Especial Blog: February 2021

February 25, 2021

Especial Playlist

Siento muy excited for the new music out this week! Tomorrow, be on the lookout for the new album from Dom La Nena, Tempo, and the debut EP from Pahua, Ofrenda. Denver's Katiria just released another new single, and video, which you can watch below. LA's Tropa Magica have announced they're working on a new album, and just released a new single, called "Sonora Distance." Also new this week, an upcoming compilation exploring changüí:

Changüí is a style of music from the Guantánamo province en Cuba, which was integrated with the Indigenous peoples of the region from enslaved peoples originally from the Congo ("changüí" is derived from a Congolese word, in fact). This new project will be box set, of original recordings from around the Guantánamo region and mastered in New York.

Here's the playlist:

Leon De Las Florez - Sunshine Into Your Light Single Out March 12
Katiria - A Oscura Single
Buscabulla - Eva Single
Dom La Nena - Quien Podra Saberlo Tempo Out Feb. 26
The Original iLLs - Crush (Sweet Melody) 111
Thee Lakesiders - Fool Me Twice Single Out March 26
Durand Jones & The Indications - Cruisin’ to the Parque ft. Y La Bamba Single
Pahua - Vayayo Ofrenda EP Feb. 26
B.A.R.D.O. - Monday Morning Single
The Mananas - Lucia Cheers EP
C.C.C.P. - Me Duermo ft. Kal Cahoone Single
Femina - Fantastico Single
Bomba Estereo - Deja Deja Out April 21
Grupo Estrella Campesino - Changui en Yateras Single 
Pink Hawks - Elote Single
Los Esplifs - Otro Pais Estraik Back Out April 20
Tropa Magica - Sonora Distancia Single

February 24, 2021

Este Noche en Especial

Denver's Katiria has a new single out... does Tropa Magica...

...and we dig deeper into the upcoming album by Bomba Estereo:

February 22, 2021

Descubre Musica

The CDMX banda, Rodrigo y Gabriela have announced a new EP - Jazz, out May 14th. The announcement comes with a new video - a cover of Kamasi Washington's "Street Fighter Mas:"

According to the press release, Jazz EP will also include "covers of Snarky Puppy’s 'Lingus' and Astor Piazzolla’s 'Oblivion,' the latter highlighted by a guest appearance from flamenco-guitar legend Vicente Amigo."

Jazz EP will be released by Rubyworks/ATO Records.

February 19, 2021

Musica Nueva

Happy New Music Friday! SO much good stuff out today, including Niña Dioz, Los Esplifs, and The Mañanas from right here in Denver! Cheers is officially out today:


February 18, 2021

Especial Playlist

Mucha música nueva esta semana - just released was a new single from Puerto Rico's Buscabulla, a cover of the song "Eva," a PR karaoke standard, originally written by Umberto Antonio Tozzi during the Cold War Era. Buscabulla released it just in time for Valentine's Day, with a karaoke music video along with it:

Just released yesterday, a collaboration between Durand Jones & The Indications and Y La Bamba. They toured together around this time last year, and have a new single just in time for cruisin' weather, which is right around the corner. The original "Crusin' To the Park" was released by The Indications last year, but this version is updated with Luz Mendoza singing in Spanish for a beautiful throwback Chicano Soul sound, renamed "Cruisin' To the Parque," and complete with a love letter to la cultura in the video:

Also announced and released yesterday was the return of Jose Gonzalez - the Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter. Gonzalez hasn't released any new music since 2015's Vestiges and Claws album, and has never released a song in Spanish - until now. He cites singing to his daughter in Spanish, beginning back in 2017, and although he'd tried writing in Spanish, nothing had come to him until "El Invento":

And the wait is FINALLY over - Denver's The Mañanas have announced their debut release, Cheers, out, pues... mañana. The duo have a new single to go along with the release, heard last night. ON TOP OF THAT, los mijos have created a playlist for us all of some truly tasty jams.

Also this week, closer and closer to the release of Marinah's new album, Heroinas, out March 12 - a celebration of women around the world. Last week she released a collaboration with La Dame Blanche. Also excited for Dom La Nena's upcoming album, Tempo, out next Friday - her first album since 2014's Birds on a Wire, and which features all sounds created by her (included the percussion sounds made on her cello). Last week, locals Pink Hawks released "Alibi" into the world. And lots more.


Dom La Nena - Quien Podra Saberlo Tempo (Out February 26)
Thee Lakesiders - Fool Me Twice Single (Out March 26)
The Original iLLs - Crush 111
Durand Jones & the Indications - Cruisin’ to the Parque ft. Y La Bamba Single
Buscabulla - Eva Single
Juan Wauters - Presentation ft. Nick Hakim Real Life Situations (Out April 30)
The Mananas - Lucia Cheers EP (Out Februar 19)
Femina - Fantastico Single
Leon de las Florez - Sunshine Into Your Light Single (Out March 12)
Jose Gonzalez - El Invento Single
Pink Hawks - Alibi Single
Bomba Estereo - Agua Deja (Out April 21)
Marinah - Noche de Plata ft. La Dame Blanche Heroinas (Out March 12)
Katiria - En Mi Mente Single
Gabriel Garzon-Monatno - Someone ft. Jamila Woods Single
BARDO - Monday Morning Single
Los Mocochetes - Que Viva Revolucion! Live Single

Missed the original airing? Tune in Sunday at 6p for an encore on Indie 102.3!

February 17, 2021

Comunidad Guest DJ: Marianna Lucero

Marianna Lucero
Photo Credit: Honored Photography

My guest for Comunidad Guest DJ this week is totally inspiring. Born and raised in South Denver, she's now helping educate the next generation of Southsiders. After working for Denver Public Schools for years, Lucero is also Executive Director of In Lak'ech Denver Arts - which she can explain below. In Lak'ech is ancestral - it's a Mayan way of expressing the idea that we are collectively one - "I am another you," and Hala Ken, "you are another me." Lucero's work in Denver reaches beyond the classroom, and extends throughout the community. Read more about Marianna, and check out 10 of her favorite songs, below!

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am an elementary dance and drama teacher for Denver Public Schools, and I am also the Founder and Executive Director for In Lak’ech Denver Arts, an after-school program that serves 5th-8th grade students in Southwest Denver with a community responsive arts education that engages them in broadening their social awareness, creating cross-cultural connections and inspires them into social advocacy within their communities and beyond.
Tell me more about your background:
I grew up in the Southside of Denver, right off of Evans and South Federal Blvd. I’m from a community that is so special, I would never dream of leaving it. Here, we come from cumbias, taquerias, back-yard parties, and familia first. We come from first-generation graduations, cruising slow on Sunday nights, and girls who wear big hoops and have even bigger dreams. 
Tell me more about your Latinidad:
My mother, Rosa, is a huge influence on my positive cultural identity. She is a fierce Mexicana and a master story-teller, who continues to use her gift of cuento to bridge my present to my past. Her lively stories nestle me in the arms of a mother tierra that I never knew. Her words delicately paint the montañas of Canatlán, the crystal olas off the coast of Veracruz, and vivid memories of dance parties that were fueled by my abuelos special ponche. I collect her cuentos like lunares on my skin. Each freckle is a story, a song of familia, comida, and música. I choose to identify myself as Xicana because that is how I identify with my indigenous Mexica ancestors. I also grew up doing a lot of Xicano theatre at the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center. Both my mother and the Teatro taught me how to honor my ancestors through storytelling. 
Why does representation matter in your community work:
During my formal education in Denver Public Schools, I rarely saw my cultural identity reflected in my core curriculum or my arts education. This resulted in me having a low self-esteem as I anxiously tried to find my “place” in the arts and the world. I loved theatre, but I didn’t see people who looked like me acting in lead roles or teaching in arts positions. I also seldomly saw our stories being authentically represented on stage, but in 2007, my entire life changed. I became a company actor for the Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center. The Teatro empowered me as a young Xicana to seek the truth about my ancestors, and I was honored to play roles where I could step into the experiences of those that paved the way for all of us. When I became a drama and dance teacher for Denver Public Schools, I knew that I wanted to create an arts curriculum through our community’s lens. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of teaching at Goldrick Elementary, a neighborhood school located in the same area where I grew up. Through our journey together, my students and I have devised powerful productions inspired by the rich traditions of ancestors and our families. Our productions provide a safe space for our community to expand their awareness around the social issues we face as BIPOC, and we also celebrate the beauty and joy of our barrio. As my students began to transition into middle school, they urged me to expand my programming beyond elementary because of the lack of cultural arts education in Southwest Denver. With their love and encouragement, I designed In Lak’ech Denver Arts in their image, an arts program where the community is empowered to reclaim the narratives and spaces that have been historically denied to our ancestors.
What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
One way that the community can help elevate our collective voice is by showing up for one another and supporting each other’s endeavors. Hype one another up, share posts, share resources, buy each other’s art, and DO NOT GATEKEEP. Colonialism would have us believe that resources are limited and that we benefit from withholding knowledge from one another. The system pits us against each other, but our ancestors urge us to reclaim our collectivist values, which emphasize the needs, wants and goals of a group over the needs and desires of each individual. We are extensions of one another, and the ancestors want us to rise up as such.

Follow In Lak'ech Denver Arts on Instagram.

February 12, 2021

Music Nueva

Happy New Music Friday! Out today, Salt Cathedral's debut album, Carisma, but remixed - of course the band released the debut album last year, just before the pandemic hit. So they went back through and remixed it all! Today, Carisma *isolation remixes* comes out:

February 11, 2021

Especial Playlist

There's a lot happening and a lot of new music this week! Dom La Nena has just released a brand new single from her upcoming album, Tempo, which is a more upbeat and dancey tune. Femina's new single has been out in the world for almost a week and I can finally play it for you all, and Jamila Woods teams up with Gabriel Garzon-Montano for a remixed version of his song, "Someone," that originally appeared on his 2020 album, Aguita. Locally, The Original iLLs released a brand new music video (scroll down for the tour through Westwood!), and former Local 303 artist, Machu Linea released a new video TODAY, for "Popstyle," featuring Mica Ray:

More on the local music front - Pink Hawks latest single will be released by the local record label, Snappy Little Numbers tomorrow, Los Mocochetes will have a new single and video later this month, and Leon de las Florez has an official release date for his new single (which I've been receiving a lot of praise and questions about since debuting it late last year).


Venezonix - La Que Es ft. Betsayda Machado La Que Es
The Original iLLs  - Crush 111
Thee Lakesiders - Fool Me Twice Single
Dom La Nena - Quien Podra Saberlo Tempo
Katiria - En Mi Mente Single
La Dame Blanche - La Mentalista Ella
Natalia Clavier - Brillar Single
Gabriel Garzon-Montano ft. Jamila Woods - Someone (Remix) Single
Machu Linea ft. Mica Ray - Popstyle HeXotica
B.A.R.D.O. - Monday Morning Single
Femina - Fantastico Single
Leon De Las Florez - Sunshine Into Your Light Single
Pahua - Vayayo Ofrenda EP
Bomba Estereo - Agua Deja
Los Mocochetes - Que Viva Revolucion (Live) Single
Novalima - El Regalo Ch’usay 
Pink Hawks - Alibi Single

February 10, 2021

Descubre En Especial...

Denver's own The Original iLLs have released a brand new video...

Jamila Woods joins Gabriel Garzon-Montano for a remix...

...and we set our alarms for Friday morning for a new video from Natalia Clavier.

Este noche a 10p en Indie 102.3!

February 9, 2021

Comunidad Guest DJ: Victor Escobedo

"KAN" - Clay Tablet by Victor Escobedo
Photo provided by guest.

Esta semana, I'm excited to share the work of Victor Escobedo - a local artist who works in multiple mediums, including paint, clay, puppetry and so much more. Escobedo's art work is, in essence, ancestral work. Whether it's a mural, a puppet or something else entirely, he's honoring his ancestors with each piece he produces. You may have seen his work in CRUSH Walls, the Children's Museum in Denver, and in talks with the legendary Chicano muralist, Emanuel Martinez for History Colorado's Voces En Arte series. Escobedo has a lot coming up this year as well - read more, and check out his playlist, below!

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am a resident artist at Redline in Denver. I’m part of the Birdseed Collective, which is a very active organization all over the Denver area, particularly in Globeville, shoutout to the ‘ville. My partner and I organize trash pickups along Weir Gulch in the 80219 district of Denver. I’ve also worked with the Chicano Muralist council and the Latino Cultural Arts Center. 
Tell me more about your background:
I was born and raised in West Los Angeles and moved to Denver in 2007 when gentrification made it difficult to make it in LA without illegal activities. I didn’t realize it then, but I came into Denver in what is now being referred to as the golden era of “old Denver.” I’ve been contributing to the DIY/art/street culture of Denver since I arrived.
Tell me more about your Latinidad:
As a first-generation US citizen raised by immigrants, I’m categorized as Mexican, but I identify with my Yucatec Maya indigenous roots. I’m taking steps to learn more about my heritage from a non-western, academic perspective, so if there are any Mayan elders out there, or if anyone knows elders they can connect me with, let me know! Thank you in advance.
Why does representation matter in your community work:
Because you don’t see us represented at the levels I’m at or where I’m capable of going.  
What is one way the community can uplift Latin work/voices/art:
I’m not sure, I don’t identify as Latin. Though I have Mayan roots, I also recognize myself outside my 3rd dimensional body. Race and other categorization limit our mental capacity of understanding and connectivity to source, leaving us in a constant state of want and separation based on temporary, external forces. The soul is eternal. 

Follow Victor Escobedo, Redline Denver, and Birdseed Collective on Instagram.

February 8, 2021

Musica Nueva

In case you missed it on Friday, the Argentinian trio, Fémina, released a brand new single in collaboration with Oli Miglioli, entitled Fantastico:

The last time we heard from Fémina was back in 2019, with the album Perlas & Conchas, one of my favorites, that also featured one of the best Iggy Pop appearances in recent memory.

February 5, 2021

Artist Guest DJ - La Dame Blanche

La Dame Blanche
Courtesy of Nacional Records

Last year I was introduced to La Dame Blanche with what became one of my very favorite songs of 2020, Cogelo Con Calma. You've heard it many times on Especial.

La Dame Blanche has been around much longer, however, with her album Piratas having been released in 2014. Last year, she released her fourth studio album, Ella (Nacional), a collection of songs that empower and embolden women, and focuses on issues ranging from race - and being categorized as the "angry Black woman" - to breaking free from abusive relationships.

Yaite Ramos Rodriguez is La Dame Blanche, originally from Cuba, but now residing in Paris. She's not only a singer that explores trap, dancehall, reggaetón, and cumbias, but she's also a flautist, and percussionist - all of which you can hear on Ella.

I'm very excited to welcome La Dame Blanche as my first ever artist guest DJ on the Especial blog - check out 10 songs Rodriguez loves below, and tune in to Especial for more from La Dame Blanche!

February 4, 2021

Especial Playlist

2021 is already giving us all that good good. Earlier this week, Bomba Estereo announced their first album in 4 years, Deja, and released the album's first 3 songs to go along with it - "Agua," "Deja" and "Soledad." Deja was recorded last year in quarantine, and with a very small amount of folks outside the band to contribute (including Lido Pimienta). The base concept of the album revolves around the four elements - agua, tierra, fuego y aire.

Also new this week, Venezonix, whose debut solo album, La Que Es, comes out tomorrow. This is the passion project of Andres Ponce who you might know from the band Elastic Bond. Bringing together Afro-Venezuelan sounds with traditional Venezuelan instruments and adding futuristic beats.

Just yesterday, Queen's artist Juan Wauters announced a new album, Real Life Situations, out April 30th, and released a new single with Mac DeMarco:

...and we're still vibin' on that new B.A.R.D.O., Dom La Nena has a release date for her new album Tiempo (Feb. 26), and former Local 303 artist, Lolita, acabo de celebrar un cumpleaños.


Meridian Brothers - Cumbia De El Proletario Cumbia Siglo XXI
Dom La Nena - Tiempo
Thee Lakesiders - Fool Me Twice Single
Leon de las Florez - Sunshine Into Your Life Single
Bomba - Agua Deja
BARDO - Monday Morning Everything Reminds Me of Space
Katiria - En Mi Mente Single
CCCP ft. Kal Cahoone - Me Duermo Single
Salt Cathedral - Quiero Olvidar Carisma *isolation remixes*
Venezonix - La Que Es ft. La Que Es
Benjamin Walker & Vanessa Zamora - Quiero Verte Hoy Single
Lolita - Loca Por Ti Single
Pahua - Caramelo Ofrenda EP
La Dame Blanche - Cogelo Con Calma Single 
Pink Hawks - Alibi Single
Karol G - Bichota Single
Juan Wauters - Presentation ft. Nick Hakim & Benamin Real Life Situation

February 3, 2021

Descubre en Especial...

Bomba Estereo has announced their first album in 4 years...

Venezonix has a debut album out this week...

Y musica nueva y local de Katiria:

Este noche a 10p en Indie 102.3!

February 2, 2021

Comunidad Guest DJ: Vivian Alexandra

Vivian Alexander, aka Diosa Azteca
Photo Credit: Jules Doyle Photo

En una otra vida, I used to play roller derby (not very well). I still follow along, though - it is 100% my favorite sport. During the World Cup (yes that's a thing), I always support Team Indigenous and Team Mexico. Locally, well - there's no shortage of amazing teams here in Colorado (it's almost ridiculous how many amazing teams we have). Denver Roller Derby, aka DRD, is, in fact, ranked #4 in the world (the. world.). When I saw my guest this week was transferring from Team Mexico to DRD, well. I almost decided to lace my skates back up to even watch her practice from the sides (still might if we can ever play derby again!).

Diosa Azteca con Team Mexiquito, en La Copa Mundial, 2018.
Photo Credit: Len Rizzo

Diosa Azteca is Vivian Alexandra, and I am so thrilled to welcome her as la comunidad guest DJ this week. Get to know V, and check out 10 songs she loves below!

Tell me more about your background:
I was born in Los Angeles, California, but I was raised in Mexico City. I have lived here for the last 2 1/2 years.

What do you do in the Denver community:
I am part of Denver Roller Derby League where me and two other members are the Latinxs of the entire league. I moved here because I do Roller Derby and I wanted to play it at a pro level. When I started to practice it in Mexico I became a huge fan of Denver Roller Derby, and also when I was teenager I used to come to visit one of my tias that lives here, which makes this place feel familiar for me. So it was easier to decide what place in the US to pick, and not less important, to help my family.

I started to play Roller Derby in 2012, one of my friends in College invited me but I was not curious about it because at that time I was playing guitar and trying to start a band. Then when they did a video for Sprite showing what they do, and I watched on TV when I was at home I got knocked because it was powerful to see girls being strong, aggressive, fast, brave and at that time RD was very punk rock-ish too. I bought very cheap skates to start just to see if I like it and then the rest is history. I have represented Mexico twice in the World cup (Dallas, TX and Manchester, UK) I played for MCRD (Mexico City Roller Derby) they have been champions for three years in a row and I was part of that success two years with them. Then I transferred to Denver and now I am part of the 4th ranked team in the world. I got to skate with them as cross over but my goal is to be a base skater of the all-stars team, I need to keep working physically and mentally again because this COVID situation hit us hard. 

Tell me more about your Latinidad:
I identified as Mexican, feminist and proudly Chicana, too.

It has been hard to me to find a community where I can feel part of it. I think the main reason is because the language barrier - when you don't speak English fluently it is hard to create connections because you can't express yourself, to feel in a language that you are learning is difficult.
Sometimes I felt that I had two personalities (haha it is weird but it is real, one in Spanish and other one in English). People can interpret that I am shy just because I don't interact as much as I want, sometimes I feel invisible and uncomfortable. It is hard and it is not easy to move from your comfort zone to start practicing and start to feel frustrated, and that feeling just reinforces the idea that I don't belong here. Then it is hard to match with people that does not share your roots, your culture, that doesn't know or deal with the struggles of being a minority, when they have other lifestyle/privileges and you have to keep working for "the American dream," or the goals that you have on mind in order to help your family, when they don't look like you, when they socialize in different ways that you don't know/like/understand. I have just a few friends because and I am working in making my community, it is challenging to start in a new place where you don't know people and you have to start from zero. But I have found people that I love and that I feel happy and grateful to have in my life too. It just takes time, every year is different and I feel more confident and every time I get used to more and more things. I have found small businesses, art projects, artists, social movements that enrich my life because they celebrate my culture, our culture and make me feel that I am not alone and that this is my home now.

Describe your playlist:
I am a punk rock girl and I have a very eclectic taste of music. But I realized that I like to listen to more music in Spanish, maybe because sometimes I am homesick and it makes me feel closer to my hometown.

Follow Diosa Azteca, Denver Roller Derby, and Team Mexico on Instagram.