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Alt.Latino 101: Back To The Basics

Since we started Alt.Latino a few months ago, we've been getting emails from Latin Alternative/Rock en Español music lovers who tell us how much they enjoy discovering fresh new music from around the globe.

We're especially proud of the fact that a lot of our listeners are new to the genre. They either stumbled across our show when they were visiting NPR Music and liked what they heard, or they just have a real curiosity to know what Latin Alternative/Rock En Español is all about. Today's show is dedicated to those listeners: the ones who didn't grow up listening to this type of music, but enjoy it anyway. We decided to put together a show to introduce you to some of the classics of the genre, the basics: Latin Alternative 101.

Who better to enlist in this effort than our friend Josh Norek over at WEXT? Josh co-hosts The Latin Alternative and is a VP at Nacional Records, and he's also just a great guy who knows a lot about Latin music. We asked him to put together a list of quintessential Latin Alternative/Rock en Español songs, and he must have gotten really into it, because he ended up creating a list so long, it would take six hours to listen to the whole thing. We've been streaming that list 24 hours a day for more than a week now; you can catch it here.

Never fear: We don't have a six-hour-long show for you today. We asked Josh to narrow his list down to eight songs. The result was a compilation that took us from Argentina to Mexico, through the Caribbean and all the way to Spain.

For those of you who already know and love this music, help us out! If you had to choose eight songs to get a friend started on Latin Alternative, which ones would you pick?

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Jasmine Garsd
Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.