Those up on their legendary Brit pop singers will immediately appreciate the premise behind Mexrrissey. The collective centered around Mexico City-based DJ, producer and record executive Camilo Lara is the musical embodiment of a love affair stretching back to the 1980s, when Morrissey, backed by the band he co-founded, the Smiths, first spilled his heart on record.
For reasons as curiously beguiling as Morrissey's lyrics, Mexico's devotion to him is singular. As such, Mexrrissey's work over the past year reworking their hero's work through the filter of Mexican music makes a lot of sense.
As The Times' Carolina A. Miranda noted in a 2015 story on Mexrrissey, Los Angeles plays host to regular Morrissey karaoke nights, a Morrissey-themed theater festival and an annual convention in Hollywood -- events, wrote Miranda, "that probably wouldn't exist were it not for the ardent support of Moz's Mex fans."
Mexrrissey's newest recorded Morrissey interpretation, which The Times is premiering here, is for "Suedehead," the first song the artist released after the Smiths broke up. Taken from his solo debut, "Viva Hate," it was a spotlight-conquering moment that proved he could make a go of it minus collaborator Johnny Marr.
For context, here's Morrissey's original video, below.
As noted in the authoritative guide to all things Morrissey, "Mozipedia: The Encyclopedia of Morrissey and the Smiths," "Suedehead" came out in 1988, less than three months after the Smiths had issued their last song, "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me."
Mexrrissey upends the song from the opening bars, dotting them with a mariachi-suggestive trumpet run and the strum of guitar. Singer Jay de la Cueva of Mexico City parody band Moderatto (and former member of Molotov) teams with guitarist Chetes, of long-running Mexican rock band Zurdok, to tackle Morrissey's vocals. A dream team of musicians offer buoyant support. They include Lara, Los Angeles-based singer-keyboardist Ceci Bastida, Adan Jodorowsky (Adanowsky) on guitar, as well as members of Los de Abajo, Café Tacvba, Calexico and others.
Listen below to the new Mexrrissey rendition below.
Though Mexrrissey may have started as a fun way to celebrate a genius, the concept is proving durable. The band just returned from an Australian tour, and though no new Los Angeles dates are confirmed, they show no signs of slowing down.
And why would they? A whole catalog of woe awaits.
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