MACUILXOCHITL: Five Flower,” the Aztec god of music and dance
By Francisco H. Ciriza
It seems Media Arts Center San Diego’s Eleventh Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival, which has a couple evenings of proceedings left, tonight and tomorrow, has been quite the event. This year’s attendees were able to meet some of the hottest and most talented Latino actors and filmmakers around today. Once again presented by the Southern California Lincoln Mercury Dealers, the festival included a hot list of musical acts that added to the all ready impressive line up of guests and films. John Leguizamo, Roselyn Sanchez, Patricia Velasquez, Yancey Arias, Vanessa Bauche, Gregory Nava, Arturo Ripstein, Christian de la Fuente, Freddy Rodriguez, Rene Lavan, Adam Rodriguez, Nicholas Gonzales, Fernando Sariñana were among those mentioned as appearing.
One of the artists that appeared at the Madstone Theaters as part of the SDLFF, Curanderos, have once again taken their share of awards at MundoRock ero.com , one of the premier Latin-Alternative websites dedicated to our ‘little’ scene. The website and its readers awarded the Los Angeles rock group all three of it’s local awards for 2003 including Best Band, Best Album “Evolucion Show”, and Best Song “Dolores.” Not bad at all especially considering the significant number of subscribers the site attracts throughout California and the rest of the U.S. Even more impressive is the fact that The Cu beat out traditional heavyweights like Ozomatli and Pastilla. As if that weren’t enough, the group’s song, Perro, from its latest release has reached the number 2 spot at one of Colombia’s best Top 40 radio stations RadioHit 91.5 in Cali, Colombia. The Cu’s cover of “Creep” has reached the number 2 spot and is about to take over number one. Anyone interested in winning one of three pairs of tickets to the band’s March 28 show at Brick By Brick can write to the Kiva at email@example.com. The first three folks, will get them and you must be 21 or over for this one.
Speaking of websites, San Jose-based site, PUROROCK.COM, now features an English version to compliment its well-established and high quality Spanish content. Creator, owner, and contributor, Gabriel Meza, is an amazingly intelligent man and talented writer. His language skills in both English and Spanish provide the foundation for the site that includes a wealth of current articles on a large number of popular Latino music artists, contests, polls, chat, videos, and more. It even now includes Macuilxochitl’s Kiva.
Two major Latino acts, Jaguares and Shakira, have plans to release DVD’s, the latest trend in the music biz. Nice to see Latino artists receiving support from their labels for projects like this. Of course, their interest is obvious, fans will love to have another way to connect with their idols. Not much has been said about the Jaguares DVD. Early last year, word was that the group had recorded their Universal Amphitheater shows for this purpose, but production time seems to lead one to believe something happened along the way to the market. If it is to be what was originally planned, the disc will more than likely feature the band performing one of its legendary live ‘rituals.’ The group is well-known for its ability to make its concerts transcend the typical live music experience with fans often referring to the group’s shows as ceremonies or rituals… nothing spooky, just an amazing connection between performers and audience. Release is set for May 20, 2004 and the band is currently on a mini-tour that will bring it to southern California at the end of this month. Check the group’s website at Jaguaresmx.com.
The Shakira Live and Off the Record DVD will include a 60-minute an insightful behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the talented young Colombian. She’s described as one of the most interesting and unique figures in contemporary music. The package will also include 90 minutes of footage from her most recent Tour of the Mongoose which took Shakira to Paris, London, Madrid, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Bogotá, among other cities worldwide. Additionally, a companion audio CD of ten live recordings previously unavailable will be included. MTV and MTV2 are planning to air a 30-minute special providing viewers the first chance to get a glimpse of the DVD, which is set for release on March 30.
Lots of new music headed our way…keep your ears and eyes open for new CD’s from Maldita Vecindad, Los Tigres Del Norte, Los Lobos and later this year Shakira and Jaguares.