happy seis de mayo

cinco de mayo was a bit of a bust in my neighborhood, despite the rampant multi-culturalism. i've got a lot of mexican neighbors and was expecting a more raucous celebration or even some kind of block party with fireworks, maybe a pinata, or if i was lucky, some mariachi music.

granted the weather was iffy for most of the day, but it had cleared up by evening. all i really got was the carrying bass and echos of some bad mexican pop music (and trust me, most of it is bad. from my observations, it's basically polka beats with trumpets and no "opa!").

so, a day late, i pulled out some of the mexican music in my library, which for the aforementioned reasons, is admittedly limited. besides, it would be an affront to my heritage to do too much celebrating the mexican victory over the french.

basically, "the mexican music in my library" amounts to the soundtrack to y tu mama tambian, the compelling "coming of age" film directed by Alfonso Cuarón (who also directed the prisoner of azkaban). much like the film itself, the soundtrack is very worthwhile, featuring an eclectic mix of genres and styles that perfectly capture the many themes of the movie.

from the hard-driving (and most definitely explicit) rap of molotov vs dub pistols ('here comes the mayo' ranks as #11 of my all-time most played songs) to the mellow samba of smokey and miho (yes, that miho. she gets around). and of course, there's the bran van 3000.

this movie and soundtrack have come to have special meaning for me. my girlfriend (now wife) and i managed to see a special screening of the film at USC during the brief period i lived in los angeles. it was a time of separation and angst for us and she was visiting from florida. we both found the film so captivating that we couldn't stop talking about it and recommending it. and to this day we still love it.