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Sample Track 1:
"Squatters' Song" from Semilla Caminante
Sample Track 2:
"Manzanilla" from Semilla Caminante
Layer 2
LoCura, Semilla Caminante Migratory Funk:
The Celebratory, Border-Free Back-and-Forth Sounds of LoCura on Semilla Caminante and on Tour, Spring 2012

Drive down a barely noticed dirt road, in the shadow of Mt. Tamalpais or deep in the hills of gold rush country. Turn right at Granada, left when you hit Havana, and you’ll find there’s a party going on. There’s a bike-powered sound system, a friendly mosh pit, blasts of bright brass, skanking bass, flamenco flourishes, and a big slice of madness that’s simultaneously the musical cure for alienation and loss.

At the center is San Francisco’s LoCura, a band that crafts upbeat anthems and chronicles the round-trip travels of Latin and American sounds. Movement between continents informs the lush variety of LoCura’s tunes on Semilla Caminante (release: April 17, 2012), inspired by ida y vuelta, the notion in flamenco of musical forms that have traveled to the New World and returned transformed.

“We mix everything from funk to son cubano into our own songs, to show how diverse our communities have become and to show the common roots these different styles have,” smiles LoCura singer Katalina Miletich. “Semilla Caminante, the idea of ‘traveling seed,’ is a reminder of this movement, this interchange, and of the creative resistance that continues to transform our lives and is tangible in our musical expressions.”

LoCura’s jubilant sound of resistance and restored connections will be traveling up the West Coast this spring, as the group embarks on its first major tour of the region. Cities include San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento.

Guerriller@s from AtalayaFilms on Vimeo.

{full story below}

LoCura may rock one of the more traditional flamenco palos (“Desde las Entrañas”) or a full-on, punked-out ska anthem for occupiers (“Squatter’s Song”). They can throw a party while celebrating the power and activism of Latinas (“Guerriller@s”) or toss out a growling, tongue-in-cheek critique of self-absorbed greed (“To’ Pa’ Mi”).

“One big inspiration for the ways we consciously and unconsciously connect different music is this idea that styles and rhythms travel from Africa and Europe to South America, Cuba, America, mixing with French, Italian, indigenous sounds, and then travel back,” Miletich notes. “Culture is alive in so many different ways, and shows up in different places to tell a story.”

LoCura’s members have experienced this transformation firsthand. Born and raised in Spain, Miletich landed in the small California town of Angel’s Camp to visit family, and was soon “at loose ends, not sure what to with myself,” she recounts. She had no idea she was about to become the lead singer for an eccentric local band. Though she had a background in theater, she had never done any singing or songwriting in her life.

Then one night, Miletich wound up at a wild party, way down a rural dirt road. “There was this band in these crazy costumes, these amazing, fun people,” recalls Miletich fondly. “I thought, ‘This is what I’ve been looking for.’” Before long, she found herself gripping a mic and free-styling in Spanish. The band asked her to join on the spot.

Guitarist and bassist Bob Sanders also happened to be playing with the band that night. A native of the Sierra foothills, he had gotten hooked on flamenco early. He met Miletich, and it was an instant musical connection. After the crazy night in the hills, he and Miletich struck up a close musical friendship. They eventually moved to the Bay Area. There, they founded LoCura.

Miletich and Sanders found inspiration at the intersection of Bay Area bohemia and the active, outspoken Latino arts community. They played packed arts spaces and Occupy camps with bike-powered speakers. In this fertile community of artists, they found Flamenco dancer Stephanie Narvaez, renegade klezmer/reggae bassist Izzy, "el Rumbero de la Mission" Sergio Duran, San Francisco native and trumpeter extraordinaire Danny Cao, and, most recently, drummer Carrie Jahde.

LoCura’s roots also lie deep in the literary, innovative voices of San Francisco’s Latino artists, writers like multilingual poet Agustin Palacios (who penned the lyrics that became “Manzanilla) “Being raised bicultural by an American father in Spain and learning my own form of Spanglish, it was impacting to arrive to California and find validation and common experiences in Chicano culture,” Miletich muses. Her lyrics dance between languages on soulful songs like “Préndela.”

The band itself has traveled between scenes, between packed art venues and major festivals, between Mission street corners (where they’ve debuted songs like “Te sigo”) and storied plazas in Granada, where they traded licks and lived with Gitano street musicians. Marked by Miletich's infectious voice and way with words, the band has grown from a trio to a bumping seven-piece band. Channeling the genre-defying, Latin-rooted spirit of musicians like flamenco innovators Ojos de Brujo or bold songstress Lila Downs, LoCura has shared the stage with everyone from reggae scion Ziggy Marley to the global bass music masters Beats Antique. They have sold out Bay Area venues like The Great American Music Hall and The Independent.

“LoCura's music is filled with a sense of longing and hope. We want to evoke a world without borders, a time where we begin to recognize each other and our common grounds,” Miletich reflects. “With our music we hope to bring people from diverse experiences together in one space of celebration and reflection, and open up dialogue.”

<< release: 04/17/12 >>