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BAM ZINE ISSUE 2 / SXSM 2016 COVER ART: “TEX MEX” BY REBEKAH GOMEZ DOWNTOWN MAP BY OSCAR OLVERA ALL ART & POETRY IS OWNED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE ARTIST/AUTHOR.

SOUTH X SOUTHMOST 2016


noe maciel

perdonalo, 30� x 50� acrylic on canvas

juan c. lino

silent shout, 20(h)x15(w) collage


Sometimes it feels like we have been living in a cultural

vacuum in Brownsville. It’s move or settle most of the time. If you’re an ambitious person, “settle” may as well be a four-letter word. Case in point: Rafael de la Garza, the artist and San Antonio transplant who created this year’s SXSM 2016 flyer described his design inspiration from real life (he and his fiancé are having a baby but they’ve had bad luck in the job market), which derives from living on the border and trying to sustain life on it. A child sleeps peacefully in the arms of a skeleton, describing the tranquil paradox of the enormous difficulties in sustaining a family in a consumption driven economy sustained by guns, germs and steel. Oh yeah, and we’re the poorest city in the nation too. Needless to say, this beautiful family, a cornerstone of the arts community in Brownsville and the RGV, leave back to San Antonio. Brownsville, TX is a border town with a predominantly young population without many opportunities for career development. Reaching out to one another in a substantive and meaningful fashion is difficult

for young creatives in this town. I speak from personal experience; it gets lonely out here without a support system or professional network. In our second year for BAM, the organization hopes to help lay out important infrastructure and networks that will not only generate new opportunities for creatives, but keeps those opportunities coming. Our goal is to limit resource exhaustion by facilitating a growth plan for the creative community that stands on its own, thrives and eventually compels our young creative class to stay and make a difference in their city.

Hard work and a tenacious will to win is what drives us forward. Why do we do it? Cause life is boring without challenges to some people.

Thank you for another year of BAM! We hope to see you soon.

Claudia Michelle Serrano Director of Operations /BAM


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3 El Hueso de Fraile 4 Food Truck Park 5 BAM 6 BC Workshop Half Moon Saloon 7 8 The Kraken Lounge 9 Rutledge Hamburgers 10 Galeria 409 6 La Plaza Parking Garage 11 Carlotta K. Petrina Cultural Center

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7:00-7:30pm SYNTHROLOGIA 7:45-8:15pm Blight Night 8:30-9:00pm The MRA 9:15-9:45pm Mildriot 10:00-10:30pm NARB 10:45-11:15pm INGRATE 11:30-12:00am Dispirit 12:15-12:45am XETAS (ATX) 1:00-1:45am Calico Club (S.A.)

bam street

6:45-7:15pm Mind Over Matter 7:30-8:00pm Reliving Cape York 8:15-8:45pm Palm Leaf Skylines 9:00-9:30pm Four Letter Language 9:45-10:15pm Kemo for Emo 10:30-11:00pm Los Skagaleros

kraken lounge

6:00-6:45pm Ocean Vertigo 7:00-7:45pm Rituals (Matamoros) 8:00-8:45pm Pazuzu 9:00-9:45pm Undermine Authority 10:00-10:45pm Deadbeat 11:00-11:45pm Terreno 12:00-12:45am The Unemployed

galeria 409 8:00--9:00pm Jair 9:00-10:00pm Noise Traveler

historic palm lounge

8:00pm Emilio and Los Bluzanos

SATURDAY DAY

FRIDAY DAY 1

SXSM LINE UP

BAM

7:00-7:30pm Heavy Hugs 7:45-8:15pm October Roar 8:30-9:00pm El Estado(Matamoros/Monterrey) 9:15-9:45pm Los Rude Waves 10:00-10:30pm In Your Long Arms 10:45-11:15pm New China (ATX) 11:30-12:00am La Ratera 12:15-12:45am Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes (ATX) 1:00-1:45am Nag Champa (S.A.) 7:30-8:00pm Milumet 8:15-8:45pm New Berlin 9:00-9:30pm Super 9:45-10:15pm Critical Dad(ATX) 10:30-11:00pm Breaklight (ATX)

5:15-5:35pm King Los 5:45-6;15pm Brittany Angel 6:25-6:55pm Devin J 7:05-7:35pm A-Dre 7:45-8:15pm Farmertron Automatic 8:25-8:55pm Mic Melt 9:05-9:35pm Spy MC 9:45-10:15pm Evolve 10:25-10:55pm Conscious Vibe 11:05-11:35pm Z 11:45-12:15AM FRED RICK 12:25-1:00am Grace 1 Entertainment 1:00-1:45am DJ Chron

plazita market square

half moon saloON

6:30-7:00pm 7:15-7:45pm 8:00-8:30pm 8:45-9:30pm 9:45-10:45pm

9:30-10:00pm Jove Bewake 10:15-10:45pm Tiny Purple Fishes 11:00-11:30pm Grayson 11:45-12:15am Ideophonic 12:30-1:00am Good Ghost

9:30-10:00pm Televangilist 10:15-10:45pm Six Royal Vipers(Matamoros) 11:00-11:30pm Rhapzodia 11:45-12:15am Clever Heads Prevail (San Marcos) 12:30-1:00am Monstuo Bohemio

plazita market square 5:00 -11 pm UNIPORN

hueso de fraile 8:30-9:15pm Hector Esparza 9:30-10:15pm The Shakes 10:30-11:15pm Ensamble la Misión 11:30-12:30am The Crashers

Theda Jane Johnny Morose Joey and the Nobody Else Ocean Avenue Breeze Sheba’s Dream

8:30-9:15pm Keith Contois 9:30-10:15pm Fifth & Alamo 10:30-11:15pm Ensamble la Misión 11:30-12:30am Rachel Udow


SXSM RECOMMENDS carlotta k. petrina : “Dios nunca muere”: Veronica gaona’s first

solo photography show features Oaxaca, Mexico from a perspective that gives the viewer hidden eyes into the day to day lives of the Oaxacan people. the carlotta petrina cultural center will be open at special hours for sxsm.

puente art studio : currently exhibiting “Painting poetry” by Chel

Brenas & “Beyond the rancho Grande: a mexican curious in wonderland” by tony Antinori. ‘A collection of works created in a cubist style with a contemporary twist. these are cuban-american and mexican american pieces you don’t want to skip on.

galeria 409 : housed in a historic 164 year old building, mark clark, owner

and curator of galeria 409 will be featuring acoustic music sets by candlelight on friday for sxsm. on saturday there will be an official opening for an exhibit of wood sculptures by jose nevarez.

sxsm presents film |“siente la ciudad” directed by brodie o’brian:

buildingcommunity workshop presents a silent film shot in historic brownsville by brodie o’brian in 2002. 7:15pm screening scored live by local musicians for sxsm. 8:15pm screening remix jam, play along with your own instruments or pick a precussive house hold object to make some noise and score the film yourself! (info: friday july 22 at the san fernando building in downtown brownsville)

panel | #millennialschat: band together: rgv millenials presents an interactive chat among community leaders and members, with a short panel discussing the importance of collaboration in our community and the revitalization of downtown brownsville. guest panelists:

luis urquieta | the work pub rubi perez | rgv millenials Miriam suarez | main street district brownsville cianna perez | downtown brownsville collaborators (info: saturday july 23 at 6pm at half moon saloon.)


marcelina gonzales

by jose colon-uvalles II

Marcelina Gonzales, or Marcy, is a visual artist from Brownsville that has found therapy in her work. Sitting down at El Hueso del Fraile, in downtown Brownsville, she is an intriguing presence. She is wearing black shorts, and a black chiffon top, revealing several thin gold chains with one that reads “Marcelina” in a gothic font. Her look is striking even more so because of her pale white skin, thin physique and perfectly winged eyeliner. If you didn’t know her, she would come across as someone you would not want to mess with. This presence is important to note not as a way to objectify Gonzales, but because in talking to her she reveals how much she has felt like an outcast from an early age. “I’d see girls in school get invited to sleep overs, but not me.” This sentiment carries over as she is growing up, her parents saw her as being different and odd at times- culminating in their decision to take her to therapy. Initially she resisted the conversations with her therapist, until she was asked to draw her thoughts and feelings. Here she says, is where she began to explore ways of expressing emotions and ideas that she did not feel comfortable verbally articulating. Fast forward to her solo exhibition “NEVER SORRY” at BAM, where giant paintings of thin gangly women, whose gazes defy and challenge the viewer, fill the walls of the gallery space. Upon entering BAM, the gazes from the portraits lock eyes on you, giving you an overwhelming feeling of having walked into a space uninvited. This feeling is immediately contrasted by the detail of the work, not just in her unique use of color but also her exceptional use of layered dimension on a 2D surface. These are not just female identities projected on paintings, these are chingonas. Portraits of empowered women defying society. Marcy states that some of the women in the paintings are variations or versions of herself, others are portraits of close friends. “They represent the things I want to be, or would like to be.” The borderlands are a unique space of blended identities that are too often marked by traditional cultural values. This can become a burden for people with distinctive voices and “othered” personalities. If you are not homogenized, then there must be something wrong with you. Often these voices are silenced for fear of admonition or like Marcy, that they are meant to be treated or “cured”. The power of in NEVER SORRY lies in the work itself being a physical manifestation of having not caved into whatever society dictates as normal. Some of the pieces have sculptural elements to them, adding another engaging layer of unruliness not only towards viewers but to the notions of traditional art as well. These are not simple paintings by any means. Some are displayed with backlights installed into the work itself, another protruding triangular spikes from the framea physical barrier protecting the figure in the painting. Marcy notes that this piece was accidentally damaged during the opening by a young man. Jokingly I mention that there is something symbolic there about the patriarchy. Marcy smiles and laughs, “For sure.” By the end of the conversation, I find that Marcy herself is everything but threatening. Having hardly known her, by now the interview is a friendly conversation. Gonzales has already shown outside of the Rio Grande Valley, having exhibited one of her pieces in Los Angeles. Having her pieces exhibited at BAM must feel like a breath of acceptance. After all, BAM is the home for contemporary Valley creatives, a home where disenfranchized artists and creatives come together in solidarity. Each one building each other up as part of a group of rising modern frontera music and arts culture that is breaking down and redefining all kinds of barriers. Suddenly Gonzales and her artwork fit right in the mix. Catch Marcelina Gonzales’ exhibition NEVER SORRY inside of BAM during SXSM.


Name: Marcelina Gonzales Title: The Divided Materials: Oil, wire, LED lighting 2016


interview with

la ratera

by caty wantland photo by conrado gonzalez

Originating as a two-piece band, La Ratera has grown and evolved, adding and rotating members over the years until finding the perfect lineup. Armando (drums), Esteban (vocals/ guitar), Daniel (guitar), and Carlos (bass) describe their sound in mainstream terms as “White Stripes meets Queens of the Stone Age.” I caught up with the band to discuss their upcoming appearance at the annual SXSM festival, but as the conversation took course (we touched on everything from Pokemon Go to transcendental experiences onstage to the secrets of the Masons), it became evident that while La Ratera is all about the music, it’s the friendship that keeps them going. Daniel explains it simply: “We’re not just a band. We want to hang out with friends.” “Even the worst show is still a badass show,” muses Carlos. “That’s my experience with these guys.” Esteban agrees. “I want to look forward to waking up on a Saturday or a Friday or whatever day we play like, ‘Oh shit, we’re gonna play a show today! It feels like I’m in high school again. I’m excited, I’m gonna choose something to wear, I’m gonna play a show, have a good time with my buddies, it’s gonna be fun.” They all nod in agreement. “Bros before… instruments!” La Ratera is comprised of talented musicians who also channel their creativity into various other projects, notably Audiophonic, Idle Vision, and Pioneer Falls (Armando’s fantastic solo EP. I can’t stop listening). They’re serious musicians in their own right. They’re respected as a band. But it has never stopped being fun. Not “fun” in the sense of an undisciplined noise band just sort of throwing parts together based on feelings without much regard to technique or cohesion (though those bands have their place). To La Ratera, much of the fun is in the work itself. The songwriting process is equal parts preparedness and organic, intuitive jamming. Armando explains, “The thing about Danny is, he’s like a riffwriting machine. He shows up to practice and he has like, 30 riffs.” Esteban adds, “It’s a nice


template of things to choose from. I’ll be like, ‘I’ve had this riff in my head for a week. Play that!’” Daniel admits once he overcame his initial apprehension about playing standard (“I thought it was the worst thing ever”), he began writing songs and riffs almost compulsively. “I wish I had your work ethic,” Armando says. Daniel smiles and shrugs. “I just like music.” Work ethic is not something any of the members of La Ratera lack. They’ve come to rely on an action-based rehearsal method. Someone threw out the term “silent trust.” “We go into BAM, they[Esteban and Daniel] just start jamming out, and we [Armando and Carlos] just jump on. It’s like a dance. They lead, and we follow. Song is done. Next.” They’ll come back to a song later, but they’d rather leave with something they feel is “ok” and can be improved upon than sit around vacillating- they’d rather get a basic structure done and revisit it a few times. They experiment. They collaborate. It’s evident in their sound. Esteban’s distinctive vocals (which he alternately describes as “squawking” and “a dementia-ridden Frank Sinatra”) add an evocative layer of nuance to their tight rhythms and solid structure. It’s evident in their shows. Esteban gets playfully competitive with his bandmates onstage: “Seeing them have a good time makes me want to have an even better time.” The conversation keeps coming back to this central theme- La Ratera is all about communal experiences. Without question, their favorite venue to play is BAM. “It feels like a house party.” “It reminds of Rising Sun, back in the day.” That’s what SXSM is all aboutfacilitating inspiration. La Ratera is excited to play, and they’re excited to see other bands on the lineup (they mention Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, In Your Long Arms, and Good Ghost, among others). They want the audience to have a good time, to feel that inspiration they felt going to local shows as kids. “If younger kids like our music, start a band and make music. We want other people to get creative as well.” “Anybody can do it. Nobody is good. But you work at it. You get better.


Untitled 24”x20” Mixed media on canvas 2016 katrina gray


set free by sergio leal

She has always been other worldly, with pale white skin that has an amazing blinding quality and power, which is only matched by her beauty. She has become what she has always yearned to be, Immortal. They were so overwhelmed by her dark beauty that they bowed down in awe, and declared her their Dark Vampire Queen. Ever young, ever beautiful as she has always been but now there was a strange sadness about her. She has come to realize that she has not only left mortality behind but also a love that will one day be brought to an end by deaths embrace. Sitting there, vulnerably contemplating what she has gained and will lose. Two dark pools begin to form as the emotions start to pore out of her. Her essence, her pure emotion escaping from the windows of her soul. It hits mother earth with the power of a thousand suns. No one has ever expressed so much emotion in a single teardrop; pain to rival anything written in that book praised by so many. Feeling her pain, he comes to her slowly, giving him just enough time to absorb her beauty, stunned and left breathless by it. Her hair was jet black and slicked back, allowing the rays of the moon to make her even more radiant. Darkness had engulfed her, her black dress only letting small sections of her pale white skin to be

exposed…but not too much. As if to say “Not even the heavens could bare her full beauty.” At the sound of his steps, she began to look up, fully exposing the pain on her face. Her radiant gray eyes just seemed to pierce the soul. My god, he thinks to himself, am I dreaming? Quickly he goes to her, bends down and ever so gently embraces her sweet face. With a gentle caress, he wipes the tears away, strokes her hair back, and looks into her eyes. We shall rule this world together, that is, if you will have me. Looking into her eyes, he sees that one day she would feel a pull. Something would pull her from his side. A struggle to rival even her current anguish, will begin within her. He rescued her, how could she leave him? She had to stay with him, didn’t she? The guilt of her love not being as strong for him as his is for her would make her stay, would it not? Yet the pull to not let guilt make her stay will be too strong to ignore. The choice will be impossible. The result will be a relentlessly alternation between himself and whatever causes her to want to leave his side. It simply would be too much for both of them. He has to let her know that by no means does she needs to feel obligated to love him with as much passion as he loves her. So with a bursting heart, he gently holds her heavenly face in his hands; wipes the tears from her face and begins to set her free....


Metaphysical Nights by juan solis

Borderline Familia

At night I read Borges and am convinced I dreamt myself into existence.

I am part of a lower-middle class family. The cash struggle is this: All independence is lost In contradictory With our fathers on bills, Portraits with no rights.

I take long drives when the dark sky spawns inconceivable suns out of its pale nothingness as if it were a tired magician.

Sometimes I stare at mirrors until I see nothing but the infinite. On these nights I wish To breathe the immortal air of gods drink from their fountain and ask for eternal youth or ignorance. On these nights I go to bars, lit by glowing orbs, and drink until everyone looks like a vision.

Borges, I don’t know what else to do when im face to face with these metaphysical nights. When the universe and infinite refuse to stare back At my longing garish face.

by Kevin Adam Flores

My relatives are fluent in Spanish, All of them, except me. However, the men and women of my family cannot read or write the way I do in English. I am alone on the pursuit of an American education, A Gualinto.

My absent father is not a corpse. Instead, he keeps himself numb in a drugged hibernation Or playing with Death in his intoxicated slumber like Lupe. No, he is Gumersindo, An old ghost, a dead dream. So I wonder who will be at his side as he lies in his coffin of broken promises. My loving grandma argues to keep her furniture intact, can be selfish and gossip, But she is a strong lady. My wise grandpa has drinking tantrums during crises, can be book-dumb and strict, But he is a hard worker. My rebellious brother insists he was swapped with another baby at birth, can be angry and spoiled, But he is a loyal man. My sweet mother stresses over nothing for everybody, can be bored and depressed, But she is a special survivor. Neighbors have stated that each of us do not resemble one another. Physical genes are nonsense. I agree: as a whole, we are dysfunctional. Nevertheless, in the end, Our flaws intertwine. We still support and love each other, no matter what. A gathering is not a family Without its concerns and complications of origin.


it buttons on the right side COLLAGE ROGELIO CALVILLO


AN INTERVIEW WITH PALM LEAF SKYLINES’ WELDON LEWIS By Oscar Olvera Growing up in South Texas some of us might have heard the remark “Nothing ever happens here!” or “I’m leaving this place and never looking back!” At the same time many of us find ourselves deeply indifferent towards these remarks. The music, art, and culture of South Texas has the biggest and deepest roots comparable in size to that of large cities like New York and Chicago. South Texas is a constantly flowing hub of people that creates a very unique context in comparison to the rest of Texas. Whether it’s by land, air, or sea it is constantly flowing and moving with people. It is due to the fact that we are a border town and are also located next to the Gulf of Mexico. If one knows where to look they will find a little bit from everywhere. Punk Rock, Hip-hop, and all the music that is set aside to empower our youth is certainly a deep American and Hispanic tradition in South Texas. A particular musician that really represents and engulfs our collective South Texas artistry is Palm Leaf Skylines. A deeply heavy and emotional performer, Palm Leaf Skylines is a musician that hails from McAllen, Texas. Q: What’s the origin of your name, Palm Leaf Skylines? A: “Palm Leaf Skylines came to be on the way back from Brownsville. I started thinking about the whole valley…I wanted to write stories about the valley. I feel like the valley is one big city in my eyes.” Q: What kind of music do you play and what kind of music did you grow up with? A: “The music I play is almost folkish, its hip hop in the sense of writing, but I write my music the way folk singers write their music…I would say its like Folk Hip Hop.” Q: Is there a particular song that you perform that means a lot to you personally? A: (“Graves Consquencias” is the title of the first acoustic full length he put out. )”It was a response to my wife asking for a divorce.” (after his deep submersion in the battle rap scene.) I wanted to do something artistically that represents me being a father and a husband more than ‘You suck because of this,’—that’s probably the most heart wrenching song.” Q: What are you currently listening to? A: “Currently listening to the Skins, Aesop Rock, Interpol, The Jam” Q: What’s a musical guilty pleasure? A: “311… Corridos.” Q: What’s your favorite venue? A: “Favorite venue anywhere is between BAM and Hop Shop locally. Hop Shop has really good sound and BAM is everyone is such a huge community and you really feel the love there.” Q: What has been your experience at BAM? A: “Experience in BAM at first was so exciting, but after being here for a while, but I think that’s a sign of maturity and a sign that they are going to stick around. I’ve never been to a venue where everyone is so accepting of so many different genres and art forms. They are really just there to celebrate art and that makes the place different than any other place.” Q: What has your experience been working with other artists from the valley (Boombap Crew)? A: “BOOM BAP Crew—those guys are like my brothers. We always tear it up mutually. It’s more of a family experience than it is working with other musicians. Other musicians outside of BOOM BAP has always been pretty positive…but ultimately people are pretty open to everything and a great experience working with everybody.” Q: Who is your dream line up? A: “PLS, Ruben Farias, Ray Perez and the reason why is that we are all acoustic acts and you don’t see too many acoustic shows.” Q: If you could collaborate with any musician dead or alive who would you choose? A: “Joe strummer and the Mescaleros; Dead --and Alive Tim Armstrong from Rancid.” Q: What’s another hobby aside from music? A: “Other hobby aside from music—Music is my hobby, if I’m not doing that I’d just rather spend time with my family.” Q: As an artist what would you tell an upcoming artist? A: “Don’t get too excited, stay humble and don’t make music to make it, make music to make music and work hard—play shows—especially rappers—because they don’t get out of the studio.” Q: What’s the main reason to get up in the morning? A: “Main reason to get up in the morning is my kid, my wife, my mother and my father.”


UPCOMING PROJECTS WHO: Conrado Gonzalez is a Brownsville native who has worked for the last 15 years as an elementary teacher in Brownsville as well. Although he was born in the Texas border, he lived his childhood in neighboring Matamoros, Mexico arriving to US schools not until he was a sophomore in high school. WHAT: In 2007, while in his early 30s, Gonzalez got into a type of photography he likes to define as ‘photography with intent’ or photographing to tell a story in the frame that is visually compelling. After trying many genres of photography, Gonzalez settled into street and documentary style photography. Within the last two years, Gonzalez has also made the decision to photograph using film cameras; mostly 35mm and black and white film with diffused flash in hand. WHEN and WHERE: After stumbling into BAM in early 2015, Gonzalez made the personal decision to document the various events and patrons of what he considers to be one of Brownsville’s most important venues for the creation of the arts, especially those of local artists. There are others, but BAM’s rebellious force attracts him. Not to mention, that the venue’s eclectic shows and crowds are always a guarantee for interesting photos. Gonzalez hopes that this project will conclude with the creation of a photo book in conjunction with a photo exhibit. He hopes to finish his project later on this year but has no strict deadlines for its conclusion. WHY: The reason for Gonzalez’s project is to document what he believes to be more than just a venue. BAM, in his opinion, is part of something much greater that is currently happening in Brownsville; the broadening of styles and forms of expression that until recently were not accepted in the area. At the beginning of the project, he naively thought that his project was somehow unique only to discover that throughout history scores of photographers before him have documented venues and cultural spots. So, though initially disappointed at his lack of originality, Gonzalez is now happy to contribute to the continuation of this type of documentary photography. And in a way, it is still unique because it is after all, BAM. Conrado Gonzalez 2016   


OFFICIAL SPONSORS OF SOUTH BY SOUTHMOST 2016:

Profile for BAM TX

BAM Zine #2 SXSM 2016  

BAM Zine issue #2 Edited by Jose Maria Uvalles and Claudia Michelle Serrano. Brownsville Artists and Musicians is an Arts and Music Co-Op i...

BAM Zine #2 SXSM 2016  

BAM Zine issue #2 Edited by Jose Maria Uvalles and Claudia Michelle Serrano. Brownsville Artists and Musicians is an Arts and Music Co-Op i...

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