Friday, February 8, 2008

Even Malverde Nods to San Valentin

Insiders know that Machete Music recording artist Malverde, who takes his name from the patron saint of smugglers, is on the verge of a national breakout. His conscious hip-hop and bilingual rap first came to my attention at about four years ago when he crashed a couple of NALIP conference receptions and offered a demo and some righteous plática. The lyrical eloquence of his palabra, bespoke an awareness of his role as an agent of change, as a young man concerned about the violence in our communities and a visionary who crossed easily in and out of either language. The CD release party held downtown last night was a celebration of his maturation and a second major label release. Distributed by Universal Music, Malverde rallied guests from here to Riverside. Spotted in the crowd were jeweler Araceli Silva and Magdaleno "Guic" Robles, who launched Creativo Management after our own ill-fated feature film project (and his directorial debut) went haywire and bust amidst dubious support from our producers. Taco Chihuahua catered directly from the discos and Jarritos introduced their semi-urban marketing campaign which is highlighted by the phrase "What the fruit?!" Gimmicky but effective. It bears mention that the fiesta was sponsored by MTV3. Mad, mad props to a young artist who's paid his dues and continues to spread positive messages. Aplausos para Daniel Hastings as well, the Chicano-panameño NALIPTster and long-time member of NALIP and president of the Atomicus Creative Group who directed Malverde's scorching new video and a long-time NALIPster who wants to get us in to a Grammy after-party on Sunday.

After the primaries and the optimism derived from Obama's muscular showing in a gap-closing Super-Tuesday election, Malverde was a follow up signal that life is looking up. Malverde delivered his own flows as well as refrains from "Volver" and "Tragos de Amargo Licor," both chicano and paisa sing along standards. He also offered a track to his grandparents who have been married for about 50 years, evidence that life-long love is possible and it leads directly into a round up of the Valentine's Day events and activities that will perhaps make all of our love lives (or lack thereof) interesting this weekend. I'm pleased to confess that I'll be writing love poems on demand with original illustrations by José Lozano at the Self-Help Graphics "Botánica de Amor," a love fair featuring tarot readings, love potions and prints from the SHG print taller. Spoken word artists who will share "sexy-love" poetry include Adolfo Guzmán López and Consuelo Flores.

And if that weren't enough, San Anto-bred Ana Guajardo, la switchera extraordinaria, also hosts a can't miss artesanía and love-stuff happening on Sunday. "Amorarte," as she's dubbed the sale and gathering of good friends over food and wine, brings together a number of LA's best Latina/Xicana/Mexicana artisans, designers and fashionistas who craft their wares by hand at home. Contact her at her website for an invite and details. Meanwhile, Karla Lopez, founder of the enormously popular Mamacita's Market has organized "A Day for Love: As Sweet as Chocolate" with a special performance by musical soulmaster Alex Painter on Sunday as well over at Placita Olvera in conjuntion with Casa de Sousa. Support local artists and taste the fruits of cariño in the process, por fa'...

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