4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Pistolera

Sound description

Call it cumbia, call it norteño, call it ranchera rock, or call it what the band itself calls it -- "Latin alt-folklórico."

RIYL

Cumbia rhythms, melodic accordions, granite bass with hard rock guitar, and Spanish sing-a-long choruses.

Discography

Sponsored

Co-founded by San Diego native Sandra Dos Santos (aka Sandra Velasquez), Pistolera is named after a DC Comics supervillain, an assassin and sharp-shooter from the Batman family of comic book titles.

Velasquez grew up in North Park, where her parents were still living as of 2011. “In high school, I played music but not anything serious. It was nothing that went anywhere. I just played with whoever wanted me in their band.” After graduation from USD High, she remembers performing on keyboards at the Casbah with Tripod Mack and the Wife. “Ben Johnson was in the band. He and his brother have a band now called the Long and the Short of It. I think he actually works at the Casbah these days.”

A dedicated rocker kid, Velasquez fondly recalls seeing all-ages shows in San Diego by Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, and Clikitat Ikatowi. Yet she says it was her mom (immigration and human rights attorney and law professor Lilia Velasquez) who gave her bearings early on.

"At age 13, my mother put me to work in her law office...helping political asylum applicants fill out paperwork and escorting undocumented workers to the INS building to turn in their forms. She was always on TV being interviewed for the latest on immigration. She would leave the country once a month to be part of a delegation of people that were investigating or reporting on human rights conditions in other countries."

Velasquez graduated with a music degree from Cal Arts in Los Angeles and then left for Cuba to study drumming and dancing. She landed in Brooklyn iNew York in 1999. “When I got there, I said, this is my place.” She laughs. “In San Diego, I always felt a little frustrated because it was just so laid back. I felt like you had to work twice as hard to get anything done.... Not everybody wants to come and live a hard life in Brooklyn. Sometimes, you want to live in a nice house and go to the beach and also play your gigs.”

"I immediately was in shock by the fact that I couldn't find good Mexican food [in New Yorl]," says Velasquez. "How hard is it to make a good taco? That's when I realized how much Mexican people, food, and music were a part of me -- when it wasn't there anymore."

The singing lefty guitarist Velasquez -- with cousin Ani Cordero on drums -- formed Pistolera (Spanish for female gunslinger). The rocking neo-ranchera quartet includes Maria Elena on accordion and (sole male) Inca B. Satz on bass. The band's debut album, Siempre Hay Salida, released in November 2006, made the top five on CMJ's Latin Alt Chart. Velasquez' lyrics are often political, frequently invoking pro-immigrant rights.

Sponsored

Upcoming Local Shows

No shows scheduled

Post a show View show history
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close