SAK TZEVUL // INDIGENOUS ROCK

by Santos Ramos on May 21, 2013

Sak Tzevul could be also be called rebel rock. As I type this, the term sounds cliche to me. But maybe it’s only cliche from a particularly regulated US perspective that tends to want to discredit any creativity that truly subverts the clutches of the culture industry–that which tells us what to consume, how to consume it, and that creativity falling outside of these stringent guidelines should be ignored or ridiculed.

What makes the band so intersting–ya know, aside from its fascinating fusion of indigenous and electronic instruments and dynamic song-writing–is its directness in challenging cultural norms that attempt to regulate indigenous culture.

In an interview with a New Jersey Blogger, Hola Desde NJ, “Damian Guadalupe Martinez, lead singer for SAK TZEVUL, said young musicians would rather imitate the new sounds than enunciate the Mixtec language before an audience or a public microphone for fear of being ridiculed.  “’Most music played in my town, and others like it in Mexico, is imposed. Our indigenous music has been relegated to behind the scenes to be forgotten and not promoted,”’ he said.”

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Lucas Trotacielos

by Santos Ramos on May 15, 2012

This four-piece rock group from Mexico proper reminds me of things I’ve never heard. It’s familiar, yet not. They’ve got a catchy shoegaze charisma with upbeat songs and swooning vocals that swim in just the amount of reverb, but they’ve got enough of their own style to avoid sounding trite. That said, their first release sounds like it could be from the 90s, and that’s not a dis. Check out this video, and download their EP for free (all you gotta do is tweet about first).

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Ampersan &//Mexico

by Santos Ramos on May 14, 2012

I’m going to Mexico in July to talk with some producers and music collectives about a project I’m working on (among other reasons), and I’ve stumbled upon a wealth of amazing acoustic-based groups in the process of preparing myself to go. Ampersan & is one of them. I’ll be posting a review of their latest release in the coming days, but check out this video in the meantime.

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Feature: Goodnight Sweet Prince | RIP Justin’s iPhone 3G

by Justin Andert on November 16, 2011

Three years is a long time to commit to anything. Little did I know, when I purchased an iPhone 3G  three weeks after moving to Minneapolis that three years, two months, and fifteen days-ish would pass before it gets sent to the file cabinet up in the sky next to my desk. In that time span, my phone has  come with me on the strange, random, wanderlust journeys I have been on in the last few years. My tendency to wander alone made my phone the one thing that was with me at every stop. It was with me the day Rage Against the Machine stormed the Minnesota State Capitol lawn. It came with me on my Fall-Colors, Kerouac-ian East Coast road trip. It was attached to my hip as I traversed 26.2 miles through the streets of Atlanta. If you know me, I hope you enjoy the absolute randomness of the things that caused me to stop and document. To commemorate such fine service (and such painful “No Service”), I wanted to show off what the eye (camera) of my phone caught throughout our three trips around the sun together. Good night sweet prince.

PHONE PICS

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Free Expression Forum//Occupy RVA//Double Rainbow

by Santos Ramos on November 13, 2011

Richmond, VA–I realized recently that for the past several weeks I’ve been in cahoots with the emcee from the Richmond-based band, Double Rainbow–whose album I reviewed over the summer before ever stepping foot in this city–as we have both been heavily involved with Occupy Richmond. It’s strange how life brings people together. It’s strange how the Occupy moment has pulled every aspect of my being (academic, creative, social, spiritual, etc.) into chaotic synchronization, dissonant harmony, or some other thing that doesn’t make any sense but makes perfect sense. The Occupy Richmond Education working group held a free expression forum on Saturday, which was really just an excuse to get to know one another on a more personal level, to play each other music, and to read each other poetry. Here’s my friend Isaac from Double Rainbow performing “Stop Lying to Us”:

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Video: City of Music | Toro Y Moi – Light Black

by Justin Andert on November 12, 2011

Congratulations to the homies at MPLS.TV for their new Pitchfork-premiered City of Music with Toro Y Moi! These kids are goin’ places! Be sure to watch out for the upcoming releases in the series. I don’t think you’re ready for them. Watch the video for Toro Y Moi’s Light Black HERE

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Occupy Richmond (Freedom Bound)

by Santos Ramos on November 9, 2011

Richmond, VA–Last night several faculty members from Virginia Commonwealth University held a forum called “Why Occupy?” It was meant to introduce newcomers to our methods of communication and also to explore some of the motives that drove the Occupy movement (or “moment,” as have suggested is a better term) into existence, such as economic inequality, the military industrial complex, and the exploitation of labor. We had a pretty nice turnout, packing a large lecture hall with about/over 250 hundred people. This video pretty much somes it up:

Tonight we begin re-occupying Richmond! We are headed to Monroe Park, but have some backup plans if the cops are there waiting for us. Please join us or at least send us some good energy if you can’t make it!

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New: Tycho – Dive (Radio Edit)

by Justin Andert on November 8, 2011

Tycho, the Bay-area electronic musician/designer, is back with his highly anticipated new LP Dive. The album has been getting love all over the place and can be picked up HERE. If you’re a music/design/photo junkie you should also check out his blog ISO50. Listen to the just released radio version of his title track Dive.

Tycho – Dive (Radio Edit)

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It’s been a long road for WALE to reach the mainstream expectations his initial hype built for him. His new album, Ambition, has him breaking through in the way he was supposed to with his rookie release. Even though he has switched up his subject matter a bit, you still have to respect the grind. And that’s why it’s no surprise that one of the stand-out tracks on the album is Slight Work featuring Big Sean (who is in MPLS on 11/14) and was produced by Diplo. Listen below:

Wale – “Slight Work” feat. Big Sean (Prod. by Diplo) by RalphFolarin

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Re-Occupy Richmond

by Santos Ramos on November 5, 2011

Richmond, VA–Back in March, before all the Occupy Wall Street craziness began, a small group of activists in Richmond were already in occupation. They were protesting a new city ordinance that would make it illegal to stay in public parks after sunset, which was to inevitably displace many members of the local homeless population. The occupied site was nestled in the middle of Virginia Commonwealth University’s main campus, in Monroe Park.

After the occupation was demolished, the homeless population who were living in the park were directed, by the city, to downtown’s Kanawha Plaza. Several occupiers were arrested and convicted of minor crimes. Now, three of those occupiers are appealing their verdicts, and if they win it would certainly bode well for Occupy Richmond. We support our them in their struggle, but we’re not waiting around for the city to tell us where we can and cannot go.

The past week has been spent re-grouping and re-organizing after our camp in Kanawha Plaza was raided on Halloween morning by the Richmond City Police Department, but now it is time for us to move forward. The General Assembly of Occupy Richmond decided tonight that we will begin occupying again this Wednesday night (11/9/11).

This time we will occupy Monroe Park, where the occupation earlier this year took place, and we’re making a fucking event out of it. At 7pm on Wednesday, there will be a screening of a film about Occupy Richmond, called All Night, All Day, at Gallery 5. After the film we will march to Monroe Park and set up our camp.

In addition, we have gained support from several faculty members at VCU, who are holding an educational forum on campus this Tuesday night to introduce Occupy Richmond to students and other faculty (and anyone else who shows up). It’s at the Commons Theatre from 7pm-9pm.

So, we’ve come full circle: Monroe Park was occupied in March; it was busted up and the homeless moved to Kanawha; Occupy Richmond came along and occupied Kanawha, got busted up, the homeless were again displaced, and now we’re moving to Monroe Park, but with a lot more people.

There is a lot of preparation to be done, but we are gettin’ busy. Please join us.

 

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