Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody! The annual holiday that celebrates Mexican culture is actually a much bigger deal in the United States than it is in the nation its meant to toast. (In Mexico, the bigger deal is Mexican Independence Day, which is September 16.) Still, Cinco de Mayo (literally “the fifth of May”) does commemorate the Mexican victory against the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The will and the courage to fight for freedom runs deep in the Mexican tradition, which makes it a fitting day to raise a glass to the culture, history, food and music of the country.
To get you ready to consume some carne asada and chase it with a Negro Modelo, check out the Cinco de Mayo video playlist below. It’s a stout collection of songs by Mexican artists (Los Lonely Boys’ “Heaven,” Santana’s “Angel Love”), bands inspired by the Mexican tradition (Los Lobos’ “Set Me Free (Rosa Lee),” the Texas Tornadoes’ “Adios Mexico”), odes to the unofficial elixir of Cinco de Mayo (Cypress Hill’s “Tequila Sunrise,” Vince Neil’s “Tattoos and Tequila”) and a handful of tributes to the number five (Everything But the Girl’s “Five Fathoms,” Elephant Man’s “Five-O,” the Horrors “Count in Fives”).
But we begin with the piece de resistance: Mexican electro-rock band Kinky’s cover of New Wave wackos Wall of Voodoo’s phenomenally weird classic “Mexican Radio.”