12 / 16 / 13
Block 2 Block with Alicia Walter of Oshwa


Every neighborhood in Chicago is as distinct as the voices it produces. Yet, if we look close enough, we’d be surprised to find the similarities between them. In this edition of our on-going series Block 2 Block, we hear from Alicia of Chicago band Oshwa. She talk about her hood - Pilsen.

The MusicVox airs M-F 6-8 PM CT on 89.5 FM (NWI) / 90.7 FM (CHI) /www.vocalo.org

Produced by Tom Hush

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Block 2 Block, Oshwa, rock, indie, Chicago, public radio, Vocalo, block2block, neighborhood, Pilsen,

09 / 18 / 13
Malafacha on Live From Studio 10 (aired Sept 2013)


Straight out of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood comes Malafacha - an 8 member ensemble delivering undeniable punk energy through a mixture of Ska, Reggae and Latin rhythms.

Live From Studio 10 airs Tuesdays at 8pm CST on Vocalo 90.7 FM (CHI) / 89.5 FM (NWI) and Vocalo.org, and features emerging local bands and music artists (with the occasional national act stopping by). No other station brings you this much local music, and no other show in the region does it live. The show is hosted by Jesse Menendez, produced by Fyodor Sakhnovski and engineered by Adam Yoffe. Subscribe to the podcast here: bitly.com/vocaloLFS10

Source: SoundCloud / Vocalo's Live From Studio

6Malafacha, ska, reggae, punk, rock, Latin, Chicago, Vocalo, live from studio 10, live radio, live music, music, Pilsen, public radio, livefromstudio10,

08 / 08 / 13
The Art of Lowriding


On Sunday, the Chicago Urban Arts Society is hosting their annual Community Lowrider Festival, a celebration of lowrider car and bike culture. Chicago Urban Arts Society co-founder Peter Kepha, President of the Chicago Chapter of the Viejitos car club, Roberto Doggy Diaz, and photographer for Lowrider Magazine Edward Calderón joined Morning AMp hosts Brian Babylon and Molly Adams to talk about why lowriding is a lifestyle, not just a hobby, and about what distinguishes Chicago lowriding culture from the rest of the herd.

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6vocalo, morning amp, lowriders, CUAS, Chicago, Pilsen,

04 / 30 / 13
Block 2 Block with D-Nick The Microphone Misfit


Every neighborhood is as distinct as the voices it produces. Yet, if we look close enough, we’d be surprised to find the similarities between them. In this edition of our on-going series Block 2 Block, we explore Flint, Michigan through the eyes of now Chicago-based MC D-Nick The Microphone Misfit.

The MusicVox airs M-F 6-8 PM CT on 89.5 FM (NWI) / 90.7 FM (CHI) /www.vocalo.org

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6D-Nick, Microphone Misfitz, hip hop, funk, Chicago, Flint, Michigan, Pilsen, Vocalo, public radio, Block2Block,

04 / 08 / 13
New music from Bob Rok - The Windy City of the Damned


Pilsen’s blue collar bandit, Bob Rok, is back with a new mixtape called “The Windy City of The Damned” - a mix of songs talking about media bias, class-ism and corrupt politics, among other things. Bob Rock and mixtape producer DJ Mar joined Jesse Menendez on The MusicVox to talk about life in this fine city and their creative process.

The MusicVox airs M-F 6-8PM on 89.5 (NWI) / 90.7 FM (CHI) / www.vocalo.org

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Bob Rock, DJ Mar, hip hop, Chicago, Vocalo, public radio, Pilsen,

02 / 25 / 13


In this installment of Practically Speaking, we talk about localism and entrepreneurship in communities of color. 

First, host Audra Wilson sits down with Stephanie Hart, owner of Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago’s Chatham/Grand Crossing area. Ms. Hart talks about her struggle to build her business in an area that is underserved by banks… and why she stays.

Then Audra speaks with Emile Cambry, one of the founders of Cibola, a creative entrepreneurship incubator in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. They are helping to build the city’s next generation of business owners and tech entrepreneurs of color.

Last, we hear about the seldom-discussed history and significance of African-American names.

Catch fresh episodes of Practically Speaking Saturdays at 1pm CST on Vocalo.org (89.5fm and 90.7fm in Chicago), with a rebroadcast Fridays at 11am.

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Vocalo, Stephanie Hart, Brown Sugar Bakery, Emily Campry, Cibola, Pilsen, Tech, Entrepenuership, Localism, Incubator, Chicago,

02 / 11 / 13
Vocalo on WBEZ Ep. 52 - Portrayal of Muslims in Western Media, Los Crudos Pt. 2, J Dilla Tribute


In this episode: Shows like ‘Homeland’ and ‘24’, or movies like ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ might make us think “this must be how it really goes down” - but how do you separate truth from fiction in media? Aymen Abdel Halim, the Communications Coordinator at CAIR-Chicago, and Media and Islam professor at DePaul says the state of media portrayals of Muslims has worsened in recent years. He talks terrorism, religion and Abu Nazir with hosts Molly Adams and Brian Babylon.

Vocalo contributor Alex Rojas continues his documentary on Pilsen-based hardcore punk band Los Crudos (1991 to 1998). Being all Latinos, they paved the way for later Spanish-speaking punk bands and helped to increase the presence of Latinos in the predominantly white punk subculture. The second part of the series focuses on the band’s influence abroad.

J Dilla (Feb. 7, 1974 – Feb. 10, 2006) was a hip hop artist, producer and pioneer who’s life and career was tragically cut short by Lupus. We pay a tribute to the great artist with a special all-Dilla DJ set from Vocalo DJ collective member Joc Max.

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6J Dilla, Hip Hop, Los Crudos, Pilsen, Chicago, Vocalo, WBEZ, Public Radio, Publicradiowithswag, Joc Max, Muslim Americans, Media,

12 / 24 / 12
Vocalo on WBEZ Ep. 45 - Los Crudos, Music Therapy, Jesse De La Pena

In this episode: HAPPY HOLIDAYS everybody! While we take a short break, we bring you stories from Vocalo Storyteller Workshop contributors and interns.

First up: Meet Alex Rojas. Our new Vocalo Storyteller. He produced a story about Los Crudos an American hardcore punk band from Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood (1991 to 1998). Being all Latinos, they paved the way for later Spanish-speaking punk bands and helped to increase the presence of Latinos in the predominantly white punk subculture.

The MusicVox intern Liz Griewe wanted to learn more about music therapy, so she visited the Institute for Therapy Through the Arts in Evanston. There, she spoke with therapist Jeffrey Wolf and a patient’s family member about music therapy and the different ways it can be used to help patients.

Lastly, our own Jesse De La Pena plugs into the mix with his DJ magic!

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Vocalo, WBEZ, Public Radio, Chicago, Los Crudos, Pilsen, punk, hardcore, music therapy, latino, Jesse De La Pena, DJ,

11 / 14 / 12
Los Crudos pt.1

Los Crudos

Los Crudos was an American hardcore punk band from Chicago, Illinois that existed from 1991 to 1998.[1][2][3] Being all Latinos, they paved the way for later Spanish-speaking punk bands[2] and helped to increase the presence of Latinos in the predominantly white punk subculture.[4]

This is a part I of a series that Alexander Rojas produced for Vocalo’s storytelling workshops.  


Alexander Rojas

Why did you want to become a Vocalo Storyteller?

Vocalo provides a great platform to share stories that would otherwise never have the opportunity to reach a wider audience. I wanted to share a story from a community that is often overlooked and undervalued.
Your piece in 20 seconds:

As several youth subcultures were clinging to their existence amongst a gang riddled neighborhood, a group of young punk kids broke through with a fast, loud and confrontational style of music that connected with a disenfranchised community.
Why did you decide to tell this story?

I wanted to explore how this particular style of music came to be in a community that was riddled with gangs and consumed with dance music and ultimately the effect it had on the community.
In what ways are you a better storyteller and/or producer?

Coming from a background that’s very dependent on the visual form, I found myself trying to find dialogue and sounds that created a sense of place and time that would enable the listener to visualize the words, the descriptions and the voices through their imagination.

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Los Crudos, Hardcore Punk, Punk, Chicago, Pilsen, Little Village, subculture, Latinos, LATISM, Vocalo,

10 / 19 / 12
Perfect Kiss on Live From Studio 10 (aired Oct. 2012)
340 plays


Chicago’s Perfect Kiss tear up Studio 10 with a killer live set filled with dance songs about love and partyiiing!!

Having started out of the necessity to party, the Pilsen-based synth pop group Perfect Kiss have been moving the underground dance floors for some years and releasing rough homemade mixes of their songs. This year, the band decided to take things more seriously, and booked time in a professional studio. The result is their debut release Alarms EP - a collection of irresistibly danceable pop songs.

Source: SoundCloud / vocalo

6Pilsen, Chicago, Perfect Kiss, Local Music, Vocalo, Synth Pop, Alarms EP,

10 / 16 / 12


Meet Ruben Aguilar. We had our first interview session for my Vocalo storytelling piece yesterday evening. Ruben was early and waiting for me at the Zocalito on 18th and Blue Island. We walked across the street to Yollocalli Arts Reach to set up and get comfortable.

For over 2 and a half hours we talked about the Rule of Nines, women, love, Chicago neighborhood history, his parents, the Depression, dogs, technology, God, race relations, peace, human rights, Mexico City, art, danzon, mambo, Chicago’s music scene back in the day and way too many other things to list. At one point he even quizzed me and towards the end of our interview he called me out.

As expected, technical calamity ensued and despite great restrain, I caught myself making the “mmhm”, “yes,” “really,” sounds and interrupting. This tape will definitely be a challenge to edit but I’m looking forward to it.

We are meeting again this Thursday, October 18th, which according to Ruben, is a great day to meet since it’s a multiple of nine. 

Special thanks to Eric Garcia, Vanessa Sanchez and Yollocalli Arts Reach for hosting us. 

(via vocalostorytellers)

Source: cortesmess

6Ruben Aguilar, Vocalo, Yollocalli, Chicago, Pilsen, Storytelling,

07 / 05 / 12


In May, I was invited to come on the Morning AMp show on Chicago’s Vocalo 89.5 FM station. We spoke about the Through Her Eyes exhibit in Chicago, the upcoming Olympic games, women’s sports in Saudi Arabia and the impact of sports on the lives of women around the world. Follow this link to listen to the interview. 

(via morningamp)

Source: throughhereyesproject

6through her eyes, female athletes, Chicago Art Department, Pilsen, Olympics, sports, Saudi Arabia,