INTERVIEW: Josh Norek of WEXT’s “The Latin Alternative”

July 3rd, 2009, 10:05 am by Greg

Josh Norek is the co-host of the new weekly radio show, “The Latin Alternative,” debuting on WEXT at 8pm on Saturday, July 4.

He’s also the director of the JN Media Group (a bilingual music public relations company), the co-founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and a founding member of the Latino-Jewish rap group Hip Hop Hoodios.

Josh Norek

Josh Norek

While Norek lives and works in Los Angeles these days, his roots are right here in Nippertown.

NIPPERTOWN: How does a kid from Delmar get into Latin alternative music? What was it about the music that first attracted you?

NOREK: I grew up in Slingerlands, or as I call it “Slingerlandia.” My family is Jewish, but I have extended family from Colombia and always embraced español. When I was 14 years old, I started translating Tom Petty and John Mellencamp songs into Spanish for fun. My Spanish teacher at Bethlehem High School, Marta Meacham, encouraged me to mix my love of music with Spanish, but I never thought it would lead to an entire career as a Latin music executive, political activist (I also serve as deputy director of Voto Latino, the Latino youth civic engagement organization co-founded by the actress Rosario Dawson) and recording artist.

Believe it or not, I owe part of my music industry career to growing up in Bethlehem. When I was in 9th grade, I founded a ‘fanzine’ that was a parody of Rolling Stone. It was called ZedNosh, and I somehow conned Bethlehem Central High School to pay for its production. Spin Magazine publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. became a big fan of ZedNosh and I wound up becoming his personal intern at age 17.

More after the jump:

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WEXT Launches “The Latin Alternative”

July 2nd, 2009, 10:50 am by Greg

WEXT-FM – the official radio station of Nippertown – is about to celebrate its second anniversary of broadcasting next week. But before then, the listener-supported, non-commercial Triple A radio station – that’s adult album alternative, for those of you who don’t know radio-speak – is branching out into something completely different.

latinalternative-drftStarting on Saturday, July 4, the station will launch a new weekly radio program, “The Latin Alternative,” which will air every Saturday night at 8pm. Focus on crossover-friendly Latin rock, electronica, funk and hip-hop artists, the show will be the first program of its kind in available for national syndication.

“We’ve embraced artists like Manu Chao, Juana Molina, Rodrigo y Gabriela and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs from the start,” says Chris Wienk, WEXT’s program director. “We recognize that Latinos are an important part of the public radio audience, and we also know that non-Latin audiences love the Latin alternative genre.

“When we launched the station in 2007, we were surprised to discover that there were no syndicated Latin alternative public radio shows we could pick up to air. So we thought, ‘Why not create one ourselves?’”

“The Latin Alternative” is co-hosted by two of the genre’s leading experts, Josh Norek (co-founder of the Latin Alternative Music Conference and frontman for Latino-Jewish rap group Hip Hop Hoodíos) and Ernesto Lechner (contributing writer for Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the author of the book “Rock en Español: The Latin Alternative Rock Explosion”).

The show is broadcast on WEXT (97.7 FM) and streamed on

Check back with Nippertown tomorrow for an indepth interview with Josh Norek, Capital Region native and co-host of “The Latin Alternative.”

Real Good for Free: Latin Fest @ Washington Park

June 12th, 2009, 9:07 am by Greg

The annual Latin Festival spices up the free summer music schedule at the Parade Grounds in Albany’s Washington Park from 11am-6pm on Saturday, August 29.

The day-long fest features Latin food, crafts and, of course, lots of percolating Latin music to keep you dancing in the park all afternoon.

Featured performers include:
Michael Stuart

Doble Filo

Chembro Corniel and Grupo Chaworo

Real Good For Free: AHMF @ Lake George
Real Good For Free: The Clark @ Williamstown
Real Good For Free: Skidmore Jazz
Real Good For Free: Schenectady Central Park
Real Good For Free: Clifton Park
Real Good for Free: Albany Public Library
Real Good for Free: At The Plaza, Albany
Real Good for Free: Skidmore’s Tang Museum
Real Good For Free: Rockin’ on the River, Troy
Real Good For Free: Pearl Street Live
Real Good For Free: Freedom Park, Scotia
Real Good For Free: Jazz on Jay
Real Good For Free: Cook Park, Colonie
Real Good For Free: Lake George
Real Good For Free: Schodack
Real Good For Free: Art on Lark
Real Good For Free: River Street Festival
Real Good For Free: Canajoharie
Real Good For Free: Guilderland
Real Good For Free: Alive @ 5
Real Good For Free: Powers Park

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