Thursday, August 20, 2015

Diana Cisneros to represent Tennessee at Miss U.S. Latina 2015

Miss Tennessee Latina 2015 Diana Cisneros
Photo by Erik Lara Photography

Diana Cisneros, named in July as this year's Miss Tennessee Latina, will be traveling to the Miss U.S. Latina pageant from August 30 through September 6 in Cancún, Mexico.

In a video interview with Su Programa, Cisneros mentions her social work studies at Nashville State Community College and MTSU, her arrival to Nashville six years ago from her hometown of Queens, New York, and her proud parents, who are from El Salvador.

gofundme crowdfunding page has been set up at to help Miss Cisneros with expenses related to the pageant, but as of August 20, attempts to donate are generating an error message.

Update: The crowdfunding page has been fixed.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lindi Ortega invokes Muertos mantra of country music

Lindi Ortega (Source:

Lindi Ortega's new, 10-song album "Faded Gloryville" landed her on the pages of the Nashville Scene this week. With the Scene describing Ortega's "warbling throwback vocals" as being supported by "some of the hottest producers in roots music," the talent and the art are clearly alive. Interestingly, the article points out that the title track is a funeral march, which makes sense in the context of a career that the Scene calls, "DIY country noir."

Ortega, who is half-Mexican by way of her father, has brought the somber topic of death to her music partly through her fascination with the holiday Día de los Muertos. From her official web site:
Through the works of Frida Kahlo, Lindi found an appreciation for Dia De Los Muertos, the Mexican Celebration of the dead. As a graduate in Philosophy from the University of Toronto, Lindi has always been fascinated with the idea of death and found irony in the Mexican depiction of Skeletons dressed up and almost cartoon-like during a day where the dead were celebrated. Suddenly death did not seem so morbid... It began to take on a certain whimsy. Lindi believes that both life and death could stand to be a little more whimsical.
In an interview with American Songwriter, Ortega sees this mix of the morbid and the celebratory even in classic country music:
Maybe that’s the reason I like Johnny Cash songs so much. “Folsom Prison Blues” has one of the most crushing lyrics of all time – “I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die” – but it’s set to this jovial, happy, clip-cloppy beat. If you took away the lyrics and just listened to the music, you’d think it was a different kind of song. So it’s the light and the dark, the ups and the downs, that I’m most attracted to.”
Ortega is a native of Toronto and currently lives in Nashville.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ted Cruz in Tennessee with Michelle Garcia and Tommy Vallejos

(L-R) Ted Cruz, Tommy Vallejos, Michelle Garcia
Source: Facebook/Tommy Vallejos 14th District

U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz passed through Nashville yesterday, stopping to speak to supporters in nearby Murfreesboro and Franklin. Cruz had previously announced a state Leadership Team that includes Murfreesboro businesswoman Michelle Garcia and Clarksville Mayor Pro-Tem and pastor Tommy Vallejos. While pressing the flesh, Cruz posed for a photo with Garcia and Vallejos.

From the Cruz campaign press release on the Tennessee Leadership Team:
Michelle Garcia is a wife, a mother of two, and a Tennessee native who strongly supports conservative principles and who eagerly strives to serve her community. Michelle speaks fluent Spanish and is actively involved with Hispanic outreach. Professionally, Michelle has over 16 years of experience as an association manager and meeting planner, in addition to small business management and ownership experience.

Tommy Vallejos is a retiree of the US Army, where he proudly served over 21 years and was awarded the Bronze Star. He is the Care Pastor for Faith Outreach Church in Clarksville, and he is also the first ever Latino county commissioner in our state, currently serving his second term representing Montgomery County. Tommy is a dedicated husband, father and grandfather, and he is an unapologetic advocate for Jesus Christ.
Garcia and Vallejos are also members of the conservative political group Latinos for Tennessee.

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