Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Aug 7, 2013
Originally published on February 13, 2014 11:07 am

You know the drill by now. Each month, NPR Music polls public-radio personalities and asks them to share their favorite new song with the world. You get to download the track. Here's this month's panel:

  • Ernesto Lechner, co-host of WEXT's syndicated show The Latin Alternative
  • David Dye, host of WXPN's syndicated show World Cafe in Philadelphia
  • Alex Ambrose, program director of WQXR's Q2 Music channel in New York
  • Anne Litt, music host at KCRW in Santa Monica, Calif.
  • David Brown, host of Texas Music Matters at KUTX in Austin, Texas
  • Caryn Havlik, producer of WNYC's New Sounds in New York
  • Nick Brunner, host of Blue Dog Jam on Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, Calif.
  • Andrea Swensson, blogger for TheCurrent.org in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Patrick Jarenwattananon, blogger for NPR Music's A Blog Supreme
  • Frannie Kelley, host of NPR Music's hip-hop channel, Microphone Check
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Time now for our music series, Heavy Rotation. Each month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities at member stations around the country to tell us about a new song they can't stop playing. We invite one of them to share their pick on MORNING EDITION.

Ernesto Lechner is the co-host of "The Latin Alternative," weekly show on WEXT out of Amsterdam, New York.

ERNESTO LECHNER, BYLINE: We play a variety of new music from the Latin alternative field, which is very broad, in fact, because it includes rap and hip-hop and also the new sounds in electronica. And I picked a wonderful salsa tune from Puerto Rico. The band is Orquesta el Macabeo, and the song is "Lluvia con Sol."

MONTAGNE: It means "Rain with Sun."


LECHNER: What absolutely amazes me about this song is just the way it is constructed, how it starts with a typical salsa piano line, but a very tasty one. But then, when the chorus sort of explodes, it's like the sun came out. It's like the rain is over, and the sun came out.


ORQUESTA EL MACABEO: (Singing in Spanish)

MONTAGNE: Ernesto Lechner says despite the sunny tempo, the lyrics are dark.

LECHNER: The singer is having a bad day. He's complaining about the government, about the oppression. In a way, I mean, it is my understanding because he says that there is sun with the rain, that he does find happiness in the salsa groove. He does find happiness in the music.

MONTAGNE: And that, Lechner says, is part of salsa's charm.

LECHNER: Much like in magical realism, much like in the stories of Gabriel Garcia Marques, where you have all this story seeped in intensity and tragedy and regret, but then, you know, let's dance the night away, anyway.


MACABEO: (Singing in Spanish)

MONTAGNE: Ernesto Lechner is the co-host of "The Latin Alternative" from WEXT. His pick for Heavy Rotation is "Lluvia Con Sol," by Orquesta el Macabeo.

You could hear more from the series at NPRMusic.org.

This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.