National Public Radio Has Been Good To Me

Yesterday I visited a group called Intocable during their sound check at a casino venue near me in Indio, CA. I had been in communication for a few months with their manager, Oscar Carrasco, and Noe Calderas, who mixes FOH for them, and sent them some gear to try. My visit to Indio was a chance to finally meet them face to face.

So who, you may ask, is Intocable? They are a six-piece band from Zapata, Texas who write and perform in the “musica norteña” style of Spanish language music. The band came together about nineteen years ago when accordionist/vocalist, Ricky Muñoz got together with his friend, drummer René Martínez, and began writing songs.

Grupo Intocable has gone on to win Grammy awards, have hit records, and tour the United States and Mexico extensively. They own their own sound system, buses and trucks. They are huge. The band has 3.1 million Facebook followers. Just as a reference, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have 2.8 million followers.

Intocable is the latest group that I’ve discovered via National Public Radio. The interview that Ricky Muñoz did there opened my eyes to this wonderful band and I tracked them down. NPR, through the years, has exposed me to The High Strung, Pete Yorn, Rachel Flotard, The Hotel Café, Lana Del Rey, Arcade Fire, Nas, and many more artists who I’ve ended up dealing with, in varying degrees, for artist relations.

Having a “filter” plays large for my AR efforts. This is perhaps where I miss record companies and that whole machine. I sort of liked certain aspects of “the man” implying that I’d like Green Day or Dave Matthews and should get to know them. We don’t have that anymore which is both good and bad when it comes to artist relations. And this is where my hat goes off to NPR.

So my afternoon with Intocable was great and as usual, at least in my world, featured a few laughs. Most of the band and crew speak English, but leave it to me to find the one guy – their monitor mixer – who spoke only Spanish and had questions about latency and word clock issues in digital consoles. Fortunately, “I have no clue” is a universal phrase and understood by all. He laughed.