Thursday, October 2, 2008

El 2 de octubre no se olvida: Justice through music

The idiom: October 2nd will not be forgotten. Or has it? It has been precisely 40 years today since about four-hundred students in Mexico City were scandalously massacred for demanding their rights as students and receiving the resources they needed as students, instead of all attention being focused on the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. It is said the government was trying to "save" the country... but from what? communism? maintaining conservative and traditional Mexican values? or from rebellious students without a cause? whatever the excuses are, this horrendous act has not been justified from this unethical and conspicuous decision authorities requested. To those who know about October 2nd, it was a dividing point between working class citizens, students, campesinos, and other activists and the PRI, Mexico's ruling party for 7 decades.

I have researched a list of songs created in that time and further on in time, that counter-narrate the massacre, provide an alternative viewpoint (since the official version was never clear), and provide a sense of justice to those affected, and others for who fight for the sake of a just government.

For la nueva cancion, or the new song, key figures are:
Jose de Molina (songs: Ayeres, En esta plaza, representing the plaza of three cultures in Tlatelolco where the students were killed, from Aztec ruins, Spanish cathedral, and modern PRI buildings)
Oscar Chavez (entire album on Mexico 68, hence the title)
Amparo Ochoa
Angel Parra (song titled: Mexico 68, son of Violeta Parra, founder of the Nueva Cancion de Chile, NCCh)
Judith Reyes (album: Cronología del movimiento estudiantil)

Others from other genres like rock, folk, punk, ska, and so on are:
Banda Bostik: Tlatelolco 68
Pedro Calderon: Así fue
Grupo Masacre 68: Masacre 68
La Parranda Magna: 2 de octubre
Maldita Vecindad: 2 de octubre
Panteón Rococó: Nada Pasó
Rockdrigo González: ­Campeón olímpico de la muerte
Tres Botones: Guantes blancos (because the killers were dressed as civilians with one white glove to identify each other.)

Many other songs and artists are still on the search....

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Mother, the Roots, and thoughs on Amalgamation

Tension between the UCPD and Berkeley's tree sitters and supporters has come to desperate measures. Many trees have been cut down and only a few remain. Yesterday afternoon, my housemates and I came to Berkeley to support the tree sitters who have lived up in those redwoods close to two years. We performed a ritual traditional Mexica dance to honor our Mother Earth, Berkeley trees, tree sitters, and all the supporters who have succeeded on creating a conscious mentality and remind us that trees represent more, life, and why they should not be cut down on the brute. Trees, in the Native American culture, are wiser than us humanity since they have been around much longer and have a direct connection to the earth. They posses wisdom.

Therefore, we continue to see the same armed forces which much more limits our rights and freedom to express and to amalgamate. We continue to see coercion and force applied when society does not carry that manipulative forceful linear pattern to segregate from that 'unwanted' and build to narrow the hierarchy of power, wealth, and prestige. Militarization on the border, unwanted immigrants...humanity, militarization on the Berkeley trees, unwanted trees...Mother Earth. When the people begin to conscientisize and activate outside the hegemonic system, an alternative solution is created which allows us, everyone and everything, to understand things, possibly the struggle for power or our the fruits of trees. Dancing, drumming, and rattling...all symbols of the earth's and dance in resistance and unification of the earth. Kamisaraki (good morning in Quechua).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What is at question

So what is conscientization through music? Conscientization of what? What kind of music? Music has suggested and provoked many ideas, alternatives, and actions in the past; depending from region and genre. Instances such as, Chile's la nueva cancion and demonstrations, counter-narratives of Midwest folk and west/east coast hip-hop, outspoken defying and raging England's punk bands, provocative mind liberalizing free spirited psychedelic music, and borderland corrido folklore, which all tell us untold stories and different perspectives of underrepresented situations and populations, amongst other enumerable examples.

Music and its lyrical content has provided a once previously unheard voice, or even a neglected one, since most contemporarilly notable the last half century. What is vital to my thought process is that all these genres, artists, and songs, which have conscientisized 'something' in various visible or subconscious ways, have defied sociopolitical establishments of the power bloc's culturally 'acceptable.' They are the songs that have shook up political order. Its censorship is the proof that intents us listeners to keep away from this: The unknown, the marginalized, the unwanted, the vulnerable, the classless, the subaltern population...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Proposing a possible start for blogging about music

The next step it is. So I finally decided to start a blog, labor day: the day "off" for the "working citizen," the end of the summer, 2008. "Summer's almost gone, where will we be" (The Doors), 40 years ago since "the summer of love," well at least for the one recognized since the hippies' countercultural movements.

And where are we at now? Culturally speaking, the nostalgia, the chilanga banda, El Tri, speaks about, has yet returned again. In love with being in love, liberation, free speech and countercultural ideologies of 'lets get naked an love your neighbor.' Sociopolitically wise, to fight Lenin's ideological State Apparatuses, Marx's oppressing capitalistic bourgeoisie, and Gramsci's elites' control on cultural hegemony. And now, the national turning point that the current most influential nation has been waiting for, and the rest of the world, the 2008 elections.

Anyhow, after refining my love of music and its sociopolitical importance, I do realize I want to keep exploring its influential power, and maybe its censorship, as Attali's "Noise" briefly pointed out, "A facet of social life for which the rules are breaking down (sexuality, the family, politics) - it is censored, people refuse to draw conclusions from it." During the next followning blog posts, I will begin exploring what I have critically thought of, and see where this will eventually lead me to. Of coarse, this will all deal with music, and think of "breaking the rules in public spaces" in some way or another.