Mexico and Mariachis

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Texas Platters

Mexico and Mariachis

(Milan) With Once Upon a Time in Mexico body-bagging his El Mariachi trilogy, maverick Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez conceived Mexico and Mariachis as a way of "tying up some loose ends." What the guitar-wielding creative dynamo has delivered is a proper follow-up to the bar-stomping Desperado soundtrack (1995), which spawned the badass From Dusk Till Dawn soundtrack the following year. Songs and ideas from all three films simmer and snap in a Del Castillo-kissed Latin tango. Rodriguez knows his Texican mariachisms like he breathes technology. They're hardwired under that bandana. The flamenco flair of opener "Malagueña Salerosa" by Chingón, basically Del Castillo and Rodriguez, is chased by ex-Cruzado Tito Larriva and Chingón on "Alacran y Pistolero," one of Desperado's musical inspirations, the demo of which is seen on M&M's Rodriguez-shot bonus DVD. Cruzados have a pair of vintage tracks, two more than Tito's Tarantula, whose Desperado showstopper, "Back to the House That Love Built," is rendered acoustic by its author, Tito. That sets up my nomination for latter-day Latin standard: Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos' castanets castaway "Cancion del Mariachi," which opens Desperado. Los Lobos' live "Volver, Volver," New Orleans' Iguanas, and more Del Castillo shake it all the way home with an assist from Rodriguez's firebrand hermana, Patricia Vonne. The only thing missing is a Johnny Depp/Mickey Rourke duet. Maybe not.

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