I think that’s kind of a Mexican thing. No? That we like to cry, as Alma Guillermo Prieto that journalist has said. You know? I think we’re always holding in tears. We’re trying to be the stoic Mexicans, but you know at the end of the party, as she has said, Mexicans always end up crying…Well maybe it’s all the way down to the Patagonia because I think it has to do with the conquest. I really do. And kind of, a grief that’s there and a sadness. Porque estamos bien amulados. You know? And we don’t want to admit it until we’ve had a little tequila, a little bit of Chavela Vargas, a little bit of Agustin Lara, that give us permission to cry.
—  Sandra Cisnero as she Guest DJ’s in NPR's AltLatino radio show
Alt.Latino Picks Cool Songs For Beating The Midsummer Heat
The music gets very chill this week with smooth Latin soul from the daughter of a Latin music icon and Mexican folk renditions of music from Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

It’s hot as hell out there, so we’re throwing down a hot-as-hell mix of cool new music to help beat the midsummer temperatures.

Wait, did any of that make any sense? Hot, cool? Probably not — I may have been standing in the sun too long. But you know what I mean. Now, where did I leave my Grateful Dead hat?

It only makes sense that a listening party led by twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, who make up the duo Ibeyi, would turn into a cool singalong. The two seem to have music pouring out of them at every second: As soon as they sat down in the Alt.Latino studio, they were snapping fingers, bouncing in their seats and singing along with the long playlist they’d brought in.

Alt.Latino: Twice The Fun With Guest DJ Ibeyi

Photo: Sophie Wright/Courtesy of the artist

Do you know that feeling when a song moves you so much, you just feel like you have to add your own voice? Mexican culture has an answer to that: a cathartic, joyous yell called a grito.

Legendary Mexican performer Vicente Fernández, aka “Chente,” performs the crazy tragic love song “Volver, Volver.” “It’s one of the most iconic mariachi songs of all time, performed by the most popular Mexican mariachi vocalist ever,” says’s Felix Contreras. “And there is a championship grito at the top of the song.”

Like lots of Mexican-American kids, Contreras and I grew up hearing the adults in our lives performing gritos when they listened to mariachi music at family barbecues, or cheering on friends and family at graduation.

“In my family, my mother and my grandfather, her step-dad, when we would be at family parties like Christmas or something like that, we’d be in the other room playing, we’d hear a really loud grito, we knew the party was on, it just took it to a different level,” Contreras says. “It was the ultimate expression that we were really having a good time.”

In Mariachi Music, A Distinctive Yell Speaks To The Soul

Photo: Hector Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images
Caption: A screen displays the concert of Mexican folk singer Vicente Fernández in Guadalajara, Mexico, in April, when Fernández announced his retirement.

All Songs Considered, Alt.Latino and The Record have teamed up to put on a show as a part of the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors summer program — and, oh yeah, it’s free.

 Doors open at 7 p.m. ET at NYC’s Damrosch Park; you can find more details at

Watch on

Music Monday: “La Negra” por La Santa Cecilia

I am a certified fan girl of NPR’s Radio Show, Alt Latino. Alt Latino is a weekly program dedicated to new Latin Alternative music and issues. Last Tuesday, I was listening to and I found this La Santa Cecilia. According to the lead singer, La Santa Cecilia, is the patron Saint of Music.

As soon as he eschuado las letras, me encante!

“cuando la negra te invita a bailar

no le digas no…”

Happy Monday mis amors!


Mexican Institute of Sound - Mexico