Ponce de Leon, 2002.
Ponce de Leon is an art band consisting of musical compositions by Gregory McKenna, with lyrics,  vocalization, narrative and performative concepts by John P. Hogan, bass-playing and management of backup singers by David Reich.  Ponce de Leon has often employed a rotating cast of backup singers and dancers (“the party-back”) whose membership has included Carrie Collins, Jonathan Butt, Audrey Chan, Wyatt Tuzo, Nina Alvarez and others.

Ponce de Leon seeks to reconcile the sexualized hipster death drive with the liberal establishment’s need for order. PDL intended to allow for the underground art/music scenester to face his/her imperialist impulse directly. Ponce De Leon was conceived with the idea that, if we have a collective need or will to impose our belief system on others, we should at least acknowledge, accept, and confront it without guilt or insincere self-reproach.


Ponce de Leon’s songs are inspired by baroque music, progressive rock, electronic dance music and early hip-hop. Most of our lyrics are about Florida, Ponce de Leon, colonialist encounters and conflicts with Native American tribes. Ponce de Leon the explorer was chosen as our namesake because, as a historical figure, he is considered both a despised conquistador and a quixotic fool who searched fruitlessly for the Fountain of Youth only to die at the hands of local natives. In this way, Ponce de Leon is the consummate millennial American.

Ponce de Leon has released two albums.  The first, Ponce de Leon, was released by Thorn_01 records.   The second “The Island of Florida: A Foundation Myth” is a self-released soundtrack to a musical by the same name, written by John P. Hogan, which has been performed at Southern California venues such as the California Institute of the Arts, Machine Project, and the Velaslavasay Panorama Theater.


   
Both albums are available on
iTunes and a limited edition vinyl LP of “The Island of Florida” is available for purchase at live Ponce de Leon shows.

Stream “The Great Cetaceous Society” from The Island of Florida: A Foundation Myth

 

Ponce de Leon still performs in the Los Angeles area.

Ponce de Leon explained, 2003

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