neta Radi0

The truth is in the music

Book Review: El Narco by Ioan Grillo

El Narco, one of the best books ever written about the drug war in México, happens to be written by a British gent. Ioan Grillo is not your typical gringo. He has earned his stripes working as a journalist reporting from the front lines of Mexico since 2001.

I first heard about him and his work on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Thanks Joe. Episode #1253 features Mr. Grillo speaking about his journey as a reporter on the streets of the most dangerous areas of Mexico.

Without giving too much away, the book is broken down into three parts; History, Anatomy, and Destiny. It is well researched and dives into the history and conditions that paved the way for the long bloody drug war our generation has witnessed.

A combination of interviews with former cartel soldiers, mothers of slain victims, government officials, and Sierra Madre farmers gives readers a view into the world of the Mexico’s Narco Movement from a personal level never before accomplished in book form. I appreciated that while Mr. Grillo gives his opinions and theories, he also allows the research and facts to tell an unbiased account of events.

Keep in mind El Narco was released in 2012 and the Narco Movement within and beyond the borders of Mexico has continued to evolve. However, El Narco is a great read for gaining more insight into the history, development, and some of the communities directly affected by the “War on Drugs.”

El Narco is Ioan Grillo’s first book and is available in several languages. Below is a link for the English version.

D.E.P. El Senor De Los Corridos

Regional Mexican Music musicians and fans around the world are mourning the passing of Guadalupe Quintero. Señor Quintero, the lead voice of Los Incomparables De Tijuana, was also well known as El Señor De Los Corridos.

Señor Quintero’s brief battle with cancer came to an end Sunday, June 30, 2019. Multiple sources report that he was diagnosed approximately three months ago.

Like many of you, I have great memories of seeing him on stage holding his distinctive trade-mark electric bass. Most of those memories for me comprise of repeatedly raising a glass of Buchanan’s whiskey in the air while he led Los Incomparables De Tijuana through a set of their legendary corridos and rancheros.

For decades, Los Incomparables De Tijuana has blessed the culture with music that not only documented, but made history. Lyrics from their songs have been quoted by journalists, authors, cartel bosses, and whoever else dared speak publicly on the subject matter covered in much of their music.

The corridos of Los Incomparables have been covered by countless norteno groups and bandas. There’s a good chance you heard one of their songs covered at a recent fiesta or nightclub outing where there was a live norteno or banda performing. Some of their most famous (or infamous) songs include El Numero Uno, Seteciantas Libras, Los Traficantes, and one of my all time favorites, Esta De Parranda El Jefe.

It’s no doubt that Señor Quintero leaves behind a rich legacy. His influence and artistry will live on. As for me, I’m gonna head out tonight and listen to the norteño play some classic corridos de Los Incomparables De Tijuana. As I reminisce, I’ll raise my glass of whiskey in the air once again. Farewell Don Lupe.

D.E.P. Señor Guadalupe Quintero.

Who would’ve thought?

I should’ve started writing these entries a while back, but I didn’t expect this fun little experiment to last quite this long. Here we are, a little over two years and four months in. Neta Radio began as part project and part dedication for the local musicians, bands, and DJs within the norteno, banda, and regional Latin music genres throughout Southern CA.

With the contribution of my very good friend and audiophile, DJ Mozart, this little train keeps on moving. By the way, that’s him in action I used as the background pic for the site. If you listen to his mixes closely, you’ll notice an underlying connection or story throughout the tracks on his mixes.

A majority of the the live sets on the program are from artists and groups I have a personal acquaintance with. The very first recording with Banda Imperio is still one of my favorites and will probably hold up for many years to come. All of the recordings mark a special place in time, but you have to admit that’s one hell of an opener for a podcast.

As you can see, there is no set schedule for uploads or releases. Yep, totally random. We’re often at the mercy of artist managers, staff, sound engineers, venue management, and other unforeseen obstacles. And let’s be honest, sometimes people just have other shit to do. There is never any promise of another recording or episode. The pistons of this engine could seize up at anytime, on any day. The randomness and uncertainty is also a big part of the beauty in what we do. Saludos.

Buena Musica! Buenos Tiempos!