Archive | April, 2015

Performances

10 Apr

“When I go out there I perform like its my last performance on earth. Audiences can love you or hate you enough to make it your last performance.” – Gloria Trevi

I now get her and many other performers.

Rock en Español

6 Apr

Gloria Trevi is more rock than Maná. You can quote me on that. She is edgier, more controversial, more animated, influenced by real Mexican rock/traditional blues, and is far from the lame “safe rock” that Maná is. Maná likes to think its hardcore, rock and has a following of fans that dress in black who think they are rockeros. Sorry buddy, but using the words “amor” and “mariposa” constantly in your songs is not rock. Nope. Its Gloria Trevi who is the real deal with her crazy stage antics, flawless Led Zepplin/Janis Joplin voice and has pissed off many members of the Mexican media. Real rock and roll. Good night.

VH1 Behind the Music- GLoria Trevi

5 Apr

The quick and dirty of Gloria Trevi that includes her biggest hater, Patti Chapoy.

Gloria Trevi- The Queen of Mexican Pop y Rock en Español

5 Apr

I don’t think its a coincidence that my sister and I grew up with feminist and non-conformist thoughts. Perhaps it was my mom and dad who constantly made sure to make us feel empowered. My dad had us watching karate, kung fu, and Van Damme movies at a very young age to the point where I actually wanted to be in karate classes, but of course finances didn’t allow my parents to do so. My sister and I used to tag team and beat up our male and sometimes older cousins, but only because they would provoke us or pick on our little brother. My dad’s play fighting and constant “love hits” (smacking us unexpectedly to scare and then laugh at us) have always kept us on check at all times and quite frankly I think they are responsible for my quick reflexes that have proven to be a wonderful skill as a softball player. But who truly shaped my sister and I’s personality is my mom.

I remember growing up watching Care Bear movies. But of course it wasn’t the original Care Bears and instead it was the Care Bear cousins who had their own franchise and movie line. It was cheaper and those are the movies that my mom would buy us. The movie series that my mom bought us focused on the adventures of a girl and her nemesis Shriek-y with hilarious sidekick Beast-ly. The main character lived out in the sea and wanted to be a pirate, but was ridiculed by one of the Care Bear cousins who of course was proven wrong. The whole series is focused on how the main character overcame the fact that she was a girl and did whatever she wanted. Plus Shriek-y was a fantastic nemesis and only couldn’t follow through her evil plan because of minor mistakes. Yes, women can do it! Then of course comes my mom’s musical influence on me. She listened to music from the prime of the Mexican market that blossomed in the 1980’s. To this day its rare to have a quiet house because she always fills it with music that is either female dominated, Juan Gabriel or de la epoch grupera (Bronco, Temerarios etc.). Beatriz Adriana, Daniela Romo (my grandma used to call me “La Chomo” because of my long black hair), Yuri, Rocio Durcal, Gloria Trevi…. wait Gloria Trevi??? Yes’m. Gloria Trevi.  My mom bought us the videotape of “Pelo Suelto” which is Gloria Trevi’s hilarious first movie. We watched it so much that the tape busted and were unable to watch it anymore. Yes, I have sung “Pelo Suelto” and remember all of the songs from that movie.  Watch the first 10 minutes of the movie here and fast forward to 6:20 and have Gloria Trevi talk to “Panchina” the gasoline pump and then the death of Panchina  BAHAHAHAHAHA!!

That same woman that later disappeared for 4 years and was found hiding in Brazil. But Gloria Trevi was different during the early 90’s. When Gloria Trevi arrived in the music scene in 1990, she was a mistake, a shock, a game changer for the Mexican music industry. The late 1980’s saw a rise of the rock scene in Mexico after the 1986 earthquake. La Cuca, Maldita Vecindad, El Tri, Caifanes, Cafe Tacuba were emerging in Mexico, but kept in the shadows of the mainstream Mexican industry. Televisa and Siempre en Domingo dominated and controlled all of the media and getting through to them was difficult. So when Sergio Andrade proposed to bring an unknown Gloria Trevi on Siempre en Domingo it was a huge risk. He knew that if Gloria’s performance failed that she was doomed and he was done as well. So he rehearsed her like crazy and was clear: stick to the choreography, smile, and be polite like all of the other artists that had performed there in the past. But what does Gloria do? She digs in to her Janis Joplin, Rolling Stones, The Doors and rock urbano influences and decides to do her thing. She is so outlandish, energetic, provocative and dynamic that she creates a storm so big that even though the Mexican music industry does not approve of her shenanigans, they decide to back her up because the crowd is fascinated with her. Keep in mind: she has never performed any concerts or come out on TV before. You can see the performance here:

and then Raul Velasco’s awkward perverted reaction here:

After listening to Gloria Trevi’s first 3 albums its fascinating that she sang about criticizing all forms of Mexican society and got away with it. She sings about girls who say they are virgins, but are not (“Virgen de las Virgenes”). She sings about masturbating (“Agarrate”).

About doing whatever you want and taking a jab at men that stare at women’s legs in a perverted manner (“Dr. Siquiatra). Going against society and taking pride in it (“Pelo Suelto”). Abusive relationships (“Amor Apache”). Pregnant teenagers (“Chica Embarazada” and “Me Siento Tan Sola”). Critiquing Mexican elite society and again sticking to your own fashion style (“A Gatas,” and “Que Bueno que no fui Lady Di”). Running away from home and living on the streets (“Hoy Me Ire de Casa”). And she wrote a song called “A La Madre.” She has a line that says “En la escuela me enseñaron puras madras” hahahaha Her 1994 album was titled “Mas Turbada Que Nunca” which is a play on words “Masturbada.”  Her love songs are incredibly sad and heartbreaking, but also hilarious critique of machismo like “La Papa Sin Catsup” seen here:

Gloria’s song “Borregos” is the pinnacle of Gloria’s critique of Mexican popular society. Her manager Sergio Andrade told her that the Mexican television and media controlled the Mexican people by censoring and highly controlling what came out on TV. Andrade said that the Mexican people were “borregos.” If the media said jump, then the “borregos” would jump the way that the media told them to jump. So Gloria wrote the song criticizing the Mexican government and media. Its highly catchy and highly critical. Goodness gracious this woman is lucky she wasn’t banned from the TV and radio like Molotov was in 1999. Even more she’s lucky there wasn’t a hit out on her. Here is the famous song:

The instrumental influences in her music is also fascinating. It is clearly influenced by rock urbano of Mexico city a la El Tri and the heavy blues side. She was the feminine answer to rock urbano of the time breaking all kinds of barriers. She was rock, feminine, and that voice!! Clearly influenced by Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, Led Zepplin. In every single live performance that I have seen on youtube Gloria has been on key, and just flawless. No mistakes. No “gallos.” Just real almost perfect talent. And her voice is clearly well preserved and taken care of in 2015. Its like Shakira’s: memorable, often imitated, but will never be duplicated. It may almost be safe to say that women over the age of 28 were at one point influenced by la Trevi: whether its her music, dancing, or fashion style. By 1990, people were getting tired of all the fresa groups that I am still into: Flans, Timbiriche, Lucero etc. So Gloria Trevi was the anti- fresa that Mexican society was ready for. Gloria used audience interaction to its best as well. She broke a barrier between the audience and performer even on ultra conservative “Siempre En Domingo” seen here:

One of the best examples of Gloria’s live performance energy is her Viña del Mar 1993 performance where she was first shown to the Chilean audience. They don’t even know what hit them. This 35 minute performance is so intense and full of emotion, drama, stunts, wardrobe malfunctions, dry humping, guitar solos, audience interaction, real tears, and jumping that it would take me a 5 paragraph essay to describe it entirely. Just keep in mind that the performance starts with Gloria screaming, artfully singing and hitting every single note on key, and ends with her singing an Elvis song in her underwear. No pos wow. In my mind, its what all of us do secretly in our rooms when we sing along to a rock song, but don’t do in public. Gloria has no shame and does it in front of thousands. I believe that is what captivates all of us as an audience. You can see it here:

Even with these songs that criticized Mexican culture, she is guilty of what I call the Beyonce- syndrome, but more excessive: Gloria sang about female empowerment and was dominant on stage. But then she went and did several calendars in the nude posing with condoms in extremely sexual positions. A quick Google search “calendar Gloria Trevi” made me blush and ayyy no I’m not posting that shit up in here. And as we all know, she was completely manipulated, abused (physically, sexually, and mentally), and used as a tool for the incredibly sick, twisted and perverted Sergio Andrade.

Its interesting to me how Gloria sang about all of these controversial topics, but had been manipulated and abused during this time. While Gloria developed song lyrics and singing melodies, Andrade wrote the actual music. They were a tag team for all of these songs yet he completely controlled her. On stage she is incredibly confident, relaxed, energetic and explosive, but she was abused off stage. Almost makes me wonder about Beyonce.

Gloria was set to take over the Mexican world by signing with a major record label and agreeing to be on TV shows. Her future was set and even filled up concerts in the Auditorio Nacional. Then she went off the radar because a former backup singer wrote a book and was causing a scandal on the media. Aline Hernandez (Gloria’s backup singer) accused Sergio Andrade of having sex with girls who were backup singers for Gloria or were in training to be the next Gloria. He physically abused them, locked them in closets after concerts, and did not allow them to communicate with their parents. He brainwashed them into thinking that their life was worthless without him. All of these accusations were true. However, Sergio Andrade had also manipulated Gloria and was on the run with his “Clan” of teenage girls who were all pregnant with his children. The Clan ended up in Brazil and during that time Gloria had a child, accidentally killed it, and was devastated until Brazilian Interpol found the Clan and incarcerated them in prison. A member of the press found that Sergio Andrade had dumped Gloria’s baby’s body by a river, took pictures of the baby and mailed them to Gloria in prison. During that time, Gloria bribed prison guards into having a conjugal visit with Sergio Andrade and became pregnant with his child. A few weeks later, she tried to commit suicide and when she was being treated found out that she was pregnant.  This is what finally caused her to wake up and declare her innocence from Andrade. Previously she had refused to separate her case from him and was loyal to him.   It was Andrade who actually testified and said that Gloria was not a willing accomplice in all of the charges filed. She was set free and continued her life with her baby. Phew!! I tell you this woman is a walking miracle.

I also found out that Gloria Trevi released a movie on the story of her life in January but only in Mexico. A quick google search on the topic also showed a ton of links to watch it online so I did…. Not proud of it, but I did. I was in tears at the end for a long time after the movie ended. A few days later I find out that the movie will be premiering in the US on June 5th. oops. Regardless I will be watching it again because its so intense. Check out this incredible trailer that will make you want to watch it:

I already saw La Trevi on tour once, but when is she back so I can go see her with front row tickets?? I can’t wait!