And this while I was still glowing with euphoria at having attended and participated in a more personal fundraiser for Daisy Tonantzin “Bajo las Estrellas” on our end of town just a week-and-change before. To go from the booming and melodic vocals of Rocio Vasquez AKA Lobamora, the ultra-lounge Latin retro experiments (all successful) of Chicano Batman and sage spoken word from Los Poets del Norte on the East Side at First Street Studios to equally soulful sounds at LACMA would have been itself a marvelous, but then you follow that with a birthday party for Ruben “Funkahuatl” Guevara, a tried and true rocker, music historian, producer as well as poet and you have something on the order of miraculous. Guevara founded Ruben and the Jets once upon a time and even has the onerous distinction of having jammed with Frank Zappa before pioneering LA’s Rock en Español movement. With a crushed-velvet robe and a pork pie hat, he was channeling the Dalai Llama and shared a set that was barely contained by the teaming East Side Luv Wine Bar. The guests included so many artists, poets and musicians that you couldn’t turn 10-degrees to either the right or left with out literally bumping right up against one.
And Rubén’s show only brought us through to Thursday, if you can believe that. Hence my description of the recent weeks as dizzy. I’d have lost my blogging rights if I’d even thought about missing the Epicentro Poets and their Poetic Epidemic the following night at Casa 0101. Born in the Salvadoran and Central American Diaspora the followed the civil wars and those fleeing to LA and San Francisco to avoid the right-wing paramilitary death squad inspired chaos, Epicentro refers to the center of the earthquake that hit San Salvador and these poets put it down with all the might of a major magnitude terremoto. Leticia Hernandez-Linares and Gustavo Vásquez are the most familiar of the group, but the new faces were not far behind in terms of depth and delivery. It was one of those nights when, instead of the music, it was the poetry, pure and right-out-the-barrel, that drew tears to my eyes. The photographs from