Alt.Latino
7:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

New Latin Music That's Rocking The Americas

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 1:40 pm

The hosts of Alt.Latino stop by Weekend Edition Sunday once again to share some favorite new songs from across the Americas. Speaking from Mexico City where she's currently on assignment, Jasmine Garsd offers a tune that's getting nonstop airplay on Mexican radio, and explains cumbia, a genre she says is Latin America's musical backbone. Felix Contreras plays a new track from a Colombian superstar. Also included is a premiere from Juana Molina, an Argentine singer who has garnered a cult following in the U.S. indie rock scene.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is time for yet another visit to the land of Latin alternative music with Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras. They are the hosts of NPR's Alt.Latino. Hi, guys.

JASMINE GARSD, BYLINE: Hi.

FELIX CONTRERAS, BYLINE: Good morning.

MARTIN: So, Jasmine, you are not in the studio with us. You are talking to us remotely from Mexico City. How did you get that gig? What are you doing down there?

(LAUGHTER)

GARSD: I'm just exploring some music down here. The music scene in Mexico City is probably one of the bigger scenes in Latin America. Someone a few nights ago told me, you know, if you want to make it in the Latin music industry, first, you have to make it in Mexico.

MARTIN: So, Felix, while Jasmine has been south of the border, you've been holding the fort down toiling away in our nations capital.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: That's right.

MARTIN: So...

GARSD: Mm-hmm.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: ...what has made its way to your desk recently in terms of musical discoveries?

CONTRERAS: OK. Just a few weeks ago, we had a first listen by an artist by the name of Andrea Echeverri.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CUANDO YO SEA CHIQUITA")

ANDREA ECHEVERRI: (Singing in foreign language)

CONTRERAS: She is the co-leader of a band called Aterciopelados from Columbia. She has a new album out called "Ruisenora." And in this album I hear coming at your own on the level of iconic figures like Mercedes Sosa, Chavela Vargas - strong women of substance, style and emotional impact. And this track is called "Cuando Yo Sea Chiquita."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CUANDO YO SEA CHIQUITA")

ECHEVERRI: (Singing in foreign language)

MARTIN: All right, Felix, I understand this next track is a little bit different.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: It couldn't be more different. OK, all right. Even Jasmine doesn't know about this one yet.

GARSD: OK.

MARTIN: OK, I got a CD in the mail.

GARSD: So scared.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: A girl - no, no. Check it out.

GARSD: Is this more kids songs?

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: No. No.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: Hardly - oh no. I got an album in the mail from a group called the Meridian Brothers. They're from Columbia. They aren't brothers and there's only one guy.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: OK? His name is Eblis Alvarez. In this album, which is called "Devocion," is a collection of the music that he made as Meridian Brothers. And, you know, it reminds me of like cumbia meets Sun Ra meets Frank Zappa's meets John Gate.

MARTIN: Whoa.

CONTRERAS: Yeah. No, I really love this record.

GARSD: Oh, my god.

CONTRERAS: No, check it out. This track is called "El Jazz Del Chupasangre," "The Bloodsucker Jazz."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "EL JAZZ DEL CHUPASANGRE")

GARSD: I love this.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "EL JAZZ DEL CHUPASANGRE")

EBLIS ALVAREZ: (Singing in foreign language)

MARTIN: I don't know. It's pretty psychedelic, Felix. Isn't it? Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: Love it, the whole album is like this...

GARSD: Felix, is that you? Did you just make that up?

(LAUGHTER)

GARSD: And is that you?

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: No. No.

MARTIN: I dig it.

CONTRERAS: The whole album is like this. I think you'd really dig this record.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC, "EL JAZZ DEL CHUPASANGRE")

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Speaking of something different, Jasmine, you have a track by an Argentine TV comedian-turned-electronica artist. Is that right?

GARSD: Juana Molina is - I first became acquainted with her when I was a kid and she had this like comedy variety show, which was hilarious. And it was really out there, like feminist and rad and development. And so, yeah. She recently dropped a new single called "Eras" or "You Were." And it's the song is kind of like about really waiting for someone and then they just kind of don't come through.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ERAS")

JUANA MOLINA: (Singing in foreign language)

MARTIN: Awesome baseline.

CONTRERAS: Yeah.

GARSD: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: Now, there's something almost Philip Glass about her music sometimes...

MARTIN: Yeah.

GARSD: Right.

CONTRERAS: ...because the way she layers on these repetitive music lines. Big fan of hers as well. Good stuff, Jas.

MARTIN: I love it. Well, thanks to you both. It's been so long since we talked.

CONTRERAS: I know.

MARTIN: I'm glad to have both of you back on the show.

CONTRERAS: Yay.

MARTIN: Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras, they are the hosts of NPR's Alt. Latino. It's a weekly podcast you can subscribe to, by the way, on their website npr.org,/ altlatino. Thanks, you guys. See you next time.

CONTRERAS: Thank you.

GARSD: So much fun. Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ERAS")

MOLINA: (Singing in foreign language)

CONTRERAS: Did you really say rad?

(LAUGHTER)

CONTRERAS: Did you?

GARSD: I'm from California.

CONTRERAS: Did you? Oh my, god. I can't believe you said rad.

GARSD: I'm from California.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ERAS")

MOLINA: (Singing in foreign language)

MARTIN: Totally rad, this is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ERAS")

MOLINA: (Singing in foreign language) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.