Earlier this year, Albert Salinas began hosting “Live and Local,” a weekly show that features the work of local artists. The show had previously been hosted by Jeannette Muniz. Jeannette hosted the show for five years, but when she moved to Austin, Albert took over.
Hosting the show comes naturally for Albert. “Since I’ve been playing music in the scene for a bit, they thought I’d be a good fit. So I took it on, and I’ve been enjoying it.”
Shortly before he started hosting the show, Albert became KRTU’s operations manager, and before that, he’d been involved in the music scene for more than a decade.
When he was in high school, Albert began playing with thrash rock band Collective Dreams.
“I’ve always played music, but I never had any professional training.” Albert is humble about his early experiences with music. “I was just one person that played an instrument, and there was this crew of guys that also played instruments, and they were like, ‘We need another guy who plays an instrument.’ So I filled in.”
Albert started playing at local venues in high school, and during his senior year, the band had their first Texas/Louisiana tour. Since he’s played locally for so long, Albert’s noticed the changes in the culture surrounding music in San Antonio.
“I think what’s changed is that the people who are making music care about what they’re making. In the past, I think there was this punk attitude, like ‘Screw everybody but love music.’ But now, the younger scene is all about working together to make a good scene and have everybody included,” Albert explained, adding that he sees good things in the scene’s future. “I think we’re going in the right direction, and people are playing whatever music they wanna play.”
Local musicians now seem to better understand how things work in the music industry.
“Back then, know one knew what an EPK was or that they could just email a venue. If we wanted to play a certain venue, we would go to a show and find the guy that was talking to everyone and beg them to let us play,” he said.
When he started Collective Dreams, Albert and his bandmates had to find creative ways to book larger venues.
“To play at the White Rabbit, we lied and said we had a West Coast tour booked and were dropping this album,” which wasn’t entirely false. “We were working on the album, but we lied about the tour. We got a pretty prime spot, though, and after that they believed us, and we just rolled with it.”
Though Live and Local is getting a new host, Albert says the show will stay true to its goal to highlight local artists. However, he wants to expand the types of artists played on the shows to benefit the local scene.
“I think one of the major differences is that Live and Local used to be specifically San Antonio bands, and I’ve opened it up to Texas bands. It definitely will always be San Antonio heavy, but playing other regional bands along with San Antonio bands gives musicians listening an opportunity to hear how bands match with their sounds.”
But he’ll still keep much of the focus on San Antonio, since the city has such a unique music community.
“San Antonio is going to be the music capital of the world,” according to Albert. “That’s what I see happening in the future. Speaking with bands we bring from out of town, they’re really impressed with how the crowd interacts with the music. It’s really genuine, and everyone loves it, and I think it’s just going to get better.”
This level of support from the community is in-line with KRTU’s mission.
“It’s important to KRTU, not to just new artists that are emerging and past artists that shape what we play, but to show all the great musicians in Texas and San Antonio.” He explained that “it’s up to the stations and their cities to play those artists and let the communities know that they’re here, you can go out to a show and check em out and you can be part of their music. KRTU is about bringing the communities music to the forefront.”
When he’s not interviewing artists and hosting Live and Local, he’s out looking for more musicians to feature.
“I wanna hear everything. I try to go out to different shows and look for new music, and any band I like, I try to find bands they’re playing with or listening to,” he said. “Even if you’re rubbing two pieces of metal together, I want to check it out and talk about it on Live and Local.”
Live and Local airs Thursdays, 10 p.m. to midnight. For musicians interested in sending Albert their music, email him at email@example.com.