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  • 67

Episodes

SGV 013: Pomona’s fading graffiti reborn as exalted poetry

Chris Greenspon February 18, 2021

Michael Torres doesn’t revel in the idea of ‘making good and getting out of the hood.’ NPR’s Best Books of 2020? Yeah, that’s pretty sweet. Getting paid to write and teach? Of course, that’s good. Being able to hold the memories of your past life as a graffiti artist and not feel like you betrayed or lost who you were? Maybe that’s what success is.  Torres was born in 1986 and raised in South Pomona. The speaker in his book, An Incomplete List of Names, describes the joy and pain of growing up part of a graffiti crew: Being there […]

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  • 203

Episodes

SGV 012: David & Bigot Goliath after El Monte’s church bombing

Chris Greenspon February 11, 2021

Looking back at the news coverage of the explosion at First Works Baptist Church, the question that rises to the top is why weren’t we hearing more from the group that had protested the Church’s hateful teachings? Keep El Monte Friendly was treated fairly in local reports, but we mostly just saw them in the context of their one protest. Their profile felt greatly overshadowed by the multitude of existing soundbites and loud personality of Pastor Delfin Bruce Mejia.  Meeting two members of KEMF over Zoom, Abby and Bee, they were neither fervorous nor confrontational. They were soft-spoken. We discussed […]

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  • 26

Episodes

SGV 011: Thwarting bike death – non-profit designs street justice

Chris Greenspon February 4, 2021

El Monte and South El Monte are emblematic of inequity in the Valley. That’s where Active SGV’s executive director David Diaz is from. From his “frozen food” fueled childhood to being a new father there today, little has changed in the area’s streetscape. There are few neighborhood parks, an unreliable sidewalk system, and it’s still a dangerous place to commute on a bicycle. After going to Rio Hondo College, Diaz became fixated on how the built environment he grew up in affected its residents’ health. The two cities are surrounded by three freeways, a dump, freight lines, a private airport, […]

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  • 18

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SGV 010: Mish Mash Grab Bag! A Real Sausage Fest!

Chris Greenspon January 21, 2021

The saga of Phil Spector’s murder castle in Alhambra… A chat with a young progressive delegate hopeful from Bassett… The rebirth of Dr Rubin’s World Famous Pomade… and a mystery meat lunch in Arcadia Regional Park. This is our first compilation episode. -First priority. If you are registered to vote in the ADEM Election, the deadline to submit your ballot is Wednesday 1/27. With Bassett education worker Aaron Simental, we discuss what his vision is for progressive politics in the 626. He’s running on this slate in the 48th District. -Phil Spector died last Sunday. Finally. The Pyrenees Castle in […]

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  • 9

Episodes

Challenging the Establishment with Bassett’s Aaron Simental

Chris Greenspon January 20, 2021

Aaron Simental is a young queer student affairs professional from Bassett who’s running for a delegate seat in California’s 48th District in the ADEM Election with the progressive slate Challenging the Establishment. The delegates vote for which candidates the Democratic Party will back. They’re not politicians themselves. Full disclosure: I know Aaron through our membership in La Puente Mutual Aid, and he hit me up about coming on the show. This isn’t an endorsement – we’re just hearing about why this election matters. Deadline to mail in ballots in January 27th. This feature is part of this Friday’s episode: SGV […]

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  • 98

Episodes

SGV 009: SGV LGBTQ president on El Monte’s hate church

Chris Greenspon January 15, 2021

In November, Camila Camaleon was elected to lead the San Gabriel Valley’s small LGBTQ Center through turbulent times. Her pedigree in this traditional quarter of Southern California may be just what the area’s queer residents need to push for greater service and representation from the region’s Council of Governments. This episode started out as a profile on the Center’s first trans woman president, but recent news highlighted the very reason for LGBTQ organizing in the 626.  Last week, a hate group in El Monte’s profile rose from obscurity as a petition circulated on social media to oust the First Works […]

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  • 67

Episodes

SGV 008: Rap transcends trauma for ‘Woman in the Crowd’ Vel the Wonder

Chris Greenspon January 7, 2021

Vel the Wonder is an emcee from Baldwin Park with a very personal style. It’s unapologetic, “nuts hanging” out even as she tackles painful subjects. Hip hop seems to ground her wherever she is in life: the happy early years on La Sena Ave in North Baldwin Park, bussing it all over So Cal to paint graffiti, visiting countries she might never have thought of when she first picked up a mic.  She’s not always an easy listen. When she’s flowing about the traumas women go through, it’s spine chilling. When she’s expressing her constructive attitude about art, it can […]

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  • 110

Episodes

SGV 007: El Monte’s racist pioneer myth exposed in East of East

Chris Greenspon December 17, 2020

The history book East of East began out of disgust with El Monte’s origin story as the “End of the Santa Fe Trail.” In 2012, the city celebrated it’s centennial with a wagon train parade based on the sanitized narrative of the southern pioneers whose descendants founded the township – instead of honoring Monte’s actual residents, roughly 95% of whom are Latino or Asian. The book’s editors decided that they would investigate the area’s public history, centering the stories of people of color while exposing the truth about the pioneer settlers. The project was founded by South El Monte Arts […]

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  • 210

Episodes

SGV 006: KNX’s fierce city hall reporter, Claudia Peschiutta

Chris Greenspon December 10, 2020

KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta is known for many things in LA news: getting beanbagged by LAPD on her day off, yelling “I object!” at the second Lee Baca trial, and calling the Mayor of Los Angeles “Eric” at a press conference… Ok, those are all outliers, but her reputation is well-earned. She turns around compelling, human stories every day while pressing city officials for real information in an era of passing the buck. Claudia is a badass. And she probably has the best reporter Twitter too.  Perhaps part of what makes her such a formidable journalist for Los Angeles is […]

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  • 246

Episodes

SGV 005: Eternally is Here – Jeffrey Lee Pierce in the heart of his sister, Jacqui

Chris Greenspon December 3, 2020

Very few SoCal punk bands are legendary on the level that Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s Gun Club is. And of course, legends can be misleading. Pierce is known to come from El Monte, but his hometown was in fact South El Monte. Though he would say he was from Texas, like his mother. Questions about who Pierce really was were left without a direct answer when he died in 1996. Why did he pretend to be other people, like Chili Con Chola? Why did he stray so far from home, to London, Osaka, Berlin, and Cairo? Several documentaries have been made […]

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  • 52

Episodes

SGV 004: Daughter Skateboards, Dad films, Slurpee destroyed!

Chris Greenspon November 19, 2020

Daughter Skateboards is a brand based in Hacienda Heights, dedicated to helping young girls in the skate scene. Bobby Redline and Jesus Ramirez founded Daughter after their kids Draven and Aberdeen got them back into skating.  The brand will belong to the girls when they get older. Meeting with Bobby, Draven, and friends Jaelyn Rose Sedano and her father Joe, the kids radiate confidence, and their dads seem happy and at ease. The girls take after their fathers; Draven the chaotic troublemaker, and JRose the focused competitor. A funny pair of friends, body slamming each other and sharing junk food.  […]

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  • 89
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Episodes

SGV 003: Revelation on Garey Ave & the Nile River – Black History in Pomona

Chris Greenspon November 5, 2020

Khalif Rasshan founded The African American Museum of Beginnings in 2010 after retiring from a three decade teaching career at Garey High School. He attended the school himself after moving from Compton in 1965. Pomona was the whitest place he’d ever seen. But he felt fairly welcome. The Civil Rights movement had influenced his classmates – to the point where he didn’t realize they were living in a fantasy.  During his time at La Verne College (now a University, of course) the image cracked. Then named John Gordon, Rasshan began to expand his consciousness with the radical black thought of […]

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  • 75

Episodes

SGV 002: Numbing Spice & the Boba Blow Up

Chris Greenspon October 22, 2020

The San Gabriel Valley has America’s highest concentration of Asian immigrants, and a regional dining selection to match. The LA press corps has published plenty about this in recent years, but how much of it is actually relevant to locals? To kitchen workers? This week we hear from “Duchess of the SGV,” Kristie Hang, freelance food & travel journalist. She’s reported on the Valley’s full spectrum of Asian cuisine, from supermarket sushi to chicken you need a hammer to eat.  We had a great conversation about the area’s Asian diaspora; its contributions to SoCal’s food scene, the dark side of […]

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  • 128

Episodes

SGV 001: The Song of the San Gabriel Valley is Untitled

Chris Greenspon October 8, 2020

This inaugural episode tells the history of a gone but not forgotten punk band from La Puente. T.U. aka The Uglies, circa 2005-2011. The band’s bassist and lead singer, Noe Silva, is a friend of the program, and an understated fixture in the Southern California scene. His adventurous (and at times pretentious) musical tendencies resulted in a song which in part inspired this program’s creation. There are two main punk sounds associated with the San Gabriel Valley. Backyard street punk, and more and more, the Gun Club. Fifteen years ago though, it was mainly just street punk. Everyone had a […]

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  • 68

Episodes

SGV 000: The Trailer for SGV Weekly, San Gabriel Valley’s new alternative media

Chris Greenspon September 8, 2020

Coming Oct. 2020, SGV Weekly is a radio fanzine for the San Gabriel Valley. It includes news and interviews about who we are and where we live. Hear the stories of punks, rappers, historians and more. East of East, West of Inland, North of Orange… From Alhambra to Pomona, get your fix of the 626.  FULL DEMO EPISODE <-click here! Hosted by Chris GreensponCover art: logo by Felipe Flores & layout by Rita GreensponTheme song: Carry Home by the Gun Club, courtesy of Manifesto RecordsAmbient music for the series by Kevin Greenspon, Bridgetown Records

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