In the final days of summer, my teenaged kids and I watched the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning Broadway musical,
In the Heights. The New York Times called this movie a “heartfelt party,” and that's the best way to describe it. The story focuses on the
struggles and strength of the community among the Latin American characters of Washington Heights. The music was fantastic; the dancing was even better.
Go to Heather’s pick
Chicano Batman is a Los Angeles–based band comprising four Latinos who use a range of genres from their Latin American heritage, such as soul and funk, and blend them with indie and psychedelic vibes to produce a dynamic sound with catchy hooks. As a follow-up to their 2020 album Invisible People, which focused on self-expression and facing the roots of racism, Chicano Batman dropped the tracks “Dark Star” and “Pastel Sunrise” to explore the notions of self-isolation and connecting with others.
Lead singer Bardo Martinez describes “Dark Star” as “an honest feeling that seeks to break the status quo, tear down the physical and mental walls that hold us back from simply being ourselves.” Guitarist Carlos Arévalo wanted the video’s visuals to be able to stand on their own, even if the music was taken away. He summarized the concept of the song as, “Everybody feels lonely, squished by the world. Always compromised by big forces above us. How/where to connect with others? When to leave your silo?” The video explores this strangely, stylishly, and beautifully through people dancing.
This month, we’re celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with some of our favorite works by Hispanic and Latino American creatives. Read on for compelling movie, music, and book picks.
Any of Richard Rodriguez’s books would be a worthy read. In college, I loved the beauty and longing in his writing, especially when he talks about parents and children who have different cultural homes because of class (working-class parents, upper-middle-class child), language (Spanish-speaking parents, English-speaking child), and even sexual orientation (straight parents, gay child).
Our favorite comedians:
Go to Justin’s pick
Go to Mimi’s pick