Category Archives: Los Angeles

Cordero Returns to the West Coast!

Based in New York City, the band Cordero has been quietly perfecting its unique blend of indie-rock rhythms infused with the infectious sounds of Latin music. Fronted by Puerto Rican songstress Ani Cordero and featuring members of various ethnic backgrounds, the band’s songs intermingle her soothing vocals with musical arrangements that are irresistibly danceable on multiple sonic fronts. The Village Voice attests to this phenomenon having said of Cordero’s live performances that they “usually wind up as street parties outside the venue.”

Cordero are making their way once more to the West Coast for tour dates in support of their latest album “De Dónde Eres,” released a year ago to critical acclaim. The band will be making a local stop this Saturday, August 29th at the Levitt Pavilion Memorial Park in Pasadena, an outside venue already conducive to becoming a street party, but before that, singer/guitarist Ani Cordero made time to speak with LatinoLA about her music.

Read our Q & A exchange here:

http://latinola.com/story.php?story=7794

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SolArt Radio #16: We and Dem

SolArt Radio returns with its 16th episode as Sali and I hold down the mic with something to say. With proper tracks from Bob Marley, the Brazilians Girls and many more, we bring you the community calendar of events in LA and OC, news from around the county, and special commentary about an article in particular written about Santa Ana. Also, I debut a new track that I recorded with Cat from Strangely Attractive at the end of the program which functions as a rebuttal of sorts to that one article in question. What are we talking about? Stream online and find out! This is community media at its best. As always, spread the word and tell a friend about SolArt Radio broadcasting on the web “from under the tower!”

Subversive Historian – 08/07/09

The First Edition of Regeneracion

Back in the day on August 7th, 1900, Ricardo Flores Magon with the help of his brother Jesus published the first edition of “Regeneracion.” A law student who heeded the call of journalism, Flores Magon initially oriented the periodical around critique of the criminal justice system in Mexico. In time, “Regeneracion” evolved and became the voice of the PLM – Mexican Liberal Party in opposition to the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. Through its pages, the editorial staff writers were able to articulate blistering critiques of the tyrant in the lead up to the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Being the outspoken critic that he was, Flores Magon was frequently imprisoned for his activities. In 1904, the revolutionary from Oaxaca with anarchist convictions left for the United States to carry on with the struggle from exile. In this period, “Regeneracion,” began its second phase in San Antonio, Texas eventually reaching a circulation of upwards to 30,000 readers from both sides of the border. The newspaper found its most steady home in exile in Los Angeles where it published from 1910 -1918.

Critical of the governments of Mexico and the United States, the two found common ground in cooperating in the task of repressing the voice of Flores Magon until he died while imprisoned in the U.S. under espionage charges.

Birther Billboard Bigotry!

I was driving along my daily commute back from work today when I noticed an enormous billboard even though I tend to avert my eyes from the sort of thing. The question, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” beckoned from its  green background risen high above and to the side of the 5 south Santa Ana freeway around the City of Commerce.  Of course, this is related to the conspiracy theory that proposes that President Barack Obama has not put forth valid proof that he was born in the United States and thus is not entitled to occupy the oval office!

The wack-job website World Net Daily is apparently financing the billboards in locations across the country to sway public opinion. The truthfully disturbing part of this is that despite contrarian reports in the media, few have put forth the analysis that the ‘birther craze’, by in large, stems from the collective racist psyche that cannot accept the reality of an African-American president.

Sure, there will be people who will say race has nothing to do with it and will admonish me to do the “research.” That’s fine and dandy, but I live in a nation where a Boston policeman can go on CNN’s Larry King Live and tell the host of the program that he isn’t racist despite writing an email calling Henry Louis Gates a “banana eating jungle monkey!” There are no more honest racists in this country and I don’t expect any birthers to fess up anytime soon.

What is also disturbing about this billboard on the 5 freeway is that it illustrates that there is an awful lot of money behind stupid! Juxtapose this nonsense with the fact that Media Matters for America largely can’t get its 30 second anti-Birthers commercial aimed at Lou Dobbs aired on CNN as five of six private cable providers have declined!

I guess there’s no hope for a stillbirth of the movement…Nor is there any hope for any real truth regarding my ‘birther’ question: How did the mother of Lou Dobbs manage to squeeze out that huge acorn head of the CNN host when he was a baby? Or was it a CNN-section? Where’s the live birth certificate?

KPFK is 50!

As  noted previously on this blog, KPFK 90.7FM in Los Angeles turns 50 years old today – July 26th 1959! Happy golden anniversary!

Sunny War Shines On

I first learned about the music of Sunny War when I covered the Grrl Fair music fest for the OC Weekly earlier this year. After speaking with one of the principal organizers of the event, it was clear that singer/guitarist and her duo was one of the major highlights of the musical lineup assembled for the annual gathering marking international women’s day. In researching the music for the article, I was intrigued by War’s solo work which swayed lyrically on the explicitly political at times with a rare combination of blues guitar mixed with a punk asethetic. Her clawhammer style of playing was something I hadn’t seen before. In short, I was floored by the Nashville natives talent.

Fast forward to today when I finally read last week’s edition of the LA Weekly. Sunny War received an informative profile, that, like her music, I recommend everyone should check out:

http://www.laweekly.com/2009-07-16/music/meet-sunny-war/

KPFK’s 50th Anniversary!

This Sunday, KPFK, Southern California’s original listener-sponsored radio station will officially turn 50 years old! On July 26th, 1959, the music of Beethoven first played on 90.7FM at noon  announcing the arrival of regular programming to the listeners. Topical shows on religion and politics followed as the rest is history.

Since that time, as part of the Pacifica network, KPFK has continued to be an independent forum true to its mission statement in bringing the political ideals, news and music of the world to an unabashedly commercial free platform.

Even to this day, few people believe that a radio station can be had in a major metropolitan city without advertisement support. Even fewer believe that such a media outlet can survive for 50 years. By being ‘powered by the people,’ LA’s community radio station has been able to defy the odds and provide a bastion on the dial where artists and intellectuals can speak freely; a direly needed resource in a homogenized media landscape dominated and defined by corporate power.

With that in mind, I leave you with this following statement of introduction found on KPFK’s inaugural folio. Much of the words still ring true today; a testament to the continued relevancy of the station’s existence:

“We welcome you, our first listener-subscribers in this joint venture to communicate freely with each other. And we thank you for enabling KPFK to go on the air. Together we hope to initiate a new spirit of excitement in Southern California, a spirit conducive to the creation of works and words of significance. It is our conviction that the other mass media have erred in underestimating the hunger and capacity of men for a diet based upon our great literary and musical traditions, and their readiness to hear new and creative ideas.

Forgive us our ineptitudes. And if we occasionally appear ludicrous it is because we are trying very hard not to let ourselves slip into a rut. We will be involved in all serious matters and promote none.

Our aims are humanistic. We want to be a concert hall, a lecture room and a part of your living room. We want to accept our first responsibility— to discuss with you the problems of our own community. We want to bring programs of the highest quality from all parts of the country and the world into your home. We would wish to be an important public means of tying together all serious-minded people in the area.

With your support we can enrich our program offerings, lengthen our broad-cast day, and create works that we can offer to other stations throughout the country and the world.”