On Saturday, November 14th, Radio Sombra
celebrated its second anniversary as an Internet radio station. Radio Sombra was started by Marco Amador as an important first step in creating more autonomous spaces throughout the Chicano community. Internet radio is nothing new to the world, but it’s an important first step in the advancement of communities such as Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles in looking beyond our traditional means of expression. From Radio Sombra came Espacio 1839, an art gallery/bookstore/record store/apparel shop that houses the station. Again, nothing new to most progressive communities, but Radio Sombra and Espacio 1839 has continued to flourish without corporate sponsorship, grants, and city funding or bank loans. This enables both entities to not compromise and continue defining itself.
Radio Sombra now has over twenty shows with the archives of past shows now running 24/7 in between the live shows. All radio shows pays dues for the upkeep of the station and equipment. Each show is required to run independently, with each host getting a course on how to engineer their shows and uploading them once completed on radiosombra.org. The shows vary from social/political talk shows to music shows specializing in every genre of music imaginable. There are youth programs that teach students from local high schools how to run their own shows as well as an ongoing achieve of interviews from important voices both locally and internationally.
Saturday’s broadcast was twelve straight hours of live programming. Starting at 11 am with This Is Not A Radio Show
with Omar Ramirez & Gabriel Tenorio and Ending with Heartbreak Radio
with Lady Imix & DJ Phatrick at 11 pm. Other shows that participated were AF3IRM Radio
, an anti-imperialist transnational feminist national women’s organization. This was followed by O Lo Siento
, a 90’s noise rock revival
and platform for new groups personally recorded by studio engineer Eddie Rivas. Beatific Audio
followed by DJ Cezar, a mixture of jazzy funk, hip-hop
and social consciousness, Small Talk From Sapo
is hosted by Moises Ruiz, aka Sapo, which on that day was a tribute to all the great jazz organists,
all from vinyl. Steady Beat For Lovers
by Mali is exactly what the name entails, a sweet blend of Rocksteady
and Lover’s Rock. Nicotina
hosted by Nico Avina, always plays political fueled rock and folk in Spanish and English. I did a set for Discos Inmigrantes
, an all vinyl set of my favorite jams from past shows. Social Machine Broadcast
with Becky & Dewey plays mostly powerful female-led rock
in the first have and punk
in the second half. Heartbreak Radio
closed it out with a set from DJ Phatrick followed by another tearjerker set by Lady Imix.