Feliz Navidad From the Mexican Elvis

El Vez does his Christmas show at the Elbo Room and The Ritz

El Vez does his Christmas show at the Elbo Room and The Ritz (Photo: Courtesy of El Vez)

Don’t think of El Vez (L.A.’s Robert Lopez) as camp. He may imitate the swiveling hips and big hair of his namesake, but his music also taps the Mexican-American roots of rock ‘n’ roll — bands like the Sir Douglas Quintet and Richie Valens. There’s also a kind of postmodern genius to the way he borrows songs from everyone from Elvis to James Brown to David Bowie, and remakes them into pro-Chicano anthems. And he’s funny. Lopez is doing his Christmas shows in town this week (Dec. 20 at the Elbo Room in San Francisco, and Dec. 21 at the Ritz in San Jose), so don’t attend unless you want to hear “Santa Claus is Sometimes Brown.” As my co-host Tomas Riley notes, El Vez is about being culturally seen, and in Riley’s house, Santa Claus is always brown. Details here.

Feliz Navidad From the Mexican Elvis 13 December,2017Cy Musiker


Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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