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June 16, 2006

Sin Fronteras

My friend, radio producer and sound artist Robynn Takayama reveals the hidden cultural connection between Yugoslavia and Mexican music in her podcast on Latino American punk rock band La Plebe.

La Plebe turned down an opportunity to tour Western Europe so that they could go to the Balkans and spread friendship (and also investigate Yu Mex music, the result of Yugoslavian communist dictator Tito's break with the USSR, which necessitated Yugoslavia importing culture from elsewhere -- primarily the Mexico of "permanent revolution" rhetoric.)

Robynn's podcast is good listening for its own sake and for the interest of the story. It's also a perfect example of hopelessly tangled 21st century hybridity, with its Mexican Americans (calling their tour "Sin Fronteras") playing gigs with Balkan "Gypsy" Americans before heading off to Bulgaria to practice their bribing skills at the border.

You can get a little bit more of the story from La Plebe's as yet minimal tour blog. (I'm hoping they'll happen upon some better writing skills as they go along, but if not, the blog also offers some more free samples of their music.)

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