"Why music?" It comes off like a Philosophy 101 essay question at first, but the more I twist my head around it, the more it causes a volcanic hurl of thought: Why do I love music? Why do I write about it? Why do I care what other people write about it? Do I love a song for the story or for itself? Does that matter? What if I go deaf? Am I going to miss my deadline?
Named for the patron saint of musicians, La Santa Cecilia has deep roots in the immigrant community of Los Angeles. Yet the band's six members draw inspiration not only from their rich heritage, but also from their everyday lives growing up embedded in American culture.
During a short, recent trip to historic Olvera Street in downtown L.A. — "It's a little street with little shops resembling any town in Mexico or Latin America" — singer Marisol Hernandez describes the hopes and dreams the city represents.
For Family Band's Kim Krans, music and visual imagery are inexorably intertwined as means of expressing a dark, delicate vision. Recording with her guitarist husband Jonny Ollsin as Family Band, she's crafted a beautifully unsettling ballad in "Night Song," but it's almost difficult to imagine hearing it without the visuals she created for its video: