Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

MUSIC Band Las Cafeterias breaks down barriers
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2016-05-10

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Chicano band Las Cafeteras mixes styles, from spoken word to Mexican folk music, creating something fresh and unique.

After meeting at a coffee shop as students, the group came up with their name from an organization where they took classes. In addition, to honor women they changed their name to the feminine version of the word.

Their music covers a wide range of topics from civil rights to immigration reform. The band sat down to discuss hot topics before a recent concert in Chicago.

Windy City Times: Nice to meet the entire band from East LA.

Hector Flores: Thank you. Cutest band from East LA.

Denise Carlos: You be the judge!

WCT: Denise, you have the dress with the loteria playing cards on it I saw online?

DC: My mom made it. Do you want one?

WCT: I'm not really the skirt-wearing gay man.

DC: Things could change. You might want to have a Marilyn Monroe moment in the wind!

WCT: Where does your fashion sense come from?

DC: I like a lot of colors and different styles. My mom has been sewing stuff for me since she was a baby. She has been sewing since she was 12 years old. I like showcasing her talent and her art. When I was growing up she worked at a sweat shop near our home. She worked for big corporations. I think it is important to show your culture and your pride in what you wear.

WCT: I heard you worked at a LGBT center.

DC: Yes. I ran the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at Cal State LA for a few years. We do a lot of programming. I was a clinical social worker so I did a lot with mental health.

The LGBT world is constantly changing with labels, identities and expressions, so it is a good place where people can celebrate who they are but understand the differences in life.

A lot of times we talk about LGBT concerns through tragedies but I think it is important to talk about it in a more empowering and celebratory way.

WCT: Your band has talked about it in the music with lyrics about gay marriage.

HF: Big time. The song "Señor Presidente", which is an old school, Afro-Mexican song, we remixed it and rewrote our own lyrics. In every show we do we perform the song "Señor Presidente" and we ask the audience what they would do if they were president. It is amazing the responses we get from across the country. There are also points where we get to say what we would do.

At the time when queer marriage was not passed in the United States we would say things like "I'm in love with my boyfriend and we want to get married." When this was not allowed we wanted to put the idea out there in a fun way. At the end of the day it is about relationships and love.

We would talk about quality education and universal healthcare, all the things we should have. We wanted to try for liberation and now that we have that we can start moving forward.

WCT: You have toured in the past with performers I have spoken to about politics, such as Lila Downs and Ozomatli. Was politics in your music something you set out to do and how did you meet in the beginning?

DC: It was really an organic process. We know each other through activist oriented work, community organizing, and going to school together. It is important for us to be storytellers of our communities and our families. We don't necessarily say we are going to write a political song, we just write about what we are living and what we want.

We met organically and talk about the world we want to see. We put that in our music. It is something that is universal. Everywhere we go there is a community that wants to have a conversation.

WCT: Where did your version of the classic "La Bamba" come from?

Daniel French: Well, that is a famous song from Ritchie Valens but a rock and roll version from back in the '50s. It is actually a Black-Mexican song that comes from the Gulf Coast of Mexico, the state of Vera Cruz. Ritchie Valens was playing a rock song off of a traditional song. We heard the old school version. We were learning traditional music at a community center called the Eastside Cafe. There are hundreds of old verses of the song. Son Jarocho music is what we were learning and it is all about improv. It is like hip hop. We might be playing then decide to make fun of someone's shoes or tell someone in the audience we like them. It is all metaphors and telling stories.

We were in LA playing music from the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Most of us at that point had not even been to that area of Mexico. We have since gone there and learned from music from those folks. Back then we wanted to tell our stories through that song. We had to allow ourselves to be ourselves while tapping into traditional music.

The song "La Bamba Rebelde" was used in a telenovela on Telemundo called Baja el Mismo Cielo. It is about an undocumented man. In one of our choruses in our version we state "I don't believe in borders so I am going to cross." I think that speaks to the bigger picture of Las Cafeteras. We are not into building walls that separate borders or communities, whether is LGBTQ, Black, Brown, Asian or native. We are trying to say we have a lot in common as humans. We share a lot. If people can let go of some of those labels they will be surprised in how we all relate at a heart level. From there let's just dance and be human for awhile!

Once we are all human we can finally listen and build that musical bridge together.

WCT: Your parents must be so proud of their kids holding onto cultural traditions.

Jose Cano: Well, I majored in engineering so to give up an engineering job to play music made them a little scared. I don't know if proud is the right word! [laughs] In terms of where we have come now they are proud.

HF: Let's just say if we weren't on a telenovela they wouldn't be that proud!

WCT: What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Leah Gallegos: We are releasing our second album in the fall. It is a lot of fun. A good mix with a lot of originals and we will be straying away from the traditional music that our last album had. We will continue touring until then.

Check out this colorful band's website at lascafeteras.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

New CSO recording with Muti available 2019-01-16 - The new CSO ( Chicago Symphony Orchestra ) Resound recording Riccardo Muti Conducts Italian Masterworks is now available in international retail outlets including ...


Gay News

DiFranco book out May 7 2019-01-16 - On May 7, Viking will publish No Walls and the Recurring Dream, a memoir from longtime singer/songwriter/poet/activist Ani DiFranco. According to a press ...


Gay News

'Nina Simone' through March 2 2019-01-16 - Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with Nina Simone: ...


Gay News

Same-sex couple rocks records at Rattleback 2019-01-16 - There's a new retailer in town, called Rattlebake Records, located in Andersonville at 5405 N. Clark St. Husband-and-husband team Paul Ruffino and Mike ...


Gay News

Aaron Alexander on being part of the 'Hamilton' ensemble 2019-01-16 - Two years and three months into its Chicago run, Hamilton remains one of the costliest and most coveted tickets in town. While ...


Gay News

"Let Freedom Ring, Chicago" Jan. 21 at City Winery 2019-01-16 - "Let Freedom Ring, Chicago" a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will take place Monday, Jan. 21 at City Winery. The ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Deborah Cox, awards events, gay singer killed, 'Family Guy' 2019-01-15 - The Sin City Classic Sports Festival presented by Toyota—the world's largest annual LGBTQ sporting event—announced that Grammy-nominated, multi award-winning singer and LGBTQ advocate ...


Gay News

Midwest Action; Guided by Voices 2019-01-13 - Concert-wise, 2018 ended with a shriek while 2019 started with a jolly howl. On Dec. 29, local entrepreneurs and life partners Alyssa Welch ...


Gay News

Camper van Beethoven members on coming out, performing 2019-01-09 - Alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven broke into the music scene with "Take the Skinheads Bowling" and enjoyed major success with a cover ...


Gay News

Sinfonietta's MLK concerts Jan. 20-21 2019-01-09 - Chicago Sinfonietta will present its signature annual MLK Tribute Concert—featuring the conducting talents of Chicago Sinfonietta Assistant Conductor Kedrick Armstrong and Charleston Symphony ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.