Syncretic Trifecta


For years, the fastest-growing radio format in Southern California has been Spanish-language. But now, the hottest station in town, KXOL-FM, has vaulted from 18th to 2nd place in the local Arbitron ratings in part by switching from all-Spanish to bilingual.

My main point in bringing this up, besides warming Tyler Cowen's heart and Lonewacko's blood (and also finding a flimsy excuse to link to my favorite local radio show) … is to point out the embarrassing truth that the music style played on KXOL is one I'd absolutely positively never heard of before.

The station, owned by Miami-based Spanish Broadcasting System Inc., highlights reggaeton, an upbeat genre with Panamanian and Puerto Rican roots.

Then again, I'm the same guy who, when driving through France two years ago, heard a French DJ go on and on about the ragin' new American style of crunk, and assumed loudly that the poor fellow was just confused by the language….

And speaking of syncretism, here's another reason to root for the White Sox in the World Series—off-his-rocker Manager Ozzie Guillen is a proud practitioner of Santeria.