This border city’s recording industry reputation is growing

El Paso is currently home to number of recording studios and the past year was a good one for musical artists coming out of the city on the crossroads between music scenes in Austin and Los Angeles. Khalid has been the most successful of three fresh faces from El Paso that have reached the national stage. Elia Esparza landed a spot on The Voice in 2016, followed by Valerie Ponzio in the 2017 season. Beacon Hill Recording Studios

Alfredo Gonzalez is general manager and music producer at Beacon Hill Recording Studios, 6430 Gateway Blvd, where Khalid recorded his hit song “Location.” Gonzalez said the 3-year-old studio struggled at first, in part because El Paso didn’t have a large recording industry infrastructure like big cities.

Juarez celebra su primer Bazar Ambulante de Producción, Redes, Truques y Ventas

Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua – Por primera vez, se llevó a cabo en Ciudad Juárez hace unos meses El Primer Bazar Ambulante de Producción, Redes, Truques y Ventas, que atrajo más de 28 bandas locales, fotógrafos, ilustradores, programadores visuales y otros artistas locales para vender su mercancía al público. Antonio Saenz Facio, uno de los organizadores, dijo que el evento es una manera para que la comunidad de Juarez se de cuenta de que “en la tierrita sí se tiene mucha calidad. Hay que apoyar al talento local, como a los amigos/conocidos que emprenden su negocio, para que podamos crecer tal vez ya no a nivel local, si no, mas allá”. La organización del evento fue llevada a cabo por la organización sin fines de lucro llamada Alianza Fronteriza. Es una alianza de músicos fronterizos para crear una unión de músicos y darse a conocer en todo el país.

Local ska band Fixed Idea prepares for 25th anniversary bash in El Chuco

An El Paso Ska band called Fixed Idea is preparing for its 25-year anniversary celebration party which will be held at the Tricky Falls entertainment venue in August. In preparation for the celebration, the band has released a new music video and will soon be releasing a brand-new song. They will also be releasing two CDs, one of them is titled “25-to-life” and features 25 tracks to celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary. “We have just been really focusing, visualizing and working on these songs without any distraction,” said Pancho Mendoza, 41, the lead singer and original member of Fixed Idea. “It’s gotten us this far and this year we are celebrating 25 years with…

Las Caponeras dan tono feminil a música mariachi

EL PASO — Las siete mujeres bajan del escenario donde por mas de una hora llenaron de alegría el ambiente con canciones como “Volver Volver”, “Mariachi Loco”, entre otras, finalizando exitosamente una presentación mas del grupo al que pertenecen, Mariachi femenil Las Caponeras. Las Caponeras cuentan ya con 15 años llevando la música tradicional Mexicana a diferentes lugares de El Paso. “Es la primera vez que las escucho y me gustó mucho el show; me recordó mucho a mi México, y mas que es un mariachi femenil, me encanto porque no siempre tienen que ser solo hombres”, dijo Gloria Guzmán, después de presenciar la presentación del grupo en Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. Guzmán, residente de El Paso, quien lleva mas de 10 anos viviendo lejos de México, dijo sentirse feliz de ver que la igualdad de género también se refleja en la música, ya que el mariachi es comúnmente conformado por hombres. Por otro lado, Angélica Flores, una maestra paseña seguidora de Las Caponeras, ha tenido la oportunidad de escucharlas varias veces e inclusive las ha contratado para fiestas familiares.

UTEP music students capture classic Motown jam in video

Students  in UT El Paso’s Commercial Music Ensemble class capture their version of  the Motown hit “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” in video. The group is directed by Chris Reyman and Brian Downen, assistant professors with the UTEP Department of Music. The ensemble of music majors performed at several events this semester, including the grand opening for Centennial Plaza and the honors convocation reception.

Digital hip hop ‘BasedGod’ Lil B confuses critics while evolving the genre

To many hip hop listeners, Lil B can come off as an oddball. And with such a large discography and inconsistent rap-style, hip hop fans may be reluctant to take what the artist, called The BasedGod, has to say seriously. When I first heard Lil B, I thought he was hysterical. With “I’m Miley Cyrus” blasting out of my laptop speakers, all I could think was that there was no way a rapper could sound this bad on his own track and feel confident enough to release this! How can anybody listen to this guy?

Song inspires writer to search for nameless victims in ‘Deportees’ plane crash

EL PASO — Folksinger Woody Guthrie wrote a poem In 1948 about a plane crash that year in which 32 people lost their lives near Los Gatos Creek in the Diablo mountain range of California. The flight was carrying 28 migrant farmworkers who were being deported back to Mexico. Guthrie was disturbed by press accounts at the time that didn’t include the names of the passengers. The poem was eventually set to music and was popularized by Pete Seeger as “Deportees,” which included the haunting line: “to fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil, and be called by no name except “deportees.” Sixty-six years later, writer Tim Z. Hernandez has made it his mission to remember those whose lives were lost by finding out their names.

Grassroots Rios Online Radio to promote El Paso music talent

EL PASO — Beer bottles clink in the hands of burly men as ACDC pounds on the speakers. Under the sound of televisions playing football games, a faint chatter can be heard on the second floor of the Pershing Inn bar—“Welcome to Rios Online Radio…”
Since January 2013, Joseph Brooks and Gabriel Acuña, producers for Rios Online Radio, have met every Sunday at the Pershing Inn, 2909 Pershing Dr., to host a podcast aimed at promoting El Paso, its residents and the local music scene. Rios has produced about 40 shows in two seasons, under Chuco Talks, Rio Sports, and Rio Pod Co. “I used to do podcasts with my friends a couple years ago in my garage, using a cell phone in a can hanging in the middle of the room. We just shared it among friends,” Brooks said.

A petition for Justin Bieber’s deportation is ignored by the White House

El PASO — After three months and 273,968 signatures supporting a petition to deport Canadian pop musician, Justin Bieber, the official White House government website called “We the People” has ruled on the matter — Bieber will not be deported. Petitioners had argued that they were being wrongly represented in the world of popular culture by Bieber and would like to see the “dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug-abusing” singer deported and his green card revoked. The petitioners also said that Bieber is not only threatening the safety of our people but “he is also a terrible influence on our nation’s youth.” That’s why “they the people” would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society, the petition says. The White House didn’t make any specific comment about Bieber legal troubles, declaring: “Sorry to disappoint, but we won’t be commenting on this one.”The White House statement continues: “The We the People website terms of participation state that, ‘to avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition.’ So we’ll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Bieber’s case, but we’re glad you care about immigration issues.”
The controversial Bieber, 20, was arrested in earlier this year after he was caught drag racing by police in Miami with his father Jeremy Bieber and friends.

Danny Avila during his set at SCMF in Ascarate Park during Labor Day weekend. (Valeria Hernández/

Electronic music brings me happiness, but it also has a dark side

EL PASO ­– The beat was big and loud, echoing in my chest, and the flashing lights were like an array of Technicolor feeding the crowd’s hungry eyes. I looked around and I could almost see the pure joy exuding from everyone’s faces. Their ear-to-ear smiles said it all. In that huge sea of people dancing to Tiesto’s “Adagio for Strings,” under the Sun City’s starry sky, I was one with the crowd and it was perfect. Electronic dance music has been around since the mid-1990’s, roughly, but it has been growing in popularity and is perhaps at its peak right now.