Welcome to Boombox Blitz, an artist spotlight series showcasing overlooked singers, songwriters and musicians who are quietly taking over the world.
A linchpin of Trump’s presidential campaign was building a wall along the Mexico-United States border, a platform both dangerous and short-sighted. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall,” he stated during his presidential announcement speech. Of course, he soon flip-flopped, suggesting a Border Wall tax on the American people. Either way, Trump’s delusion and incapability for the highest office in the country was evident right out of the gate. Countless rallies have cropped up over the past many months, featuring marginalized individuals standing together for one cause. One particularly empowering poster is from a young boy. His sign reads, “If he builds a wall, I’ll grow up and tear it down.” He is the definition of the resistance.
One year since Trump took office, TV, music and film are witnessing a new protest era; from Stephen Colbert’s upcoming Our Cartoon President animated series and American Horror Story‘s latest cult-charged season to music by Dan Miraldi, Brendan Hines and The Soft White Sixties, revolting through art gives a voice to those who are unable to wield their own.
The Soft White Sixties, a throwback rock ‘n roll outfit with a robust message about the future, is comprised of frontman Octavio Genera (who is a first generation Mexican-American), guitar player Aaron Eisenberg, drummer Joey Bustos, bass player Ryan Noble and Rob Fidel (on keys and guitar). “Chicano kid from Alto, California / I’m a native / Abuelito and his one true love, they made a fortune run,” Genera, who also serves as the principal lyricist, unveils his heritage on the opening lyric, setting the potent, resilient tone of the hazy classic rock song. In the accompanying visual (above), the vision of the American dream is caked on thick, drenched with news coverage and documentary-style footage to hammer home that “the dream” is only ever promised for some, not all.
“Our first night in the studio was Election Night, so naturally that environment crept onto this record. It was hard not to take some offense to someone claiming that a wall and the people on the other side of that wall were the cause of so many problems,” Genera said. “The song is my version of my grandparents coming here to better themselves and their children, and I’m thankful they did. I am here, and I am who I am because of it.”
“Brick by Brick” anchors their forthcoming, yet-untitled, album. “There was a lot of spontaneity in the process of this new record ⎯⎯ every song was written in the studio with really no pre-production,” Eisenberg explained. “Being that our first night in the studio fell on Election Night, that tension and energy crept its way onto the album in various ways with this song being the most blatant example. It only seemed appropriate to apply that same approach to the video by creating a spontaneous collage of sensationalized news, daytime TV, bad re-runs ⎯⎯ essentially what I imagine is on loop on the President’s White House bathroom television set.”