In Any Language

Alejandro Sanz sings no evil

But while shooting off his mouth before a concert in Venezuela earlier this year, Sanz nearly shot himself in the foot. He criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for being "undemocratic" and suggested the leader should resign, as demanded by last year's public referendums in the country. Said Sanz, "I will give up singing if 3 million people ask me to with signatures."

That was enough for a Venezuelan computer geek named Leopoldo Briceño to ignite a grassroots effort to call Sanz's bluff. On Feb. 17, Briceño launched the Internet-based "Alliance for a World Without Alejandro Sanz," complete with an online petition (www.petitiononline.com/nomasale/petition.html) calling for Sanz "to stop singing and remove himself from the musical environment." As of May 10, the site had gathered 228,724 signatures (more than a few of them repeats, but still).

But like the best artists, Sanz, for the most part, isn't overly specific. The messages in his music can be interpreted by the listener, applied to the conditions and perspectives in his or her own life. The greatness of Sanz's gift is that his audience can do this no matter what language they speak.

Alejandro Sanz performs at the Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500. Sat., 8 p.m. $35-$100. All ages.
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