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TH E

B E ST

S T U F F

T O

D O

T H I S

W E EK

Muve Music Outdoor Concert ARTISAN MARKET W

MARK FARINA M

ark Farina, a San Franciscobased house music DJ, will headline a free concert July 8 outside the McAllen Convention

Center. Farina is known for his trademark Mushroom Jazz style, which is acid jazz infused with organic West Coast beats, or something. It’s popular among dance music

fans, and Farina has been around a while. He’ll be playing at 8 p.m. during sunset. The event will feature three stages and an artisan marketplace. This show is part of a three-show series sponsored by Muve Music from Cricket Wireless. In addition to Farina, several other local and national acts will perform. [ZQ]

WHEN 6 p.m. Friday, July 8 WHERE McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen COST Free

eaving through the throngs of people who attended last month’s Muve Music Summer Concert, Festiva jammed to the tunes from the three different stages at the McAllen Convention Center’s oval park. As we explored, we noticed some unique vendors selling their creative wares around the reflecting pool. Near one of the small stages where a DJ was setting up, homemade dog treats were

being sampled. Just down the sidewalk were a few tables with sparkly trinkets, key chains and purses. And beyond that was a chess club with children and adults getting their game on. This month’s event will be jam-packed with DJs, local bands and more vendors filling the Artisan Market. Festiva spoke with a handful of the creative minds behind some of the unique items found at the summer concert series. [ANS]

WAR ROOM CHESS CLUB

and newbies, alike, to gather and hone their skills. Chess summer camps are also available. Ten chess boards will be set up at the outdoor concert for anyone who wants to get a game in at the event. For those not familiar with the game, there will be instructors to give free lessons to get a gamer started. “No matter how much you study, you could never master (chess),” Treviño said. “Every day there’s something new to learn about the game. It’s addicting. It’s fun, more than anything else.”

When Jorge Treviño was in elementary school, he couldn’t find a nearby outlet for his love of chess. “We started playing chess in fifth grade and we fell in love with the game,” said Treviño of he and his business partner Anthony Guerra. “The one thing we didn’t have was a chess club to go to.” If the friends wanted to participate in a chess tournament, they had to travel to Brownsville. Now adults, the two decided to open The War Room Chess Club earlier this year in Edinburg. “We want to increase the awareness of chess in the Valley,” Treviño said. The club offers a place for chess champs

WHERE: 208 E. Cano St., Edinburg HOURS: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. CALL: (956) 570-4788

 C O N T I N U E S O N PAG E 5


F R I DAY, JULY 8 , 20 11 | THE M O N I TOR

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

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swimming hole...relaxing...enveloped by towering palm trees, watching your children have the time of thier FISHING lives fishing in the Amigo Hut while red bellied whistling ducks and soft shell turtles glide around the lake Last wagon ride beneath the waterfalls. departs at 6:30pm Rancho El Charco is now open to the public every SUNDAY for families COVERED WAGON to enjoy a day of outdoor adventure in one of the most beautiful wildlife RIDES and nature parks in South Texas. Bring your fishing gear or rent a pole with bait for only $2. BBQ Chicken or Rib Plates $6.50 or $2.00 hot dogs. (Alcohol must be purchased on premises.) And GAME ZONE don’t forget the swimsuit--there’s no “cooler” place to be on a Sunday.... than El Charco!”

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Directions: Go Expressway 83 to La Joya; turn south on Palm Shores Dr. (at Whataburger). Take a left at 5th St., then an immediate left again (where 5th ends) Follow Kika De La Garza Dr 1/2 mile to Ranch


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OMNICON WHEN: Begins at 9 a.m. Friday, July 8 and runs through 12 a.m. Saturday, July 9 WHERE: McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen COST: Single-day passes cost $30 for adults and $20 for children, two-day passes cost $35 for adults and $30 for children and specialty packages range from $50 to $70 ONLINE: A/www.omnicononline.com/

Now in its fourth year, Omnicon is attracting bigger sci-fi names like an unbreakable tractor beam in deep space. Two of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers will be in attendance. Johnny Yong Bosch played the Black Ranger and Jason David Frank played a series of characters, including the Green Ranger, the White Ranger, Red Zeo, Red Turbo and the Black Dino Thunder Ranger. Also attending will be the brave Storm Troopers of the 501st division In addition to these special guests, Omnicon will return with its normal cadre of anime, comic book and video game activities. There will be cosplay, where attendees dress up like their favorite characters. There will be video game tournaments with cash prizes. Games for these competitions include “Super Smash Bros. Melee,” “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” “Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix,” “Marvel VS. Capcom 2,” “Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3,” “Super Street Fighter 4,” and “Tekken 6.” There will also be a host of vendors, selling collectibles ranging from comic books to hard-tofind anime. Finally, the two-day event will wrap up with a performance by edge rock band Eyeshine, which is fronted by the Black Ranger himself, Johnny Yong Bosch. This homegrown Valley event takes place every summer, and it has grown by light years since its inception in 2008.

CRAVING MEXICAN? WE GOT WHAT YOU NEED!

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F R I DAY, JULY 8 , 20 11 | THE M O N I TOR

 C O N T I N U E D F R O M PAG E 3

BARLEY BARKS

Meylo Rodriguez loves beer. He’s a connoisseur of beer. But he hates paying full price for it. So once Rodriguez discovered how inexpensive it is to brew his own beer, he started mixing up batches. It made sense for the beer lover to start up a home brewery. There’s always a bit of grain leftover that would just go to waste, except Rodriguez remembered an idea of a brewery in Austin. Hops and Grains would mix up all the leftover grains to make into dog biscuits. “We’re a little more specific,” Rodriguez said. If he’s brewing a batch of stout, then the dog treats that day will use the same ingredients to make a stout biscuit. Same goes for a pale ale recipe. The Barley Barks treats are allnatural and have no preservatives. “They’re like baked goods, so they have a shelf life of whatever you’d bake at home,” he said. “So we encourage people to keep them in their fridge, up to about a week.” Rodriguez also assures his customers that the biscuits are nonalcoholic. “We save the grains before they get to the fermentation process, and that’s where you get alcohol for beer,” he said.

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

HOUpRm Y P P A H .-Fri. 1-8 Beer Mon nd Draft tas a r a gari

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A NEW CONCEPT IN RESTAURANT! “‘A BETTER LIFE’ IS MUST-SEE VIEWING.

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ERYD KE EV am O A R A K 9-2

THE BRAVURA PERFORMANCES SET THE FILM APART.” CLAUDIA PUIG

The Best In Seafood!

OPEN: MON. -SUN. 11 AM TO 2 AM

“A HAUNTING MOVIE THAT GETS UNDER YOUR SKIN. POWERFUL WORK.” PETER TRAVERS

STARTING AT

LUNCH $ SPECIAL

99

3

Monday thru Friday 11-3pm Only

DINE IN ONLY

DINE IN ONLY

DINE IN ONLY

FREE DINNER

FREE LUNCH

KIDS EAT FREE

When you buy 1 Dinner and 2 Drinks

When you buy 1 Lunch Special and 2 Drinks

Same or less price. One coupon per person. Mon. thru Thurs. from 3pm to 8pm.

One coupon per person. Mon. thru Thurs. from 11am to 3pm.

One child per adult. Adult must buy one dinner for from our menu. Drink not included. Mon. thru Thurs. & Sun. from 3pm to 8pm.

Exp. 7-10-11. Not valid with any other offer.

Exp. 7-10-11. Not valid with any other offer.

Exp. 7-10-11. Not valid with any other offer.

From Kids Menu

2210 N. 10th St. McAllen (956) 618-3078

© 2011 SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

LIMITED ENGAGEMENTS START TODAY

CINEMARK HOLLYWOOD USA

CINEMARK TINSELTOWN

CINEMARK AT HARLINGEN

CARMIKE 20 - EDINBURG

CINEMARK SUNRISE MALL

100 West Nolana Loop McAllen • (800) 326-3264

2422 East Expressway 83 Mission • (800) 326-3264

601 South Expressway 83 Harlingen • (800) 326-3264

3003 South Expressway 281 Edinburg • (956) 380-2203

2370 North Expressway Brownsville • (800) 326-3264

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENTS

HORRIBLE BOSSES R 11:05 12:15 1:45 2:50 4:25 5:35 7:05 8:05 9:40 10:40 ZOOKEEPER PG 11:10 12:05 1:50 2:40 4:35 5:25 7:10 8:05 9:50 10:45 LARRY CROWNE PG-13 11:15 2:00 4:50 7:25 10:15 MONTE CARLO PG 10:55 1:50 4:45 7:35 10:25 TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON PG-13

ROBOT ANNIE

There is no secret behind Ana Ramirez’s success. A combination of hard work, trial and error and talent help 27-year-old Ramirez sell her jewelry. “I’ve always liked making stuff,” Ramirez said. “I don’t just make jewelry, I make a lot of stuff, but I guess jewelry is the easiest to sell.” When she’s not working one of her three retail part-time jobs, Ramirez scours the Internet in search of the cutest necklaces, coin purses and sunglasses to sell when she sets up at events such as Friday’s concert. Ramirez likes to make some of her crafts 100 percent unique by purchasing vintage materials to use. “I like to make something different and that no one else will have,” she said. The artist gets inspiration from television, movies and art online, she said. She also makes use of the various do-it-yourself video guides available on YouTube. ONLINE www.robotannie.com

5F

MESMERIZING.

Holds your attention and heart.”

NO PASSES OR DISCOUNT TICKETS ACCEPTED

A BETTER LIFE No Rating

DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

11:30 2:15 5:05 7:55 10:35 BAD TEACHER R 11:55 2:25 4:55 7:25 9:55 CARS 2 G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

10:00 1:00 4:00 7:00 10:00 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

10:45 1:40 4:40 7:40 BUCK PG 10:00 12:30 3:00 5:30 8:00 10:30 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: GREEN LANTERN PG-13 10:05 12:00 1:40 3:30 5:20 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:10:45PM 7:00 9:05 10:30 MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS PG STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 11:00 1:45 4:30 7:15 10:05 10:40 12:40 2:25 4:20 6:05 SUPER 8 PG-13 7:50 9:45 11:05 2:00 5:00 8:00 10:40

– Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

A BEAUTIFULLY TOLD TALE about a genuine American original .”

HORRIBLE BOSSES R 10:30 11:45 1:00 2:15 3:25 4:45 6:00 7:15 8:30 9:45 11:00 ZOOKEEPER PG 10:10 11:30 12:50 2:10 3:30 4:50 6:10 7:30 8:50 10:10 11:30 LARRY CROWNE PG-13 10:45 1:15 3:45 6:15 8:45 11:15 MONTE CARLO PG 10:40 1:20 4:00 6:40 9:20 TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON PG-13

BAD TEACHER R 10:15 12:45 3:15 5:45 8:20 10:50 CARS 2 G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

10:00 12:50 3:40 6:30 9:20 DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

11:25 2:15 5:05 7:55 10:45 GREEN LANTERN PG-13 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

10:30 4:30 10:30

DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES:

1:30PM 7:30PM MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS PG 10:00 11:50 1:40 3:30 5:20 10:05 12:35 3:05 5:35 8:05 10:35 7:10 9:00 10:40 SUPER 8 PG-13 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 10:55 2:35 6:15 8:05 9:55 10:40 1:25 4:10 6:55 9:40 A BETTER LIFE No Rating KUNG FU PANDA 2 PG 10:25 1:05 3:40 6:10 8:45 11:15 10:35 12:55 3:15 5:35 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES:

– Andrew O’Hehir, SALON

HORRIBLE BOSSES R 11:55 2:30 5:00 7:30 10:00 ZOOKEEPER PG 10:45 1:25 4:15 7:00 9:45 LARRY CROWNE PG-13 11:50 2:50 5:20 7:50 10:20 MONTE CARLO PG 10:50 1:30 4:40 7:40 10:15 TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON PG-13 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 12:15 3:45 7:15 10:40 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 10:30 2:05 5:40 9:15

BAD TEACHER R 12:00 2:40 5:15 7:45 10:25 11:05 4:35 10:05 CARS 2 G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 1:50PM 7:25PM GREEN LANTERN PG-13 REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 2:10PM 7:35PM DIGITAL CINEMA SHOWTIMES: 11:30 4:50 10:30 MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS PG 11:15 1:45 4:30 7:05 9:40

PRIEST PG-13 11: 10 1:20 3:30 5:40 7:50 10:00 THOR PG-13 11:25 2:00 4:35 7:10 9:45 FAST FIVE PG-13 11:05 1:55 4:45 7:35 10:25 TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 1:35PM 6:15PM RIO G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 12:15 2:45 5:15 7:45 10:15 STANDARD SHOWTIMES: 11:00 4:00 9:00 INSIDIOUS PG-13 11:45 2:10 4:40 7:05 9:30

BRIDESMAIDS R 11:05 2:00 4:50 7:35 10:25 PRIEST PG-13 11:30 2:10 4:20 7:40 10:00 THOR PG-13 11:15 12:35 1:55 3:15 4:35 6:05 7:15 8:40 9:55 FAST FIVE PG-13 11:00 1:50 4:40 7:30 10:20 HOODWINKED TOO! HOOD VS. EVIL PG 11:25AM 1:30PM 4:00PM TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY PG-13 7:10PM 9:40PM RIO G REALD 3D SHOWTIMES: 12:25 2:45 5:05 7:25 9:45 INSIDIOUS PG-13 11:45 2:15 4:45 7:20 9:50

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Festiva, a product of The Monitor and Valley Freedom Newspapers of South Texas, is the Rio Grande Valley’s oldest and most established weekly arts and entertainment publication. It is available in every Friday edition of The Monitor. Story suggestions, comments and criticisms may be e-mailed to festivamagazine@ gmail.com. For advertising inquires, contact Christina Castillo at (956) 6834177 or Pily Toledo at (956) 683-4164.


F R I DAY, JULY 8 , 20 11 | THE M O N I TOR

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

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THE QUEEN BEE

WHO SHE IS Half of local

DJ duo Mala Femmes AGE 19 HIGH SCHOOL Westfield

High School and Dekaney High School, both in Houston, Class of 2007

‘Mean Girls’ (2004)

i

f you went to high school with Samantha Rios, you probably saw her with the star quarterback. Or the starting point guard. Or maybe the fastest runner on the track team. If he was the best at a sport, Samantha dated him. “He had to be the best at it, if he wasn’t the best, I wouldn’t pay attention,” she says. Don’t blame her. The privilege of dating a girl like Samantha is the reason most guys get so good at sports. Samantha is one half of the sexy Mala Femmes DJ duo, which has been turning heads and shaking hips across dance floors in McAllen for the past six months. As the girls freely admit, their looks have opened doors for them. Normally, DJs pay their dues playing at after parties. With less than a year of experience, these girls are already opening for bigger acts at clubs. But Samantha wasn’t always a vivacious partystarter. Before that, she was a jock and devoted fan of the  C O N T I N U E S O N PAG E 1 0


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FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

ON PAGE 14

THE PARTY STARTER

i

WHO SHE IS Half of local

ngrid Monserrat SastrĂŠ played it cool through much of high school. She had a steady boyfriend, and she spent her time with a close group of friends. Then senior year came. Ingrid started hanging out with way more people. She even threw an infamous Halloween party, where a local social magazine came to take pictures and some of the football players got in trouble because they were photographed there wearing their team jerseys.

 C O N T I N U E S O N PAG E 1 0

DJ duo Mala Femmes AGE 20 HIGH SCHOOL McAllen High School, Class of 2007

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 I N G R I D , F R O M PAG E 9

She pulled off a pretty righteous party, but she was just an amateur back then. These days Ingrid is a professional party starter. Ingrid and her friend Samantha Rios rock 17th Street as Mala Femmes, a pair of DJs with hot tunes and even hotter looks. Ingrid, who has a bit more experience spinning tunes than Samantha, says the partnership has worked well, and their styles mesh together. Samantha spins with a more commercial, Dutch style while Ingrid prefers underground deep house. When they work together, she says they take on more of Samantha’s tastes, and it’s usually a crowd pleaser. Of course, any music would sound better when it’s associated with this type of hotness. Ingrid admits her looks have given her opportunities that other DJs usually have to work harder for. She says there are only about four girls who DJ in the Valley, and that puts her in demand. “Some of the club promoters were happy, but the other DJs guys that have been doing it for a while, they got kind of jealous,” Ingrid says. “I just went into the scene. I didn’t have to work for my gigs or anything. I was the first DJ girl to come out in the scene.” After she graduated high school, she studied for a bit in Monterrey. That’s where a friend showed her the ropes of working turn tables. A lot of her friends from high school recognize her DJing at clubs, and they come up to tell her they think what she’s doing is cool. “I’m having fun. Too much fun. I’m tired of having a good time,” she jokes. [ZQ] WHAT CLASSES DID YOU MAKE A’S IN?

English and science. I was an A student. WHAT WAS YOUR CLIQUE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

The Mexicans. Most of my friends were fresas. BIGGEST CHANGE FROM FRESHMAN TO SENIOR YEAR?

I became more social. I wouldn’t really hang out with a bunch of people in the beginning because I had a boyfriend through all of high school. Senior year I started throwing parties and all that. I became very known my senior year.  S A M A N T H A , F R O M PAG E 8

guys who were the best jocks in her high school. Samantha spent her high school years in Houston, where she was voted the most likely to succeed and the best female athlete. It makes sense, because she participated in volleyball, basketball and track. Even amid all those sporty pursuits, her future as a music-making club rat began to take shape. As far back as fifth grade, Samantha went to church-sponsored dance parties. She even had her first kiss at one after a slow dance with a boy. In high school, she burned a ton of CDs, making her own mixes of her favorite pop songs at the time. Then when she graduated and moved to the Valley with her parents, she began to work at nightclubs in Downtown McAllen, where afterhours she pestered the DJs for tips. Eventually, she met Ingrid Monserrat Sastré, another eye-catching girl who had started DJing a few months earlier. Now they rock parties as Mala Femmes, which kind of makes it perfect that we instantly thought of them for our “Mean Girls” photo shoot. [ZQ] WHAT WAS YOUR NICKNAME IN HIGH SCHOOL??

In track they would call me Speedy Gonzalez, because I was the only Mexican. I did all the relays, the 4X1, 4X2, 4X4. I did pole vaulting for a little bit. I did the open and the open 400. MOST EMBARRASING MOMENT?

I was very clumsy. I was always falling, especially in track. I would always run around and literally trip and fall and people would laugh at me.


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lan Taylor West is a self-proclaimed loner, so it makes sense that he’s a solo artist. After elementary school in Harlingen and middle school in Weslaco, Alan’s family moved to Memphis. The self-taught musician was on his own in high school — he was home schooled for the entire four years. “It was more convenient and better for me, for the family,” Alan said. So Alan was able to adopt and follow his own rules. He didn’t get involved in any organized sports or extracurricular activities, he said. “I needed to express myself, and skateboarding is not an organized sport in the sense that you do what you’re told — you do whatever you want,” Alan said. His friends from the all-boys and allgirls Catholic high schools believed he would seek a career in the sport, he said, but Alan was starting to focus on making music. He primarily plays keys but he also plays drums and he uses vocals occasionally. Alan is currently working on a dance album with some contrasting score tracks littered throughout the record. “I felt there’s serious contrast missing from every dance record because ... fast music is only fast in comparison to something that is slow,” he said. Alan flirts with various styles of music and he won’t be boxed in by a label. “(Labels) are restricting, artistically,” he said. “And that’s why I made a dance record; I’m trying to spoon-feed these artistic pieces to someone who may not get them.” It’s also important to Alan to represent the Rio Grande Valley as an artist. “I would like this area to be respected in a way of the arts,” he said. “It’s my mission. I’m making this record for (the Valley). And if I have to give it away for free here, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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‘Twilight’ (2008) WHO HE IS Electronic

musician AGE 24 HOMETOWN Weslaco HIGH SCHOOL Home

schooled, graduated 2005

[ANS]

WERE THERE ANY SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL YOU DISLIKED?

“Yeah, all of them. I like to learn by life experience.” WHAT’S THE WILDEST PARTY IN HIGH SCHOOL YOU REMEMBER?

“A house party … at (a) two-story house and it had an attic. That was pretty wild. … A good friend of mine showed up with a chicken.” DID YOU HAVE ANY SECRET CRUSHES?

“Yeah, there was girl named Lizzy. I can’t remember her last name. She ‘Riverdanced.’” WHAT WAS THE HOTTEST THING ABOUT HER?

“She ‘Riverdanced.’” (laughs) “She was really cute. She had an explosive personality.”

THE BRAIN

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FE S T IVA .THEMONITO R . C OM

‘Twilight’ (2008) REAL NAME Chloe

Quintanilla WHO IS SHE Singer/

songwriter AGE 19 HIGH SCHOOL Sharyland CLASS OF 2009

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s a student at Sharyland High School, Chloe Quintanilla became obsessed with music. When she was 13, her grandfather gave her a guitar, and she started teaching herself to play by ear. These days, she still doesn’t know the names of the chords she strums, but she hasn’t stopped playing. These days, she brings her singing and songwriting to venues around McAllen. She jams at Cine El Rey downtown on Tuesday nights, and she plays occasional shows at Simon Sez. But really, a lot of her music career started in classrooms at Sharyland High School. “Music is all I cared about,” she says. “I would be at school and I’d just be fidgeting. If I was able to take my guitar every single day to school I would. I got away with it a couple times but they’d give me s***, because it was a distraction and everyone wanted to hear me play.” With music on her mind all the time, she didn’t really enjoy school very much. She describes herself as rebellious during high school, saying she didn’t like going to class and never really got into a clique. She spent her Friday nights escaping groundings, meeting up with friends and “smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool.” And while she wasn’t officially voted most likely to do anything, she says she really deserved to be most free spirited. When you see this saucy singer/songwriter perform, you can’t help but agree. [ZQ]

WERE YOU A PART OF ANY CLIQUES IN HIGH SCHOOL??

No, I was like anti-social and social all at the same time. I didn’t really belong to any sort of crowd, and I think a lot of people thought I was weird, yet I was social and would talk to anybody in any group. DID YOU WANT TO BE IN A CLIQUE?

Absolutely not. Never. Because I could just see the way it worked and people would pretend to be friends, but they would talk crap to each other. I never liked the idea of having to act a certain way or dress a certain way, because I was like a chameleon.

THE FREE SPIRIT

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT IN HIGH SCHOOL?

I was in the middle of class and I coughed and farted at the same time, and it was really funny, I tried to play it off like ‘no, that’s the way my cough sounds,’ but there’s no way, it was the loudest rip you ever heard in your life. It was very shocking, and I was very angry. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR THEME SONG WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL?

“Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day. Super depressing but chill at the same time.


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ichael Duran flew solo through most of high school. His size and the fact that he moved from school to school may have played a big part in his unpopularity. But it gave him fuel to write lyrics about his experiences. He was born in Weslaco, but moved to South Bend, Ind., where he went to two high schools: John Adams High School and Riley High School. He was an outsider for the most part, but South Bend’s large black population influenced Duran’s love for hip hop. When he moved back to the Valley his senior year, his popularity grew at Donna High School where he’d showcase his lyrical skills at his friends’ house parties. He began recording demos and learned to promote himself at an early age by passing out copies of his mixtapes. He got his rap name “Ice Cream” because he often sported a pair of rapper/producer Pharrell’s colorful Reebok Ice Cream shoes. While he did party with his friends, for the most part, his typical Friday nights were spent at home hanging with his friends jamming to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and 50 Cent. “We were too young to go clubbing, and teen night at Metropolis wasn’t too cool,” Duran said. These days, Michael’s beats have clubgoers bumping and grinding. He’s currently in the process of working on a new album, which he hopes to release at the end of the summer. [CO]

WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?

When the bell rang I was running down the hall there was another guy running in front of me, a way bigger guy, when I was younger I was tiny, and we bumped and this guy made me fly like five feet away. My head bounched off the floor and I remember getting up and nobody was in the hallway. I had like two teachers trying to get me up. I was knocked out cold. FAVORITE CLASSES?

Science, reading and art. I’m a good drawer, I know how to draw and paint. WHAT’S ONE THING YOU REALLY WANTED THAT YOUR PARENTS NEVER GOT YOU?

A car. They didn’t buy me one, I had to work for mine. WORST TROUBLE YOU GOT INTO?

I’d say when I went to jail. I was like selling drugs and they raided this place I was in. I was 17. I went to county for a couple of hours.

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‘New Moon’ (2009)

REAL NAME Michael

Duran WHO HE IS Hip hop

artist AGE 21 HOMETOWN South Bend, Indiana HIGH SCHOOL Riley

High School CLASS OF Didn’t gradu-

ate but got his GED

THE LYRICIST


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WHO SHE IS Actress, musician and model HIGH SCHOOL McHi, class of 2005 AGE 23 WEBSITE www.colbycrain.com

THE PRODIGY

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ven as a kid, Colby Crain knew her future was in showbiz. The 23-year-old actress and musician from McAllen has been chasing the dream since elementary school. While other kids were relaxing on their weekends and vacations, Colby and her parents were traveling to auditions for acting and commercial gigs across the state. Colby learned how tough the field is for child actors early on. “I knew the rarity of booking a job. You get one ‘yes’ out of every 100 ‘no’s.” But Colby kept her determination -- even at the cost of a normal teenage life. She had few close friends in high school, and being gone every weekend left little room for a social life. “I separated myself and pushed people away. I’m sure people thought, ‘This girl’s so full of herself,’ but I just had my mind set (on my career).” Colby graduated from the University of Texas at Austin this past spring. During college, she saw a different aspect of her creativity begin to blossom: music. Colby picked up the guitar after meeting her current boyfriend, Kevin Hahn, a respected guitarist himself, and she had the opportunity to record in a studio. “I had huge reality check there,” she recalls. “It was a totally different kind of singing in the studio.” But as always, Colby found her footing. Now, she and her boyfriend regularly play gigs in the Austin area. With a college degree in hand, Colby is readier than ever to conquer the entertainment world. [BRG] ONE THING YOU WANTED THAT YOUR PARENTS NEVER BOUGHT YOU?

Carpet! I wanted carpet in my room. FAVORITE HIGH SCHOOL MOVIE?

“Bye Bye Birdie” or “Grease” MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT AS A KID?

Hilary Duff and Hanson at the Woodlands when I was 11 years old.

‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ (1987)


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ocks and music don’t really go together, but singer and musician Aaron Gutierrez may just be the exception. Instead of shredding on the guitar in his teen years, the now 27-year-old spent his days staying fit by dominating three different sports: football, soccer and track. “I was a fat kid when I was little, so I had to be in sports because I didn’t want to be fat for the rest of my life,” Aaron laughs. And even though the all-district and all-area player spent his weekends driving his ‘91 Ford Ranger to parties every weekend, he still considered himself an outsider. Aaron said he mostly stuck to a tight group of friends that had connections to a variety of different cliques.

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There was much more beneath the surface of the jock stereotype. The soft-spoken athlete may have been the school’s star kicker, but his real passion was in music. Pearl Jam became the Harlingen native’s favorite subject in high school. After a Corpus Christi varsity game, he, his brother and his dad drove from Harlingen to Houston to see a show from the band’s Binaural Tour. Ticketless, the family purchased passes from a scalper. “My father who hates everything we do bought tickets, went with us, and sat there the whole time as me and my brother got crazily excited,” Aaron chuckles. Since then, Aaron has seen the band 10 times.

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A year after he graduated high school, he finally taught himself how to play the guitar. “It was just something that wanted to come out … it was something I always wanted to do and I just did it.” And I found out I was semi-talented at it.” Aaron has been the lead singer and guitarist for the Harlingen-based band Down and Out for three years, performing at nightclubs and bars all across the Valley. He graduated from The University of Texas at Brownsville with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and also currently works as a substitute teacher. However, his life will always have an original soundtrack. “I’m always going to be playing and I’m always going to be singing.” [CO]

THE JOCK

WHO HE IS Lead vocalist, Down And Out HIGH SCHOOL Harlingen High School, class of 2002 AGE 27


TILL NEXT YEAR!

Festiva (July 8, 2011)  

Festiva (July 8, 2011)

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