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Mother of Pearl Vinyl hosts second annual block party

Courtesy of Mother of Pearl Facebook Page
The second Mother of Pearl Block party will take place Sep. 14 through Sep. 17 at the Union Plaza in downtown El Paso.

As the summer nears the end, Mother of Pearl Vinyl, a record store located in the Monticello shopping center, is pulling out its banners and stages to prepare for yet another party. Last year, the record store hosted its first Mother of Pearl Block Party, drawing a crowd of nearly 10,000 music enthusiasts.

The second-annual Mother of Pearl Block Party will showcase a diverse selection of out-of-town and local artists to satisfy any music connoisseur.

“We wanted our lineup to be as diverse as the selection in the store and be representative of what we actually listen to,” said Jorge Montelongo, store manager “The best thing about the diversity in acts is the opportunity to educate people and expose them to musical stylings that maybe they haven’t heard before or had a different impression of.”

The headliners include New Orleans rapper Juvenile and Cleveland indie band Cloud Nothings. Local talent includes pop-rock band Part-Time, Juarez/El Paso group The Chamanas, local DJ Chuy Vuitton, punk-partygoers Nalgadas and the post-punk ensemble Sluur.

The weekend will also include a four-day film festival that will run alongside the music festival. Partnered with Alamo Drafthouse and Western Technical College, Mother of Pearl Vinyl will screen classic music documentaries such as “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week,” “The Decline of Western Civilization” and “A Fat Wreck,” along with other local films. The featured local films are entered in a contest, where the winner will be awarded $5,000 for their next project.

“For the first time we’re actually seeing a really active film community in El Paso, which is awesome,” said Nico Antuna Cooper, director and actor of one of the competing films, “Mosaic Dreams.”. “Events like the Mother of Pearl Festival will help promote that scene, and it’s a great time to do film in town.”

Many of the filmmakers involved in the festival are equally as hopeful as Cooper. Elida Portillo is entering the competition with her film “Borderline.”

“I hope that with film festivals like this one more people in town can be encouraged to create and tell their stories,” Portillo said. “The border is definitely a different place from the rest of the nation, and there are really unique stories here that I believe only people from the area can capture the true essence of.”

The inclusion of the film festival has given a spotlight to the growing community of filmmakers El Paso cultivates, and Mother of Pearl Vinyl has provided a hub for it to grow.

With the varying spectrum of both music and films being featured, Eduardo Cepeda, the festival’s organizer, intends to unite the entire city of El Paso.

“We want people to see all the different genres and all the different ideas in one place, and take notice that El Paso is like that, and that if everyone works together, we can have the kind of city millennials want to live in,” Cepeda said. “We want the community to see that by supporting these kind of events they are helping to stop the ‘brain drain,’ and helping to create the El Paso we all deserve.”

The Mother of Pearl Block Party will be from 2 p.m. –  midnight, Sept. 14-17 at the Union Plaza in downtown El Paso.

The music documentaries will be screened at the Alamo Drafthouse on Mesa Street and the local films at The Garden Bistro, located in the Union Plaza.

Tickets are $10 online, $15 general admission or $45 VIP. To purchase tickets, visit

Eric Vasquez may be reached at [email protected]

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Mother of Pearl Vinyl hosts second annual block party