Music promotion, many feel, is the rotten apple of the arts and media cornucopia. For decades, promoters have been reviled as radio pimps, sycophant two-facers and rocker windbags, as Hunter S. Thompson is believed to have reinforced in a quote widely attributed to him.
As a musician, I was prepared for them all on my journey towards the stage and for the longest time always got what I expected--until crossing paths with your neighbor, Alexis Rivera.
Charismatic, humble and a storyteller of Kramer-esque proportions, he’s like a character actor who steals all the scenes in an independent film about the music biz.
So ingrained has he become in your 'hood that the LA Weekly has dubbed him “the savior of Echo Park,” and he even named his mini-music empire Echo Park Records, which he and his artists travel around the world to promote.
Rivera has taken aging bars like Little Pedro’s (now One-Eyed Gypsy after its Bordello run)--and, most recently, --and rebooted them into decadent, vibrant dance clubs. He’s assisted A-List Hollywood leading men like Ryan Gosling and the late, great Heath Ledger with their forays into the music business. As the edgy, youthful style bibles like Vice or Paper come to EP to party and write about it, they look up Rivera.
When The New York Times discovers an invitation in Sarah Palin’s inbox to party in Echo Park with “beef, tequila and condoms,” it was Rivera on the sender’s address. He is Echo Park’s version of Dos Equis' “Most Interesting Man in the World.”
And he’s movin’ on out.
Well, not entirely. His roots in his parkside apartment and the local nightspots he works will feel his presence regularly, but he’s moving to a beauty of a ranch in Highland Park.
“The lake being drained is a sign, in a way,” he says as he struggles through a red wine hangover. After watching (and helping to define) this part of town turn “too young, too hipster” even by his own standards, it felt like the moment to step into a new slice of L.A. domestic life.
As far as contributing to Sunset Boulevard, this won’t cease anytime soon. The Westerly, his boutique Silver Lake hotel, will soon transform the La Parilla Restaurant.
Weary of his deep-rooted neighbors who’ve left and the neighborhood stores that have come and gone, Rivera simply feels it is time to amplify the sounds of his international electronic music from another pocket of his longtime lady love: Los Angeles.