Part love letter, part road movie, and one hundred percent a mixtape to his beloved Los Angeles, Alberto Barboza’s Cry Now will be playing the Urbanworld Film Festival and bringing wide-eared spectators through a musical journey of Boyle Heights.
Shot in around some notable locations within the famed Chicano enclave, Cry Now follows Vincent, a street artist searching for love and meaning, in his quest to woo Luzy, a tattooed and fierce femenina-fatal. Vincent’s dogged chase will take us through the dense musical landscape found around the hood. There are live performances by Doghouse Lords, Very Be Careful and Irene Diaz, and tracks by Hermanos Herrera, Quetzal Guerrero and The Delirians (to name a few) can be heard throughout. Beyond these musical treats, the film also features the acting talents of veterans such as Sal Lopez and Lupe Ontiveros, who passed away shortly after the film’s completion.
As he’s prepping for the release of the film’s soundtrack later this month, Barboza, music addict and late-night bar fly that he is, took the opportunity to talks us through some of the songs in the film and how each one made its way through his ear canal and ultimately through the lens.
Doghouse Lords – “Voodoo Lucy”
Doghouse Lords and their song “Voodoo Lucy” were a great find. I had written into the script that a Nick Cave type of band would be playing at a rock venue when the film’s star-crossed lovers reunite. Production was approaching and I still had not found the band. Luckily, I attended the opening of a Chicano art show in Downtown LA and the festivities continued next door at the Redwood Bar. The joint was crowded and loud, then the Doghouse Lords took the stage and it sounded like a locomotive was tearing into the venue. These guys are ex-members of legendary LA rock bands, The Cramps and The Blasters, so this was the real deal and then some. Their second song was “Voodoo Lucy” and it flipped my lid because the female lead character’s name is Luzy. It was perfect. I asked the bar owner who I should speak to in the band, and he said I should talk to Javier. I thought the four rockers on stage were White, so I asked if Javier was their manager. He said, “No, Javier Matos is the lead singer and he will appreciate it if you pronounce his name properly.” Turns out Javier is Boricua, raised in San Francisco and did a lot of social work with immigrant communities in the Mission District. Javier is one of the best bluesmen in this country and all around stand up vato! Doghouse Lords perform two live tracks in the film, “.44 Gun” and “Voodoo Lucy,” filmed at the Redwood Bar where I first saw them.
QVLN – “Keepin On”
Quetzal Guerrero and I have been friends and collaborators for over 10 years. He scored a short film I did for Showtime Channel and I directed one of his first music videos. When I was finalizing the soundtrack for Cry Now he was in the process of mastering his latest album, American Import. He sent me an advanced copy and three tracks fell into place seamlessly. “Keepin On” and “Wutcha Lookin For” in particular hit perfect emotional chords for the film, and feel as if they were written in for the scenes.
Irene Diaz – “I Love You Madly”
Irene Diaz’ voice is awe-inspiring. Similar to how I found the Doghouse Lords, I was at a loud and crowded venue in Boyle Heights, the M Bar, when suddenly Irene began to sing. There was an immediate hush. Her voice demands that type of attention. We all turned to see a young Chicana piercing the air with her clear and soulful love lyrics. It’s been amazing to see her career take off, as she’s now toured with Lila Downs and has met adoring crowds at venues all over the country. Each take we shot of Irene performing “I Love You Madly” in the film was an enchantment. We are planning on releasing her performance in its entirety as a music video.
Cry Now plays the Urbanworld Film Festival Friday, Sept. 19 at 7:30pm.