Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fictional Company Cycling Teams

Me being a bicycling enthusiast and also a fan of science fiction, I decided to slap together images of cycling jerseys from fictional companies featured in movies.

(Select images for larger view.)

Stark Industries from the film Iron Man.

The Umbrella Corporation from Resident Evil.

Arepture Laboratories from Portal.

And, this one I found. A TRON cycling outfit.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Los Tigres Del Norte - At the Morocco Shrine Auditorium, Jacksonville, FL.

I went to Los Tigres del Norte show last night. They opened up their show by walking out one by one as they played La Banda Del Carro Rojo. They “rocked” the house like the superstars they are, and they were super classy. It was easy to notice the groups genuine love for their fans. They were generous with their time and audience interaction. Their show was lengthy, and they played all the songs the audience wanted to hear. 3/4ths of the way into the show they took requests from the audience on everything from napkins, cowboy hats, bandanas, and even on cellphones handed to them, and they’d hand them back.  

It seemed Los Tigres Del Norte took note of who their audience was mostly comprised of, and their situations. I looked around and noticed all the indigenous facial structures, and how happy everyone was to be there. The band verbally never let the audience forget how they, and the audience are the “same” people, people of humble beginnings, and how honored they were to have them spend their hard earned money to come see one of their most beloved and legendary bands. There was a lot of love in the room!

The bands most controversial song themes are about drug trafficking (What’s become known as ‘Narco-corridos’). Not that they “promote” it, but simply tell stories about it, and supply people with no “voice” and who've been affected by it, with a voice. Like in the song “Contrabando y Traicion” (Contraband and Treason), where a woman Camelia, and a man named Emilio drive a car into the U.S. whose wheels are full of Marijuana. The song ends with Emilio telling Camelia that with her part of the money she can make a new life for herself, but Calmelia kills Emilio, takes the money and is never heard of again. The cops arrive at the scene only to find an unidentified dead man, and a gun laying on the ground next to him, with no back-story to tell. It’s themes like this that supply a voice for people whose loved ones mysteriously disappear, or have taken huge risks for a “better life”.

Several of their musical themes also include stories of the immigrant experience in the U.S. with songs about social injustice for the immigrant, honor, pride and the working man's struggle to achieve something better in-life for himself and his family. And, of course there are plenty of love songs. 

A very brief history of the band: The band started off in Mexico, the sons of a farming family. Their father was injured, and was no longer able to work. So, the five brothers took their grandparents instruments and started making money by playing music. One of their first gigs was playing for inmates at a prison, and they played in local cantinas. Remarkably the youngest brother in the group at the time was only fourteen years old.  

One of their latest recording/filming projects is named Los Tigres Del Norte & Friends, in which many other popular artists join them on stage.

Contrabando Y Traicion - MTV-Unplugged:

Their official website: http://lostigresdelnorte.com/main/

A playlist of Los Tigres Del Norte music:
Los Tigres Del Norte by G. Flores (Healtone) on Grooveshark


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Adventures In Film Scoring - Part II

(At Cummer Museum of Art for the Miradas project.)
So right towards the end of scoring California Winter, which was my first feature film score ever, and one of the most difficult tasks I've ever taken on, musically. I was asked to make the soundtrack for a short film, The Convert. The movie was filmed on location in Jacksonville, FL with the purpose of promoting "Bike (Bicycle) Month".

Starting once again from a completely "blank canvas", sonically. It took me about eight hours to complete the soundtrack for The Convert. I did this over the course of two or three days.

Ride'em vaquero!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My Adventures In Film Scoring

California Winter

I got a final copy of California Winter today. Color mastered, audio mastered, and finished version of the film.

This is the only feature film I know of (that isn't a documentary) about the Housing Crisis in America. The movie addresses the home foreclosures which happened to millions of families across the nation from the perspective of a Mexican-American family in Los Angeles, CA. The movie was filmed on location in Los Angeles, and is in 25% Spanish, with subtitles.

Here are three samples of the film score/soundtrack:

Behind the scenes of the score and soundtrack: Here are two versions of the opening piece of music, not used in the final cut. The second (Latin style) piece of music in "Americana and Latin" was used, but the director and producers decided on something more appropriate that I composed for the opening of the movie.

Some pictures from the movie's Stills Set:

Marcy (Rutina Wesley), and lead character Clara Morales (Elizabeth Dominguez) awaiting information at the bank.

Deputy Blake (Brian Leahy), Walter (Kendell Johnson), and Sheriff Hillman (Michael Ironside) behind the scenes.

 Papi (A Martinez), and Clara Morales facing bad news from Carlos (Walter Perez) at the bank.

Marcy, whose husband is fighting in Afghanistan, facing eviction. 

California Winter

California Winter on the Internet Movie Data-base

Me (Composer) - The future awaits. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Space Stuff

(Click images for full view, or 'right-click' and 'view in new tab' for an even bigger view.)

Mars Curiosity Rover

Panoramic image of Mars from Curiosity Rover

Two crescents: Venus and The Moon

East Coast by night, from the ISS (International Space Station)

Japans satellite Hinode captures Venus beginning its transit

Artists concept: If planet Mars was terraformed

Astronaut Don Pettit took this picture while on the ISS (equivalent exposure of 23.5 minutes)

As two Antennae galaxies collide billions of stars are born

Fictional Space Station


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Religious People vs. the LGBT Community

I do my best to stay out of the Religious People vs. the LGBT community discussion, simply because I find the whole questioning of peoples rights in this case completely ridiculous, and a collosal waste of time in a world where we have lot's of important work to do that's unrelated to what people are doing in their bedroom, which is none of your business in the first place.

Recently, a debacle happened which dragged the LGBT community into it, and a fairly popular chicken restaurant in the U.S. I call this restaurant Gay-fil-A, because now every time I see their logo anywhere I think of gay people. So, self-righteous religious people in The South went out in drones (the way religious people tend to do), and bought chicken sandwiches for Jesus. I think it was for Jesus, or for the Bible which Jesus is in, you can't have one without the other. (Here's a picture of this)  I bet you Jesus was tripping out that these people were supporting the horrible slaughter of chickens (whether they know it or not. See: http://www.meat.org/) in order to stand up for the preservation of their beliefs, which conveniently includes deciding how they think people should be.

The fact that members of the LGBT community have contributed, and continue to contribute in countless ways to society needs to be faced at worst, and embraced at best by those who like to pretend they live on an infallible self-righteous island, because they don't live on such an island since such an island doesn't exist. Many songs everyone knows, sings, and loves have been made by "gay people", actors you love, directors too, painters, sculptors, architects. Basically LGBT people are people, just like anyone. I'm sure all religious peoples icons taught a message of brotherhood and love, if they didn't then they aren't worth a sh*t, trust me.

If you're someone who saw the movie Platoon, a film about American Soldiers caught in the Vietnam War, and you felt like crying at the enormous sense of injustice in the scene where the Character "Elias" dies, that piece of music tugging at your heartstrings was composed by Samuel Barber.

You know what? Instead of me going on and on about this, I'll just supply you with a list. I'm a musician so I'm most familiar with music. Here's a list of LGBT composers. And here is a list of prominent LGBT people from A to Z, there are so many people on this list you won't get through them all.

Lastly here is Morrissey, I'm of Mexican descent and grew up in Chicano neighborhoods, and I can tell you as a member of that society that this is our favorite English speaking gay man.

Furthermore, you know what? Mexican people are cool as hell (I know this isn't about Mexican people, but f**k it.), you know why? Because, Mexicans have had prominent singers, actors, and artists who were gay (Like Frida, Chavela Vargas, and Juan Gabriel), and loved even back in the days when ya'll over here were dealing with racism concerning the African American community. Latin America has a midget rock-star! When have you ever seen a midget rock-star in the U.S.? Ya'll need to stop being so superficial and judgmental and embrace more.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I love riding my bicycle, and how it benefits us all.

Me on my bike means one less car on the road so you can get to where you’re going faster, and If I happen to be pedaling in-front of you on a narrow road, and slowing your car down, that lasts no more than a minute, at most.

It’s good for the environment, and at the same time good for my health.

I can cut across empty parking lots. :-)

I can ride on the sidewalk if I wish. :-)

I can easily stop and talk to someone I see, unlike in a car I usually just wave, maybe roll my window down and yell something. But, I can usually only wave. 

The freedom commuting by bicycle represents to me is enormous. I can ride across town and when I get to my destination I’m not tired (this took some practice). When I get there all I need is a glass of water. And, the more I ride the more it feels like I can cross an entire state using this mode of transportation.

If something should go wrong with my bike, a flat, a spoke on a wheel breaks, etc. I can fix almost anything with relative ease on the spot. And, should I need maintenance or a repair that requires a shop it will never cost me $500 and not even $80. More like $10-$20. 

I save a sh*t-ton of money on gasoline, oil-changes, and I preserve the life of my car by not putting miles on it. If I lived in a city where I didn’t need a car and could just commute by bicycle I’d save even more money, since I wouldn’t have to pay for tags, insurance, and any parking tickets, or sudden fees at the DMV.  

Also, “Mass” rides are a lot of fun. Mass Riding means many people agree on a time to ride together, day or night. There are a few Mass Rides that are on a set day of the week. And, there are monthly and yearly scheduled rides.  

Lastly, it makes me happy! - Find me a depressed person whose been riding a bicycle for at-least fifteen minutes, I throw that challenge out there. I'll see you on the road. And, I love you all.