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.

Food truck park growing clientele in Downtown El Paso but still facing challenges

EL PASO — Until recently, Lydia Palacios could not remember the last time she had been downtown. A lifelong El Paso resident, Palacios said downtown was more a childhood memory than a current event. “My father would take us on the bus downtown and take us to Kress to eat lunch,” said Palacios referring to S.H. Kress & Co., the five-and-dime with a lunch counter on the northwest corner of North Oregon Street and Mills Avenue. On her way to a doctor’s appointment on a recent Monday in June, Palacios said she and her husband, Sergio, were doing something they had not done in many years – lunching together downtown. The two sat at an umbrella-covered table waiting for the fish tacos they had ordered from The Reef Mobile Kitchen, a food truck on Mills Street that serves seafood Mexican fare.

Rebeca Moreno’s art expresses the duality of womanhood in a sexist society

EL PASO — The Rubin Center serves as a laboratory for emerging artists and innovative practitioners, providing access for an audience of various diverse communities. The opening of the 2014 Annual Juried UTEP Student Art Exhibition showcased works of art and design created by undergraduate students. An opening reception was held April 10th as a part of the UTEP Centennial Celebration Open Campus Event. Over 300 entries were entered into the contest with only 98 making it for final review by guest judges CC Bursell and Tanya Abril Castro. Artwork in the museum was unique and gratifying to see.

Underground comedy on the border has its own jalapeño flavor

EL PASO – Everyone always enjoys a good laugh and at Coconuts Bar and Grill the staff invites amateur comedians to gather around every Tuesday to perform in the Underground Comedy Show. Comedians from El Paso differ from comics in other places, because the culture here nourishes a different type of humor, merging American and Mexican culture into an authentic border type of humor. Jerry Karnes who is known by his stand up name “El Malkreado” founded the show in April 2005 after a road trip to Austin where he visited a bar on 6th street called the Velveeta room. A comedy show was going on and the comedians were so bad, he said, that he started making fun of them. One of them told Karnes to do a better job if he could.

Independent Burger: young and hip

EL PASO — Wearing blue jeans, a thick black apron and a white t-shirt labeled “Be Independent” on the back, a young man opens the door to greet guests and help them with the menu. From their hip and modern styling on the inside, to their lavish patio featuring an outdoor ping pong table, Independent Burger is original from head to toe. Octavio Gomez, is a co-owner of Independent Burger, along with many other local businesses such as Crave, The Mix, 1914 and The Garden. With a strong head on his shoulders and great ideas for El Paso’s growth, Gomez is planning on opening three new businesses inside an apartment complex called the Venue at Montecillo on June 2. The West side businesses will include a fine dining steakhouse named Stonewood, a beer and coffee shop called Hillside and a cantina taqueria named Malolam, which will have a more relaxed, party scene.

‘Frida Kahlo’ celebrated Mother’s Day at Café Mayapan

EL PASO— With thick, painted-on eyebrows, ribbons entangled in braided hair with brightly colored roses at the crown of their heads, the women came dressed in their best Frida Kahlo outfits to make a strong statement about powerful Mexican women on Mother’s Day. An “Evening of Frida Kahlo” took place Friday May 9th at Café Mayapán located at 2000 Texas Avenue, with games, raffles, a film, food, and fun. The group hosting the event was La Mujer Obrera, a local group of women factory workers that was formed in 1981 by displaced garment workers. “We wanted something to celebrate women, something to celebrate mothers,” said Cemelli De Aztlán, one of the evening’s hosts. Frida Kahlo de Rivera was born July 6, 1907 in the Coyoacan neighborhood of Mexico City.

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.

Capoeira displays its Brazilian and African martial arts roots in dance and music

EL PASO — In the Capoeira Quinto Sol studio in Central El Paso, dozens of people recently practiced gingas, aús, and escorpião kicks to the beat of an exotic wooden bow-shaped instrument called berimbaus and a drum called atabaque. The dancers were preparing for the worldwide Brazilian batizado celebration. Capoeira is a type of martial art with roots in Brazil and Africa and was developed by the African slaves that were brought to Brazil in the 16th century to work the sugarcane plantations by the Portuguese. Because Capoeira uses elements of dancing in its execution, the African slaves used the ruse of dance to avoid being punished by their Portuguese masters for practicing self-defense methods. Although Capoeira was, at first, developed for self-defense, it can also be practiced for many different reasons.