Poets Milo Martin and Kennon B. Raines will host a poetic revival of the legendary Onyx Café, Sunday, November 9th, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Echoplex in Echo Park. In the spirit of the Onyx admission is free. Often referred to as the “last true bastion of Bohemianism” in Los Angeles it has been ten years since the Onyx lost its lease on Vermont Avenue (where Café Figaro now sits), in Los Feliz Village one block down from Skylight Books. Its weekly poetry readings featuring a house percussive jazz combo were standing-room-only events hosted by Los Angeles poets S.A. Griffin or Milo Martin. The one-night revival will “pull poets, performance artists and musicians who were regulars of the café out of the woodwork” to pay tribute to the scene/movement that spawned artists like Beck, Manuel Del Campo and Jerry Quickley, among others. Poets expected to participate are: Audrey Allen, Steve Abee, Mary Cahill, Dennis Cruz, Yvonne De La Vega, Rich Ferguson, Nathan Green, Hassan Jamaal, Jerry the Priest, Josh Millican, Blakeslee Stevens, Julia Stein, Chris Tannahill, G. Murray Thomas and Carmen Vega. Music acts include The Charmkin Rebellion and The Band W. There will also be video/photographic presentations.
A 2000 Los Angeles Times article “Requiem for the Onyx” described the café’s atmosphere as “a scribbling, strumming, chain-smoking stew of artists, skater kids, conspiracy mongers and other fringe characters…the happenings were spontaneous eruptions, like the raucous percussion jams…addictive, a product of a particular time” -- Mark Ehrman.
In 1999 Milo Martin was also one of the editors (along with Nathan Green and Ben Porter Lewis) of the now collectible Onyx Spoken Word anthology (Projector Press).
The Echoplex is located at 1822 Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park in the basement of the Echo club and can be reached at (213) 413-8200. The entrance is in the alley at 1154 Glendale Boulevard. Full bar, all ages.
Milo Martin’s first book of poetry - Poems for the Utopian Nihilist (Echo Park Press) was published this year and combines his written word with original abstract drawings and paintings in calligraphic form. Martin has studied with Hubert Selby Jr., Aram Saroyan, Marvin Bell, William Minor, Holly Prado and Clayton Eschlemen. He co-founded the original Hollywood/Los Feliz Poetry Slam Team in 1997, later winners of the National Slam in 2004 and 2005. In addition Martin served as Poetry Editor for USC’s Southern California Anthology (2003-2004). Martin’s work has been translated into four languages (German, Italian, Croatian and Estonian) and he has toured Europe extensively with the poetry troupe Poesie United (sponsored by German & Croatian Arts Councils and the U.S. Embassy) performing his metaphysical-melancholy spoken word at international poetry festivals, rock venues, libraries and universities.
Kennon B. Raines, a performance poet and an educator, has appeared in stage productions on both coasts and in numerous independent films in Canada and the US. An accomplished performance artist Ms. Raines has performed her poetry in NYC nightclubs (including the Wigstock festivals) for six years before moving to Los Angeles. Raines has performed her poetry at the Toronto Film Festival and in independent films in Montreal and Los Angeles. Other poetry appearances include London, UK; Paris, France; Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; and Atlanta, GA. She was a member of L.A's first poetry slam team to San Francisco in '93. In 1994, Ms. Raines produced, directed, and performed in the Hollywood production, "The Naked Word," a theatrical evening of poetry. Presented in a 99-seat theatre, it featured poets ranging in age from 23 to 83, live music, and bared feelings on social, political, and spiritual themes. Her poetry was also featured in the Onyx Spoken Word anthology.