[UPDATED with Inkblots' Sam Munoz Interview and Yost Statement] Musicians Asked to Boycott Gentrified Santa Ana

Update: July 26,  2:53 p.m.: Before Inkblots' Sam Munoz received the e-mail from Artists and Musicians Against Displacement, he didn't realize that the debate over gentrification in Santa Ana was so passionate. "We walk [to Downtown] and to me it still looks the same. It's cleaner and there's a crappy Starbucks, but it's still la cuatro."

To Munoz, all the change happening in downtown Santa Ana is a good thing "in terms of giving musicians chance to play. There was nothing five to six years ago." For bands, what's going on is exciting, he says. "I feel like we can play in Santa Ana and people are gonna come. It's not just like a show in the middle of nowhere; people want to come and see new music. It's a good deal, and that's something I've enjoyed."

So will Munoz be boycotting the Yost as well? "To play at the Yost, and open for any band, whether its Elefante or Molotov, would be great. It would be in my hometown--it's not about politics, it's about a chance to play in front of my friends and family."

Neither does Munoz think Downtown Inc. has a secret agenda. "Anybody who believes they can take Latino culture out of Santa Ana is misguided. There's just too many of us!" he says, laughing. "We're the majority here. I don't know much about any of these companies (Koo's, Downtown Inc., etc.) and what they want to do, but if [they do want to get rid of Latinos] I don't think they'll succeed."

"I think Santa Ana has a lot of cultures and I think Downtown should reflect that. It shouldn't all be one culture. What it is right now is a good step; Santa Ana is getting a reputation beyond what it used to be, and that's a good thing."

Ashley Eckenweiler, who is the publicist for Yost (she also booked last year's Summer Concert series), says the boycott is really unfortunate. "Speaking on behalf of Yost, they have a lot of multicultural programming planned already on the calender and in the future. Their lease also requires them to host at least two community events per month at cost, which shows an honest dedication to continuing to support the community in Santa Ana. It's the same for  Downtown Inc.--there's been tons of support for the existing communities."

Original post: July 26, 8:53 a.m.: Yesterday OC Register's Andrew Galvin posted a blog about a new group called Artists and Musicians Against Displacement, which asked musicians participating in the Santa Ana summer concert series to "decline their invitation or cancel in solidarity" due to claims of gentrification in an anonymous open letter. (Gustavo Arellano knows who anonymous is, for once, and refers to it in his news blog!)

Downtown Inc., the organization of the Santa Ana PBID, is in charge of many musical events that promote the area, and have had various local bands such as the Colourist perform with some larger groups, such as the Watson Twins. Ashley Eckenweiler, Yost's publicist, says

The Inkblots' lead singer Sam Munoz wrote an interesting response to the call, and then didn't boycott the event. He says, "I remember when it was merely known as La Quatro and its most attractive events were the family quinceaneras held each weekend in its hidden halls. However, I cannot completely agree with your conclusions here."He adds, "I am very proud of the fact that I was born and raised in Santa Ana and in the almost seven years of my band's life I have always introduced us as 'the Inkblots from Santa Ana, CA.' I do see that my beloved city has changed and it sometimes angers me that so many of the people that show their faces in the late nights of our Downtown would have, not too long ago, laughed at the suggestion of spending any kind of time in one of our bars. However, I have never had so many chances to showcase my talent in Santa Ana before...I dreamt of the day that Santa Ana could some day become a launching pad for musicians and artists alike and these changes that have happened to Downtown have made it seem possible that Santa Ana could some day achieve that."

I personally think it would be interesting to hear from other bands who've participated in the boycott...more updates as the story develops.

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Continue the clean up of that city. It needs it.

Gutter head
Gutter head

"employ santa ana residents"   Mexicans do not work in the food and bar industry. Nor do Chicanos.        

Susie Lemus
Susie Lemus

how about all these new businesses start to employ santa ana residents?! 


Sam: You know I like your stuff, but for you to claim you didn't even know about the gentrification debate or the lords of SanTana's long-term battle against Latino-anything is downright gotta read the Weekly more often!


Why would someone read the Weekly more often when it's so saturated with the sophomoric crap you write, Gustavo? With your persistent use of nonsensical buzzwords like "SanTana" and "demexification," you can't honestly expect to be taken seriously by people who actually give a shit about the community they live in. For all your ranting and railing against a vaguely nefarious Other who wants to destroy Downtown Santa Ana and the contributions of every brown person who's ever walked its streets, I find it amusing that you're a regular belly-upper at Memphis.


Gustavo could care less about serious journalism. He has a FOX News mentality: His goal (perhaps encouraged by his so-called editors) is to be as controversial as possible to attract more hits on his blog. He utilizes vague insinuations and ad hominem attacks, IMHO, just to get a response of any sort, eschewing informative reporting in favor of the type of hyperbolic mongering that works people into a lather about insinuations of gentrification, all the while spending more time at Memphis than the Mendoza (and who can blame him?)

As someone who lives in DTSA I am extremely excited by the opening of the Yost, the bands playing at Copper Door, The Crosby, Memphis (check out Dinner w/ Dave), The Gypsy Den and on the promenade. To those bands who think a boycott furthers your cause, you're only hurting yourselves and limiting your exposure, but if you feel strongly that DTSA is changing for the worse, then stick to your principles and shun us, though I doubt you'll be missed.

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