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Latin Alternative Music Conference 2014 – Alex’s Recap

Alex Espinosa is a Music Supervisor at PlayNetwork with over 16 years of experience working directly with brands around the world.  Though he’s worked in radio in the past, his passion lies in creating music experiences for his clients.  Alex has created the soundtracks for brands ranging from Taco Cabana and On The Border to Godiva and Nautica.

Quinceañera’s are usually reserved for Latina girls celebrating ones 15th birthday.   With the Latin Alternative Music Conference (or LAMC for short) now celebrating their 15th anniversary, this was a celebration of music and how far this conference, held in NYC, has come.  I’ve been attending LAMC for 10 years and was asked to speak on a panel aptly titled, “What Actually Moves the Needle?”.  What’s great about LAMC are the hungry musicians and fans from all over Latin America who attend and  listening to the pulse of what’s happening in world of Latin Alternative music.  One of the reasons why this conference means so much to me is not because of my love for Latin music and discovering new bands, but because it makes me hopeful for where this genre is going.

Day 1:

First up was French/Chilean Hip Hop artist Read More

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Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo…5th of May…what does this mean? To me, when I was a child, I just saw my family drinking margaritas and cervezas and having a good time on this date every year. I also thought this was Mexico’s Independence Day for many years, but it’s not. This date is actually important to the United States as well; and no, I’m not drinking right now. You see, Cinco de Mayo is the date when Mexican troops stormed and defeated Napoleon’s French invading army in the battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862.  Napoleon III and France wanted to invade and defeat Mexico so they could get to the vulnerable United States who was already weak from its own Civil War.

So now you say “Where does the music come into play?” Here is the best part. After Mexico defeated the French, many Mexican rancheros that fought in the war brought out their acoustic guitars and started singing and playing festive songs in a style that would later be known as Mariachi. For our clients on this holiday we’ve developed a Cinco de Mayo program that has a bit of everything that is festive from Mariachi, Rancheras, Cumbias, Salsa, Tejano,... Read More

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A (Tour) Van Down By The River

Doing the tour thing from coast to coast in a van is a way of paying your dues in the music world of rock-n-roll.  Everyone from Elvis to the Rolling Stones has done it and I’m sure countless of musicians will continue the tradition in the future.  I remember in my early twenties riding along with a friend’s band doing the California stretch in a week playing in five towns and taking turns behind their trusted van only to stop for food, beer and the occasional bathroom stop (in my case, we used the old milk gallon trick).  Paste magazine has posted an article where nine bands ranging from Maps & Atlases to Cursive tell their stories of the joy on touring in a VAN!!!

Alex Espinosa – Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

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Making An Impact At SXSW

With SXSW happening but once a year, flocks of musicians and bands make their trek to Austin, Texas for the one-off chance of making an impact on the thousands in attendance.  Once such act; La Vida Boheme who hails from Caracas, Venezuela made that impact at this year’s SXSW music festival two weeks ago.  Being dubbed as the next big thing in the Rock En Espanol movement with influences ranging from 80’s punk to Electronic Dance music, La Vida Boheme tore through their set at The Parish dressed all in white with blue and green paint splattered all over them.  Their latest release “Nuestra” on Nacional Records, received two Latin Grammy nominations for best rock album as well as one for best rock song for “Radio Capital”. Led by singer Henry D’Anthenay, these guys are making people take notice not only for their eclectic shows but also as a staying powerhouse in Latin music.  NPR Music put out their “Possibly Life-Changing Music Discoveries from SXSW 2012” and La Vida Boheme made that list with flying colors, no pun intended.

Alex Espinosa – Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

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Latin Music Discovery

Here’s a name to share with you: ‘Mati Zundel”. This artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina is on the ZZK label, who are starting to release intriguing new Latin releases that are based on Cumbia, Urbano and Electronica dub beats.  With Mati’s new release titled “Amazonico Gravitante”, the elements he mixes are something that are not normal in the Latin world; he mixes Cumbia, Urbano, Electronica and Latin Folk to create an artisanal sound that will hopefully have other’s following in his steps.

Here’s a video of the new single “Señor Montecostes”…disfruta!

Alex Espinosa, Associate Music Supervisor PlayNetwork

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Coachella_1

Coachella – a look back (and ahead)

  Every year around April, masses of music lovers from around the globe attend this 3-day festival which has grown immensely since its inception in 1999.  With over 25,000 people attending the inaugural event that had headliners Beck and Rage Against The Machine, this festival is now a haven for the up and coming artist, established acts or the ever recurrence of bands reuniting for that one off show for the festival.

Indio, CA and its surrounding neighbors of Palm Desert and Palm Springs has always been a location where retirees go to and relax in their Bermuda shorts and black socks or play some leisurely golf.  Since 1999 though, the Empire Polo Grounds, which is this huge oasis of irrigated lawn right smack in the middle of Indio has been the sight of the Coachella Music Festival (back then being called just Coachella).

With acts ranging from Roger Waters to Thievery Corporation, you’ll get everything here via the many music tents and stages situated all around the grounds.  In one tent, you may get M.I.A. performing to a hip hop crowd and then in another tent, you may here a... Read More

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Remembering Etta James

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Etta James

The Legendary Etta James

“At Last” is a song that will always remain buried in my memory as a song that not only makes me feel relaxed but also reminds me of my mother as I was growing up.  You see, before I knew who the Stones or the Beatles were, I would hear this song play on my mother’s old Crosley record player during the holidays and always knew she was baking cookies.

Miss Peaches or better known as Etta James has that effect on people. Back in 2000 Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her #62 in their list of 100 greatest artist of all time.  With her bluesy voice with a touch of gospel elements as well as her influence on so many singer/songwriters, she should be rated much better than #62.  She was loved by many and worshiped by others and her voice will live on forever.  Ms. Etta James passed away on January 20, 2012 at the tender age of 73.

Alex Espinosa – Music Coordinator PlayNetwork

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Who Said Don’t Look Back? More ‘Best In Music’ From 2011

Happy New Year world! We continue our look back at 2011 in music…

Alex Espinosa, our newest member on the Music Services team, gives us a look at his favorite albums from 2011 which includes a few Latin artists you may not have heard of. Disfruten!

The Black Keys – El Camino (Nonesuch) For having just two members as their core, this blues rock band from Akron, Ohio put the crunch in dirty blues rock.  Their seventh release titled “El Camino” was such a surprise to me from the start that I couldn’t wait until I heard every track.  With the first single “Lonely Boy” that has this guitar riff and analog synth sound at the start; I immediately wanted more.  El Camino delivers especially with my favorite on the album “Run Right Back”.  This song has not only sex appeal but that dirty, kick the dirt type of sound that gives the Keys a swagger like the days of Bowie and T-Rex. Listen to “Run Right Back” here

Hello Seahorse – Lejos, No Tan Lejos (Nacional Records) Mexico’s indie sensation, Hello Seahorse latest release titled “Lejos, No Tan Lejos” which translates... Read More

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