The Alt.Latino Spring 2017 New Music Preview : Alt.Latino Hear new tracks from Cafe Tacvba, Dayme Arocena, Chicano Batman, Hurray For The Riff Raff and more.

The Alt.Latino Spring 2017 New Music Preview

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FELIX CONTRERAS, HOST:

From NPR Music, this is ALT.LATINO. I'm Felix Contreras. This week, a preview of some new releases coming up. We're very excited about this one. This is Café Tacvba. They've got an album coming out in the spring. We'll tell you about it, but let's hear this first. This is called "Futuro."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FUTURO")

CAFÉ TACVBA: (Singing) Yo dije que sí, ella dijo no. Al final no importa, es algo que Dios ya decidió. La muerte dijo sí. La muerte dijo sí. Yo digo que no. Yo digo que no. La vida dijo no. La vida dijo no. Yo digo que sí. Yo digo que sí. Al final qué importa, si muerto en vida sobreviví. Es una cuestión de tiempo, tan breve este momento, en qué eres y en qué soy. Tú, mañana ya te fuiste y antes me dijiste, el futuro es hoy. Traigo este presente por las que has pasado. Ha sido pesado añorar a ausentes. Todo se soporta aunque esté nublado, sigamos de frente. A paso paulatino aún no me cansé. Unas voy a pie. Unas voy a pie. Otras yo camino. Otras yo camino. La verdad no importa porque no sé cuál es mi destino. Es una cuestión de tiempo, tan breve este momento y este es el que soy. Tú, mañana ya te fuiste pero antes me dijiste que el futuro es hoy. Hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy, hoy.

CONTRERAS: Oh, my God. Can you tell I'm a big Café Tacvba fan? Can't wait for the record to come out. Again, that's called "Futuro." They've got a record coming out in spring. And, you know, we have someone else in the studio here who's also a big fan of Café Tacvba. We're joined this week by ALT.LATINO assistant producer Jessica Diaz-Hurtado. She's joining us here in the studio. Welcome, Jessica.

JESSICA DIAZ-HURTADO, BYLINE: Thank you for having me.

CONTRERAS: Now, Jessica is here at NPR on a fellowship, and she's going to be working with ALT.LATINO. But tell us a little bit more about the fellowship and what you're going to be doing here in the next month or two.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Sure. I'm on the Kroc Fellowship. It's a year-long fellowship where I'm able to gain some skills on reporting and on radio journalism. And for the next couple of months, my second rotation is with ALT.LATINO, and I'm really excited.

CONTRERAS: We're especially excited to have you here because we already put you to work setting up shows, great shows coming up in February and in March. Now, you brought this track in, and it shows that the band spans generations, OK...

DIAZ-HURTADO: Oh, yeah.

CONTRERAS: ...Because I love this band. Tell us about what this album is going to be about.

DIAZ-HURTADO: So this album - it's supposed to come out in the spring. But the song "Futuro" - I really like it because I feel like it talks about that life isn't just black and white. The words are saying that, you know, death told me yes, life told me no. And so they're having a constant conversation with life. And in the music video, it's very beautiful because there's an illustration of black and white characters, and every time there's a zoom in, the colors kind of bleed out. So you can see it's not only black and white. And so it's very artistic and poetic.

CONTRERAS: Expect nothing less from these guys. These guys are pioneers, and they're still putting out great music. This record is going to be produced by Gustavo Santaolalla, who produced their very first records early on, and who's, like, the mega, mega, mega superstar producer - so very excited about that. And you can see the video on our website at npr.org/altlatino. We're going to continue with something that I brought in now. This is Ani Cordero. Her album is called "Querido mundo." And this is the first track on her album. It's called "Corrupcion." The album has a lot of message to it, and this kicks it off in a very grand way. Check it out.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CORRUPCION")

ANI CORDERO: (Singing) ¿Cómo te da la vergüenza, dónde anda tu consciencia? Justificas que le robes a los niños y a los pobres. Te encierras en mansiones mientras llenas las prisiones. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya no sabes jugar limpio y te lleva el codicio. Logras todo con sobornos y te burlas del honesto. Justificas que le robes a los niños y a los pobres. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno.

(Singing) Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo. Ya va desintegrando lo noble y lo bueno. Corrupción, está matando al pueblo.

CONTRERAS: Ani Cordero with her track, "Corrupcion." You know, she used to lead a band called Pistolero, and she's been out on her own for a couple of albums, and each record keeps getting better and better. Can't wait to hear the rest of this record. That's going to be released on February 24. The album's called "Querido mundo."

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah, I'm really excited to hear more from Ani Cordero. I really like the way the trumpets really carry the song out, and her voice is a very beautiful accompaniment to the song. And so I really like it.

CONTRERAS: Yeah, they use this Afro Caribbean rhythm. And the album is mixed with a lot of different styles and a lot of different rhythms. But that song, it's like it's an Afro Caribbean rhythm. It really drives the intensity of the track and the message of the song.

OK. Now, next up is the band that has one of my favorite names of all time, Chicano Batman. Now, these guys have been doing great out on the road, playing in front of audiences, not just Latin audiences but all over and just different kinds of audiences. And this track is curiously called "Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm)." I love these guys.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRIENDSHIP (IS A SMALL BOAT IN A STORM)")

CHICANO BATMAN: (Singing) You've got an open heart, so you share what's inside, thinking that all is said in confidence. But then you realize friendship is a small boat in the storm. The sun is getting heavy. Friendship is a small boat in the storm. It's cold. It's breaking my heart. Friendship is a small boat in the storm. This boat is incredibly unsafe. Friendship is a small boat in the storm. It's falling apart. Now you play your part. You're along for the ride, thinking that all is said in confidence. Yeah, you realize friendship is a small boat in the storm. Now I'm swimming in the sea. Friendship is a small boat in the storm, floundering desperately. Friendship is a small boat in the storm. Trying to get a grip on my emotions. Friendship is a small boat in the storm. I'm falling apart. Happy to know until the clouds start singing. The wind is high and the waves - scary. Oh, lord, only you know I've had enough. The wind is high and the waves scary. Oh lord, only you know, I've had enough. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. My momma said don't trust nobody. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. 'Cause they'll stab you in the back and take your money. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. You live, and you learn. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. If you wanna live, you better learn so you don't burn. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. Yeah. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. Better start swimming, brother. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. 'Cause I'm drowning. I'm sinking, brother. Friendship is a small boat in a storm. You live, and you learn that friendship is a small boat in a storm.

CONTRERAS: Very James Brown-type right there.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Very smooth.

CONTRERAS: When you watch the video on our website, you'll see three of the young women from the Mariachi Flor de Toloache singing background vocals in the video. It's a very cool video - nice little party video. OK, Jessica has the next song. But before we do that, I have to tell you this story. About four or five years ago, I was at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. And as usual, there were a group of music writers and people who cover music, and we all were in the same place at the same time. And we wanted to take a picture, right? And it wasn't a selfie. So I turned around and asked this guy who was standing next to us. I said, hey, can you take this picture of us? And he's like - starts talking to me in Spanish. He said, sí, sí, and he takes the picture. And so once we were done with the picture, he hands me back my phone, and he says, hey, we have a band. We're from Colombia. We have a band called Systema Solar. I'm like, you're kidding. You guys are right here, right next to us? I knew about the band. We played the music on the show before, and we just followed up with staying in touch. And now they have a new record coming out.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yes, they do. It's called "Rumbo a tierra." And I feel like this album really digs into their Afro Caribbean electronic roots. And the song that I'm choosing from this record is called "Somos la tierra," and it means "We Are the Earth." And it critiques the different mining projects that are happening in Tolima, Colombia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMOS LA TIERRA")

SYSTEMA SOLAR: (Singing) La Golosa Gold salió a bailá una danza peligrosa y ¿dónde es que se va a a bailá? En la mina La Colosa. A ese baile no voy yo, no señor, porque así nadie la goza. Si la bailas tú o yo. ¿Por qué? ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Peligrosa La Colosa! Somos La Tierra. Mi Tierra hermosa. ¡Maravillosa! Somos La Tierra. ¡Peligrosa La Colosa! Somos La Tierra. Mi Tierra hermosa. ¡Maravillosa! Somos La Tierra. (Inaudible) Systema Solar. ¿Sepan ustedes lo que puede pasar con la Mina La Colosa? ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! Se va a aniquilar una gran reserva forestal. ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Ciento sesenta y un ríos que desaparecen! (Inaudible) ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Cuatro millones de de cianuro por año! (Inaudible). ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Tres millones de litros de agua por hora! ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Para extraer menos de un gramo de oro por una tonelada de piedra! ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡Se amenaza la soberanía alimentaria de Colombia! ¡Nos vamos pal Hoyo! ¡No repitamos lo que pasó en Perú con la mina de Yanacocha! ¡Peligrosa La Colosa! Somos La Tierra. Mi Tierra hermosa. ¡Maravillosa! Somos La Tierra. ¡Peligrosa La Colosa! Somos La Tierra. Mi Tierra hermosa. ¡Maravillosa! Somos La Tierra. ¿Quieres saber lo que en la, quieres saber lo que en la, quieres saber lo que en la somos la tierra. ¿Quieres saber lo que en la, quieres saber lo que en la, quieres saber lo que en la somos la tierra. Somos La Tierra. Espero que la noche cae. ¡Somos La Tierra tú ves! ¡No somos nada si la destruyes! ¡Somos La Tierra tú ves! ¡No somos nada si la destruyes! ¡Somos La Tierra tú ves! ¡No somos nada si la destruyes! ¡Somos La Tierra tú ves! ¡No somos nada si la destruyes! De Mi Tierra, pa' Mi Tierra, un saludo al maestro

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMOS LA TIERRA")

SYSTEMA SOLAR: Carmelo Torres. Somos la tierra.

CONTRERAS: Message music with a killer beat. That was Systema Solar, "Somos la tierra." They are doing wonders for the electro cumbia thing, man.

DIAZ-HURTADO: And I have my own Systema Solar story, actually. When I was living in Colombia, I was living right outside Santa Marta in Taganga. And I would always go to Barranquilla, and that's where they're based out of. And I was taking a bus, like, a regular bus. And then one of the members was on the bus, like, sitting, like, right across from us. And I was just like - I was telling my boyfriend. I'm like, is that John from Systema Solar? And then he was like, I think so. And then I'm like, hey. Do you know Systema Solar? And then he was just like, I'm a part of it. I'm like, I knew it.

(LAUGHTER)

DIAZ-HURTADO: And it was really cool because they're also really humble. Not only is their music, like, super-dope and, you know, they explore a lot of different subjects and sounds. They're also very humble people and very open to, like, get to know other folks, get to know their music and other cultures, too.

CONTRERAS: And I think it says a lot when they decide to stay, you know, in their home country...

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: ...Rather than move either to Mexico City or the United States...

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: ...So that they can keep exploring their own music.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Exactly. And they have their own community projects that they work on, too, which is really, really cool.

CONTRERAS: Systema Solar, and the name of the album is "Rumbo a tierra." OK, you get the next choice. What'd you bring?

DIAZ-HURTADO: I chose this song called "Just Wanna Love You" by Reverie. So Reverie - she's an underground rapper who was born and raised in Highland Park in LA. And she just dropped this song. Instead of rapping, she's singing, so she's kind of changing her sound a little bit. And this is called "Just Wanna Love You."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JUST WANNA LOVE YOU")

REVERIE: (Singing) Baby, when you coming home? I've been waiting all night. I just want to love you, kiss beneath the moonlight. Baby, when you coming home? I've been waiting all night. I just want to love you, kiss beneath the moonlight. Baby, open up the doors and come inside. There's no need to rush. We can take our time. Tell me how it feels. Tell me what you like. Baby, say my name. Say your love is mine. Bring me closer. Let's tear down the boundaries. I can sense you're free when you're around me. Spread my wings and fly in your direction. Stick your keys in. Unlock my reason. Baby, when you coming home? I've been waiting all night. I just want to love you, kiss beneath the moonlight. Baby, when you coming home? I've been waiting all night. I just want to love you, kiss beneath the moonlight, kiss beneath the moonlight, kiss beneath the moonlight. Baby, when you coming home? I've been waiting all night, all night. Baby, when you coming home? - 'cause I've been waiting all night, all night. Baby, when you coming home?

CONTRERAS: Jessica bringing it, turning me onto a new artist. Thank you very much, man.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah. She's definitely more sultry compared to her other music. Her other the music is more like hardcore rap, so it's really interesting to see her kind of play with different sounds.

CONTRERAS: Since this is the first I've heard of her, I'll have to dig into her other stuff to make a comparison because I really like this one.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah.

CONTRERAS: OK. What else did you bring?

DIAZ-HURTADO: I brought something from Gabriel Garzón-Montano. He's a French Colombian R&B producer and singer. And this song is called "Crawl," and it's from his new debut album called "Jardín." And it's set to release on January 27.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CRAWL")

GABRIEL GARZÓN-MONTANO: (Singing) A cactus, full bloom, work gloves for you. I'm a big red balloon. I love you. Bite you, ripe fruit. What else to do but kiss your boo-boo? I want you. I act a damn fool, baby, when you crawl around on me. And I'll thank you, too - it's true - lappin' (ph) up the whole damn thing. I love it when you sing, ooh ooh. Broke me, oh me. And I drank from your spoon. I want to bounce you, baby. I need you. A cactus, full bloom. Work gloves for you. I'm a big red balloon. I love you. I act a damn fool, baby, when you crawl around on me. And I'll thank you, too. It's true. Lappin' up the whole damn thing. Love it when you sing, ooh, ooh. I act a damn fool, baby, when you crawl around on me. And I'll thank you, too. It's true. Lappin' up the whole damn thing. Love it when you sing, ooh, ooh. I act a damn fool, baby, when you crawl around on me. And I'll thank you, too. It's true. Lappin' up the whole damn thing. Love it when you sing, ooh, ooh. Baby when you crawl around on me. Baby, when you crawl around on me. Baby, when you crawl around on me. Baby, when you crawl around on me. Baby, when you crawl around on me.

CONTRERAS: That was Gabriel Garzón-Montano with his track "Crawl" from the album "Jardín," something else to look forward to in January as we sit down this week on ALT.LATINO and look forward to January, February and March and some new releases that are coming out. There is a ton of great music, so much stuff. We're very excited about it. OK, Jessica, you keep bringing it. What'd you bring next?

DIAZ-HURTADO: (Laughter) All right. So I think you've heard of Hurray for the Riff Raff.

CONTRERAS: Yes.

DIAZ-HURTADO: And they're coming out with a new album called "The Navigator." The song that I chose is called "Rican Beach." And I feel that this song really pulls at my heartstrings because she says lines like, they stole our neighbors; they stole our streets. And I feel like that really speaks to gentrification. And being away from the D.C. area - I'm originally from the D.C. area - for eight years and coming back and seeing neighborhoods that I used to hang out in when I was, like, a teenager, just completely - whole streets obliterated. Like, the tienda Latina that I used to get tamales at is not there anymore. It's literally just an apartment building. Or, you know, different spots, different chicken spots - definitely chicken spots have been gentrified in the D.C. area.

And so when I hear that line and when I hear her talk about how gentrification and segregation has affected this fictional city she called Rican Beach, I can really feel that, what she's saying.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RICAN BEACH")

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF: (Singing) Man built the railroad. Man got a move. Man made a record, put a needle to the groove. Man been up. Oh, man been down. Now man don't want no woman around. First they stole our language. Then they stole our names. Then they stole the things that brought us faith. And they stole our neighbors, and they stole our streets. And they left us to die on Rican Beach.

(Singing) Well, you can take my life, but don't take my home. Baby, it's a solid price. It comes with my bones. Now all the politicians, they just flap their mouths. They say we'll build a wall to keep them out. And the poets were dying of a silence disease, so it happened quickly and with much ease. Well, you can take my life, but don't take my home. Baby, it's a solid price. It comes with my bones. I may never see you again. I may never see you again. I'll keep fighting till the end. I'll keep fighting till the end. I'll keep fighting till the end. I'll keep fighting till the end. Till the end. Till the end. Till the end. Till the end. Till the end.

CONTRERAS: Hurray for the Riff Raff has made quite a name for itself in the indie rock scene. But the lead singer is actually Puerto Rican.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Yeah, her name is Alynda Segarra. And she was born and raised in the Bronx, but she's Puerto Rican. And actually, the band is based in New Orleans, so you can definitely hear that mix of sounds...

CONTRERAS: That's awesome.

DIAZ-HURTADO: ...And that blend.

CONTRERAS: We're going to close the show with an album that's also coming out on March 10. It's called "Cubafonía," and it's the second album from the Cuban vocalist Daymé Arocena. It's powerful from one track to the next. I couldn't stop listening and I had a really hard time deciding which track to play. Before we play it, I want to remind you that you can hear all the music that we played today on our website at npr.org/altlatino. And don't forget to reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter. We are NPR's ALT.LATINO. Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, thank you for joining us this week.

DIAZ-HURTADO: Thank you for having me.

CONTRERAS: And we look forward to hearing from you because we've already got a lot of great stuff lined up for February and March. And you can also hear Daymé Arocena on a great Tiny Desk that we did recently. Just go to npr.org/music, enter her name in the search button, and her Tiny Desk concert will pop up. But for now, let's hear this new track. It's called "Lo que fue." And the power of her voice is in the subtlety at the beginning and the way it explodes at the end, it's a perfect way to end this week's show featuring new music coming out in the spring. This has been ALT.LATINO. I'm Felix Contreras. This is Daymé Arocena.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LO QUE FUE")

DAYMÉ AROCENA: (Singing) Nunca fue lo que fue, corazón. Todo fue, lo que tú me dejaste. Cada vez sentía (inaudible) dolor, el dolor que en mi pecho grabaste. Pero al fin, se acabó, tu recuerdo murió y la tristeza desapareció. (Dale) Ahora ya muy tarde. (Dale) Yo sé que te entregaste. (Miente) Mientes y me reprochas que me fui y el amor que te di. Nunca fue lo que fue, corazón. Todo fue, lo que tú me dejaste. Cada vez sentía (inaudible) dolor, el dolor que en mi pecho grabaste. Pero al fin, se acabó, tu recuerdo murió y la tristeza desapareció. (Dale) Ahora ya muy tarde. (Dale) Yo sé que te entregaste. (Miente) Mientes y me reprochas que me fui y el amor que te di. Pero al fin, se acabó, tu recuerdo murió y la tristeza desapareció. Que risa me da, que risa me da. Que risa me da, que risa. (Que risa me da) Que risa tú me da'. (Que risa me da) Si nunca fue, lo que fue camara' (Que risa me da). Ay, tu me paga' con mentira' y dolor (Que risa me da). Y yo te doy el cariño de mi corazón. (Que risa me da). Mal, no me engañes más. (Que risa me da). Y no me compre' más (Que risa me da). Chocolates, ni caramelos ni flores. (Que risa me da). No esperes que te perdone. (Dale) Ahora ya muy tarde. (Dale) Yo sé que te entregaste. Y aún me reprochas que me fui y el amor que te di.

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