Few cities have the power to invoke such strong feelings of nostalgia, love, and Chicano pride the way Los Angeles can. It’s a city that can look back to the past while simultaneously propelling itself to the future. It’s a multicultural melting pot, and there’s no doubt that the Mexican-American community is one of the city’s most visible populations.
Yet capturing the essence that makes LA great can sometimes be a fool’s errand.
But Katzù Oso, É Arenas, and The Delirians, along with backing band Mariachi Lindas Mexicanas and producer Ulises Lozano, did just that on Los Ángeles Lindo y Querido – a new compilation and short film (directed by the filmmaking duo Cliqua) based on the classic Jorge Negrete anthem Mexico Lindo y Querido, serving as each respective artist’s love letter to the city of angels.
The video – which was born out of Tecate’s Lindo y Querido project supporting local artists – finds the three artists on a jaunt through the streets and neighborhoods that shaped them. Images of downtown’s broad skyline are juxtaposed with snapshots from daily life – including eloteros, estéticas, lowriders and meat markets. It opens with The Delirians’ signature Chicano ska sound, in which they literally call out the streets they grew up on – declaring “Mi corazónnacido aquí.”
Next is Katzù Oso, who slows it down with a tribute to the kind of romantic boleros of the past one might sing along to towards the end of the carne asada. You know, the part of the night where your tios have a few and get in their feelings.
He sings “Despacio pasa el tiempo cuando estoy sin ti,” expressing his need for LA. And though the lyrics could be read as another love song, Oso closes out his segment by asking to be taken back to “the City of Angels.”
And finally, Chicano Batman’s É Arenas closes it out with un “taconazo,” as Lozano – the narrator – points out. His brand of psychedelic-tinged corrido serves as the consummate ending for this journey through LA’s closely-knit Mexican-American community. “To live and die in Los Angeles,” Arenas repeats, as the closing credits roll.
LA can sometimes feels infinite, and it might feel easy to lose sight of what brings people together in such a large space, but Los Ángeles Lindo y Querido delivers a warm, joyous glimpse into what makes being Mexican-American – both in LA and outside of it – an honor.
Stream ‘Los Angeles Lindo y Querido’ here: