Much like Eric Clapton, who was christened "God" by countless bathroom-graffiti artists early in his career, Ramón Ayala has spent most of his 40-year career living up to an equally royal nickname: El Rey del Acordeón ("The King of the Accordion"). In Ayala's hands, the squeezebox talks, cries, laughs and trills, but never gets angry. It's because of this happy attitude that the man's music is as ever-present at any gathering of Mexicans as alcohol, why he has released more than 100 albums yet has never suffered a cold spell, why he's the perfect solution for $5 gas, endless war, soaring unemployment and the prospect that while America might very well elect a Democrat to run the country this November, Orange County will remain red. You owe yourself a night of joy; you owe yourself Ayala.
Fri., June 20, 9 p.m., 2008