GRRL016: Borders and riot grrrl feat. Mónica Mendoza of Le Ra & GRRRL Independent Ladies

In San Diego where I’m based, the question of what “to do” with the southern border is, in turns, ignored by many yet extremely relevant to others. For Mónica, who grew up in Tijuana, the border is a social construct that can bring people together.

In this episode, we talk about using the border to connect musicians and artists from Tijuana, San Diego, and Los Angeles and the importance of listening to music in our own languages. And of course, we talk about her band Le Ra and her frontera organization GRRRL Independent Ladies.

This episode also guests poet Felicia Williams and artist Alison Dunlevy.

If you liked this episode, please:

Listen Here

Download here. [~34 mins, 41MB]

Shownotes

  • [2:15] How do you know when your project is the way you envisioned it?
    • Inspiration of the Le Ra name from the artwork of her friend Eddy Miramontes (keep an eye out for news on him!)
    • Respecting the musicians who join you in your project
    • “We were traveling on different paths and then met at the right time.”
  • [5:30] “Do you think you could have gotten the same experience and feel if you had met up earlier?”
    • Changing/growing as a person and musician before experiencing “the right time”
  • [6:15] Le Ra – Sin Nombre
  • [10:15] Tijuana No! as an influence and part of roque en español
    • Representing latinos in music and talking about topics that relate to them
    • Globalism/imperialism in music
  • [13:30] Changes in female representation in music from Mexico (Mexico City and Tijuana)
    • “It’s not new!” The creation of a new generation of “grrrls”
    • How do we get more representation?
  • [15:30] No Girlfriends – Sheets (Unreleased exclusive!)
  • [18:15] GRRRL Independent Ladies as a hub for women to meet and inspire each other
    • Crossing the border, the border as an influence
    • Using music and the border to connect rather than divide people
    • Organizing fests with Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana bands
  • [20:45] How will GRRRL Independent Ladies grow?
    • Documentation of this part of the scene
    • The influence of the 90s riot grrrl movement. “How can we continue to fight for these issues?”
  • [23:00] GRRRL Independent Ladies going across the border, something that riot grrrl didn’t necessarily do
    • The problems with the 90s riot grrrl movement when it came to touching on race, class, gender
    • “Now it’s our turn.”
  • [24:30] Some Kind of Lizard – Black Rain (Unreleased exclusive!)
  • [27:30] Being a woman (or even just a man) of color in the music scene
    • Tijuana vs. San Diego
    • “Am I not looking hard enough?”
    • Minority invisibility
  • [32:00] Art changing culture and society

Where to Find Mónica

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you to Mónica for joining me at the house for some tea and chats, and for inspiring me to start putting together the upcoming Grrl on Grrl mini music and art fest.

Intro and outro music is “Get Up Got It” by Sullen Ray, off their album Blue Minor.

Mixing provided by Gary Hankins.

Audio hosting costs covered by Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!

Merch contest winners

 

Officially announcing the two winners of the very first Grrl on Grrl merch contest… These lucky folks won some awesome music and merch from Fun While You Wait, Gloomsday, and Blackberry Tongues. Hopefully we’ve got some new fans!

@grrlongrrl is this what you wanted?! Me dancing to @eisley in 2007?! #GrrlOnGrrl #contest

A post shared by Walter (@felicisfelis) on

GRRL015: Band chemistry, creating a fanbase, and Asian American stereotypes featuring Tracie

Thanks to all of you for sticking around during my unexpected anxiety-induced hiatus!

For episode 15, I interviewed Tracie Loo of Sir Coyler and His Asthmatic Band. Despite being based in Seattle, they recorded their upcoming EP at a San Diego studio, and I had a chance to see them play at local venue Tower Bar. Tracie joined me right before her flight back to Seattle. Good thing I live 5 minutes away from the airport!

Tracie contributes, records, and plays as drummer with Sir Coyler & His Asthmatic Band. In this episode, we talk about the importance of band chemistry when it comes to creating music together, stereotypes we have to deal with as Asian Americans, and how to (theoretically) build a fanbase as an indie band.

If you liked this episode, please:

Listen Here

Download here. [~27 mins, 26MB]

Shownotes

  • [1:25] Messing up during their sets
    • “We just look at each other and laugh… We have so much trust.”
  • [3:15] History of the band leading up to Tracie joining and musician crushes
  • [5:30] Being vulnerable in a collaborative band environment
  • [6:45] Sir Coyler & His Asthmatic Band – Invincible Blues – A Grrl on Grrl exclusive from their upcoming EP
  • [9:15] “How do we take the next step to make non-musicians give a shit?”
    • Fans listening just for the hits
    • The importance of word-of-mouth
  • [11:30] The Gooch Palms – Tiny Insight (Website) (Facebook)
  • [14:15] Being treated differently (or not) as a person of color
    • “I’ve had more weird experiences on the street than in a venue or in the scene.”
    • Asian American stereotypes and comments
  • [15:30] Tracie’s history in and reasons for choosing percussion over other instruments
    • A personal choice vs. parental choice
  • [16:30] Artist and podcast news
  • [17:00] Being on stage, being proud of music
    • “I don’t love being the center of attention.”
    • Bringing other musicians on stage
  • [18:30] People approaching the “boys” instead of Tracie to ask about her
  • [19:45] Acapulco Lips – Everything’s Gotta Go (Facebook) (Twitter)
  • [22:45] Thank you to everybody!
  • [23:00] Sullen Ray – Get Up Got It

Where to Find Sir Coyler & His Asthmatic Band’s Music

Other Notes & Thanks!

Thank you to Tracie for interviewing with me right before her flight back to Seattle!

Intro and outro music is “Get Up Got It” by Sullen Ray, off their album Blue Minor.

Mixing provided by Gary Hankins.

Audio hosting costs covered by Greg Guiliano of Wait Think Fast Productions.

And to all my friends who have been so supportive of this project, I love you!