Abstract

East Los Angeles is the center of a flourishing musical cultural scene with a renewed "Chicana/o" sensibility. This scene is being led by a collective of socially conscious and politically active Latin-fusion bands that emerged in the 1990s, including Aztlán Underground, Blues Experiment, Lysa Flores, Ozomatli, Ollin, Quetzal, Quinto Sol, Slowrider, and Yeska. Along with visual artists, activists, and audiences, the musicians of the Eastside scene comprise an emergent cultural movement that is grounded in the new spatial and social relations generated in Los Angeles in the transnational era. The East L.A. scene's history of formation, the multiplicity of its sounds, and its commitment to political activism and coalition building all illuminate the relations between culture and politics at the present moment. The musical practices of the East L.A. scene echo the dislocations and displacements endemic to global cities in the transnational era, but they also reflect the emergence of new forms of resistance that find counter-hegemonic possibilities within contradictions. In culture and in politics, groups in the Eastside scene proceed through immanent critiques and creative reworkings of already existing social relations, rather than through transcendant teleologies aimed at the establishment of utopian sites and subjects. Rather than a politics of "either/or" that asks people to choose between culture and politics, between class and race, or between distinct national identities, this cultural movement embraces a politics of "both/and" that encourages dynamic, fluid, and flexible stances and identity categories.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6490
Print ISSN
0003-0678
Pages
pp. 719-739
Launched on MUSE
2004-09-13
Open Access
No
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