Archive for the ‘Quetzal’ Category

2008_05_12SOUNDTRACK: QUETZAL-Tiny Desk Concert #378 (August 2, 2014).

tzalQuetzal are a band from Southern California who have been performing in the Chicano scene for about 20 years.

Guitarist Quetzal Flores plays the Mexican jarana for both rhythm and melody, violinist Rocio Marron adds blues licks into Mexican folk runs and bassist Juan Perez provides a nimble and melodic bottom end.  And then there’s lead singer Martha Gonzalez who has a great voice and is quite the activist.

The first song, “Palomo Vagabundo” is pretty and sad.  The song means vagabond Pigeon and is a story about a beaten up pigeon who still tries to find love.  Quetzal says the whole album is about life of urban animals and how we relate to them.

They introduce the second song “Tragafuegor” which is about a fire breather they saw in Mexico.  He was putting himself in harm’s way to make some change but also shining light on reality.  This is a faster, livelier song with Gonzalez dancing on a box–like Saintseneca.  The dancing rhythms, the great violin and the cool robust bass really make this song stand out.  About the stomp box, this is a tarica from Veracruz, Mexico.  Quetzal explains that Martha is a percussionist by trade as well as a professor as Scripps College in Pomona.

The final song, “Todo Lo Que Tengo” is a beautiful ballad.  Again Martha’s voice soars above the music.

It’s always fascinating to “discover” a band who has been around for 20 years.

[READ: February 23, 2016] “A Man Like Him”

This is in unusual story in that the main character is a man who is obsessed with a story in a magazine.  Teacher Fei is an older man, unmarried and now living with his elderly mother.  She needs his care and he doesn’t mind giving it to her.

The story that he has become fixated on is about a nineteen year old girl who is set out to publicly humiliate her father.  The girl’s mother and father divorced three years ago.  And once the girl turned eighteen she sued her father, suspecting that another woman had seduced hm away from her mother.  She said that he should be punished for abandoning his family and for the immoral act of taking a mistress.

She had also created a website to humiliate the man.  She wanted him to lose his job, his freedom and his mistress. And this angered Teacher Fei (who didn’t know any of them) to distraction. (more…)

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