Archive | 2011

Why our Dad is a Hero

7 Jun

Family pic taken during the hight of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze.

I said a few weeks ago on my Facebook that my father, Guillermo is a hero.  I have my own reasons why he is my hero, but I’m talking about how he is a hero to other, a hero to hard working people who need a strong voice to fight for them.  I asked my father to write me a feature for our blog where he talks about a recent court battle he won that saved an entire family.  That’s serious and its a story that should be told.

But first a little background on my father.  He currently resides in Pueblo, Colorado where he has his private practice, Garibay Law.  He specializes in immigration law and criminal defense.  He paid his dues as

My father showing off a photo that depicts his rich history of fighting for the people while not accidently firing off a gun in the court room.

a welder, construction worker (and several other non glamorous and physically taxing jobs) before he became a public defender.  After 25 years as a public defender (working all through Colorado) he retired (not really) and started his private practice.  Aside from his work my father, Guillemro’s other passion is cycling.  He’s raced competively for years.  Its still not uncommon for my father to ride over a hundred miles on his bike on one Saturday afternoon!  Yea.. I can’t even drive that much without getting tired or pulled over.  Despite breaking his neck, back, leg and wearing a halo for several months  (all this happened within the last 4 years) he still continues to ride.  He even did a race in the jungles of Costa Rica after he healed from his broken neck and back.  Insane.  The last thing I wanted to say to help paint the picture of the man that my father is that he is our biggest supporter.  My brother and I are truly blessed to have a father that courageously stepped up to the plate and took on the roles of both mother and father after we lost our mom back in 1998.  Not only did he encourage us to follow our dreams but he became a part of them!  I can’t even begin to name all the ways he’s helped us but I can say that we wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for him.

Me pretending to be a lawyer. "ok... so lets's just make sure we got this right. The buy one get one free coupon is only valid if I use it before the end of the month?"

I was about to move forward but I forgot to mention his Salsa dancing.  I think I would have to fight my father (street fighter style) if I didn’t mention this.  This is his other passion which actually is something that stems from my mother’s love of music and dance.  My father is almost single handedly responsible for bringing Salsa to Pueblo and keeping it alive for almost a decade. Through this he has earned the nickname  “Don Guillermo”  and as “Don Guillermo” my father continues to be the center of attention and affection from women who enjoy salsa.

That girl came to the party with me but ended up leaving with my dad. 😦

So now that I have painted a pretty good picture of the man my father is I’ll let him tell his story about the case where he saved a family.

-m

Welcome to Cheraw.

No Cheraw is not in Arizona!  This small southeastern Colorado town rallied to the defense of a Mexican immigrant woman (mother of two US citizen children) facing deportation!  Ten residents of this tiny rural Colorado town braved the 400 mile round trip from Cheraw, Colorado to a Denver Immigration Court deportation hearing to show their support for and testify on behalf of the Mexican immigrant woman and her children.  She had applied for cancellation of removal, which required among other things, a showing that her US citizen children would suffer extreme and exceptional hardship, if she was deported.  At the deportation hearing the school superintendent, the special education teacher, the principal and others testified as to the tremendous progress her children had made in the schools and how the whole community of Cheraw stood to suffer if these children were taken away by their mother’s deportation.

It is safe to say at this deportation hearing, that no one expected to hear a story of academic success for these children, who were being raised in a poor, single parent family, with a non-English speaking parent.  It is also safe to say, that no one expected to see an entire rural community come to fight for and to defend this Mexican family, the way the Cheraw community did.  The immigration judge knew early on that this was a very special story, when he or she heard how:  the drop out rate in Cheraw was 0%,  how the youngest of the her children  was doing well in main stream classes, even though he was found eligible for special education, how even though the family had no money/community members came up with money so they could participate in extracurricular activities, how both her sons had the expectation that they would graduate from college,  and how when times where tough/community members somehow made sure the family’s propane tank was full.

The hearing concluded and the case was continued for two weeks for a ruling by the court on the cancellation application.   Two weeks later, nervous does not describe my feeling knowing what was at stake with the judge’s decision.  There had been testimony that deportation would result in the family having to return to Chihuahua City, a city in the middle of the drug cartel war.  There was evidence the only place they had to go to in Mexico was a tiny house, they would share with an uncle addicted to drugs.  The tension became worse as the judge appeared to be still struggling to make her decision.  She stated how this was a heart wrenching case, but then she talked about her respect for Homeland Security, who opposed the cancellation request.  She described how high the standard was and how difficult it is to meet the burden of exceptional and extreme hardship.  Then she talked about how this was a special case and the unusual and overwhelming community support shown for my client and her family.  Then she expressed her concern of being overturned by an appeal court, if she granted the relief.

Then still in the middle of making her ruling, she asked the attorney from the Department of Homeland Security, if they were still in opposition to the request for cancellation.  The attorney who was present was a different attorney and not the attorney who had been present for the original evidentiary hearing.  He stated he did not know much about the case, but he felt obligated to continue with their objection.  He then requested to go off the record and he may or may not have made some comment, “that there was not much likelihood of DHS appealing the judge’s decision to grant the cancellation of removal.”  The judge then says something to the affect of  “Let’s do this then” and she then goes back on the record and grants the relief, meaning the mom is not deported and her children can continue with their American dream.

The family and friends from their town who came to vouch for them in court.

What message(s) do we take from this?  There are many, including:

  • How fortunate these children were to have the mother that they did,
  • How it really does take a village to raise a child, in this case Cheraw,
  • In these “Arizona times,”  not everyone is buying into the racist and anti-immigrant hysteria we hear so much about,
  • The legal system can work the way it should, when the community makes its presence felt,
  • Last but not least, sometimes as a lawyer you can impact people’s lives for the better!

-Guillermo Garibay (father of Armando and Marcos)

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New Nintendo Wii – The Wii U

7 Jun

Earlier today Nintendo announced its newest system, the Wii U.  The system is said to have much better graphics and will launch with a decent bunch of games in includes Batman: Arkam City (yes!).  Aside from imporved graphics the Wii U’s biggest feature is its new controller.  The new touch screen controller can surf the web, add more menus to games and even be used to play your games without the TV!  I’ll let the video speak for itself.  I’m impressed and we now have another reason to be excited for 2010 besides the Avengers movie and end of the world.

I know I’m a sucker for gadgets but this is pretty damn cool.

See you all in line at Target the day it launches.

-m

New Track Preview!

7 Jun

Here’s a preview of a new track called Dim that we are working on with the Denver based band,  Story & Clark. The track is little different from previous Blackout projects but goddamnit it sounds good. This is a preview of the unfinished track. Be sure to check out Story & Clark’s website too! http://www.storyandclarkband.com/  A. Garibay

Blackout Beat Updates

4 Jun

Hey everybody!

We finally saw X-Men First Class. It was awesome. Go see it a few times if you haven’t

"Life seems so bleek and empty now that we don't have X-Men First Class to look forward to. What is left for me in this world?"

already (I’m about to see it for a third time). So now that the movie/biggest thing of the year has come and gone its time to get back to The Blackout Beat, the other thing Armando and I are really known for.

While some search desperately for direction in life after X-Men First Class other give up on it completely. .

So without further delay, here are our updates.

1. Blog

First is the blog, the same blog your reading right now… The Blackout Blog.
Throughout our move we were temporarily unable to make music, record, continue FREE Song Friday and almost anything that would help us to get our name out. The move was long, grueling and enormously frustrating. But despite that roadblock, our blog flourished. Our subscriptions and hits grew daily.

For us, our blog is a great way to connect with our fans, updating them on Blackout and things that are important to us. We try to put as much of our personality (magnetic and awesome) into it as we can. I feel that its is key.

So one of our first priorities is to keep the blog going and to revamp it a bit. We want to post at least 6 times a week, expand our topic range with more local focus, try to spend a bit more time to make each post more entertaining. We have some really great posts coming later this week to jump things off. Additionally, we will be revamping the look and feel of the blog which brings me to our next update…

2. Look and Feel of Everything Blackout

We are working with a very talented graphic design firm to redesign our logo, website, marketing and promo materials as well as this blog. We want to create a motif that translates well to everything we have out there, whether its our website or a brochure about our production and recording services. Our new logo and look will reflect our personality much better than our current logo and look. The motif we are sticking to is very original and I’d love to expand on that but I think it speaks well for itself. Can’t wait for you all to see! To coincide with the image revamp we will be doing new photo shoots that will include new pics of Armando and me, artists we frequent in the studio and our new studio itself.

Yes your read correctly. We are about to get even sexier.

3. Marcos Solo EP Project

That’s right. I’m starting a solo project that we intend to release before the summer is over. We are thinking of doing somewhere near 6 songs.  The sound and feel of this project will be much different from TBA and the recent songs I have done.  I want to put the some of the Latin flavor back into our music as well as do tracks with Armando that will go beyond what we did together on TBA.  I’m also doing a track for it that takes our listeners back to the days of The Revolution in a very clever way that fans of  Lexie might like.  I’m actually in the studio now and after this blog is done I’m going to go back in the booth to finish vocals for the first song. We will document the entire thing via a video diary/blog that we will release weekly to build anticipation for the project. We are looking at selling the EP for a few dollars online were all or most of the proceeds goes to a charity or cause that we feel passionate about. Also, as Armando and I work on my project we will be simultaneously working on a EP project for Colorado Springs Hip Hop artist and frequent collaborator Reflecshaun.

4. Reflecshaun EP Project
One of our favorite artists to work with will be returning to our studio to do a brand new project. We have been trying to coordinate something with Reflecshaun for the last 6 months

Reflecshaun, Marcos and Armando reunite in the studio. (Armando not pictured. Someone had to take the picture)

and it looks like we finally figured out how we are going to be able to make this work. We will  be documenting the making of this project to keep a buzz growing. We are also tossing an idea around to include a track on both projects that features both Marcos and Reflecsuan and it could be used as the first single off both projects.

5. Blackout Week

This one is so big that it might end up as its own blog/article later. Blackout week is going to be our official jump off week were we will announce new projects, premier new music, help out a cause that’s important to us as well as party like only we can.  Blackout week will take place in the 2nd week of July and it will be a week full of events (both online and at our studio) that will celebrate the launch of our new space and new projects. Each day will feature an event that includes free digital releases, video premiers, workshops in our studio for artists, song writers and producers and a Salsa fundraiser for our great friends at 5280 Comic Book Classroom. This is all leading up to our open house party that will include live performances from us and artists we work with, drinks that make you feel good, dancing to very loud music and great networking. Yea.. this is a pretty big thing so we will definitely be doing a separate post about this soon that breaks down each day.  If your from out of town start making travel arrangements.  Its gonna be a good one and we’d love to have you here!

You can bring your dog to our events because we have a pet friendly building (unless you try to keep a dog as a pet).  Note: Party hats for dogs is not optional.

You can bring your dog to our events because we have a pet friendly building (unless you try to keep a dog as a pet). Note: Party hats for dogs are not optional or negotiable, they are required.

6. The Beat Shop

I’ll make this one quick.  A ton of awesome new beats+New look and feel+New and intense marketing efforts+New prices and sales = Updated Beat Shop

7. Other things..

Yes.. there is more. Quite a bit more in fact. So here is the gist of it…

Armando is already working in the studio with new artists (singers and bands) and producers. Expect to see some video and hear some amazing new music from Armando soon. Speaking of new music, Armando and I are currently gearing up to get back in the studio with R&B group BKO to start work on their second project, their first full length album that follows their 7 track EP that we also produced. And speaking of that EP… we will be releasing that project in its entirety very soon, maybe during next months Blackout Week event. Lastly, you can expect a truck load of new video content from us that covers all our projects and events.

Imagine all the video content we can load into that truck!

8. Conclusion

So that’s our update. I think its safe to say that we have a pretty full plate (full of things that we love).

Fries = new music, salad = events, and other thing, maybe chicken=everything else we are doing.

I always like to close these updates by reflecting on what came before and thanking everyone who has and continues to support us and our dreams. We are still here and we are not giving up. It has been a interesting (to say the least) few months prior to the move. We grew professionally and personally as a result and we also made some pretty significant steps forward despite some annoying setbacks. We are truly blessed to be able to do work that we love and to do it with people that pretty much rock.

Thanks for reading,

-m

Free Song Friday for 5/4/11: Everybody Knows by BKO

4 Jun

Hey everyone,

This weeks song is one that we have been wanting to put out for over a year. Its the first song we did for a new Denver based R&B group called BKO. We finished their 7 track EP back in March and now its finally time for people to hear it. Expect to hear the rest of it soon. There is a good chance that as we begin work on their first full length LP, we will be releasing the entire 7 track EP for free. Maybe during Blackout week this July (read our blog for more on that). Anyhoo….. Here is the first BKO song. Hope you like it, more is on the way 🙂

Enjoy!

-m

download at http://www.theblackoutbeat.com/freesongfriday

5 Reasons Why I’m X-Cited for X-Men: First Class

2 Jun

Before I begin let me be the first to say that I am guilty of slamming this film months back, before the trailers and during the filming process. Several things have led me to drastically change my mind about First Class. This includes the full trailer, the recent reviews and scene previews. Although I do have some concerns, I think its safe to say the the good things out wight the bad by far. This was not the case going into see X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Its almost time for me to get in line (have to be at the top of the line) so I thought I might leave something for all those who are still on the fence about seeing the newest installment in the X-Franchise.

1. Silver Age Marvel Movie
This movie is the first period Marvel movie that takes place during the 60’s, which interestingly enough happens to be the same decade that the X-Men comics where born in. I’m anxious to see a stylized take on Xavier and Magneto that has a very real political backdrop we are all familiar with. Who knows? If its a success maybe they will make more silver age Marvel flicks. I always thought that the Fantastic Four would look the best on the silver screen if the movie actually took place during the silver age. How cool would it bee to see Jack Kirby inspired costumes, hair and settings? Very awesome.

2. Magneto
I have to say that from what I have seen, I’m going to love Michael Fassbender as Magneto. He doesn’t sound or look like Ian Mckelen but that’s ok. I love the voice. Magneto never seemed like a person in the comics that would have a english accent. Nor did he come off as someone who as composed as Sir Ian Mckelen. I love the raw intensity of this Magneto. Aside from the character I’m also looking forward to seeing some amazing displays of power as wells as the original red costume form the comics, even if only for a few seconds.

3. The X-Men fighting as a Team
There were a few scenes in other X-movies that had all the characters involved in some kind of an action sequence. I think the climax at the island of First Class will take that to another level.

4. The Relationships
One of the biggest problems I (and countless others) had with X3 was that there was no heart. The movie did not make you care for the characters. In fact, they didn’t even seem to care for one another (No seemed to care Cyclops died). One of the biggest and most important things about the X-Men that attracts so many people to it is the characters and their interactions with each other. The action, powers and fighting all comes second to this. All X-Fans secretly want to live at the X-Mansion and be a part of that family. Bryan Singer Nailed this in his movies. From what I have heard, Vaughn has done the same with First Class.

5. Seeds of Hope
I think its impossible for Fox to make a new X-Movie without planting seeds for further installments. The possibilities are endless and exciting. Maybe we can get a sequel that finally gives fan favorites Scott Summers and Jean Grey a decent role and story that isn’t overshadowed by Wolverine. Maybe we’ll get to see Magneto sending his newly formed Brotherhood (that would include Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch) against Xavier and his newly formed X-Men. But even more exciting is the possibility that we will finally get what we have all wanted for years, X4. If this movie is made by the right people (Singer) then it could right the many, many wrongs of X3 and make everyone fan extremely happy, thus bringing peace to the planet. Wow.. Its almost too much to expect but you never know. I know that there is a rough script outline for an X4 that leads into X5. Here’s hoping!

-m

New Gloria Estefan Preview featuring Pharrell Williams – Wepa

28 May

I cannot wait for this album!!!! I don’t think there are too may records that I’m excited about besides this one. The Neptunes are amazing. Thanks for taking it back to the Miami Sound Machine days guys!

-m

FREE Song Friday for 5-27-11: All My Love

27 May

This weeks track was originally intended to appear on TBA. This Armando Garibay production features vocals from frequent Blackout collaborators Reflecshaun and Lexie as well as a verse from Marcos Garibay. All My Love is a story of three failed relationships that stands on a smooth and still hard hitting TBA-esque track by Armando.

Enjoy!

Download here.
-M

Preview of FREE Song Friday Track Feat Ian from LIfted Entreatment

25 May

Check it out!! This is one of the first videos we have put out of us in action in our new studio!

-m

Beat Preview of New Free Song Friday!!

25 May

Here is a sneak peek at the beat for the new Free Song Friday track! Produced by Armando Garibay, the track features Ian from Lifted Entertainment. Video will be up tomorrow! Check it out! Armando Garibay