Especial Blog: September 2020

Sept. 30, 2020

Comunidad Guest DJ: Alicia Cardenas

Alicia Cardenas of Sol Tribe Tattoo & Body Piercing
Provided By Guest

Continuing Especial's celebration of Latin Heritage Month, I present to you Alicia Cardenas. She is la jefa y la chingona artista at Sol Tribe Tattoo & Body Piercing on South Broadway, she's a muralist who - this year alone - has walls featured for the Crush and Babe Walls Festivals, and a leader in the Denver Chicano community.

Learn more about Cardenas here, and check out 10 songs she's inspired by below!

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am an artist , local business owner and community organizer.

Tell me more about your background:
I am a Denver Native who has owned a business for 23 years. I am a traditional Aztec dancer and performance artist.

Tell me more about your Latinidad:
I am a Chicanative (combo of Mexican American and Native American) I am cihuatl yoatl - Woman warrior.

Why does representation matter in your community work:
Representation is everything. Especially for women, queer people and Native Mexican Americans. I feel a great responsibility as a mother to make a world where my child can show up and be appreciated. Seeing a woman's perspective through art is an important part of getting the balance back from a patriarchal society.

What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
More visibility always with more specifics on the different groups within the " Latino" heading ... Those of us that are a mix of both Native North and Central American ancestry, Mestizo, Native American from the pueblos of the Southwest. Not grouping all People of Color together. Give us a chance to create art in public spaces.

You also create music, tell me more about that:
I am a traditional Aztec percussionist which includes large drums, Teponatzlis (Aztec wooden percussion instrument) , hand held drums and string instruments including a Concha (Similar to a Mandolin). All these instruments are parts of ancient ceremony and not necessarily for entertainment, they are an important part of reclaiming the ancestral knowledge of our people. You can find me playing in ceremonies but rarely in performance. 

Alicia Cardenas Guest DJ (Playlist):

Follow Cardenas and her work here:

Sept. 23, 2020

Especial 9.23

This week is... so good. We are in full swing with Latin Heritage Month here at Indie 102.3, celebrating different artists each day from around Latin America and right here in Colorado. Our Local 303 celebrates those local Latin bands you need to know. This weekend on Bootleg Sessions, you catch a full set from Denver's own Izcalli, live from the Levitt Pavilion.

Mas musica nueva anoche de The Mananas - of course, I have had the pleasure of featuring the new Denver duo since they released their debut single, "Patiently," earlier this summer - and tonight, a brand new single before it's official release on Friday! The boys take over our Instagram this weekend (as well as Neoma and Lolita) - be sure you're following!

More local music with the latest from Pink Hawks who are releasing "Occupy" TOMORROW, also Los Mocochetes (PS - did you catch their set on Bootleg this past weekend?), and Neoma.

New music out this week from mi nueva favorita, La Dame Blanche, who is releasing Ella on Friday; also CIENFUE's long awaited new album, Life In the Tropics, and still waiting for the latest from Gabiel Garzon-Montano (Aguita is out next month).

Here's ya playlist:

Izcalli - Esa Forma de Vivir (Live)
The Mananas - Don't Think Your Love Has Given Up
Juan Wauters - Rubia
Angela Munos - I Don't Care
La Dame Blanche - Cogelo Con Calma
Ana Tijoux - Pa' Que (ft. PJ Sin Suela)
Pink Hawks - Occupy
Devendra Banhart - Dogs They Make Up the Dark
Y La Bamba - Something Wild
Los Mocochetes - Rocks
CIENFUE - Open Her Eyes
Buscabulla - NTE
Leon de las Florez - LetemB
Neoma & Alkalolides - Perfil
The Marias - Carino
Gabriel Garzon-Montano - Aguita
Lido Pimienta - Eso Que Tu Haces

Sept. 16, 2020

Comunidad Guest DJ: Robert Castro

Robert Castro of Ultra 5280
Provided by Guest

For Latin Heritage Month, I wasn't sure what else I wanted to do - after all, Especial is a weekly celebration of Latin-made music. So, I decided I wanted to take to la comunidad. Denver is, of course, rich with la gente, and I wanted to highlight a few folks from around town who are making things happen outside of music here in town.

First up, Robert Castro - photographer, jefe at Ultra5280, and all around good guy, especially when Team Mexico is in the World Cup (we have shared in the splendor!). Learn more about Castro here, and check out 10 songs he's particularly inspired by below!

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am the Editor in Chief of the online entertainment magazine Ultra5280. We focus on our local scene as a priority and help artist to help promote their projects.

Tell me more about your background:
I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and moved to Colorado in 2005. After moving here I took two of my passions music and photography and started up a music website, which has now expanded to cover all areas of entertainment in Denver such as art, food and wine, and of course music. I studied Sports Industry and Operations and Marketing at Metro State, and the similarities between sports and music are very similar as to the end product is basically entertainment.

Tell me more about your Latinidad:
As a Hispanic owner of my magazine (which is an official LLC) I have a chance to focus on our Latinx community and help promote their art whether it’s a new album they are releasing to a new menu from a chef, to an amazing art exhibit. My goal has always been to put my community first and give them a means to help promote themselves in a way that is hard to do (especially in our current situation).

Why does representation matter in your community work:
Not only do I help promote these artist with our publication, but I also provide guidance on how to submit their material for inclusion in press. It could be anything from helping them with photography for their promo, how to create an effective electronic press kit, as well as putting them in touch with the right people. Having done this for over 15 years I have established a networking channel to make sure the they are receiving anything I can give them in order to help succeed. We also help support certain non-profits such as Youth on Record by working with a variety of their artist and charitable efforts.

What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
Community plays a huge role in the success of these artist. While we are going through a pandemic and much of the arts are suffering it is important to channel other ways to support artist. One that has been particularly effective is buying the artist music, merchandise, donating on their live streams, promoting their art through one’s social media. We learn to adapt and while we face an uphill battle to get back to were we once where, it is still important to use these means as a away to keep these works of art still thriving.

Follow Castro and his work here:

Sept. 15, 2020

FELIZ LATIN HERITAGE MONTH! It's here! So we here at Indie will be celebrating by highlighting different artists from around the Americas and here in Colorado each day, read a little more about Latin Heritage Month here, and you can also find our Latin Heritage Month playlist here.

Sept. 9, 2020

Well we are in full swing with our Local 303 bandas this month, beginning Latin Heritage Month a bit early! Of course, that begins on Tuesday, September 15th, and we have more planned.

I am lucky enough to celebrate Latin-made music every week, and it's no different this week! Mucha música nueva, including a new project from local artist, Leon de las Florez, another collaboration from Neoma, and more. Check out the playlist:

Hurray For the Riff Raff - "Rican Beach" (Brooklyn)
Pink Hawks - "Occupy" (Denver)
Y La Bamba - "Something Wild" (Portland)
Ana Tijoux - "Antifa Dance" (Chile)
CIENFUE - "Open Her Eyes" (Mexico)
Juana Molina - "A00 B01" (Argentina)
Leon de las Florez - "LetemB" (Denver)
Los Mocochetes - "Rocks" (Denver)
Flor de Toloache - "Our Love" (New York)
Nina de Freitas - "Keeps Me Coming Back" (Denver)
Silvana Estrada - "Para Siempre" (Mexico)
LADAMA - "Nobreza" (Brazil/Venezuela/Colombia/Canada)
Tropa Magica - "Meme City" (Los Angeles)
The Mananas - "Patiently" (Denver)
Neoma y Alkaloides - "Perfil" (Denver/Ecuador)

Sept. 6, 2020

Musica Nueva! The Denver grupo, Pink Hawks, are set to release their second single of the year, "Occupy," on September 24th. But, they were gracious enough to let me debut it tonight on the Sunday version of Especial! Keep listening, this is the absolute end of summer vibe going into October and November - the kind of energy we need. Until it's released, you can still check out the video for "Elote," directed by Jozer Guerrero, mi hermano de Los Mocochetes:

...and check out my interview with Yuzo Nieto de Pink Hawks from our Instagram yesterday:

Sept. 2, 2020

This month, Indie 102.3 begins celebrations for Latin Heritage Month a little early with our Local 303 bands! We're highlighting some of the amazing Latin bands right here in Colorado, and tonight, taking a look at a few of those bands en Especial, tambien. If you're a regular Especial listener, chances are you've heard almost all of 'em, so I'm very excited to share these bands with the wider Indie 102.3 audience.

Read more about the September Local 303 Bands here, and join us on Monday, September 14th for the Local 303 Meetup! We'll be chatting with our new artists, and we'll feature a few performances as well - September 14th, 4pm, on the Indie 102.3 Facebook page.

Also tonight, musica nueva de Margaret Chavez (TX), the new project of Marcus Striplin, who you may know from the band Pleasant Grove - he performs as Margaret Chavez as a tribute to his mother, and he's just released a new album called Into An Atmosphere, now out on We Know Better/State Fair Records.

And introducing Silvana Estrada, de Xalapa, Mexico - who is Glassnote Records' first Latin artist - and honestly, I'm not sure if I feel more celebratory or shocked that 2020 marks the record label's first Latin signing. I am happy to share with you her cover of CHVRCHES "Forever," pero, claro, en español, es "Para Siempre."

The homies out of LA, Tropa Magica, have a new album out this Friday as well, Tripiando al Infenito en mi Recamara, and I am impatiently waiting for my vinyl to come in. Luckily I've got a new one from them here as well.

Aquí está la lista de reproducción

Neoma y Lolabum - "Cuando Quieres Jugar Conmigo" ^ (Denver/Ecuador)
Pink Hawks - "Elote" ^ (Denver)
La Dame Blanche - "La Mentalista" (Cuba)
Nanpa Básico - "Despues de Las 12" (Colombia)
Silvana Estrada - "Para Siempre" (Mexico)
Sotomayor - "Quema" (Mexico)
Eric & Kah Li - "Jelly" (Denver)
Nina de Freitas - "Keeps Me Coming Back" (Denver)
Los Mocochetes - "Rocks" (Denver)
Cande Y Paulo - "Barro Tal Vez" (Argentina)
Margaret Chavez - "The Croupiers Unite I.C.E." (Texas)
Tropa Magica - "Feels Like Tijuana" (Los Angeles)
Adolescentes Sin Edad - "Oye Me Gustai" (Chile)
Cikatriz - "Anhele" (Denver/Mexico)
Lolita - "Toda Mi Gente Remix ft. Big Samir" (Denver)

...and keep ya ears open for more Latin Heritage Month celebrations coming up on September 15th!