The first, of course, is Cinco de Mayo, which will ring in Saturday. As ever, we remind you to remind your friends that this is not Mexican Independence Day. But it is a good time to hear from some Mexican artists.
Leading off today is Mexico City’s La Gusana Ciega, a veteran band–LGC formed in 1996–that continues to tour, on the heels of releasing the greatest-hits collection Conejo en el Sombrero last year. Here’s the title cut:
If you’re going out tonight, be careful and be wary – Cinco De Mayo is amateur hour when it comes to frosty adult beverages. The drinks will probably be cheaper, but the rowdies will probably be taking advantage of that. So watch out for anybody in a cheap “sombrero,” especially on the road.
In the meantime, please check out this little bit of perspective on today’s “holiday,” originally published at The R two years ago today. And let’s all stay safe out there.
Continuing a semi-yearly tradition of mine since my days working at my college paper, just a few notes about today:
1. This is not Mexican Independence Day Nope, that’s September 16th. 5/5 commemorates an unlikely Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The battle delayed, but did not stop, an eventual French occupation of the country, which lasted three years before it was toppled.
2. This is not that big of a deal back home Don’t let the beer ads fool you; 5/5 is a regional holiday, usually celebrated at the site of the battle. But, it’s nowhere near as big a deal as it is in El Otro Lado. Now, is that because of immigrant pride, or American corporate opportunism? That, I leave for you to decide. During my time working in local Spanish-language radio, the biggest sponsors for our Cinco de Mayo concerts were — you guessed it — beer companies. Banners everywhere, beer girls hawking their wares on the stage, booze selling like hot cakes in the fenced-off drinking area. I don’t doubt that at least some of the people who attended the events had their hearts in the right place, but the commercial aspect definitely got on my nerves when I thought about it. Continue reading →
Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World