in San Diego and Tijuana every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on KUSI.

For more information visit www.latv.com.

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