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NPR Alt.Latino: a completely new Latino soundscape
June 3, 2011 8:11 AM   Subscribe

NPR's Alt.Latino is a new program that started almost a year ago. There is the main NPR sub-site that provide access to everything Alt.Latino, including the blog with a tracklist and links, and a 30 minute radio-type show, where the two hosts chat about the music, describing the lyrics for those not fluent in Spanish, and providing background on the musicians.
posted by filthy light thief (16 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
don't go figure,
it's not about hip,
you won't get it,
it's a Latin trip
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:17 AM on June 3, 2011


Why do I worry that NPR's coverage of anything commodifies it, safely packages it in shrink wrap for the upper-middle class demographic that listens to NPR?

It's difference between buying a pork shoulder at a hot dusty butcher's stall in a busy sidewalk market under the punishing Central American sun, and buying four ounces of organic shredded pork in a shrink-wrapped foam package in a white-tiled, antiseptic, cool Safeway meat section that is indistinguishable from all other SAFEWay meat departments.
posted by orthogonality at 8:25 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was an episode of All Songs Considered that had the Alt.Latino hosts on it and I really enjoyed the music they played, especially because I haven't heard of any of the artists.
posted by Cloud King at 8:30 AM on June 3, 2011



Why do I worry that NPR's coverage of anything commodifies it, safely packages it in shrink wrap for the upper-middle class demographic that listens to NPR?


Of course that's what it does. But is it better for that artist to be lesser known and less successful, in order for the purists to be happier? And it's not like the NPR demographic (which overlaps hugely with the MetaFilter demographic, one should note) is going to start doing all it's pork shopping in Central American markets or something -- they are what they are, and at least this way the quality of the music on NPR goes way up.
posted by Forktine at 8:41 AM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anything that gives Bomba Estereo greater coverage is OK by me, but it needs more Champeta
posted by adamvasco at 8:46 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


orthogonality: It's difference between buying a pork shoulder at a hot dusty butcher's stall in a busy sidewalk market under the punishing Central American sun, and buying four ounces of organic shredded pork in a shrink-wrapped foam package in a white-tiled, antiseptic, cool Safeway meat section

It helps to know the language before visiting South America, let alone buy a pork shoulder in a local market. I've liked the programs I've heard, and they helped this gringo know more about the music I enjoyed hearing.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 AM on June 3, 2011


I've been listening and really enjoying this since last Fall. The hosts have a pretty good way of bringing diverse things to the table and I especially enjoy Felix's vast knowledge of percussion in all of its varied forms.

As far as it being pre-packaged for NPR audiences, I'm not sure. At the very least it's not as simple as that. And if it is, so what? I've found some great artists through them that don't seem to fit that mold, though. Rita Indiana y Los Misterios, Los Rakas, Geko Jones, etc.

And the two-part Colombian travel-diary was leaps better than anything Garrison Keillor's Prarie-Home Circle Jerk has done in at least a decade.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:14 AM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I get that having all world music lumped into rec.music.afro-latin is pretty lame, but couldn't they have at least tried an RFD in news.announce.newgroups before jumping straight to alt?
posted by darksasami at 9:37 AM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do you know how hard it is to get the neckbeards in nan to support a new big 7 newsgroup? It's just not worth the hassle. They wouldn't even get behind rec.arts.sf.written.moderated
posted by Justinian at 10:22 AM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's difference between buying a pork shoulder at a hot dusty butcher's stall in a busy sidewalk market under the punishing Central American sun, and buying four ounces of organic shredded pork in a shrink-wrapped foam package in a white-tiled, antiseptic, cool Safeway meat section that is indistinguishable from all other SAFEWay meat departments.

I trust your Central American butcher has a fridge for the pork shoulder he sells from his dusty stall under the punishing sun, orthogonality

Otherwise the consumer might just end up with authentic diarrhea!

(Fabulous post.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:26 AM on June 3, 2011


I used to be able to go find a link that lets you add all the songs from a show to a playlist, but I can't find it anymore.

Anyone else has any luck?

alt.latino has been my beer brewing soundtrack for some time. I like to listen to the show first and the complete songs later.
posted by Dr. Curare at 1:40 PM on June 3, 2011


Jody Tresidder:

My grandma would make sure to be at the butchers by 8 a.m., while the meat was still fresh and not many flies had walked all over it. No fridge at the butchers in this hot dusty Latin American town. We did not get more diarrhea than we got in the US.

I like alt latino because the 4oz of organic shredded pork shoulder remind me how fucking good the tostadas de lomo bought from the old woman with her sidewalk basket are, and then I call my sister and plan a trip to San Cristobal.
posted by Dr. Curare at 2:02 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dr. Curare: My grandma would make sure to be at the butchers by 8 a.m., while the meat was still fresh and not many flies had walked all over it. No fridge at the butchers in this hot dusty Latin American town. We did not get more diarrhea than we got in the US.


Buen punto:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:13 PM on June 3, 2011


I'm currently studying Spanish. One of the things that helps me to retain a small amount of my vocabulary is listening to music with Spanish lyrics. Since most of the Central/South American music I knew before I heard Alt Latino consisted of mariachi bands and Shakira, having a sampler of Mexican and South American bands that I might like has been a good thing.

Two of my favorite artists who have been featured on the show are Ana Tijoux and Gaby Moreno.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:08 PM on June 3, 2011


Great program, thanks for posting this. I've discovered a lot of new music, some that I enjoy, some that I do not, but stuff that otherwise I would surely never encounter.

Best of the web? Yes, I think so. Not necessarily in terms of form, design, or technique, but in the aspect of the web to expose me to new things. Thank you, web.
posted by J0 at 5:49 PM on June 4, 2011


/Homer Simpson voice:

Mmmmmm .... unrefrigerated pork shoulder from a dusty stall under the punishing sun...

/end Homer Simpson voice
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 PM on June 4, 2011


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