I’m fascinated by cultural touchstones, and how a piece of art or writing or music can touch lives from widely-varied backgrounds.
This radio segment spoke to me on that front: “A Looter, Nirvana and the Los Angeles Riots.”
It was unreal. It was like opening an entire world of music to me,” Monterrosa says. “It was sonically aggressive yet sublime at the same time. There were these breaks in the music where everything was just really hard, and then it just came down and built up again. And in my mind’s eye I could picture the riots as I was listening to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ And it just became the soundtrack of that day.”
That CD got Monterrosa into a bunch of other music — things he’d never heard before.
“It led me back to The Clash, and The Clash led me back to The [Rolling] Stones, and The Stones led me back to The Beatles,” Monterrosa says, “and then I listened to Bohemian Rhapsody, and then from there I went on to La Traviata.”