DrumZ 4 U Straight OuTTA Tigah’s Music Vaults :)

SpecialMusic Treat -an appreciation : Joyful SummaH 2016 My friends, followers and readers here it gets warmer in L.A as we approach July 4th. I set myself a tall order of content in Summer 2016 , including Rio Olympics commentary … Continue reading

Louie Vega & Co set off Tigre’s Summer 2016 Groove

Summer means fresh , global inspiring and grooving music

We’re less than a week into Summer 2016 , and before the Rio Olympics observations and commentary dominate my space , I must get the music aspect in . Via social media platforms such as MixCloud, FaceBook and SoundCloud I have a wonderful diverse global network of music enthusiasts, producers, djs, artists , aficionados etc. The genre of strong interest these past few years has been Soulful House music. I even created a few mixes which I present on Mixcloud.The link is placed at the end of this post.

Louie Vega, Anane Vega, Josh Milan ,Alex Toscha and Monique Bingham @ Boiler Room ,NY

A wonderful oppurtunity presenrs itself to share my favorite Dj Producer and Grammy -award winner Nuyorican Louie Vega.A few weeks ago international House music organization Boiler Room opened it’s first New York space in Williamsburg. Louie Vega and his crew were invited to inaugurate .

A long 4 hour session kicked off by Josh Milan formerly of duo Blaze and CEO of HoneyComb Music.Next up is Anane  Vega , Louie’s Cabu Verde originated spouse , a charismatic dj who dances all through her set. Maestro Vega closes out accompanied by Alex Toscha on keyboards , and a special vocal mini set by NY based House vocalist Monique Bingham. Check for the sexy Vega/Bingham collaboration ‘Elevator’. The opening track of my Mix ‘Tiger Tablet I : Noble Love. Stay tuned for more groovy music  here into this Olympics Summer. And the beat goes on.

El Tigre & his Fave Djs Mixes on MixCloud


Mike Sonksen’s L.A Sutra : Poetics of Location

Sonksen’s ‘Poetics’ evokes that Zen Feeling…

Mike ‘The Poet’ Sonksen is a Filmmaker, he just needs to act on it. My words to my trusted and esteemed fellow traveller and confidante a few days ago at Grand Park, DTLA. We were sitting in Starbucks after he had another on the fly, creative and intense video recording session ,with Javier Guillen, the social media wunderkind of L.A’s new epicenter of community gatherings including New Year’s Eve and July 4th.

Grand Park was that evening the venue of a timely and historic symposium on Hip Hop including break dance luminaries such as Lil Caesar. Javier and Mike, not surprisingly struck this complimentary collaborative vibe and were a few hours away from the documenting of the open air panel discussion in Grand Park, the quadrangle of L.A County Government of Superior Court, Board of Supervisors and Hall of Records. So Mike Sonksenesque, especially because it was not even mentioned or addressed that the community-oriented journalist/poet has written about these power centres and similar over the years as chronicler of his beloved Los Angeles.

‘Poetics of Location’ is the new work by 3rd-generation Angeleno Mike Sonksen. Publishers are Writ Large Press. The photo is my personal autographed copy from the author, who in his very laid-back manner suggested I review. Knee-jerk fashion I agreed, on the strength of my respect and admiration for him. Intuitively I knew there was no way I could tackle Michael’s work as stand alone product or creation. I decided and posit my case here that Michael Sonksen the man is the creative core from which to reference his writing.

Why? Simple. When one meets the humble, soft-spoken Angeleno one is struck that he has a lot on his mind, in unpredictable spurts he reveals some, and we are without fail impacted by his passion for history, community, cultural dynamics and social justice of his beloved, albeit elusive Los Angeles.

Enough preamble. We’re going in, as we say in House music circles (my preferred genre these days) to enjoy the DJ session. Our Maestro Dj is Mike Sonksen who will send you wild, unless one pays attention to the clues subtly left.

The session Mix is Poetics of Location: 25 Poems and an extended essay addressing poetry of place, urban history, architecture, social justice and community arts.

Modernism is wonderful metaphor of Poetics

Opening  poem is Modernism in Part One of Poem on Location. Immediately I sense the movement and geometry expressing core Sonksen values through poetry. Excerpting selectively :


evolved after Darwin

following Freud

totalitarian ideologies

the dreadful decade

Jim Crow America

Sonksen takes by the horns late 19th and early 20th century European intellectual tradition, which while reaching along scientific enquiry, spawned inhumane and intolerant American constructs.Sonksen is not a cheerleader of this unaccountable ‘Modern’ thought. Skipping ahead allowing the reader of Poetics to enjoy the Modern journey surprises.


the rise of film & television

moving pictures became scripture

D.W .Griffith’s ” Birth of a Nation,”

the movie star was born at the Egyptian

Like the Dj dropping a teaser of a hit track and then pulling it back, this is a set up by Sonksen for next poem in Part One: Turn a New Leaf titled ‘After Watching Birth of A Nation’.

The South’s new rebellion, the South Carolina

State House of Representatives,Freedman’s Bureau, Dixie’s nemesis,

equal rights, equal politics, equal marriage,

40 Acres and a mule, John Wilkes Booth,

Heady stuff here. Sonksen warned in the book’s Introduction  where he references Community Artist’s role, “the passing of knowledge across generations is one of my central objectives.” That is what’s going on. In a few words as a Zen haiku does, Sonksen tickles the enquiring spirit of those with such an inclination . An enquiry into Southern history, reframed by D.W. Griffith initiating the strategic role of Hollywood in shaping  public sentiment.

Sonksen’s earlier work ‘I am Alive in

Los Angeles’ the code-breaker

I have a secret tool to decode Sonksen’s Zen Sutra of Poetics, I ‘reverse engineered’ to his work a decade ago “I Am Alive in Los Angeles!”. I read this bold statement on Los Angeles and discovered on p. 29, “The Real Hollywood.”. Less we get it twisted , Mike reminds us.

There’s Hollywood the Industry

and Hollywood the neighborhood

More on that poem for the future review of “I Am Alive in Los Angeles!” However once more in the Introduction of Poetics the author explains:

“One of my lifelong missions is to map the lesser known sites and the communities of literary Los Angeles.”

Agreeing with a fellow poet and literary scholar, “that mapping important writers and venues is necessary because Los Angeles poets have always been invisible relative to the attention paid to screenwriters and content creators in the film and television industry.”

Voila! No wonder Sonksen viewed Griffith’s ground-breaking work with apprehension even if “Birth of A Nation” was screened in President Woodrow Wilson’s White House. History, social justice are in this man’s DNA. It is expressed from that core in his poetry. Serious business this poetry.

For me Modernism is the perfect focus and sample of Poetics because of the mapping issue.

Let’s get to this defining consideration immediately. Please remember Mike Sonksen wears two hats. Poet and journalist. There our author states unequivocally in the Introduction. “The ethic to which I aspire in my poetics is place-making through public poetry following (a) model of place-making through public art, this also applies to the 25 poems here because they too map a geography of my imagination.”

In my view Sonksen is still a bit obtuse at this moment, as I suspected he made connections in his head about what Western Modernity meant to Los Angeles in the American mapping arrangement. Like a Sutra which needs be digested, reflected, processed and repeated, the revelation is there all along awaiting the reader’s patience, sensitivity and clarity. Zen.

On page 5 (in the Introduction)titled ‘Mapping and the Role of Maps’ our Koan master raises the ante.

“The poems map concrete and intangible landmarks whether they be the poems about Union Station and the Painted Desert or my opening poem capturing the spirit of the age called ‘Modernism.’”

Before we jump to Part Two: Landmarks, a subtle but telling verse in ‘Reclusive Butterflies’

Multinational engineers induce transmutation

sequencing chronological collaborations

creating waterlogged  grasslands

Then in conclusion ;

Reclusive butterflies believe

it’s time to turn a new leaf

Sonksen believes he is kindred folk with these butterflies as the subtitle of this Part One is “I turn A new leaf.”

Landmarks opens with “Next Stop: Union Station.”  Metaphorically from this 75 year old station we hit Central Cali’s Coast where he notes “such serene serendipity,” yet a hint of applause for Nature’s resurgence.

erosive forces crushing

concrete embankments

evoking existential exits earnestly



Then we roll past the Boomburbs ;

sitcom suburbs cover America

all along the interstate

We eventually arrive at “The Power of Place,” where Landmarks are itemized always including Sonksen’s registering fights for justice:

Biddy Mason’s freedom papers

the deed to her homestead.


If forgotten Sonksen makes his principled effort;

the story of a working woman of color,

a site of struggle, a sacred place.

Recasting poet Mike as DJ in session. Part Three: Southwest Concerto is the maestro spinning the vinyl of funky classics in a continuous medley climaxing in a crescendo plateau, where we the dancers surrender to the Truth.

We needed that workout of soul and body. We needed to confess and be reminded of the Gospel. Our L.A Gnosis. We are taken to the Church, make that Temple of historico-cultural Truth which counters and smashes the prevailing Hollywood corporate media dominant influence.

An Overpowering Spell of sanctioned accepted narratives. We land on the King’s Highway/El Camino Real which connected the Southwest’s conquest by Catholic Spain’s Conquistadors and Padres.

the lush garden of the new west

progressive visions nurtured

by native daughters

boosters in concert.

a nonstop fiesta.

Mike Sonksen the journalist unsheathes his kitana/pen, or like the Chinese Imperial Prime Minister of deft diplomacy and statecraft of whom it’s whispered, “when the scroll is opened, the dagger is revealed.”

The journalist will steady the hand of the poet to cut through much ambiguity and wasted mis-direction. Perfect moment for the climax of “Arrival Stories” and “The Spirit of Location.”

We return to the calm meditative state after the Santa Ana winds passed

the spirit of location


of oral histories


of public memories

Anchoring experiences to


A scheme of arrangements

A utilitarian


A city of emotional landmarks

Mapping a Human Tomorrow

The Dj is letting the last jam slowly, deliberately fade to silence and we become still in body mind and Soul.

Our suspicions are validated in the safe good night (it’s now morning almost daylight) over the PA system.

(From Mike Sonksen’s earlier work “I Am Alive in Los Angeles!”; we know he is very much at home in the L.A underground dance club scene, and claims personal connection with luminaries who graduated from that world past decade.)

We allow the MC/ Zen Master the last word.

“The many years I have worked as a Journalist further reinforce my urge to record historical narratives. All of my work and the poems in this collection are guided by these principles. To be continued…

Bravo, Michael Sonksen. We thank you for this neat pocket sized work  we sense in time may be deemed by many, a Los Angeles Sutra. To be read and re-read with more clarity and understanding each time.

Michael ‘El Tigre’ Foster.

June 20, 2016

Summer Solstice 2016

Los Angeles, CA

2 Mikes @ Grand Park during 4 Days of Hip Hop. Mike The Poet Sonksen and Mikchael El Tigre Foster.

2 Mikes @ Grand Park during 4 Days of Hip Hop June 19,2016. Mike The Poet Sonksen and Michael El Tigre Foster

Mike Sonksen’s L.A Sutra :Poetics of Location

I am honored to present a review of the latest literary work by 3rd generation Angeleno Poet/Journalist Mike ‘The Poet’ Sonksen entitled Poetics of Location. The essay is initially posted in my companion site ‘Lotus L.A, Mi L.A ‘ for reasons self explanatory when read. We have here in Los Angeles a rare breed of writer in Mr. Sonksen .More than being  a critical thinker and disciplined researcher, Mr.Sonksen is foremost a compassionate educator who mentors the at risk youth .Get your copy of ‘Poetics of Location’. Support our own. Welcome to Summer 2016.
El Tigre

#MiLA #LotusLA #fromwhereistand #thisislosangeles #LAStory #exploreLA

#discoverLA #Cityof Angels #iLoveLA #losangeles #poetry #lapoetry #lajournalist



Sonksen’s ‘Poetics’ evokes that Zen feeling……

Mike ‘The Poet ‘ Sonksen is a Film-maker , he just needs to act on it. My words to my trusted and esteemed fellow traveller and confidante a few days ago at Grand Park, DTLA. We were sitting in Starbucks after he had another on the fly , creative and intense video recording session with Javier Guillen , the social media wunderkind of L.A’s new epicenter of community gatherings including New Year’s Eve and July 4th.

Grand Park was that evening the venue of a timely and historic symposium on Hip Hop including break dance luminaries as Little Caesar.Javier and Mike , not surprisingly struck this complimentary collaborative vibe and were a few hours away from the documenting of the open air panel discussion in Grand Park , the quadrangle of L.A County Government of Superior Court, Board of Supervisors and Hall of Records…

View original post 1,449 more words

Chinese Historic General Gaun Ping’s birthday recognized @ Mazu Temple in ChinaTown, DTLA

Summer 2016 events in L.A demand I update my alternate Lotus L.A , Mi L.A blog. Today we celebrate a Historic Chinese general’s birthday in ChinaTown, DTLA .
Lotus L.A
El Tigre


Today on eve of Summer Solstice 2016 I update this page Lotus L.A, Mi L.A . The previous post was an audio interview with Grand Master Eric Lee. The idea of Lotus L.A, Mi L.A was expressed on this page. Events taking shape as Summer rushes in will populate here with much Los Angeles content, both sides of Lotus and Mi. Today we go to the Lotus side of L.A and venture to ChinaTown Thien Hau Temple  and celebrate a Chinese hero’s birthday based on the Lunar calendar. Today is General Gong Ping’s birthday.

General Guan Pinggong hero of China from the 3rd Warring States era and portrayed , was the Step Son of the larger than life General Guan Yu. In Taoist/Chinese Temples he has white colored face , General Yu a red face and enforcer blood brother Zhou Cang, a black complexion. Reflecting the Chinese Lunar Calendar we…

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Guest Blog by Mike the Poet: Dance Door Opens for Compagnie Käfig

My good buddy Mike the Poet comes DTLA to the Music Center and Grand Park this week and a half. We’re in for a treat as this L.A street poet, creative writing teacher, journalist , author represents dynamic contemporary culture . My content just got richer here. Great opening Michael . Much respect ,
El Tigré
#MiLA #LotusLA #dtla #ElTigre

The Music Center

Above the eastern steps of The Music Center, directly across from Grand Park is one of the most iconic sculptures of both Downtown Los Angeles and the city itself. “Dance Door,” is the bronze frame and doorway sculpture originally created by the celebrated late sculptor Robert Graham in 1978. As writer Michael Several wrote in 1998, “The work consists of three sections: small fragments of dancing figures appear in relief in the bottom half; larger fragments of dancers in relief in the next quarter; and a cutout frieze of silhouetted dancing figures on the top.” This elegant artwork frames City Hall on the eastern horizon and has been the site of countless photos for over a generation of Angelenos.

“Dance Door,” is a meaningful sculpture for many reasons. The most obvious is that its’ beauty pays tribute to the many dance events that The Music Center hosts every year. The…

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Global celebrity South Africa’s Dj/Producer Black Coffee wins 3 SAMA awards

South African Celebrity Dj/Producer Black Coffee rocks MixMag’s London Session

South Africa Declares the Future is Hear 

On June 4, 2016 the 22nd South African Music Awards were presented in Durban ,South Africa (ZA). The event was oblivious to many in North America, except those who follow and enjoy the leading trends in global dance music . The production broadcast live on SABC (South Africa Broadcast Corporation) was a celebration of many aspects of post-apartheid South Africa.For one there was the memory of 1970s student leader Steve Biko who was martyred in 1976. South Africans matter of factly embrace their national transformative narrative.

22 nd South African Music Awards SAMA # 22

The opening segment was a mashup of music genres embracing the multi-color world of equality.in the African partner  of the alternative global cultural-politico-economic-tech order termed BRICS . Brazil, Russia, China India and South Africa believe the globe is on the verge of a dynamic , multi-polar , collaborative and mutually beneficial engagement. Of course there are die-hard power centers of the ancien regime which resist, despise and counter such idyllic notions and platitudes on our planet

Unto a New Global Music Order..

However , while the Ministers with and without Portfolio and even Pleni-potentiary hold ‘talks’ and summits and then issue communiques , the Dance world aknows and already defers to South African music influence ,trends, producers, djs and artists. From London, Paris, NYC to Rio the smart money and talent trek to JoBurg and the Cape to collaborate and soak up the organic power of African musicianship , infectious rhythms and vocal emotion, I call Lava.Black Coffee opened the doors to this flood about 10 years ago and with Bucie dropped the club hit ‘SuperMan’ rich in dub, bass and piano with sexy vocals.

Neither Bucie, dubbed the Princess of House in ZA nor Black Coffee have looked back. Many fellow South Africans followed suit , adding the pool of international productions , projects and tracks with African groundings. My FaceBook peeps know I constantly post House music genre tracks and the South African portion increases every year as more outstanding sounds emanate from that progressive Nation-state.

So at the 22nd annual South African Music Awards whose theme was the Future is Hear , bold acceptance of the new music leadership emergence , 3 Awards went to Black Coffee : Best Album of the Year, Best Engineered Album and Best Dance Album.The album is ‘Pieces of Me’.The Youtube link opening shows the London crowd upset after 3 hours as the promoters shut down the party. Londoners were calling for more.

Bucie performs ‘SuperMan’ produced by Award winner Black Coffee

I suspect once you start listening to South African music you will join their chant.

Congratulations to Black Coffee all around as like Denzel Washington winning for ‘Training Day’, we know it’s the body of work long overdue that’s being recognized.

El Tigre.

#SAMA # djBlackcoffee #Bucie #SoulfulHouse #HouseMusic