Concert Series: Kinky


Hailing from Monterrey, Mexico, Kinky’s funky beat thumped the stage and brought most of the crowd to its feet. A mix of rock and electronic music, Kinky brings together a new, yet deep-rooted sound to American and Latin American audiences. The electro beats jumped along the hip hop rhythm, reminiscent of the Gorillaz. Meanwhile, lead singer Gilberto Cerezo, pulled the audience with the same energy the Red Hot Chili Peppers commanded on stage.

A wide screen centered on the stage, the neon lights pierced through the night sky as the dance beats hit hard. Kinky contradicts the idea of a Mexican band. They contradict what Mexican rock means. Some may call them “alternative,” but their power lies in their transformation of the mainstream and traditional. They use catchy hooks, but they don’t merely rely on computer sampled beats. With an electronic accordion, Kinky blasts some of its most incessant staccato beats. Traditionally an instrument of regional Mexican music, Kinky manages to bring something new with this unusual form in the rock-electro scene.

Kinky played the second weekend at the Levitt Pavilion for the summer concert series on June 24, 2017.


First Concert at Levitt Pavilion – Review

Entertainment, music
By Calisho

June 17th marked the first performance of total fifty concerts at the Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park. With three acts kicking off the event, we got a range of synth pop to salsa to western Hispanic-tinged music rebounding all the way across to the Park Plaza Hotel. However, there was more than enough space to take a front row seat, whether on the grass or on a makeshift chair, you could experience the music VIP style.

Opening act, Sin Color (Without Color), warmly but shyly greeted the audience, with the first song lasting about a minute. A synthpop mix of Spanish and English songs followed, which included “Pregunto” and “Frutas.” Crisia Regalado, the lead singer, rode over the synthpop landscape with her vocals that, at times, mirrored Shakira. Along Crisia, was David Aquino playing the synthesizer and guitar. Though the music is subtle and mellow, with slow backbeats, you can sway from side to side as it picks up speed. Crisia’s vocals wade through the electro sound, giving you awesome wails. Trained in opera at a young age, you can easily hear the depth of her voice as it goes quite high, and never whispery. They are definitely not your typical Latino band, because Sin Color has managed to bring Spanish music into another level for those indie lovers out there. A mix of dream and electro pop, Sin Color cooks up something else you didn’t know was flavorful.

Dressed in a fitted red flame charro outfit (minus the hat), stepped in Nancy Sanchez along with her band. What we heard was not mariachi music however, but a string of jazz, big band and salsa influenced songs. Nancy has won awards in jazz, and she continues to bring her knowledge into the music she writes. She fuses jazz trumpets and saxophone sounds with a Spanish acoustic guitar to achieve an uptempo song about the quirks of having an American boyfriend. She highlights the Latina bicultural experience, but sometimes her lyrics remain stunted, and can leave you wanting more underneath the surface. She paints you a direct narrative, which makes the viewpoint she wants to get across accessibly superficial, but where’s the message? At one point of “Espinoza Paz”, she adds a verse about Trump to comment on the political climate, but in her depiction of Trump, it ends up more like a joke than a message.

A three member band, Mexican Standoff, entered the stage ready to take us back to a nostalgic Americana sound. With a slide guitar player, a trumpet player, and saxophone one, the group gave us western sounds in both Spanish and English. As soon as the slide guitar cried its first notes, the sound changed the stage from Sanchez’s celebratory one to one of remembering. The lead singer, Fernanda, carries swagger reminiscent of Johnny Cash, growling out words like pistols, then bringing them to a high pitch. The best part came when the two brass players engage in a duel, with the saxophone blowing great improvised notes. It was engaging and cool. Then, came the weeping slide guitar, to close the night off. With sparse drawn out notes, a quiet settled over the audience before the end. Fernanda and the Mexican Standoff, influenced by Mexican and American folk music, offer a forgotten part of history and our music consciousness. It was great to see a band build off this tradition.

Radiowaves: An Escape


When I can’t speak my mind,
I can only sing my heart

Stevie Wonder’s “A Place In The Sun” 1966
The Beatles “There Is A Place” 1963
The Kinks “Holiday” 1971
Beach Boys “Sloop John B” 1966

Too often we face the weariness of the everyday life, surviving rather than living it. The pressure of our circumstances pushes us to dream and long for that “place” outside of our average life. You may call it escapism; you can do it through TV, books, or songs. These selected songs long for that familiar, comforting place outside the singer’s world. It is a dream, a projection, a fantasy that gives them hope and strength to soldier on. For many, they may call this state of mind or physical place “home,” as they make their way back to that familiar, singular space. This month’s playlist starts with Stevie Wonder’s “A Place in the Sun” a song written by Motown songwriters, Ronald Miller and Bryan Wells. Wonder’s vocals deliver each note with an upbeat resoluteness, “moving on” accompanied by a soft string arrangement. You hear the longing and determination in the first bar of each verse as his long “Os” punch through the mellow song to find that “place in the sun.” And as he sings of how the people might feel despondent, he assures them that this place will give them hope, unlike the real world that takes it away. Written in 1966, you can consider this song as a social commentary of the turbulent times, when the civil rights movement had just started a few years back.

The Beatles’ “There A Place” sets up the singer’s escape away from the melancholy he experience in his own mind, which sounds a bit more zen because it sends the singer into an introspective trip. With “no sorrow” or “sad tomorrow” this place allows the singer to remember only the good memories, such as words of love. This song strikes me quite deeply; the paradoxical idea that I can go into my mind and find “no time when I am alone” empowers me.

With a dainty piano, “Holiday” begins, as the Kinks’ sing of a either a “holiday” as vacation time or a respite from “the city because it brought [him] down.” Now, the Kinks had several songs that send the singer into another state because the pressures of the city have him upset, but this song’s music is not frenetic or nostalgic like “20th Century Man” or “Waterloo Sunset.” The singer takes in the good and bad of the scenery in front of him as an almost sarcastic “Thank you” as he notes the bad air and cloudy sky, noting “I’m so glad they sent me away.” Despite the sewer stink and the burning blisters, the singer appreciates the bit of time off from his presumed busy city days. Plus, note the leisurely accordion!

In the Beach Boys’ “Sloop John B,” a traditional folk song and the only song not written by them in Pet Sounds, the crew member longs to return home. In this case, we envision a physical space away from the ship’s nautical chaos. The singer not only does he want to go home, but requests to go back. “Let me go home” repeats throughout the song, a line exacerbated by the lone image of the sea. It seems there is no way to get home, though the singer keeps longing for it. The fantasy of escaping runs through these songs, whether as a collective, introspective, or physical action. As the singers dream of another better world, we are reminded that escaping is not hiding, but fighting for that better place full of hope.

Idiot Philosophy No. 3

essay, humor
By Luna Violet

Sex. sex, sex, sex. A word easily thrown around these days -in the media and in most households. Not in mine, not exactly. The idea of naked bodies passed around our house, nonchalantly, but when moaning and groaning or any movement between naked bodies appeared, it was immediately diverted by anything innocuous.

And, what is it about the construction of the word. To say something is exciting, you use the word “Sexy.” It does not always mean sexual, but alluring and maybe even dangerous. For many hormone-addled teenagers and young adults it is a rite of passage, from the stumbling, cocky idiot to the knowing, arrogant adult. The day you have or do sex, you are an adult, fully accountable for any consequences your non/sexual actions bring. By my peers standards, if you were still a virgin you either were religious (which was dumb) or were a loser (which was awful). Both gave you the image of a little goodie two shoes, in capable of doing something bad, and therefore cool.

Perhaps, because our assumptions and beliefs about sex reach back to biblical ideologies, we tend to use sex as the boundary between innocence and adulthood. At the edge of childhood, you sit on a rock looking back at the ground or ahead at the various jagged canyons. What makes you decide to take the leap? Now, you walk through the other canyons knowing what it was to jump. You know. You have knowledge. Does this make you an adult now? Do you feel powerful?

And, what if you don’t jump? Because the ground is just as wide and textured. You don’t worry about the next leap since you have the whole plane around you all to yourself.

Yet, you lack a distinct pleasure, those who did jump will say.

Well, you live a carefree life, you say. No known romantic passion, but maybe there are other types of passions that fuel your spirit. No intimacy, but you never tire of discovering yourself. This happens, and you don’t remain a child. You are a woman, with responsibilities and pleasures.

To convince others of your carefree and pleasant life without sex, you make a list:

Things I Get To Do

  • Bake bread, instead of dating
  • Take a swim in the ocean, instead of 69
  • Take the trash out, instead of compromising to get some
  • Binge watch stuff on Netflix, instead of oral
  • Read, you get the point

This doesn’t mean that those who have sex don’t get to do any of these activities; however, you just have MORE time to do them. More time to revel in the moment. And, sometimes, you get more sleep.  

You Can’t Help Yourself



The anger that grows from

upstairs neighbors’ overheard disputes

    leaves you longingly looking at the windows in front of you

    you can’t help yourself


You can’t deny that the monotony

makes you a little sad

     you focus on the details

     that blur the image of everyday


And though you might say cynical,

the cynic pities everything


All you ever wanted was to feel good

   but there are wishes

   that never leave the body alone


While at the station, you stand like a bear

frozen in the summer exhibit

    while the world piles all around


Nothing is shabbier than

worn dreams that hang

    like an old man with an upturned back


You can’t help yourself

when the new moon and sun make you shudder

    though your eyes are almost shut

    they still flutter at the sight

Radiowaves: Dreamy Vocals

“Just let the sound ride through you”

This month’s playlist features the dreamy sounds of female pop artists of the 60s and 70s. It begins with the flirty ye-ye song made popular by Gillian Hills. The playful love song was once recorded by Sophia Loren and produced by George Martin, but has survived into this modern era as the version sung by Hills. The song was brought back to life in an episode of Mad Men, in which Megan Draper sings this ditty to her husband at a birthday party. The song encapsulates the sensual yet playful image of the 60s French female pop singer. Next, we move on to Margo Guryan. She wrote “Values” back in the 60s, but released the song years later. Soft and playful, her vocals take you into an isolated, stripped down world that makes it dream-like. And still we linger in the 60s, but April March takes us in a slightly different direction. These two featured songs immediately took me to the movies, as I imagined these songs being featured in one of those indie movies about a confident girl moving in a bizarre or dark world. And, I am not that far off. One of her songs, “Chick Habit” was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. March keeps the spirit of the 60s, creating dark moods with the guitar accompaniment. We move forward with Spanish artist Jeanette, whose sweet, innocent voice drifts over the wall of sound. The string arrangements emphasize the pathos of her voice as she muses about her sentimental lover. She strings you along with a simple verse- chorus, but your mind lingers there even after the song ends. Jeanette became a popular Spanish singer up through the 80s. Her characteristic breathy voice propelled her music into Latin America, and can still be heard in the Latin classic hits radio stations. For the end, we stop with Baccara, a Spanish group still performing the old hits in Europe. The Euro group released this summer single in 1977 as a disco act . Though upon hearing this song, you immediately hear DISCO, it gives you that dreamy atmosphere filled with strings and flirty, breathy Spanish-tinged vocals.

“Values” Margo Guryan

“Le Temps de l’amour” April March

“Le Chason de Prevert” April March

“Corazon de Poeta” Jeanette

“Yes Sir, I Can Boogie” Baccara

History of Water


Apart from the tales heard,
exists separate truth.

Between fingers
lies a stranded

Curious, you find that tears
don’t spill,
they flow inwards.
Grief of abandonment,
Grief over absence.

Streams around home
come and go,
but what of the forgotten blackberries,
hollow of any water?