This Sunday, as part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, The GRAMMY Museum, along with Museum of Latin American Art, presents performances by and discussions with Little Willie G of legendary R&B group Thee Midniters and vocalist-producer-poet Rubén Guevara and his new band the Eastside Luvers in celebration of MOLAA's MEX/LA: Mexican Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930-1985 exhibit.
Curated by Rubén Ortiz-Torres in association with Jesse Lerner, MEX/L.A. focuses on different notions of "Mexicanidad" within modernist and contemporary art in LA. They say the exhibit tells a history both of L.A. and Mexico that is often not seen as such.
"It's a great opportunity, historically speaking, to get a little bit more insight into the music that came out of the east Los Angeles era of the 60s," Little Willie G says. "We're trying to capture everything that the neighborhood smelled like, what the neighborhood sounded like -- any given neighborhood in east LA. And, at the same time, answer some questions that have been prone to a lot of misinformation."
He will be singing songs about the sights and smells of east LA, including "Across the Bridge in East L.A.," which he says is about people who came from the westside to east L.A. to the dances and shows he hosted at the Golden Gate Theatre. He will also be performing "Silver Dollar Nightmare," which speaks to the L.A. riots. He normally plays with a 10-piece band, but for the MOLA event, he has scaled back to performing with five musicians.
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"I'm so proud to be part of this show," Guevara says. "It has a lot of my friends are exhibited in it -- guys I've known for twenty-five years -- and it's so great to see them finally succeed and become recognized internationally. And to be exhibited in that museum -- which has primarily exhibited art from Latin America -- it's quite an honor to be a part of it now that they're including Chicano artists."
As part of the show, Guevara created a listening station with L.A. Chicano rock & roll from 1948-1985. It features pioneers of Chicano rock, like Tosti, Lalo Guerrero, Cannibal & the Headhunters and Thee Midniters. "It shows how the influences really came from African American musicians in Los Angeles and how it influenced what we can early Pachuco Boogie." he says. "Then it goes through the 70s punk scene and into the 80s and ends with Los Lobos."
Guevara will be performing his new album The Tao of Funkahuatl in full. Funkahuatl is a character he created that he calls the Neo-Aztec Deity of Tantrik Funk. Through music, Guevara says, Funkahuatl merges the spirit, sex, funk, and soul on the path to the Beloved and living your life as a work of art. The album is Guevara's first solo work in quite some time; he took decades off from music to raise his kids, attend UCLA, teach at schools and in prison, and other projects. This year is his 50th anniversary as a recording artist.
A Musical Conversation with Little Willie G (2:00-3:10 p.m.) and Rubén Guevara & The Eastside Luvers (3:15-4 p.m.) on Sun., Dec. 4 at MOLAA. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free; reservations are recommended. To reserve your seats, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in the Subject line: PST Celebration RSVPs. Seating limited to 250 on a first come first serve basis. Standing room available