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Comic Depth | Paul Rodriguez, more than a few laughs



“My jokes are a reflection of who I am and the things that have happened to me, so that’s why, I feel, a lot of people can relate to my jokes,” Rodriguez said.

Paul Rodriguez has been on a wild ride since his arrival from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico and it has been nothing but positive things that have come his way. As a young boy, his family moved to East Los Angeles where he and his family worked as migrant farmers until he enlisted into the military, which would end up leading him right into the arms of comedy.

Rodriguez, being a natural jokester, had never thought of it as being an actual career path, but he would soon find out that it could be. As soon as he was eligible to attend college, he did and this is where he started to notice other options. While driving one of his friends to an audition in Hollywood, Rodriguez built up the courage to try out for a part in a movie and the rest is history. He received the role as a taxi driver in D.C. Cab and Rodriguez hasn’t left the world of entertainment since.

His first role might not have been the role that was the deciding factor in him changing his career path, but the small taste of fame is what had convinced him that it could be the right path.

Rodriguez explained that he also has a passion and love for farming, but being a comedian is what has helped him pay the bills, so he wisely chose show business. Early on, he did modest paying stand up gigs, but he managed to get some big paychecks for all the roles he has played in movies throughout his career and he has had a lot of television opportunities. From sitcoms to talk shows, he has been there and done that.

With friends like Edward James Olmos and influences like Cheech Marin, it was destined that Rodriguez would have a long lasting career as a Hispanic comedian and that’s exactly what happened.

Now, that the comedy world has been evolving, so has Rodriguez.

“Things have changed, because of the Internet,” Rodriguez said. “Everyone has seen your material online, so you have to stay fresh.”

After being in the comedy world for almost thirty years, Rodriguez has had to create new material for every year that he has toured and that makes him a comedy veteran. He has managed to come up with new routines and his secret has always been to just stay current. And from time-to-time he will incorporate politics and cultural trends in his sets, to include topics the crowd will relate with.

One of his loves might be comedy, but one of his other passions has had him in a battle over water conservation.

“I’m just a farmer really, I’ll always be a farmer,” Rodriguez explained. “And when I’m done harvesting laughs, I‘ll go back to harvesting crops.”

The recent California water issues will affect his ability to return to farming when he’s done with comedy, so Rodriguez has taken it upon himself to campaign for water conservation. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, because the City of Fresno California, honored him with the Humanitarian of the Year award and Rodriguez has been asked to speak at a lot of events concerning his stance on the water issues in California.

“I’m really passionate about water, but I take my job real serious, so don’t expect me to stand up on stage and preach,” Rodriguez explained. “I will never use my set to push an agenda. I’m there to make you laugh and that‘s something that I really love to do.”

The comedian is a very passionate artist in the way he crafts his jokes, especially by going out of his way to avoid stealing jokes or even hinting at an idea that someone else had based their joke off of.

“I really like the younger comedians, but I don’t really go to other comedian‘s shows,” he said. “I don’t want to subconsciously take someone else’s joke.”

Rodriguez pointed out that it’s a comedian’s job “to be funny,” but “it’s very important to stay original, to be successful.”

He has been adamant about being original and has made the effort to pass down the advice to his son.

Just like Rodriguez, his son Paul Rodriguez Jr., who is a professional skateboarder, has worked hard while remaining original in his art form. It was something that he passed down to his son and it has proven to be an important ingredient to being successful.

“You have to work hard for the things you want,” Rodriguez said. “But my son is a tornado, I actually had to tell him to slow down, because he has so much going on in his life.”

When Rodriguez finally finds some free time, it seems that his son is busy, so he doesn’t get to spend much time with his son. So, outside of comedy, you’ll find Rodriguez working with the California Latino Water Coalition, which is a group that campaigns to raise awareness of the water issues in California, but Rodriguez blocks all that out when he hit’s the stage.

Rodriguez truly gets lost in his comedy and that’s what makes him special. Now, after his long career, his sets are full of jokes that have been crafted over many years of entertaining crowds and that’s what makes his show, in Pueblo, a must see.

On March 9, at 6:00 p.m., Paul Rodriguez will step out on the stage, at Memorial Hall, with a set that should entertain everybody. He’s coming from an area, in California, that is similar to Pueblo, so the jokes are quite easy for him to come up with. He went on to explain that he really enjoys Colorado, so he’s really excited for his visit to Pueblo.

“I really do like Pueblo, because all of the times that I have been there, the people have been really nice to me,” Rodriguez said. “I’m gracious for that.”

A lot of Rodriguez’s visits to Colorado, have been to Pueblo, so there’s something about the Pueblo crowd that really makes his shows fun and it doesn’t hurt that a majority of Pueblo’s population is made up of Hispanics.

“My visits to Colorado feel like a vacation, so it’s always a fun trip for me,” Rodriguez said. “I guarantee that I’ll have something good ready for Pueblo, so no one has to worry about that.”

For more information about the show, visit the Pueblo Memorial Hall website or Facebook page.

By Felix Cordova (@FazeisFamous)


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Denver’s Wes Watkins dynamic new future-funk EP is from another planet




Future-Funk Party Starter | Wes Watkins

Dreams Out from Denver’s best kept secret Wes Watkins wears so many musical hats it needs a rack; downtempo G-Funk homage and sweltering nee-Soul / Rn’B are all over this release, all covered with a thicc pop glaze and a penchant for electronic-sonic experimentation that keep every song fascinatingly adventurous while maintaining a danceability and groove that easily, easily warrants multiple listens. Don’t sleep on this one.

Lo-Fuzz Folkie | Hoi Ann

The beauty of Hoi Ann’s Tangenier lies in both what you can hear and what it may want you to not hear. Lo-fi folk and bedroom-pop are easily tangible on its surface, but the buzzy electronic tones that sparingly flourish the 5 songs of this release lie low and create a unique aural atmosphere for listeners, like hidden secrets for your ears only.

Indie-Punk Sweeties | Gestalt

The pop-punk shred-bois in Gestalt are back at it again; The irresistible combo of the Get Up Kids earnest midwestern-emo and smart pop-punk wit of the Wonder Years is strong on the tracks that encompass LongBoix, as is an acute fondness and growing appreciation for the finer indie rock of yesteryear. Well I guess this is growing up.

Psych-Rock Screamcore | Gone Full Heathen

On their criminally good self titled EP, Fort Collins heavies Gone Full Heathen friggin dare you to try and trap them in a single genre. Nice try, but they’ll just chew right through your puny ropes using a gnashing blend of crushing stoner-rock laced hardcore punk and overdriven psych-rock / post-metal induced bite like the righteous rock and roll wolves that they are.

All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

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The Haze Craze for Lazy Days



There are many different styles of beer. Ranging from light lagers (think Bud Light) and ales to sours, stouts, and IPAs.

Within those styles, however, are varying styles.

For example, one would think a sour beer is a sour beer, right? Wrong. According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, which defines every style of beer, there are six recognized European sour styles.

For IPAs, there are seven. American beers have four; stouts have three… You get the point.

Even with viewing the list of recognized styles, it’s not a complete list.

Take New England IPAs (NE IPA), as a prime example. Many breweries are currently mass producing this style of beer, and it’s selling like crazy.

You may have heard one of your annoying beer loving friends talk about drinking a “juice bomb,” or a requesting a “hazy IPA” at the pub, and shrugged it off. It turns out, they (sometimes) know what they are talking about.

What makes NE IPAs so popular when compared to a more traditional, West Coast IPA? NE IPAs have all of the hop flavors, without an overabundance of bitterness.

Instead of constantly adding hops throughout the boil to achieve a fruity flavor balanced by bitterness, the NE IPA has a small hop addition at the begging, and then nothing else until after the boil has finished.

That translates into a beer with very little bitterness, and plenty of hop aroma and flavor. Hops like Citra, Mosaic, Mosaic, Galaxy, and El Dorado are most common in NE IPAs, according to the Homebrewers Association. Those hops tend to impart a fruity, and dare I say, juicy flavor profile.

Between the juicy flavor and the seemingly natural haziness to NE IPAs, it’s not far fetched for an NE IPA to look like a tall glass of orange or grapefruit juice, only carbonated and full of alcohol.

NE IPAs are starting to gain momentum here in Colorado, with breweries turning their focus to the haze craze. Specifically, Odd13, WeldWerks, and Epic Brewing coming to mind.

Odd13 is based in Lafayette, Colo. and has a long list of NE-inspired IPAs constantly rotating through the tap room and distributed throughout the state. Codename: Super fan and Noob are two beers that are found in cans, and both offer a different approach to the haze craze.

WeldWerks is based in Greeley, Colo. and has accumulated a cult-like following in just a few short years for its Juicy Bits NE IPA. The brewery just started self-distributing locally, so you’ll have to make the trip to the brewery and pick up a crowler or four. Be sure to check the WeldWerks Facebook page for availability and limits. Yes, they have to place per person limits on how much you can purchase.

Epic Brewing recently announced its NE IPA, which will rotate between four different flavor profiles throughout the year. The cans will look the same but will be different colors as a quick way to tell identify which version you have.

So the next time you walk into a brewery or liquor store, it’s OK to ask for a hazy or juicy IPA. It’s a thing, and, frankly, they are damn good.

On Tap: By the time this hits newsstands, ThunderZone Pizza & Taphouse will have opened on the CSU-P campus. Located at 2270 Rawlings Blvd., the ThunderZone features 32 taps, a carefully curated tap list, and is locally owned.

At the opening, the tap list includes tasty brews from the likes of Florence Brewing and Lost Highway.

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Senators upend GOP health care bill in true Trump style… Twitter



WASHINGTON — When Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran decided they were in ready to disrupt the GOP rewrite of the health care law, they chose President Donald Trump’s favorite medium.

They could not support Senate Republicans’ plan, the somewhat unlikely pair of conservatives tweeted at 8:30 p.m. Monday night, giving no heads up to the White House or Senate leaders before pressing send.

The story behind the statement reveals two senators willing to be branded as bill killers and seemingly unconcerned with trying to soften the blow with party leaders.

The announcement, coming after some 10 days of conversations between the men, stunned official Washington and left Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at least two votes short in the closely divided Senate from being able to move forward with the GOP bill, effectively sinking the measure. It landed shortly after Trump dined with a group of senators to discuss strategy – unwittingly plotting a plan that would immediately become outdated.

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican leader, found out about Lee’s defection after the White House dinner of rosemary-grilled rib eye and summer vegetable succotash. He “had no idea it was coming,” Cornyn said.

Another Republican, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, found out from TV news.

Moran, a second-term lawmaker from Kansas who isn’t known for making waves, and Lee, a two-term senator from Utah who has clashed with Trump, have been talking over the past 10 days about the health care legislation and agreed the GOP bill did not go far enough to repeal Obamacare or address rising health-care costs. They decided to announce their position to make the bill’s fate clear and allow senators to move on, Moran said.

“It could have been prolonged for days or weeks while no one said anything,” Moran said in an interview.

Moran, who oversaw the Senate Republicans’ 2014 election campaigns, concluded last week he wouldn’t vote for the latest version of the bill but “gave myself a weekend in Kansas to think about it,” he said.

Lee had helped draft an amendment, along with fellow conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow insurers to sell skimpy plans alongside more robust ones to lower costs. Cruz agreed to some changes in wording by GOP leaders, but Lee thought the new language allowed too many Obama-era regulations to remain in place.

After talking again, Moran and Lee agreed Monday night on a statement drafted earlier in the day. They issued their statement shortly after a White House dinner attended by seven GOP senators – all likely yes votes on the health care bill. Neither Lee nor Moran attended.

A Lee spokesman said the statement – and its timing – “had nothing to do with the White House dinner. It was not a reaction in any way.”

The statement was made public as soon as it was ready, the spokesman said.

Neither Trump nor McConnell received advance warning about the statement, although it’s likely that neither the president nor the Senate leader was completely surprised.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spent the weekend calling lawmakers, including Lee and at least seven other GOP senators, according to the administration. Trump talked politics, while Pence discussed policy.

Trump called Lee on Saturday, and Lee told the president he was leaning against the bill, for the reasons he later made public.

Lee told Utah’s KSL Newsradio that he had a great conversation with Trump, when he told the president his “consumer freedom” amendment had been weakened and that he wasn’t sure that he could support the bill.

“He was encouraging to me and said, you know, ‘Just see what changes you can make to it,’ ” Lee said.

Lee and McConnell did not talk over the weekend, but Lee spoke twice to Cornyn, R-Texas, the majority whip.

Trump, who frequently takes to Twitter to announce proposals or denounce opponents, was blindsided by, of all things, a tweet.

He told reporters Tuesday he was “very surprised when the two folks came out last night, because we thought they were in fairly good shape. But they did. And, you know, everybody has their own reason.”

Moran said while he remained committed to repealing the health care law, Congress needs to make a “fresh start” on writing a replacement bill in an “open legislative process.”

“We should not put our stamp of approval on bad policy,” he said, in a statement that followed the tweet.

In his own statement, Lee said the GOP bill does not repeal all the Obamacare tax increases and “doesn’t go far enough in lowering premiums for middle class families; nor does it create enough free space from the most costly Obamacare regulations.”

Both explanations were issued on social media.

“Twitter is a nice medium to get your message out,” Lee’s spokesman said.

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