It’s hard to reconcile attending a huge circus like Coachella as a brown girl from the slums of Staten Island of immigrant parents who’s in her 30’s without fighting feelings of – “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE?” Mind you, I’d been to the mega-fest a few times in my early 20s, working with bands like Justice and Bomba Estereo. Still, even with having a purpose there – I was involved with the bookings this year of two of the few acts that happened to be Latino making amazing contemporary music in current day America, past clients Los Rakas and potential future clients, Chicano Batman – the experience could border on excess.
Nonetheless, my way of battling doubts, negativity and pessimism was to look at the two weekends in Indio as sport. The game? It’s part observation, part extreme networking, part balls of steel to mingle in VIP industry circles and part vulnerability. I spoke to strangers of all varieties while camping, asked questions, dialogued with gatekeepers & artists (FULL DISCLOSURE: I MET KANYE WEST!) and spoke openly about my view of culture in our current age. I pointed out where rebalancing is needed. I checked out bands I normally might have assumed I wouldn’t like. I checked out the bands I really did want to see. I came back changed. I came back with the advantage of having learned and been bold. Of having been seen.
So in that sense, I had a fucking blast looking at Coachella as music vacation or musication while keeping in mind the ultimate goal; there is work to do at the highest levels. There is vibration raising to do. Having presence and representation in these spaces is important. So is observing and learning from promoters like Goldenvoice who have grown their festival to have the cultural impact which it has. That’s inspiring. THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK WE’RE DOING THERE.
“But with influences that range from psychedelia to tropicalia to funk, Chicano Batman offers a glimpse at a future direction of Latin music as the band builds off the diversity of traditions in the multicultural metropolis.” – Associated Press
Full Flickr album is HERE.