Hidy-hi, blog readers!
I am always on the lookout for fun websites, aren't you guys?
While it's easy enough to descend into a K-hole of Facebook-status-likery or YouTube gawking (lately I've been on an Electric Company kick), there's other stuff out there I plan to herein enjoy bringing to your attention.
Surely you already know Jezebel, Glasstire, Emvergeoning, Television Without Pity (yeah, Bravo owns it now, but the brilliant Jacob still writes for it), Etsy, artlies, and AlterNet.
Here are still others.
Ed is a brilliantly talented artist here in SATX. with a brand-spanking new website on (in?) which you can get a good look at his politically impassioned, technically accomplished, deeply-felt work. Saavedra's work never relies on knee-jerk shock value or easy irony, but is instead animated by a spirit of gritty, thwarted romanticism. The titles are often slyly double-entendre. His portraits of Fela Kuti, Ramsey Lewis, Harvey Milk, Lenny Bruce and Oscar Wilde truly illuminate, his appropriation of signage is surprising and deep, and some of it is for sale. Go see.
A freaking treasure trove archive of art resources founded and edited by poet Kenneth Goldsmith. Non-commercial, almost ridiculously exhaustive. Contains perusable images, sound, video, and text. Recent items made available (for free!) include a downloadable PDF of Hurricane, the poetical collaboration between (star curator and former Artpace guest curator) Hans Ulrich Obrist and Thai artist/ "Utopia Station" creator Rirkrit Tiravanija; Derek Jarman's short film In the Shadow of the Sun; and Agnés Varda's 1976 video Plaisir d'amour en Iran. You can also find some tracks from Toshimaru Nakamura's "Improvised Music From Japan!" Warhol Factory eccentric/poet-comic Taylor Mead reading his own poetry! And a new 24-hour non-stop UbuWeb radio stream!
This is a fascinating bit of online art by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries that combines text/typography, music, and gender/political/sexual satire. I hope you read fast.
**NOT SAFE FOR WORK! I REPEAT, NOT SAFE FOR WORK! NOT. SAFE. FOR. WORK. AT. ALL.**
(I mean, unless you work where I do.)
But Dios mio, is it ever hysterically funny. Photos of (usually at least semi- naked, often at least semi-excited) men posing lasciviously in their very unfortunately-decorated houses. Sometimes, uh, more than one man. Think shag carpet, stuffed animals, bizarre tchotchkes, and naked-ass boners. (Word to str8 guys: almost-guaranteed to make you feel uncomfortable. Also, there are some explicit advertising images for gay adult sites on there.)
I'm guessing the images are taken from hook-up websites, or maybe submitted by readers from saucy e-mails? Each photo is accompanied by priceless commentary/critique— not only from the site's founders, but from an astoundingly witty Greek chorus of regular reader-commenters. If you can withstand looking at peen and fugly decor without suffering a panic attack, check it out. FROM HOME.
Finally, here's the Flickr stream of a blazingly experimental hair salon in Lisbon, Portugal. I don't know if I'll ever have the courage to adopt such a hairstyle, but I admire the hell out of them.
I mean, look at this! And this role model person, in my opinion!
And this awesome lady!
I like this very much also.
Let's see, what else...I feel I've gone maybe too far in the frivolous direction. I started out all "terrific local artist" and "arts archive" and then "gay men making fun of naked gay men and bad furniture? and "hairdos."
OK, so here, teach yourself some French. (Why, it's free streaming eps of French in Action, which may be familiar to you if you took high school French in the
'80s-'90s or watch a whole lot of late-night PBS).
E-mail me any neato website suggestions you may have. Or, you know, whatever. Photos. Recipes. Your life story in under 200 words. I bet I'll post it! You can even cuss.
Text from an actual email, that's also posted in a blog forum of some sort at neighbors.denverpost.com:
from: Carol verdon <email@example.com>
to: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
date: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM
subject: Royalette, she was America’s lucky winner!
5:07 PM (18 minutes ago)
Royalette, she was America’s lucky winner!
In 1994; a man named Eddie, worked for the “good old American dream!” With his newly married wife, Eddie was ready for the world. He would work at a warehouse put in his good work and then return home to see his spouse. His wife showed Eddie, as they were watching TV, a ferret. Eddie, had no idea what the animal was at the time? Eddie, soon loved the exoticness of the animal, almost right away.
One day Eddie and his wife went to Reno, NV. They went to the pet shop and seen ferrets for the first time in their life. Eddie, wanted a ferret but didn’t have enough money to buy a ferret he was sad. The following day, Eddie and his wife went to do a little gambling in Sparks NV. Eddie, seen this no-name casino, well actually it was call the “B Street Casino.” Eddie and his wife played the machines, while not having much luck thought. Eddie, used his final dollars playing poker! The machine dealt Eddie, a Royal Flush of
Eddie, went right away to the pet store and got him a ferret! He bought some antiques as well. The three of them went home happily. Eddie, has a ferret, won on a leap of faith with a “Royal Flush hand,” It was only right to name her ”Royalette.” In remembrance to the Royal Flush per say. So, Eddie did as the new lucky member to his new family!
While watching television, I remember watching the “Trio of Frogs,” during the Super Bowl. Eddie, knew he wanted to start collecting Budweiser Memorabilia. While Eddie, had Royalette out, Eddie, went to make some popcorn in the kitchen. When he came back to the couch, Eddie’s new friend Royalette, had grabbed Eddie’s Budweiser beer and was drinking the beer for sometime already?
Eddie seen it right there, that a new “Super Bowl Commercial Star,” has been born!!!!
Eddie, joined a Anheuser-Busch Collectors Club in 1995 and sent in stories of ferrets along with detailed drawings. Eddie wants to leave the American public this message. “ I just thought, the people of America should know who the ferret was and how it came about! “
In Loving Memory: of Royalette;
This email, whose address, suspiciously, is "firstname.lastname@example.org, came with a phone number, where I left a message, because I'm curious. There are in fact Super Bowl ads featuring a ferret. Perhaps inspired by the slippery ferret muse Royalette?
This email also makes me sad: Royalette -- a beloved companion and home entertainer of great charm and skill, a symbol of the American Dream's simpler times -- has died?
If this is some sort of internet hoax, I'll be pissed -- dead pets are no joking matter. Even ferrets.
Anyone, got a clue?
Featuring SA's own Jackie Earle Haley as none other than Freddy mother-effing Krueger. What do you guys think of Freddy's new look and the trailer's serious tone. Discussion questions: Is the world ready for a sympathetic Krueger? Do we like our claw-handed ghost killers to be wise cracking jackasses or solemn mopes? How much would you have to pay Johnny Depp in 2009 to star in a movie in which he's eaten by an anthropomorphic bed?
A Nightmare on Elm Street in HD
Aimee Garcia - Trauma
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
While doing research for her role on the new NBC show Trauma, Chicago-born actress Aimeé García realized what a big responsibility she had by taking on the role of Iraqi war veteran-turned-EMT pilot Marisa Benez.
“I’m not only representing a Latina, I’m also playing a soldier and a hero,” García told me during a phone interview to promote the first season of her new TV show. “These guys are the Navy Seals of the medical world.”
Best known for her role as George Lopez’s rebellious niece Verónica Palmero in the final season of The George López Show, García makes her move from comedy to drama in a role she calls “very technical.”
From simulated helicopter rides to intense storylines that deal with life and death, García says she feels blessed to have found another home on TV. During the interview, she talked about what makes her character so different from anything she has ever done before and why “Trauma” isn’t an average medical drama.
Trauma premieres Sept. 28 on NBC at 8 p.m.
What was it about Trauma that made you want to be a part of it?
[Producer] Peter Berg has such an amazing reputation with Hancock, Very Bad Things and Friday Night Lights. I wanted to be a part of it. I came in and met the producers. They were kind enough to say, “That’s the girl.” I was the only one they brought to NBC. Lucky for me, I won the role.
It’s been a couple of years since The George López Show. How does it feel to have a consistent role on a TV show again?
It’s everything I could have hoped for and more. I felt very much at home on The George López Show and made life-long friends there. I really feel like I cut my teeth with George López, Andy García and Rita Moreno. Now, I’m doing drama and it feels more like a feature film. Every single day is different. As we speak, I’m reading a scene where they are having me pop in some guy’s eyeballs. It’s guerilla filmmaking on the small screen.
Tell us about your character Marisa Benez.
She is an Iraqi war veteran. She has done two tours as a pilot. She’s flown everything from Apaches to Black Hawks. She’s used to transporting injured Navy Seals and fly a helicopter while being shot at. She’s tired of seeing her friend being killed on the frontlines, so she decides to [end] her military [career] and come to San Francisco to help civilians and kids fight for their lives. She has a little bit of post-traumatic stress disorder with everything she’s seen in the war. She’s a really cool chick. I hope I do her justice.
How much helicopter training did you have to go through for this role?
I had to spend hours in a helicopter and learn the ins and outs. I had to talk to Air Traffic Control and learn that lingo. I also had to learn the EMT side of it. It’s a very technical role.
Did you train with actual EMTs?
Yes, I did ride-a-longs in ambulances with San Francisco paramedics. I was inside an ambulance as they were answering 911 calls. It was a life-changing experience. It’s pretty incredible to spend time with people who others rely on so much. That’s what’s so great about this show. These people literally walk into circumstances that they’ve never seen before. They are the first on the scene. They’re the ones that are going to have to deal with the messiness of the situation. They’re the ones that have to stop the bleeding. Now, when I go to work, I’m running away from explosions and putting on a flight suit and pretending to land a chopper in the middle of a freeway.
Does it worry you that there are a few other medical dramas also premiering this fall?
Not at all, we’re the only medical drama out on the field. It’s out on the streets. We’re not shooting on a lot; we’re shooting on location. We have everything that a medical drama should have – the blood and the adrenaline rush – but instead of an ER, we have a backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge and the colorful characters that San Francisco brings. It’s not a medical drama. It’s an action drama that deals with medicine.
Pat Sharpe broke the news this afternoon on her Texas Monthly blog: Andrew Weissman will close Le Rêve; the announced wine bar in the Sandbar space will not happen. Though well-off foodies will mourn it, the decision actually means more Weissman in more accessible venues, to hear the chef tell it. Ron Bechtol digs deeper next week, but in the meantime, here are his notes from a minutes-ago phone call:
We knew that something was up when our waiter at Il Sogno last Tuesday night was Chris, a stalwart of Le Rêve. “We’re only open Thursday through Saturday now,” he said. Okaaaaay …
And now comes a call from Andrew: ‘There’s a lot going on right now,” he said. “We’re closing Le Rêve and will be out by November 1." For all the right reasons, of course.
Among which was the feeling of being an absentee father for two young kids, the fact (and having spent time in the kitchen I can confirm the fact) that the setup at Le Rêve was far from ideal, and the apparent offer of exciting possibilities at Pearl: A continuation (even expansion) of the concentrated empire that will soon see Sandbar joining Il Sogno (by November 1 — or even sooner) is possible, with a Spanish tapas joint up in the air at the moment. Location to be determined.
“I’m not totally closing the book on Le Rêve,” he said. “Maybe one day an Upstairs at [Wherever]… operation where I can do fine dining for just a few people.” But Andrew considers the closing, even if temporary, a “win-win” for family and staff.
“Fabien [Jacob, whom Current readers know from Travels With Frenchie] can become wine director, James moves up as manager of [an expanded] Sandbar, all the [usable] equipment from Le Rêve moves right over to Sandbar, and I can be there at Il Sogno to keep Luca [Dellacassa] from making all the mistakes I made.”
“Why not leave while I’m on top?” he confided — with a justifiable degree of pride. If you want to experience “the top,” you have about a month. Make reservations at le Rêve now, before the downtown corner goes dark. -- Ron Bechtol
Sure, maybe it was our only real entry, but this defense of Insane Clown Posse's Dark Carnival mythology probably would've won regardless. Rather than taking the tack I expected (i.e., a way too self-serious explanation of all things Juggalo) the author effectively knocks me off my clown-hating high horse by reminding me that it's really all about entertainment. There's far too much suffering and unhappiness in the world for me to begrudge you getting your jollies from a couple of pancake-made-up assholes attempting to rap about the end of the world and spraying you with shitty cola. I also like the expression "adult-shaped kid" which I'll be using from now on to desribe myself instead of "emotionally and socially retarded." The winning essay's reprinted below (with some light editing). Congratulations to the author, who'll be receiving a shiny new copy of ICP's latest Bang Pow Boom.
Lord Save Us From Your Followers (PG-13) **1/2
Dir. Dan Merchant
The question these lefty Christianity docs always prompts is: Who is the audience? You have to assume those nutty religious-righters avoid these things like syndicated reruns of Will & Grace, and there’s something extremely distasteful about the thought of preaching to the converted, of a theater full of self-congratulating atheists patting themselves on their godless backs, grinning smugly at those dumb enough to believe in anything greater than the scientifically observable. Like Bill Maher’s Religulous, Dan Merchant’s Lord Save Us From Your Followers boasts an off-putting, condescending, albeit easier to spell, title, but its tagline — “Why is the gospel of love dividing America?” poses a question often considered by the kinder-hearted breeds of honest-to-God Christians.
The film opens with several talking heads, pitting Maher, Jon Stewart and George Carlin against Ann Coulter, Dubya, and Jerry Falwell, easily proving that all these soundbites aren’t moving us anywhere near a reasonable discussion. Not that any of us, on either side, needed much convincing of that. The stream of headlines that follows is less articulate, and Merchant’s voiceover bio — raised suburban evangelical, watching Pat Robertson and keeping an eye out for the antichrist — reveals that he’s actually playing for Team God, though more hardcore Christians might accuse him of shaving points.
More clips of the back-and-forth snark, and some actual attempts at rational thought, are intercut with Merchant’s man-on-the-street interviews. Merchant, incidentally, is dressed in a jumpsuit covered in bitchy bumper stickers, Jesus fish, and Darwinian amphibians.
These interviews reveal something rarely mentioned when we decry all the Ann Coulters of the world — in off-the-cuff interviews, average people, some of them no doubt decent, goodhearted folk, sound like dicks, too. A gay marriage protest and counter protest outside San Francisco City Hall leads to a direct conflict between one of the milder iterations of the God-hates-fags crowd and grown men dressed as Padmé Amidala, and nobody comes away looking particularly good.
The cartoon comparing the body of Christ to Frankenstein’s monster is the point at which I’m predicting most conservative Christians in the audience (if there were any there to begin with) will stomp out and demand a refund, and most of Merchants more hardcore Christian interviewees aren’t willing to bend enough to satisfy most liberal atheists looking to find common ground. But, as the segment on the Democratic Party’s recent embrace of Christianity reminds us, the nonbelievers are a still in the minority.
Unless hardcore Christians confuse the title for some kind of bible-thumping slasher flick, I expect they’ll stay away in droves, and that’s probably not a bad thing, as far as the film’s stated objective — opening a thoughtful dialogue — is concerned. Lord Save Us is far more effective as a justification of faith to the faithless than vice versa.
After all, Al Franken, even at his most diplomatic, still sounds like he’s being interviewed via satellite from somewhere up his own ass, but Dean Merrill —author of Damage Control: How to Stop Making Jesus Look Bad — comes off as refreshingly levelheaded, and a too-brief segment on some especially joyful-looking Ethiopian Christians is an effective reminder that not everyone who believes in a invisible magic man in the sky is bugshit insane.
UPDATE: This contest is D-E-A-D over, but the ICP's music will live on in our hearts, and that's the greatest gift of all. Just kidding -- I'm having those parts surgically removed on Friday.
True, it's been out for nearly a month now, so it's not all that new, and faithful Juggalos and (God help us all) Juggalettes will have long since bought ICP's latest, Bang Pow Boom, and soaked it in a bathtub full of Faygo Soda and chicken blood, or whatever the hell you crazy kids do with these albums. (You aren't actually listening to them are you?) But we got a review copy in the mail a few days ago nonetheless, so the record company must think there's somebody out there who still wants this but hasn't bought it yet. I'm not reviewing this record for the same reason I won't review shoving icepicks into my ear canals — I'm pretty sure I already know how I'm gonna feel about it — but my prejudice is your potential gain.
If you want this still-in-the-package CD, all you've got to do is write an essay of any length explaining the whole "Dark Carnival" mythos thing that informs all the ICP albums. Wikipedia (of course Wikipedia has a page devoted to this) describes the Dark Carnival as "a God-like force with different 'attractions'" including the Carnival of Carnage, the Riddle Box, and the Ringmaster. If I remember correctly from some thing I'm pretty sure I read several years ago, this stuff is all somehow tied to the apocalypse, and possibly the dimensions of Eminem's rectal cavity. Please enlighten me, and we'll post your essay up on the site to teach our readers about the wonders of Juggalodom, as well. Bonus points if you can describe it so that it doesn't sound all insane and retarded.
I hope you'll understand if I want to send you this album through the mail instead of giving it to you in person.
If you like your punk with a side of "circle pit," head over to the Ten Eleven immediately! Prevail Within, one of San Antonio longest standing punk outfits, are set to play at 10:15. For those looking to fit in, try some Knox gelatin if you're having trouble getting your "hawk" to stay up. And remember, circle pits turn left.
Eva LaRue - CSI: Miami
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
Actress Eva LaRue remembers what it was like for Latinas in the television industry when she started her career back in the late 80s.
“Twenty years ago when I first got into the business there was literally no Latinas working in primetime television unless they were the odd recurring role as the maid or the hooker,” LaRue told me during an interview to promote the new season of CSI: Miami, which airs on Sept. 21. “It was pretty pathetic. Now, it has come so far.”
From actresses like América Ferrera to Roselyn Sánchez to Sara Ramírez, LaRue, who is part Puerto Rican, says she is proud to be one of the many Latina actresses currently making their mark on primetime television. Like Ferrera, Sánchez, and Ramírez, LaRue is also getting noticed. As DNA analyst Natalia Boa Vista on CSI: Miami, a role which she began in 2005, she was recently nominated for an Alma Award for Best Actress in a Drama.
The NCLR Alma Awards air on ABC Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. The season premiere of CSI: Miami airs on CBS Monday, Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.
Where were you when you got the news of your Alma Award nomination?
I got the news while my daughter and I were on vacation in the Bahamas. We squeezed in one last vacation before school started again. We had a blast. [My publicist] called to tell me I got the nomination. It was unexpected and awesome. I love the Alma Awards.
I know you’ve won a couple of Alma Awards for your work on daytime TV. Are accolades like this important to you as an actress?
If you make them important it’s probably a big mistake. This business is so fickle. One year you could be considered awesome, the next year you could be considered the worst actress on the planet. It’s always flattering and certainly exciting, but I never wait and hope for those kinds of things. I just press on and do the best I can.
Do you think shows like the Alma Awards and others like the Image Awards, which separate actors by race, are good for Hollywood?
There are way more Latino actors and actresses working now [more] than ever before, because sadly there isn’t enough really big Latino television stars. There’s Eva Longoria and there’s…Eva Longoria. Then there are fewer than 10 huge Latina film stars – Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba. To let everyone be represented we need our own awards show.
You told TV Guide that Season 8 of CSI: Miami is going back to the show’s roots. Can you explain?
It’s definitely going back to what they were doing in the first couple of seasons where everyone is working together as a team. We’re not going to be paired off as much. David [Caruso] is going to be back in the lab a lot more this season. Delco (Adam Rodríguez) is obviously leaving this season. [Rodríguez] is simply irreplaceable, but things happen. There are a lot of changes this season, it’s going to be really good.
Speaking of Adam, he’s now starring in Tyler Perry’s new movie. I know you did a feature film last year with Samuel L. Jackson (Lakeview Terrence). Would you like to do more film?
I would love to do more film. We’re contractually bound to CSI so during the season it’s hard to work on anything else. CSI has first dibs on your week. People that are doing multimillion-dollar films aren’t going to work around your schedule unless you’re the first one on the call sheet. Most TV stars end up doing movies during the hiatus.
What would a dream role be for you?
At this point it would be a meaty role on a well-written film. I wouldn’t even want to limit it by saying it would be one character. It would be something really fun. I would love to do a comedy.
By Enrique Lopetegui
Here’s the complete Poncho Sánchez Q&A. Catch him and his band live this Saturday at 9:30 at Travis Park, for JazzSAlive.
Not only you are not from Cuba or Puerto Rico…
…but you are from Texas! Was it extra hard for you to earn credibility as a conguero?
Oh, yeah… Maybe today it would be a little easier for a Tejano, or Chicano, or Mexican American to break into the circle, probably because of me… (laughs) But when I was coming up, early ’70s, there were very few Mexican American conga drummers around. And everybody knows that Puerto Rican or Cuban conga drummers were much better, and they really were, in those days. There were only a handful or Chicano conga drummers in Los Angeles, working with El Chicano, or Tierra, those kind of bands. And they really didn’t know the real way to play congas, half of the time. Some of those guys were just guessing. And for me it was hard. I practiced with my brothers’ and sisters’ records. I had the early records of Machito, and Tito Puente, and Orquesta Aragón, Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaría… I learned from listening to records. Nobody showed me nothing. And at times I would turn the record over and look in the back to see the conga drummer, the way he held his hand. I had no videos and I was too young to go to a nightclub and see a guy play congas. I didn’t even know how to hit it, pero de todos modos I would listen to the music and I would hear the conga go PA! Tu-tu PA! I’d go “Man, how do they get that sound?!” El sonido! And I would look at the pictures and I would see how they would cup their hand, and I would go “Oh, maybe they slap it, and they open it…” Well, that’s how I learned, by myself. And I loved it so much. If felt natural to me. This October I’ll be 58 years old. I’ve been playing congas for 40 years, and I’m not the kind of guy who hits the congas soft. And I’m a pretty big guy. With me it’s PA!! I really want to hit the thing. Other guys use other techniques, lighter and fast. Like Giovanni [Hidalgo, for many the world’s best conguero], he plays so fast, rrrrrrrr, lightning-fast. Giovanni is a good friend of mine…
Do you agree he’s the best conguero in the world?
He’s one of the best, yes. To me there is no best anything, because there is always someone who does something a little better than you. As far as el sonido, I think I have a better sound than him. But for speed and ideas, Giovanni is incredible. I can’t even think as fast as he plays. But that’s not everything, to be fast or creative. Sometimes you have to have good sound and good soul, you know what I mean? Good feeling, to make the music feel good. Giovanni is a great soloist also, but he has a certain style, and I have a certain style. In my style, I’m better than him, but in his style he’s better than me. So, to me, there is no best at anything. Same with sax, trumpet or whatever.
So who are your heroes? Name me two or three congueros you look up to.
Oh, Giovanni is one of them, a very good friend of mine and I love him. But Mongo Santamaría (1917-2003) was my hero of all time. And I got to know him very well, he was a very good friend of mine for many, many years. As a matter of fact, I named my oldest son after him. He’s named Mongo, 37 years old.
That’s love, man…
I named my oldest son Mongo and my youngest son, 27, Tito, for Tito Puente. I got to play with both many times. My story is incredible, it’s like a fairy tale. Don’t forget I’m just a Chicano, a Tejano from Laredo, a Mexican that moved to Los Angeles in the barrio, the youngest of 11, and I taught myself how to play the congas in a garage. And now I have a book that teaches you how to play the congas…
What’s the name of the book?
(Poncho struggles to give me the book’s correct name, but I looked it up: Poncho Sanchez' Conga Cookbook: Develop Your Conga Playing by Learning Afro-Cuban Rhythms from the Master)
That’s the name of the book?
That’s a catchy name… NOT!
From a guy who doesn’t know how to play the congas to a guy with books and DVD’s, and now, they make Poncho Sanchez congas. The largest drum company in the world is Remo drums, and they make four different types of Poncho Sánchez congas. I came a long way.
You do salsa, soul, funk, R&B, but your thing is Latin jazz, isn’t it?
The band is called the Poncho Sánchez Latin Jazz Band, because originally it started as a Latin jazz band. But little by little through the years, and I’ve had the band for 30 years, people started telling me ‘”Poncho, can you do a little salsa too?” So I started to sing and I’m still the lead singer. And because I grew up in the ’60s in Los Angeles, I love soul music, so I started singing some soul music, Latin soul. So we do all of that: Latin jazz, salsa, and Latin soul music.
How do you rate yourself as a sonero?
Oh…(laughs) Not too good. I don’t think I’m that good. But I do it well enough to cover that base. I just can’t afford another member of the band. If I had to hire a sonero… It’s expensive, man! I travel with 10 people already. To put another one on the payroll… I can’t afford it. I can cover that base, but I don’t see myself as a very good sonero. I’m just ok. I’m more like a conguero.
Tell me about the new album.
It’s called Psychedelic Blues. It was a song that Willie Bobo recorded many years ago, so we did a new arrangement and it ended up being the title track.
But if somebody is looking from a good blues album, they should stay away from that one, right?
(laughs) Of course, it’s the Poncho Sánchez sound. We have a little bit of soul music, and a couple of salsa numbers. I did one original with Francisco Torres [the band’s trombone player], ‘Delifonse’, which is my nickname. It’s a mambito. Francisco Torres wrote a number, David Torres [piano, musical director] a couple of numbers, and we revisited older classics that I like. There’s also a new arrangement of [Herbie] Hancock’s ‘Cantaloupe Island.’
Will you play any of it here?
Not too many great bands come through San Antonio. Does this show have any special flavor for you?
We’re excited to go back to SA, we always have a good time there. A lot of my cousins come from Laredo to see me play, and also friends from Brownsville… So in that whole area I have a lot of people coming to see me, so we’re really excited.
You’ve done it all, except, perhaps., an album with more of a Tejano flavor…
I thought about that. As a matter of fact, Little Joe [Hernández] and I have spoken about putting a polka pattern with a mambo beat, and I told Little Joe and he got really excited. I said “Joe, we gotta do a record together and mix those two ideas.” He’s ready to do it with me, but I had to do [Psychedelic Blues] first. Maybe for my next album.
But you’d do a whole album or just a few tracks?
Maybe not the whole album, but three or four songs… Something different.
At this point, what do you feel like? A Chicano, a Mexican, Angeleno, Latino…?
I feel like Poncho Sánchez. (laughs) I feel very proud. I am a Latino that is from America, because I was born in the United States of America. I’m proud to say that. And many great things happened in the United States of America. Latin jazz was born here, when Dizzy Gillespie met the great Cuban conga drummer Chano Pozo in the 40s. That, to me, is American music, you know?
Adam Rodriguez - I Can Do Bad All By Myself
By Kiko Martinez
San Antonio Current contributing writer
After eight years on CSI: Miami actor Adam Rodriguez is ready for new experiences. His first comes with his role in director/writer Tyler Perry’s new movie I Can Do Bad All By Myself. In the film, Rodriguez, 34, plays Sandino, a Mexican immigrant who moves into the basement of the film’s night club-singing main character April (Taraji P. Henson).
During a phone interview with me last week, Rodriguez, who is of Puerto Rican and Cuban decent, talked about why he thinks Perry is a genius at what he does and what it was like working with an Academy Award-nominated actress like Henson.
I talked to actress Eva La Rue last week and she mentioned how much everyone is going to miss you on CSI: Miami now that you’re leaving after this season. What can you say about your time on that show?
It was a great eight years to spend there. It was my life. I’m definitely going to be sad to go. I’m going to miss the people I work with everyday. I’m lucky in a sense that I’m getting to have a slow departure. I’ll be there in and out for 10 episodes throughout the season. You’ll get to see [Eric] Delko fade away slowly, so hopefully it won’t be as painful as just having the character disappear.
Does your departure now mean you are going to focus on your film career?
Oh, absolutely. I had such a great time making this film. If I can continue to have these kinds of experiences making movies then, yeah, I would love to have a career in film. With that said, I’m open to doing great television, too. I’m going to be doing seven episodes of Ugly Betty starting this weekend in New York. I’m really looking forward to doing some comedy. This is a show that has really been groundbreaking for Latinos in a big way.
What was it like shooting I Can Do Bad All By Myself on Tyler Perry’s studio in Atlanta? I’ve heard it’s like a world of its own.
You are inspired when you set foot in there. You’re just like, “My God. I can’t believe that someone had the guts to say, ‘You know what, I don’t need to be in Hollywood. I’m going to create my own Hollywood here in a totally different place that people would never expect.’” It makes you feel like you’re not working hard enough, that’s for sure (laughs). But it makes you feel proud. You go out and you’re part of something really amazing and something that is groundbreaking and changing the way people are probably going to be doing things moving forward.
Well, Robert Rodriguez also has his own studio in Austin, so do you think more filmmakers will start realizing they don’t need Hollywood to actually make movies?
I do think [filmmakers] that want to work in their own bubble and have the power creatively and financially to do so will do that especially when you get artists that have such great relationships with their audience the way Tyler does and the way Robert Rodriguez does. I think more people will be inspired. There’s only going to be a small handful of people that can get away with that but I think these two guys are inspiring others to do the same.
What do you think it is about Tyler’s films that resonate with his audiences?
I think that Tyler is great at tearing down the BS and really getting to the heart of what each character is all about. Often times, people want to put too many layers on characters. Yes, people are complex and complicated beings without a doubt, but I love the way Tyler isn’t afraid to strip them down and give you the essence of who they are in order to tell the story concisely and simply and be able to have you sit there and enjoy a movie and not necessarily have to be confused with clutter. I think tearing down the characters and making them simple and relatable to people is what has allowed him to have such a broad audience. So many people can relate to the qualities that he decides to put forward from these characters. His movies are really palpable across the board through every demographic. There is a lot of genius in that.
Tyler churns out so many movies so quickly. Do you think that’s a good way to produce films in this industry? Some directors wait years between projects.
I don’t think anyone knows how long they’re going to be on top. Tyler is a guy that loves what he does and wants to do it as much as possible and deliver to the audience what they’re craving. Tyler is serving an audience that has been so underserved and ignored for so long and that’s why he’s putting movies out in rapid succession. Tyler can have a career for a lifetime before he could satisfy what that audience has been lacking for so long.
What was it like working with someone like Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson and what does she bring to the film?
She absolutely carried the film. She had a tremendous about of work to do. It was an emotional rollercoaster for her. She and Tyler worked really well together. He really knew how to get what he needed from her, and she knew how to deliver it. As far as working with her, it was amazing. We had a great time from the moment we met to every time we’ve seen each other since. I made a friend for life. I had the most fun working with Taraji than I had ever had working with anybody. We had a lot of laughs and great chemistry. I hope people will get that when they see the movie.
Tyler has millions of fans who love his work, but he also has his critics. What would you tell those people who say that Tyler creates characters that only highlight racial stereotypes?
I think that’s BS. The people he portrays, they do exist. I think Tyler was courageous enough to say, “Look, these characters exist in the real world.” That’s why so many people go see his movies. We all know people like this. It doesn’t matter what culture you come from. We all have these characters in our lives whether you’re black or white or Latin. You know someone with these types of personalities. Maybe the verbiage is difference or the clothes are different but character wise, we all know some crazy woman like Madea. There are always going to be people that don’t get what someone is doing or don’t want to get it. Some people are going to complain that it’s stereotypical. I think that movies are made to make people feel things. He knows the things people identify with. They’re all positive characters regardless.
You said Tyler is providing the African American audience with something they haven’t had in a long time. Do you hope someone can do the same for a Latino audience?
I’d love to see that. The opportunity is prime for that. I don’t know who that person is going to be. I know Robert Rodriguez has created that in a way in Austin. I would say he is the closest in doing what Tyler has done. I would love to see more people step up and do that.
By Enrique Lopetegui
By Enrique Lopetegui
Dear Gilberto Santa Rosa: You are forgiven.
No, my mind wasn’t blown away as it was when I first heard Willie Colón/Rubén Blades’ Siembra, or when I saw the Afro Cuban All Stars in LA, or when Celia and the Fania All Stars rumbled in the jungle.
But the Puerto Rican singer/bandleader, making his first SA appearance in 10 years, lived up to his reputation and delivered a near-perfect set to the capacity crowd.
That is, of course, if by near-perfect you understand a safety-first show where corny love lyrics and zero poetic depth are compensated by a kick-ass orchestra and a first-class sonero who hit every note and whose improvisation didn’t slip once.
In a little more than 90 minutes, and celebrating 33 years in the business, the former co-singer of Willie Rosario’s orchestra concentrated on the last 20 years of his illustrious career and only strayed from the dance-oriented syrup in the second half of the show, when long jamming stretches seemed to be taking us into a much more challenging stage of the show. But no; it was all an illusion. Right after a killer version of “Qué manera de quererte,” Santa Rosa went right back to the insufferable “Vivir sin ella,” as if unwilling to abandon his clean-cut, gentlemanly persona in favor of a rougher, more visceral, less-technical approach.
People like future hall of famer Santa Rosa could get away with it, which is not the same thing you can say about opening act Juan Esteban, a Dominican character who sang over pre-recorded tracks. He started with a low-octave version of Selena’s “Como la flor.” It’s a good thing Abraham Quintanilla wasn’t there, or else he would’ve sent Jehova’s wrath over all of us at Club Río. JE somewhat vindicated himself with “Periódico de ayer,” showing he can sing and sonear (not an easy task), but he spent most of the song engaged in a dead-on imitation of Héctor Lavoe instead of working on his own style. Is he for real? Is he Vegas material? Is he just trying to make a buck? My humble advice: stay away from cumbias and hits. And please, no more of that silly “Yo soy dominicano, y tú?” (I am Dominican, and you?) No, man, I ain’t Dominican.
Héctor Giovanni (a back-up vocalist for Santa Rosa) is another matter. He’s the real thing, with a nasal tone vaguely reminiscent to that of Víctor Manuelle. He had the advantage of being backed by Santa Rosa’s whole orchestra, and he was the perfect warm-up for a Santa Rosa show that I won’t keep in my heart, but good enough or me to take my hat off to the man.
I'll be playing the role of "innocent bystander" tonight (Friday, September 4th) at the White Rabbit when all hell breaks loose for the 3rd Annual Rick Sciaraffa Birthday Scholarship Show, to catch local metal act Blood of Our Enemies. The lineup looks pretty intense with Brotherhood, one of San Antonio's "must-see local bands," headlining. If you plan to attend please be aware that a "spin-kick advisory" is in full-effect. This could get ugly.
I'm doing something unusual here, and posting pretty much a whole press release. You wouldn't believe how many press releases I get. Some of them are very weird. Almost none are well-written. Some have joegs of kittens and shit attached.
Anyway, here's another call for entries for local artists, this one from the San Antonio Artist Foundation. Check it out. And the one I posted for Artpace the other day.
And work on your artist statement. Make it short, avoid jargon, talk about your ideas and materials in as conversational a way as possible. Get together really good, clear, big jpegs of your work. It isn't that hard.
INSTITUTIONS WILL SOMETIMES GIVE YOU MONEY IF YOU ASK FOR IT, PEOPLE. Money with which to make bigger, better, weirder, riskier stuff!
I've bolded the important parts for you.
Antonio, TX September 1, 2009 The Artist Foundation of San Antonio announced
today that the application period for 2009 grants will begin on September 1 and
close on October 16, 2009. San
Antonio artists should go to the Foundation's website for information and to
This year, up to eleven (11) $5,000 awards will be made in the categories of Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Literary Arts, Media Arts, Classical Singing, Theatrical Set Design and Theatrical Costume Design. San Antonio artists may apply online from September 1 through October 16. Please visit www.artistfound.org or write to email@example.com for more information. Awards will be announced in mid November.
Now in its fourth year of operation, the Foundation, created by co-founders Patricia Pratchett and Bettie Ward, is becoming an established source for grants to individual artists and a presence in the local arts community. The purpose of the Foundation is to identify, recognize and award outstanding San Antonio artists across various artistic disciplines. With this round of awards the AF will have awarded nearly $275,000 to over 50 artists. The Foundation is the only organization in our area that distinguishes itself with the sole objective of making monetary awards to individual artists. The Foundation hopes to raise awareness about the vast artistic talent in our community and in turn grow and diversify the art market throughout Bexar County. Artists, as small business owners, are important to local economic development. Please visit www.artistfound.org for more information about the Foundation and for a full list of artist who have received awards over the past three years.
The Artist Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation is supported in part by The Cultural Collaborative of the City of San Antonio, The Tobin Endowment, The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, the estate of George Cortes, Lifshutz Foundation and The Liberto Family.
Gratuitous Historical Timeline Department
on the brinkley: his lifetime and timeline
The more I researched the tragicomic life of America’s most legendary forgotten medical-media celebrity, the more obsessed I became — not only with Brinkley, but with what Greil Marcus called the “Old Weird America;” the hoary early-20th-century sideshow of catastrophic financial ruin, medical oddities (and neuroses), lingering rustic folkways and Jim Crow attitudes, dire global politics, and bewildering developments in mass culture…huh. Sounds familiar. Back then, though, everybody wore hats. Check out this timeline I made of the Great American Hat Period, and how it corresponds with the fabled lifespan of one John Romulus Brinkley, non-MD.
1885-1888 John Romulus Brinkley born in North Carolina (some accounts claim Tennessee)
1889 Noted French physiologist/neurologist Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard, a professor at Harvard University and the Collége de France and one of the first researchers to correctly ascertain the anatomy and functions of the spinal cord, announces that he has “rejuvenated” his sexual function by injecting himself with a solution derived from the crushed testicles of dogs and guinea pigs. While Brown-Séquard scandalizes the medical establishment, he also prompts subsequent research on sex hormones.
1893 Chicago World’s Fair introduces Americans to electrical power, Cracker Jack, (arguably) the hamburger, the Ferris Wheel, and Ragtime. Also that year, Nikola Tesla delivers "On Light and Other High Frequency Phenomena" before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, describing the possibility of voice transmission.
1894 British Physicist Oliver Lodge transmits radio signals at an Oxford University demonstration. Later that same year, Indian physicist Jagdish Chandra Bose demonstrates transmission of sound through radio waves in Calcutta.
1902 Italian-Irish inventor Marchese Gugielmo Marconi sends a message of greetings from U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt to King Edward VII via trans-Atlantic radiotelegraph.
c. 1904 John Romulus Brinkley moves to New York to become a Western Union telegrapher.
1907 Brinkley marries his first wife. Their daughter, Wanda, is born, and Brinkley enrolls in diploma mill Bennett Electrical Medical College. He never finishes, though, eventually garnering a semi-spurious degree from a diploma mill, “Eclectic Medical University.”
1913 The first Mrs. Brinkley leaves him for good, taking their three daughters back to North Carolina. Brinkley then marries Minerva “Minnie” Jones, daughter of a Tennessee country doctor.
1918 The Brinkleys open a small clinic in Milford, Kansas, where they treat victims of the 1918 flu epidemic, among others. Soon thereafter, Dr. Brinkley performs his first goat gland transplant into the scrotum of a local childless farmer. His first patient forthwith (and surely coincidentally) fathers a baby boy, who is called, of course, “Billy.”
1922 Dr. Brinkley tours Los Angeles, where he hopes to establish a beachhead for his goat-gland clinic, as the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and various Hollywood stars are keenly interested. However, the state of California refuses to recognize Brinkley’s license to practice medicine. Brinkley becomes, however, intrigued by the possibilities of radio, having toured a station in L.A.
1923 Brinkley builds KFKB, Kansas’ 1st radio station, and uses it to speak hours on end on-air to promulgate his various medical business enterprises; the goat-gland surgery, patent medicines, and his clinic.
1930 Kansas medical board brings Brinkley up on formal charges to determine whether his medical license should be revoked. Also, the Federal Radio Commission declines to renew his radio license.
1920s-1930s Dr. Serge Voronoff, also of France, performs numerous grafitng of monkey glands into human patients, the practice becoming such a media sensation that contemporary writers e e cummings, George Bernard Shaw, Irving Berlin, and William Faulkner all write about it. Pablo Picasso was rumored to be a patient.
1929 The Great Wall Street Crash of 1929 precipitates the Great Depression.
1930 Brinkley runs for Governor of Kansas on a populist/ Republican platform (which includes, incidentally, universal healthcare and education), and loses.
1932 Brinkley runs for Governor of Kansas again, as an Independent, and loses again.
Brinkleys, able to obtain radio transmission licenses from Mexico, relocates to
Del Rio. They found XER, a
border-blaster” radio station powered by unprecedented 300-foot, 75-kilowatt station at 840 kilohertz.
1930s-40s The Brinkley empire grows precipitously, despite fairly substantiatable rumors of Nazi sympathizing and medical quackery.
1939 Brinkley’s attempt to sue Morris Fishbein and the Journal of the American Medical Association for libel is found for the defendant, thus legitimizing the MA’s claims of quackery against Brinkley.
April 1941 Mexican government agrees to crack down on “Border Blasters,” further hurting the Brinkley empire.
December 1941 The attack on Pearl Harbor ensures American entry into WWII, rendering Brinkley’s nebulous political affiliations all the more questionable, and further hurting his reputation.
May 1942 Dr. Brinkley dies in San Antonio.
I know I've been critical of Artpace in the past, but I want to spread the word about their upcoming deadline for their Texas Artist in Residence slots for 2011.
If you only have even a TEENSY bit of motivation or desire to have a residency, APPLY. As noted in my Artifacts column this week, past Texas Artpace residents include Chuck Ramirez, Anne Wallace, Jesse Amado, Cruz Ortiz, and Franco Mondini-Ruiz.
It's a really great residency which will afford you opprtunities to try entirely new things; witness the crazy, boundary-pushing scale of Richie Budd's outrageous Absorbing Liminal Homeostasis last fall.
Put yourself out there. Take advantage of the opportunities.
Woody Allen once said "90% of life is just showing up."
The other 10% water, I think.
At any rate, here's some info below, go to their website for more.
Texas Open Call Applications Due
Calling all Texas artists! Visit artpace to submit your Open Call application for the 2011 International Artist-in-Residence program. Every year Texas artists are invited to submit material to be considered for a place on the shortlist that will be reviewed by Artpace's guest curators. The year's three curators will examine the selected artists' materials and may also conduct studio visits. Each curator then identifies an innovative Texas artist to become an International Artist-in-Residence.