Music News

El Vez

Depending on which voting poll you buy into, Colorado is a battleground state worth nine measly electoral votes -- winner take all. Still undecided? East L.A.'s Richard Lopez, a barrio-bred showman turned rhinestoned candidate (minus his running mate, Eddie Vedder), stumps through the Queen City mid-week with a ridiculously patriotic spectacle called El Vez for Prez. A glitzy Vegas revue free of preachy polemics, the evening boasts spicy backup singers and the brassy sounds of the Memphis Mariachis. In other words, a hunka hunka burnin' novelty. But the man in the blue suede sombrero transcends mere homage and parody, reworking classics by the King into conceptual political statements. Drawing from 26 years of experience as a Latino-centric Elvis impersonator (plus a repertoire of over 200 songs), Lopez also blends the music of James Brown, Bing Crosby, Iggy Pop and more into the ultimate comeback especial. High voter turnout is expected -- which isn't too surprising for a guy who can magically transform "Heartbreak Hotel" into a tribute to the Aztec Gods.
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John La Briola