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Victor Gastelum Weighs In On Morrissey

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 4, 2008 02:10am | Post a Comment

I wrote about Victor Gastelum several months back when I first starting writing for Amoeba.com. Victor’s iconic art has been used by Calexico, Culture Clash, Greg Ginn, just to name a few. Victor is currently showing in a group show called ALEX STEINWEISS: CREATOR OF THE ALBUM COVER at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica. Victor is one to show his appreciation for any artist that inspires him. I got him to share his thoughts on Morrissey, his Mexican following and Morrissey's supposed anti-immigrant remakes he made last November.


What makes you a fan of  Morrissey? How did you become one?

I started liking the Smith's right when they were breaking up.  I was starting to make my own art and I found Morrissey’s lyrics inspiring. Not that I wanted to draw what he was describing but that he was telling his own stories.  You got the feeling that he was talking about what he knew.  He along with other artists that I admire made me look at myself, and draw from what I knew about, what I had to offer.  The music was the first attraction to the band though.  I like pop music, especially with clever lyrics and hooks.  The band was tight and at the time there didn’t seem to be anything like them.


Why do you feel that Mexicanos identify with him?


For me I think it might have to do with his outsider, nerdy loser
image.  He made being square and dorky really cool.  He is into all these obscure English pop artists, television shows, and movies that he would make references to. I think it made you place a little more value to the things you liked that most people didn’t know about or thought were lame.  Also the Manchester bands seem to have this thing where they are all homeboys.  Not so much pride or shame, but just an acknowledgement of where they are from.  He put a lot reference to where he was from, places and buildings.  I like seeing that, (for instance) like when an artist is from San Pedro or Long Beach and they throw that influence into their work.

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Goodbye Quetzal - At Least For Now

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 24, 2007 01:14am | Post a Comment

This was in the L.A. Times on September 8th. Another severely underrated Los Angeles band is gone, at least for now… I was fortunate to catch their last show at Macarthur Park before they quit. It was a good little fix until their eventual return. If you haven’t bought a copy of their last album, Die Cowboy Die, you are missing out on an East L.A. classic and one of the best albums that came out in 2006.

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Quetzal breaks for a busy sabbatical
By Agustin Gurza, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


Quetzal, the ground-breaking Chicano fusion band from East L.A., is on sabbatical. Bandleader Quetzal Flores and his wife, lead singer Martha González, left last week for a nine-month sojourn in Veracruz to study the work of women in son jarocho, the fabulous, Afro-folkloric music that has long inspired them. This is primarily Martha's mission. She received a Fulbright fellowship for the trip, which could yield a CD of original works by the women of the fandango scene. Afterward, she and Quetzal, with their toddler Sandino, are headed to Seattle, where she plans to enroll in the doctoral program for women's studies at the University of Washington.

Quetzal will be busy too. He plans to form an acoustic quartet with fellow guitarist Ramon Gutierrez-Hernandez of Son de Madera, one of Mexico's best new son jarocho groups. And he continues to produce for other bands, including the recently released CD by San Diego's B-Side Players and the upcoming album by L.A.'s Monte Carlo 76, with new vocalist Marisa Ronstadt.

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