Dear Gato 103.1

Dear Gato 103.1,

Is it true? Are you really gonna play cumbias? Because lots of stations have said they were and ended up in a funky morass of Durangense and Marco Antonio Solis.

There are a few tears for the former station that came before you, perhaps it’s because those folks haven’t really learned to appreciate the beauty and the glory of what’s called (in English) Mexican Regional Music but what we call Norteñas, Rancheras, Banda, Corridos, Cumbias and yes, even Duranguense.

I promise to love you Gatito if you play my two favorite songs on Los Angeles radio at the moment:

Los Picadientes de Caborca – La Cumbia del Río

Banda MS – EL Mechon

Con Mucho Cariño,

Links to the real videos (embedding disabled, how dare they?). La Cumbia del Río is one you should especially check out as it shows real Los Angeles residents dancing about their places of employment in a humorous and entertaining way!

Los Pikadientes De Caborca – La Cumbia Del Río

Banda MS – El Mechon

72 thoughts on “Dear Gato 103.1

  1. chimatli,

    everytime I go to Nayarit, I visit Tepic where Coras and Huicholes are usually selling their crafts. Last August, the annual Nayarit Federation in took place in South El Monte. Promoting everything Nayarit, including Coras and Huicholes — it is very difficult to get to the areas where the Huicholes live (Huajicori, La Yeska, etc.) because there aren’t any improved roads. About six years ago, there were ambulances that were donated to the Huichol area that ended up being confiscated by the Mexican government. =(

  2. My Mom gets these amazing Menonite cheeses smuggled up from Mexico occasionally. Also, let’s thank all those German & Polish immigrants that moved to the southern US states & the Northern Mexican states early this century for influencing our Mexican Banda music. Oompah!

  3. Urbanista, are you from Nayarit? My sister-in-law is from Tepic. I wonder if she knew about the Federation? I’ll make sure and tell her. I’ve never been to Nayarit but I love their handicrafts and their psychedelic inspired art.
    That’s very sad about the ambulances.

  4. This little exchange in the Commentary section of the Saul Viera video is priceless!: (talk about trolls!)

    (Commenter says):
    “Que botas tan espantosas usa este difunto,parecen de pellejo de rata con retazos y colguijes de buche de zorrilo, ademas cantaba pa’ la chingada, gracias Satanas por llevarte a este engendro tuyo de este mundo, creo que ahora sigue de irse pal’ infierno el Chapo de SiNACOla con todo y bigote de sobaco de tortillera de Guasave

    otro pendejo, si no te gustan las rolas de saul viera que hijos de su puta madre asen mirandolas pendejo ..deja de poner mamadas

    (Commenter replies):
    Si no entro por que me gustan estas pendejadas, nomas entro a patear este hormiguero y a reirme un poco de estos nacos gorrudos, botudos y hediondos a mierda,(ademas de borrachos, mariguanos, pistos, pericos, cocos y pa’ acabarla HUEVONES) con razon la migra los persigue y los manda a su puto rancho de donde nunca debieron de haber salido..JajJjajajJAJjajjajJA
    Y ahora ahi les va un corrido:
    Chinguen todos a su madre,
    bola de putos webones,
    yo me los cojo parados
    sin bajarles los calzones!”

  5. Instead of another Mexican regional station, when is L.A. going to have a Spanish language station that plays alternative Spanish language music and/or Rock en Espanol?

    Not all Latinos in L.A. are uneducated Mexican immigrants. There are tens of thousands of young Latinos born in the U.S.A. that would love to hear music from the likes of Gustavo Cerati, Los Heroes del Silencio, Elefante, Los Tres, La Buena Vida, etc., etc.

    Additionally, how about establishing an NPR station in Spanish? KPFK does have limited Spanish language programming, but Southern CA’s huge Latino population could easily support a full-time NPR Spanish language station, similar to Radio Cooperativa in Santiago, Chile.

    Currently, Spanish-language radio in So Cal is completely dumbed-down with the same-old, same-old romanticas and Mexican Regional, and DJs who just scream and tell stupid jokes. It’s time for L.A. to get a Spanish radio station that caters to the educated, modern sector of the Latino population.

  6. To the two folks above:
    If you want to advocate for more diversity on the radio, fine – it is needed in the Los Angeles radio market. But do you really have to resort to personal insults and disparaging remarks to get your message across?

  7. I’m going to attempt to say this as gently as I can: When an interesting radio station like Indy, as beholden to corporate masters as it was, gets labeled as “white” station for “guys”, it’s reverse racism to suggest that was all it was. I know no less than 3 African Americans that listened to Indy (about 50% of the total I deal with everday) on a fairly regular basis, in their cars and such. Was Indy a “white” station? I don’t know but I don’t see diversity on the dial as a race issue. I like music regardless of who produces it.

    Ultimately, making it a race issue leads douchebags like M. Brenes free room to make themselves available. It’s becomes race thing at that point, and self-perpetuating, which is silly sad.

    Indy wasn’t ever about “white” music or whatever, they had a Latina DJ that would kick some Spanglish now and then. Not so bad. Far from being this fish-belly white Indy took some risks and as much as I hated the crap they were forced to play on rotation, I heard some good music there, and we are much the lesser now. It’s unfortunate the conversation has devolved to this point. We could certainly use better music on the dial but as Aldesmadre pointed out, those with computers had limitless choices so who gives a fuck?

    The point that gets me is the sentiment that if they aren’t playing “my” music they aren’t worthy of credit. Funny thing is the world doesn’t revolve around me. They played interesting music, even if it wasn’t “mine”. We lost something and douchebags aside we lost the last interesting FM station.

    Enjoy Gato. I’m sure it won’t be everything you expect.

    Cheers, out.

  8. Salty,

    Who are you responding to? Who said indie 103.1 was for “white guys?”

    “Enjoy Gato. I’m sure it won’t be everything you expect.”

    I don’t expect much from commercial radio of any genre. My whole point is if El Gato played cumbia, I’d be happy. I doubt they will because cumbia stations never last. I thought the thread and tangents on this post were awesome and a good introduction to music many English speaking Latinos and others ignore as being provincial and for “immigrant Mexicans.”

    “Funny thing is the world doesn’t revolve around me.”

    Then be aware that it is corporate market forces that drive these decisions and any blame should rest on the business owner’s shoulders. Also, a celebration of this (often derided) cultural music is not a personal affront against you and your personal tastes. So why harsh on us and worse, make justifications for trolls like M Brenes?

  9. I have no problem with Cumbia or any other form, but your only concern is with one form of content, mine is with the over-all exposure. My point is that Indy was the last last bastion of interesting music content on FM dial, and it had nothing to do with race. Some others suggested that it was a “white” radio station. I respectfully disagree. Scroll back if you need clarification.

    Lastly, I think said troll was an asshole. I would never defend him/her. But I think think the tying of race/ethnicity in former comments lead to fertile ground for that kind of trash talk.

    “So why harsh on us” You take this as a personal affont, and you are wrong. I’m not trashing on your community or station. I’m mourning the loss of mine. And yours. Cumbia will never be a big thing on Gato, I don’t need to listen to know. The only final decent station on FM is dead and of us those that have computers don’t give a shit. End of story.

  10. Sorry your radio station is gone.

    Now that it is, maybe you can learn to like other kinds of music. I didn’t grow up listening to Mexican regional music. In fact, my musician dad dislikes most of it, but I learned to appreciate it later in life. Everyone has their preferences of course, but I hope this thread introduced people to music they might have previously overlooked.

    I grew up listening to the kind of music played on Indie 103.1 and I have to tell you, I wasn’t a big fan of the station even though my brother would always bug me to listen. Many of the public radio stations like KXLU, KCRW (late at night), KSPC (one of my favs) and KPFK still play lots of interesting and independent music. And like I said on another thread, Indie really didn’t play a ton of non-corporate bands.

    No need to get all “end of story” about things, if you continue to feel the need to tell us how sad you are about the demise of Indie 103.1, please, mourn away.

  11. “Some others suggested that it was a “white” radio station. I respectfully disagree…I’m not trashing on your community or station. I’m mourning the loss of mine.” Salty

    If 103.1 wasn’t a white station what was it? This dishonesty is what gives people the license to be racist.

    I didn’t make the rules of characterizing something by race just because a majority of people who do a certain thing do it. No one who looked like me made up these types of rules in America.

    People who looked like me couldn’t even vote in parts of the US until the 1960s and the rules of the game where made up way before that.

    Black music, Puerto Rican neighborhood, one drop, who is white and who is not, who is indigenous who is not, what makes a person what, what is race, who gets to say they are what…these are all labels created by people who stole this country. And I’m not using the term stole to be an asshole, but just calling it from my interpretation of history. I don’t want to use the term created, because this land existed before it was America. I would love it if we all stopped using labels. I would love it if stereotypes just went away. I would love it if different didn’t mean bad. I would love it if I didn’t have to hear CNN say 3000 times that Barack Obama is African-American, but since I live in this country I’m simply characterizing things created by people who came before me.

    When people stop describing people of color by their ethnicity (even the freakin President) then I’ll stop. If everyone else gets their station labeled, I’m going to label 103.1.

    The DJs were white, the music they played mainly where by white people (I know they played some reggae, but I’m going to bet it was mainly roots music from dead black men.) There is lots of indy music being made by people who don’t fit in that demographic, those people weren’t played. It being white isn’t bad, but lets not pretend it was diverse in it’s ethnicity or mindset, because it wasn’t.

    Now I totally get in America white is not viewed as white. That the white community is given this courtesy of being everything, but Farai Chideya’s show on NPR had wide themes, had people of different ethnicities, but still it was characterized as a “black” show. A station where the majority of the djs where Latino would be called a “Latino” station.

    In LA it takes a special kind of skill and a real conscious effort to have almost all white male djs and 103.1 was able to accomplish this.

    If you don’t consider KJLH a black station I will accept your characterization of 103.1 not being a white station. If you are living in post-racial land congratulations. I personally think we need a lot of work on that and even the term post-racial seems racist. Post-racial to me just means American with no consideration of past or future or anyone beyond the borders of this country and the people who get to determine what is America in general all went to Ivy Leagues.

    I don’t think anyone is being harsh on people who just liked 103.1. I liked 103.1. The point is not that 103.1 or white people are silly for being sad.

    The point is don’t trash an easy target and really the wrong people because they are not the “the same” as you just because something of yours went away. (And the people who made it went away where white people who wanted to make money, so if 103.1 should be trashing anyone owing to race it should be rich white men, but we’ll never hear that from the fans 103.1. They’ll say it in this vague ‘it’s about money,” but respectful way. No racial slur attacks on what those people are and it is pretty easy to figure out. I have never understood why people who hate PC never say anything about rich white men when if you wanted to generalize they are the ones that hurt the most people in America. I wouldn’t think that was fair, but if you are a player in the racial slur game well…what’s up with that?)

    You are saying right now that it’s not fair that we are trashing the people who liked 103.1, but the people who trashed Latinos owing to the demise of 103.1 did it first.

    I don’t understand why people think that people of color should be happy when people make these sweeping generalizations about people who look like us just because that’s not the main point. But to us that is the main point. The main point is that people are using this demise of this station as an excuse to show their behinds, but then they get to say, “Well I didn’t mean it that way, I’m just sad.” And I’m finished with giving people the courtesy to be racist or sexist or nationalist or homophobic just because they are sad.

    You can be sad without smacking other people in the head. I would compare these racist responses in regards to 103.1 to a two year old that tries to beat up the wall because they bumped into it.

    And we have to talk about race, even if it occasionally brings ignorant statements. Even if we didn’t these comments would still happen. I used to have a blog where I never brought up race. I talked in this universal flowery talk, but it didn’t matter. I still had lots and lots of racial slur type comments, so much in fact that I had to shut the blog down, so not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.

  12. Do we really need another mexican station, why not a cuban station, a boriqua salsa merenque bachata station, or even a jamaican station, havent we had enough of the same circus music (duranguense) yet?. I went to rosarito a couple months ago and heard the best mexican station ever, they played nothing but the classics one after another in digital format. im talking about Cumbias, rancheras, boleros from like the 40-90’s it was awesome..a station like that would be nice

  13. His stupid comment has been deleted. That same troll keeps trying to post racist drivel all the time under different names, but he rarely succeeds. As is the usual case in his life.

  14. “If you don’t consider KJLH a black station I will accept your characterization of 103.1 not being a white station. If you are living in post-racial land congratulations. I personally think we need a lot of work on that and even the term post-racial seems racist. Post-racial to me just means American with no consideration of past or future or anyone beyond the borders of this country and the people who get to determine what is America in general all went to Ivy Leagues.” -Browne

    I love this point and the rest too. I have had a few debates on the post race thing, mostly with peeps with MFAs and they are POC, which is really sad. I will be quoting you Browne next time I see them.

    They don’t see that, or refuse to see, that they are trying to dictate this term post race simply to have a new marketing twist for their art and get their butts into institutions that have locked them out or people like them in the past. Who gave them the power to say “we are now in a post race era. tah daaah!”

  15. Salty,

    The only guy I knew that listened to 103.1 was a retired white guy from Northern California – and he just left town, so big deal. Don’t white people have satellite radio now or something?

    Anyway, the most popular stations in L.A. (since I’ve been alive) have always been the spanish language ones.

    Thanks for posting all the YouTube clips above.

    KPCC Larry Mantle FTW!

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