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Our Spring New Music Extravaganza — And An Important Question

Alice Bag is one of the artists featured in this week's collection of new music.
Greg Velasquez
Courtesy of the Artist
Alice Bag is one of the artists featured in this week's collection of new music.

This week's show is another one of those that makes me want to climb the nearest (kinda-) tall building and shout about the variety of genres and styles continuously being released under the rubric of "Latin music." Increasingly, that identifier is getting stretched thinner and thinner, becoming inadequate to the point of being nearly useless.

Back when I was kid, discovering music in the mid-to-late '70s, things were pretty easy to describe and categorize. My local Tower Records outpost was neatly arranged by genre, with rock taking up most of the space. I can't imagine the Latin music buyer at a current brick-and-mortar record store knowing where to put punk icon Alice Bag's Chicana-punk back catalog, along with her current record, while at the same time having to somehow find a spot for Los Texmaniacs' Tejano conjunto revival, or the stunning atmospherics of the new record by KERA (formerly ofKera and The Lesbians).

Maybe "Latin music" as a catch-all is on its way out — this week's show of brand-new music certainly makes a case for it.

What do you think? Listen to the full show above, or the songs from it below.

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.