Amid the American Apparel drama earlier this month, the demise of a true Valencia Street institution went somewhat unnoticed (by me anyway). Reader foon this week alerted us to the now old news that El Santo de Israel is no more.
It was a Spanish-language, pro-Jewish Pentecostal church in a little storefront on Valencia near 21st. On Friday nights the congregation gathered and worshiped by way of a gospel jam session courtesy of one downright badass church band.
Oftentimes the jangly tunes issuing from this place sounded a notch more soulful than the boring old indie rock on offer down the block. On my way to or from some show at Amnesia or the Make-Out Room, I’d pass by while this crew were in full swing and wish for a moment somebody’d be out front inviting me in.
El Santo de Israel, we hardly knew ye.
P.S. Really the only problem — aside from the whole organized religion thing if that doesn’t really float your boat — was the harsh overhead lighting. Church people, take a cue from Mission Street Food and Lung Shan, dim those fluorescents, string up some mood lighting, strike up the band, and you could build yourself a young, hip congregation lickety split. The blogs’ll eat it up, people will be lined up around the block to come in and praise holy things!