Tag Archives: punk

Setlist: Latin Worldwide

In the first ten minutes of DJ Don Jose’s Latin Worldwide, a Sunday morning program on BreakThru Radio, we hear live Spanish pop, Central American traditional dance with extraordinary Flamenco guitar soloing, Latino-American electro-dance, and finally Spanish punk guitar thrashing. This is all before Don Jose gets into the meat of his show—a feature on Madrid indie band Los Punsetes. So whatever visions you have of a radio show called Latin Worldwide being full of Caribbean dance music and Mexican folk song, you can toss them out the window.

Los Punsetes

DJ Don Jose is a well-informed Latin music fan and BreakThru Radio personality. He takes both pride in, and enjoyment from, the music he gathers for his show: “I enjoy talking to Latin indie-alternative artists about their music. I believe the conversations enhance the discovery process for BTR Latin Worldwide listeners,” DJ Don Jose explains to me in an email. “It’s amazing how many Latin indie-alternative artists are in New York, especially Brooklyn. Sure, it’s easy to connect via social networking, but there’s no comparison to meeting people in person and watching them perform live.” DJ Don Jose’s message is one we all share equally here at BreakThru—get out and see the music, don’t just become a fan of MySpace and online radio.

Don Jose practices what he preaches, and it shows. What I especially enjoy about his program is the way he directly involves the musicians he features by including interview segments as part of his artist feature. For example, on this week’s show, flanking both sides Los Punsetes’ “Tus Amigos” are pieces from a conversation Don Jose had with the band during their first live tour of the U.S.

“It’s our first time playing outside Spain,” vocalist Ariadna says.

“What do you think about the crowds here? Are they reacting differently to your music here than in Spain?” Don Jose asks.

“Yes, indeed they are. The first concert, everybody was like, not moving. They were, um, surprised. And yesterday it was completely different because people were moving even more than in Spain.”

The importance of getting these bands to play for American crowds is something that DJ Don Jose stresses in both his show and during our email-interview. “Latin alternative bands and artists, both from the U.S. and relocated from outside the U.S., are living in NYC and making music in NYC,” Don Jose reiterates in a second email, getting to the heart of the matter. “[T]he point is that all Latin music is not foreign. It’s home grown.”

DJ Don Jose

As I begin listening to the program, I am surprised to hear the introduction of the show is in as much Spanish as English. For a brief moment I panicked, fearing a language barrier from which I would suffer throughout the show. Not within the music itself, for music has no tribal tongue, but with DJ Don Jose’s Spanish introduction of bands and songs. I was glad to hear when he switched to English permanently to set up the music he plays: “Many young Latinos in the U.S. enjoy hearing Latin alternative music presented by English-speaking presenters, such as on MTV3 and Mun2,” Don Jose tells me. “Latin Worldwide has those type of Latino listeners and many others who do not speak Spanish, in the U.S. and around the world.”

Each Latin Worldwide show is there to help listeners discover new music. The show features a specific band or artist, trying to always keep true to the BreakThru style by making the feature a fresh Latino act. As listeners, we get to learn a little bit of the biography of the feature, and of course hear a good chunk of their music.

In the labyrinth of trying to find new music in today’s webbed world, it is programs like this that help expand our library of music. “One of the things that listeners to Latin Worldwide at BreakThru Radio are discovering is that there’s a lot of Latin indie-alternative music being created in the U.S.”

Click here to listen to the latest edition of Latin Worldwide!

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– Kory French


Liner Notes: America’s Top Music Cities

Alright America, it’s your birthday—so let’s talk about some of your best music cities.

This week in Liner Notes, I am going to be discussing the nations’ top five obvious choices when it comes to America’s Greatest Music Cities. These are the cities that I would assume most people think about when discussing the top places in the U.S. to hear music. Next week’s copy of Liner Notes is going to examine five ‘not-so-expected’ places, but cities that should be considered nonetheless.

New York:

It is not because I live here, BreakThru Radio is housed here, or every band out there wants to play here that I am beginning with New York City. The argument is more than obvious. Perhaps it is the fusion of cultures that has existed for centuries in this north eastern small town, or maybe it was a direct result of the great migration north that took place after the Civil War. Whatever caused it; New York City is one of the best metropolitans in the world for music, let alone the United States.

Each day, New York music journalists are debating which neighborhoods within the five boroughs are the best for live music, thus part of me thinks it’s a crime to include Brooklyn under the same subcategory as Spanish Harlem. That’s what makes New York so great for music fans. The variety is endless. I mean really endless! One night I watched a Williamsburg German folk band play in the Bowery before heading up to Morningside Heights to take in a Nigerian ensemble headed by Abdoulaye Alhassane.

New York’s greatness in music doesn’t stop at the “live venue” discussion; it is the history behind the locations and the never-ending recording studios, that make this city such a feast for music-gluttons. “Tin-Pan Alley” is now home to Def Jam Records. In the North you’ve got the legendary jazz club Minton’s Playhouse, and in the South you’ve got the iconic punk watering hole Bowery Ballroom. The list can go on-and-on. I need not oversell the obvious. New York City is a place for all music, American or otherwise.


Nashville is Nashville because of its American-ness. Arguably the town that, if not gave birth to, fostered American music, Nashville, Tennessee has been sought after by musicians and fans from all corners of the country and beyond the Atlantic shoreline. From the Grand Ole Opry’s opening in 1925 to the current music-scene that is witnessing a revival of Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, and Pure Country, one cannot begin a discussion about music in America without placing “Music City USA” at the top of the list.

Due to its geographical location at the heart of the South, as America developed its complex interstate system, all roads led to Nashville. This meant that young singers who wanted a shot at recording themselves were able to easily drive or hitch to one of the two Tennessee greats: Memphis or Nashville. The investment Nashville made into Country Music separated itself from Memphis, which was starting to get more into the uprising Rock and Roll style (such as producer Sam Phillips’ Sun Records). Today, Nashville hasn’t lost a step. It is still home to some of the best venues to take in a live show, whether it be the nostalgic Nashville country sound, or something a little more 2010, like hip-hop funk players The V C Strut Band.

New Orleans:

Jazz, zydeco, funk, whatever; you name it—New Orleans has got it. But they have it with style, and that’s what makes the city of N’Awlins Louisiana so damn impressive. Should we be thanking la liberté de la Couture Français? Any way you slice it, New Orleans just has flavor, not only in music but in all facets of their society. It is no wonder the city continues to perpetually perform and produce some of the country’s top musicians. Maybe not in the “pop” sense of the term, but definitely in the “talent” sense.

The thing about New Orleans is that you can’t go but one block without taking in some sort of live, underground, “I have no desire to be famous, I’m just doing my thang,” music. The ‘birth place of jazz’ continues to push the envelope and lead the rest of the nation in new forms of traditional music. Sticking with instruments and root-themes, New Orleans continues to impress. This is such a great musical city because it keeps its ego constantly in check and never takes itself so seriously. It is the holy ground for purists who care about the sound over the image or the income.

San Francisco:

Will it ever lose its tree-hugging, peace-loving, “I’m gonna save the world with flowers,” image? Does it even have to? Much to the chagrin of a close San Franciscan friend of mine, I stick to the argument that, yes, San Francisco, California is one of the great American music cities; but yes, it is stuck in some sort of time trap. However, that is what makes it such a great place for music. Its history is not to be ignored.

San Francisco’s sixties Haight-Ashbury scene and monumental Gay Pride vanguardism have assisted in developing it as one of the West Coast’s epicenter for great music. From jam band legends The Grateful Dead to nineties misfits Faith No More, San Francisco does have a vast range in style and sound. This is not even to mention its ability to throw an outdoor concert. Music festivals were made for places like the Bay Area. With its inspiring landscape of mountains, ocean, and countryside, San Francisco is probably the country’s number one place to take in a live show.


Home of the blues; but so much more. Chicago, Illinois has a musical past steeped in the tradition of telling it like it is, and using music as a catalyst to make it all seem better. Like New York, Chicago’s thriving music scene during the first two to three decades of last century is a benefit of the great migration north. Mostly Jewish men seeking income in the recording industry and living in the slums of Chicago’s south side, related to the African Americans who too, were delegated to the Chicago slums. While the living was hard, the marriage between the two was a gift to American music. Chess, Alligator, and Cobra were all record labels that began cashing in and promoting the amplified sounds of the Delta-born musicians. Today, ‘Chi-town’ continues its legendary output. More than just blues, Chicago features some of the countries top jazz musicians, top hip hop artists, and top venues to take in a live show.

This is just a top five list. I know it is impossible to choose, and I am very aware of the cities that have been left out of this list. However, before you jump all over me for what I have missed, come back to Liner Notes next week to read about the top five not-so-expected cities that house some of America’s best music.

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– Kory French

Loud Fast Rules Presents: L.A. Punk History

 Consider this a lesson in history regarding all the great late 70’s and early 80’s Southern California punk and hardcore bands that paved the way for bands like Offspring, Green Day, Rancid, Sum 41, Good Charlotte, etc.

Each and every one of the these pioneer groups came up from nowhere when no one was looking. They were armed with nothing more than cheap guitars, even cheaper beer and inspiration to burn. Here we are, 30 years later, and the whole world is finally paying attention to what these kids were doing.

In the pre-eBay world (read: ten years ago), most of this material would have been both hopelessly out of print, and could have only be found in ridiculously expensive collector shops. Thankfully, there are a handful of labels still out there interested in preserving the legacies of these bands, on both CD and vinyl formats. So, with the advent of downloadable technology, most of what you are about to hear is all there for the asking. Of course, an original, dead mint copy of 198 Seconds of the Dils on Dangerhouse is still a nice prize to have in one’s collection.

That being said, who has an extra $150.00 to spend on one piece of vinyl anymore? In my case, I bought that very record at Bleecker Bob’s when domestic punk singles still cost a mere two dollars! But I digress. Hopefully, these songs will either jar a few memories or get you – if not your kids – motivated to start a new band.

The Weirdos:


  L to R: Cliff Roman, Nicky Beat, Dave Trout, John Denney, Dix Denney

The Weirdos were the first LA band to make waves. If it wasn’t for their warped visionary ability to connect Dada anti-art of the early 20th century with stripped down Rock and Roll, the Southern California scene as we know it today wouldn’t exist. Sadly, the band are once again inactive. A new 30th anniversary retrospective called Destroy All Music will have to suffice for now.

Continue reading here! 

DJ Bryan knows more about punk than you


It’s been said time and again that the punk movement came from nothing and nowhere; that it existed in a vacuum and that the only two things that made punk what it was were passion and speed.


If there were no Who’s Can’t Explain, we wouldn’t have The Clash’s rallying cry, Clash City Rockers, now would we? Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material would not exist without the opening intro chords to Montrose’s 1973 hit “Rock the Nation” guiding the entire song, and Johnny Lydon’s Public Image certainly would not exist had there been no King Tubby, no Can and no Hawkwind.

Think I’m kidding?

Do a little homework and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Think Interpol and the Editors are ‘on to something’ with their respective new sounds? Well, they are a talented lot, so maybe they are. That being said, I’m sure as the sun is shining that that lot have got these songs burned on to their respective iPods for casual listening pleasure, and inspiration.



With their extensive back catalogue now ridiculously out of print, Family Fodder have now been dubiously consigned to ‘Cult Band’ status. Their records are so in-demand that they now fetch huge sums of money in collectors’ circles. Based in London (and very much attuned to what was brewing in the local punk scene, albeit the more avant garde side of it) Family Fodder were not so much a band but a loose collective of roughly 20 different musicians brought together by the classically-trained Alig Pearce.

The band included members of This Heat and his girlfriend, the lovely French chanteuse, Dominique Levillain. Stylistically, the band were all over the map, mixing four-on-the-floor bubblegum pop into twisted tape manipulations, and combining world music experiments with minimalist classical composition permeating the melody line. Anyone familiar with their music knows that there is no such thing as a boring Family Fodder record, as they were filled with… What is it the French call it? Savoir faire? Hence, the track

Check out the rest of DJ Bryan’s article here! 

 Catch Bryan’s weekly punk show, LoudFastRules, here!