FMF Episode #5 – Cinco De Mayo


Intro Background Music: Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Cinco De Mayo

DJ: Welcome to Feel Me Flow!  Today we will be talking about our favorite Mexican holiday; Cinco De Mayo!  Originally celebrating Mexico’s victory over France in The Battle of Puebla in 1862 (155 years ago!), Cinco De Mayo has since evolved into celebrating all of Mexican culture (at least here in the U.S.).  In honor of our border buddies, we’re giving our show a little south-of-the-border vibe!  We’ll hear songs about Mexico and Mexican culture, some new songs, some old songs, and songs that even sound a bit silly (looking at you Elvis).  Today we celebrate all things Mexican!  We start our Cinco De Mayo special with one of the coolest tunes around; The Coasters’ “Down In Mexico”.  Originally released in 1956, this Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller-penned gem was re-recorded in 1973 along with many other hits for their compilation album 16 Greatest Hits. Believe it or not, we like the re-recorded version better!  It has more of a swagger feel.  Quentin Tarantino used it for a scene in Death Proof; if you’ve seen the movie you’ll remember it.  Anyway, Feliz Cinco De Mayo mis hermanos y hermanas!

Set 1:

  1. The Coasters – Down In Mexico
  2. Mariachi El Bronx – Cell Mates
  3. FIDLAR – West Coast
  4. Green Day – Peacemaker
  5. Temples – Certainty

Intermission 1 Background Music: The Champs – Tequila

DJ:  After The Coasters brought the cool, we heard Mariachi El Bronx doing “Cell Mates” off of their debut.  Mariachi El Bronx is actually an alter ego of the hardcore punk band The Bronx; they play mariachi style music though, instead of hardcore punk.  The Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx have released a combined 7 albums, all eponymous.  FIDLAR brought us “West Coast” from their sophomore 2016 release Too.  If you enjoyed the song, I’d recommend giving the whole album a spin; it’s fantastic.  Green Day gave us a Latin-tinged rocker in “Peacemaker” off of their 8th LP 21st Century Breakdown.  I suppose it may have been more appropriate to play something off of their ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, or ¡Tré! albums, but this just sounds so perfect here!  Neo-psych band Temples played into the break with their new track “Certainty”.  Their sophomore album Volcano was released on March 3rd of this year.  Alright… Get your salt.  Get your lime.  Get out the tequila.  It’s time!  Shots!  Here’s Dawes with a track from their latest and quite ambitious effort We’re All Gonna Die, “When The Tequila Runs Out”.

Set 2:

  1. Dawes – When The Tequila Runs Out
  2. Jim Reeves – Drinking Tequila
  3. Minutemen – Jesus And Tequila
  4. Gipsy Kings – Hotel California
  5. Eagles – Tequila Sunrise

Intermission 2 Background Music: John Williams & The London Symphony Orchestra – Catina Band

DJ:  Mmmm tequila.  “It goes lick, swallow, suck and order another”.  Eagles wound down our tequila set with “Tequila Sunrise” from 1973’s Desperado.  Somewhat of a concept album, the sophomore release would be their last as a foursome; adding guitarist Don Felder for their next album.  Before that, we heard Gipsy Kings’ cover of “Hotel California”.  The song skyrocketed in popularity after the Coen brothers used it in their cult smash hit The Big Lebowski.  For those of you who’ve seen it, you may remember how much The Dude “hates the fuckin’ Eagles, man”.  Minutemen’s 1984 LP Double Nickels On The Dime has garnered massive critical praise throughout the years, inspiring bands from Sublime to Neutral Milk Hotel to The National.  The song “Corona” was used as the theme to MTV’s Jackass.  We heard “Jesus And Tequila” from the album.  Jim Reeves crooned about traveling to Mexico and drinking too much tequila.  Sounds like a unique experience, Jim.  Jim hailed from Galloway, Texas, only 90 minutes south of Linden, Texas where Don Henley (Eagles) grew up.  Must be something in the water in East Texas.  Reeves would eventually die in a plane crash when he was just 40 years old, after healthy country career.  Let’s lift things up a bit with a new track from LCD Soundsystem.

Set 3:

  1. LCD Soundsystem – Call The Police
  2. The Hombres – Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)
  3. Kings Of Leon – Mi Amigo
  4. The Growlers – Tijuana
  5. War – Cinco De Mayo

Intermission 3 Background Music: Blink 182 – The Fallen Interlude

DJ:  War; what is it good for?  It’s good for funk jams, no doubt.  Doing “Cinco De Mayo” off of 1982’s Outlaw, we heard War.  While they were mostly prominent in the 70’s when funk was king, this post-disco dancer supplied a few great cuts.   I’m sure you’ve heard “Low Rider” or “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, and if not you will in later episodes.  Before that, we heard The Growlers doing “Tijuana”.  The Growlers are self-proclaimed creators of the Beach Goth genre.  They hold a Beach Goth festival every year in Santa Ana, California.  This track was off of their 2009 debut Are You In Or Are You Out?.  Kings Of Leon got a little Latino-esque with their track “Mi Amigo” from 2010’s Come Around Sundown.  While originally known for their garage rock throwback style, Kings Of Leon evolved more into an alternative rock sound later in their career.  The Hombres, a one album wonder of a group, gave us the title track off of Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out).  Cameron Crowe used this track in his movie Elizabethtown.  As usual, his movies have some of the best soundtracks available; check out Almost Famous or Fast Times At Ridgemont High.  Leading off the set was a brand new track from James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem.  “Call The Police” was just released this week, along with the b-side “American Dream”.  The group is set to perform the new music tomorrow night on Saturday Night Live in preparation for their new album to be released later this year. So exciting!  Alright, let’s get a bit wild with The Mars Volta!

Set 4:

  1. The Mars Volta – L’Via L’Viaquez
  2. Wavves – No Shade
  3. Best Coast – The Only Place
  4. Golden Triangle – Cinco De Mayo
  5. Girl In A Coma – While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Intermission 4 Background Music: The Mexicali Brass – Tijuana Hot Sauce / Donald Glover & Danny Pudi – 101 Rap

DJ:  Girl In A Coma hails from San Antonio, Texas.  Texas and California seem to be an underlying similarity to our Cinco De Mayo artists?  Here they are covering The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for 2010’s Adventures In Coverland.  The trio cites their grandfather and Tex-Mex heritage as influential to their indie rock sound.  Before them, we heard Brooklyn, NY’s Golden Triangle doing “Cinco De Mayo” off of their 2010 LP Double Jointed.  They’ve got a nice lo-fi garage sound, and that album artwork is stellar!  Keeping it in the garage, we heard a double shot of So-Cal garage with Best Coast and Wavves.  Best Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino and Wavves frontman Nathan Williams dated for a bit when both bands were just breaking into the scene.  They had a similar sound and similar motives; it was kismet!  Until it wasn’t anymore.  “The Only Place” is another California ode from Best Coast, as they love to sing about.  Beth Cos…..Best Coast…. hmmm…  Wavves gave us a new track with “No Shade” off of their upcoming LP You’re Welcome.  Best Coast and Wavves started with similar sounds, but have definitely found their own calling these days.  The Mars Volta kicked off the set with the single edit of the 12-minute jam “L’Via L’Viaquez”.   The song comes from their sophomore release Frances The Mute.  Before band member Jeremy Ward died, he worked a repo man.  The story goes as one day, Ward discovered a diary in the backseat of a car he was repossessing and began to note the similarities between his life and that of the author—most notably, that they had both been adopted. The diary told of the author’s search for his biological parents, with the way being pointed by a collection of people, their names being the basis for each named track of Frances The Mute. Crazy! To lighten things up a bit, we’ll hear Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Danny Pudi rapping nonsense in Spanish from Community.  Then we’ll hear Liz Phair’s ode to the 5th of May…

Set 5:

  1. Liz Phair – Cinco De Mayo
  2. The Strangeloves – I Want Candy
  3. Allah-Las – Catamaran
  4. Ritchie Valens – La Bamba
  5. Fountains Of Wayne – Mexican Wine

Intermission 5 Background Music: Dick Dale – Miserlou

DJ:  Although Ritchie Valens wasn’t killed by a cellular phone explosion, there definitely was an explosion involved in his untimely death.  Fountains Of Wayne capped off the set with “Mexican Wine” from Welcome Interstate Managers.   The album was famous for their massive hit “Stacy’s Mom“, which we’ll hear later this month during our Mother’s Day show.  Ritchie Valens played us “La Bamba” before that.  Ritchie died along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper in a horrible plane crash known as “The Day The Music Died” thanks to Don Mclean’s “American Pie”.  Ritchie was only on the plane due to winning a coin toss against Buddy Holly’s backup guitarist Tommy Allsup.  A young Waylon Jennings also gave up his seat to a flu-ridden Big Bopper, and the rest is history.  LA’s Allah-Las gave us a Side 1-Track 1 from their eponymous 2012 debut.  They’re definitely channeling 60’s psychedelic with their sound.  They signed to Mexican Summer records last year and put out a great 3rd album titled Calico Review in September.  The Strangeloves’ huge hit “I Want Candy” from 1965 played before that.  The song ripped off Bo Diddley’s famous drum beat and used it for a poppy tune written by three music producers.  Bow Wow Wow covered it in 1982 for a successful single as well.  I mean how could this tune not be a hit?  It’s so bouncy and poppy.  Leading us off was Liz Phair doing “Cinco De Mayo” from her sophomore LP Whip-Smart.  After the success of Exile In Guyville, expectations were high for Phair, who basically faded out on purpose to avoid the limelight.  She would return in 2002, though, with the pop-laden eponymous Liz Phair Alright, let’s get onto some more music!  Here’s Calexico with “Victor Jara’s Hands”.

Set 6:

  1. Calexico – Victor Jara’s Hands
  2. Elvis Presley – Mexico
  3. The Flying Burrito Brothers – Wild Horses
  4. Tacocat – Crimson Wave
  5. Rancid – Ghost Of A Chance

Intermission 6 Background Music: The Shadows – Gonzales

DJ:  Trouble Maker, Rancid’s upcoming 9th album, will be released on June 9th later this year.  We heard the first released track from it, “Ghost Of A Chance”.  Rancid has been playing punk rock since 1991 after the breakup of pioneering ska-punk DYI band Operation Ivy.  I love me some Rancid.  Before them, we heard the menstrual surf anthem “Crimson Wave” from Seattle palindrome lovers Tacocat.  Apparently, they also love the movie Waterworld.  Tacocat released their 3rd LP Lost Time last year on April Fools Day.  The Flying Burrito Brothers, featuring Gram Parsons, played us the first released version of “Wild Horses”.  Burritos, tacos, get it?  Terrible, I know.  Keith Richards said that they worked on the song with him back in 1970, and the Burrito’s version came out first.  The Rolling Stones would release their version on their 1971 LP Sticky Fingers.  We took this from The Flying Burrito Brothers’ 2nd LP Burrito Deluxe.  Elvis gave us a silly little tune from his Fun In Acapulco album titled “Mexico”.  Elvis had a themed album for everything!  Leading off the set was Tuscon, Arizona’s Calexico.  The band named themselves after the border town in California.  Carried To Dust, where we got this track, was actually their 6th LP released in 2008.  Beginning our next set is Polo with “El Ultimo Beso”.  Polo left the garage rock group Los Apson for a solo career in the mid 60’s and recorded this cover of “Last Kiss” by Wayne Cochran in Spanish.  Polo (Leopoldo Sanchez Labastida) actually died tragically drowning in a hotel pool in 1974.   You’ll recognize the tune, just maybe not the lyrics… 

  1. Polo – El Ultimo Beso
  2. The Smoke – My Friend Jack
  3. The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You
  4. Cake – Mexico
  5. Jimmy Buffett – Margaritaville

Outro: Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova

DJ:  Ahh yes.  The anthem of the margarita.  Tequila.  Triple Sec.  Lime juice.  Ice.  Mix it your way!  Jimmy Buffett doing his best-known tune “Margaritaville”.  Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, where we lifted the track from, was actually Jimmy’s 7th LP and features a backing band called The Coral Reefers.  Before Jimmy, we heard Cake doing “Mexico” from their 3rd LP Prolonging The Magic.  Cake’s always had a distinct sound, featuring trumpets and washboards on some tracks, as well as giving songs a country-esque twang.  If you only know Cake’s bigger hits (“The Distance“, “Short-Skirt Long Jacket“), I suggest diving into their catalog.  They know how to write great songs with witty lyrics.  The Black Keys had a big breakthrough into the limelight after the release of Brothers in 2010.  Recorded in Muscle Shoals, the album pays homage to artists like Muddy Waters, T. Rex, and The Smoke.  Did you hear the similarity between “Howlin’ For You” and the track before by The Smoke?  Check out the comparison of “Everlasting Light” and T. Rex’s “Mambo Sun”.  Spot on.  The Smoke’s “My Friend Jack” was their only hit off of their only LP, 1967’s It’s Smoke Time.  My man Quincy is taking us out with “Soul Bossa Nova”, or as most people know it, the Austin Powers theme song.  I mean it is pretty groovy….  Well, that’s it for our Cinco De Mayo episode.  Join us for another episode of Feel Me Flow next week!  Look for upcoming themes like Flowers, Nirvana, Friendship, and of course the holidays!

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