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Radio Bomba: Behind The Scenes Stories In San Antonio Art

(Editor's Note: this is a good story to hit "Listen" above)

There’s a new slice of San Antonio culture that’s being created in the Alamo City. But you might have to look for it in places where you haven’t looked before. I dialed it in, and afterwards, talked to its creator. It audio intro has a very retro radio feel to it.

“From downtown San Antonio, Tejas, this…is Radio Bomba. Underground notes on San Anto Cultura.”

If the man voicing that intro sounds familiar, there’s a reason.

“This is Robert Livar with Bombasta.”

You may know him from his other endeavor—Bombasta Barrio Big Band. I asked "So what the heck is Radio Bomba?"

“Radio Bomba!  It's a podcast. They’re roughly about thirty-minute conversations between myself and some of San Antonio’s leading talent. These are culture-creators—artists, musicians, poets.”

He chooses interesting artists, then goes to the upstairs studio at the iconic Alamo Music Company downtown, and records them.

    “The first podcast I put out I reached out to my good friend  Álvaro del Norte of Piñata Protest--Conjunto punk rock, a kind of quintessential San Antonio sound. And we talked about him smashing accordions onstage.”

He says Bomba allows him to dig deeper, ask more questions. It allows him to stretch out his questions.

“Great—you smashed an accordion onstage but…where did you get that accordion?” he laughed. He also noted “…and it’s great to get past the soundbites and get to the deeper story.”

Livar doesn't just interview musicians. He shines the light on other artistic disciplines too, including San Antonio’s official Poet Laureate, Laurie Ann Guerrero.”

Radio Bomba presents the creators of the written word, the sung word, and music in general. But they're not always in the mainstream.

"And a lot of the artists who are making good art, good music that interests me tend to be on the fringes“ he added.

But perhaps less so now. How you can tune in to Radio Bomba here and here.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii