Ollin celebrates 10 years playing Mexican punk on St. Patrick's Day
Perhaps no single album will get more jukebox spins than the Pogues' Irish-punk classic "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash" during Saturday's St. Patrick's Day celebrations. But the best place to hear it that night might be the Satellite, where the Boyle Heights institution Ollin will make its 10th go-round of covering the band's catalog for the occasion.
The band's annual love note to Irish music and Shane MacGowan's beery outfit takes inspiration from "El Batallon de Los San Patricios," a group of Irish soldiers who defected from the U.S. military to fight on the Mexican side of the Mexican-American War in 1846. Ollin takes folk music and instrumentation from both cultures, but the band plays its Pogues covers with a rowdy punkish spirit, and its annual shows have gained a reputation as the one of the best St. Patrick's Day parties in L.A. (especially for folks looking for something different than green-dyed beer).
Ollin's St. Patrick's Day parties are one of those only-in-L.A. culture fusions that make our local music scene so compelling. But whether you're out to honor the San Patricios, Shane MacGowan or just tip back some Bushmills, this show will be one of the weekend's most raucous.
-- August Brown
Photo: Brothers Scott, left and Randy Rodarte are founding members of the East LA band Ollin. They are photographed at their home/studio, a converted medical office on Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights in January 2008. Photo by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times