El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, begins 'Mex-Mas' tour in December

One time, just after I moved to California in the mid-nineties, a cool older mom friend of mine insisted that I join her to see a show at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco. She claimed it would change my life and, honestly, it did.

That show was El Vez, the Mexican Elvis.

Now, singer-songwriter Robert Lopez, the genius behind El Vez, is no Elvis impersonator. He transcends that. He IS the Mexican Elvis. Get me?

As you'll see in this short piece about him, his schtick is thick. In it, he aptly describes himself as the "child" of his "true parents," Elvis and Charo.

Twenty-something years later, he's still doing his thing and it's still as fresh as ever. Now, think of me as that "cool older mom friend" who is insisting you go to his show. There are only four this year and they are all on the west coast, opening with Pony Death Ride:

December 20 — San Francisco, at the Elbo Room (Tickets)

December 21 — San Jose, at The Ritz (Tickets)

December 22 — Los Angeles, at The Echo (Tickets)

December 23 — San Diego, at The Casbah

To sweeten the pot, the retro go-go dance troupe The Devil-Ettes are performing at his San Francisco and San Jose shows.

I've seen him perform many times since the nineties and I can attest that he puts on one helluva show. It's always high-haired, high energy, and full of costume changes. Plus, his merchandise is inspired (I still carry around a sequined piece of one of his retired stage costumes all these years later).

Can't make it? Well, at the very least, pick up a copy of Sno-Way José, his collection of his Mex-mas classics. You have to order it from his website, which isn't geared for ecommerce sales. Pick up a lock of his hair while you're at it. It's certified by his barber.