Friday, August 7, 2009
La Santa Cecilia & Joan Jett
All in one night. That's right. At the risk of sounding ridiculously cliché, it doesn't get any better. Trip out on this... we start with a slow pan on the surprisingly well-attended Friday night opening for our 1st Annual Hot Summer Art Extravaganza at Brooklyn & Boyle where even Adrian Rivas of Gallery 727 finally made good on his threat to come visit. He managed to bring along Carolina Caycedo, the conceptual artist de la isla del encanto--who conducted the monumental barter art installation and happening at his place (which I kick myself for having missed). Adrian and Caro joined the cuates, Ernesto and Eduardo Espinoza who jointly head up the East L.A. Cine Sin Fin Chican@ Film Festival, and Conchita de Sousa and Fernando Cruz from Casa de Sousa as the late-comers who left a glowing energy lingering in their wake long after we locked the doors at nearly midnight. I was particularly proud to exhibit a piece by the ladies from Mi Vida. The corazón de papel maché over a beautiful serape background is a steal at $75 but I'm making it $65, so I can buy it for myself.
Anybueys, we all hung out at East Side Luv and helped Danell celebrate her cumple in style. We also met the Colombian Napolean Dynamite. No lie. He had brown hair instead of red, was a foot shorter, but had the glasses AND the dance moves. Noelle, it turns out (sshhh, don't say anything), has a book project she's working on, and I'm utterly intrigued at the idea. Closed the joint down and I turned into the proverbial pumpkin. Had to save some steam for Cal Plaza where I trundled along to with writer and former interim Self Help Director Rose Ramírez as well the baddest, toughest, coolest gallery and magazine collaborator/crimie (crime partner in the parlance of my lil' banger foo's from Eastlake) in town, Christy Ramírez. At Cal Plaza, I did the hot-foot for our usual camp-site with Fabiola Torres, Reina Prado, and my life-long cuate-carnal Francisco Hernández, AKA Smokin' Mirrors man-about-town. Francisco, who's always busy on a film or a tour with any number of biz heavies, cuts me off near the facilities after a glittering set by La Santa Cecilia, a band fronted by Marisoul Hernández, who must have pipes made of platinum because her voice is a shimmering echo of love and heartache and, yes, soul. Think Mercedes Sosa and Astrid Hadad and Lila Downs all rolled into one sweet melody over tango and cumbia and too many other post-millenial LA hybrid sounds to list.
We were about forty minutes into the Mentiritas set. Wil-Dog was going full-tilt and CAVA (Cavaliscious when she lends her vocals to the atomic rancholo party band project) had already been escorted in on a litter fit for a queen after which she promptly dismissed her subjects with a haughty wave. "Let's go the wrap party for THE RUNAWAYS," Francisco says. "Where?" I ask. "El Cid, open bar and a spread. I have to say high to Joan Jett," he explains almost nonchalantly, like no big deal. Of course my jaw drops. He also mentions the need to drop by the Los Angeles Theater Center for a party with Very Be Careful, but I'm already walking alongside him headed to the car. El Cid is hopping with the cast and crew. We catch Ms. Jett on her way out. She's on a flight to a couple of stadium shows in Japan, no surprise. I'm too dumbstruck to tell her she was my first and onlyvinyl record crush. Period. She looks exactly the same, hasn't changed. All cut, black-and-white Chucks, eye-liner curled up slightly at the ends, spiked bangs hanging low over her forehead. Awww, man! And I'm speechless... something which almost never happens. I was "scirrred" of rock royalty for the first time in my life.
After that, we cruise downtown and it was all incredibly cool. Said hi teatrero maestro José Luís Valenzuela. When we finally rolled into Trópico de Nopal for a last call at the "official" Mentiritas after-party, I couldn't have been happier. And that sums up another unexpected evening in Los. Sometimes it makes no sense to make plans... so that said, I've spent the week in delerium. Played hooky on Monday and went for a swim. Watched the goats on Tuesday at Farmlab and here we are again, Friday, juggling a blog, the chivos, a sale of a two-piece work by Steven Amado (Chatismo), the beginnings of a poem that I will read tomorrow at Self Help Graphics for the "