My favorite all-immigrant band, Gogol Bordello, has an awesome new video I want to share with y’all.  Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher), from the band’s latest album, Transcontinental Hustle, is an awesome portrayal of immigrant life and resistance, based on the band members’ own experiences with immigration:

I have to say, though: their decision to include Puerto Ricans amongst the ranks of immigrants is an interesting one.  Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, though they often are treated as immigrants (colonization, y’all: it’s intense).  Also, the quote at the beginning of the video (“Remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants..” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt) does not account for Native American people, and though I understand the sentiment they’re trying to get at, that’s a pretty major slip.

In any case, I still think it’s a pretty cool video despite these lapses.  I highly encourage you to check out this interview with Eugene Hutz, the frontman of the band, about the video and the song:

I didn’t write this song right now to respond to the current situation, I wrote the song three years ago before the issue began blowing up in its current form. But these issues are always there. We’re connected to them as a band, I am connected to them personally. These issues never go away for us, and they require a deeper solution— a more humanitarian approach than a political approach. (Emphasis mine)

Word.  If y’all get a chance to ever see them on tour, I highly recommend it.  It’s a high-energy, sweat-your-face-off, life-altering experience like none other, and I guarantee you’ll have fun.

Lyrics (via):

Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da
Immigrada immigraniada
We’re coming rougher every time

We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher every time

Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da
Immigrada immigraniada
We’re coming rougher every time

In corridors full of tear gas
Our destinies jammed every day
Like deleted scenes from Kafka
Flushed down the bureaucratic drain

But if you give me the invitation
To hear the bells of freedom chime
To hell with your double standards
We’re coming rougher every time

We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher every time

Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da
Immigrada immigraniada
We’re coming rougher every time

All those who made it and quickly jaded
To them we got nothing to say
Our immigrada, immigraniada
For them it’s Don Quixote’s kind of way
But if you give me the invitation
To hear the bells of freedom chime
To hell with your double standards
We’re coming rougher every time
We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher
We’re coming rougher every time
We’re coming rougher every time

Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da
Immigrada immigraniada
We’re coming rougher every time

Frozen eyes, sweaty back
My family’s sleeping on a railroad track
All my life I pack/unpack
But man I got to earn this buck
I gotta pay representation
To be accepted in a nation
Where after efforts of a hero
Welcome start again from zero

It’s a book of our true stories
True stories that can’t be denied
It’s more than true it actually happened
It’s more than true it actually happened
It’s more than true it actually happened
We’re coming rougher every time
Rougher every time
We’re coming rougher every time
Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da
Immigrada immigraniada
We’re coming rougher every time
Immigrada immigraniada
Immigrada immigraniada-da hey hey
We’re coming rougher every time

Video Description: The video starts with a black background, and the quote “Remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants..” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Then it cuts to a picture (probably from anywhere between 1850s-1920) of an immigrant family looking at the statue of liberty.  Some red drops appear to fall on the picture, forming the shape of the United States, and the word “Immigraniada” appears across it. Cut to the frontman of the band in New York City, cleaning car windshields on the street.  The whole video is interspersed with old video footage of immigrants coming into the U.S. on what appears to be Ellis Island, and old images of immigrants.  The whole video is also interspersed with video of people looking at the camera, with the name and shape of their countries of origin next to their faces.  He is then in an office, presumably of someone he is paying to find him a job.  Next, he is working in a textiles factory, then a clothing (sewing) factory (sweatshop?), where he makes friends with a woman who is sewing as well – another band member.  Then they are at a table, having a discussion and getting generally riled up.  Next, some of the band members are working in a kitchen: spraying dishes, putting them through the dishwasher, moving mats, front-of-the-house person busing dishes.  They they cut to a family that appears to be from East L.A., and next they are playing what looks to be a pretty rad back yard party.  Then it cuts to black, with white letters that say “No Human Being is Illegal.  To Find Out More Visit: aclu.org/immigrants-rights”

(Via boing boing.  Hat tip to my dear friend Jenn, who shared this on her Google reader!)

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