Viva Los Dodgers – Music, Baseball and Hello Kitty

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From KCRW DJ Raul Campos:

SOLD OUT?!?!  That’s the news I was welcomed with as I was entering yesterday’s Viva Los Dodgers — the festivities that celebrate the Dodgers deep roots within the Hispanic and Latino communities.

I guess that’s what happens when you put Magic in the owners’ suite, boost the team’s moral and start winning lots of games with a Cy Young winner, All-Star players and future Hall-of-Famers.  Oh…and bringing in the beloved Hello Kitty can’t hurt either.

Even with the current situation — players on the disabled list and the last few games not going our way — the stadium was still jam packed.  There was even a traffic jam on Elysian Park Avenue when I arrived more than 2 hours before the game even started!  I was getting a little worried my old ’64 Thunderbird was gonna overheat sitting in the traffic.  Tomas Cookman of Nacional Records snapped this one as I was finally in and looking for parking.  (see photo above)

Because it was Japan Night, we were treated to a beautiful Sparrow Dance to start off the afternoon.  Performers of Suzume Odori flew in all the way from Sendai, Japan to perform the dance.  Another stunner was the beautiful, large flower art created with petals of 1000s of carnations and sand.  The picture doesn’t do the colors justice, but it was definitely breathtaking.

I always look forward to hosting and DJing the Viva events, but this one had me buzzing for quite some time.  I’m a big fan of Mexico’s actress-turned-singer Ximena Sarinana and Chile’s up and coming pop sensation Alex Anwandter, and both of them were performing.

This was definitely a great preview of what’s in store at the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) in New York next week.  You can never go wrong with Ximena.  She always has a great stage presence during her performances.  It was just her and a keyboard, but she had the audience captivated and singing along to her tunes.

It was Alex’s LA performance debut.  He brought with him his vogue-styled fusion of 80s dance and today’s electronica.  He even had the dancefloor going for a bit during his set. Mad props on his fashion choices — he committed to wearing a satin jacket in 90-degree weather.  He’s a huge house/dance music fan and I can’t wait to catch up with him in the Big Apple and find out more about the scene in Santiago, Chile!

As great as both of these artists are, they were no competition for Hello Kitty and her penguin companion, Badtz-Maru!  Both Ximena and Alex made comments about Hello Kitty during their sets, she had that big an impact.  She had the line going all afternoon with peeps wanting to take their picture with her.

I was a lil bummed that I didn’t get my pic with her during Viva, as in years past, but I was super excited when she and her penguin buddy showed up to our area where we were taking in the game!

Now, I have to be honest, I was getting a bit worried by the 5th inning or so.  Could this be the first time I experience a Dodger loss at the stadium this season?!?!  I’ve been so spoiled getting to sing Randy Newman’s ‘I Love L.A.’ at end of all the games I’ve been in attendance for.  I guess I’m their good luck charm as we pulled it out in the end with a magnificent comeback.  Broke the losing streak and back on track.  We love it! We love it!

Til the next time…. Let’s go Dodgers… Cha…Cha… ChaChaCha!