New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
For more than 20 years, Grammy Award winners Quetzal, the East L.A. Chicano rock group, has been fighting oppression with their unique, culturally inclusive music and encouraging others to get down in the constant struggle for social change. With The Eternal Getdown, Quetzal's second release in Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' Tradiciones/Traditions series, the band has created a radical sound project of the times. Based in artivism (art + activism), feminist ideals, and the belief that making music together has the profound potential for change, The Eternal Getdown seeks to cultivate joy in a world determined to keep people down.
The Eternal Getdown, to be released on March 10th, 2017, features 18 original compositions performed by a total of 22 musicians, including guests like Aloe Blacc
and Grammy Award winner Tylana Enomoto. It follows Imaginaries, Quetzal's 2012 release and first for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, which was recognized by the Recording Academy with a Grammy Award for "Best Latin Rock, or Urban, or Alternative Album."
Since 1993, founding band members Quetzal Flores and Martha González have been creating music that speaks to the eternal getdown, the choice to communally bear witness and act as agents of transformation. Having grown up in East L.A., they internalized the unique overlap of diverse cultures, sounds, and struggles, and The Eternal Getdown is a continuation of their activist efforts. Quetzal's music incorporates traditional son jarocho, Cuban batá, funk, Chicano rock, soul, and rhythm and blues and "encourage[s] us to speak with an untamed tongue and draw on our serpent tongue to give voice to the unspeakable."
Each track on the album serves a purpose in highlighting three key themes: resilience, feminist knowledge, and transcendence. "Songwriting is storytelling," says González. "A song as a sonic and literary manifestation is life's soundscape, a unique cathartic memento, as well as a powerful political tool. Without question music is an important historical text. A person's life-views, triumphs, and struggles can be poured into song."
On "Pillow People," listeners witness the defiant resilience of the "pillow people" who "run, stumble, fail, get back up and at it" in the face of "need built by greed" that is constantly threatening their dreams. Another track, "La bamba," a new arrangement of the iconic Mexican song, expresses reinvigorating support for Chicano communities in struggle and features tarima-a dance platform that doubles here as a percussion instrument-the requinto melody guitar, and the jarana, a strummed stringed instrument.
Throughout, The Eternal Getdown beckons listeners to speak up and scream for change in a critical time. It is a cry to deny injustice and oppression, and to "accept the invitation to journey through an eternal getdown."
The Eternal Getdown Tracklisting:
1.Espejos vs. The Gaze (Espejos vs. La Mirada)
2.Pillow People (Gente de Almohada)
3.Critical Time (Tiempo Crítico)
4.Barrio Healer (La Curandera del Barrio)
5.Olokun y Yemayá
6.La danza de Coyolxauhqui (The Dance of Coyolxauhqui)
8.Get to Knowing (Conociendo)
12.Ay que no que no
15.Cellular Memory (Memoria Celular)