How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What is MorrisseyOke? Exactly what it sounds like (Video)

Several months ago, I saw a tweet that about made me jump out of my chair. I don't remember exactly what it said, only that it was from the Boyle Heights wine bar Eastside Luv and that it referred to something called "MorrisseyOke." Which could only mean one thing.

Now, it's no news flash that in places like Boyle Heights (and Huntington Park, South Gate, Downey, Pico Rivera, Norwalk, West Covina, Santa Ana...yes, places where Latinos live), there are some huge fans of Steven Patrick Morrissey, aka simply Morrissey, the pop icon and former lead singer of the 1980s British band The Smiths. Their music played an important role in the soundtrack of my Eastside upbringing, as it has for many others.

For years, writers and filmmakers - heck, there's even a forthcoming book - have documented the love we Latino types have for Morrissey, whose lyrics capture a sense of alienation that many a kid living between two cultures is bound to feel at some point. In L.A., even our local Smiths cover band is fronted by a Latino. Some, like the OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano, have pointed out how Morrissey's songs of longing and angst echo the emotion of classic rancheras sung by old-time Mexican crooners (and to be fair, most of Morrissey's Latino fans in L.A. are Mexican American, though you'll catch the occasional stray Salvadoran or Cuban as well.)