• The Music and Politics of Lester Rey comes to the Turf Club on the 21st.

    Lester Rey comes to the Turf Club.

    Lets Celebrate Resistance on the 21st!



    In the 1970s Latin American musicians grounded their music and lyrics in the day to day realities of the poverty of the countryside and the urban resistance to authoritarian rule.  This political and musical movement was called Nueva Cancion, and was  popularized by key figures such as Mercedes Sosa, Victor Jara, and Violeta Parra.. Nueva Cancion became the soundtrack for the mass movements that demanded a society grounded in social justice. As censorship and targeted killings increased Nueva Cancion became a central source of resistance. In response the state pushed back against the clarity of their words and celebration of resistance and these musicians became targets. Some went into exile and many did not survive, falling victim to the dictatorships, torture and mass killings. Under these deadly regimes, they were labeled subversives and “enemies of the state.” Nevertheless, their music remains with us as a celebration of our resistance and what Latin Americans have faced and survived.

    While we are not facing the same conditions as the 1970s, we are certainly  facing the terrifying reality that Donald Trump is our next president. None of us can really say with any confidence what’s going to happen. However, it is certain that the January 20th inauguration will be filled with resistance, solidarity and purpose..

    In that spirit, on January 21st the Pochanga music series will feature the music and political vision of Lester Rey. We asked Lester what it feels like to be performing in Minnesota in light of the swell of activism around #nodapl.

    What’s happening in North Dakota is just one of many fights to protect our water. The people of Peñuelas Puerto Rico have been fighting the contamination of their land, as have the people of Flint, Michigan their water. Indigenous people and poor people are most affected and of course are also on the front lines of the struggle. It’s a cause I feel connected to and that has actually already united many communities. So glad to see the Midwest cities in Minnesota and Illinois come together with North Dakota for this


    The show won’t be an exercise in escaping and forgetting that Trump is now president instead it will be an opportunity to be in community as we collectively face an uncertain future. Over the last year and a half the Pocahange series has presented; Dos Santos, Esso, Buyepongo, Quitapenas, and Cumbia Sazo. Each of these groups carry a consciousness, curiosity and general concern for what’s happening in the world.

     We have known Chicago-based Puerto Rican Musician Lester Rey for a couple of years and are excited to finally be able to host him. Lester Rey burst onto the music scene last year with his assertive, visionary mix tape Promesa. As the Chicago Tribune noted:

    a mixtape aimed at fighting Promesa, or the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act, which utilized a board of seven non-elected members from the United States tasked with restructuring the island's debt and running its governmental finances. Rey believes music can be a catalyst for change as it was for him. Rather than shy away from the political, Rey has embraced a forward-thinking attitude and audiences have responded.[1]


    We also asked Lester Rey what characterizes his sound and its relationship to the greater Puerto Rican Community

    My sound comes from the spirit of the ancestors of my PR community. As we have migrated out of PR the sounds of our origins adapt to the multiple identities and realities around us. I believe my sound is one of many of these diaspora sounds that connects the black and brown origins of my islands music with the Chicago backdrop of Hip Hop, Blues, and Soul. 

    You can buy tickets here 


    Radio Pocho & El Huateque Presents

    ¡POCHANGA! - Twin Cities' Latin@ Musica y Cultura Pachanga

    Live Music, DJs, Dancing, Visual + Live Art, + Vendors

    Featuring CULTURA LOVE performing songs from the album "La Coleccion" featuing Maria Isa, Gym, Bionik, Manchita, Xilam Balam, Slodross (sloslylove & Adept), Talia Knight, Peewee Dread, MC ZULU, Curandero, Rico Simon Mendez, Lady XOK, Bomba Umoya, and Sound Up! with DJ Don Cuco & Taji Maalik and Superbrush 427.

    w/ Special Guests: Lester Rey y Los Leones

    Live Painting by Maret Banks

    Art Vendors:

    Luna Lovers Jewelry & Art (Irina Barrera & Joanna Núñez)

    Arte Ramona (Na Tay-tay Q)

    Misael Chiguil

    Electric Machete Studios

    Saturday, January 21, 2017



  • A podcast with Ashley Fairbanks


    Sometimes these podcast are like two old friends catching up. Sort of the case with Ashley in that we have been aware of each other for a long time but have not had the chance to really get to know each other. 

    Please enjoy this podcast as we talk about the process that gave brith to the mural above as well as her perspective and experience at the Standing Rock protests as an Anishinaabe woman and citizen of the White Earth Nation.

    We had our conversation at Powderhorn Park in South Minneapolis sitting and enjoying the landscape and community around us. 



    -Filiberto Nolasco Gomez



  • Twin Cities folk love Quitapenas




    Quitapenas is coming to the Twin Cities August 26th. Check out this short video to listen to enjoy sound and how their music inspires! 

    Tickets can be Purchased here! 

  • Quitapenas comes to Bedlam Lowertown August 26th

    Dropping their self-titled album in February of last year, Quitapenas has added to the emerging texture of vibrant Los Angeles based Latinx bands. Similar to established groups such as Chicano Batman and Viento Callejero, Quitapenas draws from our antepasados as a musical base while instilling the sensibility and imagination of a Latinx population living our diaspora in the United States.



    What draws me to this emergent sound in Latinx music is that it feels like my youth, like home. The pop icons we were subjected to didn't speak to our experience but rather seemed to draw us closer to a hispanic, white aesthetic. The Latinx sounds of the time felt too neutral and too many songs where unpoetic english. I missed the romance, tragedy, depth and diaspora instilled in the music of our backyard BBQ's. Quitpenas and their contemporaries captures my youth in a way that gives me warmth, evoking memories of my Mexican parents and community.  

    Furthermore, different from others, Quitapenas has an overt political sensibility to their sound. As president Obama continues to deport our community at alarming rates, people of color are getting shot continuously by cops and this election cycle offers little by way of reprieve. Quitapenas' political assertions are indeed welcome and warranted. In particular their political voice emerges in songs like: 




    We wanted to personify Justice.




    Dime donde (Justicia querida)
    Dime donde (que linda te miras)
    Te encontrare (Justicia querida)
    Te encontrare (que linda te miras)


    Dime donde (Justicia querida)
    Te encontrare (que linda te miras)
    Yo e escuchado de ti (Justicia querida)
    Tu has escuchado de mi (que linda te miras)


    Que linda te miras (Justicia querida)
    Dime donde estas (que linda te miras)
    Donde estas (Justicia querida)
    Donde estas (que linda te miras)









    This song is about our people, coming from rural landscapes as farmers and working people, moving into cities, seeking a better life for their family. El Campesino Urbano (urban farmer worker)...



    Callos en las palmas de tus manos

    Cuentan la historia de ti hermano

    Hace dias que no hablamos

    Desvergonzadamente desgastados

    Hermana trabajadora

    Cuenta los dias ya por hora

    Pero se la pasa cantando

    Su linda voz me voy imaginando

    Madre que por dos se mueve

    Se queja ya mas frequente

    Pero es la mas valiente

    Doy gracias por su gran ambiente

    Campesino urbano



    Tickets can be purchased here 

    In their own words:

     QUITAPENAS, one word – all caps, four syllables – all claps, gives you a taste of their rhythmic contagion. This tropical Afro-Latin combo was born under the warm California sun in 2011. They borrow aesthetics from the radical 60s, 70s and 80s. Each song echoes a remix of history and invites one to engage in the liberating evenings of Angola, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and beyond. The name means “to remove worries.” Everybody has a "pena" and the mission of QUITAPENAS is simple: to make you dance and leave you worriless.



















  • The Big Gay Mexican


    I sat down with Hector Edwardo Chavarria. Hector is fast becoming one of my favorite personalities in Minneapolis. His stage presence as the "Big Gay Mexican" is intended to inspire and promote self love.



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