News / xicana

  • Podcast with Cuicani, a Los Angles Music Collective


    Cuicani is a singer-songwriter’s collective comprised of five Los Angeles based musicians. The music of Cuicani features the talented Mavens: Marlene Beltran Cuauhtin and Marisa Martinez, who provide rich vocals and harmonies along with Tony “Tone-Irie” Sauza on vocals and guitar. I spoke with Marlene, Marisa and Tony on a series of steps in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. 


    In their own words, "The word  “Cuicani” is a Nahuatl word that means “Singer.” We chose this name because we felt it evoked the importance of exercising one’s voice, and also of giving a voice to the voiceless. Established in 2012, Cuicani’s eclectic mix of members reflects the diversity of the city it calls home. In our three years together we have written and recorded over 15 original songs with themes such as: environmental justice, immigration rights, and protesting police brutality. "


    Not surprisingly I was drawn to their sound and mission.



    A release celebration will be held on the album’s launch day at Center for the Arts Eagle Rock. The community-focused event will include an art installation and workshop celebrating the home as imagined by Ofelia EsparzaRosanna EsparzaFelicia Montesand other notable Eastside artists, as well as a performance by Entre Mujeres as part of the screening of the mini-documentary on the making of the Entre Mujeres: Translocal Musical Dialogues album project by Professor Martha Gonzalez, front-woman of the GRAMMY® winning band Quetzal. Special guest band Quetzal performs followed by the headlining concert by Cuicani.

    Now & Then Album Release Celebration
    Friday, March 25th from 6:00 – 11:00 pm
    Center For The Arts Eagle Rock
    2225 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041
    Tickets $20 (includes Now & Then CD)


    Now & Then is a 16-track double album that reflects Cuicani’s work in three distinct studio sessions, the first at Coney Island Studios with Grammy® winning percussionist/engineer Alberto Lopez (member of Quetzal and Jungle Fire), the second with Grammy® winning producer/musician Quetzal Flores (founder of Quetzal), and the last at 54 East Sound Studios with producer/songwriter London Parker McWhorterNow & Then also represents two phases of the band’s career—early work makes up the first half of the album titled “Then,” and the second disc includes the recently written “Now” tracks. The album takes you through a range of world, soul, Latin, and Afro-Caribbean sounds that include reggae, dancehall, cumbia, timba, son, rock, and blues. The songs circle around themes of cultural identity, struggle of the working class, empowering community, heartbreak, love, and unity, while maintaining an uplifting sound and flow.
  • The Brujas You Couldn't Kill - The New Parish

    Our old friend Chhoti Maa has but together an amazing show. In her own words: 

    Bruja literally means witch, but this word is often used as an insult, suggesting evil or bitchy behavior…this comes from colonization and machismo. For many years, the word Bruja was used to belittle, vilify and delegitimize traditional womyn healers / doctors /wise womyn.

     Today, we use the word Bruja to challenge that colonial covering, to unearth and revitalize our connection to our Grandma healer ancestors who guide us and pass down sacred knowledge.

    Listen to our podcast with Chhoti here!


    Local rappers and educators
    MADlines and CHHOTI MAA aka BRUJALYFE are hosting:
    The New Parish, Nov. 15th, 2015
    Doors at 6:00pm
    Show starts at 7:00pm
    $8 Advance Tickets
    $12 At the Door
    18 and Over (Bar with ID)
    Purchase Tickets Here
    Facebook Event Page Here
    Get down with DJs, Vendors, Music and Brujeria.
    The Brujas You Couldn’t Kill:
    SUZI ANALOGUE (Never Normal Brooklyn)
    WORLD HOOD (Sacramento Solcolective)
    HADEEL RAMADAN aka Coca Blu


  • Podcasting Irene Diaz with Two Live Acoustic Songs

    Irene has emerged forcefully as a dynamic singer/song writer out of Los Angeles. With a deep soulful sound, Irene's music  grabs your attention immediately. Having been recognized by NPR as a top talent and opening for luminaries such as Lila Downs Irene stands apart. Listen to the podcast below as we discuss her music, influences, favorite recipes and enjoy her soul grabbing sound with two live acoustic songs! 

    You can listen to her tracks on Soundcloud below.

    Finally check out this amazing video of her live at the Gaia Haus. She is currently working on her first LP and we will certainly let you know when that comes out. 

     -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez

  • Our Podcast with @blacklotusrosie, a Xicana Instagram Icon



    Rosie is gentle and unassuming, her look is an aesthetic of resistance that Xicana’s feel deeply committed too, as she describes, “style is a resistance.” Rosie commented before our podcast that women sometimes recognize her on the streets of Los Angele and find themselves moved in her presence, crying and commenting on what her images mean to them. What is captivating about Rosie’s photos is how you feel as if she is representing herself in a complete way. Manicured and styled, oozes intention and comfort in her. Perhaps that’s where the base of her following comes from. She isn’t a celebrity or someone that seeks attention or an audience. She has no presence other then her photos and how those photos represent her perspective. She is uncompromising and consistent in a community of Xicana’s in LA. Los Agneles is one of the epicenters of the latinx diaspora, communities constantly negotiation space and finding their voice. Through her aesthetic she speaks and her over 12,000 Instagram followers are listening.


    In describing Rosie within a sophisticated analysis of Chicana representation, Ivonne Gonzalez writes, “When I encountered “La Chicana” Rosie’s Tumblr, I knew I had encountered something beautifully radical and special. On both her Tumblr and Instagram, Rosie shows how young Chicana women can use social media as an avenue for self-expression and self-representation. Unlike the other photographs in this exhibit, these photographs are captured by a Chicana herself. There are a few sites within Los Angeles that she has chosen to feature on her Instagram page, and I think that these places are indicators of a Chicana’s mobility throughout L.A. Social media allows Chicanas to interpret their own photography, instead of depending on archival institutions that might not do justice to their feminist projects. “

    Take a Listen and Enjoy! 




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