26 March 2007

Monday's mp3: Pistolera

I sometimes throw around the term "Alt Latin" as if it means something. As someone who has had to explain the term "world music" more times than I care to count, I should know better. But like "world music," "Alt Latin" is helpful at pointing people in the right direction.

But wagging a finger in a southerly direction doesn't explain whether the music is Cuban rap (Orishas) or Peruvian rootstronica (Novalima) or Mexican Chilango punk (Los de Abajo).

NYC-based Pistolera has their own twist on the genre, something you might call pop-folklorico. Traditional roots and instruments -- notably the accordion -- are overlaid with rock and ska elements and powerful vocals. Guitarist Sandra Lilia Velásquez leads this marvelous mashup, joined by Maria Elena on accordion, Inca B. Satz on bass, and Ani Cordero on drums. This track is from their debut album, which came out last November and features guest appearances by members of some of our favorites: Si*Se, Grupo Fantasma, Antibalas, and Slavic Soul Party.

Pistolera has just garnered a nomination for the American Latino Awards, by the way. They're vying along with three other choices for Favorite American Latino Indie Musical Artist. Vote here. The band's website is pistolera.net

[mp3] Pistolera: "Cazador"
from the album Siempre Hay Salida
Pistolera - Siempre Hay Salida

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