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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tego Calderon brings Latin Hip-Hop to Fur

Photos by Alfredo Flores NBC 4 Washington's Around Town

Puerto Rican rapper Tego Calderón is nicknamed "El Abayarde," referring to a ghetto on the island of Dominican Republic. Calderón's 2003 album "El Abayarde" made him a major Latin star. In addition to Latin rap, Calderón's also made songs that are considered "pure" reggae, like his hit 2006 single "Chillin'." Calderón has received a Source Award from The Source Magazine for International Artist of the Year, as well as a Tu Música award. The artist has also received several awards nomination, including a Latin Grammy, Billboard Award, Premios Lo Nuestro and Premios La Gente.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Black Plastic Bag: Washington City Paper's Music Blog

Photos: Anthony Hamilton and Musiq @ Constitution Hall

Anthony Hamilton is a trooper. While many performers have canceled performances because of illness or fatigue, Hamilton hobbled on one leg for the majority of his soulful 45-minute set played to a sold-out crowd at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Friday evening.

The R&B singer injured his left knee recently, but barely took advantage of the cane or crutches his stagehands implored him to use. Instead, he favored his right leg, danced as gracefully as a one-legged person could, and even got a dozen or so females to join in on stage for a rendition of “Sista Big Bones” set to the theme from TV’s “Fat Albert”. The North Carolina native made the song his own by ad-libbing and asking a few of the plus-sized ladies in attendance to join him on stage. Hamilton showed them his appreciation by coyly singing “Sista thickness/Get down wit the quickness/Hope you won’t forget this/Put me on ya gift list.”

After all of that hopping around, Hamilton, nattily dressed in a gray suit, sat down and busted out the love ballads “Her Heart” and “Prayin’ for You.” He then rose to his feet (or rather, his foot) to close the set with “Charlene,” a slow jam about heartbreak, and the uplifting “Cool.”

Headliner Musiq stuck to the fun, groovy tracks that have made him a star. He was backed by an all-female five piece band—which included scene-stealing drummer J Latoiya—and two female dancers. The deviation from the predominately male backup bands that dominate R&B provided the sort of funky ’70s feel that Musiq favors.

Musiq’s set was loaded with feel-good tracks like “Whoknows” and “Girlnextdoor,” and ended with his song about friendship leading to romance, “B.U.D.D.Y. Its chorus showed the singers playfulness: “I can’t lie/It would be fly/If you were my B-U-D-D-Y/Don’t be shy/Give it a try/I could be yours if you could be mine.”

Friday, June 12, 2009


Amadou and Mariam Bring Afro-Pop Fun to Birchmere

Photos by Alfredo Flores NBC 4 Washington's Around Town

Amadou (right) and Mariam -- who met at an institute for the blind -- infuse traditional Malian sounds with rock guitars, violins, trumpets, trombones, tablas and various percussion instruments. They have been dubbed “the blind couple of Mali.” They met at Mali’s Institute for the Young Blind, where they found they shared the same passion for music.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Written by Washington Post Express contributor Alfredo Flores

GABRIEL IGLESIAS IS like a human cartoon. He switches among characters he's met at a breakneck speed — anyone from racist Southern cops, mean Irish bartenders, his lively Mexican-American friends and family, California Valley Girls near his hometown of Long Beach, and suave D.C. tour guides. He also sports loud Hawaiian shirts and even has nicknames like Picachu and Fluffy. Oh, and he's easily excitable, letting out his trademark high-pitched squeal at the sight of a dozen Krispy Kremes, and sensually discusses chocolate cake over the phone with his girl (disturbingly similar to phone sex). The 2006 Comedy Central comedian of the year has made the late-night television circuit (appearances on "The Tonight Show," "The Late Late Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live"), was infamously booted off NBC's "Last Comic Standing" that year (he jokes, "I was the first Mexican deported on national TV"), and his one-hour special "2 Hot 2 Fluffy," debuts on Comedy Central in October. » EXPRESS: Why "fluffy"? » IGLESIAS: My mom called me that; sure beats the hell out of "fat." I then created the five levels of fatness and I've adapted that for my online clothing store for plus-sized people []. There, you can get the big, the "healthy," the "husky," the "fluffy" and the "Damn!" I've recently added a sixth level called the "Oh, hell, no!" [size 6XL]. I've lost a few pounds, so I'm between a husky and a fluffy. » EXPRESS: You open up the floor after your shows for audience questions. What do they ask? » IGLESIAS: I sometimes feel like a comedy mariachi, because instead of people asking me something personal about my life, I usually get joke requests. "Talk about chocolate cake; do corn on the cob; do Donkey [from 'Shrek']!" It's cool, because some people want to hear old jokes, but my new tour will feature 100 percent new jokes. » EXPRESS: What's up with the Hawaiian shirts? » IGLESIAS: Well, regular shirts get uncomfortable when you sweat a lot, and since I get pretty animated during the shows, it's kind of a workout. That, and I couldn't find clothes my size, so I always ended up wearing this, or some messed up T-shirt from some band I don't like, a Budweiser shirt I didn't want to wear just because Big and Tall carried it. Plus, when I went to Hawaii, everyone looked like swollen Mexicans. I felt at home. » EXPRESS: Now, with another TV special, are you too hot or too fluffy? » IGLESIAS: Both! A sense of humor is the way to go, and it's definitely worked out for me. Nowadays, if I'm in a room with two guys that just left the gym and have been going there for a long time, I'll still get more attention, which I think is pretty cool. » Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW; with Martin Moreno, Noe Gonzalez; Fri., June 12, 8 p.m., $32.50; 800-551-7328. (Metro Center)

Monday, June 08, 2009


Washington Humane Society’s Bark Ball

Photo Credit:Alfredo Flores, Special to Metromix

The Washington Humane Society’s 22nd Annual Bark Ball was held on Saturday, June 6 2009 at the Washington Hilton. The Bark Ball drew many of the D.C. area's most illustrious residents...and their human owners too. Dogs that attended the Bark Ball dined in style and enjoyed gourmet dog treats provided by Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique. The event included a VIP reception, dinner and an extensive silent auction featuring jewelry, luxury items, hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates and travel packages. The Washington Humane Society is the only open-access shelter in the nation’s capital and provides comfort and care to more than 20,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CD Review
Jim Gaffigan
King Baby
Jim Gaffigan is the epitome of the lazy man, and to a certain extent, we can all be guilty of following in his footsteps. We’ve all had times when we were just too lazy to do anything, sleeping in late on the weekends, but Georgetown grad Gaffigan takes it one step further. In his latest comedy CD — "King Baby," which also debuted recently on Comedy Central — he jokes that he can’t be bothered to clean bottles before recycling them, quipping at his wife, "I haven’t showered yet. Maybe I should wash myself before I wash the garbage?" Another ode to laziness—he hires a legal team to read his lengthy legal documents. "How much do you charge? $500. An hour. That seems reasonable. Just make sure I’m not giving away a kid or anything." -- Alfredo Flores