This week, we’re giving your ears a break from holiday tunes and taking you on another kind of musical journey—with California-grown musicians and artists forging their own sounds.
On a dance floor in downtown Oakland, a group of women move from norteño to hip-hop to soul. There’s no dress code, no cover, no lines and zero-tolerance for harassment. The California Report’s Marisol Medina-Cadena takes us to meet an all women of color DJ crew that plays strictly vinyl—and is creating an empowering dance space, one record at time.
Dave Alvin has written many odes to California in his long career playing punk, folk and rock-and-roll. Now in his 60s, he's teaming up with 73-year-old Jimmie Dale Gilmore from Lubbock, Texas. Their album, "Downey to Lubbock," celebrates both of their roots: California and Texas. This summer, we invited them into the California Report's studio. The interview originally aired in August, but it was one of our favorite music stories from 2018, so we wanted to bring it to you again.
New Book Celebrates the Work of Los Lobos’ Songsmith Louie Perez
The band Los Lobos has been around for more than 40 years. Back when they were just starting out, they were nicknamed “Just Another Band from East L.A.” By the mid 1980s, though, they’d shared stages with everyone from X to the Grateful Dead. Yet, east L.A. was never far away. That’s largely thanks to band co-founder and chief lyricist Louie Perez. His songs are romantic, bittersweet and hard-charging. They’re more like short stories. As The California Report's Steven Cuevas tells us, Perez’s lyrics and artwork have now been collected in a new book.
Meet some musicians from Bakersfield—a place known for some of California's best country and honky-tonk music. But this band definitely does not play country. They’re called The Soul Chance and the play early reggae soul. When listeners first hear their singles on vinyl, some have a hard time believing they’re from this decade. How do they get that retro sound? They record with good old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape.