Archive | March, 2012

Selena Lives

31 Mar

We’ve all seen and heard anything and everything related to Selena and her death. There is no question she will be remembered for even more years to come. Nobody in the Spanish language music scene is even close to the talent or charisma that Selena had. Shakira? She’s basically trying to sell CDs by taking off her clothes. J Lo? Non-existent if Selena hadn’t died and completely talentless in the musical aspect. La Trevi, Pau, y La Guzman? Nope. Trevi has issues and has some seriously depressing songs, Pau can’t sing, and La Guzman isn’t as versatile as Saint Selena.

Selena was a singer-songwriter, choreographer, fashion designer, sponsor for Coca Cola, collaborator, charismatic performer and had one heck of a down to earth personality.  Selena was our Michael Jackson with her unique dance moves, outfits and distinct voice and personality. Even the team that Selena surrounded herself with was extremely talented. It is rare to hear a CD like “Amor Prohibido” that blended love struck cumbias with boleros, tejano,  a cover by The Pretenders, merengue style cumbia, a techno infused rapping cumbia, corrido style  love songs, Spanish style trumpets with cumbias, and straight forward rock and roll 80’s style jams all in one CD. The team does it SO well that the listener barely notices the changing genres within the same CD. Pure genius. And look at her previous work: a blend of tejano, tex mex, mariachi and did she really just do a tejano version of Rocio Durcal’s “Costumbres”? gasp! (sarcasm). Oh and good luck trying to sing “La Llamada”  as well. That has got to be one of the hardest Selena songs to sing. Just ask Olga Tañon when she tried to sing this song during the 10 year Selena Tribute.

Selena broke language barriers, shattered music records, attendance records, and created the pathway for the English “crossover” artists of the late 90’s. Little known fact: Ricky Martin’s music team had been working for over 2 years to prepare him for his 1998 crossover. Guess who made it on the radio 3 years before Ricky? Yup. Selena. She would have done this regardless of her death because Selena’s fanbase was enormous plus the world could no longer ignore los Latinos. Think about it: LA riots, Prop 187, the death of 2pac and Biggie, NAFTA, EZLN, the decline of the peso, and the Chupacabras all took place right before or after Selena’s death. The Latino market could no longer be ignored. Selena would have crossed over dead or alive. I mean 60,000 people attended her funeral. Think about it from a business point of view.

I put together a few facts on Selena that I have been wanting to compile for a while:

Selena is the only Latin and FEMALE artist ever to place 5 consecutive albums is Billboard 200 top Selling albums in the U.S. and UK. This has only been accomplished by Elvis, The Beatles, and Garth Brooks.

Selena was named by Billboard Magazine as the Best Selling Latin Artist of the Decade (90’s), selling approx 18,000,000 albums.

Selena’s album Dreaming of You, a combination of Spanish-language songs and new English-language tracks, debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making her the first Hispanic singer to accomplish this feat and the second highest debut after Michael Jackson‘s HIStory.

Selena was named the fastest selling female artist in history back in 1995, when her albums “Dreaming Of You” sold well over 175,000 copies it’s first day.

Selena broke Mariah Carey’s sales record. Selena’s “Dreaming Of You” sold in one day, what Mariah’s CD sold in one week.

Selena, was the first Latin artist to chart a Latin album (at least 50% Spanish) at #1 on the Billboard 200 Pop Charts.

The 3 – Disc “Anthology” sold 500,000 copies its first two weeks.  Selena spent more weeks at number 1 on Billboard Top 50 Latin charts than any other artist. ‘Amor Prohibido’ was number 1 for 78 weeks, which beats Gloria Estefan’s 58 weeks.

Selena was the first Tejano artist ever to win a Grammy Award.

Selena was named “Female Artist of The Year” for 9 years in a row, at the Tejano Music Awards.

60,000 people attended her funeral

Madonna was reportedly the sole Anglo star to send her condolences. (yay!)

Selena once drove a black BMW but it was stolen and dumped into the ocean only to be replaced by Selena’s legendary red Porsche Targa.

Selena loved to shop at Wal-Mart and Pay Less Shoes Source.

Selena had 5 dogs and a python

Selena once filled the middle of Oreo Cookies with Mint Toothpaste, to play a joke on a fellow singer, but her father ate it.

Selena was on the TV Novella “Dos Mujeres, Un Camino”

Selena had been accepted to the Louisiana State University.

The People Tribute Issue to Selena sold 1,000,000 copies it’s day of release, spawning People En Espanol.

Selena was in the 1999 Book Of World Records in the category of Most Dominating Musical Artist.

Here’s a video of Selena:

Facts taken from http://www.selenaforever.com/Selena/Selena_Facts.html and wikipedia.com

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Proverbs

29 Mar

The Bible is an amazing book whether you are religious or not. Here is one of my favorite quotes that helped me through some rough times:

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” -Proverbs 15:13

Quetzal – Estoy Aqui

26 Mar

I pulled into the parking structure the other day bumping Quetzal’s “Imaginaries.” The track that was playing was “Estoy Aqui.” I found a spot next to my co-worker’s truck and as I looked over to make sure I didn’t hit her side mirror, I see her head pop up and smile at me. She scared me! My co-worker had been taking a nap during her lunch break. The first thing she says, “what is that music that you were playing? It is so different.” Ahh, but its the amazing Quetzal and their socio-concious heavy music. “Estoy Aqui” is a unique cumbia with a melodic violin and a menacing bass line that is asking for trouble.

This one goes out to my co-worker and her lunch time naps!

Weight Watchers #2

26 Mar

Oh look at this one from Weight Watchers online!

 

How to Be Your Own Best Friend

Don’t you think you deserve a little of your own adoration? Let us show you how to give yourself the love you deserve.
Article By: Megan Gressor

How do you learn to like yourself more? The same way you befriend anyone else: Take the time to get acquainted; be supportive and non-judgmental. Above all, look for the good.

1. Make a list of your many positive qualities.
Read your list often. It could include anything from being a good singer to a loving parent. List every attribute that makes you a worthwhile, likable individual.

2. Pay yourself a compliment every day.
Focus on a different attribute — your clear complexion, pleasant voice, good fashion sense — and say out loud: “I love my ___.” It may sound forced at first, but it’s a useful counter to self-doubt.

3. Do things you know will help you feel better about yourself.
This could be anything from getting a new hairstyle to losing that first 10 pounds. Tackle the easiest first, to build confidence in future efforts.

4. Give yourself regular treats.
Buy yourself flowers, take spontaneous day trips. You’d do these things to make loved ones feel good; aren’t you worth the same consideration?

5. Spend time with those who care about you.
You’ll soon share their good opinion of yourself! If there aren’t as many supportive people in your social circle as you’d like, consider ways of expanding it to increase your chances of positive feedback. Ask yourself: “Who will help me feel good about myself?” Apart from your immediate circle, consider neutral outsiders.

6. Avoid situations that reinforce self-doubt.
This could involve re-examining long-established relationships — perhaps with a critical relative or colleague who is continually reinforcing damaging self-perception. Are you forever seeking another’s approval but never getting it? Rather than simply taking the criticism, you could:

  • Retreat from the relationship a bit.
  • Stop hoping for approval.
  • Respond more assertively to harsh remarks (Example: “I feel bad when you call me ‘stupid.’ I would prefer that you addressed me with more respect.”)

7. Try a little kindness.
Instead of beating yourself up whenever you goof up, give yourself the benefit of the doubt, same as you would anyone else. Focus on your achievements, not faults. Chances are, once you start looking, you’ll be surprised at just how many there are!

Weight Watchers

26 Mar

I joined Weight Watchers last week. It is essentially a program to help people keep track of what they eat. There are some very helpful articles and tools that help users make better choices. The point is not to diet, but simply make better choices or eat a smaller amount. They do not encourage skipping meals or starving. I also like their “Healthy Living” section that gives great tips on managing stress, inspiration and such. Here’s a paragraph from an article on dealing with job loss:

 

Redefine yourself
Many of us define ourselves by what we do for a living. When that identifier is taken away it can lead to feelings of emptiness, which can trigger overeating, says Los Angeles psychologist and eating disorder specialist Sari Shepphird, PhD. To counter the effect, she suggests developing new aspects of your identity and developing outside interests to keep your days structured and bring pleasure into your life. “Believe it or not, you are more than your job,” says Shepphird. Anna has taken time out during her period of unemployment to engage in her favorite arts and crafts hobbies, such as scrap booking and card making. “I also spent a lot of my free time taking care of my 18-month-old triplet nieces,” she says. “They made me laugh and acted silly when I needed it the most.”

Nick Cannon made it to my blog?

10 Mar

Ummm yeah I guess so! He said this to Piers Morgan on Whitney Houston’s death:

 

“Carey, who was a close friend of Houston’s, attended the funeral, but Cannon was hospitalized at the time.

“I know what she was dealing with and how people just started to come and let her know how special she was and how to keep her head up,” recalled Cannon. “It’s like everybody needs to hear that, you know? We want to send the flowers while people can still smell them.”

Quetzal’s “Jarocho Elegua”

10 Mar

While eating lunch today with an amazing and powerful woman (Chiquita), I began to remember how I first got to encounter my favorite band: Quetzal.

2002. I was still a senior in high school and what was I listening to? Quetzal from East LA. There were so many things going on in their music that I couldn’t even describe it at the time. They were cumbia, but had electric rock guitars, the singer had a beautiful captivating voice, the lyrics talked about being Chicana (huh?), a hypnotically melodic violin and a guitar player that switched to many other little guitars in his set. “Who ARE these guys?” I thought to myself. Each song that I heard from the sucked me into their beautifully crafted world. They were Quetzal.

They are easily the most influential band to me in many respects. Unlike Pastilla or Julieta Venegas, I don’t even try to learn their songs on the guitar because I have so much admiration for their work. They are on tour right now and I hope that they return to SoCal soon because I would love to see them again.