A Vital & Vivid Sonic Celebration Of #HispanicHeritageMonth

Extended #ThematicStatic Playlist

  • Angelica Garcia – “It Don’t Hinder Me” – I became obsessed with this sassy song, which graces Garcia’s 2020 record Cha Cha Palace, on first listen. You might also dig the pre-pandemic 2020 Tiny Desk Concert from Garcia, who has Mexican and Salvadoran roots (watch! 👇🏼):
  • Nick Hakim – “Cuffed” – Hakim was born and raised in Washington, D.C., by his Chilean mother and Peruvian father.

  • Bomba Estéreo – “Profundo” – one of many electrifying tracks from the Colombian duo’s newest LP, Deja, which was recently WNXP’s #RecordoftheWeek (check out Adam Culver’s review!).

  • Lido Pimienta – “Resisto Y Y” – this Colombian singer migrated to Canada in her late teens and this song was on her 2020 release Miss Colombia.
    • Super relevant but not highlighted on-air: Pimienta’s musical and life partner Mas Aya, who is also based in Toronto and whose father is from Nicaraugua, has a new record Mascaras out today! I’ll be listening to this after an intriguing Pitchfork review and this Talkhouse interview with both artists.

  • Hurray for the Riff Raff – “Rican Beach” – requested by Danielle on Instagram, the lead creative in HFTRR is Alynda Lee Segarra, a singer/songwriter/actress of Puerto Rican descent who grew up in the Bronx and then made a home in New Orleans. This song on the band’s 2017 record The Navigator is, Segarra told NPR, about a fictional city “progressing rapidly into militarized and segregated areas.”

  • Buscabulla – “NTE” – one of my favorite Tiny Desk Home Concerts in recent months was the blissful beach hang with this Puerto Rican group (watch!👇🏼):

Kali Uchis – “Telepatia” – we’ve played this one about long-distanced, um, connection for many months now on WNXP. The artist spent much of her childhood and adolescence in Colombia, and was just recognized as The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Inspira Honoree this summer.

The Mavericks – “Poder Vivir” – we played the first single off this multi-ethnic Middle Tennessee-based band’s 2020 Spanish language album fittingly titled En Espanol (and reviewed for NPR Music by our own Jewly Hight before the launch of WNXP, aw!). But listener Holly in Union, Kentucky, left a voice memo expressing even more adoration for the group she’s followed since the 1990s, with Cuban-American singer Raul Malo and Mexican-American Eddie Perez on lead guitar.

Hear this endorsement for Americana Trailblazer Award honorees The Mavericks:

Holly in Kentucky opines on The Mavericks

Xenia Rubinos – “Cógelo Suave” – this track is on Rubinos’s mid-October ANTI- Records release, Una Rose, and she described it as “a gibberish spaceship ride, high speed chase, birds and stars whirring around your head at the end of a cartoon fight.” The artist, whose mother is Puerto Rican and father is Cuban, was raised in the northeast U.S. and attended Berklee College of Music.

Divino Niño – “Drive” – Olivia on Instagram requested this band, formed in Chicago, with two of the five members growing up together in Bogota, Colombia.

Twin Shadow – “Alemania” – one of two singles spinning on WNXP from George Lewis, Jr.’s summertime self-titled release as Twin Shadow, this one is about a romanic jaunt in Germany. Lewis is Dominican-American and he recorded the album in the DR, which doubtless influenced the final sounds of the songs. Hear him describe some formative events on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Rodrigo y Gabriela – “The Soundmaker” – I fawn over this Mexican songwriting couple a lot. I find their guitar work incendiary, the live show energy unmatched, whether just the two of them (as on the 2014 record 9 Dead Alive, including this song) or with Cuban orchestra C.U.B.A., with whom R&G toured in 2012. Check out their Tiny Desk Home Concert and watch the fingers fly:

Catalina – “Control” – local love came in from Jonny who wanted to hear this Nashville-based Chilean pop artist! Read up on and get to know Catalina via Q&A with our pals at The Nashville Scene.

Space Coke – “Corpsewood Manor” – lead singer and guitarist Reno Gooch of this experimental metal band now based in Savannah, Georgia, has family lines in both Venezuela and India. Gooch told the blog Nine Circles he began “blasting thrash” in the ’80s. He’s also an actor known for roles such as “Thug.”

Never Enough Time

  • Sorry I didn’t get to all the requests that came in later on Wednesday, fam! You sent several great recommendations to round out this list, which include:
  • Tito Puente – from Paul
  • Jose Gonzales – from Geff
  • Santana – from Ethan
  • Dos Santos – another from Jewly
  • Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – from Arthur
  • Kaina – one more from Olivia 
  • Os Mutantes – I was going to play you “A Minha Menina” from a great Tropicalia compilation I own, and I flat ran out of time before Emily Young was on at 10 a.m. Another day, I promise you some Brazilian psychedelic influencer goodness on-air!

Earlier in the morning show, I also tucked in The Marias (“Hush”), Helado Negro (“Gemini and Leo”) and Chicano Batman (“Dark Star”), lest you think we forgot. Thanks for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with us, and tuning in for sounds from all over, all the time, on WNXP! You can also hear a concentrated and curated mix on NPR’s Alt.Latino program, which plays on 91.One Saturday mornings at 7:30 and Sunday evenings at 6:30.

P.S. several days later: Loyal listener Abel added some recs via Twitter after this #ThematicStatic, and so I’ve updated the playlist below. Check out these artists:

Violeta Parra – “Gracias a la Vida” (Kacey Musgraves has just covered this on star-crossed, too!)
Chavela Vargas – “Paloma Negra”
Los Tigres Del Norte – “Somos Mas Americanos”
Mercedes Sosa – “Solo Le Pido a Dios”