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Maggie Johnson


Stay at Home TV Guide: 10 Binge-Worthy Shows to Stream Right Now

You’ve successfully Marie Kondo’d your room, refilled it with plants, done the 30-day yoga challenge, and resigned to downloading TikTok. Now what? When in doubt, Netflix has your back. Now’s the time to binge that show that’s been sitting in your queue, guilt-free.

1. Gentefied

Gentefied casts a light on the often overlooked negative side of gentrification in the form of a struggling family-owned taco restaurant in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. The bilingual ensemble drama underlines the importance of family as they tackle issues like racism, machismo, poverty and assimilation. Stream Gentefied on Netflix.

2. Vida

“I’m operating on ‘chingona’ level” serves as the motto of Vida, an indie-spirited festival darling produced almost entirely by Latinas from cast to crew. The critically acclaimed series dives unapologetically into today’s societal issues, notably bringing the perspective of the LGBTQ Latinx community into the narrative. Stream Vida on Starz, Hulu, or YouTube.

3. Jane the Virgin

Rising star Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe and launched her career for the leading role in this endearing and delightfully campy dramedy. Witness the shenanigans unfold as virgin Jane Villanueva navigates an unorthodox love triangle involving her detective boyfriend, an adulterous telenovela star, and an accidental artificial insemination (we’ll let you connect the dots). Stream Jane the Virgin on Netflix or YouTube.

4. Broke

This witty sitcom is the brainchild of Pauley Perrette of NCIS fame, who stars as Jackie, a hardworking single mom in the Valley neighborhood of Resada. When her posh sister and the overgrown trust-fund baby of a husband suddenly find themselves, well, broke, their worlds collide and antics ensue. Stream Broke on CBS or YouTube.

5. Lopez

George Lopez does it again, this time in the form of a semi-autobiographical series in which he plays himself in a way that’s been compared to Curb Your Enthusiasm. This one speaks for itself. Stream it on TV Land or YouTube.

6. One Day At A Time

Rita Moreno and Justina Machado star in this Emmy-winning reboot of the pioneering 70’s sitcom depicting a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles. Discussing issues like immigration, sexism, PTSD, homophobia, and racism, One Day At A Time is a nostalgic rollercoaster ride sure to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. While the first 3 seasons can be streamed on Netflix, you’ll have to move to PopTV for the latest episodes.  

7. Queen of the South

This American adaptation of the Telemundo series La Reina del Sur has become somewhat of a cult-favorite, being revered as a female-led Narcos in both premise and violence. Stream Queen of the South on Netflix or YouTube.

8. Party Of Five

Based on the 90’s drama about a family tragically torn apart, this glossy reboot boasts a Latino cast and an eerily relevant update: A plot-defining encounter with ICE serves in place of a drunk driving accident. Despite its short run of just one season, the show was well-received, described as a “rare brand reinvention with a clear and urgent purpose“. Stream Party of Five on Freeform or YouTube.

9. On My Block

Showcasing the side of the tracks that seldom gets the spotlight, this coming-of-age tale follows the lives of four street-savvy friends navigating high school in a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. Stream On My Block on Netflix.

10. Too Hot to Handle

This one’s for the reality TV junkies out there. Fresh off the viral success of Love Is Blind, Netflix took the latest craze to Mexico for a shamelessly sexual twist in this matchmaking game show (one that involves involuntary chastity and a voyeuristic robot assistant named Lana). Stream Too Hot to Handle on Netflix.

11. The Baker and The Beauty

Daniel Garcia is working in the family bakery and doing everything that his loving Cuban parents and siblings expect him to do until his life changes unexpectedly on a wild Miami night with a chance encounter with Noa Hollander at a fancy restaurant. Noa is an international superstar, the daughter of a real estate magnate, and a successful model, just out of a high-profile Hollywood relationship. Sparks fly between the two and tune in to learn more on ABC and Hulu

Stay tuned for… Selena: The Series

Despite not being available to stream right now, it would be a sin to leave this hotly anticipated Netflix series off the list. Due sometime this year (we’re still waiting on the exact date), Selena will chronicle the life and career of the late Latina icon Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, aka the Queen of Tejano. In the meantime, check out the 1997 film starring Jennifer Lopez, available on YouTube.

What did we miss? Let us know so we can share…

LAMC Goes Digital (and Free!) June 9 – 13

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While many festivals and events have been canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 quarantine, the Latin Alternative Music Conference believes “the world needs music more than ever, and the entertainment industry needs to rise above as a collective industry.” In other words, the show must go on.

We have always been fans of LAMC, and this year all of us at MUSICA ROOTS are excited to collaborate with them as a media partner.

This year, LAMC is going fully digital and free with partners like Amazon Music, BMI, Latin Recording Academy, and many more (including yours truly). Complete with live-streamed panels, artist showcases, and interactive workshops, attendees are in for a truly unique and informative experience from the comfort of their own home. Latin music enthusiasts and industry professionals won’t want to miss out on this amazing learning and networking opportunity.

Visit www.latinalternative.com to register!


The Best Spotify Playlists to Keep You Company at Home

From the acoustic sounds of “Café con Leche” to the fresh heat of “Fuego”, Spotify has the quarantunes to keep you safe and sane at home.

“Vibras” – A Latin-infused ode to “good vibes”, this playlist mingles megastars like Kehlani and Miguel with fresh voices from all backgrounds for an eclectic and positively pop repertoire.

“Café con Leche” – From the indie sounds of Natalia Lafourcade to lesser-known tracks from pop artists Frank Ocean and Jessie Reyez, this mellow collection is less defined by genre and more by the prime coffee shop ambiance it’s serving up.

“WFH Latino” – Working from home? Stay motivated in the confines of your humble abode with these chill yet upbeat tracks from the likes of ROSALÍA and Danny Ocean.

“Music for Your Morning” – Since it’s hard to find that hipster cafe these days in Silver Lake; DJ Jose Galvan decided to provide a daily dose of music to get your day started right. Rosa Maria, Salt Cathedral, and Vundabar to name a few.

“Cleaning Kit en Espanol” – This one’s self-explanatory. Curated with jams to put a pep in your step as you scrub, this playlist is top-notch listening content to liven up any household chore.

“Verano Forever” – With a range of tunes from Dua Lipa’s bubbly vocals to J Balvin’s reggaeton beats, this pop-crossover playlist is a guarantee for poolside vibes (even if it’s a kiddie pool you overnighted from Amazon).

“Fuego” – Calling all hip hop heads: This fresh rotation of urban beats featuring the likes of Anuel AA, Nicky Jam, and Bad Bunny are sure to heat up your next Zoom party with the homies.

“Buenas Noches” – Stircrazy days turning into restless nights? Never miss a good night’s sleep again with these dreamy instrumentals by Latino and Spanish musicians.

“Orgánica”This one is for that ayahuasca retreat you’ve been meaning to go on (just kidding)! But if you’re feeling adventurous and are wondering what kind of music comes from the Playa at Burning Man, I’d imagine it sounds something like this.

Your Guide to Latin-Inspired Restaurants Delivering in LA

Treat yo’ self: at home edition. These restaurants are bringing the best Latin-American and Spanish cuisine to your door during quarantine.

Amor Y Tacos (Cerritos)

This Michelin star Chicano-inspired restaurant doesn’t skimp on the authenticity, serving traditional dishes like chicharones and ceviche. Another highlight is their house-made margarita kit, which is good for 7-10 ‘stiff’ drinks for just $49.

Order for delivery via DoorDash, GrubHub, or Postmates, or pick up at http://www.amorytacos.com/

Broken Spanish (DTLA)

Known for their tacos, tamales, and mezcal cocktails, this Latin-fusion joint is the first of Chef Ray Garcia’s downtown empire. Dubbed “Chef of the Year” by Esquire Magazine, Garcia modernizes traditional Mexican dishes with ‘bold, yet refined’ flavors for an elevated experience.

Order for delivery via Caviar or Postmates, or pick up at https://brokenspanish.com/

Cena Vegan (Lincoln Heights)

This cult-favorite serves up all-vegan Mexican street fare, featuring plant-based proteins by Plant Ranch (which is also available to stock up on separately). A must-try for vegans with a taste for South-of-the-border flavor.

Order for delivery via pretty much any food-delivery app, or for pick up at https://www.cenavegan.com/

Coni’Seafood (multiple locations)

Seafood lovers, rejoice. This award-winning restaurant specializes in cuisine from the coastal Mexican state of Nayarit. Some favorites include their shrimp ceviche, baby lobster, and grilled snook.

Order for delivery via DoorDash or Postmates, or pick up at https://coniseafood.com/

El Cochinito (Silver Lake)

A family-run business in its third generation, El Cochinito is all about bringing authentic Cuban eats to their clientele of regulars in Silver Lake. Get yourself one of their award-winning Cubano sandwiches and put on their playlist to transport yourself to Habana Viejo.

Order for delivery or pick up at http://www.cochinitola.com/

Guerrilla Tacos (DTLA)

Chef Wes Avila and his trendy brainchild Guerilla Tacos don’t mess around when it comes to their “emergency kits”. From build-your-own taco spreads to bottled margaritas, their offerings also include as-of-COVID-19 hot commodities like toilet paper and eggs in bulk.

Order for delivery via Caviar or pick up at http://www.guerrillatacos.com/

La Pupusa Urban Eatery (DTLA)

“An experience of Salvadorian traditional flavors with a Los Angeles twist”, La Pupusa is known for serving up, well, pupusa. The national dish of El Salvador is a thick flatbread stuffed with any variation of queso you can think of. In this case, the options are in the double digits.

Order for delivery via Grubhub, Postmates, or UberEats, or pick up at https://squareup.com/store/la-pupusa-urban-eatery

Lala’s Grill (multiple locations)

This Argetinean favorite is hailed for their empanadas and hearty portions of mixed meats. They’re also offering wine and beer for delivery to get the (socially distant) party started, as well as frozen empanadas to stock up for later.

Order for delivery or pick up at https://lalasgrill.com/

Lupe’s Burritos (East LA)

You haven’t had a proper burrito until you’ve had a Lupe’s burrito. This no-frills spot has been in the business of burritos for nearly half a century since it opened its doors in 1972. Enough said.

Order for delivery or pick up at http://www.lupesno2.com/

Milpa Grille (Boyle Heights)

This fast-casual spot will take you back in time to ancient Mesoamerica (think Aztec, Mayan and Incan Empire times) with their traditional cuisine relying heavily on the four staples: maize, beans, squash, and chile.

Order for delivery via DoorDash, Postmates, or UberEats, or pick up at https://www.milpagrille.com/

Pablito’s Tacos (Burbank, NoHo)

While perhaps known for their Tijuana-style tacos, Pablito’s is much more than a taco joint. With anything from breakfast burritos to produce and household items up for grabs, this one-stop-shop is hard to beat in terms of convenience.

Order for delivery or pick up at https://pablitostacos.com/

Sonoratown (DTLA)

A homage to the Mexican immigrant community where founder Teo Diaz-Rodriguez grew up (modern-day Chinatown), Sonoratown offers all the essentials for a successful DIY taco night. Indulge in mesquite-grilled carne asada, chicken, or chorizo by the pound and pair it with their homemade tortillas.

Order for delivery with Caviar, or pick up at https://www.sonoratown.com/

Tacos 1986 (DTLA, Westwood)

A highly-anticipated street vendor-turned-restaurant, Tacos 1986 is solely focused on serving up some of LA’s best tacos in the game. If tacos aren’t your thing, this isn’t your place. But if they are, you can’t get much better than this.

Order for delivery or pick up at https://www.tacos1986.com/

Toca Madera (West Hollywood)

If words like organic and locally-sourced spark your interest, this classy WeHo spot will satisfy your appetite for socially-conscious Mexican fare. They even have Dom Perignon for the high-rollers that aren’t letting quarantine get in the way of a boujee time (queue the quarantunes).

Order for delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Postmates or UberEats, or for pick up at https://www.tocamadera.com/

Vino Wine & Tapas (Encino)

Looking for the perfect date night, or just craving a little sophistication in your meal? You can’t go wrong with Spanish tapas. From shareable cheese and charcuterie boards to paella for two, Vino’s got you covered.

Order for delivery with GrubHub, Seamless, or UberEats, or pick up at https://vinowinetapas.com/

We Salute These Four Organizations Dedicated to Assisting Latino Communities During COVID-19

While the global spread of the deadly virus has proven nothing short of devastating for the entire planet, the Latino population is among the most detrimentally impacted by the virus. For instance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for Latinos has risen from 4.4 percent earlier this year to a staggering 18.9 percent, higher than any other racial or ethnic group surveyed by the department.

These organizations are working to support our country’s Latino communities during COVID-19.

1. Latino Community Foundation: Love Not Fear Fund

The Latino Community Foundation has raised over $1 million via their Love Not Fear Fund, which channels critical funds to over 30 Latino-led grassroots organizations supporting California’s Latino population impacted by COVID-19.

Working on the frontlines during the global pandemic, Love Not Fear’s grantees serve the Latino community’s most vulnerable populations like elderly people, undocumented immigrants, farmworkers, and other working-class families, many of whom don’t qualify for federally funded relief efforts. Visit https://latinocf.org/covid/

2. Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (HCI): COVID-19 Response Fund

“As Chair of CHCI, I’m proud to announce our COVID-19 Response Fund to help some of the most severely impacted members of our Latino community. Our friends, families, and neighbors are facing serious economic hardship, and our essential workers aren’t being given enough of the protections they need and deserve on the frontlines.

This fund will allow us to collect donations for nonprofit organizations providing direct services to the most vulnerable members of our community – and to the farmworkers, domestic workers, service industry employees, and more who are doing heroes’ work to help us fight this pandemic.” – Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), CHCI Chair. Visit https://chci.org/

3. Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP)

“We are witnessing an unprecedented moment in our lifetime. For this reason, we as funders must continue to support and trust our partners on the ground who are rapidly making critical decisions on how to shift their operations to better serve our communities,” said Ana Marie Argilagos, HIP’s President and CEO. “While we are collectively doing our part to flatten the curve and ensure that our families and elders are taken care of, let us not lose sight that these investments will help respond to increased vulnerabilities in migrant communities and assist in ensuring a fair Census count for underserved groups.” 

The organization recently joined forces with Justice for Migrant Women to produce the star-studded “Altisimo Live!” online benefit concert for their Farmworkers’ Pandemic Relief Fund. Co-hosts included Eva LongoriaJ Balvin, Kate Del Castillo, Rosario Dawson, Alejandro Sanz, and iHeartLatino Chairman and Chief Creative Officer Enrique Santos. Visit hiponline.org/

4. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC): COVID-19 Relief Fund

“LULAC is offering temporary relief to address the COVID-19 pandemic. We are aware of the enormous burden that the pandemic is having on our Latino communities and we are actively taking steps to provide assistance where it is needed the most. LULAC has created the COVID-19 relief fund to support individuals and LULAC Councils.

We will be providing microgrants towards general aid, hunger relief, technology, mobility/transportation, mental health, and mentoring and online educational support.” Visit lulac.org/covid19/relief/

Deorro Channels Latin Roots In New Deal With Prodigy

LA native Erick Orrosquieta, known by his stage name Deorro, has become a force of nature in the EDM world with his electro-house beats. After breaking into the scene in 2014 with his banger “Five Hours”, his success continued through his chart-topping hits like “Bailar” and “Perdoname”. Born to Mexican parents, Deorro’s Latin influence is a defining aspect of his signature sound. Luckily for us, he doesn’t plan on abandoning his roots anytime soon.


As the latest addition to the Prodigy roster, alongside big-names NGHTMRE, JOYRYDE, and SLANDER, Deorro has big aspirations for the future (pandemic be damned). According to EDM.com, Prodigy stated that “Deorro’s direction will be heavily focused on Latin-inspired dance music.” By incorporating elements of cumbia and banda, as shown in “Bailar” and “Pica” featuring Grammy Award-winning merengue artist Elvis Crespo, he hopes to further bridge the gap between Latin and dance music.

Tune in to Deorro’s set this Friday during EDC’s Virtual “Rave-A-Thon” (whose lineup also features Mexican-American DJ duo Boombox Cartel!), and watch the official video for “Bailar” below:

Nicki Nicole Releases New Single “Colocao”

It’s been just a year since the rising Argentine artist burst into the radar with “Wapo Trakatero“, and she’s already racked up 3.5 million Instagram followers and over 300 million streams collectively.

The young R&B singer is on the fast track to international stardom, and no quarantine is getting in her way. While we’ve been binge-watching Netflix and struggling to remember what day it is, the prolific 19-year old has thrown us another banger with a Billie Eilish swagger and Drake state of mind.

‘Colocao’ came about like many of my songs: from a freestyle,” Nicki explains. “Inspiration flows with the beat and the song comes alive with the vibration of the moment. ‘Colocao’ is a chapter of my life; exploring situations that I have been through. In ‘Colocao’ I play with the vocals, with different tones. We tried new rhythms and melodies.”

Watch the video below, courtesy de la cuarentena:

“All We Have is Today”: A Q&A with Comedian Erin Darling Torralva

source: Erin Darling via Twitter

Erin Darling Torralva is a Mexican-American comedian, writer, actor, and self-proclaimed “self-love advocate” from San Jose, CA. In her podcast Hot Pizza Ass, she interviews people while diving into topics like body image, sexual orientation, and other social issues through a comedic lens. We caught up with Erin to shed some light on her life during quarantine.

Musica Roots: Between the success of ‘Border Patrol’ and ‘4/20’, as well as the launch of your podcast ‘Hot Pizza Ass’, the past year has proven to be a busy one for you. What does the future hold?

Erin Darling Torralva: Who knows? If there’s anything we’ve learned this year it’s that nothing is guaranteed and life is unpredictable. I’m just doing my best to work on myself, my writing, my podcast, and continue to create content in isolation for the time being. All we have is today. And today, that’s what I’m doing. I think this period of time will be a great exercise for many people to change their perspectives, and adjust if they’re open to it.

MR: A solid playlist is especially important to stay sane during these quaran-times. What songs are currently on your heavy rotation?

EDT: For happy music I’m liking Rufus du Sol – music that makes me feel like I’m on the beach in Costa Rica. For low key music I’m listening to a lot of Frank Ocean. Frank Ocean is never a bad idea.

MR: Your decision to take your mother’s family name reflects the importance of your Mexican heritage. Do you have any advice for aspiring Latinx comedians?


EDT: Go for it. That’s it. You’ll never know if you love the stage until you try. Be prepared for failure, recognize this is just part of the process, and be as fearless as you can. If you want a resource on everything my mentors have taught me on how to improve, check out my comedy class: How to Find Your Voice in Comedy.

Listen to Erin’s podcast Hot Pizza Ass, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Sabrina Claudio Goes EDM With Kaskade x Black Coffee

The past couple weeks have seen a much-needed comeback from Sabrina Claudio in the form of two club-worthy tracks with some of today’s top producers. Transcending from the days of recording from her bedroom to touring internationally with The Weeknd, some of her past collaborations include A$AP Rocky, Khalid, and 6lack. Now, the half Cuban/half Puerto-Rican singer sensation has graced the EDM world with her effervescent vocals.

Most recently, techno veteran, Kaskade has taken the rising R&B star under his wing and shot her into the radar, along with her day-one producer, Sad Money (who produced her albums Truth Is, and No Rain, No Flowers). Sabrina’s provocative notes overlay a wobbly bass-line, and the result is definitely a groove. Give “Come Away” a listen:

In “SBCNCSLY”, South African heavy-hitter Black Coffee fuses Sabrina’s soothing vocals into subtle house beat, laced with an unassuming jazz piano for an overall entrancing experience. Listen to “SBCNCSLY” below: