Culture

In Honor Of LA Declaring Nov. 10 Morrissey Day, Here’s Why Mexicans Love Moz So Damn Much

Yesterday, Los Angeles celebrated Morrissey Day.

CREDIT: Credit: Dominique Houcmant / Goldo / Flickr

“Los Angeles embraces individuality, compassion, and creativity, and Morrissey expresses those values in a way that moves Angelenos of all ages,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Morrissey Day celebrates an artist whose music has captivated and inspired generations of people who may not always fit in — because they were born to stand out.”

Scholars, writers, cultural anthropologists, sociologists and generally curios people have attempted to find the origins and reasoning behind the connection between Latinos and Morrissey. They have yet to find a concrete answer, and it is likely that there isn’t one. There’s a very good chance there’s not a singular moment that served as the catalyst for that connection, but rather an overall collection of happenings and cultural shifts that have built this diehard following. That includes the influence of rock and roll on 1950’s pachucos and greasers assimilating to American life.

However, Moz, as he’s lovingly referred to, has his thoughts on the deep love between he and his Latino fans.

“Latinos are full of emotion, and whether its laughter or tears, they are ready to explode, and they want to share their emotion, and they want to give, and show, and show,” he once said in an interview. “I think that’s the connection because when I sing, it’s very expressive.”

Mexicans stand tightly together, heavily tattooed and full of heart, loudly singing along with Moz whether at a concert or in our bedrooms. It’s how we sing mariachi and rancheras with our families and friends.

CREDIT: Credit: mozzeriansaroundtheworld.tumblr.com

His songs are just as much our rancheras as anything by Vicente Fernandez, despite him being a pale British bloke from gloomy England. Both Chente and Moz express the anguish and awkwardness of loss, pain, love and desperation. Latinos are a people who feel and feel big, and The Smiths and Morrissey was another outlet to express our emotions. Particularly if we were outsiders, disappointing our parents with our weird clothes and weirder music.

We bring him flowers and cards, and express our concern when we know he is ill. It’s what we do for our family and friends who are hurting. We create bands in his honor, like the band Sweet and Tender Hooligans or Mexrissey, which does Spanish versions of Smiths/Morrissey songs and incorporates a Mexican sound. Think trumpets. The day Morrissey dies, I’m positive the Mexican flag will wave at half-staff and millions of pompadoured men and cat-eyed women will weep and light candles and play “I Know It’s Over.”

Morrissey is undoubtedly the patron saint of the sweet and tender Mexican. The Mexican who loves their culture –  its music, its language, its passion, its art, its high regard for love and family –  but also rejects its glorification of hyper-masculinity and antiquated gender norms.

CREDIT: Credit: Mark Oshiro / Flickr

The Mexican who cares about animals and sees the indignity in inequality. The Mexican who seems too soft to their parents and grandparents. That is, until the tequila flows. Then we’re all crying together.

There is a strong undercurrent of anglophilia in Mexican alternative culture. In the past I’ve written about Tijuana’s mod scene and attempted to understand how a subculture that grew as a direct response to post-war Britain had struck a chord with a group of Mexicans thousands of miles away from the foggy UK and who continue to keep the faith to this very day. The same curious connection exists with Morrissey and The Smiths.

Concurrently, my teens and early twenties were made up of countless nights dancing among shaggy-haired Mexicans to Blur, Pulp and, of course, The Smiths in a tiny Tijuana bar called Porky’s. The dance floor filled with screams of excitement when “This Charming Man” came on. The Mexicans that make up these subcultures are mostly working class and dealing with similar identity struggles British working class youth have encountered. There’s a shared experience there that seems to be more meaningful to the Mexican side, who have long adopted the style and sounds of British rock musicians. I’ve yet to meet any British people jamming out to Juan Gabriel or even Soda Stereo.

Morrissey, however, embraces his Mexican following and has adopted the culture to a certain extent. Some even call him an honorary Mexican. “I wish I was born Mexican,” he once told a crowd of Las Vegas concertgoers. He wrote a love letter to Mexico with the song “Mexico,” and gave a nod to his fans with “First of the Gang to Die,” about a Los Angeles gangster named Hector who meets his untimely end from a bullet in his gullet. 

When he sang about the dichotomy between his Irish blood and an English heart, and I could relate as a Mexican-American living life on both sides of a wall. The music of The Smiths and Morrissey often gave me the words I couldn’t form as an angsty young woman carving an identity for myself. Morrissey helped me sing my life, and he’s had the same effect on millions of other Mexicans. So much so that we tacitly forgive him as he devolves further and further into a blithering uncle with a penchant for arrogant shit talk and offensiveness.

Like when he said, “I really like Mexican people. I find them so terribly nice. And they have fantastic hair, and fantastic skin, and usually really good teeth.” He also blamed the near extinction of rhinos on Beyonce, and okayed the use of beloved black writer and cultural critic James Baldwin’s image on a t-shirt that included the lyrics “I wear black on the outside / ‘Cause black is how I feel on the inside,” from The Smiths’ song “Unloveable.” And then his views on immigrants are just…no.

He makes it very hard to love him sometimes, and yet we do. Perhaps because we’ve taken him on as our own.

I couldn’t tell you the first time I heard The Smiths or Morrissey, but as a first-generation Mexican woman who was raised on both sides of the border, Morrissey’s presence in my life has been as prevalent as my mother’s incessant yelling, my father’s rancheras and the deep conflicts that occur when you navigate a life of division.

The border I crossed every day was a too-obvious metaphor for the split in my being, and Morrissey’s melancholy voice and lyrics provided the soundtrack to my coming-of-age, mirroring my own vulnerabilities, anger, humor, heartbreaks, fears and passions. Those passions are shared by Mexicans and other Latinos alike.


READ: 7 Morrissey Covers That’ll Make Every Day Feel Like Sunday

Are you a diehard Moz fan celebrating Morrissey Day? Then share this story with your friends, who we hate when they become successful!

Selena For Sanctuary Is Bringing Their Immigrant-Focused Concert Fundraiser To Los Angeles

Entertainment

Selena For Sanctuary Is Bringing Their Immigrant-Focused Concert Fundraiser To Los Angeles

empressof / mayainthemoment / Instagram

The free Selena-themed outdoor concert in support of immigration rights is going bi-coastal. After the success of their summer show headlined by Colombian-American star Kali Uchis in New York, the event is coming to Los Angeles. The organizer, artist manager, and activist, Doris Muñoz of Mija Management, is bringing the event to the West Coast just in time for LA’s Day of the Dead celebrations on Nov.1. 

Solidarity For Sanctuary is a non-profit aimed to amplify the voices of immigrant communities through music, advocacy, and the arts.

Credit: Forsanctuary / Instagram

Since 2017, Muñoz has been producing Selena for Sanctuary, a concert to help undocumented immigrants. Her mission remains to donate all proceeds from her concerts to undocumented people who need funds for legal fees, to submit DACA applications, etc. This year the entire proceeds of the show went to Make The Road NY. The organization’s mission is to provide “legal and survival services,” develop “transformative education,” and help with “community organizing.” 

“When our parents can barely afford to take a day off of work to go to the lawyer’s office, how are they even going to pay that lawyer,” Muñoz told Remezcla. “I think in the Donald Trump era, we’re sometimes afraid of who we’re talking to and having a brown body, you can feel like a target,” Muñoz added. “To be in a safe space like this, surrounded by people who believe in fighting for your community with you, is really beautiful.” 

Sanctuary for Selena is set to take place on Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Park. 

Credit: ignacio_gallego / Instagram

The concert will be taking place on the first of November, just in time for Downtown L.A.’s Día de los Muertos celebrations. Angelenos will celebrate the ancient party of the dead with a week of altars, remembrance, and traditions that will be wrapped up on the last day, with free music performances by an all Latina lineup.

Organizers of the event took to Instagram to announce the LA-based Selena for Sanctuary.

Credit: forsanctuary / Instagram

The non-profit Solidarity for Sanctuary announced the West Coast concert and lineup on an Instagram post. “We can’t wait to see our friends, family, and community gathered at @grandpark_la for this year’s Grand Park’s Downtown Dia de los Muertos!” read the colorful post featuring an illustration of Selena wearing her iconic high rise pants and bedazzled bustier, surrounded by cempasúchil, the flower of the dead. “On Friday, November 1st Selena for Sanctuary will be taking over in front of City Hall for a free concert featuring an all-female line-up of L.A.-based Latinx artists and SO much more, welcoming immigrants and allies together in celebration and solidarity. It’s an honor to be at Grand Park, a place that along with @musiccenterla has made it their mission to provide a packed calendar of thoughtful and exciting cultural events for all Angelinos to enjoy.”

The aim of Selena for Sanctuary is to raise money and awareness for immigrant issues that are impacting millions of lives. 

Credit: @_forsanctuary / Twitter

Born of a series of benefit concerts she put together in Southern California in 2017 called Solidarity for Sanctuary, Muñoz’s dance parties raise funds to help immigrants navigate the bureaucratic minefield that is U.S. immigration policy to set them on the path to citizenship.  In June, the NYC party was headlined by Kali Uchis, the Colombian-American singer with a critically acclaimed debut LP (2018’s Isolation) and collaborations with Gorillaz, Juanes, and Daniel Caesar. The platform must have liked having women at the front of the lineup, so they’ve confirmed an all-female lineup for the event in L.A. which is great news for the Latina artists.

Here’s the line-up of the concert and it is pretty lit.

Credit: Giphy

It is all about the female empowerment with some of the best Latina acts in the music industry. Here’s who will be shining at the Selena for Sanctuary concert.

Empress Of

Credit: empressof / Instagram

The Honduran-American Lorely Rodriguez will be headlining in LA’s Selena for Sanctuary. Empress Of shifts from English to Spanish to express the vulnerability that lies in both languages. The East LA native will be heading back home to LA for the show, after a long tour of the US.

Ceci Bastida

Credit: cecibastida / Instagram

This Tijuana native is a ska and punk veteran. Bastida broke into the scene plating keyboard and vocals for the political band Tijuana No.1. These days, Ceci is off on her own. Nowadays, she has a new alt-pop sound with a hint of Tijuana No.1’s political energy. 

 San Cha

Credit: el_sancha / Instagram

San Cha’s sound is a mix of ranchera, cumbia and punk. She is reinventing traditional Mexican sounds and injecting them with her own identity as a queer brown woman. 

Maya Murillo

Credit: mayainthemoment / Instagram

Better known as Pero Like’s “Pocha Concha,” Murillo is a multi-talented singer and songwriter. She is most comfortable singing covers which she has shared on YouTube in the past. No wonder Selena for Sanctuary tapped her to sing a Selena song at the event. 

Loyal Lobos

Credit: loyal.lobos / Instagram

For Andrea Silva, the woman behind Loyal Lobos, this event’s mission is very close to her heart. Born in Colombia, Silva immigrated to the US as a child. She often references her experiences as an immigrant and as a feminist in her music. 

August Eve

Credit: augusteverios / Instagram

August Eve had already collaborated with another Selena for Sanctuary headliner, Empress Of. The LA native is taking the stage herself this time with her Old Hollywood-style music.

READ: ‘Selena For Sanctuary’ Is The Free Concert In NYC All About Helping The Immigrant Community

This Man Is Using TikTok To Bring Younger People To Old-School Jams And His Fans Are Loving It

Entertainment

This Man Is Using TikTok To Bring Younger People To Old-School Jams And His Fans Are Loving It

@Doggface208 / TikTok

Everyone has that embarrassing uncle. The one who busts out dancing in public, or makes incredibly old-school dad jokes. Embarrassing uncles keep you guessing what they’ll do next and oftentimes you and your cousins are embarrassed by his bizarre behavior. If you can’t think of an embarrassing uncle, chances are it’s you, you’re the embarrassing uncle or tía. This Mexican man from Wyoming is the quintessential embarrassing uncle, except the internet, unlike your cousins, is loving every minute of his antics. 

Tío TikTok might be a little older than the app’s intended audience, but he still managed to make his content go viral, even when he didn’t even know what TikTok was.

Credit: @Doggface208 / TikTok

Tío TikTok aka Nathan Apodaca is the grown man who’s single-handedly bringing Gen-Z app TikTok, to Millennials. If you’re wondering what TikTok is, don’t worry. It is basically the second-coming of Vine. It is all about short videos that play in a loop for everyone to enjoy. 

Remember Musical.ly? Maybe you remember the times of Vine? It’s hard to keep up with the constantly changing social media landscape as some apps gain notoriety, others merge, and even more die out. As non-members of the Gen Z generation, it’s even harder to keep it all straight.

The old app Musical.ly was rebranded as TikTok and it’s quickly become Gen Z’s app of choice.

If you do remember Musical.ly, you may know that in August 2018, it rebranded as TikTok. And Vine? That app was the victim of an ever-changing internet and suffered a slow death, causing users to feel the dejection of media abandonment. TikTok though has stirred up a revival of short video clips. Only now, it’s even more interactive, collaborative, and downright addictive.

Apodaca was introduced to the app by his Gen Z daughters, and his videos soon went viral.

Tío TikTok was unaware of the popular video-app himself. His daughters, Makyla and Angelia, are the ones who first introduced Apocada’s to the platform. His youngest daughter even helped him film his first video, which quickly went viral. Apodaca confesses that he was stumped as to what to do, or what type of content to publish on his app, but his eldest daughter came to the rescue and suggested he did his usual goofy dances on camera. And just like that, Apodaca turned into a TikTok sensation.

Tío TikTok’s 16-second videos are simple and hilarious, and they touch a chord with young audiences for their humor.

Credit: @Doggface208 / TikTok

Apodaca shares 16-second bite-sized clips of himself dancing and performing to a tune. His perfectly in-sync interpretations, have gained him nearly 90 thousand followers. Tío TikTok usually jams out to classic ’90s gangsta rap like DMX, Dr. Dre, Eminem or Twista and Gen Z-ers and Millennials alike, can’t seem to get enough of his nostalgic vibes.

In his video’s he’s usually goofing around at work or high off weed which has made his content recognizable.

In one of his most liked posts, Nathan is seen sitting on a conveyor belt lip-syncing Sublime’s ’90s classic hit ‘Santeria’ at the factory where he works and films most of his videos. The post earned 26.9 thousand likes and received thousands of hilarious comments like “*OSHA has entered the chat*” by @BertoBitch or “The workers that package for WISH…”

Apodaca is the stoner uncle you never knew you needed on social media.

His hashtags regularly include 420, 710, ‘high’ and ‘gogreen’, stoner terms used to celebrate dabs and cannabis concentrates. His song choices, usually pulled from an unpredictably random selection, often celebrate the plant too. @Doggface208 aka Nathan Apodaca loves weed so much that he, ingeniously, linked his PayPal account on his TikTok bio for donations; “Now accepting donations 4 Flower 🍃 n white Ts PayPal apodacadogg208@gmail.com” reads his profile description. Whether the account is real or not, we’re not sure, but you’re welcome to send a little donation and let us know.

Most TikTok users may be under 30 according to Apple Store download stats, but we’re sure that this guy’s hilarious videos will attract an older demographic to download the app too.

READ: This 11-Year-Old Latina Has Thousands Of Followers On TikTok And The Most Hilarious Sense Of Humor About Latinidad