Our Cultural Picks for Los Angeles: June 7-13


by Tom Nguyen

With all that’s going on this week, I still consider it a “quiet” week before all the free summer concerts everywhere start to kick into full gear! Support the homies this week: one of my newest favorite bands Earth Arrow, Sister Mantos, Nancy Sanchez CD release party, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Quetzal, Sin Color and La Junta, and the Brazilian music community is joining forces to put on Choro and Afro-Roots and Funk + Forró Dance Party. Another Brazilian band Boogarins are here, plus we’re giving away tickets to Los Cafres and Locos por Juana with Tropico Modular, a Palenke Soultribe side project. Hola Mexico, one of my favorite film festivals, and Mixed Remixed, the largest celebration of interracial, mixed race experience in the nation, are happening in downtown, as well as many more great cultural and outdoor events all over SoCal, like Dia de San Juan Puerto Rican festival in Long Beach, CicLAvia from Glendale to Atwater Village, Playboy Jazz FestivalLA Pride, the many art walks & more!

MUSIC

Earth Arrow, Sister Mantos, Oscura Luna +dj Selvatica
The Offbeat (Highland Park)
Wed. June 7, 9pm, Free, 21+
One of my newest favorite bands, Earth Arrow…socially conscious and defiant, unabashed and fiery, watching them perform is what one friend described as “what it must have felt like being in radical Oakland in the 70s!” They describe themselves as “a Los Angeles Afro-cuban hip hop based band focusing on reviving ancient african and indigenous rhythms and dance .Earth Arrow is a reflection of the fire that burns in the hearts of all who live in colonized lands across the world. A pioneer of indigenous blues sounds, they set out to defy expectations and explore new realms of emotional intensity while incorporating modern hip hop and jazz sabor. Ancient and modern, the guitar licks, piano solos, and percussions hail from the ancestors and channels their visions for the future. Humbly playing to spread truth, justice, and light over the lands. The 6th sun is here.”

Boogarins w/ Jjuujjuu
Bootleg Theater
Thu. June 8, 8pm, $12-$14, 21+
Boogarins’ Fernando “Dino” Almeida and Benke Ferraz began playing music together as teenagers in the central Brazilian city of Goiânia– recording psychedelic pop in their parents’ gardens, filtering their country’s rich musical history through a very modern lens.

Nancy Sanchez: American Novio CD Release
Resident (Downtown)
Fri. June 9, 8pm, Free, 21+
Its finally here! I am so excited for this release of my new album American Novio. I am so grateful to all the musicians, Eugene Toale and Mares Entertainment for making this happen. Come celebrate this release along with our friends El Haru Kuroi and DJ Glenn Red.

Brazilla presents: Choro and Afro-Roots
Zebulon LA (Frogtown)
Fri. June 9, 9pm, $15, 21+
Braziilla is a blessing to protect the musical legacy of the Brazilian diaspora into Los Angeles. Brazilla is a collective of musicians and artists involved with music. Most of us are Brazilian although not all. Our mission is to protect and expand the influential legacy of our mother culture in all its diversity and radically. Continue Reading →

Loving Day Weekend: Mixed Remixed Festival, Nana Dijo and Blaxicans

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by Tom Nguyen

Sunday, June 12 is Loving Day, a holiday commemorating the 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia that struck down bans against interracial marriage and multiracial families. In this election year of open racism and blatant xenophobia, it’s so important for us to remember the hard-fought victories by people like Mildred and Richard Loving to overcome hatred and intolerance enforced by the very laws of the land.

The folks who have always swam against societal currents that pressure us to stay segregated are the folks who dare cross the color lines for love. While the majority of couples prefer to date their own race or ethnicity, interracial unions are on the rise! According to Pew Research, “Multiracial Americans are at the cutting edge of social and demographic change in the U.S.—young, proud, tolerant and growing at a rate three times as fast as the population as a whole.”

Despite their growth (currently about 10% of US households), biracial and multiracial individuals, couples and families are an exceedingly complex group, many of whom feel very misunderstood by their own families and communities at large. They face different forms of discrimination, intolerance and misunderstanding, depending on their combination of race and ethnicity, and are underrepresented in public policy, health care issues, media and more.

One festival which aims to raise awareness on the mixed race experience is Mixed Remixed Festival, which is the nation’s largest gathering of mixed-race and multiracial families and people, taking place at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles, June 10-11, 2016. In its third year, the all-volunteer festival is free to the public and brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial and multicultural families and individuals for workshops, readings, performances, and film screenings.

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Hapa Japan Festival April 2-6

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Hapa Japan Festival is April 2-6 and explores mixed race and mixed roots Japanese people’s history, identity, and representations through film, music, scholarship, an exhibit, and community activity. Come join them for a concert featuring emerging hapa artists, a comedy night at East West Players, readings by award-winning authors, a historical exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, film screenings of great documentaries, and a 2-day academic conference at USC. Presented by the Hapa Japan Database Project and the USC Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. All events are free and you can register here. Continue Reading →