By Bianca D. Tweet to @bianca1847
Having been raised in this country but with parents hailing from Mexico, my music taste has always been a little all over the place. The one thing that has remained consistent is my need for a good beat that I can sing at the top of my lungs when I’m driving alone. College was the time in my life that I was able to meet people that had similar music tastes and be exposed to all of this new music that my rural upbringing didn’t really expose me to but that were popular in the Latino Acústico or Indie scene. I’m so grateful for all of those friends that would sit with me at 3 a.m. and let me plug in their external hard drives to my computer so that I could “borrow” all of their music. This was the world before Spotify where I could plug in an artist and their entire discography would be available for me to stream. The record stores near me didn’t have the music so the best way really was this wonderful music exchange that I did with my friends. One of those bands was La Santa Cecilia. At this point they were a relatively new band in LA and all of my friends from the area spoke highly of them. Since we were so close to LA, there were plenty of opportunities to check them out.
All I can say is that if you haven’t seen them live, you should! Here are my reasons to check them out:
1. They won a Grammy!
This year, La Santa Cecilia won a Grammy for “Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album” for their album “Treinta Días.” Instead of doing the stereotypical thing and thanking everyone they’ve ever worked with, they dedicated their win to the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. This was especially poignant considering the current state (or lack thereof) of a strong and functional immigration policy.
2. They aren’t subtle about their political beliefs.
They haven’t really hidden the fact that the song “El Hielo” is about Immigration and Customs Enforcement a.k.a. ICE. The song is about the constant state of fear of deportation that is experienced by undocumented immigrants. The song hits particularly close to home for the band considering that one of the band members, José “Pepe” Carlos, came to the U.S. with his parents without legal documentation.
3. La Marisoul has quite a sense of style!
The retro glasses and the faldas amponas (I know of no word in English that carries the same connotations). There’s no word that completely summarizes how eclectic her style can be! It’s a combination of rockabilly, with hipster, with what I imagine a 3 year old would wear if they could choose their own outfits. She’s full of bold colors but it works! I would want to dress like that (and get away with it) if I could.
4. Just like La Marisoul’s style, their music is eclectic.
Their music crosses las fronteras de todos los géneros. It’s a combination of cumbia, bossa nova, and boleros. Their Wikipedia page has an exhaustive list of genre’s that they blend. It’s done in a way that is so fluid that never once does it feel forced. That was what attracted me to the band in the first place. Their combination of all of those genres basically combines everything I would hear in my house when I grew up. It’s like my childhood met present-day me and decided to combine the best of both worlds.
5. Their shows are so much fun!
They grace the Bay Area with their presence fairly often but their shows never cease to amaze me. The band is always so high energy that it’s contagious. You will dance, dance, dance and completely forget that your feet hurt from all that movement. I mean, come on, how can you turn down a band that has an accordion?? Like my friends and I say, accordions make the world go round. So go check them out and get ready to dance!
Tickets for La Santa Cecilia & Los Cenzontles, presented by Stanford Live will be on Sunday, July 20 at 3:00 p.m., range from $15-$35. Tickets are available in person at the Bing Concert Hall Ticket Office, by phone at 650-724-2464 (BING) or online.