RBMA Panamerika Escenario Rescheduled for March 7

ESCENARIO_PANAMERIKA_BANNERWEB500x500px(Update 03/02/13: Bomba Estereo will be debuting music from their new album Elegancia Tropical at the show…read the interview with their vocalist Liliana Saumet. One of the organizers told me Bomba Estereo rearranged their tour schedule just to make this event, flying in from Costa Rica and then flying out the next day to play in Peru. It takes quite a bit of planning & logistics to get all these performers on the same bill, so big kudos to the Red Bull Music Academy (RMBA) Panamerika and everyone involved in making this event happen! Spread the word y bailamos!)

The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) Panamerika event Escenario, which features some of the best Latin alternative artists, was canceled back in November because Natalia Lafourcade and Hello Seahorse! had visa issues. Now, it’s been rescheduled for Thursday, March 7, at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they still aren’t able to play but as a consolation, I’m happy Carla Morrison has been added as a special guest to an already stellar lineup with Bomba Estereo from Colombia, Astro from Chile, LA’s Grammy-nominated La Santa Cecilia and Brooklyn’s ‘tropical bass’ DJs Que Bajo?!  I’ve seen all these performers except for Carla Morrison and I can vouch that once the music starts, you’re not going to be resting your feet until the final encores are over! Buy tickets to this all-ages event here. Continue reading

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Music festival & Campout at The Ranch Party in the Santa Monica Mountains

ranch partyThis Saturday, March 2, expected to be in the 80s, is the perfect weekend to enjoy an all-day into the night outdoor music festival at The Ranch Party, nestled in the Santa Monica mountains. The place is actually home to Ranch Kids, a nonprofit introducing low-income, at-risk and special needs children from the city to the positive world of outdoor nature and farming. The benefit concert will feature an eclectic lineup of independent LA bands, like The Internet (of OFWGKTA), Kisses and Mansions on the Moon, and my favorites: Zak Waters, The Record Company and Gavin Turek.
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Film Independent screenings in March at LACMA

al pacinoI love the free screenings at LACMA, given by Film Independent, the nonprofit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, and sponsored by The New York Times. They’re often attended by directors and stars of the movie, such as the last screening, showing the Oscar-nominated No from Chile, with Gael García Bernal in attendance. This March, they’re presenting 3 upcoming films which all happen to be crime thrillers. RSVP opens on March 5…guests at the Q&A to be announced, so get your tickets quick!
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2013 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film

oscar(UPDATE 2/27/13: As predicted, Amour won the Oscar. However, if you want to catch a free screening of War Witch at USC tonight Wednesday 2/27, followed by a Q&A with director Kim Nguyen and actress Rachel Mwanza, whose Cinderella story of being cast for the film after being discovered while living on the streets as a homeless orphan child is truly inspirational, RSVP here. You can also RSVP for the 2nd screening, Beyond The Hills, from Romania.)
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El Prieto: powerful hip hop from Venezuela

el prietoMy friend Luis just turned me on to El Prieto, a rapper from Venezuela, whose song “Petare barrio de Pakistan” (Petare hood from Pakistan) about the grim realities of living in one of the roughest barrios in Caracas, known as the world’s most dangerous city, really catapulted him into hip hop consciousness outside of Venezuela. I still can’t find much information about him but his powerful lyrics and stirring videos, like “Fin del Mundo” (End of the World) are powerful social commentary about poverty, war and protest, that’s universally relevant. The archival footage of war, violence and injustice, flashing throughout the video from past to present, begs us to wonder if anything has really changed.
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Two great films about Cuba: One Environmental, One Musical

powerI saw 2 great films this past week. The first, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, is a documentary about how Cuba dealt with a sudden unavailability of oil when the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s. Because of this event, Cuba became to the first country to experience literally overnight what we will all eventually face globally: Peak Oil, the point when the burgeoning use of oil to fuel our civilization’s growth can no longer be sustained by dwindling supplies of oil and our societies will have to find radical new ways to adapt. Continue reading