It was all love in the beginning of Maná’s Cama Incendiada tour stop in Los Angeles’s Staples Center on June 18, one of two sold-out nights at the venue.
“Los Angeles, we missed you!” shouted the band’s lead singer Fher Olvera, after opening with new single “La Prisión.” “Being here always feels like we’re home in Mexico, so it just felt right to kick off our world tour in California.”
And it was here, “in the heart of California,” as Olvera calls it, that he was able to take a break from singing party anthems and tequila-drenched power ballads to speak directly to Maná’s diehard Latino fans about something the legendary rock band deems urgent: the fact that we are anything but living in a post-racial society, as evidenced by Wednesday’s terrorist attack on a historically black church in Charleston, S.C.
Idris and I at the “No Good Deed” press junket earlier this year
It’s not unusual for Rush Limbaugh to say racist things. It is unusual for the right-wing commentator to admit that he’s being racist.
On Tuesday, Limbaugh brought up the idea of Idris Elba as James Bond on his syndicated radio show (a topic in one of the thousands of leaked Sony emails) and declared the 42-year-old London-born actor unfit for the role based on his skin color.
“James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is,” Limbaugh said. “But now [they are] suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is…I know it’s racist to probably point this out.”
News broke on Wednesday, December 17, that the United States plans to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and will open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years. The historic move came after the release of an American intelligence agent who had been in captivity in a Cuban prison for 20 years, and an American contractor, Alan P. Gross, who had been captive for five. In exchange, the U.S. released three Cuban spies who had been imprisoned in the U.S. since 2001.
Secret talks were held over the last 18 months between Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, encouraged by Canada and Pope Francis. Establishing direct contact between leaders of the two countries for the first time in half a century, Obama and Castro reportedly had a phone call on Tuesday to finalize the deal.
Calling the embargo on Cuba a failure, Obama addressed the nation in a televised speech Wednesday morning, stating: “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.”
You gotta admire how Calle 13 stay true to their hasta la victoria siempre M.O. Their newest act of rebellion? A collabo with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, their buddy Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Palestinian musician Kamilya Jubran. Apparently Rene Perez, one half of C13, visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this past summer. Their #JulianAssangeCalle13 campaign has been mounting since then, when they engaged their loyal Twitter followers on various themes and received thousands of responses, which they plan to incorporate into this new song. “We’re going to take their voice, what they’re saying, their idea, and we’re going to manipulate their idea and construct a song about the media…to talk against the bad media but using their voices,” says Perez in the teaser. Watch below:
The full “Multi_Viral” single will be released November 13. As for their next album, C13 has opted not to renew their contract with Sony and will be releasing their next album independently in March 2014. “We’re looking at different platforms,” C13’s Eduardo Cabra told Billboard last week. “Maybe we will give it away for free.”
That’s a cause I can get behind.
I was with the very impressive Castro twins (Julian and Joaquin) and their fellow Texican Eva Longoria last night at a fundraiser and had a hard time telling them apart. Back in 2010, I interviewed Julian, the mayor of San Antonio (and the youngest mayor of a top 50 American city, at that) for a special ad campaign that Chanel was doing around a new men’s fragrance, Bleu de Chanel. The campaign was called “Be Unexpected,” and it consisted of profiles of extraordinary black and Latino men (you can read the profile, titled “The Great Brown Hope” and check out the ad). I also interviewed Junot Diaz and Laz Alonso, among others, for the same campaign.
Since then, I’ve been able to call his press office and get a quote or two for different stories, including this one for Fusion (ABC/Univision), which I really appreciate.
I’ve been a fan of Julian Castro since and have high hopes for him, politically. His profile went through the roof last year at #2012DNC after his awesome speech, even if his adorable daughter Carina kind of stole the show.
Hanging on to this pic because I know there will come a day when I’ll say “I knew him way back when…”