2012 Summer Music Preview
By Yahaira Toribio   

Hace calor and you know what that means; the summer music season is here! It's time to get your a&^es' out to the hottest outdoor concerts and indulge in sweltering new releases, gents. Not sure what to hit up or listen to? Let this roundup be your guide. You can thank us later.

Juanes-AH2O Music Festival
The Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas, TX June 9 and Los Angeles State Historic Park, Los Angeles, CA August 25
The first annual bilingual, bi-cultural festival features a lineup that aims to please Anglo and Latin music fans with tastes spanning the popular music spectrum. Did you ever think you'd see the likes of Juanes, Snoop Dogg, Weezer and Prince Royce sharing a bill? Neither did we but it's bound to make quite an interesting festival experience that's for sure.

River's Edge Fest

Harriet Island, St. Paul, MN June 23 & 24
For those of us with more obscure tastes, this inaugural fest just outside in Minnesota's music capital will do the job. Wassup, rockers? The Flaming Lips' renowned psychedelic live show will raise your serotonin levels to an all-time high. Electronic music lovers, charm a pretty young thing with some fancy footwork to the beats of Monterrey electro-rockers Kinky, mix masters Mexican Institute of Sound and baile-funk exporter DJ/producer extraordinaire Diplo. The festival also features a Silent DJ stage where festival goers can pop on a pair of wireless headphones, pick a channel and literally dance to the beat of their own drum-n-bass.

Rene_Calle_13-ALAMC 13th Anniversary Showcase with Calle 13
Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY July 13
This year, the Latin Alternative Music Conference flips Friday the 13th on its head to bring you the best 13th birthday party you'll ever attend. Ever-evolving Boricuas Calle 13 headline this free showcase at Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Get there early and catch Grammy-nominated Chilean MC Ana Tijoux and Latin hip-hop super crew Ritmo Machine featuring Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill fame opening the show, you won't regret it.

Enrique_Iglesias_JLo_Wisin_Y_Yandel-AJennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias North American Tour featuring Wisin y Yandel

Nationwide, July 14 - August 31
Crossover pop royalty J.Lo and Enrique are joining forces to bring one of the summer's most anticipated pop tours of the season to life with reggaeton megastars Wisin y Yandel opening every night. Whether these venues can handle this kind of star power without fear of a supernova is yet to be seen.

Rock the Bells

NOS Events Center, San Bernadino, CA August 18 &19; Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA August 25 & 26 and PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ September 1 & 2
The quintessential rap fest is back and looking to appease you all. From pop-rappers Kid Cudi and Wiz Khalifa to Harlem past and present talents the Diplomats and A$AP Rocky to revolutionary lyricists Immortal Technique and Lupe Fiasco, they've got you covered. The 90's -- what some would call the golden age of hip-hop -- are also in full effect with appearances by Nas, Method Man, Redman, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Salt-N-Pepa, and the Hit Squad just to name a few. Missy Elliott and Timbaland are also getting together for a rare series of performances. Hip-hop heads do not sleep on this, it just may be the only time you'll catch most of the artists in your iTunes library together in one place.

CD Releases
Juanes MTV Unplugged (Universal Music Latino)
May 29
The Colombian rocker's hits get the acoustic treatment for the first time ever. Recorded in Miami for MTV Tr3s, the concert will air on the channel one day before the album release.

Fania All-Stars Live in Africa (Fania)
June 19
This double-disc re-release documents the salsa legends' history-making 1974 concert in Kinshasa, Zaire, a must-have for any self-respecting salsa fan.

Kinky Sueño De La Máquina/Dream Machine (Nacional Records) July 17
Monterrey's Latin Grammy-nominated sons of electro-rock bilingual new album gets a US release. Get the album and hear the songs come alive at one of their live shows.

Yahaira Toribio is a tofu-steak loving, film, music and culture-obsessed freelance writer with a penchant for the obscure. You're most likely to catch her walking around NYC in headphones, watching BBC programs, laughing at internet memes or in awe of baby animals -- in this age of smartphones, sometimes all at once.

Photo credits:

Wisin Y Yandel, JLo, Enrique Iglesia - ©Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment
Juanes - ©iSayre Berman/Corbis

Calle 13 - ©David Atlas/Retna Ltd/Corbis


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