Friday, March 30, 2012

Latina Fashionista: Miss Lydia Sofia

Today is March 30, 2012 and my Latina Fashionista pick of the week is none other than the birthday girl herself, my baby
Miss Lydia Sofia
No one has inspired me to be bold and take risks in fashion the way she has. Her choice of brights and pattern combinations rival those of any Hollywood designer. So let's take a look at how this 6 year old runs fashion circles around everyone around her, literally.

Here Miss Lily is wearing a fun polka dot top with a high waist and pink Hello Kitty skirt. The black tights provide just the right amount of dark contrast to make the bright pink pop! Her sparkle shoes are just the right addition to complete the look.

When Miss Lily feels like bustin' a move to some Snoop Dog she layers an oversized tee over a long-sleeve shirt in a paler shade. Her color of choice, purple. Topped off with a stand-out Crayola yellow folded bandana on her head and all that's left to say is "what up, boi!?!"

Another fresh hip hop option is to go with the mile-sky ponies. Add not one or two, but at least three or four elastic bands in your favorite matching colors and presto! Kid Coolio in da house!

There's a time to be urban and there's a time to be tropical and Miss Lily conjures up the cool ocean breeze with this relaxed ensemble. With her hair pulled back in a loose ponytail she pins a delicate yellow orchid on one side to contrast her purple embroidered patchwork dress. There's nothing like an afternoon of drumming with friends to unwind after a hard week at school.

When it's one of those days that you just have to wake up early and open presents Lydia believes in going with the flow. Sure she hasn't run a comb through her hair but there's something chic and beautiful about letting your hair do it's thing naturally.

Too young to go out and party? Who needs to get past a smelly bouncer when you can party like a rock star in the comfort of your own home?! Put on that sparkly dress that's just sitting in the closet collecting dust, blast your favorite Lady Gaga song and dance in front of your mom watching TV until she gets up and dances with you! Instant Party!

Lydia Gaga . . . Need I say more?

A girl can never wear enough blue eyeshadow.

Ran out of blue eyeshadow? Just wear giant sunglasses. You'll look fabulous. Don't forget the faux fur.

Finally got the chance to go out? Dress up with a sparkly pink with black velvet dress. You'll feel special no matter what. A fancy side ponytail gives you that special happy kid look.

Probably the best accessory of all, after the princess necklace, is a great smile! You can't beat that!

Happy 6th Birthday Lydia!
Mommy Loves You!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


This is my new feature! Latina Fashionistas will be featured about two to three times a month plus a few random fashion thoughts sprinkled throughout. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nesly Palacios
Monday, April 23, 2012

Quetzal Guerrero
Monday, April 16, 2012

Alex Ehecatl
Sunday, April 1, 2012

Miss Lydia Sofia
Friday, March 30, 2012

Miss Ruby Champagne
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

 There's more to come so check back!


Here is a list of my favorite posts about life & culture. Enjoy!

NALAC Arts Advocacy Institute-Washington, DC
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NALAC Leadership Institute
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Luna, The Stars and The Moon
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letter to Lydia
Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Weight Loss Journey
Friday, May 3, 2012

Spider Sense
Wednesday, April 4, 2012

 Zero to 5
Saturday, February 25, 2012

Home Remedies
Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009


Welcome to my list of art, theatre, and film blog posts. Enjoy!

Striking artwork by George Yepes.

Heriberto Luna
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

John Leguizamo
Sunday, October 2, 2011

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Here is where you can find my music-related posts. Enjoy!

Quetzal at LACMA. Photo by Abel Gutierrez.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Return of the Conga
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Aztlan Underground's new song and video "Our Nature"
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bang Data - La Sopa 
Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Francisco Aguabella
Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Return of the Conga

Marisoul, J. Hernandez, G. Tenorio, P. Hidalgo, Miguel Ramirez, Donaji, Juan Domingo
The African roots and influences in Mexico are still somewhat of a mystery to most. Fiercely patriotic citizens boast about Mexico's rich homogenous culture, history, and food, but for some, Mexico's culture is rich in outside influences that have been adapted and remade Mexican. But labels and identity are always far more complex than what you see on the surface. That is why I felt compelled to chat with my friend and local LA musician, Gabriel Tenorio, about his recent cross-cultural/border-crossing project, The Return of the Conga.

The conga, aside from being an actual drum, is also an African rhythm that crossed to Southern Mexico via Cuba in the 1800s. While the style flourished and became popular in Cuba in the early part of the 20th century it disappeared in Mexico. The conga is still danced and played in contemporary Cuba and continues to be played throughout the salsa world. "The musical style in Mexico took root and evolved its own feeling," said Tenorio. "I was drawn to Veracruz by many things, initially by being exposed to the music in Juarez and El Paso," where Tenorio grew up. "You also found a lot of Marimba bands. I was in Chiapas in the mid 90's and found myself a child again once I heard that marimba music. With Veracruzana music, it reached me on a more practical level because of the work of the Herreras, Los Lobos, and street musicians. Quetzal Flores and I were very much interested in the style and began to explore it more and more intensely around the early and mid 90's." Their influences included son jarocho bands like Son de Madera and Mono Blanco which led to the creation of their own band, Jarabe Xitlali. "We incorporated African dance into the music and explored that for a while. It laid a foundation for many other projects with people like John Avila, members of what is now Son del Centro, Jacob Hernandez, and others," said Tenorio.

"Personally, I've always felt that old songs were what you are supposed to play and carry with you. My grandparents gave me a distinct love for music that people try to constantly folklorize thus suck the life out of. Old songs are just a way of life for me and a vessel for culture. It is like reading the Bible or learning classical mythology/philosophy or Bach. They provide a context and basis for modern creative exploits."

So back in January of this year, Tenorio released a video of himself talking about a new project working with several LA musicians and internationally acclaimed poet and musician from Veracruz, Mexico, Patricio Hidalgo Belli.

Hidalgo grew up in Apixita, Veracruz and was exposed to the Mexican Conga as it waned in popularity and almost evaporated from the collective consciousness. Some congas survived, and can be heard during the Christmas fiestas in the Canción Navidena . . . una limosna para este hombre viejo and on ChuChumbe's album Caramba Niño. Hidalgo has been studying the form and the history for many years now. He began to compose in the almost forgotten style and even decided to bring back Conga del Gavilan which had not been played in a century. "We did a new arrangement for this album. Since there is no recording or transcription for how this music was arranged or performed, we had to go through a process of re-imagining the sound and the feel based on Hidalgo's research," said Tenorio.

"I wanted to produce this record after Patricio came to our shop in October of 2011," he explained. Tenorio and Jacob Hernandez, executive producer and marimbol player on the album, operate Guadalupe Custom Strings in El Sereno and are members of the group Domingo Siete. "Within a few hours of landing, he had us playing what later became the first track of the CD. I had been listening to a lot of music, but not Congas at the time. I did not want an overtly Afro-Cuban approach, rather I wanted there to be a very Mexican lens through which to perceive, internalize, then reinterpret," said Tenorio. The resulting Afro-jarocho sound that came from Hernandez's marimbol and Tenorio's cinco sonero (5 course, ten stringed creation of his carved out of one piece of cedar by German Vasquez Rubio - check out the video doc on him below) and Patricio's amazing sense of rhythm--nuanced and rock solid, inspired them to work out a set of songs to perform. "We integrated several other musicians and found the right combination with Alfred Ortiz on percussion and Marisoul Hernandez of La Santa Cecilia fame on vocals. This became to me a super group worth recording. I did not decide to produce the record until three weeks later when we realized we only had a short time to make this happen if it were to happen."

The urgency was due to the fast-approaching annual Candelaria festival in Veracruz where musicians, jarochos in particular, gather to pay homage to the Virgin Mary every 2nd of February. With little time and money left, Tenorio created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds from friends, fellow musicians, and Facebook supporters. In less than a month, the campaign received donations of over $3,700 for the project. The cd was mixed, mastered in the LA Arts District and made its way to the Candelaria in Tlacotalpan in record time. The reception in Veracruz was tremendous. The band members were hosted by local musicians and welcomed by the locals. Marisoul's powerful voice was a definite highlight of the festival performances. "Performing the music in Veracruz, primarily Tlacotalpan made sense. I had an immediate affinity for the climate and vibe and the public was not only receptive, but had been anticipating the release. This not only represented the return of a style called the conga to Veracruz, but the return of Patricio Hidalgo, himself who was on the brink of death recently," said Tenorio.

"Patricio and many of his generation are definitely visionaries. I would consider someone like Ramon Gutierrez also a musical visionary. Artists such as these are not only rescuing or saving or conserving (for lack of better terms) but are living and breathing this art. It is not something that would be considered folklore. That is for a museum--- this is today and now," said Tenorio. In fact, the conga style never died. Patricio is a part of a larger collection of artists that are keeping the musical traditions of Veracruz alive and vibrant. Groups such as Los Baxin, Mono Blanco, Los Vega, Los Cojolites, Los Utrera are in that milieu as well. "There's way too many group to name and that is a great thing!"

In addition to the now released CD, a DVD of the recording sessions and special interviews will also be made available in the near future. Tenorio is happy to report that the first 1,000 CDs were sold in less than 30 days through direct distribution and from the Kickstarter campaign. The CD is also slated to hit Japan and they are in talks with various distribution options. Currently, the CD is available through Tenorio at Guadalupe Custom Strings at  or at Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena where the band plays every Friday morning at 9am. The LA contingency, officially called Municipio33, will be performing next Friday, April 6 at Cities on Chavez and Ford in East LA. Hidalgo returns to join the group in May. Watch for that show coming up!

"We are all extremely proud of the work we produced together and are excited to share this with you," said Tenorio.  "Please share this music with a friend or a loved one and support an independent project that is groundbreaking and stirring." Groundbreaking and stirring it is. Not a few days after receiving my copy did it leave my hands at the request of another friend. Not an hour after getting my second copy did my mother ask me for one of her own. The music is now safely stored on my itunes but I plan on getting another cd soon for safe keeping.

Pictures from Tlacotalpan's Fiestas de la Candelaria

 Photos courtesy of the band.

German Vazquez Rubio (Short Documentary)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Latina Fashionista: Miss Ruby Champagne

Welcome to my new blog feature, Latina Fashionistas! No where can you find a collection of Latina fashion that doesn't involved boobalicious celebrities like Salma, Sofia, or Eva so I decided to enlist my fellow amigas to start this new section. Don't get me wrong, SSE are fabulous and we adore them but I want to look at ladies and gentlemen (Yes, stay tuned for fashionable men too!) who always have their look well-put together.

Ruby serves up some Mexican-inspired fashion. Photo by Mr40Chev.
These are some of my friends and acquaintances that I think are truly worthy of magazine covers. Their everyday style is fun and fresh, cultural and modern, and they make a statement without saying a word. What shines through the most is their fabulous self-confidence and that's what ultimately makes them stylish fashionistas whether they are wearing name brand shoes from Macy's or plastic bangles from La 99.

For my first feature, we start with the gorgeous
A perfect choice for obvious reasons. She lives, breathes, and performs fashion! You've seen her on stage slowly and carefully removing her custom made glittery skits, opera gloves, and more but here she is in everyday looks that can inspire anyone to bring some of that glitz and glamor into their own wardrobe. Read on for a Q&A with this fashion maven.

One of my favorite accessories has to be the big bold rose pin. Here, Miss Ruby is rocking it just above the ear. Please don't put it on top of your head unless you are going for a more Carmen Miranda look and singing about bananas. We don't need that look revived anytime soon. Ruby's dress is glitzy but in a mellow champagne color that does not detract from her gorgeous face. Of course, if you have an enormous zit on your cheek, you may want to lower the rose just far enough to cover it! Miss Ruby never gets zits by the way. Her skin is actually prefabricated by fairy dust angels that check on it in the middle of the night. True story.

Going to the ballpark? Miss Ruby is sporting her team colors with pride with a non-helmet-head causing visor because helmet-head is the worst thing that can happen to Latinas. We rather sweat buckets and have our extra black mascara streaming down our cheeks than wear a hat that causes helmet hair. Ruby is also full of team spirit in this cute red polka dot top and red lips. The fairies also polish her teeth with white fluffy cloud cotton sparkle.

Need to dress up? How about some faux fur in a light color and a glittery bow hairpin to match. I love how Ruby finds great outfits that aren't black. How many dresses, tops, skirts, shoes, do we all have in standard black? The goth era is over. Lighten up and choose a light color for sparkly fairy sakes! While I can't seem to shake black outfits, Miss Ruby does it and looks classy.The pop of color are those luscious red lips.

At left, Miss Ruby is wearing a vintage A-line dress which adds appropriate cover-up for grandma's approval but also maintains a sexy allure with a form-fitting waist to flatter her figure. And you know that grandma has a thing or two to say about today's fashion. Mmhmm, I can hear all of your abuelas chiming in now. One is trying to throw a chancla! Ayy they get all worked up. Choose a bright color like this satin blue and match it with understated shoes. Here Miss Ruby is pictured with two stylin' gentlemen, Dave Temple and Sabino Gutierrez who run Clever Vintage Clothing in LA and look like they're ready for a chilly summer night on the beach. Where's the yacht boys?

Ruby Champagne Q&A

What make-up item can you never do without?
- Eyeliner! Just a simple sweep of black liner and I feel I can at least go outside!

What do you fuss over the most when getting ready: hair, makeup, outfit or shoes?
- It depends why I'm going out. If it's just to go run errands or somewhere that I anticipate standing/walking a lot, I'll fuss over the most comfy shoes, then outfit. If it's a social gathering, I'll put most time in the outfit, then hair.

Which are your favorite pair of shoes and why?
Black ballet flats. They're cute and comfortable and pretty much can work with everything!

Preferred lip color?

Who inspires you?
Sometimes when I dress up, I look to classic Latin Cinema stars' style i.e. Lupe Velez, Maria Felix, Rosita Quintana, and Ninon Sevilla.

Yes, we see the resemblance! See pics below.

Rosita Quintana

Lupe Velez

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aztlan Underground Has Some Advice

Our Nature by Joe Galarza of AUG
The Aztlan Underground boys are back with a new single and some advice for those of you feeling a bit suppressed. Their new single called Our Nature is about the beauty of spring, rebirth, reproduction, and our very own natural calling to procreate. It is being released on March 20, 2012, the Spring Equinox.

“Society often dictates that sexuality and procreation are to be narrowly addressed in the confines of certain people’s belief systems, but we feel that does not and should not apply to everyone,” said lead vocalist Yaotl. “Those of us that walk in the natural, Indigenous spirit world understand that the act of reproduction should be celebrated, honored, and enjoyed.”

The retro/gothic sound of the new single takes the band in a fresh and intriguing musical direction while keeping true to the original Aztlan Underground sound. The dark tones in the single seek to juxtapose the darkness and negativity associated with the natural occurrence of sex with lyrics that praise the act as an essential part of life itself.

The song was inspired by women artists--- punk-electronica singer Hanin Elias and printmaker/digital artist Favianna Rodriguez Gianonni ---both of whom espouse voracious political messages. After looking up Hannin, I became a fan. She totally rocks! See her video that helped to inspire the song below. Favianna’s most-recent work is a direct response to the current Republican Presidential candidates' assault on women’s rights. Check out her blog on "Slut Positivity".

“We looked to our sisters in the struggle for inspiration on this song. Earth is female, our mother, and if we punish and impose our will on her, she will react and lash out, just like many of the outspoken women of today, demanding to be heard. We have a lot to learn if only we would listen or pay the consequences that nature will reap. It’s all about balance, the ying and yang, the spring equinox,” said Yaotl.

The darkness vs light conflict is embodied in the spring equinox which witnesses the equal balance of day and night on this day. It represents the male and female forces, procreation, and new beginnings. Springtime brings an outburst of life and a chance to begin again. The band also looked to the Mayan Tzolkin calendar where the days of the spring equinox support the idea of renewal with greater wisdom and stronger grasp on one’s purpose. 

Check out the Just Released Video

Our Nature Lyrics
Hedonism permeates motivations
Human condition
Underlying lust
Feels good admit it
Immersion diversion
Swim in the liquid zoo
Feel the sensations
Of procreation 2x
The director we all ignore
Yet honor in our private lives 2x
The profane is also the sacred!!
The sacred and profane
Villainize creation with shame
The director we all ignore
Yet honor in our private lives 2x
For without it we wouldn’t exist-repeat
Biological mechanisms
Animal proof
Walking molecular structures
Animal proof
Scientific organisms
Animal proof
In the end
Don’t feel shame
Don’t feel shame
Don’t feel shame
Embrace affirm insight
Incite! Insight!!

So their advice: Don't listen to backwards mensos like Santorum, Romney, Limbaugh, Gingrich and any other Republican male with a microphone attacking women's rights. Sex is sacred, fun, and feels good! So, go ahead, relax, and enjoy it. It's just our nature.  
Our Nature is available online starting March 20 on:

Also check out more wikid artwork by bassist Joe Galarza at

Check out Hanin Elias' City Lights

Recent artwork by Favianna

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bang This!

View of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge on my last trip. Photo by YayaDeLeon
There's something calm and intimate about San Francisco and its surrounding areas. One of my first visits was a road trip with my girlfriends to see Quetzal perform at the Fillmore. I can't remember details but I do remember the quietness of the city and the way locals carved out serene spaces within its tiny boundaries. A little garden here, a farmer's market stand there. People moving about their business in internal contemplation. Even the Golden Gate Bridge sits quietly in the foggy haze.

Perhaps that is why I am surprised to have been introduced to who has easily become my new favorite Latino hip hop/rock band, straight out of the Bay area, Bang Data. I have to credit my friend Maria for pushing me to get to know their music. I saw them play at La Cita in downtown LA but didn't pay much attention to the style or lyrics. I remember having a great time but being the music snob that I am, I didn't want to follow yet another band of a bunch of dudes who think they're the next rock gods of a generation . . . or at least that is what I think some of these new kids with guitars think of themselves, but I could be wrong.

After my most recent December trip to San Francisco to see Ozomatli, the homies from LA, I felt reenergized. One of their opening bands was an energetic group of young guys called Cumbia Tokeson also from the Bay area. Their music was loud and bold, not typical of cumbia, but it worked. It was fresh, new, yet traditional, and I loved it. Band expert Maria then took us to brunch to listen to a few members of the band Bayonics and their smooth sound was the perfect soundtrack for daytime in San Francisco. I began to wonder what made these groups so different from my near and dear LA bands, and why could I not get enough.

When I got back to LA I downloaded whatever songs were on itunes which were only a few by Bang Data. Although I was disappointed not to find more I was jammin' to Bang Data's "Maldito Carnaval". Lyrics like Ay mira mama muevase mi linda mulata . . . made you want to get a tan and shake it up in the car while driving. Drivin' Steady is the perfect car song, En mi carro, ay caramba, en la calle con mi ranfla, mi sistema 'ta bufalo . . .  I'm driving steady. Most of the songs are bilingual but if you live in a bilingual world like I do, you don't even notice the switch. It's so natural.

After playing out the first download of seven plus the one bonus Toro Mata with Eva Ayllon, (which is a total genius combo of a traditional song with some fresh hip hop beats and rhymes) Bang Data announced a new album. By this time I was blasting their music in the car, at work, and at the gym along with the too short Cumbia Tokeson cd of 5 songs. "La Sopa" comes out this month and has been on heavy rotation ever since I got my hands on it. What strikes me the most about Bang Data is their solid foundation of traditional Latin rhythms and songs that are then taken to a whole other level with the addition of hip hop and driving rock beats and lyrics. In theory, it shouldn't work as well as it does. I don't know what's in the Bay water but somehow, Bang Data managed to blend the traditional with the new in a way that gives both genres the space to develop and flourish within each song. I might also add that the first two songs Veneno and Bomberos have a heavy cumbia/Western trot to them. If Ennio Morricone were writing a contemporary Latin soundtrack to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, this is what it might sound like. Throughout the album, the band never loses their trademark sound. If you listen to each song individually, whether it's more rock inspired or a slow bolero, you know it's Bang Data you're listening to. That alone is a huge feat for any band.

So, why hasn't Bang Data blown up yet? They're just as good if not better than the stuff you hear on the radio (which is true of many indy bands). One of their songs was featured on AMC's hit show Breaking Bad, but I'm talking about continuous airplay. Is there room on the radio dial for bilingual music or is everyone too afraid to break with the norm and mix it up? I feel like I've discovered them before they made it big. It's only a matter of time before bilingualism is the norm in this country. It is already in California and Bang Data is serving up some much-needed soul for this bilingual world.

Frontman MC Deuce Eclipse writes most of the lyrics but collaborates with drummer Juan Caipo. Caipo produces and I'm told is the genius behind the unique Bang Data sound. He credits his multi-genre sound to having grown up in LA to Peruvian parents who happened to own the first Mexican restaurant in Peru. "My friends say I'm an honorary Mexican," he laughed. Perhaps the unique pairing of Caipo's multi-Latin upbringing with Deuce's Nicaraguan roots was the right recipe for their fresh sound.  "It's kind of like a hip hop DJ/emcee partnership," said Deuce. However, I am not convinced that Deuce is a mere MC spittin' hard lyrics. He can sing! His vocals come across as silk, oh so smooth with understated angst. Although most of their songs are cleverly disguised as feel good booty shaking tunes, they also carry deep messages. Pressure is their hardest driving rock song about having a good time, but as the title emphasizes, it's about dealing with the pressures of life. Their self-titled tune has a nice danceable rhythm and lyrics like y todos somos raza, mi grupo Bang Data, y mueve que te pasa--easy lyrics anyone can jam to but the song coveys a statement about the band's well-defined purpose and style. They know who they are.  (Check out the video below)

An interesting note is the story of a father figure woven in songs like Don't Know and most prominently in their most traditional of all their songs, Mi Viejo (A Mi Padre). It's an intriguing twist. Don't all Latino men worship at the altar of their madrecitas queridas? Isn't it almost sacrilegious to vocalize love for a father and not the mother? Whatever the reason, it's a nice new twist--such a simple, yet effective choice.

Others are of heartache and betrayal. Naturally intrigued by romantic drama I asked: Who broke your heart? Deuce's reply caught my by surprise." When I wrote Qarma I approached it from a different point of view. I didn't write it as the victim. I wrote it for all the times I have done someone wrong. I was just being honest to myself that sometimes I have to be a better person or I will suffer the qarma that comes along with making bad choices." He adds, "Sucio Amor was written for all of the times I have tried to make a relationship work and it didn't. That sometimes love hurts and it's not always clean. Dirty love give me I want it all ----what I mean by that is: love, no matter what form it shows, I will never give up on it. I want all the forms and I'll take it how it comes because love is always a blessing." The song is sultry and complex because "it also deals with the anger of losing someone who has hurt you. It's telling a person that I still believe in myself and one day you're going to miss me. I am going to move on and you are going to regret it. Sometimes in relationships we lose sight of how important the other person is to us. So Dirty Love also means 'don't forget that I am not going to put up with being treated bad and I will leave and show you that I am a strong person.' I feel we all have been there, when you give someone everything you have and its still not enough to make the other person want to stay and work it out."

If you're ready to sample their songs for yourself, check out their soundcloud link here:

Another deep and tortured song is ICU. Here, Deuce's kind vocals convey a lot of hurt and passion in a subtle and smooth tone. Short for " intensive care unit " the song is about "wanting to know that someone is going to be there for us no matter what--to tell us that everything is going to be okay and that I am not the only one who has problems," said Deuce.  "I know I told you that I'd be there for you, no matter what I'll never leave you in the rain--just reminding someone that we will be here for you in the good times and especially in the hard times...we are the intensive care unit for when you need intensive care. The reminder to the listener, telling them that we are human and need each other. Our music is for all of us and hopefully when you are down, you can listen to ICU and feel like we can get through whatever hardships we face on a daily basis." 

My favorite, if I had to pick one (right at this moment) is the rock-infused/hip hop/brassy Don't Know. Anyone who is bicultural can relate to this song. There was love in this house, but this country gave us doubt, it's like if you talk back, they like --hush yo mouth . . . No me conoces, yo soy un toro . . . Read it again. For the most part, Latino families are warm and inviting. The extended relatives are supportive and have a strong family bond. When these families break off and move to the US, the mere logistics of affordable housing and job availability forces the division. It's a matter of survival and kids lose their way easily or toughen up in order to survive. Yo si te conozco, por eso canto, mirame a los ojos. How often do you feel like that? We have command of American culture, know how to live in this society, and feel it's wrath brought on by those that have no clue what we're about. This song, and others, are internal turmoil on paper. "La Sopa" is a cathartic therapy/jam session . . . and I'm dancing my frustrations away. 

Bang Data Official Music Video by Bang Data