Sin Fronteras: A Historiography on the Evolution of Perceptions of the San Diego/Tijuana Region as Separate & Unified Territory

Below is a link and an excerpt of a paper I wrote a few months ago for a course in Mexican history. It is a historiography on the development of the San Diego/Tijuana region of southern California + Baja California as separate territories with an emphasis on people’s understanding of the territory as a separate & unified territory.

The paper can be downloaded at my Academia page.

Below is an excerpt:

Early writings and writings of the San Diego/Tijuana (or vice-versa depending on which side of the literal fence one stands from) border region’s early history after the Mexican-American War illustrate the growth of the region as the emergence of two distinct zones that lures the citizens on each side with different promises. This non-symbiotic relationship between the two nations then steadily changes into a symbiotic one as scholars and academics begin to study the region’s evolution from a pair of separate and individual states to a pair of separate and strongly interconnected states. This interconnection occurs on multiple levels but is most typically understood via socio-cultural and economic lenses.

In recent years, new understandings of the border region have come from the experiences of people, Mexicans and Americans, whose daily lives consist of nearly equal time spent on each side of the US/Mexico border. Some of the writings on this topic began with the analysis of the flow of workers and consumers of both regions that began blending the flow of each country’s economics and labor with one another. Beyond this phenomenon, scholars have also recently defined the experiences of some of these citizens as a “ transborder/transfronterizo” persons who have experienced a lifetime of bi-nationality, that is, a lived experience of traversing a physical, international barrier that begins in childhood and extends into adulthood. Finally, activist groups that understand the border region from a highly politicized lens have also established their own framework of thinking about the border region in SD/TJ as well as other borderland areas.

Currently Listening To: 2019 Mid-Year Edition

I have had a few artists on a heavy rotation these past couple of months as I weathered my final semester of coursework at SDSU:

Frikstailers – Extrasolar

The Argentine duo forced us all to wait six years for a new album, but it was worth the wait. One could argue that they made us wait only two years as the duo released an album of music under the name Klik & Frik for musical aesthetic purposes. That album, Telepat, however, was a slight digression towards a sound stripped to nothing but electronic beats, sans the direct Latin American influences and genre mixture Frikstailers are known for. This album under their original moniker brings them back to their original sound with the help of musical guests Mateo Kingman, La Yegros, Aterciopelados, and Marrón.

Vudufa – Congorito

Vudufa is the name of this new project by Lima-based producers Pounda and NoModico. Their debut album, Congorito, features eight tracks of a sound they’ve dubbed “Afrobass with Peruvian flavor,” which is a darker version of the already-dark tunes of Dengue Dengue Dengue and Animal Chuk. What differentiates Vudufa from their peers is their focus on African beats and rhythms with nary a hint of cumbia.

Gustavo Dudamel – Celebrating John Williams

I interviewed Dudamel of the LA Philharmonic for FLAUNT magazine (you can check that out here) and, thus, spent days listening to much of his work. My favorite is the recording of his concert at Santiago de Compostela where he conducted Beethoven’s 9th with the Galician Symphony. His latest album is a live recording of his tribute concert for legendary composer John Williams with the LA Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in January 2019.

Capsula – Bestiarium

Capsula is a band I’ve covered extensively throughout the years since first learning about them many years ago. I think it was at SXSW eight years ago. In any case, they released a new album earlier this year. Bestiarium is a concept album based on numerous mythological creatures of ancient folklores and some damn good rock n’ roll, as always.

If These Trees Could Talk – The Bones of a Dying World

I learned about this band and album thanks to the Radio option on Spotify. Now before anyone accuses me of crafting a sponsored post without attribution, Spotify is my main method/app to listen to music and podcasts followed by Podcast App, Mixcloud, direct streams, and good ol’ fashioned terrestrial car radio.

Anyway! This band has been one of my favorite instrumental bands since I learned about them. It’s great music to study to, to drive in the rain to, to cure writer’s block to, etc. If anything, give the song “Earth Crawler” (my favorite track) a listen.

Crim – Pare Nostre Que Esteu a L’infern

Crim are a punk band from Tarragona, Spain who I learned about thanks to a concert flyer I found while in Barcelona in April (more on that in a forthcoming post). They’ve got a political slant as any good punk band does with lyrics that focus on many of the modern social problems in their home country.

Arpaviejas – El Último Cartucho

Arpaviejas are also a punk band from Spain but these guys are from the outskirts of Barcelona. JR Kubensis founded the band in 2000 and continues today as his pet project feat. a rotating cast of musicians that form his band.

Gustavo Dudamel: The Maestro Cometh

Friends, enemies, & the aloof: I present to you my first magazine cover story!

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In the Cause & Effect issue (number 165) of FLAUNT magazine, I interview LA Philharmonic director & conductor Gustavo Dudamel. It’s available now physically and also digitally here: https://www.flaunt.com/content/gustavo-dudamel.

An excerpt:

“Think about it. What is art, ultimately? What is culture?” he asks, gesticulating with his hands as if conducting, though in a much more subdued manner than when he takes the podium. “It is a people’s identity. Do you know what I mean? The great artists, the geniuses, no matter where they live or where they were born, gave all of humanity a gift… This means that when we play Beethoven in Peru, for instance, we can play him as a European composer with a Peruvian identity, or a Venezuelan one, or Argentine, or Japanese.”

Before the L.A. Galaxy, Chivas USA, or LAFC, We Had The Los Angeles Aztecs

I wrote about the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League (1970s) for L.A. Taco:

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Perolli’s crew burned through the opposition, and won the Western Division Trophy. Weeks later, they won the NASL Championship Trophy after they defeated the Miami Toros (unrelated to the former LA/SD team) after penalties. It was the first time a professional soccer final was televised nationally in the United States.

“It was one of the most exciting games of the season,” says Gregory, “because we tied the game in the last minute, three to three.”

That debut season would be the only year that the Aztecs ever won a title. Their sister indoor squad didn’t fare any better as they won a single division championship in their final year, 1981. Gregory sold the team after the first season. He and Perolli accomplished the goals they set for that first year and he wanted to focus on his medical career.

“It grew so fast that it grew right out of my hands,” he remembers. “I was a doctor and I was actively practicing and I could never have handled it after that.”

Read the rest at L.A. Taco!

For L.A.’s Mexican-American Metal Fans, Todo Es Metal Was a Lineup for the Ages

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Transmetal at Los Angeles Theater. Drew Gurian/Red Bull

The Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway first opened its doors in 1931 with the world premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. No one who attended that opening night could ever in their wildest dreams have imagined that the 2,000-person capacity venue would, decades later, host an event like Red Bull Music Academy Festival’s Todo Es Metal showcase this past Saturday, Oct. 21.

The event united rock bands from Mexico with their long-haired peers of the American diaspora for a night of thrash, grind, death, black and heavy metal. Southern Californian acts Mictlantecuhtli, XLesionsX, Scrapmetal, Blue Hummingbird on the Left, Volahn, Letum Ascensus, Sadistic Intent, and Terrorizer L.A. shared the bill with Thanatology, Disgorge and Transmetal from Mexico.

Read the rest at LA Weekly.