Ozomatli is a genre-spanning, Grammy-winning band whose sound draws from Latin influences like salsa and cumbia, as well as hip-hop, rock, reggae and funk. Its many members are political activists who met while working with the Peace and Justice Center of Los Angeles; their first performance was for picketers during a strike.
I recently listened to the first single from the new Cat Power album with some fellow fans, and the room was deeply divided. Some thought the song was fabulous, but others were startled and upset — which I could understand, sort of. Chan Marshall's songs generally speak to pain and trauma with a hushed and intimate musical vocabulary. But this song, "Ruin," was different — not just a rock 'n' roll song, but one you might even want to dance to.