por la frontera

from by Rupa & the April Fishes

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    With their second album, este mundo, Rupa and the April Fishes portray life’s accidental beauty and human suffering through a entirely unique melting pot of gypsy swing, Colombia cumbia, French chanson and Indian ragas. The CD is packaged in a matte-finish digipak complete with a 32-page booklet including stunning exclusive photos and English translations.
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the first trip down to the US-Mexico border with the band was in 2007 and i wrote this song on the way there. we drove along the old highway 101, el camino real. this street links the old spanish missions up and down california. along the way, we saw jornaleros (day laborers) in the fields, talked with the latino busboys and cooks in the clubs we played who were fascinated that a group of gringos were going to tijuana with the purpose of simply seeing the border. we were starting to ask simple questions like: who does this border benefit and how can a line be worth more than a life? since the US has increasingly militarized the border along the west coast, immigrants have been making a deadly journey through the desert, many dying of thirst or starvation. the end of the song features an exchange between drums and bass--a tug of war between life and death--and a prayer from the mission district's community healer Jorge Molina, asking for safe passage for those seeking a better life in the US. so many people come to our city to do menial labor, making as much money in one hour as they do in one day in Mexico. this forced migration driven by economic pressures has shaped the face of our surroundings.


from este mundo, released October 27, 2009


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