Monday, October 29, 2007

From Lunada to Days of the Dead

Scene and heard, and I mean that in the most laudatory way... La Cita Bar was transformed last Wednesday into a virtually unpretensious Latino hipster getaway for the appearance of Nacotheque. DJ Marcelo Cunning, working out of New York along with his punk fairy princess and partner Amylu Meneses on a movable feast that can only be described as pyramid of sound, spins the absolutely, without a doubt, coolest alternative, Spanish-language dance music that draws from every corner and every era of música latina for a groove like you've never heard anywhere before. But if that weren't enough, draught Tecate was three dollars a pint. Heads up to cantinero Joe, who was particularly pleasant in Buddy Holly glasses and non-attitude approachablity.

If you missed the Lunada: An Evening of Erotic Poetry & Performance at IMIX Bookstore under the Hunter's Full Moon on Oct. 26th, you missed out. Lo que se perdieron. And not just because I read a selection of previously unheard poems. I had the honor and privilege of sharing a stage with poets/writers Peter J. Harris, Reina Prado, Consuelo Flores, Estrella del Valle, Victor Carrillo as well as venerable playwright, performer, stand up comedian Monica Palacios, who headlined a steamy series of performances under the largest full moon of the year. Reina Prado and Gloria Enedina Álvarez--one of the three best Xicana poets I alluded to before--concocted the idea for the show. Afterwards, we managed to make our way to Columbo's around the corner for Italian comida deluxe and live Latin jazz. Eagle Rock rocks, I'm realizing.

Also had the incredible opportunity to hear Carlos Guitarlos at the Ave. 50 Studios tardeada and art auction the next day. Scores of artist donated work for "An Afternoon of Visual Delights" and a smorgasbord of Chow Hound worthy eats. Carlos is a veteran of the proto LA bar band, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs and a survivor who could launch a second career as a deft, coy and riveting master of satire and innuendo. His blues fret work channels Robert Johnson as easily as it registers compositional genius on his own material. Bring him back to liven any gathering up and set it on fire with nearly six decades of the hard boozin', blues-in and brawlin' life gathered up into songs that rip and soar and crest in a melodic howl from the gray-bearded ghost on the Stratocaster. Kudos to Ave. 50 Director Kathy Gallegos and artist Poli Marichal who curated the art. Let's hope they raised chingos of feria... the museum-caliber and architectural stand-out home of Judge Ricardo and Maria Teresa Muñoz way up in the South Pasadena hills was a fitting site for the fandango. Sweetest digs with a view this side of El Sereno I've seen.

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