Cartoon Review: “Eliot Kid”

EliotkidlogoThe Good: Eliot is a boy with a very active imagination who thinks everyone is a monster or a superheroe and is always creating stories out of everyday activities. It’s pretty fun!

The Bad: Mimi, one of his close friends, is devoted to Eliot and many episodes show she has a crush on him which he does not seem to reciprocate. That’s not the bad part; the really sad part is that she is constantly portrayed as “not the sharpest crayon in the box.”

My daughter watches this show and though I like how Eliot imagines adventures where they go to the mountains, the pharaos, underwater, outer space, and beyond, I don’t appreciate the girl being mocked constantly and her making self-deprecating comments. Sometimes she is a little funny though.

I think I prefer “Justin Time,” where Justin also imagines going to places around the world but his guide is Olivia, and she is actually the expert every time they visit a new place. I hope Netflix gets more seasons of that show. I looked it up and they have a second season.

Bonus points: The intro song on Eliot Kid is by Didier Julia and it’s a pretty cool jam. Considering moms and dads have to endure cartoon intro songs, it’s a welcome moment of groovy tunes.

Not much to celebrate but

Ceci Bastida - Sept. 14 @ Grand Performances

Ceci Bastida – Sept. 14 @ Grand Performances

Minutes before her first song started, Ceci Bastida hid behind a speaker on the California Plaza stage, moving her hands up and down trying to call the attention of her daughter being carried a few feet apart. Bastida put her thumbs next to each cheek and extended her hands like a fan on each side of her face, sticking out her tongue to make her laugh.

Bastida’s presentation was organized by Grand Performances and Mexican authorities, to highlight Mexican artists to celebrate Indepence day, September 16. There’s not really much to celebrate since the war against drug trafficking in Mexico has given few positive results and instead has submerged many citizens in a world of insecurity they must deal with on a daily basis.

But that doesn’t mean that people don’t continue to live in Mexico nor that artists have stopped playing. In fact, neight Bastida nor Descartes a Kant, the two presentations I had the opportunity to see yesterday have let the violence affect their work.

They haven’t ignored the issue either, they actually face the violence and insecurity with their own interpretation.

During Descartes a Kant’s act, there was a moment when Sandrushka Petrova and Dafne dressed as thieves with black and white stripes, carrying white sacks with the money sign and silver guns, pointed at the audience and acted out an assault. The stage is separated from the public by a shallow pool, acting as a buffer zone for the assault though clearly fake, it did cause a flashback to the day I was assaulted while I worked at a store. It was a strange sensation, I knew it wasn’t real but their act still carried a strong emotion and I think that was the intention. Descartes a Kant includes performance art in their shows and it’s an impotant element that doesn’t take away from the music, it complements it.

Descartes a Kant - Sept 14, 2014 @ Grand Performances

Descartes a Kant – Sept 14, 2014 @ Grand Performances

Most of their songs are in English and their sound is far from being defined by their hometown of Guadalajara. It’s easier to say that they are fearless when it comes to exploring genres. A single song can go from jazz to punk, driving by garage and arriving on big band sound. Petrova’s, Dafne’s and Charlkovski’s piruettes help to follow the racous and sublime changes of their instruments. From what I have seen from pictures of ther presentations, their perfomance in the plaza yesterday was demure. “We are not going to hurt you, don’t be scared,” Petrove assured the audience at the beginning of their show.

Descartes a Kant with red umbrellas during their rendition of "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed

Descartes a Kant with red umbrellas during their rendition of “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed

When it came time for Bastida, her microphone didn’t have the optimal volume as she was singing her first song, drowning her voice between the drums and the horn section of “Una vez más.” After the second verse the audience was finally able to heard her voice.

“Thank you for having the energy to come,” Bastida said, mentioning the 104°F that was lashing the afternoon. Fortunately the high rises surrounding the plaza gave ample shade and a light breeze was keeping the heat afloat.

The catchy nature of her songs are a sharp contrast to the rawness of her lyrics. In “Por la calle” the words describe the fear of going out into the

streets and facing possible danger, ‘I want to live in peace, tranquility,’ she sings in the first verse. It’s a song that makes you want to dance, but maybe only at home, where it’s safe. Her latest album, titled Edad de la violencia (Age of violence) has a cover with flowers in vases, a feminine touch to an aggressive title. She produced most of her songs while she was pregnant and that contrast between the harmony of creating a new life and the death that surrounds Mexico was finely captured in her songs. It’s a happy electro pop and it carries the esence of rock from a past era when she was a singer for Tijuana No, one of the boldest mexican rock bands from the border city. But this is a different era, her voice is not overtly melodic, more so direct, but she knows how to build choruses that stick.

There is nothing to celebrate on Mexico’s national day, but Bastida and Descartes were able to express joy in the midst of chaos that their home lives in and brought some of their music, dance and theatre to Los Angeles.

These are my heart songs

So as you are aware I post… very randomly and on random subjects because that’s how my brain works. I created this blog as a very free outlet for myself and I know in order to create an audience and to show my writing more I should be more consistent but such is not the case and I apologize.

Now, on to this blog post:  These are my heart songs, the ones that somehow made a strong impact in my life. They are not exactly my top ten favorite songs of all time, but it’s more like their lyrics really got to me and either changed me or helped me or influenced me in some way. They each form a piece of my life.

They are in chronological order, starting with the oldest and ending with the most recent one. I can still hear most of them and feel a special connection to them. As a bonus, I titled this blog post “These are my heart songs” after “Heart songs” from Weezer. The first time I heard that song I cried when it got to the middle whereRivers Cuomo describes “Back in 1991, I wasn’t having any fun, ‘till my roommate said “come on” and put a brand new record on, had a baby on it, he was naked on it…” I didn’t need the name of the record he’s talking about, you probably don’t either. That is how important that album is. That is how a generation transcends through music.

Nirvana – Lithium

http://youtu.be/WHZ9jh7IhkU

For a lonely, depression-prone teen like me, Nirvana was the one band I could count on to understand what I was going through. This particular song helped me realize that I was not the only one feeling sad and just trying to hang on. It was one of the reasons why I’ve always been on the creative side of the world, because I wanted to give back what I received. When Kurt died it felt like a bright star that was shining against all odds had sparked out. But I’m glad he was able to create the songs he did, because those mopey nights would have been gloomier without them.

No Doubt – Just A Girl

http://youtu.be/PHzOOQfhPFg

Say what you want about Gwen Stefani, I personally don’t like anything she has done after “Rocksteady” (and even that album is pushing it). In the 90s though, she rocked. I was not a Gwenabe, but she definitely showed me that it was possible to be feminine and cute and still rock out. Not to mention this song is a bit of a feminist song or at least it questions society. “I’m just a girl, and I’d rather not be, ‘cause they won’t let me out late at night…” It was my first exposure to this kind of lyrics and soon after I learned about the riot grrl movement.

The song has a second relevance in my life. Once I was driving home from work while on my third trimester of pregnancy. Suddenly this song came out on the radio and I started feeling kicks almost to the beat. We had performed an inconclusive ultrasound so we were not 100% certain of the gender of our baby. When the song stopped, my daughter stopped kicking. That moment I knew she was girl. I told my husband but he just laughed. Then we got another ultrasound and the tech said it was going to be a boy. I was perplexed, but I still didn’t believe him. When the doctor brought her out and said she was a girl I got the last laugh. No one believes this but I know it’s true. My daughter was letting me know through this song what her gender was!

Save Ferris – Everything I Want To Be

http://youtu.be/wZ1g9Vqurdo

This song is part of a nearly flawless album, and it’s a shame the band didn’t make it. Still, I remember hearing this song and singing along to the lyrics with all the emotion behind it. “And everything I want to be/ is just another silly dream you see/ but I’ll keep dreaming just the same”. I’m already grown up and old but I’ll keep dreaming just the same, well maybe I’ll dream for my daughter’s dreams now more than mine. I’ve always been a dreamer so why stop now.

Bif Naked – Moment of Weakness

http://youtu.be/UWuddKPLXSw

This is not a particularly great song and now that I saw the video again it doesn’t look as bada**. But back in the day Bif Naked made a great impression on me. First of all, I had never seen so many tattoos on a woman before. Even though they’re not great, they still amazed me and I just loved her look so much that I hope to one day be sleeved out on one arm. That may or may not happen due to financial and labor constraints but body art is still a big part of my life. Also the exes on her hands were my first exposure to the straight edge movement. The orange pants… well… because the 90s.

Sekta Core – Pobrero

http://youtu.be/MeQFTDxttuM

By the mid 90s I was in Mexico City listening to a lot of sad, dark music and I was growing tired of it. Nirvana was gone, grunge was dead and it was time to look for something new. That’s when mexska came into my life. Mexska is the official/unofficial genre of music that loosely describes the music scene that mixed ska with cumbia, salsa, rock, punk, reggae and a whole bunch of other genres and subgenres but in the center of it is ska.  Bands like La Tremenda Korte, Panteon Rococo, Sekta Core, Nana Pancha, Salon Victoria, Inspector, Revuelta Propia and many more formed part of the scene. Most of these bands I’m sure are unheard of outside of the Latino world but suffice it say it was a scene I am happy to have been a part of and to have been there right when the whole thing exploded was a great experience and I hope that every music fan gets to experience something similar because it is quite frankly the most amazing thing that can happen.

By the late 90s I started a website covering the scene. Many people criticized it, many people still do, especially the purists who believe it was a sort of deformed transformation of ska but I could care less. I don’t really hear most of the bands anymore and if I’m being honest most of their early work was amateur but many of the songs still hold a special place in my heart and that will never change.

This song in particular is one of the most unique in terms of lyrics because it addresses an issue that I don’t think many bands have addressed. It is for that reason that I chose it and it took a while to choose just one because so many are very important to me.

The song is called “Pobrero” and it’s a play on words joining “pobre” which means poor and “obrero” which means worker. Part of the lyrics say “The street that you live on seems like a dumpster/ but you don’t care/ because you’re a [porker? I’m just joining poor and worker here and it even rhymes in English!]/ You’re always late when you go in to work/and that’s why you will never progress.”

Not caring about the community you live in, not caring about the quality of work that you put out, I think that’s one of the reasons that a society doesn’t improve. When you care, it shows. In Mexico, there are a lot of hard working honest people, but there are a lot of procrastinators as well, and many people who don’t care about their communities. There’s a lot of dead beat dads that spend half of their salary on beer and pay more attention to the soccer game than to their kids and wives. This creates a whole cycle of apathy that keeps going and that’s one of the reasons why Mexico can’t move forward.

Hatebreed – This is Now

http://youtu.be/i072ui6A9Co?list=AL94UKMTqg-9AmsucYG8DEXuAHuDKulbrf

After college I was depressed. I felt I still wasn’t a good enough writer in English and I went back to Mexico hoping to find work over there since most of my experience was writing in Spanish. When that didn’t happen I started staying at my mom’s house being a couch potato, binge drinking every weekend and just not caring at all. This song was like the slap in the face I needed. It came out of my screen, pulled out its hands and grabbed me by the shirt and just yelled at me until I woke up from the slumber I had gotten myself into. “How can I change tomorrow if can’t change today? This is Now, Now! If I control myself I control my destiny.” It worked more than all the sermons my mother tried on me. I quit moping around, got myself a job and met husband not long after that.

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle

http://youtu.be/FV-HPOHu8mY

This song is an incredibly inspiring, upbeat, and just plain awesome song. It still rocks, and I think it will always rock. It was inspiring and uplifting when it came it and even now when I’m having a self-doubt day if I hear this song I just feel great. “Everything, everything will be just fine, everything will be allright.” Sometimes I just need to hear that.

Jimmy eat world – A praise chorus

http://youtu.be/1TrmaL5S7N4

“Bleed American” is such a great album. The whole song is perfect for working out, bungee jumping, whatever your need. I love putting on when I need to pump myself for something, like a job interview, a serious meeting or a night out “I’m on my feet, I’m on the ground/ I’m good to go. And all I need is just to hear a song I know.” It doesn’t get any better than this.

Millencolin – Pepper

http://youtu.be/VzExUXAezfs

  • “Baby what is that song from Millencolin?”
  • “Pepper”

Yes, that’s how I asked my husband because I couldn’t remember the name of this song. He is a huge Millencolin fan and he actually showed me this song, to encourage since he knows how much I tend to wallow in self-doubt. I actually did know Millencolin before we met and I like a lot of their songs but he still knew what song I was talking about. “I know it’s all in you, just gotta find out what you wanna do/I know it’s all in you, and deep inside you feel it too.”

It’s a short, quick inspirational song and it hits the spot in a jam.

B.o.B – Nothin’ On You [feat. Bruno Mars]

http://youtu.be/8PTDv_szmL0

This song came out around the time my daughter was born, and it just felt so right because to me it exemplifies the unconditional love that I have for her. I know it’s a love song but to me, it doesn’t matter who I am with or who I meet or where I am in the world, they have nothing on my daughter, to me she is the most beautiful, inside and out. It’s also one of the few songs where there’s rap that I can understand most of the lyrics.

Ten years to hear Seven Years

Saosin at Fox Theater, Pomona. June 6, 2014.

Saosin at Fox Theater, Pomona. June 6, 2014.

It’s been ten years since Anthony Green left Saosin. Fans have been waiting for a miracle to make that reunion happen and it finally did. At the Fox Theater last Friday in Pomona, everyone at the sold out show was aware of the electricity surrounding the wooden venue.

The opening bands played to an excited, antsy crowd eager to see the reunion. The first songs of the openers In Transmission were interesting but after a long dragging song, the crowd tired of them. An exhausted attendee

Saosin, Fox Theater June 6, 2014

Saosin, Fox Theater June 6, 2014

exclaimed “how much more?” making everyone laugh. “Sorry, we didn’t mean to put everybody to sleep,” their singer said.

The second opening band was the Night Riots whose music was more upbeat and their singer Travis Hawley was a combination of Morrissey and Brandon Flowers from the Killers. They played more songs than the headliner. But that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that Green only released the EP “Translating the Name” with Saosin; a total of four songs which were the only ones from the band’s repertoire he sang last Friday.They were the four songs hundreds had wanted to hear since 2004.

It’s not that Saosin with second singer Cove Reber didn’t attract new fans. But there is a distinct musical border between the Green and Reber eras. Under Reber, the band released two full length albums and two EPs.

Green joined Circa Survive after leaving the Newport Beach band and moved back east. He has said he left Saosin due to depression, being home sick and musical differences. Whatever the reason, Green and bassist Chris Sorenson started talking after Saosin kicked out Reber in 2010 and once they found the right time; the reunion became a reality.

Green’s demeanor was thankful, pleasantly surprised and humbled at the sold out Pomona show, one of the five performances in their brief West Coast tour. “It means so much to me that these songs mean as much to you as to me,” he said to the crowd. Even though Green left ten years ago, the majority of the attendants were young adults who were around ten years old when he was in the band originally.

The audience was divided by those of who listened silently and those who jumped along the riffs and yelled out the lyrics. Listening to “Mookie’s Last Christmas” and “Lost Symphonies” with Green might or might not happen again, but the two new songs they added to their performance, one closer to Circa Survive and another that’s right where they left off are a promising  though small glimpse of a future.

Green has bands Circa Survive, The Sounds of Animals Fighting and family to keep him busy but Sorenson and company have been patient. They had collaborated with Tilian Pearson and recorded a few songs after they kicked out Reber in 2010 but he ultimately joined Dance Gavin Dance in 2012.

It would have been a treat if Green had decided to tackle some of the songs the band has with Cove but he had warned that wouldn’t happen.   Green apologized on stage to Beau Burchell, Justin Shekoski, Sorenson and Alex Rodriguez. “I’m sorry, my bad, my b,” he said as he turned to each of them. The public apology was like a collective healing after years of rumors surrounding their separation puzzled fans.

Who knows the extent of their collaboration, but for now it is evident they are enjoying their time together. “I want to thank all those who kept asking me to make this happen at every show I played at,” Green said.”In some way you’re all part of this.”

De Mini Says Top songs of 2013

I’m not into music as much as before. Mainly because my time is spent with the daughter watching “Daniel Tiger” and reading, working, going to the park and washing dishes every now and then. But this year I feel like making my own top songs of 2013 because De Mini Says So:

10. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, “Get Lucky”

I’m listing this song because it was impossible to ignore. Not because I really liked it but it’s one of those songs that was everywhere and it got stuck in my head more than twice. This year was all about dance songs, with the 70s and 80s just invading every aspect of culture. Then my partner said it applies to tired parents that have to wait until the child(ren) go to sleep to “get lucky” and the song suddenly had a completely new meaning.

9. Fall Out Boy “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”

I know. I should not like this song. I first heard it when I saw the video and I was disgusted. Especially coming from an album called “Save Rock and Roll,” I mean pretentious much? Then I heard it when it came out on “The Originals” teaser from CW and it was over. So now this song reminds me of Klaus and I can’t help myself.

8. HAIM, “The Wire”

I’d heard of this band but didn’t really think to check them out until they came out on SNL and I was pleasantly surprised. Their performance was full of quirky faces that earned them some criticism because “it made them look ugly” according to twitter mentions. Because I mean, a woman performing can not look ugly people! It’s just not rock and roll! Wait… Oh yeah guys make weird faces when they’re playing all the time and it’s no big deal. Anyway, the song rocks and these ladies rock and they remind me of The Cars a little.

7. Grouplove “Ways To Go”

This is one of those songs that I don’t really get into at first but somehow they make me curious about and then I realize it’s pretty good.

6. Fitz and The Tantrums “Out of My League”

This song is infectious, so 80s but done the right way and it’s just a cute song that makes me happy. Don’t hear it too often though, it will get ruined quick.  

5. La Santa Cecilia “Monedita”

Most of the songs on my list are in English but like I said I haven’t really been connected to the music world and for “rock en espanol,” radio only plays the really really famous acts. Anyway, I did manage to find La Santa Cecilia after I kept seeing their name mentioned everywhere from my musically inclined friends from facebook so I checked them out and this is their catchiest song but it’s also full of content and is a critique on consumer society that is willing to go into debt to “look good”. Their song “Ice El Hielo” deserves honorable mention as well, especially because of its lyrics that describe the hardships of immigration.

4. The Neighbourhood “Sweater Weather”

Every other state hates on Southern Cali because we have the sun all the time and people wear shorts in December. My partner and I always talk about leaving because it’s overcrowded but we have to admit the weather is great. We loved leaving in Long Beach and will go back there once we have enough money but we rarely went to the actual beach, so I loved that line in this song: “I hate the beach but I stay in California with my feet in the sand.” Sand is kind of messy and then there’s lots of people but leaving close to the beach is still nice.

Musically this song is also quite delightful. The old school feeling and beat is calming and breezy.

3. Capital Cities “Safe and Sound”

That electric drum in the beginning is just hilariously awesome. I would have made fun of this song if this was say 1999 but it isn’t and it’s time to dance! I like to dance, I may not like electronic music much but this is fine. I can dance this all night.

2. Lorde, “Royals”

There’s an old world feeling to Lorde’s voice. I don’t know how she accomplishes that given her young age but I applaud it. I was surprised to like this song because I don’t really like rap but my partner reassured me this was not rap but rather more like dub so that’s much better. It’s also basically just pop but I’ve made my peace with liking pop, because I do believe there is good pop and this is a good example. Either way it’s a great song and the lyrics aren’t bad either. In fact one of the reasons I don’t like a lot of rap is because all they talk about is precisely because of everything Lorde criticizes in this song and it doesn’t just happen in rap of course, any rock star that starts talking about how hard it is to be rich and famous and decadent isn’t attractive.

1. Arctic Monkeys, “Do I Wanna Know?”

My partner told me about this song first because he knew I would like it but I didn’t really pay much attention. He knows what I like more than I do sometimes. It’s this weird thing that happens when you spend too much time with someone. Anyway, I love this song, it’s the best Arctic Monkeys song I’ve heard. I feel like they have certainly improved their sound. That guitar riff is just killer. It is certainly the best song this year.

The Problem with September

I was going to post a blog about our gardening this summer but I am so depressed about Rafa Saavedra’s death that I have to postpone that.

It’s weird because part of me just needs to make this post Spanglish, because that is what Rafa wrote, that’s what he lived, that’s what i learned from him.

I remember going to a cafe in Mexico City and finding Moho magazine, a literature magazine full of very disturbed stories, not all of them good. Saavedra’s story “Vomito en el Freeway” (I vomit in the freeway) impressed me so much. He was a citizen of Tijuana in what TIME magazine has named MexAmerica, the informal country in between Mexico and the US where people speak between English and Spanish with no trouble at all. I was taught it was sacrilege to mix languages together, pocho was just a never, but Rafa didn’t care about that. He’d cross the bilingual border over and over, didn’t care who’d follow, but he would always hold out a hand in case you wanted to join.

It pains me that such a great writer is now gone. I’d even dare to say he influenced my writing so much. At one point he was my favorite writer, in college when I’d love reading “El problema de enero” (The problem with January) every end of January like religion. I really wished I had met him in person, maybe even taken an awkward picture with him.

He was one of the first writers in Mexico to cross the cyber border and make a place for himself among the vines of the interweb, nestled between what is now modern blogging. A true cybernaut. You’ll be missed Rafa Dro (that was his DJ name, because writing was only one of his passions).

Dystopian worlds and midnight kisses, with fangs

I’ve been falling down the YA hole for a while now. Recently it’s gotten worse. It all started when I saw the “Twilight” film. I have a thing for vampires, which I’ve explained here. But I only started reading it because I really liked the movie. I enjoyed reading the saga, it reminded me of my awkward teenage years, which is when I read lots of vampire books and wished for a boyfriend. I know there’s a lot of problems with the series, I’m not going to defend it. I’m not a “twihard,” I just enjoyed reading it. Now please let’s move on.

ID-100176170

Then time passed and at first “Hunger Games” didn’t appeal to me because I thought like many that it was a rip off of “Battle Royale,” which I had seen and did not enjoy much. Then my dad said I should watch it and since he usually recommends good  movies, I did. I was completely and utterly blown away. I think I got the book the next day.

The story may not be new, but the way to tell it is. Turns out there is a novel by Stephen King  under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman called “The Long Walk” about a dystopian society where 100 boys must walk until they die and there is only one winner. It was King’s first novel and was published in 1979 (Although Carrie was pusblished in 1974, King has stated he wrote “The Long Walk” first).

The difference is that King wrote about boys, and Suzanne Collins wrote about a girl (and boys but mainly a girl). “Battle Royale” was also based on a book by Koushun Takami, published in 1999. So who ripped off who? Don’t know, don’t care. the point is “Hunger Games” brings girls to the fighting arena, so to speak.

This is what I think set my fangirl hormones in motion. Scott Mendelson wrote an interesting article in Forbes about how simplicity in marketing for a film can make or break a franchise. What I found most intriguing was his argument that “young-adult literary adaptations could well-be the female-skewing blockbuster alternative to the boy-centric superhero films that dominate multiplexes.” Of course, women should have their own superheroine movie, but even Wonder Woman  can’t get a break in the silver screen (except in animated form, like on “Flash Point Paradox,” where she is both terrifying and amazing).

What ultimately drew me to read “Divergent” was not that it was “the next Hunger Games,” but that it was part of a world where I could geek out about. They were in Comic-Con, where sure even “Breaking Bad” was there, but somehow the world of fandom felt inviting. I’ve always been a little intimidated by comics for some reason although I’ve read a few (X-Men and American Vampire), but I prefer reading them in bulk. Trilogies and sagas are a little more my style. Of course, I do feel awkward when most of the fans are much younger than me. But I figured if my husband is not embarrassed when he pulls out his Superman wallet, why should I be embarrassed to wear my mockingjay necklace?

I had stopped reading fiction since college, and after that I think my world revolved around music and friends so much that I lost interest in reading. YA has reconnected me with my old love of reading.

I should mention that my reading level is higher in Spanish, because yes I know I’m too old to read and geek out so much on YA. Since English is my second language I’ve realized by reading a passage of Divergent in Spanish that it doesn’t grab me as much in my native language. I don’t think I would have finished the first book if I had read it in Spanish. In fact I remember I tried reading Harry Potter in Spanish and I couldn’t read more than the first page. Although it might have been the subject matter. Magic is just not my cup of tea. Dystopian and vampires are pretty much my areas of interest.

Illustration of quote from Divergent (Veronica Roth) created by Zack Hopeful

Illustration of quote from Divergent (Veronica Roth) created by Zack Hopeful

I just finished reading Delirium (the first  and second book, Pandemonium) and I really liked it. The idea that love can be a disease is interesting. I certainly think it can be, when it becomes an obsession.

Which brings me to why I started writing this blog post at three in the morning while I should have been sleeping since I have to work tomorrow. Instead I’m obsessing about sappy lines and authoritarian governments.

I really really love the combination of decaying societies and midnight kisses. I loved reading “1984″ and “Brave New World” in high school but romance wasn’t a big part of them. I didn’t really care for romantic scenes back then though. I was a much more intellectual person then, or so I thought. Maybe I’ve just gone soft over the years. They were both also from the male point of view, so I really like that there is so much speculative fiction out there now with “strong female characters” and so strong, in the case of Bella, for example. Either way, female characters are making their mark in dystopias and fantastic worlds and I could not be happier.

The only adult book I’ve read recently is “Truth in Advertising” by John Kenney which I enjoyed very much. So if anyone has a suggestion for non YA books that are kind of disenchanted with society but still searching for meaning and maybe being hopeful then please let me know. Or recommend more dystopian love, either way.

FCC will release Low Power FM stations to non profits

The Federal Communications Commission will accept applications from local non profit organizations to acquire licenses in the FM radio frequency. The applications will be accepted from October 15th to the 29th, 2013.

Further details can be found here:FCC LPFM details

today’s links: Riot grrrls, Spanish, Turkey

I use facebook to share a lot of articles, but I don’t post on my blog as often as I should. So I thought, why not just combine some of those links in one post and stop posting so many links to articles on the fb?

So here’s my first attempt.

Lot’s of stuff coming out about the riot grrrl movement lately. There is a new documentary about Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna called “The Punk Singer” and there is the book “The Riot Grrrl Collection,” which this article (LA Times) describes in detail.

Here’s an article (LA Times) about the new book “The story of Spanish,” which offers a glimpse of the history of the Castilian language that has evolved as more tongues have used it around the world.

Turkey protests take a quieter stance, starting with one man. You can see pictures and timeline here. (NPR)

These are some links for now.

Julieta Venegas’ Moments

The other day I was lamenting myself because I no longer find the same excitement for music as I used to. There are so many new bands that I don’t even bother to even check out and I think it’s because I’ve reached a musical climax or plateau where nothing seems good anymore. Or that I’m showing signs of old age. Or that old phrase that there’s nothing new under the sun. Then I heard Venegas had released a new album and that it was better than the vapid and unsavory “Si” and “Limon y Sal”.  I actually hadn’t even bothered to listen to “Otra Cosa,” which she released in 2010, because the reviews were not particularly impressive. Well, I told myself, I will check it out, with an open mind and only because after “Bueninvento,” which is her best album and an excellent compilation of breakup songs, her happiness didn’t impress  me in her next albums when she had found love and happiness, but her Unplugged album showed her musical skills and good collaborations with other musicians. She produced better versions of ‘Lento’ and ‘Algo esta cambiando.’ Before you say those albums are just more pop and there is nothing wrong with that, I should say that I know good pop and I think her Unplugged collaborator Natalia Lafourcade does it better.

Musically, I think “Momentos” doesn’t explore anything new, like she heard Foster the People and put some synthesizers to work. She didn’t go too far from her line of work and didn’t venture into places that would be ridiculous for her but I don’t feel there’s much difference between each song, particularly the first half of the album. However, her lyrics have certainly evolved and before I listened I hoped for that delicious bitterness which makes “Bueninvento” a strong drink but I was amazed by her maturity, instead of receiving rage, she took the long road and did not say what is “’Nothing important.” Maybe now that she is a mother she has a better perspective of what is truly important. I’ve heard that happens. ‘Vuelve’ is one of the best songs for her honest lyrics and social commentary, something new for her. Her body of work is mainly introspective.

Even though it’s not as intriguing or as interesting as I’d like, it’s better than her other pop albums and I hope to see better development of the electro pop element in her next album. In other words, good job Julieta, keep trying. Thanks for waking me from my musical slumber.